Playing a bad guy in D&D… Why I hate Unicorns
Ok…. a group of friends and I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a few months now, whenever we get a chance. It’s a pretty neat group.
Everybody’s got awesome characters. There’s an elf ranger/bard with kind of a teenage attitude, there’s a human sorcerer with some sort of S&M fetish going on, an elf fighter with a kickass sword and a virginal, but powerful, half-elf wizard… And now we’ve been joined by a strange half-orc barbarian and a dwarf who is a cleric of Pelor.
And then there’s me.
I asked my DM if I could play an evil character. I didn’t want to be the villian, I just wanted to create a character who was naturally vicious, with a very twisted or skewed moral compass. I wanted to be an anti-paladin. After some coaxing, he allowed me to do so and recommended me to roll a blackguard (which is a prestige class in the D&D 3.5). I can’t say that I wasn’t more than thrilled.
So now it was time to choose a race and create an awesome backstory for my evil character. I looked at all the races, but none sufficed. I wanted something more imposing than an elf, more beautiful than an orc or dwarf, and in no way small or weak like a halfling or goblin.
I was about to choose a human when I saw the D&D episode in “Community”. I loved it, since i had played the game before and being a big stinky geek myself. But when sr. Chang showed up all painted in black with a white wig I just lost it. After the episode, I kept remembering that part and laughing like a maniac. But then I wondered about the drow, and since I knew nothing of them I decided to look it up in the internet. And what did I find? A murderous, mathriarcal, highly competitive, almost-spartan race of dark skinned elves that lived underground and worshipped a crazy carnivorous spider goddess. Hi Lolth!
I fell in love with them.
I loved the whole concept, the story, the customs… It seemed so different to the typical fantasy and rpg lore. I knew I had found the perfect race (which sounds a bit funny, because drows are famous for their racial proudness and sense of superiority).
So I started to think of a whole concept and backstory for my EVIL character. After some careful consideration and preparation I created what I think it’s my best character yet. Her story was full of drama, tragedy, epic and, of course, villanous motives all around. She was a half-drow, follower and enforcer of one of Lolth’s biggest temples and a firm believer of the drow way of life. Her’s wasn’t an easy life and all the hardships and taunts over her human heritage made her very suceptible, paranoid and, of course, short-tempered. But she is strong as hell, has a big-ass sword and awesome fighting skills, can command the undead and even invoke a horse from hell. Her devotion to Lolth is so strong she tattooed a spider-shape in her face. She believes in strenght, violence and, above all things, power. My DM said she is almost a female Darth Maul.
So far, it has been interesting playing such a character in a party full of goody-two shoes. Sometimes it gets lonely, most of the times it’s too good to miss and being able to say what you want and killing as you please in an adventure can sure have it’s pros and cons. The hard thing is to manage conflicts and oposite morals between the players/characters and not delaying the game. Sometimes my fellow gamers tire of my character’s antics and discussions with anyone that taunts or bothers her; other times she can really freak them out or even disgust them (like when she eats spiders or bugs… or keeps the heads of her enemies). But I feel she provides a stable and constant tension and source of conflict for the narrative to keep interesting. At least I hope so.
All along it’s been a quest of never-ending surprises, challenges and fun. All the characters have done awesome and meaningful things, we’ve had fun as players and bonded as friends (which I think is the main thing about these kind of games). My character (her name’s Nedyra) has done good so far: she’s killed many monsters, beheaded an evil wizard, shot something resembling a naga in the head while lurking in a dark dungeon, given feminist pep-talks, commanded some undeads and, as we go along, I discover (or make up) new things about her. I truly feel she is getting lonely in the surface, is unsure of her path and her relationship with her comrades. But one thing that will never change is her willingness to kick asses and seek all kinds of battle.
But today… Today I discovered two things: 1) She’s afraid of heights. That i of course a trait found in myself, but in her it makes perfect sense too.
2) No matter how badass your character may be or look it can always, always be kicked and humilliated in the worst possible way. Dignity begone, all intimidation that you claim in the future is now lost.
My character, as I said before, has survived many things and many fights. But today I was sure she was going to day in the most stupid and humilliating way possible: killed by a unicorn.
A mo-fo unicorn. Which also burned me with it’s light of goodness.
My character, a Level 8 drow blackguard, was speared, strampled and illuminated almost to death by a unicorn. I retalliated and tried to defend myself, but it was useless… all my evilness and sins were about to be punished by one of the gayest and prettiest mythical creatures from Western mythology. And what do my team-mates do during this massacre? They heal the unicorn.
Life is not fair. Neither is D&D.