View Full Version : Neutral Bad Guy brainstorming

2008-03-28, 06:14 PM
I just realized that my current campaign has absolutely no neutral bad guys. It has Evil ones (duh), and even a few Good ones that are going to be a huge hindrance to the party - but I want/need a few ideas for badguys that aren't explicitly good or evil.

Some ideas:

Undead (Necropolitan or Lich) worshipper of Evening Glory (thank you, Good Lich thread for this idea :P)... doing... something... that's bad... Yeah...

Lonely werewolf?

Thieves guild?

The Psionic's Guild, actually, is strongly LN, and are not very nice - and since a Psyhic Warrior just joined the group, I think I'm going to have the Guild start taxing them for the use of basically what amounts to a copyrighted type of magic...

Slaadi? I guess?

Any ways to make those ^ ideas better would be better, or even new ideas - I just need some interesting ba .. neutral guys. Oh, basically everything in the game should be able to be skipped, nothing *necessary* (I'm trying to stay away from railroading, at all, it's HARD).


2008-03-28, 06:22 PM
Oops. I've said nothing about my campaign.

Very little matters, they're level 6 right now, and basically, they're artifact hunting to stop the "Ash Prince" from getting all Nine of the artifacts, for some obscure reason they barely understand - they heard a prophecy, and he seems like a pretty uncool dude. Oh, and he slaughtered the village they grew up in with his warband.

Anything between levels 6 and 20 is good though, I need several more cool things to happen. It's a Points of Light campaign (I came up with it pre-4e! I promise! :P), and I can basically add anything I want to the map no problem - all that I need to keep is: Big bodies of water are rare. There are two Kingdoms, both large, but one has very little.. cohesion (this is where the group is from), whereas the other has a very careful control of everything in it's borders.

EDIT: The group is:

Warforged Artificer. N. Warforged in this world were actually an experiment by the Clockwork Horrors (MM2), who want to basically turn everything into more of them.. Think Replicators from StarGate. The character was in a frozen state for a very long time, and was woken by the group with no memories. Now knows what he is, and has decided to help the people fight them off.

Mongrelfolk Barbarian. NG. Descendant of the Reth Dekala, though he doesn't know it - they're out to kill him. That's basically it.

Killoren Cleric of Procan (God of the Sea). CN. Backstory involves a boat crashing after almost everyone about died. He is one of two survivors, the other being "Grandfather", who hates Humanoids. The character is trying to work out whether or not he also hates Humanoids.

Half-Giant (Runt, house-rule to get rid of LA. No +2 con, no Stomp, and no Powerful Build) Psychic Warrior. N. Mercenary from the other kingdom, moved away from the desert to find some grass.

2008-03-28, 06:28 PM
Neutral is the "not going out of your way" category - that is, if helping someone doesn't interfere with current goals and doesn't cost overly much (time, treasure, or effort), it'll likely be done. If it requires significant work, it probably won't be. If it's required to meet a goal, the neutral person will be ruthless - part of the reason the True Neutral alignment is sometimes called "munchkin".

But anyway, you've got quite the setup for a true neutral opponent - the opponent can also be hunting the artifacts, no problem.

2008-03-28, 06:32 PM
That does make sense, and I have several other adventuring groups looking for them - the main problems are, the group will find all nine by level 10, and all my BBEG are chosen - I don't have any room for more campaign centric NPC's, just like.. 30% of level XP encounters.

Freelance Henchman
2008-03-28, 06:39 PM
Maybe a druid circle? Not sure how it fits into your world though.

2008-03-28, 06:42 PM
Maybe a druid circle? Not sure how it fits into your world though.

There definitely is one, the group hasn't met them yet, nor have I designed them, but the group is actually really good at... not being anti-druid. Not sure how I'd peg em.

Actually, I suppose more people could get pissy with the Warforged... I mean the Horrors *did* just attack the capital...

2008-03-28, 08:06 PM
What about a trade union vs. some druids? They want to reopen a road in order to better facilitate trade between city A and city B. However, this road lies in the middle of Druid territory. The Druids want their forest to be intact, but the traders honestly don't care and have repeatedly offered to purchase the land off of the Druids, who have repeatedly refused. The PCs could work for either side, and the other side would start to hold a grudge against them.

2008-03-28, 08:20 PM
How about a competing Aritfacer? Maybe he wants the warforged for parts. A cowardly Chaotic Neutral type who is constantly attacking in the dead of night and trying to rip out the warforged's heart.

2008-03-28, 08:21 PM
Slaadi are way underused in my opinion.

Incredibly powerful race of constantly mutating, semi-immortal shapeshifters and shock troopers that work to undermine all civilization, oh, and if they kill you, you become one of them. What about a Grey Slaad NPC who has multiple identities that works toward destroying the local kingdom?

If they party is interested in treasure hunting, why not just put them up against a competing adventuring party?

