Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Superboy
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Specifically, what makes a good villain in a Roleplay setting. How do you go about crafting a worthy antagonist for your players? What do you keep in mind while you're creating the big bad, and what differentiates a mediocre baddie from a quality villain?

How do RP antagonists differ from standard antagonists in other fiction, such as novels and film?
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by ArenaSnow
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I'd write a long post regarding the mechanics of villains, but I realized someone already did it for me.
roleplayerguild.com/topics/169416-the…
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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The above link gives many examples of bad villains, and does point out a small pool of traits that good villains should have.

First, I should note that antagonists and villains aren't the same thing, but they are usually interchangeable. an antagonist opposes the protagonist, who is the spotlight of the story. Where as a villain is someone who commits evil acts. An example of a story where the villain isn't an antagonist is death note. Light is most certainly the villain of the story, but he's the protagonist. This is important to consider, because what you really want is someone who is going to oppose the players in the story.

A good antagonist opposes the protagonists, which is usually going to be the bulk of the players in the RP. Anyone playing an antagonistic character should have a goal that puts them at odds with the other players. You could have a standard villain who just wants to kill everyone and everything, but he might not be more important than the players tasks, or the players might not find him worth dealing with because some of them are selfish in nature. Say the players are taking a purification crystal to the center of the largest ocean to purify the world's water supply. A crazy serial murderer/rapist/arson/mastermind isn't really a good obstacle for our characters. So what they plan on wiping out a city, if we don't get this crystal to the ocean, the whole world will die! Now, maybe our antagonist knows about this crystal, and wants to use it to resurrect a long dead civilization. The consequences of using the crystal this way is that it won't be able to purify the ocean, and 95% of the world will die of thirst or poison. Even the players with more selfish ambitions will be disappointed that they won't get paid for carrying out this mission. THAT antagonist is one that all of the players are going to be watching out for.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by William Cade
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I think a good villain elicits sympathy - actually makes someone think "Hey I kind of understand them" then their atrocities add up until it's like okay - he/she needs to be taken care of.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Goldeagle1221
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Relatability.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ArenaSnow
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Since we're down to single word summaries -

Plausibility.

That is a key thing I try to look for, and if I feel that is met, other things should fall in line.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Hero
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Personally I think a good villain actually gets shit done. They don't just threaten to do things, they do it.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by The Nexerus
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A monocle.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Burning Kitty
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If I can root for the villain he/she is a good villain. I love rooting for the villain. They should win more.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by SleepingSilence
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@The Nexerus It's a well known fact, that all wizards wear monocles. (Get the reference, win a e-cookie.)
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by NuttsnBolts
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Specifically, what makes a good villain in a Roleplay setting. How do you go about crafting a worthy antagonist for your players? What do you keep in mind while you're creating the big bad, and what differentiates a mediocre baddie from a quality villain?

How do RP antagonists differ from standard antagonists in other fiction, such as novels and film?


You need a motive, but that's something that can vary so much between the type of villain you create. You don't necessarily need to be an evil character as well but someone who opposes the protagonist(s).

In Avatar if you look at Firelord Ozai, he never really appeared much until the third series but his actions to expand the power of his nation was seen throughout the story. He did that by force and oppression, but the character himself was nothing more than a cunning firebender. Put aside the fact that Aang was the avatar, he held a strong fighting match against a young boy who was little more than a basic skilled fighter.

Azula on the otherhand was more chaotic and was seeking her selfish father's approval. Her desire to please him grew more and more as the series went on and her actions grew darker and darker, almost to the point where she went mentally insane after her friends decided to abandon her.

On a different scale, and only cause I played it recently, but Transistor has a brilliant villain who dare I say... isn't a villain. In that story the premise is that the city of Cloudbank is being overrun by the Process, something that the antagonist started, but it only turned that way when their careful plan fell apart. The truth is that the villain in that series wanted something to change but it went against the wishes of the people, even if it was a better choice for them. So they forced it upon the people, and well... they screwed up. The process then follows a blue/orange morality and begins destroying everything, but only because that's what it does. To say the process is evil is like saying a cheetah hunting a gazelle is evil. It does not know it is wrong by human standards, but simply following it's own natural way.

I can explain a bit more later, just ran out of time for now...
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Burning Kitty
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Not all villains are villains, they may just be antagonistic to the "heroes"

Or they can be like Cyclops delusional nut jobs who think they are the hero/god's gift to their species. These are my favorite to see fail.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by DoomFlavored
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I find this to be absolutely vital unless making a joke character. If it's a joke character than.... well it's different.

But anyway. A villain in roleplay MUST be a legitimate threat to the protagonists. In some way. This doesn't mean they have to be more powerful in a fight. Just a credible threat to them and what they are trying to protect.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ErsatzEmperor
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Not all villains are villains, they may just be antagonistic to the "heroes"

Or they can be like Cyclops delusional nut jobs who think they are the hero/god's gift to their species. These are my favorite to see fail.


Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Burning Kitty
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<Snipped quote by Burning Kitty>



To bad he didn't take his own advice.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Good villains can be good villains even if I think "I cannot relate to this person, sympathies with this person or see any of myself in this person at all, or if I can, it's not enough for me to overlook that they're pure mad/pure evil/a pure bastard"
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