Veddic, Master of the Codex


Round 2: Create a villain concept

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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Veddic, Master of the Codex

9th level mage, 7th level rogue and sage of unknown level.

The race and origin of Veddic remains unknown. One tale suggests Veddic is a half-elf born over 1,000 years ago in Katheer. A second tale suggests he is the first child born after the founding of Hermea. The tale concludes with Veddic being the first cast out of Hermea over 130 years ago. It is also unknown as to when or how Veddic came into possession of his magical body.

Veddic currently resides in a six-foot tall muscular body sculpted from polished black marble. From certain angles he has the features of a bearded Keleshite or Azlanti human male. When overseeing Codex business, Veddic dons a black leather tunic and large red cloak. In repose though, studying his beloved tomes and scrolls, he wears a simple red tunic. Veddic never carries a weapon, but he is also never without his guards.

Veddic’s body has one drawback; it requires a monthly infusion of liquid made from a mixture of sun orchid elixir, giant blood and amber. Those looking to slay him have destroyed several of his bodies over the centuries. Fortunately his guards have always managed to escape with Veddic’s head, where his spirit resides.

Motivations:

Veddic is an intellectual genius with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but his personal beliefs are in complete opposition to those of Mengkare and Hermea. He seeks only to promote conflict and warfare. Manipulation is the key to Veddic’s success. He will aid almost anyone who seeks him out in exchange for a personal favor to him.

Veddic heads a shadowy organization called the Codex, with agents spread across Golarion. Their one goal is to promote conflict and warfare. Veddic’s main income comes from supplying arms, magic and mercenaries to any conflict.

Adventure Hooks:

1. The party first encounters Veddic when a member of the Codex hires them to retrieve a magic item from the ruins of a temple or fortress. The agent offers a handsome sum for them to retrieve it. The item will come into play in a later encounter.

2. Veddic trades the magic item the party retrieved for him to a maniacal warrior or mage looking to overthrow a small kingdom. Unfortunately the kingdom is the homeland of one of the PC’s in the party.

3. Veddic despises demons and devils. That hatred has brought the Codex into a shadow war with agents of Cheliax, Isger and Nidal.

4. The party comes under a curse. Unfortunately all signs point to Veddic as the only one with the knowledge of how to break the curse. Of course for giving them that knowledge all Veddic asks in return is a personal favor.

5. In Veddic’s library is a scroll penned by Aroden, which foretells the death of Veddic. It’s existence and location is known by two of Veddic’s closest aids and one of his enemies. The scroll also mentions Mengkare’s passing at that time as well.

Contributor

Initial Impression: A background “prime mover” villain, head of a semi-secret society.

Concept: The “bringer-of-war” fomenter of conflict and arms supplier to all concerned with war.

Execution: Except for a minor grammar glitch (“It’s” in the fifth adventure hook), the writing is adequate as prose, but there are big design gaps here. On a physical level, the DM needs to know the properties of Veddic’s apparently-supple, mobile black marble body (i.e. what will happen to it when struck by weapons or types of magic), and even how a replacement one is made (being as that’s raised as a past necessity in the writeup). I say “apparently” because the slim possibility still exists, based just on what I read here, that Veddic is a working brain (and talking head) mated to an immobile marble body (the donning of clothes and turning of pages could be done by assistants). On a psychological level, there’s an inherent opposition between study and learning and valuing the collected writings of others and seeking “only to promote conflict and warfare,” which tend to kill scholars, prevent study, and destroy written works. To explain this away, so as to run this NPC as a DM, I need to know Veddic’s thinking and character better (for one thing, so I have the faintest idea of how to roleplay him, when face to face with PCs). And finally, the first paragraph of the entry is fine for general knowledge, but the DM needs to know the truth about Veddic’s origins or at least what HE believes them to be (and bases his world-view on). That’s GOT to be in this entry.

Tilt: I am a fan of arms-dealers as villains, but I’m not a fan of quasi-religious or “I merely divine and follow fate” villains. Which means I’ll buy the latter approach and tone when used as a cover by a pragmatic arms-dealer (it will make me, yes, loathe that villain), but I need to be told it’s a cover, and feel I know what makes Veddic tick. Here, I feel I only know that Veddic IS a tick. I need more about the infusion his body needs (a vital weakness) and the identities and loyalties and capabilities of these guards who’ve rescued him in the past. They know how to build/make a new body for him, yes? Or no? They know where to get the ingredients for this infusion, or even that Veddic needs it, yes? Or no? Gimme some answers here!

