How to make the party *LOATHE* my NPC.


Advice

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Hey All,

I'm one of two dungeon masters running a RoTL campaign, with 5 PC's in it. Our problem is that the 5 PC's seem keep trying to "jump the fence" into areas that are not prepared, or they ask frankly, stupid questions of NPC's that were meant for combat, not info dumps.

We've provided an open campaign, with plenty of shops and locations, that have fancy maps shown via a projector, and shops with full inventories they can browse, as well as NPC cards. Heck, we've got painted 3D printed props, old looking letters stamped with genuine ye olde wax, and more. (At least one new one a week)

We've come to the conclusion that they just don't care about the objective of the RoTRL. Meh to goblins, Fiona, and the Runewell. Meh to being "Heroes of Sandpoint", and meh to sidequests about hunting boars. They tune out when we give critical information, then complain when the object is not clear.

So we're building an NPC they will all unanimously hate. Some piece of s!*~, character they will demand to be dead. Someone who is like:

Jeoffry Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

Delores Umbridge (Harry Potter)

Colonel Hans Landa (Inglorious Basterds)

I'm talking the "Characters we love to hate" sort of thing, to bring about a focus to the campaign. Not the kind of hate generated by Skyler from Breaking Bad, or Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones, where people just roll their eyes in boredom.

Do any GM's up in here have advice, anecdotes or stories where they achieved this?


If you want your players to hate an NPC the easiest way to do that is to make the NPC always be 5 levels higher than them. Fighting someone 5 levels higher than you will usually result in a TPK so you have to have the NPC rub the PCs faces in the level difference. Which will make them hate the NPC more. Don't hold back be the most optimized villain you can be, and focus on escape plans and utility magic. I say it is almost a requirement that this NPC is a full caster. Somebody with 2 or 3 spell levels on the party who keeps sticking their nose in the parties business will drive them up a wall. Also they have to be rich, like at least PC wealth by level rich. Players hate cheatty-face NPCs who can do everything they want, so create one. You will have to stop leveling them at some point if you want the PCs to be the ones who do the NPC in.


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Steal their loot!

Hire them to do a job, but not pay as expected...


Give the NPC a degree of power over the party--whether it be political power, combat power (i.e. higher levels as mentioned above), financial power or whatever else you can think of--and have them exploit it and rub the PCs nose in it. Just make sure that there is not much they can do but take it for a while (but make sure to give them payoff in the end, this is an escapist fantasy after all).

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do not be fooled into thinking "Make the NPC beat the players" will make them hate the NPC. No, this will make them hate you. Players are smart, they will know you set them up to lose.

Make this NPC just a detestable person. The "Hire them to do a job and then don't pay them" idea suggested above works great, among other options.


The NPC destroys some piece of equipment "they can't live without".

The NPC is the epitome of something the players (not characters) dislike.

Make the NPCs actions take a personal toll on the PCs. Does one of them have another NPC they like? wife? sibling? girlfriend? mother? father? hooker? Kill one or more of them (story appropiate, of course).

NPCs that do "things" to children ("things" being whatever your group is comfortable with) tend to provoke a strong reaction.

The BBEG wins the first round. The story gets harder. They weren't paying attention and he just walked all over everyone. He isn't going to put his plans on hold just because the PCs are dicking around. The less they pay attention the more the world around them becomes about survival rather than heroics.

An NPC adventuring group took the lead and got the glory and reward for the adventure. They're not the only people in the world that are capable of heroics.


Also, the BBEG can hire the PCs to do a job that helps clear the way for his army to move forward. Let them see the devistation that was caused by them not paying attention to who was giving them coin.


Gregory Connolly wrote:

If you want your players to hate an NPC the easiest way to do that is to make the NPC always be 5 levels higher than them. Fighting someone 5 levels higher than you will usually result in a TPK so you have to have the NPC rub the PCs faces in the level difference. Which will make them hate the NPC more. Don't hold back be the most optimized villain you can be, and focus on escape plans and utility magic. I say it is almost a requirement that this NPC is a full caster. Somebody with 2 or 3 spell levels on the party who keeps sticking their nose in the parties business will drive them up a wall. Also they have to be rich, like at least PC wealth by level rich. Players hate cheatty-face NPCs who can do everything they want, so create one. You will have to stop leveling them at some point if you want the PCs to be the ones who do the NPC in

We turned Tsuto into exactly that. He killed two party members. He's not meddling with their affairs though. I'll add that. (We turned him into a high level sourcerer that did not die in the glassworks. Level 9 he was.)

