Need help with villain.


Homebrew

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I'm working on my very first homebrew world, and I need help with the big villain. There are 2 major villains in the story - the first one is pretty simple. He wants the throne and will do anything to get it. It's the second one I'm having trouble with. I want him to be far more dangerous than the last guy, enough to be a world-ending threat, but I don't know how to do it. I'm better with making heroes.

What I need is a motive, mostly. Why does this guy want to destroy the world? What makes him a bigger threat than a simple tyrant?

If it helps, the first bad guy is human while the troublesome one is more like a Dragonborn.


One that I like is that the BBEG is trying to "cleanse" the world so it can be re-created in his/his patron god's/someone's image.


Hm, that could work pretty well. He could be a fanatical cleric.


World ending is always tough, I like the cleansing angle, that way it makes sense for them to use minions (and it makes sense for the minions to be loyal).
The nature of his powers could help too:
A power behind the throne type shadow, pulling the strings of nations and baiting his enemies into war with each other. An army of spies and assassins at his beck and call.
A megalomaniacal cult leader infused with the power of an eldritch God that seeks to return his master and dethrone the new Gods! His minions are fanatical, and warped, and very loyal.
A thrice shunned being of pity that has been cast out from his dragon home, out of his mortal home, and spit upon by the "Civilized" world, he and the down trodden ilk like him want revenge, and later, to form a society where everyone has an equal place in the world.
Druid, corrupted by darkness, seeks to corrupt the world of man into a new army to rid the world of anything not nature... the fact that they use unnatural forces to achieve this is lost on them.
Ignorant oaf that believes they are destined for greatness, but that (Cursed Intelligent item/Demon lord/Impling familiar/possessing spirit) is just using them to bring their own goals to fruition.
Enchanter, has gained a precarious position through very nefarious means, and now lying, cheating, and spellweaving are the only things keeping them from being undone (Socially, or physically). They need to do ever more terrible things to stay out of trouble.
The Lich (or nearly lich), using undead and cultists to get the macguffin to finally become immortal/all powerful/divine. They don't care who or what is destroyed in the pursuit of that one thing. And they have a narrow focus on achieving this impossible goal, not for what needs to occur after they get it (if they win, what would they do?).


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The following Wizard mini-guide (which was recommended here, and for a different purpose entirely) unintentionally(?) serves as a great insight into the evolution of a supervillain -- and possibly even the evolution of Nethys -- starting from a party animal, of all things:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


@GuardianLord
Those are some really nice options, thanks. The first bad guy is definitely the ignorant oaf type. I can combine the first two options for the second villain. There are 3 main kingdoms in this world.

@UnArcaneElection
I will take a look at those.


^Note that if you don't enforce Ignorant Oaf = Low Intelligence (use Low Wisdom/Charisma instead), your first villain could end up being the Wizard . . . .


Nah, he's totally a fallen Paladin. I just need to figure out how his abilities would work. Probably straight to anti-paladin.


Heather 540 wrote:
Nah, he's totally a fallen Paladin. I just need to figure out how his abilities would work. Probably straight to anti-paladin.

Former paladin turned fighter is still pretty scary, they keep all of their saves, and proficiencies. Maybe they are a former paladin of Shelyn, and took the crimes against fashion of the populace too literally....

They would be a basically unenchantable fighter even with low mental stats. And you could put them as a social (Fashion) icon, making facing them directly a less than optimal option for the party.

Plus anti-Paladin is tough to put into a party or organization, since anything even resembling cooperation is a fall.


Well, he's hiding the fact that he's fallen and since he's high-ranked, he doesn't actually go out into the field anymore. The story goes that he's the king's right-hand man and adviser, but grew increasingly jealous and hungry for power. He first thought that he could become the next king legally by marrying the princess, who's the only heir. But she basically kicked that plan in the nads and he doesn't handle rejection well. In comes the second baddie to corrupt him completely.


^That sort of complicates the plan of using the self-centered Wizard . . . but if the Wizard needs to corrupt the fallen Paladin further to achieve some other goal (say gaining access to some artifact in the royal treasury), then the Wizard will do this -- think of Lex Luthor wanting access to the Kryptonian ship in the recent DC movies, only Lex Luthor started out as more ethical than the Wizard in the mini-guides (until he went wacko).


That sounds pretty good. I could use that as a way to move the campaign through all 3 kingdoms. Each one has a piece of an ancient artifact that combine to form the key to break the seal on the evil god. And it would give the fallen paladin a reason to team-up with the wizard. "Help me and I will give the human throne to you."


Are you prepared to accept the end of your homebrew world if the group fails to stop the second villain?


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Yes. It's not like I couldn't ever play it again fresh. Plus, no matter how it comes out, it'll be great for writing novels.

