Hidden 7 mos ago Post by Master Crim
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What makes a good villain?

Many times, there are people who want to be able to play a villain for your (or their own) story, but I have found that many people seem to miss the mark on these kinds of characters. I have had issues, many times, when playing in someone’s RP that they allow a player to be the main villain (co-villain in the case of survival RPs), but they don’t truly understand what makes a villain evil. The other issue is that sometimes you will have people that try to play a villain too over the top for the setting they are walking into. I am going to go over a few different types of villain players that I find the most that ruin an otherwise great RP, and then go over what I have done in the past as a villain that has gotten people asking me to play the villain for their RP.
I have played in many different types of RP in my time. Modern, Future, Sci-Fy, High Fantasy, Modern Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Wilderness Survival, you name it! In many I have played from Lawful Good, to Chaotic Evil, and trust me it isn’t like it just came naturally to me. Playing extreme viewed characters is not easy for anyone until you gain an understanding of the character you are playing, and I find that this is where most people have a disconnect. I have come across many-a RP killing villains as-well-as many good villains; all having the same traits in their areas. Though I could go through all the types of villains I have seen I have been able to fit them into three basic categories: Bulldozer Villain, Its my Job Villain, and Development Villain.

~~~---~~~
BULLDOZER
“You may know me from my work.” The masked man says as he activates the hand detonator. Several floors of a hotel/office building/what-have-you explode, as is begins to fall to the ground. “I am the villain, and that is my work.”
~~~---~~~


Okay, terrible writing, but the point is there. Many, many, MANY people play villains like this and think that is how villains are. They are a bulldozer of bad things; where ever they go they have to destroy something, disrupt the norm, kill as many people as possible in order to make sure you know he is the bad guy, he is the one everyone hates. I mean sure if you gun down a bunch of people MW2 style, you’re the bad guy, you are the guy that people are going to want to stop because killing people for no reason is bad, but his is also your down fall in the grand scheme of things… You are doing this for no reason. Your villain is essentially doing bad things, just to be stopped. You are doing these things to make people fear you, but you don’t have any real weight to your actions. Today you will blow up a bank, tomorrow you will mass shoot a park, but how are these correlated? Your “bad guy” is no more than a deranged person with unlimited resources. You aren’t getting anywhere, you have no build to your crimes or deeds.

There was a survival RP I was in a LONG time back that was really fun. We all played survivors of a commercial plane crash on an island of unknown kind. After a few days we deduced it was somewhere in the tropics thanks to a biologist character who was able to classify some of the animals and plants. After a few weeks of playing we had developed a pretty cohesive group battling the elements of survival when the GM allowed an outside player (Not part of our formed group) play an antagonist to make things interesting. We were okay with this until he decided to make his first post. Now keep in mind that only a week had passes within the game, and he opened in this manner: His character was finishing up driving a bit of plane into the chest of what was a survivor as they screamed in pain before they died. Tying them to pike he stood them next to five other dead figures. Strolling past the now empty huts he came to one where three girls were tied laying on the floor. “You’re going to wish you had died on the plane.” He said as he threw a lit torch into the hut. (que bad guy walking away from burning victims.)

There were several issues with his post that involved having made a small encampment later he said had walls within a week of time without proper tools, know how, and time. He also had started his path as a bulldozer killing machine with the personality trait of Psychotic. That was it. That was how he wanted to play the villain of a Wilderness Survival RP. Needless to say; after his second character post the RP died and my friend PMed me with some very choice terms for that guy. This is the case where a villain has no motive, drive, or reasoning behind his actions. I could see this character working in other RPs, but was completely out of place in a Survival RP.

