Evil Orphan
rating: 0+x

We took pity on him because he'd lost both parents at an early age. I think that, on reflection, we should have wondered a bit more about that.

— Lord Downey reflects on Mister Teatime (Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)

Basic Information

The Evil Orphan is an orphan adopted by a family who will ultimately bring nothing but grief and misery to them, as he is somehow inherently, fundamentally evil. He may be able to conceal his nature for a while and pretend to be an innocent child, and getting others blamed for his misdeeds. However, eventually the true horror of his nature will be discovered.

Relationships between adoptive parents and the orphan may vary - traditionally the child is a cuckoo in the nest, eliminating siblings and dominating the parents, but it may instead settle into a sort of pet monster role, exempting its family and turning its malice entirely outward. Especially if the family ignores or facilitates its behaviour. Although it would be extremely unusual for anything truly evil to be that forbearing for very long … even the mildest mannered children tend to fall out with parents or siblings at some point.

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • As PCs rarely adopt orphans of their own, it's probably best if the Evil Orphan was adopted by a family of friends or other acquaintances. Then the orphan can try to make their lives hell, all the while hiding behind his parents, who are oblivious to his evil. Thus, the PCs need to expose him for what he is somehow…
  • Could make an interesting BBEG, using its adoptive parents as cut-outs to lead its organisation and pretending to be merely a dependant when they are taken down.
  • If The Emerald Lama has to follow a re-incarnation pathway like the rest of the high lamas are meant to, this would seem to be an obvious waypoint in its progress.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License