|Jeffrey Scott Nuttall RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Smeazel|
Hey, in honor of the villain round of RPG Superstar, I thought I'd start a thread where we can share favorite villains from our past campaigns (as long as they're not in any way related to the villains we entered in the contest, obviously). I don't mean to limit this to the Top 32... anyone's welcome to share a villain here.
One villain I remember particularly fondly from one of my own past campaigns went by the name of Mr. Gainseley. (That's what he always called himself; I don't remember whether or not I even ever gave him a first name.) In many ways, Mr. Gainseley wasn't much of a villain. I don't even think he'd really qualify as a villain for the purposes of this contest, in fact; he didn't have big plans of conquest or mass destruction; he was pretty much just a petty conman. (He wasn't even really evil; his alignment was chaotic neutral.) But I think the reason I like him so much (aside from the fact he had an accent that was just fun to do... vaguely Liverpudlian, but not exactly) was because he ended up being far more effective as a villain than he had any right to be.
Mr. Gainseley was a 0-level character. (This was, of course, back in the days of second edition... in 3E/Pathfinder terms, I'd say he'd probably be about a level 7 or 8 expert.) He would not have lasted a round against the PCs in a fair fight. But he still remained a recurring villain, and one the PCs loathed far out of proportion to his power or even to his actions. They were constantly talking about him, and planning how to get the better of him next time they crossed paths... and they never did. Not because he had any powerful abilities or magic items (I don't think he owned a single magic item, actually), but just because he was always one step ahead of them and had anticipated and prepared for what they were going to do. (I didn't cheat in his favor; I really did plan for those eventualities...)
I actually intended for the PCs to eventually end up having to work with Mr. Gainseley at some point against a greater foe (considering how much they hated him, it would have been interesting to see how that played out), but players ended up moving away and the campaign ended before that happened. Oh well...
I may bring Mr. Gainseley back in another campaign sometime... after all, the PCs never did end up defeating him, so he's still out there somewhere... and I did enjoy doing that accent...
Anyway, anyone else have some favorite villains they'd like to share?
I think one of the most memorable villains for my players was one from the Planescape advenure Harbinger House. I believe his name was Sougad Lawshredder. This adventure pits the players against him so many times and in so many different ways where he can escape without beign "rail-roaded" that they managed to hate him in a "good" way. That was sure a fine adventure and character
|Vladislav Rashkovski RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka Clandestine|
|Eric Morton RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo|
Dragotha in the Age of Worms adventure path. AoW is the first campaign I DM-ed to the very end. I have a lot of memories of this campaign, but when I handed them the printed image of their adversary I saw fear. Priceless experience.
Meanwhile, my party learned new and creative ways to fear Dragotha when, in the course of wishing ourselves into the presence of a nearly-dead minion who teleported away, we accidentally arrived - entirely unprepared - right at Dragotha's feet.
The guy who was gonna be a big influence on my entry if I advanced was Bokk Tullier from an Eberron campaign I ran. I didn't even stat him up for the first few run-ins with the PCs, he was just the annoying clever guy looting all the weird magical Macguffins just ahead of the party.
Then he turns traitor in the middle of a hobgoblin uprising, and his band escapes. The poor PCs find Bokk's campfire in the middle of the night, and without any recon move into attack formation, past the very amused goblin ninja sentries, since Bokk had met up with an entire gob/hob/bugbear assault squad. Carnage ensued, and Bokk escapes.
Then he pulls a switcheroo by hiring some guy to pretend to be him, and the PCs catch the wrong guy.
Then he decided to try to get rid of the annoying guys on his tail, so he slaughtered a group of innocents in a LG church, set up a magic mouth spell that screamed in agony whenever someone came in next, and had a modified faerie fire type spell that exploded blood over everyone in the church as well. Then he had a henchmen wait for the PCs to show up, who told Bokk it was time to summon the paladin patrol from the next village over.
So the PCs walk into a church, find a lot of dead people, get covered in blood, and the screaming starts. Then get outside just in time for the very angry paladins to gallop into town.
They did not like him after that.
|Chad Patterson RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka exile|
My favorite villains cropped up in an online, freeform, play-by-post, game that I ran for a bunch of younger kids (high school and college age) on MySpace. They were students at an arcane academy called teh Hall of Mysteries. Unfortunately for them, about half of the faculty were the corrupt minions of a powerful lich who passed himself off as the academy's headmaster.
The lich-headmaster was Synnoch the Black Flame, a fan of both necromancy and evocation. He bothered with a worldly concern like the academy only because he had found a way to strip the arcane "spark" from others. This "spark" could be bottled and consumed like a potion to add a meta-magic like effect to his own spellcasting. The unfortunate side-effect of having your arcane "spark" stripped, even beyond losing your ability to cast arcane spells, was that it left you a deformed little clubfooted hunchback (think a cross between Igor and Quasimodo) called a drudgethrall. Drudgethralls then were used to do all of the menial chores around the academy.
Synnoch's top tier henchmen, all powerful wizards themselves, included Iakobos the Blue, master of transmutation/alteration; Liesel, mistress of enchantment/charm; and Kyanus the Pale, master of necromancy and Synnoch's true apprentice (they had a very Sith-like relationship). He kept them around because all of tehir diverse talents were required to complete the ritual arcane stripping described above.
Of course, they were careful not to do this to too many students (only failures and troublemakers), so that a new supply would arrive each fall.