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Maelstrom
12-01-2007, 05:07 AM
I apologize if this has been done before. I'm new to the forum and feel too lazy to do a search.

With 3.5 edition, you can come up with some very interesting baddies with all the templates and class choices available. This is a playground for DMs like me that like to through interesting things at the players that make them think of how to defeat them.

So what are your favorite villians that you have created as a DM or fought against as a player?

Here is one of my favorites:

Favorite #1
Skrimuck the Ageless
Undead savant template, 5th level goblin cleric, Neutral Evil
Owning only the core MM, I wanted an undead creature that was somewhere between a zombie and a lich, and nothing really worked, so I created my own template. This wizened goblin has some interesting history, being the lackey of a Lich that was destroyed 7 centuries before. He is immortal, and as a Savant he retained his intelligence and knowledge and class levels he had in his life much like a lich. He was brought into unlife by his master, Dagen Rah, who sought to gather knowledge through trade at first but later through force, willing to do evil things to advance his knowledge. For this he was killed in life, came back as a lich, and was destroyed again.

Skrimuck survives him however, serving as the librarian and guardian of Dagen Rah's Mausoleum where his most valuable books and artifacts were kept. He is a librarian, and shared his interest in knowledge, so he can be found constantly reading a book with his spectacles. He's content to stay in his master's library, but adventureres are known to raid it for knowledge of some evil they face from time to time.

His cleric spheres are Magic and Knowledge, and having the Magic sphere allows him to use some of Dagen Rah's Arcane scrolls, and even a wand of ghoul touch. One of his additional Undead Savent abilities was to raise dead as the spell a few times per day, so in the inner sanctum of the Mausoleum when the players faced him, he would raise skeletons out of a large pile of bones continuously. These undead were bolstered by the permanent Desecrate spell placed upon the sanctum, so this was a formidable battle that the PCs ended up halting, and bargaining with the goblin.

Xaels Greyshadow
12-01-2007, 12:26 PM
For me, my favorite villians are the ones that fall into that percentage as defined in the DMG as "Someone in the party is going to die." PC's need to know when they are outclassed and under equipped when that encounter with the villian comes. As a DM, if a PC decides to "Go for it", even though they have been given all the signs and portents that they should not push an issue with a villian at the time and better come back for the encounter later when they are better equipped and matched to the catagory as defined in the DMG that the villian is an equal match, I have no problem as a DM just killing the PC and telling the player "I tried to tell you." As a player, I don't let myself be influenced by the rest of the party in the arene of "Come on, we can do it." I want my character to live, advance in level and gain treasure. I find no amusement at all in playing in games with DM's that by all outward appearances talk about killing off the party slowly and how much fun they will have doing it. To me, thats NOT D&D. Characters are Heroes, slightly better than everyone else, and the purpose of a campaign and adventures is for the PC to be challanged, damaged, POSSIBLY killed if they act stupidly. Mostly for the Player to escape reality for a while, have fun, meet new people and look forward to the next adventure.

RealmsDM
12-03-2007, 04:54 PM
I've had a lot of favorites over the years in all my campaigns. The most enjoyable for me are the ones that actually incite my players to real life anger! The ones where my players stop joking around & get serious when they enter the scene. Usually, its a NPC baddie who happens to unexpectedly beat around or stymie the PCs one way or another. So the villian makes a sequel appearence, and that's when things get interesting.

These are my accidental anti-heroes, who evolve as the campaign progresses. What started out as a 5th level rogue that was rolled up as a minor encounter, might just end up as the epic level assassin who comes after the PCs when they least expect it!

Moritz
12-04-2007, 10:03 AM
Baron Alton

He was an NPC of my own creation in the last campaign I ran. Initially he was a True Neutral Necromancer who had been exiled from the western lands of Ferron and settled near the home town of the PC's. He was slowly building up his home using an army of skeletons/bone golems that he created.

He then used his skeleton army as protection along a major trade route of which he benefited through offering his home/fortress as a trade hub. Many were turned off by the skeletal guards, but ultimately, the Baron made a lot of money.

Eventually, he got into league with more nefarious persons and started manipulating local political structures to make the world more receptive to the dragon control (one major threat in this world was a red dragon (that the party awoken from a thousand year sleep) had control over other dragons through an amulet, thus trying to take over the lands).

