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2 yrs ago
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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.

“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.
Hello again,
It has been a while since my last visit here, and occasionally I like to change my face to start a new go at this realm of writing that I believe to be the best in form, if you can get the right people. Though I think that this time I will take a different stance on my time here, and instead of hoping from Roleplay to Roleplay without the time to truly devote to them, I will take some time to write a few of my thoughts for the public to use as a guide in their own Roleplaying lives. I hope to be able to help my fellow character builders to improve on their play styles, writing abilities, and open your minds to some of the ways of playing that you might not have seen before.

I have to weekend off so be watching for a post within the next two days, thank you all for your patience!
I am going to try to keep this running, but it isn't going to be able to move fast due to life being busy atm. I will try to post at least once every week or so. Sorry for my unavailability.
Gotham Uptown: Gotham Law Library

The fleeing assailant was running with a mix of both fear and trying to get to a new position before attempting to kill his pursuer… again. Taking a few quick corners around some bookshelves he came to an open area with a few tables with chairs around them for reading and studying. Throwing a couple chairs towards where he entered as he passed some of the tables he then flipped a long rectangular table on its side for cover waiting for the next sign of movement.
“I don’t get it,” He wiped some sweat from his brow. “I shot that thing and he got up like it was nothing” Gun ready he waited hoping this was just his imagination.


“Was that an arm?” One of the men asked.
“I think so… But it wasn’t…” Another responded both with their guns trained on where the arm was. There was a moment of exchanged glances between the three of them then to the bomb. “Uh, Is it counting faster, or am I just seeing things?” They all looked back and it did appear to be counting faster.
“We need to stop it then, elsewise the escape won’t be here in time.” another said moving towards the bomb.
“No! you idiot, do you remember what he said would happen if you disarm that.” The first spoke again. This inspired a fearful look from the other two men.
“Do you think he was serious?” The second asked lowering his gun momentarily. “I know the guy supposed to be a bit, off, but…” he trailed off just looking at the bomb. The whole time the counter was speeding up more and more now counting 3 seconds every second.
“I don’t care! I have a life to live!” the one nearest the bomb called out as he hastily began to defuse the bomb. Popping a panel off the front of the timer he reached for the wires- BANG! A shot rang out from the second man of the group, and the one attempting to disarm the bomb fell lifeless to the ground.
“Escape or not, I would rather die than take that chance.” He said looking to his partner who nodded in response.


@Burning Kitty
While scanning Cassidy picked up a ping from the Hall of Justice Defense System that was quickly set to green after only a few seconds. “This could be promising, not many can shut down the H.O.J. Security System like that. Hopefully the inner sanctum is still untampered with.” Cassidy began to connect to the outer security systems of the Hall hoping there were still some cameras intact. Surely enough there were a few still operable, but the ones left were not in too good of shape making it hard to discern who was there. “Well it looks like he is still connected to the system, and searching for something over the open network… Let’s just knock.” Working into the Hall’s systems Cassidy began to ping George with a message. “Hello, You don’t look like you’re from around here… well, at least not from this time.”
Hey guys sorry about not getting that post up, my mom had to go to the ER for pancreatic surgery. I will be working on the post tomorrow and have it up by tomorrow night for sure.
@Master Crim I did not know exactly what the bombers were like, so I improvised. I also decided that Malacoda is less of a direct combatant, and more of trickster when it comes to these kinds of situations, especially as he is rather weak at the moment. I also did not think his hound would become so much a part of his character, but I really like him. If you think I am overusing him, then please let know so that I can dial it back. I got a hound in my D&D campaign and I could not resist naming him Mephistopheles as well. I think of them as the same characters right now. Also, if the villains are a bit less gullible, you can have them realize that it is a trick... and I will work around it.

It is fine right now, the story is just starting so the villains are not the best, but as the story progresses they will get harder and stronger. Everything is going to plan for me. (good or bad for you guys we will find out later.) I will be trying to get a post up tomorrow, thanks again all for hanging in there while I was gone.
I am waiting for @bluetommy2 before moving on. Your post doesn't have much for me to respond to, but if you want I can try put something up.
No! I am getting tired of the ice! I just got the friggin driveway clear after 3 weeks of ice and snow! BTW having a heat wave here upto 36f today.
I will be trying to contact @bluetommy2 to see if he is still interested. Hopefully we haven't lost him.

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