Overall: An intriguing foe who awakens my interest, but about whom I lack enough critical design information to use in a campaign, except as a name (so I’ve got a secret society doing things [almost all things that promote conflict] in the name of Veddic . . . and that’s about all). I need more. I need to really see who Veddic is. SHOW me examples of how he’s such a genius, don’t just tell me he is one. (I can tell you I’m really an incredibly beautiful dancing girl, hiding inside the body of a bearded, overweight middle-aged gaming guy, but I wouldn’t expect you to believe that unless I could produce some evidence.) So I got interested . . . and then was left hanging.

Recommendation: sorry, not recommended for advancement.

Contributor

There's a lot of "what" here but not enough "how" or "why" for me to treat him as a real person.

He has a magical stone body. Why?
He is a sage of "unknown level." Why? Why does he have to be a mage and rogue and a sage? Why would you put "unknown" in that stat section when you know the CR limit is 20 and therefore he can't have more than a handful of class levels before breaking that CR 20 limit?
His spirit lives in his head. How does he get a new body? Why doesn't he make and sell bodies for other people?
He promotes conflict and warfare. Why? We don't know his motivation at all.
He hates demons and devils. Why?

Too many questions that I'd have to answer if I wanted to use this character. If you're creating a villain for me to use in my campaign, give me the tools I need to bring him to life.

Rec: do not advance.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I guess that unknown sage level better be less than about 6 or so or this guy violates the design restrictions of the contest.

I'm reluctantly doing a full review. See below.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Initial Impression: Master of the Codex is a cool name, but I am irked by the lack of specificity of the class levels. That was a design restriction of the contest and I think you violated it. That is for the voters to decide. But not the right way to start things off. Oh, now that I know the Codex isn’t a book, it is less cool.

Word Count: 499.

Concept (name, title, is it actually a villain?, overall design choices, playability): C
The Good: This is a fantasy villain alright. The Sherriff of Nottingham this is not.
The Bad: I think what you are trying to do with this “unknown level” and vague history is build an “aura of mystery” about your submission. But this stuff is for the DM’s eyes. This isn’t for a gazetteer that the players might read. So tell your secrets. The way you’ve done it, it just looks like sloppy design. The better way is to stat it out and then say that to those who have heard his accursed name, his true powers are a mystery. That would accomplish the same thing.
As for the rest of this, there are some other questionable design decisions. A stone body? Infusions? His spirit is in his head? Wasn’t it clear that we weren’t rewarding gonzo this year? This just seems over the top to me.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, quality of mandatory content-physical description, motivation/goal, scheme/plot, presence of any disqualification criteria): C
The Good: Causes conflict, that is good. Flexible, in that the DM can inject him into any conflict that already exists in the campaign world. Something going on? This guy is funding it or involved in it. That gives considerable latitude to the DM, which is good.
The Bad: Seems to lack any real motives or desires. Causing conflict is just not good enough. He has been motivated to be alive for perhaps a thousand years? What does he want? Why did he get a stone body? What is he doing? There has to be more to it than just fueling conflict. What does he get out of that? I have no idea what makes this guy tick. Let’s say the PCs get involved and someone asks me “what is this guy’s next move”? My answer is that I have no clue. Plus, the lack of detail on key issues—levels, the body, the infusions, his history, etc., are all holes that should have at least been answered in passing. I don’t like the “veiled in mystery” angle. Hey, if you don’t know (which is what it feels like) or if you don’t tell me (which at the very least is what you are doing), then I don’t know. And me knowing is the point.

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor and setting): C
Didn’t grab me. I thought it was gonzo for gonzo’s sake.

Overall: C
A weird villain with some real holes in the submission that may also be over the level design restriction.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this villain submission for advancement.

From the author of Cirroc’s marvelous crossing. I wish you luck and hope the voters see it differently than I did!

The Exchange Kobold Press

I think there's a couple of really great premises here, such as the arms dealer, the magic head/body split that allows for frequent defeats and returns, as required by any self-respecting arch-villain.

