View Full Version : She Wants to Bring About Utter Chaos! But Why?

2008-11-01, 05:36 PM
I'm planning out a short campaign for my group, and I have a nice little skeleton of everything, but I am having some trouble fleshing out a few of the fine points.

(Good place to tell my players to not read this or fear taking lots and lots of ability score damage.)

I'm tempted to give out a ton of information about my plans for the campaign that isn't relevent to my question, so I'll skip to the important bits.

The BBEgirl is a "Hell Singer" (homebrewed prestige class) who travels from place to place using her status as the equivalent of a popstar to hide the crimes she and her half-fiend minions commit as part of her evil plan.

Her ultimate goal is to use a magical item that allows her to broadcast her singing across a large chunk of the imperial city and wipe all the important leaders who came to hear her sing out of existence. She wants to do this to send the world spiraling into anarchy (or that is the reason I'm working with at the moment.)

Now I need to figure out why she wants to do this terrible thing, and what sort of low-level minions would she be likely to ally herself with and why?

I would prefer to avoid her destroying the world leaders for the sake of chaos and evil, but if you can give me a good sale on why she would want to do it for those reasons, I will consider it.

2008-11-01, 05:43 PM
How about instead of actively wanting to bring ruin to everything, she just wants to sing (because it satisfies her huge ego)? Her singing brings chaos whether she likes it or not, and doesn't really give a crap about the consequences. This would make her a more "apathetic" kind of evil, as opposed to "proactive" but I think it's a bit less generic than the "must...destroy" style of big bad.

Kris Strife
2008-11-01, 05:49 PM
*insert deragatory comment to popstars here* how about because her record/ticket sales are declining and she wants to get rid of the world governments, then turn the confused and paniced citizens into her mind controlled minions?

2008-11-01, 05:50 PM
If she's truly chaotic, then her reasons are simple.

Giant Frog.

More seriously, however, there could be many reasons. Greed (she'll make out during the anarchy, or some power is paying her to do it), Insanity, Hate (Perhaps someone she hates is in the government), Power (causing the anarchy will give her great personal power), Love (this will help someone she loves), Freedom (she feels the government is oppressive), Boredom (she's ridiculously strong. This will entertain her.)...one could go on. Once you pick the basis, its easy to make more specific - perhaps if you like love, then creating world anarchy will release enough Chaos to free her beloved from Limbo.

Moff Chumley
2008-11-01, 05:52 PM
I'd play down the 'pop star' aspect and have it more be in the style of a classical composer: fighting for recognition amongst her peers, and being so crazed about it she literally wants to kill people who don't love her.

2008-11-01, 05:59 PM
Of course, you could always follow the lead of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Some people don't have or need any more reason than simply finding the chaos and destruction great fun. Things are so much more interesting when they're coming apart at the seams.

2008-11-01, 06:05 PM
Insanity (Simple, but over done):
You don't have to come up with much motivation, she's just insane. Building a back story to what drove her insane is a big plus though.

Totally Sane:
This one's better because she can be cold and calculating, and really knows what she's doing. Maybe the leaders of the government are corrupt or caused her personal harm and she's engaged in a vendetta. Maybe she wants to restore personal freedoms which autocratic governments removed, but she doesn't care about the consequences in human life from an abrupt transition to anarchy.

Power hungry:
She wants to expand her popularity into temporal power. After removing the current governments, she will use her fame to gain power. She may have varied motivations to gain power, and you can come up with some more complex multifaceted reasons behind this. You can easily combine this with Insanity or Totally sane.

She's bored with her life of privilege and petty crimes. Regicide is a challenge and fun! This fits a truly heartless and evil archetype, but is fairly one dimensional

Bon Vivant:
The world's going to hell anyways, why not help it on its way, and party while doing it. Only after the world's there can you help build it back up. (Mixing this with Insanity, and you've got the Joker)

2008-11-01, 08:53 PM
Of course, you could always follow the lead of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Some people don't have or need any more reason than simply finding the chaos and destruction great fun.

Because some (wo)men can't be bought, bullied, or reasoned with. Some (wo)men just wanna watch the world burn.

2008-11-01, 08:58 PM
Even if she doesn't stand to gain by all the chaos, sometimes people do things simply to prove that they are powerful, either to others or just to themselves.

2008-11-01, 09:11 PM
Even better: Misled freedom fighter.

The character believes the empire to be intrinsically and irrevocably evil and stagnant. She believes real change can't come to the body until the head has not merely been removed, but utterly destroyed, and wiping out the capital should accomplish that. She's obviously evil due to her methods, her bedfellows, and her disregard for the lives of the "sheep" who obey the government. After all, those without freedom are little better than livestock, and hundreds of beasts are slain each day "for the greater good."

