It was an Exalted 2e game, and one of our party members was a renegade deathknight. For those of you who don’t feel like clicking through, suffice it to say that deathknights are demigods of death, and that the renegade version is all about rebelling against your evil overlord. Understandably, those evil overlords don’t take this shit lying down.

If you have the misfortune of being a renegade deathknight, you are going to wind up dealing with an unpleasant consequence: resonance. Basically, for the sin of mutinying against the forces of evil, you get THE BAD STUFF. Sure there’s the standard bleeding from the eyes and animals dropping dead in your unholy presence, but if your storyteller is anything like mine (hey, Laurel!), THE BAD STUFF gets creative.

So as I was saying, our band of deposed kings of the universe were tromping through the wilderness, trying to stay a step ahead of the BBEG. The group’s aforementioned deathknight was hiding his shame, so none of us other PCs knew we were hanging around with an avatar of darkness. The dude had slathered his armor in gold, downplayed his nefarious tendencies, and was (apparently) waiting until he’d earned a little trust among the party to make the big reveal. He also happened to be our survival expert, meaning the rest of us dumbasses were trusting him to orienteer around the armies of darkness. Said armies were (again, unbeknownst to the rest of us) in the employ of this deathknight’s former boss.

The Survival rolls were good, but our enemies hemmed us in on all sides anyway. Super-powered hit squads were waiting in ambush behind every tree. Legions of mortal warriors marched to block our path. And when at last we stumbled unwittingly into the camp of our nemesis, this smug Deathlord greeted his ‘loyal servant’ with a smile. “I see you found your way home. But of course you did. You will always find your way back home. I guarantee it.”

It was great fun escaping with the help of a giant space snake who flew us into low orbit (lol Exalted), but it was even more fun having the recriminations scene with the deathknight. How could you! We trusted you! Etc.!

Out of character we all sympathized with the guy. Who hasn’t been there? When you’ve hooked your character to an evil deity, archfiend, or inscrutable cosmic force, you’re not only dealing with the cosmological concept of Evil. You’re also dealing with the far more insidious evil of micromanagement, and there’s no escaping that sinister malarkey.

So how about it guys? Have you ever played an evil character with a “hands-on” boss? Did you manage to escape their baleful influence, or were you stuck in the role of demoniac yes-man for the duration of the campaign? Let’s hear about your encounters with evil upper management down in the comments!


EARN BONUS LOOT! Check out the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. We’ve got a sketch feed full of Laurel’s original concept art. We’ve got early access to comics. There’s physical schwag, personalized art, and a monthly vote to see which class gets featured in the comic next. And perhaps my personal favorite, we’ve been hard at work bringing a bimonthly NSFW Handbook of Erotic Fantasy comic to the world! So come one come all. Hurry while supplies of hot elf chicks lasts!