Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by DarthArraKul, Aug 19, 2003.
I often find the best villains are not always the guys at the top of the food chain on the opposing side. Rather guys who are out there and PCs meet from time to time, who shows up just to tweak their noses.
In an AD&D 2E game set in Fantasy Hero's Western Shores, our DM came up with SO many awesome villains of all different classes for us to deal with. Some are dead, some are not. We ran up against a high level band of Loviatar worshipers led by Santiago, a 14th level Fighter/14th level priest - that was serious bad news. Though we survived the encounter, he and his group captured one PC and one NPC, plus made off with some choice magic items. Our first encounter with him was when we tried to ambush him- 24 dice in fireballs and he is unscathed, (protection from heat). It went down hill from there.
Three demons from the same capaign known as Ravers. Each is a possessing spirit and rountinely have taken over the bodies of people we have known. This scummy 10th level thief named Jack was possessed by one of them, who had been following us, back stabs my friends elven Fighter/Mage. That loud thumping sound he heard was his hit points dropping below zero. Fortunately, those good old rings of regeneration prevented it from being permanent. Pax, our resident martial artist bard, then arrived and laid the smack down on Jack.
The cult of worms was a nice bunch of mid-high level bards, priests and mages- some of whom were vampires. They were into most of the really unpleasant aspects of undead worship. They were hiding out in an abandoned castle that we had to clean out. We don't do dungeon crawls often in this game, but this was fun. It was a good meaty fight with lots of chances for PCs to strut their stuff, lots of magic fire exchanged, good sword fights and my PC got a castle out of it.
An arch enchantress named Valdez, who was a buddy of Santiago's little sadomascochist band of pain worshipers. She had nailed a couple of the PCs with charms and was about to make them do some stupid things when we revealed to this town magistrate, who happened to be a high level theif, that she had a fair amount of incrimonating documents on him. He took care of her us when he stole into her bedroom and knifed her in the back.
Zephrym XXIII (also his level, or so the DM says), bad ass Emperor of Daria. We've only seen him from a distance and we know he has a helm of brilliances and some other seriously bad ass magic items and the single toughest fighter in the Western Shores. (we worked it out, my PC Swashbuckler Sendra is 5th, her father is 3rd).
Malekith Hellbringer- CE arche mage and Demogorgon worshiper in the free city of Wyrcliffe. Has recently become immortal for 13 years after completing a ritual. Seeks a sword known as the 13th, which we have (or had, have recently ditched it somewhere), and so wants our asses.
Samadar- Sapphire Dragon, or so we believe, and ruler of Megiers. Not a nice guy.
There have been more, three hag sisters who had captured a paladin NPC friend of ours, turned his gryffon mount into a canary and were going to heat a brown elf child that the paladin had rescued.
Gorgalunga (Gorgonzola as we called her) another hag that was trying to spawn an unholy child through a village woman and had a staff which had a pixie trapped with it in and enabled her to use the faerie's powers. She set a dozen trolls on us outside an abandoned temple of Lathander - nailed us from surprise, that was a tough fight.
There have been countless more, and that's just from one campaign.
What makes a good RPG villain anyway, beyond the GM? My feeling is that the ideal villain is one that the heroes never actually have to fight. Plus, I think it's better if they're not force users. Evil wizards, IMHO, are boring and just lead to a final confrontation where good defeats evil and everything is all perfect and everything. If it's a normal person, then he naturally plays it carefully against force users. Plus, when they finally defeat such a smart villain, their confidence is shaken irreparably because they almost lost without a shot being fired.
And of course, the ideal villain is the one that could actually win. That's what I liked about Thrawn and that's what I like about the Yuuzhan Vong. I don't think sci-fi has enough villains like that. Rephrase: I don't think sci-fi has enough people willing to create villains like that. And RPGs don't have enough players willing to go against villains like that.
anyone have any new villians?
or even some ideas???