Bacon666 wrote:

Steal their loot!

Hire them to do a job, but not pay as expected...

The first one, so elegant. I'll do it. The second one, we've did. Created a NPC called "Wheen Tamerin" who is based off the "Leviosa" videos on youtube. Almost wound up with a PC in court in Magnimar due to that Wheen.

Carl Hanson wrote:

Give the NPC a degree of power over the party--whether it be political power, combat power (i.e. higher levels as mentioned above), financial power or whatever else you can think of--and have them exploit it and rub the PCs nose in it. Just make sure that there is not much they can do but take it for a while (but make sure to give them payoff in the end, this is an escapist fantasy after all).

Nice. I had a Nagas control our Nagaji party member, but he loved it. Get them doing the bidding for some politician, that'll stir em' up.


Make the NPC detestable, then put them in a position where the PCs can't simply kill him. It's especially egregious when the NPC is a low-level aristocrat/expert/commoner that the party could easily trounce.

How to make an NPC detestable? That depends on the kind of detestable you're looking for. Tropes for this can vary anywhere from Magnificent Bastard to Even Evil Has Standards-violating Complete Monster.


Captain Wacky wrote:
Also, the BBEG can hire the PCs to do a job that helps clear the way for his army to move forward. Let them see the devistation that was caused by them not paying attention to who was giving them coin.

This is a nice one. When the party is tricked into doing something horrible, they tend to be pretty pissed at the person or persons who tricked them.


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Its easy to get PCs to hate NPCs, in my experience the hard one is to make them love a NPC.

But in order to make a truly hated and despised NPC in my games, I figure out what is a particular player or party hot button for annoyance/anger...and I push that button repeatedly.

money obsessed. Rob them.

Honor obsessed. Embarrass them.

power obsessed. Dethrone them or ostracize them.

Ability obsessed (this is a mean one), capture, and mutilate a couple of them, think game of thrones style here..but be ready for fountains of hate.

build up a NPC they DO love..and have the nasty one murder he/she, in some foul way..and frame/blame, or make cause of it the PCs.

steal their items, and replace them with cursed ones masked with illusions to make them look like the originals..plant them in a patsy lair and let the players murder some henchmen and recover them..then get cursed.

Just some quick kooky ideas to make players really dislike a NPC, without having the NPC just put a beatdown on them.


Dotting. I have a similar type of NPC in my RotRL game. Party killed both of her children in a one-off adventure I ran before we started the campaign (admittedly, they were half-fiends). So I'm also looking for more devious ways to infuriate the party.


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My other advice on the subject is to talk to your players. Some players want a complex game with grey on grey morality and lots of important mechanical choices. Other players want to forget real life and pretend to be someone with simpler problems for whom violence IS the answer. If your players are bored it may be from too much immersion and not too little, and if they want it simpler adding things like more NPCs is gonna make it worse not better.


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I'd like to take a step back. Judging from your original post you put a huge amount of effort in the games, to make it an immersive experience and yet your players still aren't invested.

In my experience, this is probably on of two problems. Either they just don't really enjoy this sort of activity which I'll assume isn't the case or they don't feel they are in control.

Many GMs who really go the extra mile, building props, elaborate storylines etc. struggle with rail-roading PCs. They have such an elaborate story, that it becomes the GMs story, not the PCs story and players resent this, and will often act out as a result. Now, these same characteristics; love of storytelling, elaborate extras and intricate plots can be huge strengths in a GM, but only when they remember that the story isn't theirs, it is the PCs story.

Maybe this isn't your problem, but I really think it is, and if so, making a big bad that they hate will make it worse, not better. Instead, let the PCs do what they want to do, give them the power to choose their own destiny. If they are sure they can choose otherwise, they are much more likely to be willing to follow your plot.


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Chun Li "It was 20 years ago, you hadn't promoted yourself to general yet. You were just a petty drug lord. You and your gang of murders gathered your small ounce of courage to raid across the border. For food, weapons... slave labor. My father was the villiage magistraite, a simple man with a simple code, justice. He gathered the few people that he could to stand against you. You and your bullies were driven back by farmers with pitchforks. My father saved his villiage at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away, a hero, at a thousand paces."

M. Bison "I'm sorry... I don't remember any of it".

Chin Li "You don't remember?"