And we even have sources saying "for the greater good" is the first step on the road to evil. You have a chaotic evil villain who's still sympathetic. The players could even get started working with her for liberation before they realize how dangerous she is to the innocent as well.

2008-11-01, 09:20 PM
Because life's more interesting that way.

2008-11-01, 09:26 PM
Because life's more interesting that way.

If.. she's straight CN, that would make a pretty fair amount of sense.

2008-11-01, 09:41 PM
What I've been doing with my Bad Guys is to give them at least three different sets of backstory and motivation: All plausible, all completely mutually exclusive.

She's fighting to free her imprisoned lover from the forces of hell. She's fighting to take hideous revenge on a lover who spurned her. She's fighting to end the evil and tyranny of the Empire. She's fighting to kill off the current leadership of the Empire, and assume absolute control for herself. She's completely innocent, has absolutely no idea what the magic item will do, and has just been manipulated by her fiendish 'servants', who are trying to start a demonic invasion. She is a demon, and is trying to start a demonic invasion.

She herself never confirms or denies anything: She's too busy being a rockstar and blowing stuff to Hell and back. NPCs around her get into arguments about who's story is more stupid.

2008-11-01, 09:45 PM
The reasons given so far are good. Another that you could use is that it is part of her religion/philosophy. Maybe she believes that matter is bad. The only good thing is music and it must be used to fight matter until all that is left is a perfect plane of song.

2008-11-01, 09:46 PM
If she really is the hipster you say she is, go the Fight Club route. She thinks that human existence is cheapened by the focus on consumerism and self-protection over fighting for a worthy cause or living a life of contrast. In the medieval world, however, there is no middle class, so she hates the luxury of noblemen and the drudgery of peasants. In short, she is half communist, half anarchist, 100% Hollywood material.

2008-11-01, 10:03 PM
If.. she's straight CN, that would make a pretty fair amount of sense.You mean bisexual CN.

2008-11-01, 10:25 PM
Maybe she was only a middling performer early in her life, despite spending all her energy and desire on getting better. One night, when travelling around to her next show, she came to a crossroads where a devil was waiting for her. He offered to give her perfect skill with her music, and eventually make her the court bard in Hell, singing over the souls suffering below, so long as she'd agree to his plans. She agreed, and now looks forward to bringing a bunch of others down with her so she can lord it over them. If she ever finds someone who can actually sing better than she can, she might realize that the devil lied to her about giving her perfect skill, and maybe about the rest of it as well. Or she just might go into a psychotic rage.

2008-11-01, 10:29 PM
Daddy issues.

Instant complexity, sympathy, conflict and stereotypical unoriginality. It cannot possibly go wrong. :smallyuk:

2008-11-01, 10:43 PM
Or, a concept I go with often for my chaotic characters...

Only through chaos (and/or fire) can change really come about. By removing the world's leaders, true, there will be a period of instability, but then, what rises in its place will be stronger, sleeker, and more adaptable.

2008-11-01, 10:43 PM
Daddy issues.

"This is all my father's fault! He never loved me or took care of me! For instance, this one Christmas, I asked for a pony... and he gave me a young horse that wasn't a thoroughbred! So I beat him to death with a hammer and dedided to destroy all fathers everywhere."

2008-11-01, 11:17 PM
Many thanks to everyone for their advice. After some thought, I am leaning towards the following:

(again, my players DO NOT READ)

Some years ago, she sold her soul and service in exchange for "unsurpassed" musical talent and eternal fame (as per the suggestion above.) At first it seemed to her the perfect trade, she was famous, beloved by her followers (leadership feat), and the beauty of the music she had always loved left her weak with marvel at her own skill. Eventually, however, the devil that had approached her began demanding she uphold her end of the deal. The devil demanded she begin learning the lyrics to unsettling music of a disturbing, if beautiful, nature. When she could not pronounce the lyrics correctly, the devil forced her to study the dark language they were written in, the Dark Speech (requirement for prestige class.)

Soon the young foolish half-elf could no longer stand to delve deeper into the darkness, and she attempted to find a loophole around what she had sold to the devil. The devil, however, defeated her in a challenge of singing capability by stealing her voice just prior to the contest and returning it some time later. As a reward, the devil had gained not only her service, but her complete and utter obedience.

In a desperate attempt to protect her own tortured mind from the guilty knowledge of the atrocities she was required to perform, she used her quickly growing wealth to have several powerful charms placed on her to help her ignore and forget about the underlying darkness to her actions.

The devil will be her agent (an NPC I had intended to have before, but who now gets to be a meaningful villain), and is in turn working for a more powerful fiend in order to place some of their corrupted politicians in seats of power. This in turn will create an environment full of fear, oppression, corruption, and powerful leaders under the influence of creatures of pure evil; the environment, in short, of hell.