DexRicon has a point about common enemies. I can appreciate an enemy who likes his agenda's machinations of a more Machiovalian persuasion. With Palpy we were seeing the tip of the iceberg. Some one who plays out the role of henchman or billy badass is one thing but being the prime mover by minipulation is down right insidious. If you GMs out there could appreciate the intrigues of political science being applied by the likes of senator Palpatine, the backroom deals, the dark alliances and the playing both ends against the middle so as to bring about a New Galactic Order...why you'd have an incredeble campaign on your hands and you'd get a feel for the way things are really done in the world of political manipulation (Machiovalian Politics). Believe me when I say this Universe can be very educating for its RPG players. Because your most trusted leaders can be your most deadly enemies.
Thesis...Anti-thesis...Synthesis...yes an all too human and trust worthy enemy could be just what everybody needs. (heh, heh)
Y'know, you just made me have a brainstorm!
I wonder if you could adapt what is happening in America today; the War in Iraq, links with the Bush family and known terrorist groups around the world, the weapons, oil, and pharmacutical companies that are benifiting from the war; all into a Star Wars campaign?
It would be an awesome concept, the political intrigue, not to mention the conspiracy angles.
What do you think?
i love to pull ideas form the news
GMs after my own heart.
Yo, Morondude: You mentioned using todays political intrigues in a Star Wars campaign. First of all, it would be a good idea to come up with some decidedly dark or vieled organizations. Force users had their Sith/Night Sisters. An example in today's real world is the Skull & Bones Society, a recruitment organization of the modern day Thule Society (The Dead Heads). With our current United Nations parralleling the Galactic Alliance, you could come up with some interesting shadowy organizations in the Star Wars Universe, that have their own recruitment organizations, which are bound and determined to infiltrate said Galactic Alliance. At the conclusion of the NJO series, the biggest players of the Galaxy were the Bothans and to a lesser extent the Corperate Sector, Hapiens, Chiss, Ssi Ruu and for that matter the Imperial Remnent. What group with a questionable past (ala Imperial Era) would be most motivated to take advantage of the new situation such as it is, but the Corperate Sector? (They were all but ignored, to the best of my knowledge, by the Yuzhan Vong.) Instead of them being obvious about it, they could infiltrate different organizations they deem useful to their purposes and flip their agenda motives to Corp Sec's. They could create unrest similar to what led to the creation of the Seperatists Alliance, a kind of Star Warsian version of the Communist Party in order to create a drain on the resources of the Galactic Alliance along with a doctrine that the non-humans could sink their teeth into. Then of course there is the head honcho running the show from the background,out of the lime light. Said person would have to be involved with just about every secret society your fertile mind could imagine for the Star Wars Universe. On the side of good would be the Ryn, Former members of the Smuggler's Alliance, the Bothans and of course the Jedi. If there was ever a time for this New Bad guy/gal to set up shop, a post war period would be it. (Vicky Sesh jumped the gun because she lacked vision for the big picture. She thought she could share the Galaxy with Shimra. Pathetic.) The time when everyone is thinking the danger is finally over is the time when its at your door. One more thing, He/She will have to have a very big "war chest" in order to gather around him/herself the necessary "loyal" personel to do his/her bidding. For this I would recommend very old money or at least some form of comodities that everyone at this time is willing to pay top credit for. The Bavarian Illuminotti had its Sparticus, so would this Star Wars created organization. Say guys anyone want to turn this into a project or am I just wasting my time here? Thoughts...comments?
That sounds like a pretty sweet idea for a campaign. Maybe some kind of cartel running a commodity to fund their operations (say, bacta) and some missions would involve taking down the cartel to cut off funding...
Hmmmm. It seems to me they have had a novel about some kind of Bacta War. Is that correct? If that's already been done we may have to find another commodity, but Bacta is a very essential commodity none the less. There is again the possible "Old Money" war chest approach. Thrawn got his by raiding old Imperial treasure caches. There is the good old fashion credit and debt economic system, of taking over the Galactic economy star by star, much the same way today's International Bankers are currently doing. Remember this is a quiet war with silent weapons. For those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about you might pick up a copy of a book titled "Behold A Pale Horse", by Milner William Cooper. Read the chapter titled 'Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars', or something along that line. Also remember a cartel needs more cover. A good approach would be to have a circle within a circle, within a circle, within another circle, etc... In general you'd have a tier system in which only one person would know of the next tier up. Also a carefully placed buffer system would be worked out, to prevent plants from competing organizations, from working their way into the Secret Society. More later.