Silver Crusade

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For some other options...

Powerful class, something that could easily wreck the PCs has given birth to the bringer of the end times. However being a mother means mother's instincts. She's going to fight tooth and claw to protect her child from any potential threats, and maybe she sees the PCS as a threat and will do anything and everything to keep her child alive, including some really nasty things to the PCs.

She should be killable of course.

One more thing...

Make it REALLY REALLY REALLY hard for the PCs to find out just what this child is, since the mother destroyed all records of the prophecy. A nice super-long term goal, giving the PCs lots of downtime. Once the PCs have gotten attached to the little tyke, have it kidnapped by the cult who wants to bring about the end times.

Once again the cultists should be easy to deal with, but by the time the PCS get to rescuing the kid they find out that its full potential has been unleashed. However the child is still a child, and the same child they always were (total sweetie preferably). They're just being possessed by the entity, and are scared out of their poor minds and would be crying for their parents while their body is being used to start the end of the world.

This plot won't work with murderhobo PCS


Interesting scenario.


I found a race for my troublesome second villain - dragonkin. It's 3rd party, but since it's a homebrewed game, that's no problem. It fits really well and I won't have to try to figure out how to make a new race that's balanced.


Heather 540 wrote:
That sounds pretty good. I could use that as a way to move the campaign through all 3 kingdoms. Each one has a piece of an ancient artifact that combine to form the key to break the seal on the evil god. And it would give the fallen paladin a reason to team-up with the wizard. "Help me and I will give the human throne to you."

I might suggest, if you want a longer campaign, its not a macguffin that needs to be assembled from hidden pieces, but pieces of a key (or keys) need to be assembled to breach the ritual chamber and wreck the ceremony. That way you can have quests gathering the components unique to each kingdom, find and convince the craftsman (or woman, or monster, or monstrous good being) to combine the pieces, and get out with it alive after the thing is done being made (While one of the baddies throws out minions/bad mouths the party forcing them to prove themselves/sabotages the ingredients/burns libraries with the necessary lists forcing them to assemble books or track down the one old timer who still knows/steals things/steals things and blames the party/ingredients are in dangerous or negotiated access only areas/suspiciously easy to get (Fake/trap/goodwill/lucky PC race choice/Good RP rewards/skilled Diplomancy/backstory rewards)/trick an evil guardian into revealing the treasure/sticking the ingredient inside a (1 per party member) valuable (to the party) piece of equipment forcing a tough choice for at least 1 of them.

I find this more logical than the big bad thing is split into 3 pieces... then why not 3 more each... then why not 3 more again... etc.


I see. I will certainly keep that in mind.


Heather 540 wrote:
I found a race for my troublesome second villain - dragonkin. It's 3rd party, but since it's a homebrewed game, that's no problem. It fits really well and I won't have to try to figure out how to make a new race that's balanced.

should run the half dragon template instead, also make him gestalt oracle/something else for the 2nd villain


Where would I find the template? I was thinking cleric/oracle. Does gestalt just mean multiclass?


half dragon template and gestalt, gestalt is sumilar to multiclass but when ever they gain a level they actually gain a level in 2 classes so a level 15 character would be for example a fighter 15/wizard 15 if they are gestalted


I see, thanks. That's pretty cool. I think I'll make a few gestalts for fun later.

I'm a little unclear about the skill points for the half-dragon template. Would I just not use the skill points from class?


Heather 540 wrote:

I see, thanks. That's pretty cool. I think I'll make a few gestalts for fun later.

I'm a little unclear about the skill points for the half-dragon template. Would I just not use the skill points from class?

the skill points on the template are only referencing racial hit die if the npc in question doesn't have any racial hit die ignore that portion of the template


Got it, thanks. I'll take a closer look at the template and the dragonkin and compare them. Maybe I could figure out a way to use both. Not for the same character of course. Various NPCs. Like an ethnic group within the race - ones that can fly and breath fire or acid or the like, and a landbound group.


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The trouble with the alignment system being so black and white is that it really suggests that all villains are necessarily evil, but remember that in the "real" world things are rarely that simple. The old idea that the victors write history makes villains out of losers, no matter what their alignment is.

How about this as a 180 degree different idea from those above? What if there were a Lawful Good being and thought they had discovered a way to completely destroy evil in the world, wouldn't it be worth doing anything to make that happen? In this senario, your paladin no longer needs to be fallen and now you have all the good aligned outsiders and other creature that might align with them as potential opponents/enemies of your PC's. Maybe your dragonkin has a base of gold or silver?