But the writing undercuts them. It's not just a design problem. There's vagueness about level and mechanics, but also about motive and description. The text isn't that tight, honestly, and leaves me a bit bored with what could be an amazing premise.

This is why I say that "Ideas are mostly worthless, execution is everything". The language doesn't live up to the level of your core idea, and that sinks this entry without a trace.

As a superstar, you need to be able to turn a phrase backward, forwards, and extradimensionally. Not seeing it.

Recommendation: Not recommended.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

The "sage of unknown level" annoys me muchly. And how does the magical body work, exactly?

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

When I saw Veddic, I immediately thought....Vedic. Like Vedic Brahmanism. I was interested but worried.

CR20 villain? His marble body, that makes him a construct correct? But, he has a detached spirit, so he's uh....what? He has 16 class levels+a marble body+unknown levels of sage?

Seems higher than Cr20 or less.

Note: I only comment on those I think had some interesting choices. This did, I just think the execution was...off.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Too many questions, not enough meat. A shame, because the concept is intriguing, would definitely make me want to know more, but as stated, this feels like a player's info, not a DM's. Sorry.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Reckless Ratings

Concept3
(Is this villain villainous?)
Content3
(Grammar, Format,Spelling, Etc.)
Coolness2
(Would my players be impressed by this? Am I?)
Credibility3
(Does the villain’s motives make sense?)
Clarity1
(How good a sense of how to stat this villain do we get?)

Scores out of 5 and completely based on my opinion only.
Total Score12

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

Many points lost right off the bad for "sage of unknown level". Where's the sage in the SRD again?

Agreed with Clark on the mysterious background. I just did a turnover where I played the mystery card on one item out of a dozen, which is about how often it should be used. In this contest, hiding cards doesn't win the round.

The villain should be interesting to me, what with the question of the immortality of the head (reminds me a bit of the Starseige series of computer games) and the elixirs to keep the body alive. I appreciate the setting background there, but it might have been best to have picked something a bit less staggeringly rare.

The CR level of the foe is troubling for me. I can actually see him making CR 20 with a golem base, since the rogue + caster levels play together so poorly, but I feel like I should have a better idea just what he is if he's going to earn a vote for me.

Passing on this one for a vote. But thanks for the entry. I think with some tuning up you've got a lot of potential.


I'm a little confused as to this villain's motivations. He seeks to promote conflict and warfare, but why? Is it just to create a market for arms sales, as that seems like a relatively mundane motivation for what is likely a CR 20 villain. I'd be interested to see the stat block for this villain if for no other reason to see if you can pull it off within the rules as written.

CR

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8

I'm looking at this as a DM, and there are too many "unknowns" for me to enjoy this.

What kind of damage can he withstand? What level sage is he really? His motivation seems to broad, how do the PCs fit in? How do I get them to see him memorable, beyond calling him rock man?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

I would like to thank Paizo for creating the RPG Superstar contest. It is an unprecedented opportunity for home brew game designers and amateur wordsmiths to compete for a wonderful dream. A big round of applause to all those who were brave enough to enter. A special congratulation to all my fellow competitors on making it this far in the competition.

I would especially like to thank Wolfgang, Clark, Sean and Ed Greenwood for taking time out of their busy schedules and lives to critique the entries. The best part has been the BRUTAL HONESTY of the judges and the public. In a world where the MTV generation believe they deserve to be movie and television stars, rock and pop gods, or the next R. A. Salvatore or Robert Howard without doing the work or putting in the time, it’s nice to hear the truth even if it stings. There is a reason why fame is elusive and there are very few stars but a very large public. Sometimes you need to get knocked off a pedestal and have your ego put in check.

I would especially like to acknowledge Clark. Clark sorry for so many disappointing villain designs. I don’t think I’ve seen that many C’s and lukewarm reviews since the mandatory Public Speaking class I had to take in college. The greatest and most feared villain of the real world and the RPG world is probably Public Speaking. Anyone brave enough to stat that as a villain or creature?

I hope everyone understands the point of criticism is to HELP YOU IMPROVE as a game designer and writer if that is your goal. If you take it as a personal affront, disrespect and disapproval you may want to consider following a different dream.

Losing has never killed anyone in the modern era, though the same cannot be said of the past. I hope everyone who doesn’t make it to the final four walks away with the desire and understanding of what they need to work on and improve in their writing and design skills to reach the next level. Hopefully all of us will continue to have the courage to submit our work in future contests and publisher open calls for submission.

