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Thread: Villain Help!

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    Default Villain Help!

    Hey everyone!

    So I recently started a new campaign! However, in my last one, the main thing people criticized was the main villain. The main problems were that he was too passive, didn't actively scheme against the party and that his backstory only really meshed with one PC. So I'd really like to get this campaign's villains right, y'know! The antagonists/villains of this campaign are a party of evil characters, lead by a highly powerful and intelligent shapeshifter.

    I was mainly interested in hearing some stories about your favourite campaign villains in the past, as well as ideas for ways to make this campaign's villains scary and interesting. :)

    Thanks!
    Why is my mouth a heart rate monitor readout? Maybe I should ask my fans/acolytes.

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    Default Re: Villain Help!

    This is propably going to go over super well - but screw PC backstories. They should write their own stories to match your story and setting, not expect you to bend over backwards to work their random works of fiction part of your narrative.

    As GM, you (ie. the villain) can leverage ... well, orbital ion cannon at the PC's any time you chose. So if they want your villain to actively try and destroy them, they'll need to be willing to admit defeat and run when that happens. He (m/f) is not a proper threat, nor a proper villain, if he (still m/f) doesn't control ressources that could easily stamp out the party. The application of overwhelming force should be available to the villain - although possibly somewhat imprecise or unwieldy.

    My favourite villains are propably Strahd von Zarovitz and Azalin - but mainly because my GM played them so well. I played a paladin in that campaign, and his (my) blood still seethes with fury when contemplating Azalin. If you're not familiar with them, they're Ravenloft villains (vampire and lich, respectively) who get played by the arcanaloth Inajira, and who in turn play the PC's .. and so the wheel turns. Good campaign, the Grand Conjunction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    This is propably going to go over super well - but screw PC backstories. They should write their own stories to match your story and setting, not expect you to bend over backwards to work their random works of fiction part of your narrative.
    I mean, in the best case there's a dialogue between the GM and players, where the end results is a background that the players are happy with and feels ownership of, which also fits seamlessly in the campaign and gives the GM hooks with which to draw the player into the story.

    The villain that stands out in my memory the most was the super-powerful dragon god-emperor that was the main antagonist of a 1-20 campaign I was in a year back (he wanted to conquer the world. So did we I mean, we liked the world unconquered). We where constantly running into his troops while getting all the stuff we needed to put him down, but we only got face to face with him shortly before the actual fight. One of the things that made him stand out so much was that he fit really well with how we where approaching the campaign. He was hammy, over-the-top and larger than life, just like our party. When the time came for the final battle, he (or rather, his simulacrum) turned up with an escort of 30 dragonborn, carrying towershields and buckets of popcorn. His opening shot was to have one of his undersigns serve him a glass of fine wine. It was awesome. Then we one-shotted the simulacrum with a dispel, raced through the city to get to the actual dragon and had a really nie brawl with him in a different dimension while standing on the back of a massive egyptian style sphinx-statue.

    Anyway, the tip I'm trying to impart here is that your antagonist should match the style of your game and your players. If your players like to screw around and do things for no other reason than style, your villain should have a similar aesthetic. If your players are schemers and chess-,asters, then the villain should constantly be active and trying to outwit them. If your players are all ponies, than your villain should probably be a pony too.

    Another important thing to establish is what exactly your villain wants, and why your players would want to stop them. If your villain doesn't want anything, or if your villain wants something that your players are fine with them having, then there's no story (or at least not one involving both your players and your villain). Based on what your p[layers complained about, it seems like one or both of those things where missing with your previous villain. It also seems like this might be an issue with your new villain, simply because villains are generally defined by their motivation, and you provided none in your description. What does this evil party want? And why would your players want to stop them?
    Last edited by DeTess; 2019-12-11 at 11:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Villain Help!

    Thanks for the replies so far. Here's some more info.

    In this world, sapient creatures are split into two categories: the White Heart peoples (humans, elves etc) and the Black Heart beasts (monsters of great power), both being created directly by the gods.

    The main villain is named Raven Vermillion. She is an enormous blood-trailing avian monster who often takes human form to carry out more subtle schemes. She is one of the greatest Black Heart beasts in the campaign world. Her goal is to fulfill the Apollyon Prophecy and become the beast that would bring the end of the world. She would become completely unstoppable. She is cold, regal and hateful. She has convinced four powerful people to work under her and share her goals. They make up the rest of the villain line-up.

