View Full Version : DM Help Bit Part: Disposable Villains or Cameo

2015-02-03, 03:09 AM
Due to several of my players being on this forum, the following will be vague.

In the urban fantasy campaign I'm currently running, one of the players has stood up to the local wizard Sheriff in a very public way. They're in a small town, so this sort of thing is likely to be solved by violence (ultimately ending with them stomping the wizard Sheriff once they get through his hired help and prepared defenses).

One layer of his hired help is going to be demonic in nature, and I was hoping to get some insight on which of the following options to go with when deciding what to do with these villains for what is ultimately a bit part:

1. Disposable villains. The demons in question are a pair of disposable villains, only named in case the players actually ask or go through a roundabout method of defeating them involving learning their True Names. They'll assist the wizard Sheriff until the players defeat their minions and then them, which might be a bit tough but will no doubt happen pretty quickly. They're just a roadblock.

2. A villain cameo. Earlier in the game, the group managed to drive off a pretty strong demon who will actually be playing a part in plot way, way down the line and who works for a stronger demon yet. He wouldn't be able to actually be on Earth to fight the group, as the disposable villains would, but he would provide some minions to get in the group's way, and would teach them a few things about dimensional permeability and maybe give them a hint toward Hell's relations with Earth.

So what would your advice be? For a bit role that does nothing more than prove that the wizard Sheriff has demons on the payroll be to use disposable villains, mere cannon fodder, or to have a previous foe pop back in to snarl at them and bill for face time that could be cashed in down the road?

Would it be too coincidental for the cameo to occur, when the part could be just as easily filled by entirely nameless minions?

I appreciate any responses, because I'm floundering on something that should be a very small bridge between two different parts of the story.

Lord Torath
2015-02-03, 11:35 AM
Depends on whether you feel this Sheriff would have the outer-plane connections to bring him to your Head Demon's attention. If he's just small time, your Head Demon might never have heard of him, in which case go with the generic mooks. If there's some reason HD would know of the Sheriff's existence, he might be willing to "intercept" the sheriff's demon summoning request and insert his own minions.

2015-02-03, 12:24 PM
You could use the disposable villains, but still use them to teach about planar permeability.

2015-02-03, 06:36 PM
It also depends on your campaign philosophy ... do you like disposable villains, or do you like every encounter to tie into the larger story?

2015-02-04, 09:22 AM
Sometimes my disposable villains are designed to be disposable but end up coming back for more if for no more reason than they were popular. Like Ultros.