There would be huge roll play options here. What if the paladin is right? Will the ends actually justify the means? How big a sacrifice will your players be okay with? What if your secondary "villain" starts as your PC's patron or ally? How long does it take them to discover the ends that their patron will go to for the greater "good"? How would they deal with things if they find evidence that the paladin is "definitely wrong"? How might they deal with the doubt that their knowledge is more reliable than the paladin's?

If the paladin's plan really will destroy all evil, or evil thinks he's right, you will have evil beings that discover the plan trying to stop them. This could lead to some interesting situations in which good aligned PC's ally with, or are aided by evil beings to stop the paladin.

Okay, I'm starting to ramble a bit, but I think I've made my point. How far from the stereotype of "villain" would you be interested in going? Then again, there's nothing wrong with obvious white and black hats and it really being that "simple".


Those are very good points, and I have used them in writing short stories, but as this is my first homebrew world, I would like to keep it simple to start off with.


Got some stats worked out for a possible cleric. 25 point buy, racial bonuses +2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Cha. Level 13 with one boost in Dex and two in Wis.

9 Str, 14 Dex, 14 Con, 12 Int, 19 Wis, 14 Cha

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BBEG don't get point buys, they get whatever ability scores you want them to have! :-D


^I vaguely remember seeing a stat block for Karzoug that both explicitly stated a point buy (or something like a point buy) plus the effect of multiple wishes to increase his ability scores.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

We played through a 5th Edition conversion of RotRL. The DM said he cut some of the grind out of the later chapters, so we were 13th level when we fought Big K. We're now doing a homebrew follow up to RotRL to get us to 20th level. It's our first big 5th Edition campaign, so we're still checking out how it works at higher levels. It's weird, because I keep expecting to be blown away by 7+ level spells, but what's usually better is casting a lower level spell in a higher level spell slot, like an 8th level spiritual guardians doing 8d8 damage each round for 10 minutes!

What are PF's stats for Big K like?


You think I could increase them farther?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

For a level 13 cleric BBEG? Definitely! Bump up Str, Con, Wis, and Cha. If you need to justify it to yourself, just assume s/he got some divine boons or whatever. Or s/he is the Chosen One. Or maybe s/he has the Advanced Template. Make the BBEG powerful enough to be a fun challenge for the PCs. Want to maximize fun? Maximize the BBEG's hit points! If that proves too tough for your players for some reason, drop the max behind the scenes to average or whatever is ideal for your game.


Honestly, set your Cleric stats at the start, loosely, then send minions against the party. The minions will help you refine future foes, save DC's, spell selection, and even equipment and templates. The BBEG should show up near the final act at the final act levels. So you should have plenty of time to refine them. The mBBEG (mini Big Bad Evil Guy) should be the one they see sooner.

If they are part of an evil cult, it would stand that lesser clerics would fill the ranks. Send these as minor lieutenants to test things out. If you find the party is particularly vulnerable to certain things you can temper them, or the party can shore up these weaknesses (And it gives them a preview of the BBEG).
Just keep the LT's under the same domains, with significantly lower scores. Clerics btw are best with someone to buff, Former-Paladin turned fighter flanked by Knights (Cavaliers), and a team of trained archers (Fighter archetype), and backed by the Cleric and his LT is one lower planes of a final fight.


Understood. I will work on them.


well if your still planning the bbeg to be a cleric oracle gestalt i would recommend a 16,14,16,12,18,18 base before racials and make sure narrativly you build them up as one tough mother trucker


I see. Well, with the race I'm planning on, it'll drop his Dex down to 12. Think that would still work?


For the villian, the mini BBEG, should I go with a fallen paladin that doesn't have any class features and gestalt him with a fighter? Or just make a straight up Antipaladin?


Heather 540 wrote:
I see. Well, with the race I'm planning on, it'll drop his Dex down to 12. Think that would still work?

shouldnt be a problem, just put a breast plate or full plate on them and they will be fine

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I would go with anti-paladin, if only because they have special features, which are usually more interesting than "just" bonus feats. Unless you have a spectacular build for the fighter. And by spectacular, I mean fun to fight. Not just optimized to fight, but with a fun gimmick or trick that is fun to attacked with. Ideally, your PCs will get a kick out of fighting the BBEG and other NPCs, often using tactics they usually don't get to use. They might get to use back up weapons, a spare wand, combat maneuvers, grappling, Aid Another, counterspelling, a neat one-use magic item they've been keeping stuffed in their pockets for an emergency, or some other class feature they never get to use.


Got it. I'll get started on that. I think I'll set this guy at level 8. 5 levels between him and the evil cleric should be enough. At least as a first start, I can always adjust later.


Ok, here's the stats for the antipaladin. Human bonus into Str, level bonuses into Con and Cha.