So until RPG Superstar 2010, I look forward to reading what those who worked so hard to create well-crafted villains have to unleash on us and the Judges in the up coming rounds. Remember luck won’t move you forward in the competition, only creativity and hard work.

Star Voter Season 6

Yeah, you needed to say loremaster, not "sage" and you needed to have a race entry. We'll see whether the voters decide on whether you met the max CR 20 requirement.


'Arms dealer who promotes conflict to make himself a fortune' is fairly villainous, but it's not quite clear if that's what Veddic is.
It's possible he needs a lot of money to buy Sun Orchid Elixir since only six vials go on the market a month, although you don't give us any clues as to how much of a vial he needs per an infusion? Will a vial of Elixir last him a month? A year? A decade? And what happens if his supply runs out? Does he end up in some sort of hibernation state, until the supply resumes? And does he use his influence to keep wars away from Thuvia, since they might threaten his supplies?

I'm not seeing this as a villain suitable for direct involvement in most games, either directly or even at one or two levels of removal. He himself seems likely to me to be in the CR 18+ bracket, and I'm assuming his senior aides and minions will be almost that powerful. If he opposes Mengkare, maybe he even has the odd dragon ally or two. So it seems to me that Veddic and his organisation are only useful for high level play.

Veddic seems solidly outlined, but with perhaps too many unknowns to get one of my votes.

Will this villain cause the PCs grief?
Yes. But unfortunately he will likely crush PCs of most levels to paste. High character level arms dealers who have had centuries to gather resources will tend to have some quite snappy weapons lying around with which to lay waste to those who try to confront them.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my villain concept, especially those who took the time to post a reply. All criticism is welcome and accepted. Gamer Girrl especially. I don't know how she finds the time and energy to comment on everything she reads.

The goal of the RPG Superstar contest is to see who is out there, and hopefully discover and develop new talent. It's also an opportunity for the majority of us to see where we stand personally as game designers and writers in the RPG universe.

Once the competition is over I hope to put "the meat" back on Veddic's "bare bones," so he is more than the skeleton you see.


7/10
A living statue, that's interesting. And an arms dealer, which provides actual justification for the otherwise lame "organization that just likes to spread war" angle. Don't like the vagueness in the entry though. Has a nice pulp feel to him.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

The Magic 8 Ball says all vagueness and unanswered questions will be revealed at a future date and time.

Thanks for posting a reply.

Scarab Sages

This is supposed to be what a DM would have in front of him in an adventure module. He's expecting clear descriptions, motivations, and uses for your villain. You give him a bunch of questions and no answers whatsoever.

What class is "mage"? There's three in the SRD alone that could fit that description (wizard, sorcerer, and adept).
What class is "sage"? There was a Sage NPC class in 2nd edition, I believe, but I know of no class by that name in 3rd edition or Pathfinder, let alone one that's in the SRD/Pathfinder Chronicles.
How many levels of "sage" does he have? "Unknown" isn't good enough.
What race is he? See above.

Etc.

The DM must know those things to properly play your villain. It's utterly impossible for a DM to read your mind to discover these things. You have to tell him. You're not trying to sell your villain to players with this entry, you're trying to sell it to DMs and publishers. Know your audience.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

William Senn wrote:

What class is "mage"? There's three in the SRD alone that could fit that description (wizard, sorcerer, and adept).

What class is "sage"? There was a Sage NPC class in 2nd edition, I believe, but I know of no class by that name in 3rd edition or Pathfinder, let alone one that's in the SRD/Pathfinder Chronicles.
How many levels of "sage" does he have? "Unknown" isn't good enough.
What race is he? See above.

I supposed, in 3.5/Pathfinder "Sage" would be an Expert (the NPC Class) focusing on Knowledge type skills. :/

Scarab Sages

Yeah, that matches closest to the 2nd edition Sage I remember (which may or may not actually have been in 2nd edition, and may or may not have actually been a true class, mind...). It's probably what I would have guessed if I'd bought an adventure with this guy in it - but I'd have been peeved as hell to have had to guess about it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

William Senn wrote:
Yeah, that matches closest to the 2nd edition Sage I remember (which may or may not actually have been in 2nd edition, and may or may not have actually been a true class, mind...). It's probably what I would have guessed if I'd bought an adventure with this guy in it - but I'd have been peeved as hell to have had to guess about it.