    Byron Sableblood is a vicious, violent were-tiger who leads the savage tribe that he forged from two vastly different peoples. He believes in survival of the fittest and will tear down even his own people at the first sign of weakness.

    Acel Crimson is the racist, bigoted queen of a human-supremacist slaver clan. She pretends to be a psychotic maniac who acts on a whim, but this is just to hide her keen mind from her enemies. She's an expert tactician and commands her army of slaves and radicals with finesse.

    Sarvus Zaakun is a lizardfolk archmage who brought civilization to his once-barbaric race. He's intelligent and proud, but lacks any kind of empathy. He talks little and prefers to avoid combat, instead manipulating people from the shadows with bribes and blackmail.

    Rachelle de Monte is an elf artificer who loves to create horrible inventions, like a serum to turn both White and Black Heart creatures insane, and new technology like gunpowder. Her tribe was wiped out, but she escaped with a few followers, and now she works in secret.

    Each PC has some level of connection with at least one of the latter four, mostly being from the same tribe or studying under them. Given that Raven controls the leaders of some of the greatest powers in the land, I was thinking her next step would be to get her followers to begin a war between their tribes and clans, plunging the wild world into further chaos.
    Why is my mouth a heart rate monitor readout? Maybe I should ask my fans/acolytes.

    - "I love you, Luna."
    - "I love you more! Now kill some heroes for me!

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    Scar Face . Big Black Worg with a white scar running diagonally on his face . He made a goblin tribe worship him and a few normal Worgs . He had a toady goblin that was allowed to ride called Munc hausen . Not much there just buff Worg stats up the wazoo . He was my first villain i made . He hates the players because one of their grandparents scarred him .

    Star Wolf : Think werewolf but all you see is a cosmos or galaxy when you look at him . kinda like he is a window to another galaxy . Red eyes of course . I never established if he was a demon or devil messenger or both . Basically offers each player a cool magic goodie in exchange for their soul . Also what he does not tell whomever took the deal automatically becomes a puppet to whomever species owns the soul but only if they encounter one and only if those devils are aware of the pact . I never did that it was fun enough reminding the player i own his soul . A DM trying to own a players soul was on my bucket list of things to do .


    Cylcinder Fallen General of Tiamat : So i got a awesome friggin dragon from the smurf company . My cousin and I gave him a name . Sooo basically there was this vicious dragon general so ancient he never looked like normal DND dragons . The father of Reds and Black dragons . Had such a hatred for humanoids that even those loyal to Tiamat were in slaughtered . Tiamat took offense and tore him to pieces scattering his parts into the Realms . The soul of this dragon roams the realms trying to convince players to find whats left of his body parts now fashioned into mighty artifacts to put them together and raise him promising them anything they want . Restoring souls for example . Those are sweet artifacts I made . This would be a high level quest . Cylcinder is basically a level 18 black dragon .

    Braynes : This was a brain in a jar monster but alive and I added he could float out of his jar for short periods even indefinatly if he could attach to a players nervous system burying and half sticking out of the upper back . Controlling the player or having a symbiote relationship . A player would have some of his HP perma nerfed . Depending on the dice roll very good or bad amount of HP . Basically a successful symbiote bonding would have only one or two HP lost and the benefits would be an INT buff , maybe a couple free dominating or mind spells , as well as Multiple possibly 3 melee weapons floating around the player to attack enemies . Players who want to free a controlled buddy needs to disable the player , then quickly heal him then cut out Braynes which will kill the players health again . Or disable the player , cut out the brain and kill the player then raise him from the dead . I never got to play this villain . Sounded like great fun in theory .
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2019-12-12 at 06:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. Here's some more info.

    In this world, sapient creatures are split into two categories: the White Heart peoples (humans, elves etc) and the Black Heart beasts (monsters of great power), both being created directly by the gods.

    The main villain is named Raven Vermillion. She is an enormous blood-trailing avian monster who often takes human form to carry out more subtle schemes. She is one of the greatest Black Heart beasts in the campaign world. Her goal is to fulfill the Apollyon Prophecy and become the beast that would bring the end of the world. She would become completely unstoppable. She is cold, regal and hateful. She has convinced four powerful people to work under her and share her goals. They make up the rest of the villain line-up.

