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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Ok, to anyone that has ever seen the ultra crappy 'film' Manos, The Hands of Fate you will know what I am talking about. How would one flesh out "The Master" in a DnD campaign? If you haven't seen the movie, then just think of a horrible villain from a movie and start throwing ideas on what they would be.

    Best of luck.
    -Eddie

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Seffbasilisk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Generically, a lousy villain is one that can't be respected. Generally the easiest way to do that, is give them a low dex.

    Monologuing? Have him trip. Fumble-fingers...walking into stationary objects...dodging INTO oncoming attacks...
    Life is a gamble, roll the dice. If your life is like cards, rig the deck.

    "Boy, sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don'tchya think?" -Jayne
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    I've never seen Manos, so here are some general comments.

    Make the villain be in a leadership position with lousy mental stats. Have his underlings obey him only because they are even dumber than him. Have the villain's plans reflect his idiocy. For example, if a villain is in the business of distributing an illegal drug in the area, have him adulterate his wares so that they kill all of his customers after one use and the villain saves five copper pieces per bale. Muahahahaha! Have the villain brag to the PCs about these plans.

    Have the villain be some sort of weird and inefficient multiclass. Nothing says lame like the villain trying to use truenaming on a PC and failing miserably at making the DC, at least if the players know about how bad truenaming is.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    balistafreak's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdanel View Post
    Have the villain be some sort of weird and inefficient multiclass. Nothing says lame like the villain trying to use truenaming on a PC and failing miserably at making the DC, at least if the players know about how bad truenaming is.
    That's... brilliant.

    Claim that your villain is optimized, which is the truth. Have your players run in fear of the enemy that is a much higher level than them. When they finally kill him, watch their faces as they believe it's a trap.

    "Nope, he was a Truenamer."

    Facepalms all around.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put tomato in fruit salad. Charisma is convincing someone it's a good idea anyways.

    I am a 12/13/13/17/15/17 True Neutral Sorcerer2.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Manos...the...Hands of Fate.
    Play a wizard. Be the Goddamn Batman.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Just_Ice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Make the villain a pathological liar who thinks he's the chessmaster and can't keep his web of lies straight. Then make them try too hard when things go wrong, or for him misleading the party to turn out not to be to his long-term advantage at all.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    An optimized Truenamer will be ok. Has some nice tricks. The above is true, though, if he isn't optimized.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    The hilarious thing about the Master was just how threatening he appeared to all the other people around him, given how remarkably unthreatening he was. Granted, he was bullying low-level NPC-classes and a satyr (how best to portray a satyr? Very... big... knees...) but that's basically the point. He was like a 5th-level warlock and almost any PC party would take one look at him and laugh, then kill him outright.

    Unfortunately, I think that'll be your biggest problem with realizing this idea. PCs interact with evil casters, by default, by killing first and asking questions later. And with Manos, you really need a way to delay the inevitable violence. Have the PCs get invited to meet the Master, and he can attempt to hire/convert them into service to Manos, all while slowly pretending to show how much power he has gained from his dedication. Which, of course, is almost none, but he's remarkably self-deluded.
    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

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    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    His secret, ultimate lair is just a crappy little shack sitting in the middle of nowhere. You can make it difficult to get to--requiring passing through volcanic caves, or portaling to another dimension, or whatever; but when the PCs get there it's just a stupid little house with furniture in the yard and stuff.

    He has a harem of beautiful, mind-controlled female minions that do nothing but kind of lay around staring vacantly into space. Maybe they clean up a little, every now and then.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    I'm tempted to say low-level cleric of some demon or devil lord, but with a -really- bad Wisdom score. I mean for God's sake... his most effective minion was basically his dog. Even his brain-damaged little satyr couldn't do his one job in all existence right. Even MST3K couldn't save that monster. I think that was the only time I've ever seen Mike actually snap at a movie.

    For those of you just joining us, this is Manos... the Hands of Fate.
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    "And in the layer of the Deep Ones, we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever." - H.P. Lovecraft

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Don't forget the wives! Give him a bunch of threatening female minions, who seem ready to tear the party apart. But one round into combat, one of them accidentally hits another, they start arguing, and soon are fighting each other instead of the players. And give them some sort of morale bonus for the next hour for watching the resultant catfight.