18 Str, 10 Dex, 14 Con, 14 Int, 10 Wis, 16 Cha.

I think I'm going to use the god Rovagug for my cleric and antipaladin. The info on him are almost exactly what I have in mind for my own god. I'll change the name and stuff for my world, but the domains and stuff will stay the same.

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Look for ways to use the various auras. They're pretty evil de-buffs. Any way to bump the anti-paladin to 9th level to get access to a 9th level cruelty (and additional feat and 1st level spell and second daily use of Fiendish Boon)?

Any ideas what your PCs will be? What point buy or rolling method are you using?


I can bump him to level 9, no problem. I'll just push the cleric up to 14 to keep the gap.

I'll use a 20 point buy for PCs and let them use any race in Paizo or the dragonkin. As well as most classes.


are you using point buy for the anti paladin?


Yes. 25 points since he's an NPC and needs to be a challenge.


SmiloDan wrote:

We played through a 5th Edition conversion of RotRL. The DM said he cut some of the grind out of the later chapters, so we were 13th level when we fought Big K. We're now doing a homebrew follow up to RotRL to get us to 20th level. It's our first big 5th Edition campaign, so we're still checking out how it works at higher levels. It's weird, because I keep expecting to be blown away by 7+ level spells, but what's usually better is casting a lower level spell in a higher level spell slot, like an 8th level spiritual guardians doing 8d8 damage each round for 10 minutes!

What are PF's stats for Big K like?

I don't remember exactly, but they had a lot of high numbers (along with the explanation that I noted before about how he got them), including the physical stats -- if he got stuck in an Antimagic Field, he'd still be dangerous.


Heather 540 wrote:
Yes. 25 points since he's an NPC and needs to be a challenge.

would recomend dropping int down a bit to bump wis and dex both to 12

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

UnArcaneElection wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

We played through a 5th Edition conversion of RotRL. The DM said he cut some of the grind out of the later chapters, so we were 13th level when we fought Big K. We're now doing a homebrew follow up to RotRL to get us to 20th level. It's our first big 5th Edition campaign, so we're still checking out how it works at higher levels. It's weird, because I keep expecting to be blown away by 7+ level spells, but what's usually better is casting a lower level spell in a higher level spell slot, like an 8th level spiritual guardians doing 8d8 damage each round for 10 minutes!

What are PF's stats for Big K like?

I don't remember exactly, but they had a lot of high numbers (along with the explanation that I noted before about how he got them), including the physical stats -- if he got stuck in an Antimagic Field, he'd still be dangerous.

I found him on the interwebs and

spoiler:
he's not a lich!!!

Ok, I was looking through the traits and picked some out. I included some region traits even though it'll be my own world. Though there is a religion trait that does the same thing as Bellis Axe Master.

For Antipaladin
Combat Traits:
Armor Expert: Reduce AMP by 1
Bloody-Minded: +1 Initiative and Intimidate
Defender of the Society (If gestalt with Fighter): +1 AC with Medium or Heavy armor
Indelible Ire: +1 attack for one round after crit is confirmed against you
Killer: Add weapon’s crit mod as extra damage to a critical hit. Trait bonus, not multiplied.

Faith:
Anatomist: +1 to confirm crit.
Called: Once a day, can reroll a natural one on an attack.

Race:
Brute: Add weapon’s crit mod as extra damage to a critical threat. Trait bonus, not multiplied if crit is confirmed. Requires Adopted trait.
Ruthless: +1 to confirm crit. Requires Adopted.
Weapon Training: +1 damage when using greataxe

Region:
Bellis Axe Master: +2 to confirm crit with axes.

XXXXXXXXX

For Cleric:
Faith:
Anatomist: +1 attack to confirm crit.
Beacon of Faith: Once a day, free action, can treat CL as 2 higher when using domain power or domain spell.
Called: Once a day, can reroll a natural one on an attack.
Exalted of the Society: can channel energy one extra time
Sacred Conduit: +1 to save DC of your channeled energy
Vile Domain: +1 to CL to spells under evil domain

Magic:
Arcane Temper: +1 trait bonus to concentration and initiative checks
Desperate Focus: +2 to concentration
Domineering: +1 to the DC of one 1st level enchantment spell you can cast
Magical Lineage: Choose one spell you cast. When applying a metamagic feat that would add at least one level to the spell, treat it as one level lower to determine final level adjustment.
Volatile Conduit: +1d4 damage when casting a spell that deals energy damage – acid, cold, electricity, or fire.

Region:
Born Under the Green Star: +1 CL for mind-affecting spells or SLA.
Kwanlai Believer: +2 to concentration checks for divine spells
Precocious Spellcaster: Choose a 0-level and 1-level spell. Those spells are cast at +1 CL.
Wayang Spellhunter: Choose spell 3rd level or less. When using this spell with a metamagic feat, it uses one lower spell slot than normal.

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