So, he ended up being a villain, though the party never knew or realized it.

Maelstrom
12-05-2007, 04:24 AM
Keep em coming! I'm enjoying the new campaign ideas these descriptions envoke.

Heres another one:
This one I'm going to through at the players during their next mission. A troll sorceress named Gretch. I wanted something that could cause some trouble in the middle of a Sylvan wood and hold her own against the magical inhabitants there, and this perfectly fit the bill.

She lives in a large underground cavern, and she has fitted the high ceilings and walls with rungs. This allows her full mobility throughout her cavern, as she has invested heavily in the Climb skill. Add to that her high Jump skill, her Jump sorceror spell, and her signiture spell, Expeditious retreat, which speed improves her jump ability, she can jump up and reach the rungs with ease anywhere in the cavern, especially considering her long reach, trolls are all arms after all.

Now, add to this her 2nd level spell, invisibility, and you've got a formidable fight on your hands. A troll who charges in, mixes it up, then goes invisible to heal and ambush the characters from another angle is going to be a tough customer. She's also got Spring Attack, so with her reach and Expeditious Retreat spell she'll be able to easily charge in, smack a player with her spear, then keep her distance. Oh, and even if the players manage to get close enough to take a whack at her, she has an active Shield spell for an AC boost. Finally she has a potion of fire resistance handy if the players get the funny idea of the cliche fire vs troll attack.

She's got a Dire Weasel familiar, which may be her only weakness. Having half her HP (troll hp), it'll be pretty tough, and she can share invis/expeditious retreat/shield if she casts adjacent.

DrAwkward
12-05-2007, 10:40 AM
I try not to pick favorites amongst my villains -- In fact, I try very hard to come up with a reason to dislike each of them. That way I don't feel like they are "my character" that the party is trying to kill. They deserve to die and have thier plans ruined. I think this helps the game, because the players also tend to really dislike the villains -- in some cases pity them, like a rabid dog that needs to be put down.

What I dig is the villainous extras. These are the guys that are evil or chaotic, but are somebody else's problem. They aren't involved in whatever adventure the party is on, and they aren't there to foil the party. They might even help the party, and in doing so it leave the players with a bad taste in thier mouth, or wondering why. What horrible scheme off camera do we advance by letting him help us? I love the lesser evils, mostly because they last longer, and they can have some really fun personalities.

One such was a cook whom was captured by an evil cult to feed their growing army. He convinced them that he'd be of more use tending the pot than in it. He had to learn to cook whatever they brought him; horses, halflings, villagers, etc. He eventually became mildly evil due to simply not caring anymore, and I gave him modified Artificer levels - He could infuse food with magical effects. He was intended to be a camp follower for the party. "Yes, the stew grants bull's strength. No, don't ask what happened to the Minotaur you killed yesterday."

Olothfaern
12-05-2007, 11:26 AM
A villain alone is a jackpot of XP and GP. Make that same ne'er do well a prominent member of a large society and he gets to rub it in the character's faces every feast day. If they assault him then they are on the wrong side of the law. Their only recourse is to gather enough evidence and form enough alliances to make sure that evidence will be heard. Which of course gives the villain time to corrupt one or more party members with the "finer things in life".

Maelstrom
12-06-2007, 04:18 AM
I try not to pick favorites amongst my villains -- In fact, I try very hard to come up with a reason to dislike each of them. That way I don't feel like they are "my character" that the party is trying to kill. They deserve to die and have thier plans ruined. I think this helps the game, because the players also tend to really dislike the villains -- in some cases pity them, like a rabid dog that needs to be put down.


Touche, and a very good point. Perhaps "favorite villian" is the wrong word for it. I have had to learn this principle through experience... I tend to put a lot of effort in crafting the uniqueness of major characters the party faces, friend or foe, and because of that reason I was probably a little guilty of focusing too much energy on keeping them around. When a smart villian was overwhelmed and overmatched by the players, they would try to get away. It got so bad that some of the players chose spells to make sure the bad guy couldn't get away the next time around.

