A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    We've all seen it: the band of heroes fights villain's minions in his lair, and finally come upon him and kill him, usually sacrificing at least one of their own.

    Classic, right?

    But why wouldn't villains learn over time? Wouldn't they realize that four is better than one? In fact, why would then not realize that a party of four adventurers can easily whup their arse if allowed to level properly?

    This, then, is why I see the necessity of the Big Bad Evil League.

    Now I know this has been done before, but generally in comics. Why is this so rare in fantasy settings? I mean, one could argue that the BBEG's goals might lead them to not play well with others, but honestly, if you're a lowish level villain, although you'd probably want the glory of destroying the world or whatever, wouldn't it make sense to go about it the same way that adventurers go about saving it?

    (Cookies to anyone who can reply to this in a post of equal or longer length and make it comprised entirely of tropes.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
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    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Tal, Argus, anyone else from my group: OUT OUT OUT!

    One idea that I've tossed around is 7 Liches, who were friends in their adventuring days, before falling to evil. They are all each other's Phylactaries. The party would likely discover one on his own, but after that they'll be facing them in groups, and unless you can kill them all at basically the same time, they always come back.
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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    You know, we already discussed that idea before. No reason for me to not read it.

    Also, mostly, BBEGs don't work together, for the same reasons dictators don't have an equal: paranoia and megalomania. There's only a place for one person at the top of the pyramid after all.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Tal, Argus, anyone else from my group: OUT OUT OUT!

    One idea that I've tossed around is 7 Liches, who were friends in their adventuring days, before falling to evil. They are all each other's Phylactaries. The party would likely discover one on his own, but after that they'll be facing them in groups, and unless you can kill them all at basically the same time, they always come back.
    O_O Oh God. For gits and shiggles, have them all focused on one archetype: Blaster, Batman, Buffbot, Gish, Spell-Counterer (think Blue in MtG)...and maybe a backup Batman, Blaster and Buffbot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Right, because Hitler and Mussolini totally never worked together at all ever.

    ...

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Evil has a difficult time working together in this case. Each villain wants the glory of actually doing the deed. Heroes are happy to work together because they have to.

    Heroes tend to accept they need help better than villains. Many villains are overconfident in their abilities, believing they can do anything by themselves. When it comes back to bite them in the ass, they either still believe it's under control or refuse to swallow their pride.

    A villain has no qualms with backstabbing someone for their latest fancy trinket. Then everyone becomes paranoid and they don't trust each other, a major component of working together.

    Villains want power. They want people to follow their orders, no matter how depraved the orders are. A party consists of equals (for the most part). There generally is a leader who calls the shots, but the rest of the party trusts this leader, and likely even voted him in. Villains would really only vote for themselves, or end up killing each other in power squabbles.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    Right, because Hitler and Mussolini totally never worked together at all ever.

    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    Evil has a difficult time working together in this case. Each villain wants the glory of actually doing the deed. Heroes are happy to work together because they have to.

    Heroes tend to accept they need help better than villains. Many villains are overconfident in their abilities, believing they can do anything by themselves. When it comes back to bite them in the ass, they either still believe it's under control or refuse to swallow their pride.

    A villain has no qualms with backstabbing someone for their latest fancy trinket. Then everyone becomes paranoid and they don't trust each other, a major component of working together.

    Villains want power. They want people to follow their orders, no matter how depraved the orders are. A party consists of equals (for the most part). There generally is a leader who calls the shots, but the rest of the party trusts this leader, and likely even voted him in. Villains would really only vote for themselves, or end up killing each other in power squabbles.
    But see, it's precisely these things that caused the Evil Overlord Tips to come about. (In case someone isn't familiar, they're a series of motivators pointing out all the flaws of evil overlords.) And this follows the same thing that needs to apply when players play Chaotic Evil characters: Evil does not mean stab somebody in the kidney for their shiny. Evil is manipulate them in such a way that they give you their shiny and think it was their own idea, while leaving them alive to help you in your evil ways.
    Last edited by Deth Muncher; 2009-11-27 at 11:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    But see, it's precisely these things that caused the Evil Overlord Tips to come about. (In case someone isn't familiar, they're a series of motivators pointing out all the flaws of evil overlords.) And this follows the same thing that needs to apply when players play Chaotic Evil characters: Evil does not mean stab somebody in the kidney for their shiny. Evil is manipulate them in such a way that they give you their shiny and think it was their own idea, while leaving them alive to help you in your evil ways.
    Very true, but being evil certainly means aren't afraid to stab them either.

    Really what it boils down to is power. Evil people are generally more power-hungry than others, something that stretches across the Law-Chaos axis (coming from a guy who's read FC1 and FC2 cover-to-cover). Even if you establish a pecking order, therewill be scheming to ascend it, leading to aforementioned paranoia and an inability to work together efficiently.

