Questions tagged [villain]

For questions about creating and/or playing villains in RPGs. A villain is the main antagonist of a story, adventure or a chronicle.

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1 answer
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How to Scale a "Player" Character to Be a Villain/Boss?

I've been searching around, but I haven't been to find what I'm looking for via Google queries; but I presume that what I'm attempting would be pretty common. Anyhow, are there any resources that ...
-2 votes
1 answer
166 views

If my BBEG is a warlock of an archfey vampire, would their subclass be that of the Archfey patron or the Undead patron? [closed]

The BBEG in my campaign is going to be the descendant/follower of the Archfey Vampire Kannoth. If a follower of Kannoth made a pact with Kannoth as their warlock patron, would they level through the ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
224 views

I have a problem with a hexblade warlock with pact of the blade and improved pact weapon (they can use a bow and smite with it) any ideas? [closed]

I want the campaign to be balanced for all players They have: Pact of the Blade Hexblade Improved Pact Weapon Eldritch Smite They want to ranged smite. Help, I need something to balance it. What I ...
-1 votes
3 answers
568 views

How prepared is "too prepared" for an endgame-like NPC?

I'm currently running a guild heavy campaign with the two major guilds being the Bandit's Guild and the Adventurer's Guild. The bandits guild runs in territories where noble rank and lord rank bandits ...
8 votes
2 answers
596 views

Shortcuts for GMs preparing a boss sheet

Due to time constraints, I simply do not have the time any more to read through the list of all the feats, all possible enchantments, and all the prestige classes, to then build a boss. What are the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
354 views

BBEG Ideas for my campaign? [closed]

So I'm planning on starting my own campaign for the first time. I have the story planned out and what the BBEG's motives will be. However I want to have him be a combination of classes, and I was ...
  • 291
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I introduce my BBEG's power without my pcs rushing in to fight them?

I made a homebrew creature that's supposed to be impossible for them to fight at the moment as that creature is the BBEG. I wanted to show the strength gap between the pcs start and how strong they ...
1 vote
1 answer
216 views

The BBEG wants to delay the party in the final battle... (spells)

I have thought of a few methods they might accomplish this. The easiest, mechanically, is to give him spells to accomplish this. Some details about the campaign/fight (major spoilers for Paizo's Ruins ...
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10 votes
8 answers
3k views

The BBEG wants to delay the party in the final battle... (narrative delay?)

I have thought of a few methods they might accomplish this. In this question, I am wondering about a potentially more controversial option. I am considering having them attempt to monologue or engage ...
  • 37.2k
5 votes
3 answers
372 views

How can my half-dragon villain aim to become more draconic?

The villain in the adventure I'm currently running is a half-dragon druid. Their motivation is that they want to claim some of the power and glory of their draconic ancestors. At the moment, I'm just ...
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20 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is it okay to have a DMPC who is also the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy)?

I don't want to make my DMPC (i.e. Dungeon Master NPC) star of the show by any means, I realize how important it is to let the characters do their own thing. I want this character to act in the ...
2 votes
0 answers
150 views

Help making my villain who wants to rid my D&D world of all magic [closed]

So, who I plan on making the big bad of my current campaign (a powerful wizard who tapped into the magic of the void and is almost invincible [ofc not really cause they need to be beatable] when it ...
  • 29
3 votes
1 answer
489 views

For the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure, can the season be chosen at a later point in the story?

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, it says you have to choose the season at the outset. Is it possible to choose it at a later part in the story? Or is it possible for the players to wait for a specific ...
44 votes
8 answers
6k views

How to play a devious character when you are not personally devious?

I am GMing a low-fantasy GURPS game, and I find that my amoral or immoral NPC's are easily seen through. On several occasions, I have tried to have an NPC dupe my players into being pawns. And every ...
  • 874
13 votes
3 answers
7k views

How do I choose a villain in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure?