Also I know it's corny, but superweapons can be innovative as well. I took an off-hand idea from one of my all-time favorite books and turned it into a badass new superweapon. Picture a battleship (ie Super Star Destroyer) equipped the usual defenses, but with an added twist, it's tractor beams have been removed and a single "souped-up" tractor beam is put in their place. said tractor beam is able to reflect a planet's gravity fields against itself or siphon it to the ship, allowing the beam to crush the landscape or even tear it from the planet. Innovative, no?
I haven't done much RP, but I use a lot of sourcebook material to come up with my fanfic characters and have crossed some of them over to RP.
My first villian was Alion Sangre, a Dark Jedi/bounty hunter operating from 18 months after Endor until the NJO era. After kicking around a few details, I developed his backstory as a former Rebel fighter pilot who went berserk at Endor after his flight was annihilated and plowed into the hangar of an ISD. Somehow - either it was the fact that he already had a few nice, durable replacement parts or it was the Force at work - he survived. Barely.
After the battle, Sangre was discovered and underwent extensive treatment and cybernetic reconstuction under the supervision of Imperial Inquisitor Rielle, who after his recovery named him her apprentice and personal assassin. Sangre, suffering from amnesia possibly relating to having a large portion of his brains blown out, forgot his previous life and served Rielle for about a year, killing her rivals for power within the Empire. However, on one mission to his homeworld of Chad III he came across evidence of an event from his past - the Imperial massacre of his family that threw him into the Rebellion a year after Yavin. Rielle had ordered the raid because she had discovered the family's ties to the Jedi Order. This revelation brought back his memories of his days as a Rebel as well.
Needless to say, Sangre was not pleased. He confronted his master in a duel that resulted in the destruction of his lightsaber and the loss of his cybernetic arm. Before Rielle could kill him, Sangre managed to get a Force grip on the lightsaber in her trophy case - her master's, who she betrayed in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. Sangre struck, decapitating Rielle. Setting fire to her chambers as a diversion, Sangre fled, sabotaging her Star Destroyer's reactor and stealing Rielle's personal escort shuttle.
After escaping, Sangre discovered that Rielle's mentor, the Jedi Master Lissa Ilvia, had taken up spiritual residence in her saber after her death. Before long, the dead Jedi made her presence known, trying subtly to shift Sangre back to the path of the light side. While not fully effective, she did serve to curb his darker impulses. Sangre's first objective after getting a new cybernetic arm was to acquire additional weapons. For this, he raided the Plavin VI lab of Dr. Nashiak Llalik and stole his Sunder 9 powersuits, development prototypes for the Empire's spacetrooper armor. Sangre then went into service as a bounty hunter, where he soon came to the attention of Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith and her minion Lt. Colonel Heolstor.
While the Dark Lady of the Sith and her future apprentice provided a steady source of work for Sangre over the years, Sangre also worked for other clients, including the New Republic on occasion. Sangre tangled with NRI and Security Force agents, as well as Jedi Knights, several times. Most notable of these were his eliminations of Empire Reborn backers and students - many of the latter teenagers and preteens - following the death of Hethrir and his assassination of two New Republic senators seventeen years after Endor. His most notable accomplishment, though, was seven years after Endor. Under contract from Heolstor - now Darth Cain, Sith apprentice to Lumiya - Sangre exterminated all remaining members of the Inquisitorius.
The influence of Master Ilvia left Sangre near the conclusion of the Empire Reborn mission, when her lightsaber was destroyed. Sangre already had another saber, built to be fitted to his armor gauntlet. Shortly thereafter, he encountered his resurrected cousin Callista during a job. The former Jedi took over Ilvia's role as Sangre's conscience.
Sangre ended up abandoning his bounty hunter career after the Battle of Ithor to wage a freelance war of vengeance on the Peace Brigade and the Yuuzhan Vong. More than once, Brigade corpses would turn up in the streets of a spaceport, dead of bizarre means (I've been toying with incorporating elements of Tim Dorsey's od
About the current political issue idea, I was thinking more like a planetary goverment with aspirations to take over other planets for resources and political power. They intend on doing this by exaggerating possible criminal or terrorist ties and presenting false evidence that the "rogue" planets are stockpiling weapons or even building a superweapon.