Level information might have been nice also.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Tetujin

William Senn wrote:
The DM must know those things to properly play your villain. It's utterly impossible for a DM to read your mind to discover these things. You have to tell him. You're not trying to sell your villain to players with this entry, you're trying to sell it to DMs and publishers. Know your audience.

The bigger problem here is I'm not sure he's supposed to do for the next round. There was mention that contestants would not be allowed to change the mechanical description they gave in round 2, so he's stuck giving him levels in mage and sage, and listing all kinds of new mechanics covering his head-survival ability and the various other features mentioned.

Liberty's Edge

unfortunately while it has a few interesting things, it lacks real motivation, follows an agenda but no reason for it exist...

also you are trying to use thegolden dragon of Herema as aclutch (if my villain dies, he does too!), I think you didn't liked the dragon or liked it so much that you needed tolink it... but for me its to arrogant...

sorry don't really like all this mixes... asclark said.. this is gonzo for Gonzo's sake

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Thanks William, Carl, Casey and Montalve for your posts and the criticism.

Sorry about the vagueness and completely unintended gonzo-ness.

Liberty's Edge

kid america wrote:

Thanks William, Carl, Casey and Montalve for your posts and the criticism.

Sorry about the vagueness and completely unintended gonzo-ness.

don't worry too much

we all learn from this experience :)
you are already here, while I am not :P

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

It's a neat concept, undone by vagueness in presentation (and I was perplexed by the "sage of unknown level" bit as well). A good idea, especially to me the part about being essentially an anti-Hermean, but not fully realized.


Hmm. I have now concluded my villans read through, and at least if a group of first level PCs accidentally interfere with one of Veddic's plots they might get the chance to try the 'uh, actually we were just hoping to buy some weapons, look we have gold' line giving him more usability as an antagonist than other 'high level' villains in this round.
I don't know if that will get Veddic a vote though; I already pretty much have the mastermind vote earmarked for nspicer's villain.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Jason thanks for the feedback. And Charles thanks for the feedback as well as the mention of the word vote.

I agree with you Charles, Neil did a wonderful job crafting GULGA CENCH, Scion of Cyth-V’sug.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Hmm. I have now concluded my villans read through, and at least if a group of first level PCs accidentally interfere with one of Veddic's plots they might get the chance to try the 'uh, actually we were just hoping to buy some weapons, look we have gold' line giving him more usability as an antagonist than other 'high level' villains in this round.

I don't know if that will get Veddic a vote though; I already pretty much have the mastermind vote earmarked for nspicer's villain.

The PC's could always owe Veddic a personal favor to be repaid at a later date. (villainous laughter)


Victor Spieles wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Hmm. I have now concluded my villans read through, and at least if a group of first level PCs accidentally interfere with one of Veddic's plots they might get the chance to try the 'uh, actually we were just hoping to buy some weapons, look we have gold' line giving him more usability as an antagonist than other 'high level' villains in this round.

I don't know if that will get Veddic a vote though; I already pretty much have the mastermind vote earmarked for nspicer's villain.
The PC's could always owe Veddic a personal favor to be repaid at a later date. (villainous laughter)

checks latest exit poll to determine if Veddic may be in the market to offer favours for votes...


Hmmm. Veddic currently appears to be languishing near the bottom. If I were looking to start a small conflict in Eastern Avistan, say by causing Taldor to invade Galt, I'm not sure if Veddic would be in a position to assist. Varrush might be better placed. I hear he has contacts in both Taldor and Qadira. :D


Messing around aside, I am still looking for where to put my last vote, and Veddic is one of those villains who with a little more effort would mean I could now be doing something else instead.
I appreciate it must be frustrating sitting thinking of all the things you could have done with your villain entry if you'd started a little earlier...

Edit:
If you do make the stat block round, bear in mind that the magic weapons vs damage reduction rules are currently in flux, and I think that the last time I saw, weapons with a certain number of regular enhancement pluses bypass DR as if they were certain materials.

Further Edit:
See Damage Reduction, Page 394 of the Beta Playtest.