M. Bison "For you, the day that Bison graced your villiage, was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday".

Also, this. Arrogance has a tendancy to make PCs mad too.


The best suggestion for them to dislike someone that I can think of is...

Have someone give them minor frustrations repeatedly but get away with it. I have done this 2 ways in the past that worked very well, but I am sure there are others.

Someone that annoys and opposes them repeatedly but they can't just kill for legal or political reasons.
They are working for 1 priest in the church. But another priest opposes him and hires a competing NPC group to do jobs faster/cheaper.
Someone in the government doesn't like them and makes sure there appointments get lost. The baron is too busy to see them right now. They don't have the social standing to bargain directly with the Lady Z.
They offended the nephew of a bard. Now he is writing songs sung in the local taverns making fun of them. People start humming the tune whenever the PC's are around.

Someone follows them around and messes up their plans just a little before running away.
I had a really stealthy gnome illusionist secretly follow the PC's (I made all the skill checks and cast the correct spells), then when they would try to do something critical he would use one or 2 spells just to mess them up then flee. He cast Faerie Fire on the group when they were trying to sneak into a castle. Fumble step and forced quiet during an important ceremony. Dispel magic after they had buffed up. Etc...
Not all the time, that would get tedious. But just every once in a while to remind them that he hated them and always got away with it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Just have him talk like people post on the forums. Arrogant and condescending.


I think that this concept works better in fiction than it does in games. In fiction it is OK that someone like Joffrey Baratheon is around for 4,000 pages because you can focus on other characters, you can read at your own pace, you can express all your hatred of him in public. In a game, someone that annoying is in your face, not some character in a books face. Most of us want to hurt Joffrey Baratheon like characters very much. Being prevented from doing so makes us angry. If you do this in a game, The GM ends up making the players upset at the GM not the character, because you basically have to cheat to keep them alive long enough to be hated properly. If he hides behind his guards then he isn't close enough to the action to be hated, he is faceless. If he is interacting with the PCs then he is close enough to be killed and PCs are exactly the kind of people powerful enough to do it.


Recurring villains are the best villains.
"Hey, wait a second, we KILLED this bastard!"

Silver Crusade

Make a character who's better than them in every way. Make a character who could be the WORST GMPC EVER! have them swoop in and show up the characters constantly, make the characters look bad so that the adoring fans will worship them. Make the most detestable, irritating, Mary Sue you can. Then not only will the characters hate the glowing perfect annoying pain in the butt Adonis, the Players will too because he's super irritating.


Gregory Connolly wrote:
I think that this concept works better in fiction than it does in games. In fiction it is OK that someone like Joffrey Baratheon is around for 4,000 pages because you can focus on other characters, you can read at your own pace, you can express all your hatred of him in public. In a game, someone that annoying is in your face, not some character in a books face. Most of us want to hurt Joffrey Baratheon like characters very much. Being prevented from doing so makes us angry. If you do this in a game, The GM ends up making the players upset at the GM not the character, because you basically have to cheat to keep them alive long enough to be hated properly. If he hides behind his guards then he isn't close enough to the action to be hated, he is faceless. If he is interacting with the PCs then he is close enough to be killed and PCs are exactly the kind of people powerful enough to do it.

That depends on the type of game you're playing. If you let your players kill a king without consiquence then yah, you're never going to be able to build loathing in an NPC. They will just kill anyone who annoys them (which will lead them down a pretty dark path).

But if they have consiquences to their actions, they'll think twice. If they want to kill Jeoffery, they'll need political support, allies, resources to put a new king in power, etc.
1. The PCs arn't the only ones with special abilities.
2. The king is going to employ a lot of people every bit as powerful as the PCs. He can, he's wealthy and people owe him feudal obligations.
3. The kings guards arn't going to be low level mooks. They're also not going to be easily convinced to turn on the king, even if he is a bastard.
4. Unless there is a very strict line of succession (sp?) then there is going to be a possable war to fill the power vacuum. This will lead to much devistation. Since we're talking GoT you'll note how much death there is involved with this. All because the PCs got their ego hurt over a prick child.
5. The PCs arn't going to fill this void, unless the GM lets them start off as high nobles (A bad idea, also... why are you adventuring?).
6. The king will probably be resurrected anyways. Now he's even more of a prick.
7. The king has spies (or should if he's smart) and if they catch wind of the plot the king can just have them executed or assassinated or fireballed or turned to stone and made into a nice commemorative statue celebrating the foiling of a plot by the evil usurpers and put on display in the town square with a new holiday to celebrate their demise and everyone will cheer "Long Live the King"!

