View Full Version : I'll need a new villain

2007-12-10, 12:41 PM
I am reaching the first third of a campaing I'm Dming (4th one in my setting) and I think my players should now the major players by then. I don't want them facing an important BBEG near the end of the game and wondering "who's that again?". I also am in favor of having a major plotline with "almost as major" ones along the way.

But, since I want to introduce right now who the "players" are, I need good villain ideas now, not next year. I'll give you a list of what I already have a a simple synopsis of the story and I would need your help for a few ideas.

The campain has a national scale, with a few neiboring countries intervening. It is a cosmopolitan nation, with 35% elves (1rst class citizens), 20% half-elves (2nd class), 35% humans (2nd class), 8% gnomes (merchants so disliked but very powerfull families) and 2% halfling and half-orcs(3rd class). the story revolves around the fact that the Blood War is curently on hold since the Devils, upon loosing major ground in an invasion of Hell (conlusion of the 3rd campain!), used a multiverse-shattering ritual to seal transportation by outsiders from plane to plane, except in the case of Summon Monster X, Planar Ally and the like(they get back to where the were the last time before the summon if anyting goes wrong, so no wizard has had to worry about casting magic circle when casting Planar Binding...not that they know why). But a few outsiders were on the material plane at the time, including a powerfull Balor who knew about the ritual. Since then (40 years ago), he rebuilt the Tanar'i cult (the Chain) in the country, eventually laying low and begining his plan: impregnate as many women with half-demon children to raise a small army of powerful half-fiends (not considered outsiders in my case since they were born on the mother's plane) and either use them to destroy and terrorise or, if things go really well, strike at Hell and break the ritual. The Chain is taking in those children and traning them. They also kindnap women for rape and pose as "defenders of freedom against an oppresive and corrupt regime".

But a DMPC, whose mother and sister have died giving birth to half-demons, will gradually start to believe that no power but the devils can hold off the demons and will progressivelly turn to them (who have influence in a secret society called The Dagger). That's about it for the setting and history.

Now, BBEG!

My 1rst "minor" major one has a level 12 elven necromanceress as BBEG, who has a tendency to be prepared for everything. She rules over a secret arcane society who practices forbiden magical research and has quite a few agents in the nation. The society itself is overall neutral but she's clearly NE.

My second minor major BBEG is an elven general, leading the Loyalists (agains the revolution and in favor of a return of the Elven Empire). He will probably be fighter 10/ranger 4 or so, with a few of his soldiers with him (elite guards, level 4, 10-15 of them).

They already know the location of a Old Black Dragon.

In my main storyline, they will encounter minor actors along the way but the main ones will be/have been:

- level 2 half-demon cleric X
- level 5 summoner X
- level 5/5 half-demon fighter/rogue (was meant to flee but wasn't very important and they got LUCKY....) X
- level 8 human cleric and a few (5-10) level 1 cultists.
- level 8/2 half-elf bard/fighter. CR 10 but come-on!
- (got tho fill that gap along the way)
- The conniving Bone Devil (cleric 3, fiend of Blasfemy 6) who's behind the DMPC corruption CR 18 but probably easier than that.
- The Balor himself (got rid of implosion, reduced the save DC by 2 and the sword is a +1 keen, unholy, flaming burst large longsword) CR 20 but the DMPC will help
- The DMPC: Cleric 12 / Ordained Champion 5, LE elf. CR 17 but well prepared.

The party consist of:

level 6 human Bard ( who will turn Paladin at level 8)
level 6 half-orc Druid
level 6 gnome necromancer (neutral, more of a tinkerer) (banned evocation and Abjuration)
level 3 fighter/3 ranger elven soldier.

None of them are, or wish to be, really optimised. Core-only helps for that.

i should bring them to the conclusion around level 16. The most powerful NPC in the country is a level 18 wizard and less than 100 people are over level 10 on a population over one million. The most powerful mortal on the surface of the world is about level 22 while the most powerfull mortal that ever lived was level 35 and completely out of proportion with the rest of the multiverse (Asmodeus is destroyed and was CR 40 at best).

I might accept another player in a few months. I run Core-only except for the prestige class (and everyone must agree around the table on that except for those of my NPCs). Magic his powerful and rare (no: buying magic items, paying a guy to do all the work for you, etc) so the characters will probably make one magic item each and that what I give them for the rest. In that effect, i got rid of all the craft feats except for Scribe Scrolls and Brew Potions.

I feel I could use a few good ideas. So, do I need to give the last BBEG any help? Do you have any cool ideas of a villain I could squeeze in there? Am I missing something? The stats matter a little but I'm mainly looking for concepts that will make my players say "oh crap!..." when they hear about them in-game.

Thanks in advance!

2007-12-10, 12:47 PM
I see you have a gap to fill. I also see you have omitted Complete Scoundrel's Malconvoker from your plot, who oozes with relevant flavor. Might I advise killing two birds with one stone, perhaps with the duper being duped?

