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starwoof
2011-08-23, 02:31 AM
If any of the players in my IRL game are reading this I will flay the flesh from your bones. In character, of course.









I'm starting a new dnd 3.5/pathfinder campaign soon. Since I only have three players now and all the problem players are gone, I reckon I can prepare for the campaign without feeling like my efforts are a waste of time.:smallannoyed:

Uh, anyway, I want to have a Five-Bad Band (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiveBadBand) to operate as the villains of my game. For those of you who don't want to read through the articles, I will let my esteemed colleague Sir Chivalry explain:



So, as I'm a lover of tropes, I went to a certain site (look up whatever you want on your own time, but friends don't give friends links to tvtropes):smallwink: I will attempt to summarize info that pertains below:

There is a concept on said site, and of course in tropes, called the Five-Man Band, five archetypes that make up a solid five person group:

Hero, Lancer (opposite of the Hero, but they get along very well), Big Guy, Smart Guy, Chick (emotional centre, stops everyone from killing each other)

These archetypes can even be combined into a single character, i.e. the Lancer is also the Chick, like several episodes of Avatar the Last Airbender.

There is an evil version of this, entitled the Five-Bad Band, the dark mirror if you will to this group:

Big Bad, Dragon (the super dangeorus guy who guards the big bad generally, i.e. Bellatrix Lestrange, Darth Vader), Brute (big and strong), Evil Genius, Dark Chick (a member who is different in appearance and method from the other four, mostly a girl)

Normally I would bounce my ideas off of my friends and ask for their advice, but obviously I can't do that in this situation. That's where you come in.

I want them to be created and fleshed out before the game actually starts so that the campaign is internally consistent. I also want to limit myself to using a few important named enemies because I know that otherwise I will think of a new one every week for my players to fight, resulting in character bloat and the death of a villain not really meaning anything.

My party is three players strong. So far I know that one wants to be an elven paladin.

The setting of the campaign is going to be primarily urban, with the occasional adventure in the surrounding countryside. The main city is called Greatshore, a primarily human metropolis that is less than 100 years old. Greatshore is a major trading port and the end of the rail lines that connect to the bulk of human civilization. There are other ports in the nearby area, such as the Hobgoblin capital of Kelevar or the city of Greywitch (a wretched hive of scum and villainy), but none of them are connected to the railways and so aren't as good for trade. Greatshore has a nasty banditry problem. The woods are quite thick, very easy to hide in, and they have names like 'Thief's Forest' and 'Bandit Wood'. The setting has access to steam power and guns and such.

Here's the part I want help with. My villains. I don't know how many of these I will actually have (the Big Bad might be the Evil Genius, for example), but I really need help with ideas or else all of the bad guys will just be werewolves or something.

The Big Bad: Oblivion the Wolf-King. He once was a priest and judge of Uru, the god of law. He had a good deal of political power in Greatshore due to being a fairly high ranking priest. That all changed when he was bitten by a werewolf and cast out of human society. He hates the gods, especially Uru. He looks like the Spiral King.

After his exile he traveled the world for years, learning dark secrets and collecting followers. He became an Ur-Priest using lost knowledge from a now vanished desert civilization. His close circle of followers have a really cool name that I haven't thought up yet (I'm open for suggestions). He also has a small army of lesser werewolves that are primarily people he has given The Bite. His army of lycanthropes is called The Sons of Oblivion. Currently they are posing as a street gang in Greatshore. To keep their numbers small enough not to be noticed, many of the Sons have joined the bandits of the nearby woods.

Oblivion is very smart, but his primal nature is taking over. He is becoming more beast than man every year. His primary motivation is hatred for those who cast him out, most of that directed at his former god, Uru. His plan involves somehow bringing the moon several hundred thousand miles closer, giving the werewolves a huge power boost. Using the boost to his physical and magical might, he will break the seal on the prison of Ser, the god of chaos that is also Uru's brother. With Ser free on the material plane and the werewolves super-powered, Oblivion and his spawn will conquer the world.

The Dragon: I'm not really sure on this guy. I want him to be a dragon with an agenda and possibly a Starscream. Basically the idea should be that Obli only trusts him to a certain extent, but he NEEDS the Dragon in order to complete his goals. To that end I think I want the dragon to be a noble with a high social status, or at least he's pretending to be a noble. That way the Dragon can do his thing as the 'face', securing legitimate support for his criminal colleagues. Obviously he also needs to be a terrifying combatant that can support and protect (lol) Oblivion.

The obvious answer is to make him a vampire, but the obvious choice is lame. Being a shape-shifted demon or something I would also qualify as lame, because I've done that before (and its lame). I want him to be a little more 'normal' than that, but maybe not a true mortal? Like I said, I really don't know. I am well open for suggestions.
The Honorable Tomas Brand, Chief Lawkeeper of Uru: Tomas Brand is essentially an inquisitor. He looks younger than he actually is. Brand is rose to power 12 years ago after his predecessor, Ulias Varn, was brutally ripped apart by werewolves in Wexwood. Brand led expeditions into the woods and the werewolves were driven into hiding.
He is known all over the lands near Greatshore as a man who hates and despises the werewolves that destroyed his predecessor. Now the reports of werewolves are rising again, and Brand has stepped up. He organizes and sometimes leads expeditions into the woods, always coming back with fresh werewolf pelts.
In reality, Brand is a wolfbrother werewolf and he has been his entire life. Wolfbrothers are a lesser form of werewolf that have vastly diminished werewolf traits. On nights of the full moon he grows long fangs, his eyes turn yellow, and he likes his steaks rare. Thatís it. He loathes this aspect of himself and keeps it secret. He knows that he would lose everything if this fact about him was discovered by the church of Uru or the people of greatshore. He doesnít give a damn about werewolves outside the city walls. He doesnít care about anyone but himself.
When he came home to find a huge bearded man in a black breastplate enjoying the contents of his wine cellar, Brand was understandably pissed. Oblivion knows Brandís secret and he is using it to blackmail him. Brand loves being on top, and besides not being an exile he likes being the guy in power.
He isnít fully behind Oblivion. Actually, he isnít really behind him at all. Brand wants to stay in power and live comfortably. He isnít afraid or even reluctant to sacrifice as many people as needed to achieve his goals.
Stat wise I will probably make him a cleric with one of the more martial cleric prestige classes. All of his crap will be silvered. I like the idea of him being a sort of patron for the players. Heíll be a good way to sneak some cursed items into the party.


The Brute: Lister Murdock, the Robber Lord of the West: This guy has been a thorn in the side of Greatshore for years. He has rounded up an army of scum, lowlifes, hill tribesmen, pirates, and some scattered goblinoids. He is the king of the bandits. Numerous expeditions into the hills have proved fruitless. The bandits are well hidden and dug-in to their hidden villages. Ships sent to hunt down his hidden ports never return. Murdock himself has an old watchtower hidden in the mountains to call his castle.

Murdock is a brutal combatant. They say that he is immortal, that no mortal man can beat him. He wears a technomagical claw on his left hand, and in his right he wields the magical axe Harvester. He hasn't been defeated in combat in years. His name is feared across the West.

The city council of Greatshore has put a 20,000 gp bounty on his head; dead or alive. Murdock is famed for leading raids himself. He is a brutal and uncompromising man that loves violence and cruelty.

Murdock has seen Oblivion's power firsthand. He is not so fool as to believe that Oblivion might fail in his endeavor to unleash Ser and rule the world. He is wholly dedicated to his master, for he has been promised the entire greatshore peninsula as his own land. Oblivion himself sees Murdock as a useful but expendable tool, and wonít hesitate to replace him should the need arise.