You have to give them a reason to take the abuse. PC death is a great one especially if there's no chance of being resurrected because the churches... who have land, titles and obligations closly tied to the king, aren't going to bring you back because you've been branded as traitor to the crown. You have to depose him first.

The easy way around this is the NPCs are doing all of the political maneuvering and the PCs have to pick a side. They'll make a differance in battles and finally be able to take down the king and be branded heros by the new king. That leaves them (mostly) out of the politics while giving them the satisfaction of killing someone who pretty much deserves what's comming to him. It's a better option for most groups, it leaves the NPCs to take the fall should the rebellion go down in flames. Plus, the people their dealing with are WAY better at politics than the PCs are.

I've gone on a rather long rant about king killing. Of course not all enemies are kings. In order to build loathing you have make a BBEG who can survive long enough to retreat if possible. He also need resources to fall back on. He has plans and falling before they're complete isn't part of it. Never make them suicidal! They don't fight to the death unless it's meant to be a final showdown.


Whenever the players interact with the NPC, have him correct their grammar. Everyone hates that.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Just have him talk like people post on the forums. Arrogant and condescending.

^ this post included ^


Zathyr wrote:
Whenever the players interact with the NPC, have him correct their grammar. Everyone hates that.

That's a good one.

Also curse them to speak only in rhyme and make the players act it out or nothing they say counts in the game. It happened to me once... It sucked and I hated that guy something aweful.

Sczarni

I second steal their loot. That's a universal piss off of the highest order.


Krodjin wrote:
I second steal their loot. That's a universal piss off of the highest order.

Particularly if you use it against them. "That's a nice sword, here let me hit you with it"


I will concede that Joffrey was a bad example, because a party of level 5 Pathfinder characters will mop the floor with the chumps in that low magic setting. In a world where maybe a few hundred people know any magic, people who can cast Suggestion or Animate Dead are way scarier than any non-magic king.


I remember once way back in 2nd ed I was GM. the module write up had a weird thing with a thief that stole some of the parties gear and/or valuables. This was supposed to reduce their power a bit and make them more willing to work with Mister X who would pay them well enough to make up for the loss.

It didn't work that way. The whole party got so cheesed off by the theft that they completely dropped the entire mission profile. They spent everything they had on divination spells and curses to locate and hurt the thief. They took on quick shady jobs to make some cash fast for more divination spells and curses. Started roughing up or threatening anyone in town (including the local cops) that might have some info about the thief. Etc...

The adventure hadn't detailed anything at all about the thief. It basically just said to have it happen and someone glimpses the thief slipping out of the window. The party is unable to find the thief. I had to some fast building to come up with a thieves guild, clues, a den, and all sorts of stuff. The went completely berserk about it. By the time they had killed the thief they were way too powerful for the next part of the module.

I probably could have handled it better, but it took me off guard when I just did what was written down.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I remember once way back in 2nd ed I was GM. the module write up had a weird thing with a thief that stole some of the parties gear and/or valuables. This was supposed to reduce their power a bit and make them more willing to work with Mister X who would pay them well enough to make up for the loss.

It didn't work that way. The whole party got so cheesed off by the theft that they completely dropped the entire mission profile. They spent everything they had on divination spells and curses to locate and hurt the thief. They took on quick shady jobs to make some cash fast for more divination spells and curses. Started roughing up or threatening anyone in town (including the local cops) that might have some info about the thief. Etc...

The adventure hadn't detailed anything at all about the thief. It basically just said to have it happen and someone glimpses the thief slipping out of the window. The party is unable to find the thief. I had to some fast building to come up with a thieves guild, clues, a den, and all sorts of stuff. The went completely berserk about it. By the time they had killed the thief they were way too powerful for the next part of the module.

I probably could have handled it better, but it took me off guard when I just did what was written down.

2nd Ed. Modules were terrible about "stuff happens" that had no support in the story or the rules. I was a player in a group that had played together for years and completely came unhinged because the GM ran the first scene of "Vecna Lives" exactly as written. The group just didn't trust him after that. It was that egregious. The group fell apart less than 6 weeks later.


You could just grin and bear for the module and then run a homebrew game. Ask the players up front what they want out of the game.