It may also be worthwhile keeping Veddic's class levels 'scaled back', so that you can give him 'equipment appropriate to an arms dealer' (equipment more than the 'usual' value for an NPC/monster results in a CR increase) and stay within whatever the CR cap is for Round 3.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Some contestants failed to realize this was not "Tell Me About Your Character". A villain presented for a campaign does not have an unknown race or class. You have to give that information out or it's not a complete entry.

No questions are answered here. Instead of a villain, we have a scattering of often intriguing facts that don't meet in the middle.


As a further comment, I think that the Codex needed to be not just the eam that work for Veddic, but an actual book somewhere too. If it had been the enormous ledger in which he say kept the details of every arms deal that he ever made (date, time, place, purchasers) then suddenly it becomes another adventure hook, as authorities want access to the book so that they can identify suspected 'traitors' whom they believe that Veddic may have been supplying with weapons.
I also believe that there may have been an organisation called The Coda in the WildC.A.T.S. stories, which is slightly jarring.


This survived my initial culling of the weaker entries, but, on coming back to it, I found it hadn't stuck in my mind. I think it's because, as others have said, the description is just too vague. There are some neat ideas here, but, even with the word count restriction, they could have been better followed through.

So, not a bad villain, by any means, but just not quite done well enough for me to give him one my votes. Sorry.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Thanks Steven and Jorrik for taking the time to read my villain submission and post a reply.

Charles thanks for the game mechanic heads up on Damage Reduction.

Codex the book, I can not comment about at this time as we were limited to 500 words. And mums the word from the judges on anything else that we thought or wrote. Though I think I can say I made some poor choices on what I left in and took out.

"The Coda in the WildC.A.T.S. stories" not a comic book reader so I don't know the reference.

I will be reviewing and incorporating suggestions and criticisms from those who posted into Veddic's stat block in the long, long, long, longest of long shots that I advance to round three.

Right now though in the "Unofficial Exit Polls" Veddic is outside the group of top 16 villains advancing.

After the contest is over I hope to post a revised Veddic with stat block, that's DM ready to roll.

I have learned A TON about designing an RPG villain for public use versus my personal use as a DM.

Again gentleman thanks for your time and posts


You've got a few conflicting bits here that I'm curious about. His income comes from providing war supplies, but later on we find out he hates demons and devils. So why isn't he focusing his warmongering efforts against those areas entirely (you mention a shadow war, but he's very open-minded in all other areas, helping anyone, etc.). And if he's in a shadow war with nations, how are they reacting to it? Especially for a secret organization, that seems a bit risky.

It's hard to counterbalance the completely mercenary warmonger with a passionate anti-demon dude without some more reasoning for it, or what he's really up to in that equation.

If he's thirsting for knowledge so much, why isn't his group doing more in that direction? Is that where all his money is going?

As for his crazy head, which is pretty cool, if his bodies have been destroyed several times, then obviously he has a bunch of enemies (especially if he has as long a lifespan as is rumored). How has he avoided them all, especially if he's now pissing off 3 nations? He does stick out a bit! Does he have a stock of replacement bodies that could be destroyed as a pre-emptive strike, or does he ride headless while recuperating from a setback until a new body is constructed? And where have all these fanatical guards come from? I don't see much reason for them to be working with him, unless they're more of his mercenaries. And while the escaping head is pretty sweet once, again I'm curious how he hasn't been destroyed before this, especially with a constant enemy who wouldn't fall for the same gag twice. ("Hmmm, all the guards just ripped off his head and are heading for the exit. Again.")

(Also, look into how to use BBCode tags to add bold, italics, and such to your entry. It'll spice things up a lot and is REALLY important when doing lots of complicated stat blocks next round!)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Thanks for the insightful post Jared.

Mums the word though from the judges on anything else that we thought or wrote. Though on every one of the 32 villain threads, those reading and posting replies are probably filling in a lot of the blanks correctly or incorrectly.


Well, Veddic made the roll-off (last six) for my final vote, but has not won it.
So some further thoughts...

Victor:
How could you go so wrong??? Veddic is an arms-dealer who starts wars - that's right, wars in which hundeds or thousands may die, with no doubt some of the casualties coming from weapons which he has been selling to both sides - so he can make a profit and lie on his luxury yacht whilst beautiful women (or musclebound men if his tastes run that way) rub him with Sun Orchid Elixir as he sips champagne (or does he not eat/drink?) and reads the latest scrolls from Absalom. This guy ought to come across as a top grade villain, and be up there at the top of the exit polls. This guy's business is mass murder, on an industrial scale, so he can live on (and on and on), in the lap of luxury.
Instead, you don't think he's going to make the next round.