2008-03-28, 10:05 PM
In Dark Sun if a psion reaches a high enough level and is not declared to be neutral there's supposed to be an organization that hunts them down to kill them or force an alignment change. Just remove the second option and change the focus to sorcerers/sword sages/etc.

Mando Knight
2008-03-29, 10:30 PM
Some hyper-lawful LN opponent whose goal is to "bring order to the chaos" of the world... and the only way he sees to do so is to kill all who do not conform to his ideals: Paladins who are "too merciful," Rogues, Bards, Barbarians, etc. Maybe something like Light Yagami off of Death Note... or as Brainiac is sometimes portrayed...

2008-03-29, 11:12 PM
A guild of thieves could be blanketing the area with annoying spies & pickpockets if they hear about one of the artifacts & decide its worth the trouble. If they're half-smart they won't force a direct confrontation, but there's always burning down the inn or something.

For a more physical bunch, Formians could conduct a terrifyingly efficient search for an artifact. The PCs might get involved to stop them wrecking the entire area.

2008-03-29, 11:55 PM
Given that you already have plenty of good and evil obstacles, just make a neutral meta-obstacle, a reasonably powerful and well-connected NPC who thinks he's in control of the whole damned situation and who doesn't want the PC's to screw up the existing power balance framework. The PC's habits of going around eliminating random bad guys, depending upon whom they encounter first, is sure to tick this guy off.

Oh, and make sure his plans are widespread and fail reasonably often, both in favor of and against the PC's interests. That should keep him on the playing field for an extended period of time.

2008-03-30, 12:30 AM
I made a druid NPC some time ago. She's neither good nor evil, but she vehemently loathes undead; as a child, she witnessed her hometown's destruction by a horde of zombies. The party has a Dread Necromancer in it. Hilarity ensues!

2008-03-30, 07:47 PM
I've found th easiest way to do this is Lawful Neutral ie fanaticism.
A) Mr. LN has a grand plan for the universe and thinks its a great idea
B) Mr. LN's plan is really terrible for the universe
C) Mr. LN goes ahead with the plan against the insistences of others
D) Mr. LN has to be taken out or something bad will happen.

Here's some of my favorites:
"End the world" (Sladdi? Mad scientist/wizard?): The world can do better. It really can. Also, there has to be a world. Therefore, if we end the world, a new, better world will come along.
"Live forever" (Lich?): Isn't survival one's most basic instinct? Who can blame a man from trying to avoid the most obvious death of all? Isn't an cost justified is taking if this can be shared with all?
"God says" (Cleric?): This is what I believe God says to do. Who am I to question it?
"The Misanthrope" (Druid? Construct?): The world is better off without people. People do terrible things and terrible things happen to people just by existing. Therefore, get rid of them all.
"Conformity" (Cleric? Construct? Undead?): This is the right way live, I know it and no one can tell me otherwise. If it isn't, life doesn't matter anyway, so I can assume it is the right way. Therefore I must convert everyone.
"The Monarch" (Anyone): The world fights wars and has terrible leaders who allow their citizens to do terrible things. There's only one person who I could trust to do everything right if they were in control, and that's me. I can end all wars and repair the world if only I can take over it.

2008-03-30, 07:56 PM
how about a rouge aasimar, having seen and heard so much sensless and wonton evil from a young age he seeks to end all evil, and the world with it (or a city, the scale it up to you)

2008-03-30, 07:57 PM
I'd give them a TN opponent who is also searching the artifacts and has no quarrels to hinder his competition in whatever way is available to him (spread a few rumors about the party, order some henchmen to get them, sabotage their equipment) without becoming outright evil/crazy. Still, the guy has to be stopped since they can't be sure about what he is going to do with the artifacts - including selling them to the highest bidder.

Totally Guy
2008-03-31, 06:49 AM
I made a TN character once that lived in a dungeon, by himself and liked it.

His backstory was that the good guys showed up. Solved some ancient puzzle, took the artefact and fled from the dungeon as the whole thing blew up.

He accompanied the group to find the next dungeon, as adventurers always find dungeons. His goal was to find a dungeon with enough comfort for living, like running water and decent climate.

The character could have gone antagonistic. With plenty of motivation to hinder the group.

2008-03-31, 07:19 AM
you can use my character as NPC :smallbiggrin:

quick sketch done after dinner.

Sebastian Seaside
neutral evil bounty hunter (ranger) favoured enemy:human. (and other humanoids if you increase his level) he dual wields a axe and a sword, sport a crossbow and have a un-christian number of daggers hidden everywhere. Alcohol problems and suck at all sorts of gambling. he is a downright bastard.
does anything for money.

perfect encounter on a dark and stormy night when the party runs back to town after a very challenging dungeon (or not challengeing at all) suddenly the lighting ilumites a shape...
" 'ello. you know how much your heads are worht? kehehehehe!"

he is still (C)'ed by me tho'

he is a ADD character tho' so just give him whatever stats yeh feel like.