I'm running a super powers (anime style) campaign with friends, we've just begun and we want to keep the anime "vibe" alive for as long as we can, since Japanese Animation shows make use of several villians with diferent goals, and also introduce a LARGE supporting cast on the way.

I have introduced villian groups on my game, however tho they seemed nice at the begning, I don't know how to tie everything.

The players are all teen demigods, the game is based on the Scion RPG, using Savage Worlds as our to-go system. They have to stop the Titans from reviving by stoppeing the monsters they spawn on earth and dealing with the other villian groups. Which are:

Outer Gods: I have no idea why I even introduced them, they're supposed to be the most dangerous baddies, they want to make the Titans escape so they can use the chaos to conquer the universe but really, they're just boring, I just don't feel like I can cut them from the plot out of the blue.

Sapientes Gladio: A group of young women with the power of angels that want to kill demigods because they're supposed to be heretic. The most interesting group as a PC has a romance with one of them and she doesn't knows he's a demigod.

Shinsegumi: A bunch of over powered demigods leadered by a japanese schoolgirl with the powers of a Titan + a God who want to release the other Titans, and they are the main pain in the butt of the story; they're loved and hated by my players but I have no idea how they fit in or what I'm supposed to do with them.

13th Batallion: A group of american soldiers with hi-tech weapons built to erradicate the demigods since they're supposed to be too dangerous to exist.

And there, I have different villian organizations that are liked by my players, but I just can't seem to deal with all of them, specially since the supporting cast is comprised of almost 16 NPCs that are already loved by my players, and by me. I just don't know how to tie stuff without making plot points suddenly dissapear.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A plea to downvoters: Please leave a reason why so Aldath Le'Carde can improve the question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5 '14 at 6:47
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I guess that the down votes are due to the question reading like "please write the game for me". I think there is a good question in there (maybe several) but as it stands, it's not a really good fit. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5 '14 at 6:50
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps, when one has this many wide-ranging and interconnected problems running games, one really should consider reading some of the overflowing river of existing writing on the art of GMing in the countless blogs, articles, and books devoted to the subject. We're good for specific help, not so much at piecemeal mentorship. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5 '14 at 7:40

Let's talk about this first from a genre standpoint.

Most manga/anime deals with multiple major bad guys by splitting them up into arcs. A bad guy group gets a whole arc, which is pretty much like a full campaign. When the arc ends, the bad guys might still be around, but they're no longer the primary driver as a threat - they've either been defeated enough, or at least aren't as active - they typically end up showing up again as a complicating factor in new arcs, but they're usually not the main focus in later arcs.

Now, if you start having cataclysmic events go down, a lot of times what will happen is major bad guy groups will get wiped out or nearly totally destroyed - as a way of both reducing the character load and also highlighting how bad the situation is getting. It sounds like that's not exactly the way you want to go, as you've hit the dilemma this genre often runs into: a large cast of well loved antagonists the audience doesn't want to see destroyed, yet they're still around.

Well, here's some options:

Go To a New Place

A lot of stories will take the heroes to a very far away place. A new planet, far away islands, a sub dimension, whatever. This means the old villains are absent, but not dead. You can choose to bring a few along or have them show up, but it reduces the amount of antagonists you need to focus on, at least for this story arc.

Mass Capture

A new, more terrible threat (or, one of the groups finds a way to get super powerful) captures nearly everyone. Manga/anime can sell something like this because power jumps are quite common, in an rpg, though, if someone can capture and defeat all these villains, then they're probably going to be super powerful compared to the protagonists.

Intelligent Elimination

If you have groups or characters who are not interesting, it's best to remove them from play. It's most satisfying if this is part of a larger conflict - and it sounds like the Outer Gods are the least interesting group -they might be a good target for this. For the groups you generally enjoy, consider if any of those characters are also potentially sacrificial.

A fun possibility is that some of these antagonist groups might be devastated in numbers and then the surviving groups unite to form a new group dynamic.

Gamble Everything

I'm not much of a fan of planning out everything ahead. I like to let the players have a big effect on what happens - and sometimes that means a lot of things fall apart, beloved NPCs die, etc. My players know that if something bad happens, they could have done something to stop it, and they also know that if something is saved, they were the ones who did it. The glory and the sorrow is theirs.

In your case, maybe the players will come up with a solution that rescues/redeems many of these villains? Maybe they'll decide violence is the only way. When you put everything up, the heroes know that the climax is playing for keeps and the wins they earn, they earn.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.