2007-12-10, 12:56 PM
I suggest an intelligent magical item.

The party seems to be good aligned, and it's always rather amusing for them to kill "the BBEG", only to find out that it was an innocent, defenseless person they just murdered, and that a magic item was just possessing them.

What's more, you could give the item, say, 6 levels of Warlock, so it can use Flee the Scene. That way, it can avoid capture, and find some other unwitting sap to control, which will, of course, force the PCs to kill another innocent person. Eventually, it'll just get too hard to justify...especially if the item continually mocks them about how horrible a person each one of them is for doing this to a helpless commoner.

2007-12-10, 07:17 PM
How about a ghost? I don't know enough about your past campaigns to know who would make the best candidate, but I'd stray away from anything that simple rehashes a previous villain. Someone with a strong passion for life (a lover, a devoted priest, a brave warrior) and feels like they had been cheated. Here are some possible motivations:
1) Someone that is so driven by his/her passion that he/she is willing to help Devils/Demons to find his/her way back to life
2) Someone who hates Celestrials for forsaking him/her
3) Someone who is trapped on this plane because of the "multiverse-shattering ritual to seal transportation" and seeks to undo it.
4) Someone who blames almost ever living thing and tries to ruin the world.
5) Someone who has experienced the horror of Devils/Demons and has gone mad because of it.
6) Someone who possessed a Devil/Demon and has found themselves corrupted and used instead.
7) Someone who died in the heat of battle and sees every living thing as an enemy and not who they actually are

I once used a dead PC to fill this role, my players were shocked and estatic.

2007-12-11, 05:16 AM
An alchemist that uses highly addictive drugs to control people.
He gives the drugs either secretly or by force, and makes sure the victim knows he is the only source of the drug.
This alchemist can be the head of a small spy network of one of your bigger villains (he will rarely ask for more than information to assure his safety). And one of the players becoming a victim is an excellent beginning.

It is up to you to decide what will happen if someone doesn't get the drug, but I suggest something that will severely effect the stats.

2007-12-11, 06:56 AM
I'd vote for a level 10-14ish rogue leading a thieves' guild. Guilds are brilliant in any long-time campaign since they can do low-level annoyance and disturbance (they can have influence so storekeepers charge more, stablemasters 'accidentally' give rectal shots to their horses, making them useless for a few days, anything that's left in their rooms is stolen etc). Low-level magic devices (a 5th level rogue hiding on a roof near a battle with an enchanted feather capable of making a low-level Gust of Wind kinda kills archery) and UMD make for excellent robberies ;) Of course, you have to give your players chances to spot and fix these incursions or they're going to be very annoyed.

2007-12-11, 09:53 AM
I must say Xefas' idea for an intelligent magical item seems the most interesting.

2007-12-11, 10:03 AM
Mad scientists are always a blast, just introduced one in my campaign last session.... and now one off my pc's had the flesh gnawed off one of his arms and then animated :smallwink:

Or search your pc's backstory, maybe they made enemies in the past? :smallsmile:

Or an awakened dog, best friend my ...derrière :smallsigh:

2007-12-11, 10:27 AM
I must say Xefas' idea for an intelligent magical item seems the most interesting.

It IS good.The devil's champion will most likely have found the "cursed" sword the PCs forged at the end of the 3rd campaign. It was 2ed so it implied a check at the end the the item creation process, which I made secretly. The failled, BIG time, but I didn't like the idea of having put them through all that to get a -1 sword. So, instead, I decided that they had indeed made a sword of the planes but it was intelligent, NE and determined to be wielded and instrumental in the final battle of the Blood War. They found that out DURING their confrontation with Asmodeus!

I changed its characteritics when we decided to play the new campaign in 3.5 since the idea of a sword of the planes was to hurt anything that required a magical weapon, no mather was bonus. So the sword has a +4 power to ignore any outsider's DR.

I will use it to push that poor elf over his last reserves. Nice one.

I am also considering the other ideas, please continue to contribute, it's both useful and informative!

Iudex Fatarum
2007-12-11, 12:04 PM
I always liked the evil animal who has a human who follows him. get a druid or some such and no animal companion for him and the main BBEG is the intelligent dog following the druid around.

2007-12-11, 10:01 PM
All you need is someone who throws pies.


If your going for memorable.... trust me, you just found it.

2007-12-11, 10:53 PM
What about an Ultroloth who has been wandering the earth in borrowed forms ever since the realms were locked down? It uses its formidable disguise, enchantment and teleportation abilities to swiftly travel from kingdom to kingdom to bend mortal rulers to its vile will. It has no true allegiance to either demon or devil in this conflict, but will support whatever side it thinks will further its goal of subverting the cosmic lockdown in effect. Presumably with an entire unwitting human army in tow.

It's DR 30/+3, high SR and abilities to teleport, alter its form turn invisible and assume gaseous form at will ensure that this intriguer will require some very creative solutions in order to stop.