    Byron Sableblood is a vicious, violent were-tiger who leads the savage tribe that he forged from two vastly different peoples. He believes in survival of the fittest and will tear down even his own people at the first sign of weakness.

    Acel Crimson is the racist, bigoted queen of a human-supremacist slaver clan. She pretends to be a psychotic maniac who acts on a whim, but this is just to hide her keen mind from her enemies. She's an expert tactician and commands her army of slaves and radicals with finesse.

    Sarvus Zaakun is a lizardfolk archmage who brought civilization to his once-barbaric race. He's intelligent and proud, but lacks any kind of empathy. He talks little and prefers to avoid combat, instead manipulating people from the shadows with bribes and blackmail.

    Rachelle de Monte is an elf artificer who loves to create horrible inventions, like a serum to turn both White and Black Heart creatures insane, and new technology like gunpowder. Her tribe was wiped out, but she escaped with a few followers, and now she works in secret.

    Each PC has some level of connection with at least one of the latter four, mostly being from the same tribe or studying under them. Given that Raven controls the leaders of some of the greatest powers in the land, I was thinking her next step would be to get her followers to begin a war between their tribes and clans, plunging the wild world into further chaos.
    Alright, this is a very good start. You know who your villains are and what they want. Now I'd plan something of a timeline for the next steps they'll be taking to achieve Raven's goals. This doesn't have to be set in stone of course, but it should provide the PC's with something clearly visible that they need to stop.

    As you said, you where thinking of having Raven start a war, so what would her underlings need to do to start things off, and what where do the PC's come in in stopping this? Once you've answered that, you probably have enough content for the next 3-6 sessions, and a clearly proactive villain for your players to start working against.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2019-12-12 at 06:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Villain Help!

    So I tried something different for the start of the campaign to introduce the villains. I made epic level temporary characters for each player. The campaign started with a prologue where those epic characters take down a powerful beast, before running into Raven and her team, who at that point 20 years ago were just another hunting team. They fought well against the other four, but Raven proved too powerful and killed them all.

    The main reason I'm saying this is that I was planning for the main PCs to not find out about Raven for a good while. Their players know about her, but in the world she's trying to stay unknown and unseen to carry out her plans without every hunter and hero trying to kill her. For the first half of the campaign, I was planning for the four others I mentioned to be the main antagonists... only for them to find out Raven was leading them. However, I'm worried them not meeting her in character until much later will make her a worse villain. Should I have her turn up earlier? Or maybe have them stumble on her plans?

    At the moment they've just finished their trails to become true beast hunters, binding their souls with their sentient weapons. I'm wondering where to go from there... what threat should I introduce first?
    Why is my mouth a heart rate monitor readout? Maybe I should ask my fans/acolytes.

    - "I love you, Luna."
    - "I love you more! Now kill some heroes for me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    I mean, in the best case there's a dialogue between the GM and players, where the end results is a background that the players are happy with and feels ownership of, which also fits seamlessly in the campaign and gives the GM hooks with which to draw the player into the story.
    Agreed - I have nothing against back stories, and I've written a couple of needlessly long ones myself. I just wanted the argument out there: Don't get hung up on it, it's really not a core game concept. You can play entirely without them, and speaking only for myself - whatever backstory I came up with originally, my PC's story really begins in play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Agreed - I have nothing against back stories, and I've written a couple of needlessly long ones myself. I just wanted the argument out there: Don't get hung up on it, it's really not a core game concept. You can play entirely without them, and speaking only for myself - whatever backstory I came up with originally, my PC's story really begins in play.
    I don't disagree. You can have a perfectly fine game without a backstory (one of the funnest campaigns I've been a player in had a collective backstory for the party of: 'you where all travelling to this city on this boat, but then the boat sank and you washed up on the shore far from the city. You still want to go there though.'), but I've found that in a less combat-focused game, backstories can be really useful in making players feel like they're part of a world and in getting them invested in the world.

    edit: What I'm trying to say is this: backstories are a tool, and depending on the game they can be really useful, not at all useful, or anywhere in between, and it's not really helpful to claim one thing or another about them as if it's an absolute that's always the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    So I tried something different for the start of the campaign to introduce the villains. I made epic level temporary characters for each player. The campaign started with a prologue where those epic characters take down a powerful beast, before running into Raven and her team, who at that point 20 years ago were just another hunting team. They fought well against the other four, but Raven proved too powerful and killed them all.

