View Full Version : Need Help Designing a Villain (4E)

2009-11-08, 01:31 PM
So, I'm going to be DMing a new campaign online soon, in a somewhat generic (at the moment, likely to be flushed out as need-be) homebrew setting. The basic premise of the campaign is this: Long ago, the gods created, largely through accident, a magical thing, known only as The Wish. It, when held, instictively brings to the holder's mind their deepest wish and proceeds to grant it. For the longest time (since the ancient Red War, which destroyed several major civilizations and did untold amount of magical damage to the planet), The Wish has been sealed away in a cave in the mountains, guarded by its sacred guardian (and, at the moment, her two apprentices). Until now, when some Wizard heard legends of it, uncovered where it might have been kept, and hired an Assassin to get it and bring it back to him. The problem? The Assassin was so startled by his own wish that he let it go, thus sending The Wish out wandering into the world, leaving a trail of miracles and disasters behind it. The party's job is to get it back.

Now, I've decided that after the first few adventures, which would largely be episodic and random, I want to introduce a pair of villains who will harrass the party and try and capture the Wish for the second third of the story (a few levels in later heroic: the game itself will go to early/mid Paragon). One of them, who I've already figured out, is a misanthropic Wizard who controls an army of golem-dolls (including one of the PCs, who has some measure of free will and is gaining more throughout the story), and intends to create a "Wish-Finding Device" in order to fulfill his wish of removing all sapient life on this and all planes but him so he can finally be alone. I'm pretty satisfied with him, but I have only sketchy impulses of the other guy. Which is where I turn to you guys for some further ideas.

I know the following things:

He is the Wizard who hired the Assassin at the story's start.
I want him to have a different "feel" than the Doll Wizard, so I'm thinking he's much more combat-ready and direct than Mr. "I won't leave the tower because there's people out there; let's get a doll to do it."
He's a necromancer.
He has some sort of connection to the elderly Wish Guardian lady, and may likely end up killing her for dramaz.

I don't need any mechanical stuff yet so much as I need ideas as to who this guy is, what he wants, and how he's going to do it.

2009-11-08, 01:43 PM
Well, the first thing you need to resolve is why he wants The Wish. What does he hope to get?

Often what you get from necromancers is a quest for immortality, which is what led them to study undead. This usually leads to a lich, but if you want to avoid that cliche, you can have him fueling his life from the life of others, or grafting parts from other creatures onto himself, or moving from body to body, or whatever gives you the coolest villain.

Or perhaps you can go back to the cliche, a lich who finds that being a lich isn't all it was cracked up to be. He wants to return to human form, but who also wants to be young and healthy. Hence he needs The Wish to accomplish that.

Or... you could go tragic. Perhaps he's not seeking immortality for himself, but for a loved one. Someone who died and despite all his magic he's been unable to bring her back to life, or perhaps his necromancy has only brought her back to a horrible mockery of life, and he wants to do better.

Aron Times
2009-11-08, 02:27 PM
This reminds me of a conversation between Lelouch and Suzaku in the last episode of Code Geass where Lelouch likens his Geass (at-will, no save Dominate in D&D) to a wish. Basically, his use of Geass is akin to a wish for a better world.

The Wish in your game might be similar to Lelouch's Geass or some other characters'. Other characters had Geass that could stop time, see the future, rewrite memories, etc. Basically, it's a world-shattering power.

Perhaps when the villain is defeated, the party is offered the chance to gain the Wish's power. This would be an excellent roleplaying opportunity.