One simple trick that seems to work is taunt the players with the NPC..."troll" them into hating the character. Another idea is have said NPC keep popping up as the cause of problems for there group...framing them, steeling a prize they are after, reek havoc on things they like or are after.


Make them play serpents skull. From mod 1 to 6 are many npcs we have grown to loathe!!


Here's a few thoughts:

Have them scry on the party and when the PCs accomplish something, the naughty npc can run in to claim he did it and get the reward.

Have the NPC disguise themselves as one of the PCs and commit embarrassing social faux pas so all the town snickers every time they see the PC. Examples: getting drunk and urinating on a public building, wetting their own pants, making out with a donkey. (This one will make some players mad, so only use it if you know your group well enough to be sure they won't be upset.)

Or instead of a faux pas, have the disguised NPC be seen robbing merchants or sneaking out of an aristocrat's wife's bedroom late at night.

Have the NPC openly mock the party while they are talking to important people, perhaps in a court. Make sure that mockery influences the person they are trying to converse with. Maybe a duke is about to pay them to do something, then when the jerk NPC jeers that they can't do it, the Duke will agree it would be best to lower the price, or not pay anything in advance after all.

Make a number of NPCs that are really nice to the party, like inn keepers who shine their shoes at no extra charge, or a minor noble who always throws the PCs parties after they succeed in a mission. Then have the evil NPC screw over their buds. Kind of like the Count of Monte Cristo.

Have an NPC that kicks dogs, spits at peasants, or acts very degrading to commoners. Never breaks the law, just acts like a total jerk in every way and shows no remorse.


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Find the player triggers, and if you have a great group, the character triggers. Build from there. Now, use contrast to highlight these triggers, this will help with the players hating the npc not you.

I have a group with a character that hates slavery, a player that needs the spotlight, a stubborn player, and thief I can't get a read on. So I have one quest NPC that is a Robin Hood for the oppressed, flatters the deva, and yields to the stubborn (he is also cultured) and another quest NPC that is taking bribes from slavers in a role of authority, treats the diva as a dime a dozen mercenary, and does not recognize the stubborn one as anything more than a belonging of the party (racist).

He also ensures quality control of jobs through scrying and detect thought. Imagine every morning having a Scry sensor show up at your camp site to check progress, trivial to fool but insulting to the proud. Imagine giving up a lock of hair as a condition of employment, so that they can Scry on you every job, or should you go rogue. Imagine being offered a will save against detect thoughts at the start of every audience as his pet wizard stands behind him and pries at your mind. Imagine being offered second tier jobs because resisting the mind reading was a sign of bad faith. And on top of everything, you could probably feed him his own toes, all his levels are in aristocrat, but that would make them outlaws, throw the region into turmoil, leave a power vacuum (power vacuum, that is a great hook for any character that wants to make his way up the political food chain).

Anyhow, that is my plan. They haven't tried to kill him yet, but he is on their minds often.


thenovalord wrote:
Make them play serpents skull. From mod 1 to 6 are many npcs we have grown to loathe!!

Poor Serpent's Skull gets so much hate.

Off topic: Has anybody published an alternate module 3? I hear it's kinda crappy but I haven't gotten to reading it yet.


Some of this has already been mentioned but, some things to make them do:

Break or steal a character's gear. As a GM, you can make it up to them by replacing it or getting it back, but the NPC who did it is probably in for some payback.

Kill or seriously hurt/threaten an NPC they do like.

Roleplay that character to be as obnoxious/slimy as possible. I DM'ed Tower of the Last Baron and actually spoke a certain NPC's lines in exactly the kind of voice the module gave him (or my best approximation thereof). My players ended that encounter as fast as they could, with one later saying that he probably would've hit the poor sap if I had carried it any further (and his character was a Monk). Mind you, I pulled that off in only two lines of dialogue. :)

Basically, find your Players' Berserk Buttons and hit that sh*t like a Lightning Kick.


Mulet wrote:
We've come to the conclusion that they just don't care about the objective of the RoTRL. Meh to goblins, Fiona, and the Runewell. Meh to being "Heroes of Sandpoint", and meh to sidequests about hunting boars. They tune out when we give critical information, then complain when the object is not clear.

I think the first thing you should do here is, perhaps, sit everyone down and make sure they really want to be playing this AP. Rise of the Runelords is kind of a weird one in that the PCs don't really have a clear identifiable overarching goal until chapter/book 5, and all the time the first spends really establishing the small town vibe doesn't really work for everyone.

