Playing an Evil-Aligned Character

Proofread by Adamixos

Creating a Villain for roleplay is not exactly easy. Often in the world of Roleplay we see people dividing along two sides. Those who want to play hero, and those who want to play villain. This is actually a good idea if you have enough people willing to play the bad guys, yet in the end it can get a bit stale. ArenaNet has shown an increasing interest in developing villains and evil factions that while being “ebil” have some sort of reasoning and agenda behind it, or an overarching goal to them. This isn’t new to stories really, but it is a nice touch than simply pasting “Evil” on the foreheads of a group and telling the players to kill them.

What does this mean though for Roleplayers who actually like characters that aren’t exactly Dudley Do-Right?

Before going any further it is probably best to overview the enemy factions of the five races.


Racial Enemy Factions


The Flame Legion – Charr

One of the four Charr High Legions, the Flame or “Gold Legion” are the former rulers of the Charr people until the other three Legions rebelled under the leadership of Kalla Scorchrazor. The Flame Legion held onto their power through religious fanaticism, facist acts against their own people, and basically killing anyone that spoke out against them.

Members of the modern Flame Legion hope to turn their leader Gaheron Balefire into a living god. Through open Civil War with the other High Legion they wish to reclaim their rule over all other Charr and see their ‘god’ worshiped once again. Flame Legion are noted as favoring magic over technology. Gladly taking in others from other legions they are also see females as underneath and wish to return them to their ‘rightful’ place.


How to make a Flame Legion Character

Creating a member of the Flame Legion would be similar to creating a cultist. The Flame Legion from what we know is devout to their belief and if anything the lower ranked members probably do not know as much as the higher ups. Honestly, making a member of the Flame legion would create interesting to say the least. The one thing to avoid is creating a caricature of belief.

Flame legion are not only cultists they are terrorists. They infiltrate, sabotage, and do what they can to undermine the work of the other Legions. This means one could spend time trying to convert other Charr or causing as much mayhem as possible while retaining their cover.

The Renegades – Charr

Many were not satisfied by the truce with the humans such as the Blood Imperator, Bangar Ruinbringer, others still wished to do more. The Renegades are a dissident faction akin to the Human Separatists who seek to undo the treaty and maintain war with the Humans.


How to make a Renegade Character

Renegades go against the Charr belief in following the rule of one’s Legion and are rebels. Many are likely gladium or warbands who outright feel that their leaders have erred greatly in the leadership of the Charr Legions. For this purpose Renegade characters are not only outcasts they are likely a group that would not want to walk around spouting their beliefs in public (not in Charr lands at least).

The Sons of Svanir – Norn

Named for the man that would become the Nornbear, the Sons of Svanir are a group that believe Jormag is the greatest Totem to ever exist. Dragon (as Jormag is called) is the strongest of the Spirits and should be properly revered. Through him all other Spirits will crumble to dust. They see women as weak and unable to fulfill the trials of Dragon and generally hate them for Jora’s (Svanir’s sister) actions in the death of the Nornbear. To members of the Sons, only a few males are able to channel the corruption of Jormag without becoming Icebrood. Some even walk besides the Icebrood willingly even returning to lead the sons (as Icebrood) in attacks against other Norn.

Unlike other openly hostile factions the Sons are tolerated by Norn communities until they openly threaten the community.


How to make a Son of Svanir Character

Anywhere else outside of Norn territory anyone wanting to roleplay a Son of Svanir would have to keep quiet. Proclaiming the near worship of an Elder Dragon would probably result in a good old stab in the back. Perhaps the best id would be to avoid full membership and simply create a character on the edge. Or perhaps the silent subverter that was mentioned in the Flame Legion section. In Norn territory a Son can openly proclaim his bigotry, misogynism and beliefs without much fail, as long as he does not start attacking people.

