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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Apr 2008

    Default Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    I'm prepping a scenario, and I'm stumped on a motivation for my BBEG. Long story short, the party will return to their village just in time to see it burnt to the ground and the BBEG's Dragon headed out of town with a crying baby. It'll set the tone and give the PC's an immediate and personal goal, especially if the kid is someone's sibling (likely).

    There are some cliche motivations I could use, such as:

    • the kid's soul will be food to sustain bad guy's immortality
    • the kid is a chosen one prophesied to overthrow the bad guy
    • it's a Tuesday
    • bait to entice the party into following him
    • simple evil ritual human sacrifice type deal


    I'd like to come up with something more creative, though. Specifically, I'm thinking some kind of Lovecraftian, cosmic horror reason. (I also considered a time travel scenario in which the kid will do something useful in the future, but that's pretty cliche, too. Then I thought perhaps the kidnappers were from the past, but that seemed pretty ridiculous.) Unfortunately, my creative juices just aren't flowing right now. Why would an evil entity want one specific baby?

    Help!
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Maybe the Dragon is stealing the kid because it is the chosen one intended to overthrow the BBEG and take his place.

    The Dragon intends to raise the kid as his own and overthrow the BBEG because he's really tired of doing all the dirty, menial work. Also he's looking forward to his pension and his pension plan with the BBEG doesn't look promising.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Your BBEG might be mortal. Living a long time or eons is not a substitute for immortality. A successor is always handy. Particularly a LE BBEG would want somebody to continue on who is part of the family, and would make sure it was the exact same as they left it after they were gone. A BBEG might not be able to sire children, or want the risk/inconvenience(particularly if they are female) so adoption to carry on the philosophical tradition is just as good as a birth. A baby is young enough to raise as your own, with no major memories of anything besides the BBEG as parent.

    For Lovecraft style, cosmic horror, the baby might be a BBEG yet to grow up. Somebody who can overthrow the current BBEG. Dracula might have power, but he needs to end or control the son of Cthulhu cause he knows when he is beat.

    Of course, even BBEG's are people. They might desperately want a family, and be all alone. A spare pair of hands they don't have to threaten or intimidate into being, as well as a successor, is a real motivation. I know Dracula did all of his own stunts, but it is not a requirement of the BBEG, and good help is hard to come by, easier to raise.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Perhaps the baby was born under a confluence that gave it a desirable ability that the BBEG wants. perhaps the Baby would be a future PC (in a setting where PCs are markedly different then any NPC one would come across in setting) and the villain wants to shape the baby to be an enforcer.

    The baby could be a changeling (as in a fae swapped out for a human child) that has potential to control a high court of the Feywild, and controlling it gives the BBEG the chance to destroy the Feywild.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Forum Explorer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    How about;

    the baby is actually the BBEG's past self. And he is kidnapping himself to ensure that he receives the same evil training that makes him the BBEG in the first place.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Sith_Happens's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    ...To experience the miracle of parenthood?
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    First, an unmarked TV Tropes link? You gotta be more careful!
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    Anyways, some ideas:
    • Baby has unique ancestry that is somehow useful
    • Baby has wealthy relatives, and is held for ransom
    • Baby body parts needed for magic stuff
    • Host body for an evil spirit
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Maybe it's a relative of a paladin he killed, and he's trying to pre-empt the usual situation you get when farm boys find out that Dark Lords have killed their father.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The BBEG is the true father and just wants his child back to love and raise, having nothing whatsoever to do with the BBEG's plans. The BBEG is only the villain because he's divorced from the mother at the village who bad mouthed him to all the villagers. The dragon wasn't even the one who burned the village and managed to save the baby before the house burnt down.

    Or

    The baby burned down the village, dominated the dragon, and was the BBEG all along.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    And here I am, trying to suggest baby penguins.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Coventry's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Will there be an even bigger, badder BBEG waiting for the party when the current one is defeated? If so, then you have a golden opportunity to set this up right now, long before the current BBEG has been dealt with.

    But first, some background. Have you ever seen "A Knight's Tale"? In that movie Jocelyn really messes with William's head by giving him strange, even contradictory commands of things he should do in the next fight just to prove his love for her.

    That idea can be twisted around.

    So the current BBEG wants something from the future BBEG. Maybe it is "love", perhaps it is power, it could be the very last card to complete the entire set of trading cards. But the future BBEG is having fun screwing around with the current BBEG.

    The current requirement on the current BBEG - go steal a human child from that village, and raise that child as if it was the current BBEG's very own flesh and blood. To succeed, the human child must not be harmed in any way, for a period of at least two weeks.

    At the end of the two weeks, the current BBEG is given a different, but equally annoying "training mission" from the future BBEG. "Raise a horde of goblins", or "Set the Forest on fire", or "Build a dam across the river to keep the water from flowing downstream".

    Eventually, the PCs will win. As the current BBEG dies in front of the characters, have him or her say, "do me a favor. Go kill the jerk that set me up for this. *dies*"

    Any surviving minions of the current BBEG could theoretically now find themselves working for the PCs, so if there is one that made their life a living hell and never got killed, now he can join them and make their lives hell from the inside.
    Last edited by Coventry; 2016-05-17 at 12:31 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    How about;

    the baby is actually the BBEG's past self. And he is kidnapping himself to ensure that he receives the same evil training that makes him the BBEG in the first place.
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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Gastronomie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The baby is the reincarnation of a terrible entity, or a baby blessed by/affected by the raw powers of otherworldly entities. If the BBEG can educate him/her to be a brainwashed pawn, he/she may be very useful.
    Last edited by Gastronomie; 2016-05-17 at 12:55 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    i don't see an edition or anything mentioned, with so much homebrew in many games it probably wouldn't matter...