Past that though? Honestly, there's some pretty darn good fodder for memorably nasty NPCs later on in the AP, if you get that far. The Skinsaw Man, if properly foreshadowed, works absolutely great for making things personal. My whole group was generally traumatized by the revelation of what the Grauls and Kreegs do with anyone they kill or capture. The big villainous couple from Chapter 1 can both make a pretty big impact if you focus enough on how they treat their families.

What you might want to try, specifically, based on where it sounds like you're at, would be...

Spoiler:
- Totally allow them to blow Aldern off. It works just fine for setting up one of his potential motives.
- Move up Ameiko's kidnapping if you haven't gotten that far, and maybe use a different NPC if there's one they care more about. You can totally shuffle stuff around with the Kaijitsus and the Vinders without much trouble I'd think.
- Don't sweat any lack of interest in the runewell. Push that too hard and you end up with a party digging out collapsed stairwells, determined to sequence break straight into chapter 5.
- Really push the threat of goblin invasion if you need to light a fire under them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually with a topic title as this one, I was hesistant to even read it :)

That said. It does appear you prefer a rich story-filled world (which I happen to prefer by the way) and your players want a video-game with cutscenes they can skip.

Nothing wrong with that style of game "go here, slay boss, get reward, repeat." But it is not that style of game you want.

Either see if any of the players want your gameplay style or maybe a compromise. I'd have a few sitdown and chat sessions and see what they like. Then tailor the campaign a bit. If it isn't something you are happy with, then really I'd go with another group.

If on the other hand you don't mind running their kind of game, try it and see if it works for you.

Now if you want a sinister foe that is not likeable...be careful not to turn this into players vs. GM. I usually have the NPC mess with a NPC the player characters like, rather than directly at the PCs. Or maybe be the tax-collector...or a barrister.


Have him adventure with them for a session.

Make him better at everything. Do not show die rolls.


Let the NPC encounter and escape from the PC's a few times. That will drive them crazy.

Introduce the NPC as an obvious jerk (but not necessarily an opponent) with a lot of political or economic power. The PC's need the goods in his store but he charges them double. The PC's need water but he owns the well. The PC's need charters or licenses in the course of their adventures but he is the gov't functionary that is always holding them up.

Later if you turn that guy (or gal) into the BBG the PC's will HATE him.


Here's an idea from the Shackled City campaign:

Instead of one NPC, make it a full party. Make all of the NPCs in that party have 3 or 4 levels of aristocrat and 1 level of some PC class. Have this party take and be given credit for EVERY good thing the real PC do. Make them excessively arrogant and willing to rub their "epic heroicness" in the faces of the PCs.


All you need to do is call him a "GMPC."

Voilà! Instant loathing.


Make a god gish of bad-assery whom the PCs cannot fight and win against.
The easiest way to do this is to ensure he has tactics that they cannot respond to effectively. One option is to make him be able to throw them off all the time.
One option:
Aasimar [need daylight](Scion of Gnomeity) (martial 1)(Sorcerer 1)(Oracle 1)(EK2)(Dragon Disciple 10)(EK 8 or Hellknight Enforcer 5).
Focus on illusions since the gnome can take the feat that makes maintaining illusions a swift action. Hence making it so he can attack and maintain the illusion. With this build when he is level 13 he will have a fly speed.

You want to give him the foils of your PCs. If there are a lot of casters make sure he can cast anti-magic field. If there is a lot of melee make sure he can nuke them into submission. With the one level in Oracle you can use Cha instead of Dex for AC and Ref, as well as get a bite attack and possibly others. Make him dual cursed and he can take Misfortune with the extra Revelation feat to make him harder to deal with since if someone rolls high on an attack or save he can make them reroll once a day.

Always remember that he could taunt the PCs while maintaining 2 illusions, then hide behind one. He has total concealment, so you can run this as they don't even get a check to find him or he has +20 if moving or +40 if standing still to his stealth check per invisibility.

Nothing makes the PCs hate someone more than betrayal and forcing them to fail. The PCs kill big bad or complete a major objective only to get trapped and the NPC claim victory in the town. He steals their glory, and no one believe they did the deed, or worse he has turned the town against them as "spies".

