Content of the article: "Is it ever a good idea to allow a party with both good and evil aligned characters?"
To be clear at the start, the context is from a game in which I am a player, and not a DM. However, certain aspects of the way it is being run is causing me more and more concern.
During a session in which I joined after it was an hour in, the cleric messaged me as we played, expressing that she was annoyed with our paladin. The paladin asked for our DM to repeat herself a couple times, but to me it wasn't very major. I was trying to sympathize, however, as it sounded like he had also wasted everyone's time, but to a greater extent, before I had joined.
After the session, the cleric confided in me that she and another player planned to kill the paladin next session, one way or another. I was honestly at a loss for words, as it seemed like a terribly mean thing to do, but at some point I managed to ask why, and she essentially explained that her character would be compelled to do so. It was at this point that I learned her character is actually evil aligned, and her deity is the god of destruction, and so her being in a party with a (lawful probably?) good paladin was not going to work, and so she has to kill him, and plus it would please her god. I then said, well I'm also good, so how can I be in a party with you, and she dismissed it and made it clear I would not be under threat.
Now, obviously this plan is motivated by personal reasons and not those of her character. However, being of an opposite alignment does allow for an easy scape-goat.
As further context, in the first session which I was not a part of, there was a player death in which the fighter, recently wielding a cursed hungry sword (which spoke to him and made clear its wishes), after dragging the stabilized other player back to a bed, then failed a will save and was compelled by the sword to kill the other player.
It's beginning to seem like backstabbing may become a feature of this campaign, which was not at all made apparent to me, and which is not something I would have signed up for. It seems to me like it would be an incredibly bad idea to allow a party with both evil and good aligned players. From everything I've heard and learned, this is a bad idea. Conflict will escalate, and someone will get hurt. While you can rationalize "It's for story!", resentment will brew in the player whose character has been hurt or killed. For anything which extends over multiple sessions for an indeterminate period, it doesn't seem to me like such vehemently conflicting character motivations can lead to anything good.
Am I wrong for thinking so strongly that this is a bad idea? Are there ways to run a multiple session game with both good and evil characters? Are there ways to reconcile good and evil aligned characters working together? I'm looking for advice so I can at least DM better myself, and to know with certainty what to disallow, or to know how to make it work.
Also, I am not looking for criticism of D&D's alignment system. That isn't what I'm asking about, so I beg that no one take this as an opportunity to point out the ways they believe the alignment system is flawed.
Thanks for any wisdom you can provide!
- Just had something uncomfortable happen in my campaign.
- Ways Around Being the Forever DM
- Handling a Problematic Character
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