By doing all this, the fiends hope to weaken the boundaries between their dimension and the material plane, and release themselves from the confines of the vile depths.

And all the while, the poor girl happily sings her songs of destruction and evil, while a part of her weeps behind the bars of a prison of her own making...

Sound good?

2008-11-01, 11:46 PM
Sounds great! Additional bonus: Mindreading is useless against her, since it's likely to only affect the "fake" personality. You could even go so far as to cast some suspicion on her simply so that your PCs will read her mind and determine that she is innocent.

By the way, what edition is this?

2008-11-02, 12:25 AM
3.5 (can't get them to play anything else *eyeroll*). Great idea, and the fact that bards (which she will be) can cast undetectable alignment means they can't just point a detect evil spell and say "yep, she's a villain. Now let's smite the DM's storyline."

mabriss lethe
2008-11-02, 12:44 AM
The magic item shouldn't simply kill them.

Using it should drive its targets completely insane. The lucky ones will die from it, but the ones who survive will we shuddering, shambling wrecks. It should be indiscriminate, searing the minds of everyone who hears it with images so warped,deranged, and degrading that people would rather claw their own eyes out and jump from a balcony than let the visions last any longer.

That being said, she could test its powers in some out of the way locale (a tavern in a decent sized village a half day's ride or so away)before she has a private performance for an assemblage of major political players. nobility, a few wealthy merchants, etc. She could spawn a host of insane LittleBEGs for the characters to thwart and try to put the city back together again.

2008-11-02, 02:58 AM
She's an misanthrope who gets her kicks that way?

Kinda like pyromaniacs or people who fantasize about killing famous people.

(okay, so this was the kind of motivation you wanted to away, but anyway...)

2008-11-02, 03:31 AM
I like the final product! Out of curiosity though, have you figured how you're going to handle the explanation? That's an involved story, and the delivery needs to be perfect (And I imagine, spread out in small parts.)

2008-11-02, 04:24 AM
Rather than use the generic 'devil', why not create your own diabolical entity from one of the many levels of the Abyss? Perhaps the name 'Lyre' could be used?

2008-11-02, 10:37 AM
*shrug* She's doing it for the lulz, of course.

@Streakster: :smallbiggrin:

2008-11-02, 11:19 AM
I like the final product! Out of curiosity though, have you figured how you're going to handle the explanation? That's an involved story, and the delivery needs to be perfect (And I imagine, spread out in small parts.)

Hmm... I actually had not given it much thought yet. I have a few ideas on how to give hints along the way:

1. She has to drink her "medicine" regularly. This little detail will (probably) stand out to PCs , but she'll explain that it is for some humdrum disease she contracted while on tour in the north. It is, in actuality, a potion to maintain the charms she had placed on herself.

2. Some of the small-time bad guys will have leaders who are surprisingly well armed, and they can be overhead referencing some deal they made with a fiend. This will give hints to the fiendish involvement.

3. I will be sure to have at least one scene where the Agent asks the Singer to do something, and when she politely ignores him to continue doing whatever she was doing, he phrases the request as a command which she promptly obeys with glassy eyes.

4. If the PCs ever bother to ask one of her groupies about her past, they will happily explain her biography, one of the most important bits of which is that she switched from small-time to popstar overnight. They will also tell of the "joking contest" between herself and her agent. The agent won because she damaged her voice prior to show! What a laugh, right?

5. At some point, I will have the Agent speaking with someone through a fiery window of an obviously evil nature. He'll be saying things along the lines of "soon the borders will be thin enough," and "the puppet has made itself even more easy to control."

Hmm... I can't really count on the PCs to figure it all out by themselves though, at least not without having a lengthy explanation at the end.

Any suggestions on how to reveal it all?

P.S. Love the idea for the Lyre fiend.

Keld Denar
2008-11-02, 11:25 AM
I'd shift your "devil" to a "demon". Demon's are the chaotically aligned denizens of the lower planes. For minions, take a look at the MM, and possibly Fiendish Codex II or the Fiend Folio. Then find some CR appropriate guys and you are good to go.

Alternatively, someone mentioned giant frogs, well, Slaadi would be pretty decent mooks too. Red and Blue are big dumb brutes, and Grey and Death are more insidious, possibly advisors or orchestrators (her agent!). Unfortunately, there aren't as many flavors of Slaadi as there are demons, so you'd probably get a more diverse cast if you go with demons.

2008-11-02, 03:29 PM
Not a bad suggestion, but slaad and demons are too chaotic to make any kind of deal, and the reason she is doing all this is because of the deal she made with (insert villain here.) She is trying to create chaos, but only so that her boss can rearrange it to their liking later. If the party gets high enough level, however, slaad would be good mooks to throw at them...