About that time I realized my mistake... I was aggravating the players for my own personal pride, and that was making it less fun for them. True, its nice to have a recurring villian that the players learn to hate on occasion. This makes it all the more satisfying to see them finally defeated, and this was my intention. I took it too far though. To make up for it, I gave one of the leaders of the evil factions to them on a silver platter. To their credit, they brought him down, despite the fact he was a lot higher level then the players. They were pretty ingenious about it.

This all said, I still think this thread has merit. I still like to spend time to craft time on my Villians, I just do it with the attitude you mention... they are going to die. And I'd like to see what others are doing to combine classes/templates/creatures for ideas of future baddies that will make the adventure interesting to the players. Maybe its just me, but the things I remember with the most nastalgia from when I was a player years and years ago was the time we defeated a major villian or had a victory against an interesting foe. I'd like to provide those same memories to my players.

DrAwkward
12-06-2007, 11:45 AM
Touche, and a very good point. Perhaps "favorite villian" is the wrong word for it.Absolutely this thread has merit. I'm totally down with hearing everyone else's favorite villains, on account I can use them and I won't be attached to them at all.;)

The underlying problem here is that it takes so much work in the 3.5 system to flesh out a villain, it becomes very frustrating for a DM to do all that work for them to last only one fight. While you may plan for a villain to re-occur, its kinda hard to keep them alive when the party get determined.

Just remember, though - the villains have access to raise dead too.

Moritz
12-06-2007, 12:43 PM
Aside from the Baron, most of my D&D villains aren't really standardized humanoids. Most can be found in the Monster Manual and given higher than normal stats. IE: In my last game, there was a supermega powerful Lich which was doing business with the Red Dragon and the Baron.

And like I've noted in another thread, my next major villain will be my favorite character (Voyce) who has become a lich/villain.

In D&D, I often do not see nor depect the elves/dwarves/humans/gnomes, etc as the villains. I mean surely, there are those out there who do evil like in our regular society. But to me, D&D is about fantasy, killing monsters, getting treasure, saving the damsel in distress, getting more treasure, and killing dragons and even more monsters.

I do not create a (D&D) game where the players are faced with human evil overlords. To me that's boring and not all that much fantasy, even though the evil overlord may wear full plate.

But I'll give a name to the Monster, make them stand out as a major threat, and give my players something cool to smack down while getting super cool treasure.

rabkala
12-06-2007, 10:42 PM
I usually have more luck unintentionally creating hated recurring characters out of nowhere.
Have another group of good adventures show up at all the inopportune moments to harass the party or steal the glory. Players will despise it more than the villain.
Did you ever have those players who were still in 1e mindset ('All the NPCs are there to screw you and be killed')? In one game, the players were working for a king. A simple messenger/go-between was used to give them information and orders. They just didn't like the way the guy acted. They were sure he was corrupted and went to great extremes to try to find dirt on the guy. Finally after months of their witch hunt, I figured they drove him evil and made him into a villain.

Zephurith
12-07-2007, 01:21 PM
The little kobold everyone underestimates.... Had many a party die on that kobold just because they decided he wasn't worth it... until they saw the dead PC in their party and went confused... Quite fun to pull and funnier to laugh at.

Maelstrom
12-07-2007, 01:44 PM
I don't know about laughing at the death of a PC, but yeah, I've used my share of gimmicked Kobolds. One evil necromancer had a group of black kobolds that were highly proficient with their tower shields, and had incredible ACs. These guys couldn't do a lot of damage, but they gave breathing room for the wizard to possess a player with the Magic Jar spell.

Another Kobold I used was a wizard's doorman. He had been the subject of countless experiments, and as such had a large number of permanent spells on him. Played him as a sarcastic little bugger who wasn't aggressive, but was impossible to kill.

Zephurith
12-08-2007, 05:31 PM
eh.. the laugh in the end was the fact that the other players were laughing at the guy who had gotten killed... was a kinda stupid thing he did, and I later "had" his character brought back to life by some way I can't remember offhand... was kinda funny, and I felt some sympathy later.. the guy was good natured about it as well...

wizard_in_motley
12-12-2007, 09:43 AM
My current group decided to get help from the locals to attack a corrupt temple. Unfortunately for them the locals happened to be Hobgoblins. So a Hobgoblin cleric helped them for his cut of the treasure/experience. Just like they went up a level, so did he. He also knows where the money they think they're keeping is... this should be interesting. He's going to grab a small strike force first and see if he can take them down. If they survive the first round I could have a long-term bad guy on my hands.