The White Mantle – Human

The White Mantle was a guild that took power after repelling the Charr in 1070 AE and bring with them the religion of the Unseen. Their theocratic rule is later overthrown after they are discovered sacrificing innocents to power powerful artifacts known as soul batteries the Maguuma Jungle. In modern Kryta they are nothing but myth and legend since losing the nation’s civil war in 1079 AE. Reality is quite the opposite as the Mantle has gone underground parading as bandits while harassing citizens of Kryta while fighting a shadow war with the Shining Blade. They seem to act in cell with one being known to act in the area of the hunting lodge in the Queen’s Forest.


How to make a White Mantle Character

The White Mantle are perhaps one of the more accessible character types. They represent on the lower levels those believing in a newer faith which could easily show up in simple prejudice against those who worship the Six. White Mantle characters can be archvillains or simple informants looking to move along the cause. They could be shadowy workers using their power to undo the work of politicians supporting the queen. They can also be “revolutionaries” (dark types) hoping to undo the heretical beliefs of the ruling party and see the faith of the Unseen spread throughout Kryta once again.

The Bandits – Human

They roam the country-side raiding towns, farms and all the while kidnapping nobles. Some say they are members of the White Mantle, while others are related to the street gangs and criminals of Divinity’s Reach. The fact is that the bandits are not an organized faction as much as they are various gangs grouped under one name. Many bandits have made deals with the centaurs and even supply the four legged horsemen with supplies and weapons.


How to make a Bandit Character

Bandits are country criminals, outlaws and brigands. To make one simply create a character that considers themselves above the law and lacks the morals to care about breaking it.

The Gangs of Divinity’s Reach – Human

They are the criminals of the streets and outlaws of the city. Formed into a mass of various groups the gangs of the capital come in all shapes and sizes. Each gang has its own methods, beliefs, name and rarely identifies with others. Some might be out simply for the money, or hoping to create a new rule of anarchy in the city; others on the other hand simply wish to terrorize and cause fear among the citizenry.


How to make a Gang Character

Creating a Gang character means one should define who and what the character’s gang is. Are they freedom fighters against perceived tyranny or are they robbers going after the big jobs. Some gangs might simply run protection rackets as others might be doing the bidding of a dirty noble.

The Separatists – Human

Many humans especially those from Ebonhawke dislike the notion of a treat with who they consider the savage race known as the Charr. They are much like the bandit’s of Kryta except that they are united in the notion of doing whatever they can in disrupting peace between Human and Charr. This includes not only attacking charr outposts, but also murdering anyone they conceive supporting the treaty (including fellow humans).


How to make a Separatist Character

To create a Separatist all one has to do is to create a character seeing themselves betrayed by the ruling part. Those in Ebonhawke are a great source for such characters as they have battle the Charr for years and still openly despise them. A Separatist is someone willing to toss morality to the winds in the name of undoing something they consider to be a betrayal of many who have died and lands that were lost to what they consider to be monsters.

The Inquest – Asura

The Inquest is not a group that can be termed as evil as more as a collective of amoral individuals. Many in the Asura are unnerved by the Inquest because they do not freely allow members to move from Krewe to Krewe seeking new projects. Instead members are handed assignments and then finish them in an orderly manner. The entire Krewe works as a large corporation pooling its resources to solve the great equation that is the Eternal Alchemy.


How to make an Inquest Character

There is little known about the Inquest only that members of it are loyal to the corporate machine of  the Inquest. Members of this faction are not really evil as they are amoral meaning that morality is a flexible thing to them. Some are likely to follow the traditions of of Asuran society while others see the corporate machine as a step in the evolution of Asuran thinking.

The Nightmare Court – Sylvari

The Nightmare Court was formed from the ideologies of the first Secondborn, Caderyn. Over a period of years Caderyn formulated a rebellious philosophy that ran counter to the teachings of Ventari’s Tablet and from his ideology was born the Nightmare Court. Currently led by the self styled Grand Duchess Faolain (one of the twelve Firtborn), the court sees the Tablet as corrupting factor in the existence of the Sylvari race. They believe that for the Sylvari to survive and for their true selve to exist that the must spread despair wherever they can. Through torture, killing or simply the actions of seeking out darker answers they hope to pool dark emotions in the Dream of Dreams so their memories reign over those of the Tablet.


How to make a Nightmare Court Character

Like the White Mantle, the Nightmare Court though having a twisted philosophy are perhaps one of the more viable villain groups in Guild Wars 2. Formulated from a rebellion against the peaceful ways of the Grove. Nightmare Sylvari intend to spread the Nightmare via various forms this can be any unscrupulous or unethical act. A Knight of the Court could be a simple villain, a bandit, a false prophet or many other things. They do not have to be archvillains or even minor ones, just simple people doing their job to do a little evil.

Evil Archetypes

The Over-Achiever

They are simple people that just want to do everything perfect. They try to out do everyone and in some cases go overboard. Simple foils to archenemisis they are the ones that are always to prove they are better. They make good rival characters.

The Tragic Villain

They had something happen to them that makes them wish to take vengeance is one that knows things will not get better. We feel bad for what happens to them and why they commit such acts. A good example of this villain is the Phantom of the Opera and even the Frankenstein Monster!

The One Who Knows better

They are intelligent and often may have the best intentions. The arch-villain from Watchman and Light from Deathnote are good example of this. They have a grand design for making the world better and only they know how to do it. The Nightmare Court fits right in this position in some cases.

The Not So Chosen One

They are the messiah, a form of the One Who Knows Better except they often are a person that does horrible things in an attempt to prove they are the true and only chosen one. Hitler was such a person. They do no have to be particularly intelligent, but are usually charismatic.

Burn the World

The Joker is a good example of this. He is a character that simply does things because he can. True anarchists that seek to just destroy everything and have fun while doing it. Some are quite ordered in their doings and others simply just pick up whatever they can and start smashing things.

The Golden Child

They think they are simply above everyone else and are not the most likely to commit mass horrible acts. They are the simplest form of arrogant evil and are the first to turn a blind eye when things go wrong and they do not want to accept it.

Snidely Whiplash

A Villain who is greedy and usually creates plans. They cry curses when fooled and are always ready to take on another challenge. Like the Over-Achiever except a bit more comical and not as serious in their acts.

Actually Roleplaying Evil

Like all good characters Villains and evildoers are not one dimensioned, they need an agenda and reason to exist. To simply slap on an idea and run around crying “Nyaaah” does not make a good villain. What really causes villain Roleplay to die is that people often get caught in the act of evil without some sort of reason behind it, or without there being a willingness to character and evolve.

Playing a redeemed villain is a great idea, playing someone becoming a villain is even better. Conflict is eternally shifting, a good villain character like any other is dynamic. They exist to create conflict and react to conflict and they also have their own issues and wants and needs. Forgetting these and you may as well just invite over every run of the mill bad guy and black hat for a dinner party.


Getting an Idea

After setting down your villains scheme pick something that will include other people. Go to a party and declare your intentions and run around for a while. Or dig in and play political spider and pit your enemies against each other. Villains have morals that only suit them, remember this, but they do sometimes have lines. Lawful evil exist for a reason and it is always good to make your villains actually question their actions, humanize them so that they aren’t simply comic creations.



Playing a member of the Nightmare Court for example and play a thief. Stealing things creates memories of loss which to Sylvari spreads the Nightmare. This is a form of low level villainy that can lead to some interesting roleplay as the villain is far more accessible to those not interested in always fighting the man crying out in a monologue.


Have fun!

Remember Villain Rp is suppose to be fun, and always be there to create new changes. If you find yourself repeating something actually explore with your villain WHY he or she is stuck in a rut. Grab your sidekicks and go for a night out on the town if you get bored, create a life for your characters so they aren’t always committing kidnapping plots.