Stat-wise, I think this guy will be a fighter or ranger. In pathfinder these classes are actually pretty sweet. When he dies, Oblivion may decide to raise him as a mohrg, wight, or similar undead. His second incarnation will probably go down a lot easier than when he was alive in the true style of the resurrected brute.


The Dark Chick: Once again I have very little in the form of ideas. Actually it turns out I have NO ideas except that she might be the bandit liaison instead of the brute. I also like the idea of an assassin of some sort.

The Evil Genius: I think this might just be Oblivion himself, but in the interest of actually having a five bad band I want to have another dude in there. This guy would probably hang out around Oblivion a lot and act as a sort of 'mission control'. He probably has the most potential to be a weird monstery thing since he won't need to leave the lair often.

The Team Pet: I just want an important monster boss, honestly. I am pretty attached to the idea of an elder eidolon of some sort that Obli has gained control of. It fits his theme as a guy who uses ungodly powers, and his goal is to release my setting's version of an Elder Evil. Suggestions for base creature type are appreciated.


Well that's that. Any feedback is appreciated as long as it's constructive. Telling me to make my dragon a half-fiend vampire is not considered constructive feedback. :smallannoyed: In return for helping me create my villains, I will post a game journal on the boards here when we finally get under way (who knows when that will be).

EDIT: I didn't put this in the DnD 3.5/PF section because I don't feel that the ideas for villains are inherently tied to the system in question. I might be wrong though?

TL;DR: Post ideas for cool bad guys.

Yora
2011-08-23, 04:22 AM
Do you want them to be an opposing party of adventurers, or a group of enemy commanders, each one running their own opperations with their own minions?

starwoof
2011-08-23, 04:47 AM
They should be commander types, each with their own circle of minions. I should have been more clear on that, my bad.

B!shop
2011-08-23, 04:52 AM
Based on your starting ideas, and mantaining the five members band, here are something that could help you.

The Big Bad: Starting from what you write of Oblivion, I would think of a different goal for him. He could want to take the power in Greatshore and turn all the city population in werewolves, using a twisted religious belief to convert most of the inhabitants of Greatshore before starting to bite them and turn then in werebeasts.
He will lead this plot from the Bandit Woods, where he already got the loyalty of most of the bandit groups (he has already bitten the various bandit leaders).

The Dark Chick: You can use for this a male noble politician of Greatshore, not the Mayor (or whatever you want to be the city ruler) but just a counselor, a member of the council or a minister.
He plays the gentle, courteous young noble any woman would want as a suitor. He throws parties, attends theater plays and similar wordly events.
He is the Troy horse for Oblivion in the government of the city. He will support the laws that can help Oblivion in his goal and hinder Oblivion enemies (first of all his former church) attempts to stop him.
He has bureaucrats at his service to help him.

The Dragon: I see him as theleader of a main Mercenary force in the city, a soldier with a massive military power in his hands, ready to unleash it for Oblivion.
Oblivion in his past travels found a magical device that steals a mortal's soul (something like a Phylactery for a lich?) and used it on the Dragon to ensure his help.

The Brute: The Second-in-command of the Dragon. He was bitten by Oblivion and became a werewolf, but the Dragon doesn't know it.
He is a ruthless, vicious and violent soldier, and his lust could be a problem for Oblivion and the Dragon.
He commands a secret group inside the mercenary force devoted to destruction, rape and violence.

The Evil Genius: The high priest of the god of werebeasts. He pretends to be a follower of Oblivion, acting as a counselor for the Big Bad and using his cunning and knoledge to lead Oblivion's actions. He's the real mind behind the Big Bad plot.



Hope it helps!

PS: Sorry for my bad english, it's not my main language.

Yora
2011-08-23, 05:09 AM
Under the premise of an alliance of commanders, the Dragon archetype probably doesn't work. A Dragon is defined by his relationship to his overlord. One of the five villains could have a Dragon that becomes a boss fight, but he wouldn't be a commander by himself.

One example would be Darth Vader in the first movie, who is not part of the military hierarchy but has the same level of authority as the highest level military commanders. In the other movies, he's the direct representative of the emperor and above all the military commanders.

As I see it, there seem to be two basic concepts that could work for these villains:

- One would be an alliance of five generals who pool their troops together to fight for a common goal. Oblivion could be the strongest with the largest army, and the one who invited the others to join forces with him, which would put him into a position of supreme leadership. However, the other generals keep complete control over their own troops and under some circumstances the groups might get into conflict with each other.

- Another concept would be to have a single monolithic organization with Oblivion as the supreme commander, and the other villains as his most trusted lieutenants. Each of the four is in charge of one kind of special opperations. However, all troops are loyal to Oblivion and when he wants to, he can remove one of the lieutanants and put another of his officers into that place.

starwoof
2011-08-23, 05:26 AM
Under the premise of an alliance of commanders, the Dragon archetype probably doesn't work. A Dragon is defined by his relationship to his overlord. One of the five villains could have a Dragon that becomes a boss fight, but he wouldn't be a commander by himself.

One example would be Darth Vader in the first movie, who is not part of the military hierarchy but has the same level of authority as the highest level military commanders. In the other movies, he's the direct representative of the emperor and above all the military commanders.

As I see it, there seem to be two basic concepts that could work for these villains:

- One would be an alliance of five generals who pool their troops together to fight for a common goal. Oblivion could be the strongest with the largest army, and the one who invited the others to join forces with him, which would put him into a position of supreme leadership. However, the other generals keep complete control over their own troops and under some circumstances the groups might get into conflict with each other.

- Another concept would be to have a single monolithic organization with Oblivion as the supreme commander, and the other villains as his most trusted lieutenants. Each of the four is in charge of one kind of special opperations. However, all troops are loyal to Oblivion and when he wants to, he can remove one of the lieutanants and put another of his officers into that place.

Wuh, you edited while I was replying. I didn't give a very good answer before, I should have been more clear. The idea I had was the second, where Oblivion is the head of an evil organization and the other four report to him. Ostensibly they retain control over their organizations, but Oblivion gives the real orders.

Raistlin1040
2011-08-23, 05:36 AM
Well I don't know what level/optimization you're going for, so some of these ideas might have to be modified to be more/less powerful for your players to handle, but here's what I thought. Oblivion wants to summon the god of chaos, and shuns of the god of law. His operation shouldn't be the smoothest. His werewolf gang would be loyal to him because of pack mentality, but if he's working with the bandits on a "You're on my team or else I turn you" kind of way, their loyalty will go to the bandit leader, not necessarily Oblivion.

The Big Bad: You seem to have a lot of ideas for this, so I'm actually just going to leave this one alone, although I also like Bishop's suggestion.

The Dragon: I like the idea of The Dragon being a Starscream, as well as being a slick noble. Due to the high social standing as well as lofty aspirations, I'm thinking Sorcerer. He's noble, either through birth or assuming the identity of a murdered noble. He's not brilliant, but is smarter than Oblivion and wants to kill him and take over. However, he doesn't know how to deal with the werewolves, so allows himself to be Oblivion's pawn...for now.

As for race, avoiding the demonic/undead stereotypes, Shapeshifter or Doppelganger? If that's still too weird, or the LA is too high (I think it's pretty bad on a Doppelganger), maybe homebrew a race that gets limited enchantment/illusion abilities.

