Antagonists: A rough and ready guide
So, you’ve decided to play an antagonistic character? Congratulations! You are embarking on an adventure in terror and tension like no other. Here’s a rough and ready guide to prepare you for what might be an extremely brief trip, but could turn into a years long tale with incredible bragging rights. Ready? Let’s go.
Step one: Prepare to die
You are an antagonist, the bad guy, team evil. Even the best and most talented antagonist is going to slip up eventually. Do not expect mercy, or a gentle ride. Your character is going to die, sooner or later. Do not be afraid. This is the natural cycle of an antagonist, your role is not to win always and forever, but to provide a service to the community, to spice it up for everyone. A good death scene can be something talked about for years after.
Step Two: Know your evil
Sometimes, the hardest part of being an antagonist is knowing what kind of evil you are, and even more importantly -why-. Think carefully about your characters style and motivations. Very few evil people consider themselves to be evil.
A slave who knows nothing but violence and has found they enjoy this small amount of control.
A Nobleman who will stop at nothing to gain what he wants, based on his inherent superiority
A soldier who made a pact with a demon to survive a war and now finds himself lost to darkness.
These examples are a tiny fraction of the possibilities, but the basics are clear. Think deeply about what your character wants, and what makes them willing to do terrible deeds to get it.
Step Three: Faith and Religion
Faith, the gods, religion. These things are a huge factor in Toril across all lands. There are no Athiests in a world where the gods literally walk the world, where their presence is a daily fact of life, undeniable. In Tethyr, the following gods are worshiped.
Be aware that people who know how certain gods are worshipped will certainly be able to spot a poorly thought out attempt to impersonate a priest or holy warrior of any given god. Be aware that impersonating priest or holy person, as well as blaspheming against certain people and most deities is a crime and will result in punishment if you are caught.
Step Four: Law, Honor, Crime and punishment
Tethyr is a land of laws and you will want to work hard to be aware of what you can get away with, and when. Read this resource carefully, even just being belligerent in the wrong place, or time, or to the wrong person can be the slip that puts you in an untenable position.
Be aware, that just like in the real world, the rich and the powerful or those who make allies of such, can mould and warp the law to suit themselves. With that power comes additional things to considers in a feudal setting, such as the knightly code of honour and the responsibilities therein:
Step Five: Inhuman Antagonists
Tieflings, half-orcs, monsters of all types. Many of these are options open to you at creation or through roleplay. Keep in mind that few of these entities will be at all welcome in Tethyr and you may find yourself hunted from the first moment of creation. This can be a thrill, but can also lead to a brutally short experience.
Step Six: Learn the land
Tethyr is an interesting place, with lots of little hidey holes and nooks that could function as a base of operations for your antagonist. Take your time and find the place that suits you. If you plan on making an aggressive antagonist right from the start, you might wish to make an alternative character so you can get a feel for things before you jump right in.
Step Seven: Allies
There is evil at large in Tethyr, you needn’t go it alone. You can find yourself in the company of Demon worshippers, Monsters, Cruel and wicked nobleman and more. Send out your feelers (or contact a player rep; they’re always in the know) and find yourself what might pass for friends, and enjoy the tension of the fragile alliances shared by antagonistic characters.
Step Eight: Other resources
Tethyr has an in-depth class and background system with lots of nuances you can add to support the creation of your character and your roleplay, make sure to avail yourself of our resources on our website and feel free to contact a player rep on our discord server for a more personal handling of your questions. Our wonderful DMs are dedicated to working on the server and creating roleplay for us all to enjoy, so leave them to it unless a player rep is unable to help you!
New Player help on our discord: https://discord.gg/Czad6wa
Our website that is positively infested with information to help you get started, including links to the files you need and more: http://tethyrknights.com/