Another Bulldozer I experienced was in one of my DCU RPs where we had moved on to chapter 2 of our RP, yes; I have plans that span for generally 3-4 chapters. We had a group of hero characters, as well as a Deviant Hero group, and two major villains. One was played by me and was the over arching villain, and the other was played by a good friend of mine who was a leader of a multi-gang crime ring that was under the main villain. These groups worked well, but the two “hero” groups were working through the leads and story a bit quicker than I had thought. So, I put out a feeler for another villain, but I wanted it to be someone from the outside in order to get more OC in the game. I found someone who was willing to do some reading to catch up and jump in as a multidimensional villain. I thought this would be great, we could throw in some cult activity, some monsters, take detour into some lite horror. Unfortunately, this person thought they needed to make a statement and start with their character on the top of the most feared list by erecting a monolithic tower in the middle of down town. The tower destroyed three city blocks, and over shadowed the tallest building in the city. She said to me. “This is the only way my character would be able to contend with the powers in play.” At this time the City was governed normally with some increased gang activities. Nothing major had happened to make the city a power struggle, but this person felt the need to derail the entire plot in order to make an entrance.

This is a bulldozer villain that will do whatever it takes to make sure the spotlight in on them. They are the kind of people that feel mass destruction, Over the top actions, and making sure the stand out as being bad is the way a villain is played. This is how you make people know you are the villain yes, but at least have a build up to these kinds of things. You can’t just have everything already in place to blow up half the town on a moment’s notice. You have to work your way to these kinds of events. Make a story out of it or you just seem pointless to fight. No amount of planning will stop you from mass destruction if it is already in place.

Please stay tuned I intend to continue this three part post with the next part being about the "Its my job" type villains with their, I am evil because I am the bad guy here mentality. Then the final part about how I was able to eventually come across a few Development Villains and play one of my own that my friends tell me they truly miss. feel free to PM me with questions, or just leave them here and I will try to get to them as soon as I can.

Until next time,
Stay Tilted.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Master Crim
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I do apologize to you all for taking so long with the second part of this post, I have had some big changes come around that have drawn most of my attention. I plan on continuing to work on this and hope to have part two up in the next 2-3 weeks. Keep your notifications on and subscribe if you haven't.