With this guy, I think you really want the party to think he's on their side. He's a noble in high standing, he'll help out by providing scrolls or potions for cheap prices, and seems very charming. Actually, if you don't want to go Sorcerer, go Bard/Sublime Chord, it'll be even more fitting. As the party grows to trust him, he plays both sides, helping Oblivion gain power, while also trying to steer the party towards obstacles that'll weaken Oblivion as he nears his goal.

The Brute: I'm averse to Bandits in general, but since you've brought them in, might I suggest a construct or something similar? Oblivion killed the bandit leader and installed a construct disguised as a human(/dwarf/elf/whatever) to lead them. Average intelligence, but is completely loyal to his creator, Oblivion. Warforged is decent and if you give it levels in Warblade and make sure it has high strength, it can be a commanding battle presence, especially with support from bandits.

The Evil Genius: This guy should be fairly loyal as well, but also shrewd. At this point, you've got a divine caster, an arcane caster, and a tank, so I suggest a stealthy character like a Rogue. He should be the smartest in the group, and tasked with hammering out all the plans, but he doesn't have the brawn of Oblivion or the charisma of The Dragon, so he can't take control. I see him as a very weasely character, some type of city official, but the kind of guy that the players will instantly go "Yeah, he's bad news". Still, with his administrative position and The Dragon's noble status, he's capable of setting up a lot of things.

The Dark Chick: Her role is twofold. Firstly, she's a loose-cannon assassin who kills people who might be able to stop Oblivion or The Dragon, but she also kills for fun. Her presence in the city is a source of fear among the general public and concern among the law enforcement. Her first job is basically just to cause havok among the city and stop anyone from thinking about Oblivion. "Yeah, that Werewolf guy that ran away a few months ago might be a concern, but this crazy chick serial killer is probably something we should focus on right now" type thing. Her second role is to act as a liason to the bandits, and any other of Oblivion's allies. I imagine her having some kind of teleportation item. I think she wouldn't be as outwardly Starscreamy as The Dragon, but she should have her own ambition and think of herself first if her plans and Oblivion's don't agree.

Yora
2011-08-23, 06:04 AM
So Oblivion wants to create a world in which werewolves are super-powered and the ruling class. With him as the first emperor, of course.
That's straightforward enough, but another question is, why his lieutenants join forces with him? If they are also werewolves, the answer is easy, but if they are not and don't want to become one, it requires a bit more work. If Oblivion suceeds, what will become of them? They obviously want to be in a better position than they are now and would not help him if they just end up as slaves in his werewolf empire.

Regardless of that, here are some ideas what the four lieutenants could do in his organization:
The Field Commander: This is the one who leads the troops into battle. While Oblivion plans things in his base, this minion is out in the field and personally leading raids to capture important items or slaves, or to destroy enemy troops that would pose a threat to their plans. He works very well as a huge and powerful warrior, who simultaneously is the strongest weapon in Oblivions arsenal.
The Spymaster: This minion would be in charge of a relatively small number of troops, but the task is so important that he is ranked equally among the lieutenants. He's charged with intellegence and also command thieves and assassins.
The Head Scientist: This possition probably works best for a wizard or sorcerer. He is in charge of creating magic weapons and handling all the finer parts of Oblivions magical ritual to alter the moon. He could stay at the base most of the time, doing research with his apprentices, but when the main troops expect to assault a place that has its own wizards and magical defences against intruders, this minion would accompany them to take out enemy spellcasters and break the magical wards to allow the normal soldiers to storm the castle, so to speak.
Secondary Commander: To round up things, this one could be a high ranking pawn. You mentioned bandits under Oblivions control, and this could be a way to incorporate them. This minion really is just a bandit leader who got tricked into joining forces with Oblivion, but has no idea how one-sided their arrangement is. He and his men are expandable, and once Oblivion has succeeded in his plan, they will be discarded and have no place in his werewolf empire. The other lieutenants know it and don't think much of him either, but let him keep the illusion that he's equal with them. He and his men could play an important role early in the game where they are doing grunt work or possibly even just serve as a distraction while Oblivion is preparing his real forces. Possibly the PCs kill him rather early on and his surviving troops come under the command of the Field Commander, but he might also live long enough where he is no longer of any use to oblivion. In that case he might become a temporary ally to get his men back and stop Oblivion. But the PCs may find that to their goals, he also is expendable. :smallamused:

Ivellius
2011-08-23, 07:57 PM
Hm, well. Your main antagonist is a werewolf, so let's think about what that means for the other roles.

The Dragon, especially if you want a betrayer, makes a lot of sense as some kind of undead. I know you said a vampire is lame, but it's a classic monster--and fits in well with running some kind of urban/aristocratic scheme. A powerful undead wizard/lich might also be good. Finally, what about an actual dragon? Shapeshifting, magical powers, evil, classic monster? I think it would be best if the Dragon is immune to lycanthropy or has some means to avoid contracting it, if Oblivion's plot is to unleash it on the world.

The Brute could be a worg or winter wolf, depending on how local climate is. They're not super-smart but more intelligent than regular wolves and can be pretty formidable. This also gives you a "team pet" role and works it into the five-character group. The Brute leads because he's the strongest of the raiders. You can then turn the bandits or some of them into a tribe of goblins+wolves/smaller worgs who've fallen in with Oblivion. Goblins would, after all, be interested in gathering to anyone who can give them some power. Plus some battles can be against lycagoblins (or even goblins riding lycagoblins!). For a smarter brute but still goblin-flavored, swap with a barghest. With lycanthropy as a part of your storyline, I'm thinking a giant of some sort would also work: they too can contract the disease. If you go with a spider flavor (see below) how about a drider?

The Dark Chick could be a secondary bandit leader (the brains to keep the Brute doing his job). Perhaps a werewolf herself. If you go with a giant of some sort, a hag makes a good thematic back-up. She also works as an assistant to the Dragon or Oblivion himself. Maybe an erinyes is keeping tabs on the werewolf and helping him, or a vengeful dragon in more or less human form is after the party and sees Oblivion as a means to that end. Finally, what about an aranea? Shapeshifting, spiders are often typed as female, and could also add to a bandit goblin horde by providing a tribe of spiders as mounts (you may or may not want to use the worg suggestion in this case).

The Evil Genius...if you go goblin, make him a blue psion. Why? I dunno, XPH was the last book I got so it's on my mind. He probably does need to be a spellcaster of some sort, especially if the Dark Chick isn't. High priest of Ser was already suggested, and that's a good fit. A drow, especially going with the idea that some spiders have allied with Oblivion, could work here or as the Dark Chick as a cleric or wizard. Maybe he's an evil/chaotic druid who wants to revert the world to a more primitive state and thinks destroying civilization sounds like a great way to do it. That'd also be good for battle control, which fits an "evil genius."

I'm not sure what level range and other ideas you have in mind: goblins are better for low-levels, but a tribe of gnolls would work really well as bandits and already have that animalistic humanoid theme going for them. (You've already mentioned hobgoblins have a city nearby, so they'd also fit as bandits.) I also think you should separate them: put one or two villains as bandit leaders and one or two working inside the city to further the plan. Make sure at least one makes it back to Oblivion for the final boss fight, 'cause it's more fun that way.

Well, I hope those suggestions help. Best of luck.

starwoof
2011-08-23, 09:31 PM
I really like barghests. I actually like most of the ideas presented, its really helping me get my brain around these guys. I never even thought to use goblinoids, but they definitely make sense to be an allied force.