    someone beat me to it, but reincarnation, either because reincarnation exists in the world, or as a result of a spell or failsafe. This could be a pseudo morrowind scenario where the the big bad and the baby were, in the previous life, simply friends. it wouldn't quite explain the need to kidnap him unless the bbeg fears someone coming after the baby, knowing who it is, or the soul needs to be woken up. you could have the added caveat that due to their friendship, the reincarnate knows something about the big bad that could be dangerous(where the lich lost his phylactery for example).
    he may have then destroyed the village so that anyone who might have heard the child say or do something it shouldn't have, seen a birthmark, wouldn't be able to relate the information and tip anyone off.

    in a similar note you could have some sort of essence that jumps from body to body as one is killed, and so it currently resides in this baby. I'm loathe to come up with an explaination for what this essence is without knowing the world and scenario, but one possible explaination is a piece of the big bad evil guy that they need to recover, like an incoporeal version of saurons one ring. more problematic could be the sword in neverwinter nights 2 that left a fragment in the child. ofcourse then you need an explaination as to why he hasn't immediately drawn whatever this essence/fragment is out, to give the players time to rescue the kid.

    in both cases it is (or can be) largely random, which is nice if you want to make this one of your players siblings, since it doesn't require any special backstory connection, other than having a sibling.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    It's actually their kid, but it got kidnapped as potential leverage against them and so they killed everyone involved and everyone related to them, which just so happened to include 90% of the village's population.

    Or maybe the local vicar tried to hide the marriage records or destroy them, so he shrugged and killed everybody except for the obligatory witness or two to reiterate why you don't mess with the powers that be.

    Alternatively, the baby is playing host to some Daemonlord, and, well, got a little carried away before his escort to the BBEG's ball arrived.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2016-05-17 at 01:18 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kid Jake's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    His wife's been nagging him about being a mother for years but he's infertile.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Because he doesn't really understand how DNA works and thinks he needs the kid to make androids.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    lacco36's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Let's say a knight/paladin/whoever killed his child.

    He is now taking this one (the kid of the guy who killed his child) as revenge, however, he/she is also half-mad with grief and longs for company of a child.

    A part of the BBEG's mind imagines that the kid will be tortured and killed in front of his parent's eyes, the second part sees his own child.

    So he'll switch from "You'll see it suffer before you die!" to "Don't hurt my baby!" in seconds...
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The "baby" is actually the BBEG. Stop making fun of his height, guys.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The mother escaped from his lab while pregnant - the child has a rare inherited template he needs for his plans.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
    kraftcheese's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Maybe it's a Rumpelstiltskin situation?

    "Hey Infertile Mortal, if you PROMISE to give me the baby after [insert time period], I can give you this magic that will let you have a baby!"

    Then the parents refuse to honor the deal, the BBEG takes his rightful child to raise lovingly and evilly, etc...

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    I like the cases where the child is in fact "rightfully" the BBEG's, because it can create interesting tension. Here are a few others:
    • There is a prophecy stating that this child will give birth to the BBEG anew, after he has been destroyed (e.g. Cthylla).
    • The child is heir to a fortune/kingdom/artifact/whatever, which the BBEG wants to control as the child's guardian (best for LE villains, but theoretically workable under any alignment if the BBEG sees this as the most expedient path).
    • The child is related to one of the PCs, and the BBEG wants a hostage as leverage against them.
      • Alternatively, the child is a hostage as leverage against some other party, which then hires the PCs to help.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Babies are delicious
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Needs an "unclaimed" and thus "pure" soul with no attachments to the outer planes to trade

    For trade to a genie who wants revenge on the child's bloodline for an ancestor who bound him-infants are simply more portable.

    Planing to raise the child to be a tool in their plans (general of a future planned force, assassin, bedmate, scullery maid, herald, chamberlain, coachman, etc)

    The nearer the womb the sweeter the meat

    A gift/reward in any of the above ways for a. Key henchman/henchwoman for their loyalty and service.

    It resets the inheritance of an obscure piece of land -far far from here-to someone under his control-this land has key ritual or military potential but only if combined with BBEG's other assets.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2016-05-17 at 10:46 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    While laying waste to the village he saw the baby and...simply loved it the moment he saw it.

    Confused by his feelings but unwilling to part with the first thing that evoked such emotions in his life - he took the baby and left.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Leverage against the baby's true parents, who decided it was safer for their child to be hidden among nobodies? Hell, maybe it's not even an actual baby, maybe it's the last dragon in larval form, protected by a powerful illusion created by the dying breath of its mother.

    Taking a perfect baby from a perfect village in a perfect kingdom, just so he can twist him into pretzels and use him, years hence, as a lieutenant? "Look at what your child has become!"

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The kid looks very similar to another child, and the BBEG wants an eventual body double to replace that other child when they're older. What they're trying to takeover this way can vary; royalty is always a fallback, but a bit trite.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    Thank you so much folks; these are some great ideas. I definitely have some mulling and pondering to do. Woohoo!
    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    People are capable of some crazy stuff when there's another guy trying to poke you with a sharp bit of metal and make your insides go on your outside.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why would the BBEG want a baby?

    The baby is, in fact, the half-elven child of a extremely skilled wood elf rogue who has several hundred years under his belt. The BBG needs something stolen from a particularly well guarded area, one that is particularly skilled at disrupting his typical methods, (IE: if he's a necromancer with a slight fire theme, it's a merfolk monastery filled with clerics and minor angels under a lake of holy water), and as such he requires a skilled 'contractor' who could get the job done.
    Last edited by Dalinale; 2016-05-17 at 03:31 PM.

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