Before that a lot of my good villains have been PCs from earlier groups that I had. I've got a VERY large notebook with all the character sheets, it's pretty easy to remember the quirks of the character, some aren't that far from being bad guys anyway. :D

Farcaster
12-12-2007, 04:47 PM
-- Warning, Long Winded Summary INCOMING --

Tagard Ironhand would probably be my favorite D&D villain. Actually though, when the party first met him, he was friendly -- a paladin in fact. He originally joined the party when the group's paladin sought a cohort.

The day he showed up at the party's doorstep, he was bedecked head to toe in full plate armor, complete with a closed face helm, and a tabard emblazoned with the holy symbol of Helm the Vigilant. He was monstrously large, standing well over six and a half feet tall and his massive trunk was wider in fact than the door frame, giving the PC who answered the door the impression that he was staring at a mountain of steel that now blocked the doorway.

The party came to find out that Tagard was actually an orc, when a short time later he removed his helm. But his faith in Helm and his status as a paladin in his order was unquestionable. Still, he kept the details of his history closely guarded, which caused much intrigue amongst the group. Especially interesting was that Tagard would never remove his shirt (or even his chestplate) in front of anyone, which caused much speculation as to what hidden scars or strange disfigurements he might be hiding.

Much later into his adventures with the group, it was discovered that he had these sort of tribal tattoos / ritualistic scars, which covered his chest and back. No one could decipher what the tattoos might signify or why he would have been so secretive about them. And, it was only after he had adventured with the party for years did they find out that Tagard had a truly dark past. By this time, the party had reached near epic levels, and they were attempting to ascend into Celestia to find Bahamut. When Tagard was denied entrance, some details of his history were revealed.

The party learned that Tagard was first of all much older than he let on. He was at least several centuries old. He had once been chieftain of a great orc tribe. His military prowess was legendary, and as a mortal he had attracted the attention of a demon-lord, who desired to make him a general of its demonic armies. To gain dominion over Tagard's immortal soul, the demon-lord made a pact with Tagard, infusing him with demonic power and prowess. The tattoos on his chest and back were a symbol of this agreement.

And for a time, it suited this demonic lord to leave Tagard alive to create chaos and war in its name in the mortal world. But, when the demon-lord finally came calling, Tagard wasn't ready to give up the pleasures of mortal flesh to fued endlessly in the Blood War, which wasn't his fight anyway, after all. The demon-lord sought to force Tagard into service, but Tagard refused.

The demon-lord needed to break Tagard's will, not just slay him outright and have him return as a mulling and pitiful petitioner. So, he eventually captured Tagard and sought to torture him into submission. To be able to unleash his most sinister and vile torments without risking accidentally killing him, he made Tagard nearly immortal. Only under very special circumstances could Tagard be truly slain. Otherwise, even if Tagard's body was completely destroyed, he'd always come back.
Ironically, he was rescued/captured by a paladin who may well have been guided to him by divine providence. The interactions between Tagard and this paladin of Helm (leader of an knightly ordered called, “The Iron Hand”) would be a long story unto itself. In the interest of brevity, Tagard came to respect his captor and his ideals. And so it was, that Tagard, once chosen to lead a hellish army, came into the service of Helm and found true repentance.

Wew... Sorry, I've been so long winded. It is a story I very much enjoy though. Nevertheless, let me skip ahead a bit.

In any case, although I didn't originally plan for Tagard to slip back and become evil again, circumstances just ended up leading that direction. Towards the end of the campaign, one of the party's other NPC members was captured by the Githyanki who were invading Faerun (Githyank Incursion Campaign). The party was extremely pressed with dealing with multiple issues at a time, and couldn't mount a rescue immediately. Tagard too was bound by duty as he was charged by the PC Paladin to stay with his knightly cadre. But, he was plagued by nightmares of the captured party member being relentlessly tortured. In truth, these nightmares were being placed in his mind by one of the Gith wizards in an effort to destabilize his leadership.