I'll post some solid thoughts on the big 5 soon. I want to get a little more input first.

Kurgan
2011-08-24, 02:43 AM
I'll actually look into each role in a bit, but figured I'd pipe in this suggestion:

You want the Dragon to be a Starscream type.

The main villain hates the gods, but is trying to free the evil god of chaos, Ser in hopes of using his might and the moon's power boost to take over the world.

Perhaps the dragon, or one of the lesser minions, is a priest/follower of Ser, or maybe even as high up as an aspect or a form-changing demon created by the god in ages past. His/her/its goal would simply be to free its master, and Oblivion has a plan and the manpower to do so. Once Ser is free? Well, depends on how useful Oblivion could be to Ser, and if Ser wants to fill the power vacuum himself.

I also would just like to second Yora's suggestion of the lower tier commander/higher tier commander for the military forces. Sounds like a good idea and a good way to introduce the villains throughout the campaign.

EDIT: Ok, so I thought up some possibilities for these guys. Take what you want from it, since for some reason I ended up going into a bit more detail than probably necessary.

Brute: Murdock the Bandit King:
The self-proclaimed Bandit King, he has under his influence a large army of brigands, lowlifes, and scum. When he calls all of those who have pledged service to him, his army would number several thousand (sayÖ.1,500-3,000 men, if he called in every favor he has). He is of moderate intelligence (sayÖ.12-13 in dnd 3.5 terms), and knows several tactics and methods for fighting enemies, though he is poor at adapting to new situations and makes bad judgment calls now and again (say an 8-9 wisdom, in 3.5 terms). Basically, good enough when fighting green troops or the captain of the guard, but not enough to face a general of middling on up ability.
He is a beast in combat (high str, high con, middling dex), though he hasnít had the need to directly face any foe in some years now. He has been resting on his laurels for quite some time, and even considered retiring on his riches and letting some other chap have a go at being the King of All Bandits.
However, as these thoughts mulled in his head, one of his lieutenants approached him with an interesting proposal that re-ignited his lust for loot and treasure. A strange man was planning on doing a little conquering, and in exchange for his support, the Bandit King would be made a King in reality as well. His treasure: Greatshore.
He now brings his every effort into shaping his lot of unorganized brutes into some semblance of an army, and has been harrying trade on both land and sea in hopes of weakening Greatshore for the eventual siege. His new liege has aided him by gifting him with a cohort of werewolves to act as an elite unit and train some of his men on the finer parts of soldiering (and maybe convert a few here and there).

Dark Chick: Sir Floras the Bard:
Sir Floras is a singer, a jolly man, and a great deceiver. He loves bouncing from one place to the next, getting his fun where he can. Few people bother with him, as he is the grandson of one of the Founders of Greatshore, and his family holds a good amount of political power. Most of his fun is innocent, but occasionally, well, lets just say that sometimes it is good to be related to people who control almost ľ of the wealth in the city and its surrounding territory.
He found himself indebted to Oblivion, who for some reason or other rescued him from a shipwreck when he was younger (mainly because he knew the kid was important, and having the friendship of a powerful person in the city he is trying to undermine is a good thing). He has occasionally done a favor or two for the man in return, and it was on one of these trips that he received the bite.
Now he is basically in thrall to Oblivion, as he believes Oblivion is the only one who can cure him of his ailment. He hates his wild bouts of animalistic rage, and wants to be free of the course of the moon. Oblivion has promised him this freedom, in exchange for his help in his plans.
Using his wealth and skills of the tongue, Floras has convinced the bandits in the region to join with Oblivion, making promises he hopes to renege on once he is free from Oblivionís leash.
He is the inside man for most of the groupís work inside of the city, and uses his influence and charm to keep tabs on every faction that pops up. If anyone seems to be getting out of line, he will have one of his agents contact them about a possible job in rooting out the bandits. He rarely meets with people himself, and even most of his agents are connected to him via higher up agents.
He spends most of his time in the city, mingling with the movers and shakers, but every full moon he goes on a three or four day trip on his pleasure yacht, where only his most trusted men see him for what he really is.

Evil Genius: Emirikol the Chaotic: A Wizard
Emirikol the Chaotic is, predictably, a follower of the evil god Ser. He is one of the higher-ranking priests of the faith, and the personal mage of the Great Seer himself, the High Priest of Ser.
One of his servants was approached some time ago by a werewolf, some wretched creature who was formerly a well off priest of Uru, who requested a meeting with the Great Seer. After much cajoling, the Great Seer agreed to meet with him, and learned of the creatureís plan to free their god. The thing was sent off, and a council of the Seers of Ser was convened, where they eventually came to the agreement to fund this plan. They decided to put one of their own by Oblivionís side to make sure everything progressed as planned.
Emirikol was deemed worthy enough for the honor and expendable enough in case it failed. He was not happy about this.
The overall plan is that once Ser is free, the council will reconvene and decide whether they should allow Oblivion to continue with his plans or nip them in the bud with the help of the massive power boost they will receive when their god returns.

The Dragon:
A werewolf, based off of Wolfgang from The Fifth Elephant (a Discworld book). Basically, he is a militaristic werewolf from a long line of prestigious werewolves, who believes that the dawn of a new era is approaching, the Age of the Wolf. He is loyal to Oblivion, as he sees him as a unifying factor for werewolf-kind, and is more than happy to play second fiddle to him.
He is crafty, intelligent, strong, fast, and so on. He can fight in a straight fight, but excels in hit and run tactics, using his superior mobility to harass his foes.
He brings with him a legion of werewolves, as well as a unit of ďlesserĒ creatures for cannon fodder.

Just some things I came up with, figured I'd drop it by. Take and leave as you like.

Kol Korran
2011-08-24, 04:42 AM
first of all, i'd liketo commend you for this effort. i think it is a good idea that might prove quite fun and interesting to the party if they realize it's a team they are working against, and not just a series of mini bosses but that's a whole other story.

in may campaign i have (or should i say had) a team of six villains, but unfortunately the group butchered 3 of them before they had much to contribute.

before i get to the ideas for the group, i'd like to emphasize that it's essential that you don't only find their role in the overall conspiracy, but also how they relate to each other, who they might like, who ticks them off and the sort. that way they feel more believable, and the players have things to exploit in them. think about the X-men, or Magneto's team.

also, i found the following article quite helpful- the five L's of villain making (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170628&highlight=dust+villain+making)

Ok, on to suggestions:
Big Bad: i don't know much about Ur Priest but i think what you got there should be nice. however, i think that you should definetly build this guy as a sort of double personality- at some parts he is still orderly, thinking in terms of cause and effect, crime and punishment, and the sort. this might be how he conducts his pack, or how he acts in society (perhaps with an identity concealing item). but when soemthing ticks him off, or in combat he turns into a ferocious wild beast. if the party does get to meet him a few times (hard task if you still want to keep surprises, and not have the party prepare and kill him nonetheless) you could play off his slow descent to chaos.

as to his plot to bring the moon closer and free the chaos god- i suggest he works both schemes in conjuction, and the party has to choose which it thwarts, enabling him to complete the other. this way the group has a sense of accomplishment, but still facing "oh **** oh **** oh ****!" predicament

Dragon: my idea is that this was a young commander of the watch when oblivion was still a judge. the two had a kindered spirit for justice and civilization. the dragon wasa sort of protegee. after oblivion's disappearance, the dragon rose quickly through the ranks, until he commanded one of the elite units of greatshore's army, leading to tactically brilliant victories and the like. however, at fighting some sort of an aberration cult he got infused by some sort of... taint. he also got blinded.