Until next time,
Stay Tilted.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Master Crim
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Its My Job
As the scene dies down, and the injured are tended to the hero takes the masked man away to question in on his intentions. "Why," he asks. "Why would a man of your ability, and your resource waste a shot at a bank and get caught?" the masked man shifts in his chair. "Its what we do, isn't it?"

~~~---~~~


This is probably the worst kind of villain you can have in a roleplay; someone who is only antagonizing, not to build the story, but to get caught. Sure, you can throw in a few small crimes or acts of violence here and there. The hero characters might want a good fight where they succeed in stopping the crime, but don't do this without a reason for the events. There is nothing worse than fighting some criminals without a motive. Frankly it feels like a waste of time, and your players may feel like they are being cheated if this is all they get for an antagonist.

When playing in one of my first zombie survival roleplays, me and a group of survivors found a trail of clues leading to a small faction of "snatchers" (a group that enslaved you for hard labor: achieving a means of security/communication in this case) that was hiding on the other side of town. For the most part we tried to avoid them because the were so ominous. I will say good on the GM for that part, they really did seem scary at the time. As time went on though, we eventually had a confrontation with them leading to a few of us being killed, but taking them out in the process. Once we subdued the last of the Snatchers we decided to question them on what they were doing. At this time they had picked over much of the town taking broke-down cars, building supplies, and in one case deconstructing a radio tower. We figured that if we could find out what they were doing we might be able to progress faster to establishing a working colony. Unfortunate for us their answers were. "We just needed supplies, nothing special."

The problem here was mainly that the GM hadn't really thought out that far. They didn't really think much about why they took what they did or why they were grabbing people. They just knew that they needed an antagonistic group to make things more difficult for us. While we were thinking that they were gearing up a convoy and making some sort of communications. What we came to find is that they were simply taking things to take things. We had no gain from stopping them, we had no real victory in killing them. honestly we felt like monsters for killing this group that was only taking HALF THE TOWN'S CARS AND A RADIO TOWER FOR SUPPLIES. It was hard for us to pull together after that due to the realization that the world we were playing in was no bigger than the town we were in.

On a more one on one note, lets take a look into a villain I played early in my villain "career" so to say. The setting was a Deity/fantasy RP where players took on the roles of gods, champions to said gods, or both. This RP had a lot of bumps along its way before it really came to fruition, and mostly because there was no real drive to it when we started. There was a gathering of the people in a ceremony where the gods would choose a few mortals whom would be tested to see if they are deemed worthy of being champions, but there was nothing beyond that. I thought that I would add an antagonist to the mix to attempt to spice things up. After talking it over with the GM they let me add a character who was trying to release a cursed army of the damned on the known world. With this came the addition of a few Forsaken gods and a little bit of additional lore, and all seemed good. That is until it came down to the motives for releasing said army, and of the army themselves.

I hadn't thought of was going on behind the character, I was just thinking "Hey this army was cursed to never rest and this guy wants to release them as his own personal army of ghost warriors." The issue here was there was no end game for him, when consulted by the champion of the Trickster there was nothing for the champion to exploit or try to twist his logic because he didn't have any reasons for what he was doing. He was a two dimensional villain with nothing to fuel his actions, and this made a few people upset because their characters were based around charm, logic, and wit which had no effect on me since I had nothing for them to work with. My attacks on towns and strongholds were merely the act of conflict without motive, and no amount of diplomacy could stop him. He only wanted to cause problems because causing problems is was people like him do. In the end the GM and I put the RP on hold until we could come up with a good backstory for our villain which we will talk about in the final section.

My number one rule for being a GM/Villain "Make it fun and give it purpose." If you have to throw in a small event to keep things moving plan it out. How do you want them to catch on to this event? Is it a big deal or something you have to be looking for to find? are the ones involved independent or group? Were they hired or is it their plan? You can see where these few questions will add immense depth to the world you are running or the roll you are playing. If you are the main antagonist remember to think out your character. What drives them? Why are they doing this? Could they be swayed from their beliefs? Is there something more sinister lurking behind their plan that might be discovered if you open the right doors? Sometimes I throw in some smaller plots of drug rings, weapons trades, and smuggling just to keep things moving, but there can always be something deeper to these small time villain. Remember in a bank heist, someone always needs money for something else... unless you are just sending a message.

Until next time,
Stay Tilted
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Master Crim
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Development Villain
Part 1 of 2


I am going to kind of break the normal format here because there is a good chance that this section will be longer that the other. I want to restate what I said before in that playing a good villain takes time, practice, and learning from your mistakes. I was not able to play a good villain right from the start, and for a long time was uncomfortable with playing villain characters because the the responsibility it brought about. It took me many failed attempts, lack luster plots, and watching others before I got the hang of it. Being evil is something that comes natural to most people, but that doesn't mean being a villain is the same way. This is where the issue of a Bulldozer is. They are evil, but nothing more. Then there are the other part of people that don't take naturally to being evil which is where Its My Job comes in. They have a villain that is kinda bad, but nothing ever comes of it. It was a long while before I was ran into some people that were in an RP group with both villains and heros that I saw the issues with my villains: They didn't interact with the characters on a level of development.