    Torgo is a fake satyr. The Master couldn't afford a real one, so he gave the dude fake knees. And they reduce his speed to about 5 feet (seriously, watch Torgo walk some time. How he manages to run when his hand got burned off is beyond me). And make him a bard, but with really low perform checks. The only song he can play is the Haunting Torgo Theme.

    To get to the Master's lair you need to ride a coach across a barren desert. And ride. And ride. And ride...roll for San loss!
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by Starscream View Post
    Don't forget the wives! Give him a bunch of threatening female minions, who seem ready to tear the party apart. But one round into combat, one of them accidentally hits another, they start arguing, and soon are fighting each other instead of the players. And give them some sort of morale bonus for the next hour for watching the resultant catfight.
    "Does anyone else get the feeling that this the real reason this movie was made?"
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    "And in the layer of the Deep Ones, we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever." - H.P. Lovecraft

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Good to see that many of you have seen Manos.... The Hands of Fate.

    Watching through this god awful thing, I have started to see what Torgo could be.

    Bard 1 / Rogue or Something else with SA 1
    Semi-decent STR (13 or 14)
    Dexterity: low, very low
    The charisma of a dripping bag full of manure

    Skills:
    Like 1 Rank in Perform
    -10 in use Rope (a commoner escapes in about 3 seconds)

    Feats:
    Flaw: It's Torgo
    Flaw: It's STILL Torgo
    Feat: Endurance
    Feat: Die Hard
    Feat: Toughness

    The reason for the level of Rogue is because he managed to knock out a level 1 Commoner (Say, 6 HP?) with a staff. So Torgo does 1d6+1d6+3 Nonlethal damage.

    The Master probably has Leadership, some kind of Mind Control ability, the capability of surviving getting shot the face or Protection from Arrows. I almost thinking Gestalt with a level of Binder somewhere.

    It's not that making The Master or Torgo is hard or anything. It's that making them true to their power and their total ineptitude at the same time is 'frustrating'.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Giving the villain something like levels in Survivor could make it so that he doesn't keel over at the first hit. Making a full caster multiclassed with a barbarian (...multiclassed with other unrelated casting progressions...) could be a nice trick.

    Turn 1:
    "Quickened Burning Hands! Useless Truenaming power! Feeble worms, quail before my mighty arcane might!"

    Turn 2:
    "Graargh! I HATE YOU FOR HURTING ME! I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY IMPROVISED QUARTERSTAFF (also known as ordinary broom)! ...Oops, missed." :frothes at the mouth:

    Turn 3:
    "I'd like to cast a spell now but I'm too angry..."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos




    Torgo is not amused.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    I did not create THE MAGE!!! Taking some highly ineffective Dragon Magazine Material and some very silly spell choices, you can make a terrifyingly inept villain. Give him maxxed intimidate. He sits in his tower all day, and when someone mentions his name, he teleports there and Intimidates them. That's it.
    Give him Battle Sorcerer and no familiar and you're good.

    lvl 1: Sorcerer Countenance of the Mage, Eyes of the Mage
    lvl 2: Sorcerer
    lvl 3: Sorcerer Footsteps of the Mage
    lvl 4: Sorcerer
    lvl 5: Sorcerer
    lvl 6: Sorcerer Hands of the Mage
    lvl 7: Sorcerer
    lvl 8: Sorcerer
    lvl 9: Sorcerer Ears of the Mage
    lvl10: Sorcerer
    lvl11: Sorcerer
    lvl12: Sorcerer Voice of the Mage
    lvl13: Sorcerer
    lvl14: Sorcerer
    lvl15: Sorcerer Presence of the Mage
    lvl16: Sorcerer
    lvl17: Sorcerer
    lvl18: Sorcerer Name of the Mage
    lvl19: Sorcerer
    lvl20: Sorcerer


    Spells Known
    0 - Prestidigitation, Arcane Mark, Mage Hand, Ghost Sound, Detect Poison, Light, Dancing Lights, Message, Open/Close
    1st - Expedious Retreat, Disguise Self, Ventriloquism, Hold Portal, Alarm
    2nd - Knock, Pyrotechnics, Misdirection, Arcane Lock, Magic Mouth
    3rd - Major Image, Shrink Item, Fly, Tongues
    4th - Mnemonic Enhancer, Detect scrying, Invisibility (Greater), Rainbow Pattern
    5th - Mirage Arcana, Secret Chest, Mind Fog, Teleport
    6th - Guards and Wards, Mislead, Programmed Image
    7th - Simulacrum, Statue, Teleport (Greater)
    8th - Mind Blank, Screen, Sympathy
    9th - Etherealness, Foresight, Freedom

