Jan 06

The Secret DM: How to build a better villian

Sometimes building a proper bad guy can seem like quite hard work without ending up with a cliche.

However the marvellous Secret DM has already covered this before with some lovely advice, and why you need a excellent bad guy to start with:

I savor every moment of heart-pounding tension that leads to that final, climactic battle, when the players finally come face to face with the nefarious enemy.

As much fun as developing a villain can be however, it can also be very challenging.  As a storyteller, you want your villain to stand out from all the rest. You want to create a character that wows the players and keeps them on the edge of their seats, and you want someone who poses a very real threat.

Go read the rest now! I think half the fun of running a game is having rather awesome enemies for your adventurers to meet and learn to despise. Of course it really does add that extra cherry on the top if you can explain why they have done this, rather than just “because”.

My favorite villain I made, was the one who hated the adventurers and decided to hound them at every step… because one of the party members insulted him in a pub once. He was so infuriated for being made a fool of, that he made it his life goal to get his own back! He went from humble blacksmith to instead leading a mercenary company which became quite famous known as the “black hammers”. As the campaign continued on the party slowly heard of these “black hammers” mercenaries… of course they also heard the leader’s name a few times but never recognised it until the final confrontation where the vengeful blacksmith almost threw a tantrum because he wasn’t remembered!

Do you have any villain you particularly remember from your campaigns?



1 comment

  1. The Secret DM

    Thanks so much for the mention!

    I’ve actually been on hiatus for the last month, but your refreshing take on villains has reminded me how much fun it is talking about this stuff. I love the “Black Hammers” storyline…might have to steal that for a future game of my own!

    Love the site, too…I’ll be downloading some podcasts to listen to through the rest of the week. Keep up the great work!


Talk to us!

%d bloggers like this: