Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

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Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Dusk Raven on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:25 pm

So, basically, a couple interesting ideas have arisen in the "looking for a group" thread. One is a campaign set in what I enjoy calling the Dark History - the time before Celestia and Luna. Fragments of knowledge about that time are scarce, but what can be gathered is that it's roughly analogous to medieval Earth, and during that time ponies were at the mercy of old prejudices and the darker natures of all beings, villain and civilian alike.

Simultaneously, I posited the idea of a campaign where the players are villains trying to do what they wish with the world. And, of course, I thought about combining the two. Thus, the seeds of a new campaign are sown, and I am here to harvest them.

Yes, I know my history with running campaigns on here has been... beleaguered. But, I may as well try. Besides, we've a need for campaigns here...

But first, there must be ideas. I do want to clear a few things and otherwise get input. For instance, both premises - the Dark History and villainous protagonist - are broad and may need to be defined. How far back do we want to go? Do we even want to have things take place after Celestia comes to power? And what sort of villains do the players want to be? Possibilities for all of those questions were presented in the group thread, and I'm not sure I want to repeat them here, at least not until I get some input. Thus, this thread. Thoughts?
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  AleneShazam on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:45 pm

Dusk Raven wrote:But first, there must be ideas. I do want to clear a few things and otherwise get input. For instance, both premises - the Dark History and villainous protagonist - are broad and may need to be defined. How far back do we want to go? Do we even want to have things take place after Celestia comes to power? And what sort of villains do the players want to be? Possibilities for all of those questions were presented in the group thread, and I'm not sure I want to repeat them here, at least not until I get some input. Thus, this thread. Thoughts?
My first thought? Short while after Celestia comes into power. She's busy dealing with bigger fish, letting the small time prospectives like the players get their way. Maybe, it's after Celestia banished Luna. Equestria is still wartorn and filled with all sorts of baddies and do gooders trying to use the chaos to rise in their respective ranks. This is where our players come in.

Perhaps they are underlings of an undefined big bad, taken down by the Princesses. Perhaps they were part of NMM's army. Maybe, they're just bad ponies. I think the type of villain, as long as it's not the terrible kind of chaotic evil, should fall to the player.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:00 pm

It does seem like we'd need to have the players bound together, even just loosely, so they team up at the start. Having a previous big boss would work for that, as it'd make sense for the party to group up for some reason or another while allowing most to not know each other from being at different ranks and places. Although I don't think Nightmare Moon is the best option for the previous big boss if we go that route. I don't see her with an army of willing and diverse subjects...

As for villain types, I'm up for all and any types. Let players play what they want...

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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  A1C Bronymous on Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:30 pm

I think post NMM banishment Equestria does lend itself to concept of a band of unknown villains in the shadows of big ones, but I think pre-Sisters Equestria lends itself more to the types and motives of the villains themselves. Though I have to admit, I'm more interested in individual concepts than which setting is chosen. I already have a few ideas for characters, including a PC pair a la Rocky & Mugsy, as well as a Trixie-esque, talentless loudmouth.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  GreyVestibule on Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:34 pm

I would think to go for a campaign that is Pre-Celestia/Luna reign. I just figure it helps makes things easier when comes to the whole “why aren't the princesses or their forces intervening” point if the villain protagonists become that much of a disturbance.

The way I see it though, it could also be possible to still involve them, if only distantly at first. Maybe it's in the time of Discord, which could allow for a variety of villain player characters—after all Discord doesn't care about having a regiment of underlings, and I could imagine him either caring less or being delighted at the idea of others making trouble in Equestria. The PCs could be loose acquaintances of Discord like how Tirek and Discord seemed to have some familiarity with each other, or maybe the PCs were just some poor shmucks who were pulled in and discarded by Discord's shenanigans, eventually going “Eh, screw it, I'll just use this land for my own purposes while I'm here”. Or maybe they just came into the region because hey, party at Equestria, ain't got no authorities to say what we can't do, woo!

In this sort of setting, the threat looming on the horizon, the “big good”, could potentially be the alicorn sisters who are growing in power. Maybe Discord has been freshly sealed in stone and the PCs are doing whatever, having their fun and not caring if those do-gooders have their little city somewhere. But with time, and the expansion of an Equestria unified under the sisters, things get harder. Within towns, it becomes more difficult for villains to get away with their deeds as ponies come together in a common struggle, not allowing monsters or tyrants to terrorize them. Towns that might have had nothing to do with each other might eventually unite, causing trouble for criminals who might flee between borders.

I mean, if another era seems better, that's cool. That was my thought on the matter of era, I'm sure others could work as well.

As for what sort of villains, I'd think it cool to allow for players to have a diversity, play what they want. I'm sure a common ground could be reached eventually. I do agree with AleneShazam somewhat in that it probably would be good for the players involved to avoid making a character who is “chaotic evil”, which in my experience usually means “I just want to watch the world burn”. Practically speaking, it's good for party cohesion to avoid that archetype. That's not to say some figurative backstabbing and competing agendas isn't always bad, having a little tension can be fun. But having a PC or several PCs always on the brink of going Kefka and destroying everything or everypony for the lulz can be less so. Some of the best villains come about because of compelling thought put into them. Maybe a pegasus born into a prejudiced earth pony community had no choice but to become a career thief because they couldn't ever get a job, for a quick example.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  tygerburningbright on Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:12 pm

nothing to see here just posting interest...
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Caden2112 on Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:18 pm

Just gonna be devil's advocate here for a few sentences. The problem with chaotic evil isn't so much the alignment, it's how it's played, much like how paladins get grief for being anal-retentive jerks because either the player can't play them, or they fall if they're not because the DM has a narrow view of them. A group of psychopaths who stick together because they happen to compliment each other and wanna see the world burn from atop a horde of treasure is...Not all that different from the average adventuring party actually. Razz

...That said, yeah, I think leaning towards Lawful or Neutral Evil, to keep the DnD alignment reference going, might work better for a team if we assume pre-existing connections (Either before the game starts, or as an excuse to throw a bunch of sadists in the same room together.) ...I would be tentatively interested.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  AleneShazam on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:54 am

If we assume post-discord, a chaotic evil character could be a discorded minion. Depending on how he's played, that could be very interesting to play.

...Dibs, if I end up playing this.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  GreyVestibule on Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:41 pm

I suppose those are fair points about that sort of character actually -- if it can be played it could played well instead of in a wall-banging manner like the paladin example given, it could work.

Also, gonna make it explicit, I'm interested as well in participating.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:25 pm

I have three, going on four character concepts already for this kind of game. Interest.

...though hopefully it doesn't start up while I'm away over the next week.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Crystalite on Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:47 am

Dusk is already aware of my concept. Making post to inform others of my interest.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Dusk Raven on Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:32 pm

You'd think having to do my own chores would teach me that, if you ignore things, they just pile up. All the same, I was busy the past couple days so it's not like I would have been able to post.

Anyway. I had a bunch of general things I wanted to say, and I'll try to remember of all of them. First, I think Chaotic Evil can be workable. In Friendship is Dragons, for instance, RD's player only chose Chaotic Evil because it was the alignment that would let her do whatever she wanted - including staying loyal if she so pleased (of course, this was the more restricted 4e). While Chaos and Evil both tend to gravitate against a group dynamic, there's no real restriction on it, and if you can make a character that's fun to have around, then that'll do. Hmm... don't really have anything else to say about alignment, other than a discussion me and my IRL D&D group had about which Batman villain was which alignment...

All right, as for setting - now, certain people's ideas have made me think about a game very close to NMM's time. I would think right after. One of the fanfics on my to-read list is kind of a short time after NMM's betrayal, where the races are still a bit distrustful of each other. To expand on that, perhaps whispers of discontent against the princess have been raised... especially after a fateful day in which the moon eclipsed the sun fora brief time, and when it ended, the castle of the sisters was ruined, Luna was gone, and only Celestia's word for what happened... seems like it would be a volatile time, no? Of course, such a setting would mean you can't exactly start up an age of evil... at least, not across the whole land.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  GreyVestibule on Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:01 pm

Hm, yeah I can see how such a time would work. Not exactly a time of great evil, though such events would allow for cracks to start growing in the Equestrian ethos. If one of the princesses who have watched over Equestria for so long disapears, it would mean a serious change in status quo, maybe a re-evaluation for some ponies of how they think the world works. If one of the princesses can—and has—been disappeared, what does that say about the safety of Equestria? And naturally there could be differences of opinion, of whether or not Celestia speaks with complete truth. And even if she is believed, then those who served Luna may be regarded with scrutiny—if not by some authorities, then by some layponies.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:56 pm

While I haven't fully finalized my character, but I will say that his/her backstory will most likely including someone (who may or may not be my character, depending on what concept I go with) being granted a wish somehow. I was gonna go with an evil Genie or something along those lines (who would have been sealed away prior to campaign start thanks to the Elements of Harmony) maybe as a part of a deal, but I'm open to ideas. I'm saying it here for two reasons. First, so we can agree on something that can fit the setting, and second, in case anyone wants to use the same thing for their characters...

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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Senshuken on Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:30 pm

There are a number of era's in which the game could be set, but I do like the just after Discord or NMM era's. Regardless of the era, I have a character in mind that would work... is this going to be over skype or a play by post?

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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  GreyVestibule on Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:50 pm

Are folks just waiting for folks to say/do stuff, or has this idea pretty much died off? I'd hate to see it go but there hasn't been additional word in a while.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  tygerburningbright on Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:37 pm

Personally I was waiting on the DM to say/do things...
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Dusk Raven on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:44 am

I was.... busy with other things. And maybe hoping someone had a really compelling suggestion/desire for a particular setting.

Also, should this get started, it will be play by post.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Crystalite on Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:26 am

Have we established what system we're using? Once we do that we can start getting characters rolled up.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Senshuken on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:08 pm

If you want a good era to be villians in, why not set it during Equestria's industrial revolution? It had to happen at some point and such revolutions change how the world works... who's to say that the old way of doing things can't be cast aside in such an age of technology and money?
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Dusk Raven on Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:25 am

Senshuken wrote:If you want a good era to be villians in, why not set it during Equestria's industrial revolution? It had to happen at some point and such revolutions change how the world works... who's to say that the old way of doing things can't be cast aside in such an age of technology and money?

Somehow I doubt the villains would be very successful in any way that requires them to actually be active. Post Nightmare Moon, there's only one princess to deal with. After the show, there's four.

As for system... well, I'm mostly open to popular vote on that. Pony Tales is good if you want to start off reasonably powerful. Wanderlust is good if you want to end up a demigod. Admittedly I like aspects of Pony Tales' combat more, but Wanderlust handles noncombat a bit better, I think.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  tygerburningbright on Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:52 am

personally prefer pony tales just due to familiarity.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Crystalite on Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:51 pm

I personally would prefer Wanderlust. Besides liking it as a general rule, the character progression of starting out a little weaker and then becoming more powerful fits my character concept better.
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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:06 am

I am fine either way, but I will say that my current ideas for characters were made with PT in mind...

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Re: Canon For The Wicked - A Villainous Campaign

Post  GreyVestibule on Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:48 pm

PT is preferable for it's familiarity, but I'm willing to learn Wanderlust.
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