    The main reason I'm saying this is that I was planning for the main PCs to not find out about Raven for a good while. Their players know about her, but in the world she's trying to stay unknown and unseen to carry out her plans without every hunter and hero trying to kill her. For the first half of the campaign, I was planning for the four others I mentioned to be the main antagonists... only for them to find out Raven was leading them. However, I'm worried them not meeting her in character until much later will make her a worse villain. Should I have her turn up earlier? Or maybe have them stumble on her plans?
    An entity as powerful as Raven is apparently can't stay completely unknown. There's going to be traces of her all through the last decades, and I'd use that to introduce her to the PC's. Have them come across traces or stories about her. To use an example from that campaign involving the dragon god-emperor; we only encountered him face-to-face in the last 7 sessions or so from a 2-year long weekly campaign. He wasn't even on the same world as us for the first 8 levels and 20-odd sessions. However,w e constantly encountered little traces of his past presence. Shrines dedicated to him, amulets that where once held by his followers, a doomsday cult centered on his return (they where right eventually, but got the date wrong), that sort of stuff. So by the time he arrived, it wasn't much of a surprise to the players, and he immediately felt like credible threat because of what we'd already learned about him. A lot of that was also just random window-dressing to dungeons and encounters focused on other things, but because several players where just naturally curious we'd managed to drag quite a bit of his story into the open already.

    All this is a long-winded way of saying that when the PC's find out about the BBEG they should already have heard of her, and seen traces of her existence and influence before that moment. Since the PC's already know, I reckon they're probably more likely to follow up on subtle clues about her involvement as well. If you provide some initial clues and give them the opportunity to explore and learn more about Raven, even if you don't immediately confirm her involvement in the main plot, the players should feel like they know their enemy already, and that will make her feel like an active and credible threat, and a good villain.


    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    At the moment they've just finished their trails to become true beast hunters, binding their souls with their sentient weapons. I'm wondering where to go from there... what threat should I introduce first?
    Based on your descriptions, Rachelle feels like an obvious first step. Byron, Acel and Sarvus all have significant support networks that makes them daunting prospects to tackle, while Rachelle seems relatively isolated. Depending on what the PC's know of them, they might actually meet Sarvus first (he seems like he could put up a front of being more decent than he really is), but he only functions as a quest-giver of sorts. He might even put them on Rachelle's trail, thinking he's getting her some new specimens to experiment on or whatever.

    In the context of the 'starting a war' plot, Rachelle's group could be presented as terrorists who are ostensibly aligned with one of the major factions, but are really just trying to start a war by doing horrible stuff in name off a group that's not actually involved with them.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2019-12-12 at 06:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Villain Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. Here's some more info.

    In this world, sapient creatures are split into two categories: the White Heart peoples (humans, elves etc) and the Black Heart beasts (monsters of great power), both being created directly by the gods.

    The main villain is named Raven Vermillion. She is an enormous blood-trailing avian monster who often takes human form to carry out more subtle schemes. She is one of the greatest Black Heart beasts in the campaign world. Her goal is to fulfill the Apollyon Prophecy and become the beast that would bring the end of the world. She would become completely unstoppable. She is cold, regal and hateful. She has convinced four powerful people to work under her and share her goals. They make up the rest of the villain line-up.

    Byron Sableblood is a vicious, violent were-tiger who leads the savage tribe that he forged from two vastly different peoples. He believes in survival of the fittest and will tear down even his own people at the first sign of weakness.

    Acel Crimson is the racist, bigoted queen of a human-supremacist slaver clan. She pretends to be a psychotic maniac who acts on a whim, but this is just to hide her keen mind from her enemies. She's an expert tactician and commands her army of slaves and radicals with finesse.

    Sarvus Zaakun is a lizardfolk archmage who brought civilization to his once-barbaric race. He's intelligent and proud, but lacks any kind of empathy. He talks little and prefers to avoid combat, instead manipulating people from the shadows with bribes and blackmail.