Development is hard. Both in creation of something new and in the changing of something that is already set, it just isn't easy. This is the basic of what you want your villain to be; someone who pushes others to create new ideas of how they look at the world, or how the world looks at them. In my first run in with the group I mentioned before I came into the RP at the start of their second chapter so their world was pretty far along as far as heros vs. villains go. I introduces a morally gray character who was on the run but good at hart. I knew I wanted him to find the heros in some way and start in with them so he could clean himself up and make good progress on his personal plot. I was not ready for one of their villains though. It didn't take long for me to find the heros and join in with them, and after a while of playing and making some progress in his personal plot of finding his lost sister that the villains began to corrupt his path. Knowing his weakness for his sister and wanting him on their side because of what he knew of both the heros and an organization they were trying to knock over, they presented the heros with a moral dilemma. The heros had been closing in on some leads for stopping a crime ring set up by the villains, but in order to cut their losses the villains had made the choice to evac the leaders of the crime ring and kill the gangs and others involved. My character needed to capture one of the heads if he wanted to ever find his sister, but the group had decided to try and save an citizens who were negligently involved with the crime ring. It was an interesting turn for me as I had to play my character the way he would react not the way I wanted to. His moral code didn't have enough sway on him to make him care more for the citizens, but instead he went to attempt an intercept on the crime boss. This lead to him being outcast by the heros, and him taking a big turn into the almost joining the villains just because they had the answers he wanted and used that event to show him they aren't that different.

This is a classic point for a villain to take, they will give the hero a choice of getting their goal at a cost of moral integrity. This could be freeing a captured love interest at the cost of civilian lives, saving a member of team enabling the villain to get away, ect... These put the character in a hard place to be because heros have an image to the public, and a code they try hard to follow. If they falter in their moral conduct they will pay in image, relations, and self confidence. The villains can use this to play with their minds, and may even change their entire character if the hero isn't careful. For my character his sister was being used as leverage against him by a crime boss, he couldn't be seen interfering with their operations lest he risk his sister's life. He hated this and would take any means to stop it. This lead to him going down some dark paths that the group didn't know about, but they could tell something wasn't right. During this time his moral code began to change, being manipulated by the villains. This is what made me thinks more about what I could do with villains I play. It isn't just being evil all the time, it is pulling at the heros and testing them to see how far over the line they are willing to go, how far they want to travel into the darkness to get their prize. Could I have done this without being tempted? Yes, and in fact I did for a while, but my character got frustrated at cold leads and was presented an alternate way of gathering info that yielded better and faster results. These methods got to be more and more of a habit for him and the villains took advantage of that.

During the Teen Titans RP of mine I mentioned in my Bulldozer section I had someone I had RPed with for a while play a Co-Villain for me. He played the leader of a gang that was directly connected to Slade, whom I was playing. He took up the part which made me very happy because he was good at playing a large number of side characters since I was playing a hand full already. He surprised me even more with his gang leader. At first I thought he was going to be a Bulldozer with the way he introduced his character, but it turned out he was just reflecting how a underground crime boss would be if they were reporting to Slade 'Deathstroke' Wilson. He started by having his gang flag plant the local news paper building, then knock over a large bank after a week of cryptic messages, and two weeks after that shoot up and flag plant the Police HQ. His character was cold, ruthless, and without empathy towards anyone who was against him. Reading his posts I was afraid that he was just going to be power hungry and gun happy while justifying it with "I work for Deathstroke." I confronted him about it asking him questions like how, and why? He explained that his inner circle of generals and his head man report directly to Deathstroke, and if that were the case their arsenal would be large, but limited as well due to the cops. with that in mind they would need to hit up a bank to get money to launder for weapons and supplies before they planned out and then attacked the Police HQ. He also said with a gang this powerful they would have contacts on the inside which explains the messages and hitting the Police was to shake them up a bit and allow for the gang to move product and weapons around in the coming week. Looking back at his messages I started to understand it all, but I ask then why the news paper? he said that with the character being played by another person who is employed in the news paper will soon become an informant due to the interest they have in the gang. It was a warning and invitation, so to say, for the investigating reporters.

Looking back on his post after talking with him I saw they were an introduction more than anything. In the first attack he introduces a few of his generals, and a few more in the second attack, and finally himself in the assault on the Police HQ. He was using these posts to show the full power of the gang, while keeping it believable. He said that attacks like these would not happen very often since they are generally not needed. This series of attacks was a show of force tot he town and heros so they know what they are getting into when they decide to try and take him on. This was okay for me. It didn't derail the plot, it didn't permanently change the world we were in, he was simply taking into account that chapter two was a few years after the close of chapter one and that gave time for these problems and feuds to arise. I liked the feel he gave it, and his main character was one that was feared, powerful, but also tactful in his actions. He thought of what he was doing, and what that would bring about. The police were not as vigilant (they were played by another person.), The character at the news paper became afraid of the gang and was reluctant to do much investigating on them, and the heros now had a side villain that would cause some issues for them as they worked through the story. An A+ in my book.

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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Master Crim
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Hey guys, not sure how many people are still watching this for the final post, but I wanted to let you all know it is coming, but my laptop, where I had all my notes and materials, died a few days ago. I am trying to pull the hard drive from it so I can get my 3+ years of writing, posts, and characters back. Once I get this sorted I will work on getting the final post up. In the meantime if any of you have questions on other topics you would like me to write on or if you have something that you just want some advice on go ahead and drop me a PM.

Until next time,
Stay Tilted
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Hidden 23 days ago Post by Master Crim
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UPDATE

I have been piecing together my post from my dead laptop and hope to have the conclusion up by Thursday. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you all for your support.
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