Throws hands in the air in despair.

Somewhere, you blew the presentation of Veddic, I think. You may have been too concerned with other things to focus on what the guy does for a living. If you were a quotes person, you could have opened with a line from a soldier in a war cursing the maniac who started it, as he sees another dead comrade.

Read the second edition AD&D Hellbound boxed set about the bloodwar, perhaps. Or if you can find them, I would recommend the books The Last Hero and The Avenging Saint by Leslie Charteris, where The Saint is facing off against an arms-dealer called Rayt Marius.
Veddic should come across as a fantasy version of Rayt Marius.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

I'm definitely going to have to do an online used book search for The Last Hero and The Avenging Saint by Leslie Charteris. An arms-dealer named Rayt Marius, now that's a classic villain name. Also, I love a good spy novel. Rayt Marius also sounds like he would make a good Bond villain.

I think I should have kept to the adage of K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid. I left the vagueness on the bone and trimmed the meat.

trireme yacht, yacht trireme?.?.

Did you hack my character notes at some point? A lot of what you may or may not be saying got left on the cutting room floor by the editor, me.

Thanks for the continued feedback Charles. Glad Veddic made it into your final roll ... but I saw who the roll winner was on the Unofficial Exit Polls.


Victor Spieles wrote:

I'm definitely going to have to do an online used book search for The Last Hero and The Avenging Saint by Leslie Charteris. An arms-dealer named Rayt Marius, now that's a classic villain name. Also, I love a good spy novel. Rayt Marius also sounds like he would make a good Bond villain.

I think I should have kept to the adage of K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid. I left the vagueness on the bone and trimmed the meat.

trireme yacht, yacht trireme?.?.

Did you hack my character notes at some point? A lot of what you may or may not be saying got left on the cutting room floor by the editor, me.

Thanks for the continued feedback Charles. Glad Veddic made it into your final roll ... but I saw who the roll winner was on the Unofficial Exit Polls.

The books are more action adventures than spy novels, although by the time of The Avenging Saint The Saint is 'in hiding' from the authorities after events in the previous story, whilst Marius and his associate crown prince Rudolph continue to be a feature of high society....


And you by no means seem to be alone, in having made boo-boos over what got edited out. Over on the Burning Khan thread, Vladislav expressed frustration that a sentence had been left on the cutting room floor which would have satisfied one of my comments/criticisms. There seem indications from Lucas that Elric the Miller was another victim of unwise editing...

Everything always seems so clear and obvious when you're writing something...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I think I would have really liked this entry if it answered all of the questions it raised. The core concept of someone in a magical stone body that can build new ones after being beaten is cool, as is the ferment conflict, but not enough was done with these to make a cohesive entry. In particular, not only don't we know why he does what he does, but we also don't know why his minions follow him with such loyalty to keep building a new body for him to start again. If they were just in it for the money or out of fear of Veddic and his amazing powers, once he's beaten, they can just go on their way. Even if they once decide to obey the head and make a new body, then the second time he's beaten, wouldn't they give up and find a new job as a minion for some more successful villain?

Speaking as one who didn't advance beyond the first round last year, you have my sympathies and there's always next year.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

I read the same things you did Charles. I'm seeing that many of my fellow competitors in the bottom sixteen desperately want to post answers to the questions we are are receiving. I think we all want to clear up what we wrote, and hoped the reader would see in our villains. The contest has certainly taught all of us a lot about game design writing. Hopefully we've all learned from this years experience and will apply it to next years entries.

Joel thanks for the post.


No problem, thanks for giving us some interesting stuff to read! And being very polite about it all while being pummeled in all directions! I hope you have time to post some more about Veddic before the next round really kicks off (or whenever the judges say you can).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka kid america

Thanks Jared.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have a high constitution and to many hit points. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just lay down or take a dive.

I'm the player where the DM has said give up already they out number you. Four times I was beaten unconscious, but one time I got lucky and over came the odds.


Sorry to see that you did not make it this time. I shall keep an eye on this thread, in case you post a Veddic rewrite for criticism.

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