In the first pages of Dragon Heist, you're told to When you run this adventure, you choose its main villain at the outset. Your choice determines the season of the year in which the story takes place,...
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27 votes
6 answers
8k views

How to make a villain when your PCs are villains?

The main premise of the campaign I am currently DMing is that the PCs need to level up to become powerful enough to take over the world. It's an open world(ish) campaign with a set end goal but no set ...
  • 481
4 votes
4 answers
822 views

How can I justify not giving my villain the Wish spell? [closed]

Basically, I have a wizard as a villain who is ambitious, powerful, and has access to nearly unlimited resources. How can I justify giving him any ninth-level spell but not giving him Wish? Or, ...
-4 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the CR of my BBEG? [closed]

I am creating the Big Bad Evil Guy for my campaign and I don’t know what the CR would be. BBEG Medium humanoid , lawful evil Armor Class 22 (Natural Armor) Hit Points 285 (2d8/18d6+200) ...
8 votes
12 answers
2k views

How can I convince my players that this evil character is good for the duration of the campaign until the big reveal?

There is an NPC that I want to introduce soon, but I don’t want the PCs to be suspicious of her until a later big reveal that she is a major villain. The NPC My game has a woman who is a noblewoman. ...
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is there a monster that can summon other lesser monsters?

I'm currently designing a 5th edition campaign with an antagonist who's sorta like this sociopathic mix between Jafar and the Joker. He's always got some plan to escape unscathed and has tons of ...
26 votes
13 answers
20k views

How to create a villain for level 1 players

I want to build a cool devil overlord as a villain for a group of three level 1 PCs. How would I go about making a villain who's more powerful than them without going overboard? Should I be scared to ...
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14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can a monster cause a PC's alignment to change?

I'm DMing 1e "Village of Hommlet" and I think Lareth the Beautiful would enjoy causing the (1st level PC) lawful good cleric to become evil. Can he do this?
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16 votes
5 answers
35k views

How do you make an NPC villain to battle high level characters in 5e?

I am building a campaign centered around the machinations of this one old elf wizard. I'm planning for the dramatic final encounter to be the PCs against him. The problem with this is that the PCs are ...
7 votes
4 answers
467 views

How can this Castle Amber villain be updated?

Just in case, spoilered below is a description of the antagonist from Castle Amber (1981), room 34, the Throne Room: I'm aware this encounter difficult, but I'm also unsure how to convert this ...
32 votes
20 answers
7k views

How can I best implement a recurring villain when the players are not opposed to killing? [closed]

I am writing up a campaign for D&D4e that I will be playing in a couple of months and, though I do not have the storyline 100% all thought out, I know the general tone I am going for already, and ...
  • 1,053
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to balance/time a campaign where a player character is the final boss?

I suggested to my GM a campaign idea where one of the player characters would secretly be the final enemy boss and the player would play and campaign alongside the group trying to further his goals ...
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25 votes
5 answers
6k views

How can I foreshadow the identity of a villain without making it too obvious?

I am currently running a campaign where, in one of the main story arcs, the villain is a rogue(assassin) with the charlatan background. He a very charismatic man who already commands a fair amount of ...
  • 5,395
5 votes
3 answers
741 views

How should I handle killing (or not) this character? [closed]

So I've been playing with the same group for a long time and they aren't the smartest which has led to the loss of many PCs in this D&D game. Only one has survived this entire time. His name is ...
  • 59
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Strahd able to know PC backstories without having to investigate them?

I have a group that just started Curse of Strahd. They're one session in. I have a character that couldn't make it first session, and I'm in the process of “writing him in” so he's with ...
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20 votes
1 answer
581 views

RPG where everyone is an asylum resident and an ex-supervillain

I remember an RPG where all players play ex-supervillains (or just mad people who believed to be supervillians) in an asylum. They tell their stories and can be interrupted by others in a systematic ...
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2 votes
0 answers
190 views

How to handle multiple main villains in your campaign [closed]

I was hoping to pick your collective brains in preparation for my new 5e Eberron campaign starting in a few months. Most of the blogs/books etc I've looked through look at campaign design with one ...
  • 21
7 votes
4 answers
928 views

My players want to resolve conflicts nonviolently. How do I tell them it won't work?