    I realize the Linear Guild really goes against what I'm saying here. I'll need to think on that.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Last campaign I ran there were. There was an Illusionist that was the head of the council. A Wizard that went mad but stayed in this tower so everybody left him alone usually, A Swordmaster and a Warrior who were a married couple and a Weaponsmith. They were all questors (clerics that are templates) of the Passion (god) of Revenge.

    The PC's had killed the two casters and the two fighters ran off together to try and find enough cash to maintain their army. The weaponsmith went off to try and find a way to over power them. Weaponsmith lead to the next BBEG, the two fighters sent soldiers to try and slow down the party with their army as well as Machiavellian schemes. That line culminates with the final confrontation with them, and she's pregnant. Given there's only one other person at the table that's not a daddy, I expected a lot of dirty looks. There's just so much you can do with a group of evil.
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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    Right, because Hitler and Mussolini totally never worked together at all ever.

    ...

    Godwin! Thread Over!
    And Hitler was brought down by the Japanese who made the foolish decision to attack America without the Axis consent, spurring a counter attack by America and by the Tripartite Pact forced Germany and Italy to also declare war on America.

    Fascism destroys fascism. Organizations are most vulnerable from the inside and history has shown that empires crumble because of weakness and betrayal from within not without.

    With that said, in fantasy terms, evil cannot participate without a clear hierarchy. Lawful Evil villains are more likely to band together if out of mutual strength but neutral evil and chaotic evil villains will only stay together as long as they're satisfied with the results. A common fantasy-world joke is how goblinoids and orcs would rule the world if they stopped killing each other long enough to kill everyone else.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    And Hitler was brought down by the Japanese who made the foolish decision to attack America without the Axis consent, spurring a counter attack by America and by the Tripartite Pact forced Germany and Italy to also declare war on America.
    You're forgetting about the Soviet Union.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Oi, with the Real World Politics! None of that! We'll get shut down by the Gunslinger.

    Now, so. Having an Oligarchy of Evil seems like something I'm gonna do in my current campaign. I think I'm going to have it be EVEN BETTER, because I'm going to have the PCs go Plane-Tripping, so that they can have an Alliance of Interplanar Evil (Codename: AIEEEEEEEEE). It should be good times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
    I've always considered breakfast to be evil. Looking at me with it's bacon-smile, and it's sunny-side-up eyes. I know it's plotting something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    for the league of evil to form, each member would have to contribute something to their plan. this can lead to party-like dynamics(a rogue-type to infiltrate an enemy organization, an arcane spellcaster to perform a dark ritual, ect)
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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Hubris plays a big part. Most BBEGs in my experience believe that they're powerful enough to take on all comers, and that they don't need or want any help.

    That said, I've used something of a BBEL before... but there was still one guy pulling the strings, so I guess it wasn't that much of a subversion.
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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Even if you pit your players against a coherent evil organization there's usually someone on top that becomes the BBEG, he's not alone and his associates may share his goal but he's still The Big Bad Evil Guy, or at least the PC's would tend to think of him as such. But yes, evil power hungry men are probably more prone to being paranoid than the good guys. That said I don't see why he couldn't have powerful loyal people earnestly helping him, people that stand to gain from his new world order, people that believe in his evil philosophy etc. I think few BBEG would be truly alone, that's not really realistic although a wizard might get away with it. Besides who will you fight before you get to his level if he has no allies or mooks?

    It would also be interesting to subvert the traditional fantasy storyline by having multiple unrelated and very different evil forces in the world. Finding out who they are, choosing which to tackle first and trying to pit them against each other might be fun for the party.

    You could also have a shadowy organization without a pyramidal power structure as the bad guys. It would be harder to figure out where to strike at it and you wouldn't be able to dispose of it simply by killing the head. Maybe a cabal of wizards or a mafia like syndicate.

    But I know one of this is exactly original.
    Last edited by Ormur; 2009-11-28 at 11:32 AM.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Marvel and DC comics alone has tons of these. None of them really last for long, except for cartoons with reset buttons like the old Super Friends or the new Marvel Super Hero Squad. And even then, they usually have a chairman villain that is the mastermind.
    Classic examples: Legion of Doom, from Super Friends, and the Sinister Six, from Spiderman.

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    Default Re: [ANY RPG] BBEG - Why just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    You're forgetting about the Soviet Union.
    Wich was betrayed by Germany with who they had a pact of non agression.(MILITARY HISTORY! NOT POLITICS!)

    You don't need all the BBEGs to be backstabbers. One is enough to destroy the alliance.

    And since BBEGs are normaly greedy or destructive, someone will do it.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2009-11-28 at 04:55 PM.

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