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by Zergrusheddie View Post
    The reason for the level of Rogue is because he managed to knock out a level 1 Commoner (Say, 6 HP?) with a staff. So Torgo does 1d6+1d6+3 Nonlethal damage.
    I haven't seen the movie, but I'm going to look it up. While I'm typing, though, NPCs typically only gain average HP per HD, even for first level and they also usually have the standard array. So 2 hp. He doesn't need a level of rogue. The variant bard, Harbinger, sounds like it might be appropriate though.

    obnoxious
    sig
    On DMPCs: "Remember, nothing will spice up your campaign quicker than long descriptions of NPC’s doing spectacular stuff while the players sit around and watch." -Shamus Young, DM of the Rings
    Divide By Zero: Irreverent Fool, you are my hero.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Where are the monk levels in these builds??

    It is called Manos the Hands of Fate, after all.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by nargbop View Post
    I did not create THE MAGE!!!
    ...you are aware those feats have arcane caster level prerequisites that you can't meet until 9th level minimum, right?
    Last edited by arguskos; 2010-04-19 at 11:34 PM.

    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.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    ...you are aware those feats have arcane caster level prerequisites that you can't meet until 9th level minimum, right?
    According to some, just pick up the feats late. ><

    In his defense, it's an NPC. I think fudging when it involves making a useless villain is fair play.

    obnoxious
    sig
    On DMPCs: "Remember, nothing will spice up your campaign quicker than long descriptions of NPC’s doing spectacular stuff while the players sit around and watch." -Shamus Young, DM of the Rings
    Divide By Zero: Irreverent Fool, you are my hero.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by Irreverent Fool View Post
    According to some, just pick up the feats late. ><

    In his defense, it's an NPC. I think fudging when it involves making a useless villain is fair play.

    obnoxious
    sig
    Well, yeah, I mean, I can fudge and stuff, but fudging 9 caster levels or more bugs me.

    Also, yeaaaaaah, that thread makes me /facepalm really hard.

    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.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Stormageddon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Just have him in a silly outfit and stare at the PCs until they get uncomfortable and decide to move along.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Well, yeah, I mean, I can fudge and stuff, but fudging 9 caster levels or more bugs me.

    Also, yeaaaaaah, that thread makes me /facepalm really hard.
    There are plenty of ways to boost CL if that's all it takes though.

    obnoxious
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    Last edited by Irreverent Fool; 2010-04-20 at 12:29 AM.
    On DMPCs: "Remember, nothing will spice up your campaign quicker than long descriptions of NPC’s doing spectacular stuff while the players sit around and watch." -Shamus Young, DM of the Rings
    Divide By Zero: Irreverent Fool, you are my hero.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by Irreverent Fool View Post
    There are plenty of ways to boost CL if that's all it takes though.

    obnoxious
    sig
    Eh, yeah, but at level 1? Not so many. There's pretty much no way to acquire all of the feats, sans the Chaos Shuffle or something really silly like that.

    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.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryHankovitch View Post
    His secret, ultimate lair is just a crappy little shack sitting in the middle of nowhere. You can make it difficult to get to--requiring passing through volcanic caves, or portaling to another dimension, or whatever; but when the PCs get there it's just a stupid little house with furniture in the yard and stuff.

    Player: "So we walked for days over the Pinnacles of Pestilence, broke through the dragon's lair, evaded the Tarasque, and have finally gotten through the Wastes of Hopelessness. Are we at the Home of Evil?

    DM: "Yeah. Looking on the horizon, you see a small house with smoke coming from a fire in the back. As you approach, you see that the house is actually a shack and is one good storm away from being destroyed. You see a couple of beautiful women having a wrestling match and some dude holding a hand on fire. He totally looks like Frank Zappa."

    Player: "Are you off your medication?"

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the lousiest villain ever: Manos

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Well, yeah, I mean, I can fudge and stuff, but fudging 9 caster levels or more bugs me.
    He's a lesser shyft who got reincarnated into some other humanoid form later on.

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