    Rachelle de Monte is an elf artificer who loves to create horrible inventions, like a serum to turn both White and Black Heart creatures insane, and new technology like gunpowder. Her tribe was wiped out, but she escaped with a few followers, and now she works in secret.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    S

    The main reason I'm saying this is that I was planning for the main PCs to not find out about Raven for a good while. Their players know about her, but in the world she's trying to stay unknown and unseen to carry out her plans without every hunter and hero trying to kill her. For the first half of the campaign, I was planning for the four others I mentioned to be the main antagonists... only for them to find out Raven was leading them.
    those are good starts. you have villains with some clear personality trait and some clear goal. most good characters (villains and heroes alike) start like that, and then they gradually take on the fine details.
    I would explore a bit more their motivations, though, because they are not 100% clear. why would raven want to destroy the world? Being evil and hateful is not enough; even when it is, I found it is generally good to have a villain with reasonable, understandable motivations. same goes for the other four. what do they want? what is their end goal?
    another question to explore is, why are they working together? how loial are they to each other? if one of them was going to fall, would the others rush to help her, or would gladly take the removal of one partner? this is going to especially matter later, when the players will start to mess up their plan.

    that said, you need to refine their plan and come up with ways it would intersect the players. you mentioned a prophecy, so there is probably something specific there, and they are trying to fulfill some requirement or ritual. if not, if they just want mayem, then sowing distrust and starting wars is the best way. possibly not with their own people - it would deplete their resources - but causing their enemies to go to war with each other. the how really depends on how your world is built, what level of magic is available (for example, burning a village while masquerading as troops of another nation could work in a low-magic setting, but won't work if divination magic can easily clarify the situation), what resources are available.
    One thing i recommend is to try and have the villains hire the pcs for some seemingly innocent - heck, maybe even seemingly righteous - mission, that would however further their goals. nothing sets up a villain as a master manipulator better than getting the party to do his bidding.

    since many people described some of their villains, i'll do it with one of mine:
    skarrakatach is the oldest and mightiest dragon living. he was fairly unconcerned as a youth, but growing older he saw his race slowly lose ground to the ascent of humanoids. over time (and after witnessing other mighty dragons being killed by adventuring parties) he became convinced that humanoids would destroy dragonkind, unless they were exterminated or enslaved [motivations (relatable)]. by the time he reached this decision, however, humanoids already were too strong to fight directly; also, most dragons wouldn't follow him in a global war, as they'd rather try to stay in peace. so he decided that he would need to manipulate humanoids to destroy themselves [modus operandi].
    To do so, he planted some cronies among various humanoid power groups, to subtly manipulate them towards starting wars. one of those cronies he sent to act as cohort to the party [party involvment]. He also made himself a member of the merchant union, the world monopolists in magic item trade, owners of a huge stash of magic weaponry. again, he wasn't in a position to conquer it alone, but again he took advantage of another member trying a coup. the coup supplanted the merchant's former leader (a honest, reliable, reasonable authority figure) with a power-hungry megalomaniac. long story short, the part itself was involved in recapturing the merchant's stronghold for the reasonable authority figure - and in doing so they destroied all the defences that could have stopped skarrakatach [party manipulation].
    as the single most powerful creature in the world, skarrakatach is confident, but not arrogant. he is polite to people (especially since he has a disguise to keep) and he tried to avoid aggression, though he is not afraid of confrontation if pulled into it [a bit of personality sketching; the main purpose is to make him more relatable1]; however, he plans to force the enslaved humans to worship him, hoping it will make him ascend to godhood, so his motives are not purely altruistic.
    He wears a powerfully enchanted armor made of humanoid skins - namely, former dragon hunters that he personally killed. highly wisible on his breast is the skin of a dwarf with a tatoo saying "turak the dragonslayer", followed by many tacks of different sizes and colors clearly representing dragons this turak had slain; if accurate, it looks like he defeated a couple dozen adult or older dragons, until he was defeated by skarrakatach [bit of badass description].

    1 actually, all of my major villains are polite and nice. I found that a good villain needs to be respected - on some levels - by the players. An arrogant, despicable villain will have a harder time being taken seriously, no matter how powerful.
    I also like the concept that arrogance masks insecurity and immaturity; those villains are not arrogant, not mean, not bullies, because they don't need to. they are powerful, they know exactly how powerful they are, they don't need to bash other people just to feel more powerful, and they are safe and confident enough in their power that they won't be taunted into making clichè mistakes for pride.
    Finally, they are also cunning manipulators and smart enough to realize that (paraphrasing al capone) You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a gun alone.
    I reserve arrogance and spite for the second-stringers. If you treat your henchmen like crap, you'll get betrayed as soon as someone strong enough challenge you; which will happen fast if you treat other people like crap and earn their enmities without need. and if all this happens, then you are not a major villain.
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    Default Re: Villain Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna_Mayflower View Post
    Hey everyone!
    So I recently started a new campaign! However, in my last one, the main thing people criticized was the main villain. The main problems were that he was too passive, didn't actively scheme against the party and that his backstory only really meshed with one PC. So I'd really like to get this campaign's villains right, y'know! The antagonists/villains of this campaign are a party of evil characters, lead by a highly powerful and intelligent shapeshifter.
    I was mainly interested in hearing some stories about your favourite campaign villains in the past, as well as ideas for ways to make this campaign's villains scary and interesting. :)
    Thanks!
    The Shapeshifter offers the best chance to really mess with the party...