magical healing could heal the taint. nor the blinding,, but the taint enabled him to act as if seeing! the people in the street hailed him as the "all seeing general" and he retained the post. the taint didn't disable him, just made him feel more alien, more of an outsider. this at first urged him to become even more true to his station and duty, gaining much favor from the nobles in the city. but the taint, (or perhaps finally growing up) made him see lies, corruption,injustice and more. doubt entered his heart.

then oblivion came, and visited the old pupil. he sensed the taint, and over conversations and persuasions got dragon to follow him, under the guise of the faith that "you were given a gift, and a lesson, to become an instrument to fix the world" or something of the like.

mechanically speaking the dragon should be of a regular race i think (even human) with the farspawn template from lords of madness, with a few minor changes- he can sprout tentacles only when he wants, and till then they are unseen (make them ethereal to pass though his armor) and he tests like human. i suggest giving him a very high perception and sense motive scores, rules be damned. and don't forget the template gives him blindsight...
as for class i think crusader might work splendidly.

relationship wise- the dragon is partly the devoted pupil, partly the pupil who has outgrown his master type of personality. he follows oblivion out of respect and honor, but with only partial faith of the cause (i assume oblivion doesn't tell him the whole plan) i think it might be fun if you still make dragon highly religious character, still offering prayers to the gods but feeling that his taint made them forsake him worried where does he get his forces from. he highly dislikes the dark chick disliking subtlety and lies and such, belkieving she has a corrupting influence on oblivion, that it is her that makes him lose touch with reality. he may conspire against her, and her agianst him but oblivion keepshis eye on both to keep them at bay

dragon commands a sizeable part of the city's forces, though he has to keep pretenses of doing his job. he can cause a great deal of toruble for the players, by thwarting their moves, arresting them and so on. confronting him directly would call for the fury of the entire city. i think you should play him as noble and honorable on the front, maybe even "gain an ally?"

if the party play it right, learn of his secret and maybe get rid of the taint, they may gain an ally.

The Brute: i really think that leading the bandits is a poor job for a brute. first, it needs SOME sort of cunning and guile, secondly it needs to hide in the city (and lets face it, most brutes aren't very subtle), and laslty- it doesn't lead that well. i suggest for the bandits either use the dark chick, or have a minor villain or a "shadow pupeteer" (that can be the first sign of oblivion, the dragon or the others) control things behind the scenes, leaving a bit of trail.

so what job does that leave the brute? forceful obliterations of pest. (I.E the PCs). The Brute should be used when people sniff to close, as an ambush that is supposed to devastate them (or so the villain's think). it's the big humongeous, teeath as greatswords mad rotweiler unleasehd.

ideally, after some success, the party find "convenient" clues that draw them to some secluded (hard to run from) place, where they investigate, and suddenly without ANY connection to the adventure they meet this engine of destruction. ideally it is a bit to strong for them at that point, but beware of TPKs. if they run, they may find it again at odd places, perhaps even coming after their homes, adviseably with some slight augumentations added from time to time. it should prove a tough fight, and in the tradition of bad-five, the first villain to go down.

due to it's appearance, the brute needs some sort of transportation method. i suggest this might be another weak poin for the dark six to exploit. some ideas on that:
- teleportation (lame, but the party can find a teleport free zone to stay safe)
- the sewers (which may lead to a great adventure tracking the brute through the sewers, which it made it's home, and where it has a few... allies :)
- some shrinking/ disguising magic (tying it most likely to the dark chick or the genius)
- my favorite: a portable hole (with possible a bottle of air)

ideas for brute:
- a warforged titan (ECS). if you choose an artificer for geiuns, it adds various enchantments on it to counter party tactics. this guy just does as he's told.
- a troll with class levels as a warblade or babarian or (for max effect) frenzied berserker. or a war troll for high generationthis guy is devoted to oblivion who filled his head with dreams of grandeur, slaughter and feasting
- a slightly hard to do concept. but perhaps an Ettin where each head has a different class- one may cast spells (favored soul?) while the other is quite a proficient warrior/ i haven't though his idea quite well yet, but maybe it'll be an inspiration.
- an efreet or D'jinni sword master might prove an interesting and maneuverable foe
- a nearly mindless yet powerfull undead. how about a minotaur wight? (for the wight template check my link for monsters below), or maybe a mummy with levels menace (with a rigng of protection against fire, and maybe greater speed) that oblivion found in the desert and that now serves him? if you want to be really nasty, you can choose the drowned (MM3)- the look on the party faces as they see other people drowning around them will be priceless, though this doesn't make for your "usual" brute.
- a touch of horror- a greatly advanced gibbering mouther? don't advance just it's HD and size, but it's save DCs and such- i suggest make it huge (even if your chosen HD aren't sufficent) and have it capable of splitting and forming together. again a horror that oblivion found and now controls.

Dark Chick: when i think Dark Chick i think several things: subtlety, disguise, and magic. these are what i base my ideas upon. my thought is that this female is part lover/ part follower/ part guidance to Oblivion. she is an emotional and social manipulator, andworks mostly as such. from the PCs point ofview this is probably the villain they meet the most other than the dragon, but always in a different face. she may send them on missions, using them as dupes, sending them on suicide missions to getrid ofthem. befriend them to learn their secrets, plans and vulnerabilities, beside of course playing as various ladies, coureteries and so on in the city's politics.

she may use her influence to hinder Dragon's ventures, making him look like a fool and raising her stake with oblivion. there are a few importent things when playing such a character(IMO)
- it should be good, but the players should eventually be able to pick the signs: most dark chicks highly like(or proud themselves) at keeping minor constant (or nearly constant) features- she is always frail, she always dresses luxuriously and so on.
- i highly suggest you keep ALL her forms (except maybe very very crucial deception ones) as female, as it helps fix that role in the players mind.
- some sort of pride, some sort of mischief, also often- playing with her prey
- low to non existent moral code.

ok, so some ideas: (i'll atay away from the succubus which most parties will suspect)
- a hag with class levels: i know hags are poorly built, but check my link (in the second page) for an interesting rework of hags. i think this should be some sort of mystic that oblivion met, they found each other's company appealing, and so joined forces. she offered him a wide breadth of knowledge and secrets, and he offered to take her into his plan. there were also some more.. intimate matters. the hag is as much an adviser as she is an accomplice and order taker. playing her you should bring ancient knowledge, languages, secrets and rituals (tweaked spells?) to the game. try to make this beautiful stunning looking woman feel far, far, far more ancient than she is. i suggest bardic levels for spells, skills, and general influence. that or beguiler.
- a ghost! a ghost ofa woman deeply wronged within the city, that oblivion found and has somehow made manifest. she want revenge against the city, and will go to great lengths to execute it. you have some interesting ideas here. first, it is a great spy, secondly she can posses creatures, thus sort of becoming them. if the party think it's a doppelganger or such and kill it (as might have been the ghost intention!) they are in big trouble, as they have just murdered a noble lady! also, you can have the party meet her and battle her quite frequently since... ghosts can't be destroyed unless you either form some special ritual (which the party will need to find out) to get rid of her, or fixing the wrong done to her. as herability to move unhindered can be a problem, i suggest you pose some limitations, as having to stay closeto some magical item her possessed figure carries for her(that the party may take for "loot!" only to have her try to posses one of them a few days later).