If you go with the illusionist option then he can come to them as a different person each time only to reveal himself in the end when they can't do anything about it. Make him a real bastard. Make him backstab them. Make him steal from them. Invisibility is the most profitable thing ever in the right hands.

Eventually he becomes the BBEG or is defeated by the BBEG only to be found and saved by the PCs. Do they kill him? Do they help him? Do they let him join their ranks? If so, is he motivated to be loyal to them, or is this just another backstab in the works? Some of the most enduring pseudo-villains are the ones that backstab the party endlessly, but help them out when the conditions are right. Sometimes they make amends for their past sleights to the PCs, but other times they don't.

One thing that can work is that he knows the PCs are "profitable" and therefore will cast raise dead on them if he finds their corpse or corpses. Sometimes he'll sneak into the group after someone has died and been buried just to exhume the corpse and revive the PC. Perhaps after all of their adventuring days when the PCs are looking for retirement they come across a tavern with a familiar--and loathed--face who hires them as partners for old-times sake. Perhaps he gives them a great deal of money to retire with so there are "no hard feelings."

Maybe he turns out to be an unlocked character who, after the PCs save his life or something, turns out to be a crafting GOD who makes items for the party at 75% the buy value. Be sure that he has some sort of way to take advantage of them or that all of his magic items speak to the minds of those who admire them his name, location, and pricing options.

Just always have him take advantage of the PCs regardless of what happens, and they will hate him. It might be a love-hate relationship, but it will still be there.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Make a character who's better than them in every way. Make a character who could be the WORST GMPC EVER! have them swoop in and show up the characters constantly, make the characters look bad so that the adoring fans will worship them. Make the most detestable, irritating, Mary Sue you can. Then not only will the characters hate the glowing perfect annoying pain in the butt Adonis, the Players will too because he's super irritating.

GM did this to a group I was in, and we put aside our petty hatred and jealousy to take him down. Worked a treat.

DO NOT REVEAL until campaign is over that you wanted the PCs to hate him.

May I also suggest mind control spells? Players hate that especially hard when used on them.


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Name him Justin Bieber...

Sovereign Court

I've gotten my players to hate some of the NPCs in my vampire game. They were just starting out as young vampires and this other group of vampires was basically picking on them.

The PCs had to do some quest to prove themselves; the NPC group tried to hinder them, staying just inside the rules.

Eventually, one of them cornered a PC, put a stake through his heart, tore off his arm, and buried him alive. Later that night he sent the other PCs a note telling them where to dig. (This is something vampires can survive, although growing back an arm takes a while.)

The NPC still has that torn-off arm somewhere, and it could be used for voodoo stuff. But it's mostly the casual humiliation that made them hate the NPCs. The players involved still want revenge on that group, and it's about 7 years ago.

===

A villain, played scrupulously according to the rules, with not a whiff of fudging. He beats the PCs but doesn't bother destroying them; just inconveniences them no end. Maybe teleporting them to the middle of the wilderness, naked; their gear is still at the inn. And he gets away, as if the PCs couldn't possibly stop him.

If you do it without making him much more powerful, just well-prepared, it's much more irritating.

===

That said, the OP makes me wonder if you shouldn't be talking OOC about the underlying problem, rather than trying this passive-aggressive thing.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Name him Justin Bieber...

Better yet, invite Justin Bieber to game with you.

He can sit next to Wil Wheaton.


i find hateable NPCs all share a few common traits:

-they don't respect the party even slightly
-they abuse their positions of power, be it for blatant personal gain or for petty revenge
and most importantly:
-they do not listen to common sense if it clashes with their view of a subject, and will react violently if the subject is pressed

another goodie: no mater who they are, if they steal something from the party--even something minor--your party will be out for BLOOD. they will follow any scrap of a hint as to how they can recover the lost object and get revenge on whoever took it.

i've seen parties chase a pair of boots across the country because someone nicked them from the inn they were staying at.


Don't have them kill anyone, just make them steal credit for the PCs work. It's the quickest, most efficient way to make people hate someone.

Silver Crusade

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Just to throw in something else, give them things the PCs want and make them treat it as petty trash, maybe break it in front of them.

"Yes, it's a nice adamantine longsword, but it doesn't go with this cloak. Have it melted down and sold for scrap."

"I'll just put this with all my other metamagic rods...in the trash."

Or worse, make an NPC the party likes ADORE this person, and have the NPC in question treat them like trash. Even more fun if it's a loved one or romantic interest.

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