Being an Evil Prince comes with a lot of perks, but the biggest downside is that You Aren't The One on the Throne. Your stupid older brother is the heir to the throne, or maybe your uncle or a cousin or something. Or maybe you are the first in line of succession, but Dad is taking his own sweet time in kicking the bucket. So what can you do? Well, you can plot and intrigue to remove all those other losers from the picture so that you can get what you want. And if plotting doesn't work, there's always a dagger in the back, or a bit of arsenic in the soup. Remember the job description? You're an Evil Prince!
Alternatively, for the evil prince who doesn't fancy the hassle of actually ruling, you can use your power and money, not to mention the protection of your family (and likely legal immunities of various kinds) to get up to all sorts of mischief.
Game and Story Use
- Makes a good NPC Adversary
- Especially because his social rank will make it difficult for the players to just kill him outright
- Potentially PCs could be retainers of a King blind to his son's wickedness and who refuses to be enlightened, or could work for the "Good" prince, trying to ameliorate his brother's crimes.
- PCs with appropriate mental disadvantages may have issues with opposing a legitimate member of the royal family.
- This can potentially lead to civil war based story arcs…
- Having a PC be an Evil Prince is a bit trickier; you have to make sure his own goals and those of the party are compatible.
- And if the party is smart, they still won't trust him.
- Alternatively, the evil prince could be the royal family's pet monster - the one they send to put down rebellions and deal with truculent vassals and generally rely upon to be the hate sink for the family. Even less extreme versions can serve as the black sheep whose dreadful antics make the rest of the family look good by comparison.
- In this case, PCs working for the crown might find themselves awarded distasteful missions that are hard for them to legitimately ignore.
- Once your succession is based on something like the Black Legend of Anjou, you may get nothing else - Henry II was certainly forced to that conclusion…