the genius:
i must say, i don't have that many ideas here. for me the genius is one of a few things- the mastermind (but then the big bad is either his creation or puppet, which i don't like), a mystery/ prophet/ plot device (which is most often quite frustrating to players unless they are story-telling folks), and lastly the mad scientist type. yes, i know there are other types, but that what comes to my mind. anyway, my ideas:
- an artificer of some sort, of a "genius" level that Oblivion somehow hired to his services. it's jobs are doublefold- supplying the villains and their minions with minor magic items, and perhaps building some sort of "Eldritch machine/ritual/sacrifice/moonpulling mambo jumbo" to fulfill Oblivion's plan. this guy/gal might actually move quite freely in the city (prhaps with some concealing magic) as most of his/her actions don't really interfere with the characters. he might come into attention when magical defenses in the city are being experimented on, or the churches seals are tampered with, or the mage guild's supplies of weird-but-not-apparently-important-materials are raided and so on. also, if you're up to it, he may design various of his magic items with a sort of "personal touch/affect" this may lend your gorup of villains another symbol of unity in the player's eyes. and of course, this might explain some VERY tailored magic items for the main villains. if you're using the warforged brute, the artificer will be it's care taker.
- it can be a changeling, which fits their somewhat chaotic nature. and if you're playing the "mad" angle, it could hcnage faces within a fight. i have no idea how oblivion acquired him
- a mummy (yes, i mentioned a mummy before, it might fit this as well): from the desert Oblivion revived this old master of lore and magic. it acknowledged His superiority, knowing well his intention (if you're not uising the hag, it might explain how Oblivion came to this old knowledge) and works to serve him. the "personal touch" might bear the language of the old desert civilization ormarkings, giving the party some clue (when they learn the history of said civilization) it may come into trouble with either the dragon or the dark chick, if you build them right

so, i hiope this helped in some way, perhaps inspired a little, and that you weren't awefully tired of thelong read. good luck to you!

SowZ
2011-08-25, 10:49 AM
Where is the one god imprisoned? How will they release him? Just wondering.

It may be an interesting plot point late in the story to have the moon come closer part occur and the ensuing tsunamis wipe out all coastal cities in the world. The players are bound to have been to some and have friends or family in some coastal city. It would be kind of the, "This guy... I knew he had to die before. But now I hate him. Now he has to die." A 'Sephiroth kills Aeris' moment. Also, it would develop a sense of urgencey because a major plan step has been accomplished and all the individual unnamed werewolves the party is blowing through like goblins because of the parties high level? Yeah, not so much anymore. Not really what you were asking for, but something I think would be cool.

As far as the Brute, if you really want something tough, you could make it a creature other than a werewolf, (werebear?) that wants to advance all lycanthropes and sees the Big Bad as someone smart and resourceful enough to do it. A construct would also be a good idea, as has been mentioned.

I like the idea of at least one member of the evil party being a lord in the city and/or a knight with a personal army and political power.

Second the thing about the chick being a loose cannon assassin.

starwoof
2011-08-25, 05:50 PM
I hadn't even thought of the tsunamis. Good call.

The god of chaos that Oblivion is attempting to release is imprisoned somewhere nearby. I think it's probably located either UNDER the city or in a nearby dungeon.

QuidEst
2011-08-25, 05:58 PM
Well, here goesÖ random thoughts on the matter.

The Dragon: I don't know that making him the Starscream is necessaryÖ if you want it, save it for the Chick as a twist. Everybody watches the Dragon.

For this, I recommend pulling the opposite of Oblivion- calm, methodical, and very self-controlled. Whether or not you make him a personable aristocrat is up to you, but the Dragon is supposed to be the one that's really scary. He may not be in charge, but he's the one you really don't want to mess with. If I were to do him, I would aim for cold, sadistic, and unpleasantly creative. The kind of person who interrogates prisoners by casting both options of Blind/Deafen, then communicates with them mentally as their only contact with the world. If they don't break, he starts asking every day if they'd like some music. Once they eventually say yes out of desperation or frustration, he starts using Bone Fiddle on them so they can actually feel the song. Of course, Detect Thoughts got him everything he really wanted at least a week ago, but he carries out the interrogation until they break on principle- to do otherwise would be cheating. Basically a Sorcerer with the most unpleasant (fluff-wise) spells you can scrounge up, and a particular fondness for the permanent ones.

His henchmen can be Rogue-ish, providing him with a substantial informant network to keep abreast of events.

Evil Genius: Well, what do we know about him so far? To qualify as the archetype, he probably had to come up with the plan, or at the very least, work out how to realize it. As far as class, Wizard is the sort to pull it off. A few ideasÖ
-Extraplanar being who was bound in the story's plane (or perhaps an adjacent pocket plane, and he's worked his way free a little). The chaotic energy released with Ser will break any such bindings, and Oblivion happens to be the best way to that end.
-Power-hungry manipulator who stays behind the scenes. When it comes time to prepare for releasing Ser, you can bet there'll be a few extra runes tapping in on some of that power. Nevertheless, he should not be foolish enough to ever overstep his abilities and bite off more than he can chew.
-Idiot-savant mostly interested in accomplishing something impossibly grand with his abilities. He sees the world, and wants to work out how to break it.

Henchmen can be mages, golems, elementals, or summoned creatures.

The Brute: I would kind of like to see him as a melee-focused Druid. I know that's a lot of casters, but it gives him more options than most fighting classes. Lets you give him some vicious animals and monsters as minions. Don't have a whole lot for him, but it's an unusual option for the role.

SowZ
2011-08-25, 06:36 PM
I hadn't even thought of the tsunamis. Good call.

The god of chaos that Oblivion is attempting to release is imprisoned somewhere nearby. I think it's probably located either UNDER the city or in a nearby dungeon.

Or unda' da' sea, fren'. Dat way de plan being workin' alllll toge'da', mon.

starwoof
2011-08-25, 07:07 PM
I picture it going down something like this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6f7ejva6s0) :smallbiggrin:

Morph Bark
2011-08-26, 03:25 PM
I just want to say I find your Big Bad hilarious, if only because I once had a character named Uru who was big on Lawfulness. :smallbiggrin:

Nemesis67
2011-08-28, 02:16 AM
My first idea for your Brute is a thuggish man. If need be, a commander, but more of the "lead by example" guy. He charges off into the front lines to smash anything that is in his way, and his troops are more scared of him than the enemy.

Now, considering I'm a bit of a fan of steampunk, I was thinking you could encase him in some form of powered armor, upping his strength and defense. Not being a guy for subtlety, he's bolted an outright cannon onto one of his arms, and the other hosts a crudely assembled claw, allowing him to crush and grapple foes (or cowardly minions). Maybe he stole the suit from an inventor out in the woods, or the Evil Genius built him the armor and the Brute himself fashioned the weapons, not content with merely having super human strength.

Now, while you did say guns and steampunk existed, I'm not sure if those mechanics are possible in your setting. You could always just change the devices to magic with the same idea. A devastating and intimidating melee guy of a non-casting sort. I just feel that spells take a bit of talent, and the Brute role doesn't strike me as quite fitting to that.

starwoof
2011-08-28, 08:09 PM
I liked the idea of a mechanical claw so much it led to me finishing the Brute. I updated the first post with this. After I work on the other members of the bads I will update this with how they relate to each other.