The heroes will start with good intentions working for the (US-style) goverment. But things start not adding up, and they realize that the conspiracy is their government, not the one's their fighting.
MoronDude, that sounds like a good idea. As a hook you could have a terrorist organization that's being funded by the "benevolent governmet" right under everybody's nose. Then when the heroes come across the incriminating evidence, they can go through their reality check routine. After that you can even have them check back with their contact. He/she can be either involved with the plot or an unwitting dupe. With the plot firmly established your heroes can start finding themselves the targets from both sides. By then it would be a good idea to get your heroes in contact with some group who's on the outs with either side. How's about a good old fashion criminal organization like the Smuggler's Alliance or perhaps a Ryn agent. If you're running a NJO era campaign, post Yuzhan Vong invasion, you could even take advantage of the Vong's Uglith Masquer and have renegade Vong agents at the very heart of it all. Sound good?
sounds very good... needs a lot of flushing out, but would be mighty entertaining.
Well then, I'll leave the fleshing/flushing out portion to your fertile imagination.
Hello! Probably the yuuzhan vong in the NJO time period. They just don't seem to die easily!!! Anyone have info on how to kill them? Please!
In my last Star Wars campaign I imported Scorpius from Farscape as an Imperial Bio Engineer. Instead of being obsessed with creating a wormhole, he was obsessed with creating a force sensitive lifeform. (I ignnored the whole midi-clorial thing which my group thought was lame). As it turned out one of the PCs was one of his failed experiments. He captured her about midway through the campaign and submitted her to the Aurora chair (A torture device that reads minds) and found out the location to the rebel base and all sorts of other info.
Towards the end of the campaign he teamed up with High Inquisitor Tremayne to hunt the PCs since several of them were jedi. Unfortunately the campaign ended before we could determine the final outcome of the Scorpius storyline. I had a plan for him to try and take as many PCs as possible with him when he finally got what was coming to him.
so any new baddies out there???? something new and evil perhaps?
My campaign, is RoE. The players figured that Sidious would be their adversary...but...
I made everything point toward a small time Hutt crime boss. After their first few adventures, they will follow his trail to:
THE SITH LORD!
Yeah, there's the rule of two. But this guy has learned enough about the Sith to train his own minions. Sidious has a vague impression of him, but nospecific locaction.
As for the rule of two: My Sith Lord says, "screw it. Its an ancient tradition that should have no meaning now. I can control the Sith"
He trains Sith. My campaign is nowhere near this point, but I eventually they will be runnin into Sidious's hunters and my Dark Lord's
I've been putting the party up against a dedicated and talented officer and tactician, as well as bureaucrat. He violates regulations and orders when necessary. His troops respect him, his officers admire him, and his technicians don't gripe about him. He came from a wealthy family, and as the second scion, was sent into the imperial military. After getting out of the academy and earning a second promotion, he hired some servants, including a chef and a musician. (Note: hired, not bullied or enslaved).
Unfortunately, Corsec has doubts about his loyalty, and has modified the protocol droid issued to him to act as a spy as well as a butler.
Last time they ran into him, he was in charge of a small supply depot/garrison being set up on a remote planet and the party was assigned to raid it for supplies (see Adventure Ideas Go Here thread). After the party took out some of the scout troopers out on patrol, all of the technicians were issued blasters (it wasn't like the garrison had a shortage!).
Since the desaster at the depo, this officer has been returned to his previous post on the ISD Mauler, but will no doubt be reassigned as soon as the captain of the Mauler can find some place to off-load him.
Doubt. Doubt is my new best friend as a GM. A great thing happened when I realized, why should Dooku only have trained one Jedi? So when my players met him (in a setting halfway between eps 1 & 2), they were absolutely shocked and terrified to hear that their master was trained by him! Now, after he (the master), critized both heavily for giving into hate on one occasion, they think he may really be luring them to the darkside. They also hate that the groups soldier seems to be getting along better with most Jedi than they do (older Jedi anyway, Kenobi can't really stand him). It's almost as if they think the whole council is against them. They are distrustful, and very frustrated. The dark side is calling to them in subtle ways, even if the players don't realize it. Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design!
good.. gooood.. use your agressive feelings
I totally agree with you man. He just has no soul wut so ever.