    Once the party starts getting into their affairs... have the party do perception to see if they're being watched (hopefully someone notices).
    Chases the shapeshifter, who changes their form in the crowd...

    Now the shapeshifter knows what the party members look like.
    The Shapeshifter starts taking their form and murdering people, and making sure to be seen as one of the party members...
    Now the party knows that there's a shapeshifter they're after...
    From time to time, have one of the players play the shapeshifter as their character (say one of them goes to the tavern, give a note to the player, saying they're the shapeshifter and returning to the party)... that type of stuff.
    Need a character background written up? I do it for free but I am now taking financial donations through paypal if you're so inclined! <3 Now with over 150 character backgrounds written!

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    I grnerally tend to follow a principle that there are 4 qualities of a great villain: be a threat, have a motivation players can understand, have their conflict be personal and be a foil to the hero. And the trick is you don't need to have all 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    I don't disagree. You can have a perfectly fine game without a backstory (one of the funnest campaigns I've been a player in had a collective backstory for the party of: 'you where all travelling to this city on this boat, but then the boat sank and you washed up on the shore far from the city. You still want to go there though.'), but I've found that in a less combat-focused game, backstories can be really useful in making players feel like they're part of a world and in getting them invested in the world.

    edit: What I'm trying to say is this: backstories are a tool, and depending on the game they can be really useful, not at all useful, or anywhere in between, and it's not really helpful to claim one thing or another about them as if it's an absolute that's always the case.



    An entity as powerful as Raven is apparently can't stay completely unknown. There's going to be traces of her all through the last decades, and I'd use that to introduce her to the PC's. Have them come across traces or stories about her. To use an example from that campaign involving the dragon god-emperor; we only encountered him face-to-face in the last 7 sessions or so from a 2-year long weekly campaign. He wasn't even on the same world as us for the first 8 levels and 20-odd sessions. However,w e constantly encountered little traces of his past presence. Shrines dedicated to him, amulets that where once held by his followers, a doomsday cult centered on his return (they where right eventually, but got the date wrong), that sort of stuff. So by the time he arrived, it wasn't much of a surprise to the players, and he immediately felt like credible threat because of what we'd already learned about him. A lot of that was also just random window-dressing to dungeons and encounters focused on other things, but because several players where just naturally curious we'd managed to drag quite a bit of his story into the open already.

    All this is a long-winded way of saying that when the PC's find out about the BBEG they should already have heard of her, and seen traces of her existence and influence before that moment. Since the PC's already know, I reckon they're probably more likely to follow up on subtle clues about her involvement as well. If you provide some initial clues and give them the opportunity to explore and learn more about Raven, even if you don't immediately confirm her involvement in the main plot, the players should feel like they know their enemy already, and that will make her feel like an active and credible threat, and a good villain.




    Based on your descriptions, Rachelle feels like an obvious first step. Byron, Acel and Sarvus all have significant support networks that makes them daunting prospects to tackle, while Rachelle seems relatively isolated. Depending on what the PC's know of them, they might actually meet Sarvus first (he seems like he could put up a front of being more decent than he really is), but he only functions as a quest-giver of sorts. He might even put them on Rachelle's trail, thinking he's getting her some new specimens to experiment on or whatever.

    In the context of the 'starting a war' plot, Rachelle's group could be presented as terrorists who are ostensibly aligned with one of the major factions, but are really just trying to start a war by doing horrible stuff in name off a group that's not actually involved with them.
    This is brilliant advice! Thanks!
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Villain Help!

    If you want the villains to be hateable, make them sanctimonious, like the killer from Saw or the evil politician from Elysium.

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