Lister Murdock, the Robber Lord of the West: This guy has been a thorn in the side of Greatshore for years. He has rounded up an army of scum, lowlifes, hill tribesmen, pirates, and some scattered goblinoids. He is the king of the bandits. Numerous expeditions into the hills have proved fruitless. The bandits are well hidden and dug-in to their hidden villages. Ships sent to hunt down his hidden ports never return. Murdock himself has an old watchtower hidden in the mountains to call his castle.

Murdock is a brutal combatant. They say that he is immortal, that no mortal man can beat him. He wears a technomagical claw on his left hand, and in his right he wields the magical axe Harvester. He hasn't been defeated in combat in years. His name is feared across the West.

The city council of Greatshore has put a 20,000 gp bounty on his head; dead or alive. Murdock is famed for leading raids himself. He is a brutal and uncompromising man that loves violence and cruelty.

Murdock has seen Oblivion's power firsthand. He is not so fool as to believe that Oblivion might fail in his endeavor to unleash Ser and rule the world. He is wholly dedicated to his master, for he has been promised the entire greatshore peninsula as his own land. Oblivion himself sees Murdock as a useful but expendable tool, and wonít hesitate to replace him should the need arise.

Stat-wise, I think this guy will be a fighter or ranger. In pathfinder these classes are actually pretty sweet. I'm considering whether I should give him any innate magical abilities, like being half-elemental. When he dies, Oblivion may decide to raise him as a mohrg, wight, or similar undead. His second incarnation will probably go down a lot easier than when he was alive in the true style of the resurrected brute.

Now he just needs a theme song. I need one for Oblivion as well...




I just want to say I find your Big Bad hilarious, if only because I once had a character named Uru who was big on Lawfulness. :smallbiggrin:
That's a ridiculous coincidence!

SowZ
2011-08-28, 09:09 PM
I liked the idea of a mechanical claw so much it led to me finishing the Brute. I updated the first post with this. After I work on the other members of the bads I will update this with how they relate to each other.


Lister Murdock, the Robber Lord of the West: This guy has been a thorn in the side of Greatshore for years. He has rounded up an army of scum, lowlifes, hill tribesmen, pirates, and some scattered goblinoids. He is the king of the bandits. Numerous expeditions into the hills have proved fruitless. The bandits are well hidden and dug-in to their hidden villages. Ships sent to hunt down his hidden ports never return. Murdock himself has an old watchtower hidden in the mountains to call his castle.

Murdock is a brutal combatant. They say that he is immortal, that no mortal man can beat him. He wears a technomagical claw on his left hand, and in his right he wields the magical axe Harvester. He hasn't been defeated in combat in years. His name is feared across the West.

The city council of Greatshore has put a 20,000 gp bounty on his head; dead or alive. Murdock is famed for leading raids himself. He is a brutal and uncompromising man that loves violence and cruelty.

Murdock has seen Oblivion's power firsthand. He is not so fool as to believe that Oblivion might fail in his endeavor to unleash Ser and rule the world. He is wholly dedicated to his master, for he has been promised the entire greatshore peninsula as his own land. Oblivion himself sees Murdock as a useful but expendable tool, and wonít hesitate to replace him should the need arise.

Stat-wise, I think this guy will be a fighter or ranger. In pathfinder these classes are actually pretty sweet. I'm considering whether I should give him any innate magical abilities, like being half-elemental. When he dies, Oblivion may decide to raise him as a mohrg, wight, or similar undead. His second incarnation will probably go down a lot easier than when he was alive in the true style of the resurrected brute.

Now he just needs a theme song. I need one for Oblivion as well...




That's a ridiculous coincidence!

For realism sake, the Bandits may be organized and all give each other info/avenge each other/pay Murdoch tribute/destroy other bandit groups that don't join them for competition sake but they would be scattered in discrete groups of maybe tennish give or take all over. Most merchant trips aren't stolen from, of course, or the economy wouldn't function. But with enough bandits scattered about, perhaps Murdock allows merchants to pay him a yearly fee in exchange for immunity from bandits, (not sure if that is in keeping with his character, though.) The fee can be high since it will still be lower then hiring the eight or however many mercanaries needed to deter most attacks.

You don't have to do this, of course. But it is something I would recommend considering. The theme song? Go with nothing less. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1bHaUk1CM)

starwoof
2011-08-28, 09:40 PM
For realism sake, the Bandits may be organized and all give each other info/avenge each other/pay Murdoch tribute/destroy other bandit groups that don't join them for competition sake but they would be scattered in discrete groups of maybe tennish give or take all over. Most merchant trips aren't stolen from, of course, or the economy wouldn't function. But with enough bandits scattered about, perhaps Murdock allows merchants to pay him a yearly fee in exchange for immunity from bandits, (not sure if that is in keeping with his character, though.) The fee can be high since it will still be lower then hiring the eight or however many mercanaries needed to deter most attacks.

Of course! They are called bandits but in reality they are a mix of normal brigands and the people of the hills. They don't pay taxes and so they aren't considered citizens. They have a rough life. If anyone has watched Game of Thrones they are similar to the Hill Tribes.


You don't have to do this, of course. But it is something I would recommend considering. The theme song? Go with nothing less. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1bHaUk1CM)

I have at least one player who would appreciate that. :smallbiggrin:

rocketpony
2011-08-28, 10:05 PM
Some ideas, from out of nowhere! Maybe they're not what you want, but maybe they'll give you ideas?

For the dragon: the successor to Oblivion's post. A cleric of excellent power and significant influence within the surrounding area, who is known to especially despise the werewolves and lycanthropes who destroyed his successor. Under his leadership, there have been several small-scale "crusades" against the werewolves and bandits (who are probably aligned with werewolves!)

What has happened in each of these is that men have sallied forth into the woods and been completed hamstrung by werewolves and bandits. The ones who aren't killed outright are turned, or otherwise compelled to join forces with the bandits. The werewolf pelts that each of the crusades bring back belong to members of the Sons of Oblivion who Oblivion feels are... less than he needs them to be. In this way, the city of Greatshore is kept in terror of werewolves, the werewolves are kept in terror of Oblivion, and the Dragon is just gathering public esteem for taking bold actions against their enemies.

Now, he's got a pretty good gig going on - getting more and more authority in-city to deal with these foes - and he's not really 100% behind Oblivion's plan. Frankly, he'd be content to just administer this city for the rest of his life. He can see that Oblivion's kind of a lunatic. Oblivion, however, has him over a barrel - he knows that this priest is a shifter, or weretouched, or his mom was actually a wolf, or whatever. The same people who Oblivion's whipping up into a lycanphobic frenzy would tear him to pieces in an instant, priest or not, if word of this was ever widely known. So right now, he's going along with what Oblivion says, and just kind of looking for a chance to slip the knife between the ribs.

Could you trust him? No. Nobody can trust him. But everyone does, for some reason. Oblivion thinks this single piece of information has the dragon on a leash. The people think he's acting in their best interest. The PCs think that this priest is their best friend against the lycanthropes (potentially backed up when he gives them ostentatious gifts "to fight the wolven menace" - potentially dispelled when it turns out that the sword he gave the fighter is horrifically cursed) But he's just looking out for number one, this whole time.

For the Dark Chick: a priestess from a tiny temple, which has basically been forgotten by the city (they've been dealing with bigger problems, like WEREWOLVES AHHHH), dedicated to Ser, or Chaos, or at least a chaotic god. She's pro- the release of the trapped chaos that's incoming, but she's kind of scornful of werewolves. What is a werewolf? Simply a man too scared to act, who has to hide in the skin of an animal to make his stand. But she's not stupid, she can see that they've got the scratch to make things start happening in Greatshore RE: Chaos.