When I'm GMing and trying to create tension by having a big boss fight, invariably one of the players will ask me if his character can, instead, bribe the big boss or try to smooth talk him or make ...
2 votes
2 answers
365 views

How to make my character the villain in a campaign with multiple DMs?

Recently my long-time gaming group began a Round Robin style campaign where we each take turns being the DM. We decided the decided that we'll each get to DM one session with a randomly determined ...
  • 419
4 votes
2 answers
392 views

How Do I Bring PCs into Conflict with Druids? [closed]

My PCs are pursuing a major villain who deals with assorted plant-based monsters, who we'll just call the Queen. Being a manipulative sort, I think she would probably try to lead them towards ...
  • 1,182
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to make a low CR villain more dangerous

My PC's in one campaign are currently traveling to their first major town and, unbeknownst to them, there is a Rakshasa, disguised as the town mayor, using the town to feed and kill as he pleases ...
  • 3,196
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

How can a creature create duplicates of itself?

I want an upcoming high-level antagonist to have the ability to create loyal short-term duplicates of himself. Using class features, magic items, and spells what ways exist to do this for a lone level ...
  • 1,590
15 votes
8 answers
3k views

How do I introduce a larger-than-the-game villain (so that the players can beat him one day)?

I have a cool villain I really like. I mean, I love that character. I would squeal with excitement if my players could meet him, figure him out, confront him and foil his plans and maybe even kill him....
  • 16.9k
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I portray a xenophobic, manipulative, evil noble?

My players, after having travelled through a big Kobold empire to find a temple, finally encountered the temple, only to find it inhabited by a Dragon. They bump into the Kobold who had been tracking ...
  • 78k
30 votes
2 answers
6k views

How to make your players hate your villain, but not your game

How does one build the character of a villain such that the players (playing heroic characters) hate the villain as much as possible without detracting too much from the quality of the game? What ...
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to make a great villain who your players hate more than anything else? [closed]

I'd love to hear from you guys what you consider to be the best way to make the motive that drives the players to defeat the villain to be something personal and even passional. I believe a villain ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
199 views

How do I manage to handle many villian organizations on an already NPC filled game? [closed]

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 ...
7 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is bringing a major villain back from the dead a bad idea? [closed]

I have a major villain that the players killed a long time ago* in a previous campaign. Is it too clichéd to bringing her back? Is there anything I should avoid if I do so? Is it just lazy? I am ...
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15 votes
4 answers
3k views

How do I make a large organization of villains memorable or likeable?

I'm currently preparing a levels 1–30 D&D 4e campaign based on the .hack// games, where players become trapped inside an online game where a sentient program plans to become God. My main ...
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

How can I create more compelling villains? [closed]

A consistent issue with the games that I've run comes through with villain characters. Not just at the end of an adventure, but overarching villains; movers and shakers of the world. I notice that I ...
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

What dangers are there in having my GMPC be the recurring villain?

I have started my first 3.5 campaign and had the idea that as the GM I could still enjoy playing by making a character using the normal rules and running it as the villain. It would gain the same ...
  • 4,301
19 votes
8 answers
3k views

How to transform a tragic hero into a villain? [closed]

First things first: let there be a tragic hero with some (yet undefined) personal characteristics. Let there also be a grim world, in which the stories take place (no fairies, knights in shining armor ...
  • 949
43 votes
14 answers
5k views

How do I create a great fantasy villain that inspires the party to rally against them?

In my early years of GMing it was simple enough to say that the badguys were evil and that was all the justification we needed. They are attacking the village because they are evil, they are stealing ...
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