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Good vs Evil

I have, once again, “played hooky” from DDE at Secret Headquarters.

Part of it is that I have a boat load of stuff to do each week and being away from home in the evenings cuts down on my ability to do any of it. The other part, though, the main part, is that there’s only 6 player slots open right now, and I don’t want to keep someone else from playing when I’ve got a home game that plays every couple of weeks.

DDE is set up where there can only be 6 PCs per session/DM. And this season we only have 1 DM: Todd.

WHY we only have 1 DM this season is what I want to talk about, today. Stacy, our previous DM, is playing this time, and that’s totally cool. Our other 2 DMs, though, they refused to participate this season because they refused to run “evil” campaigns.

To which I said, (and still say) “Oh really?”

Now, not being privy to the inner workings of their minds, I can’t say for sure, but I’ve got a strong hunch that it’s mainly the associations of the word “evil” that is the sticking point for those reluctant DMs.

Yes, Council of Spiders is focused on the drow. Of the 6 PC slots, 4 of them must be drow characters to comply with the rules, and non-drow characters are automatically slaves of drow. And drow are pretty much cut-and-dried evil.

But, really, if everyone is evil, what IS evil? Evil is a concept (at least in gaming) and a relative one at that. And in the first session that I did play, what our evilness amounted to was a little extra in-game snark. Really.

I mean, you’re still part of a group trying to accomplish a mission. Maybe you’ve got your own best interests at heart and would gladly screw over the other players if the opportunity presented itself, but, hell, that’s a game of Killer Bunnies right there. Only there it’s not called “evil.” It’s called competition.

So to the DMs who bailed this season (and not just in our town, from what I hear a lot of folks were grumbling over the choice of this season’s setting/rules) I have this to say:

Get over yourself.

And if you really have a hang-up about an “evil” campaign, I hope you have never played any sort of strategy game where you had to scheme and manipulate the situation or other players. Or you’ve ever played a “bad guy” in a video game. Scammed another player out of Boardwalk, Park Place, or any of the railroads in Monopoly. Or, hell, played cops and robbers when you were a kid and you were the robber. Because then, my friends, I’ve got another word for you:

Hypocrite

Of course, if I’m way off base here, please let me know. I’d love to hear a rational argument for bailing on willing players that doesn’t include moral connotations of evil as your rationale. And remember, I play a paladin in my home game because lawful good is my natural default, in and out of game, and I enjoyed playing my drow priestess, thank you very much.

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On a happier note (or something like that), there’re approximately 95 shopping days until Christmas. Which means you’ve probably got about 85 days left* to order a copy of What to Feed Your Raiding Party. I might be a smidgen biased, but I think it’d make a great gift for the gamer, geek, or foodie in your life. (If you want it by Thanksgiving–for obvious reasons–you’ve got about 55 shopping days left, *less if you want the Artist Edition).

I’ll even throw in free gift wrap and a special D20 gift tag–just leave me the to and from info in the comments of your order!

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