She's kind of an outsider to the group, being very emphatically not a werewolf (her communion with the chaotic gods has actually prevented her from being turned by Oblivion, which irritates him - she's an uncontrolled variable), and not really caring about moving the moon, or swamping an entire city, or whatever - she just is working towards Ser's release.

Her first loyalty is to the temple, though, and if she's discovered, she'll claim it's totally because she's a werewolf, and it has absolutely nothing to do with this temple whose idols are covered with heavy grey cloths. Although she doesn't want to directly engage the party, if she does, and they roll her, the temple can continue to covertly assist the werewolves.

Evil genius: a cold, calculating machine. A warforged, or golem, or half-golem, whatever, it doesn't matter. Here are the facts - this was some kind of mechanical contrivance that Oblivion came across during his sojourns in the desert of madness. The warforged (for the sake of argument) was being used in some permanent defensive thing - constantly coming up with new traps to thwart would-be tomb robbers, say, while still allowing people to come and deposit their dead. Oblivion saw some kind of potential here, and did the only reasonable thing, which was to completely overwrite the warforged's mind with excellent magic, and also give him some version of a lycanthropic curse (it can be a one-off thing, only possible because of the tomb and the moon's position and whatever)

The Genius is absolutely loyal to Oblivion, and sits (he has no option - he has no arms or legs) in front of a chessboard all day, constantly plotting the next moves. He's not human, so he's not bound to think like humans do. PCs who confront him are amazed by the absolute simplicity of how he thinks - "Somebody gave me a problem, and I solved it for them." Also, they are completely taken aback when suddenly instead of this armless and legless amoral robot, there's suddenly a gargantuan living construct wolf eating their paladin ("It makes sense to take out the one closest to their god first - if their god has power, he'll smite me anyway, but if he doesn't, we'll have proof of his impotence.")

starwoof
2011-08-28, 10:27 PM
Some ideas, from out of nowhere! Maybe they're not what you want, but maybe they'll give you ideas?

For the dragon: the successor to Oblivion's post. A cleric of excellent power and significant influence within the surrounding area, who is known to especially despise the werewolves and lycanthropes who destroyed his successor. Under his leadership, there have been several small-scale "crusades" against the werewolves and bandits (who are probably aligned with werewolves!)

What has happened in each of these is that men have sallied forth into the woods and been completed hamstrung by werewolves and bandits. The ones who aren't killed outright are turned, or otherwise compelled to join forces with the bandits. The werewolf pelts that each of the crusades bring back belong to members of the Sons of Oblivion who Oblivion feels are... less than he needs them to be. In this way, the city of Greatshore is kept in terror of werewolves, the werewolves are kept in terror of Oblivion, and the Dragon is just gathering public esteem for taking bold actions against their enemies.

Now, he's got a pretty good gig going on - getting more and more authority in-city to deal with these foes - and he's not really 100% behind Oblivion's plan. Frankly, he'd be content to just administer this city for the rest of his life. He can see that Oblivion's kind of a lunatic. Oblivion, however, has him over a barrel - he knows that this priest is a shifter, or weretouched, or his mom was actually a wolf, or whatever. The same people who Oblivion's whipping up into a lycanphobic frenzy would tear him to pieces in an instant, priest or not, if word of this was ever widely known. So right now, he's going along with what Oblivion says, and just kind of looking for a chance to slip the knife between the ribs.

Could you trust him? No. Nobody can trust him. But everyone does, for some reason. Oblivion thinks this single piece of information has the dragon on a leash. The people think he's acting in their best interest. The PCs think that this priest is their best friend against the lycanthropes (potentially backed up when he gives them ostentatious gifts "to fight the wolven menace" - potentially dispelled when it turns out that the sword he gave the fighter is horrifically cursed) But he's just looking out for number one, this whole time.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dragon. That's just... amazing.

Ivellius
2011-08-29, 10:10 AM
Hm, I think I have another idea for the Evil Genius.

Dhorin Blackpate, Seer of the Unending Chaos: A few short years ago, when Oblivion began building his army, Dhorin and a handful of his fellow duergar, adherents of the sleeping god Ser, appeared and offered their services. Dhorin had foreseen Oblivion's plot and knew that his army would need weapons and armor. The duergar are all skilled smiths and enchanters and have supplied the bandits with masterwork equipment. They have even built a few siege engines in preparation to assault the city itself. There aren't very many of them, however, so they remain in the mountains while the rest of Oblivion's forces go out and raid, relying on their magic and servitor golems to keep them safe. Dhorin himself has proven his worth to Oblivion by scrying on Greatshore's council, citizens, and the repeated efforts to track Murdock and his army. He was even the one who provided the information about the Dragon's heritage and thought of the scheme to keep the other werewolves in line. "Hey, Obie, didn't you tell me you had some troublemakers the other day?"

Dhorin revels in the destruction he is able to cause with Oblivion's help. Being devoted to Ser over anything, he really cares little for his "master," but he figures that the emergence of Ser will throw everything into chaos and he and the other duergar will do better than those accursed humans, considering that they live underground. And if the werewolf actually manages to shroud the world in eternal night? Well, the gray dwarves don't care much for the sun anyway. The plot's going to happen; he's already seen it. He's really not sure what will happen afterward, though--all his attempts to divine the future beyond that are unclear.

For an actual build, I see Dhorin as a Psion/Seer or perhaps a Divination Wizard with ranks in Craft (metalworking) or (stoneworking) and the Craft Construct feat. He's smart, and he and the other dwarves can add some needed technological and magical help to Oblivion's group.

starwoof
2011-09-06, 06:48 PM
I've got the write up for the Dragon. I'm thinking on the evil genius now. I think he might be a mind flayer priest of Ser.

The Honorable Tomas Brand, Chief Lawkeeper of Uru: Tomas Brand is essentially an inquisitor. He looks younger than he actually is. Brand is rose to power 12 years ago after his predecessor, Ulias Varn, was brutally ripped apart by werewolves in Wexwood. Brand led expeditions into the woods and the werewolves were driven into hiding.
He is known all over the lands near Greatshore as a man who hates and despises the werewolves that destroyed his predecessor. Now the reports of werewolves are rising again, and Brand has stepped up. He organizes and sometimes leads expeditions into the woods, always coming back with fresh werewolf pelts.
In reality, Brand is a wolfbrother werewolf and he has been his entire life. Wolfbrothers are a lesser form of werewolf that have vastly diminished werewolf traits. On nights of the full moon he grows long fangs, his eyes turn yellow, and he likes his steaks rare. Thatís it. He loathes this aspect of himself and keeps it secret. He knows that he would lose everything if this fact about him was discovered by the church of Uru or the people of greatshore. He doesnít give a damn about werewolves outside the city walls. He doesnít care about anyone but himself.
When he came home to find a huge bearded man in a black breastplate enjoying the contents of his wine cellar, Brand was understandably pissed. Oblivion knows Brandís secret and he is using it to blackmail him. Brand loves being on top, and besides not being an exile he likes being the guy in power.
He isnít fully behind Oblivion. Actually, he isnít really behind him at all. Brand wants to stay in power and live comfortably. He isnít afraid or even reluctant to sacrifice as many people as needed to achieve his goals.
Stat wise I will probably make him a cleric with one of the more martial cleric prestige classes. All of his crap will be silvered. I like the idea of him being a sort of patron for the players. Heíll be a good way to sneak some cursed items into the party.