Not to toot my own horn or anything but when I play games I am good, damn good, goodness shining through my screen, bathing me in an aura of virtuous light and promising me a spot in gamer heaven… And when I say good I am of course talking about my go-to alignment, duh.
I really like games that let you mould a personality and alignment is one of many tools that can be used to do that. Despite my appreciation of the diversity gained from playing through a story as a different alignment, particularly things like different or alternative side quests or a different ending, I can never play as an evil character.
If you have been with my blog since the very beginning, back when I had been close to taking this blog in a “read about my Dragon Age Inquisition play through” direction (glad I avoided that now, if you want to take a look my first couple of awkward posts though you can do so here and here), then you may remember that I created a character in Inquisition with the intention of making her a nasty character. Her name is Shawty and she’s a two-handed weapon wielding dwarf, she’s pretty damn awesome. She started out as a total bitch, as intended, but she has gradually drifted to become the same sort of character as all my others: kind and sassy. Although she is a little more brutal when talking to bad guys.
I honestly don’t know why I can’t be evil in games, as soon as I lose influence/approval/whatever with companions that are usually my besties, or they end up upset because of something I’ve done, I just feel guilty. I realise of course that they are not real people and that the beauty of it being a game is that you can be whoever you want to be. Maybe that’s simply it: I don’t want to be evil.
The closest I ever got to being an evil character was when I was trying to gain enough influence over a character in Neverwinter Nights 2 for him to not turn against me in the final battle. I was very tactful here and would only take out a team of characters that, being of a similar evil or neutral alignment wouldn’t mind too much, if at all, when I did or said nasty things to gain influence over him. This was actually pretty difficult because the best characters (in my opinion anyway) were all ‘good’ characters so it made fighting quite hard. When he wasn’t on my team though my character would shift back to her cheery, nice self. In that game your alignment can actually shift as well depending on what you say and depending on how far you are on the good to evil scale your dialogue options can change. In that play through my character was just rolling up and down that scale like an emotional yo yo, eventually settling on ‘chaotic neutral’ at the end.
This can all change away from a screen though. When we play Dungeons and Dragons I wouldn’t feel bad at all about playing an evil character, in fact I find it more fun sometimes depending on where the story is going. Maybe this is because the people on my team aren’t a bunch of pixels that are programmed to react to my choices and actions in a specific way. I know that whatever I choose I won’t offend any of my friends (unless they’re taking it super seriously, but none of us are really like that), it’s more likely to get a response in the realm of “oh, you are such a dick I can’t believe you’re doing that… Ah well what’s done is done might as well join in. ATTACK THE INN KEEPER! WOO!!!”. It probably helps that at some point or another someone will inevitably say something along the lines of “I roll to seduce the goblin chieftain”, taking away any element of seriousness that may have been there before and once that’s happened stupid behaviour and poor decisions are more or less expected and welcomed. The same goes for my friend that I mentioned in my previous post about turning someone into a gamer, she can’t be an evil character when playing a video game but in D&D she can be super sly and mean if that’s what she’s decided her character should be and you need to look out for her manipulative ways.
Side note: I’ve been looking for an excuse to put this in for ages, please enjoy:
So I guess the reason behind me not being able to be evil in video games is because I don’t want to hurt my fictional, animated friends’ feelings… It sounds a bit sad put that way so let’s just say that I tactfully befriend as many characters as possible in order to get the best outcome in the game. That sounds better.
What is your go to alignment? Can you play an evil character with no qualms? If so, what is your evil secret?