The nightmares were extremely effective, as Tagard's own experiences with being tortured all resurfaced. When the party returned, Tagard had nearly completely lost it. He barely ate or slept, so consumed was he with forming a rescue plan. Unfortunately, when the party returned, they still weren't quite ready to rescue their captured comrade, which sent Tagard spiraling over the edge.

He had become consumed and bitter. He now had a seething resentment of the church and of duty, which he felt allowed the situation to linger in which his friend was being tortured daily. In addition to dereliction of his duties, this quickly led to Tagard loosing his paladin abilities. Which also gave an opening to a certain devil, who had been watching Tagard with great interest as a possible recruit on the other side of the Blood War. The devil convinced Tagard that without his god-gifted paladin abilities, he would be no good to his friend, and tempted him into becoming a Blackguard.

Soon after, the party did go and rescue his friend, and Tagard continued to adventure with the group as a Blackguard-in-Secret, trying to use evil to do good (in his mind). Although, the party's paladin was confused about how Tagard was keeping his Helm-granted paladin abilities when he was clearly doing some dark stuff. Ultimately, Tagard's bitterness towards the church led him to attack the PC paladin, who was the focus of his rage--however unjustified that might have been... Now remember, he started as this paladin's cohort!

After that, he became a recurring villain who occasionally thwarted the party. They never did manage to kill him. But the best part is that despite everything he had done and what he was, most of the party didn't want to kill him, because of their history together and sympathy for the circumstances that led him to “the darkside of the force.” The PC paladin, I must admit though, definitely wanted him dead!

He was definitely my favorite villain, mostly because he had such tragic elements in his background. And he had progressed in his life time from a savage warlord, to hero, to dark hero, and then in the end succumbed to darkness and became a villain. It made him a very real and believable character.

Maelstrom
12-12-2007, 07:24 PM
"Friends" turn foes... two excellent ones (The Hobgoblin and the Blackguard). Very cool. I like how both of these progressed and the circumstances made them enemies, rather than planning by the DM.

broxolm
04-16-2008, 04:45 AM
Sorry for the long-windedness.

One of my favorite villians was a epic half-dragon grey-elf lich named Andromodeus. He has a very extensive back-story that starts with his father, a red dragon named Rroathurr.

Rroathurr was a red dragon who according to elven legend, aided the elfs in settling a permaneant home. The dragon Rroathurr agreed to wipe out a pre-existing goblinoid settlement in order to clear the way for the elves in exchange for a yearly tribute. The tribute consisted mostly of gold and elven maidens (Rroathurr had a taste for both).

After many centuries of this "agreement" a hobgoblin army descended on the land to reclaim it from the Elfs. By this time Rroathurr had grown to great wyrm status and had spread his blood into many of the surrounding races (Orcs, Gnolls, Elves, Lizardfolk...) and decided it was not his duty to help the elves. The Elfs fought back and suffered great losses without the protection from Rroathurr. In the end, an Elven wizard opened a Gate Spell to Eulysia and the elfs simply conceeded the land to the goblins.

However, the Gate spell allowed only elfs and the friends of elfs to enter. This excluded an elf half-dragon named Andromodeus from entering due to his blood tie to Rroathurr. Andromodeus didn't care anyway, he always loved his dragon side more then his elven heritage. Andromodeus spent most of his youth collecting tribute from surrounding tribes for his father and spreading the teachings of Tiamat.

Then one day, the humans came and erected a small community in Rroathurr's dominion. The iconoclastic humans refused to pay tribute to Rroathurr and send adventurers against him and his children. Eventually, a dwarven worshipper of Kord named Throm managed fight passed an army of goblins and slay the great wyrm Rroathurr. Weakened by the fight, Andromodeus managed to subdue Throm before the final deathblow was struck against Rroathurr. Cursing the name of Kord, Andromodeus called upon the power of Tiamat save him dieing father. The unholy power of the great chromatic dragon Tiamat put Rroathurr into a dead sleep from which he could eventually be awakened fully healed.

Andromodeus then began to prepare for his father's awakening in a distant future. He had his many half-brothers turned into stone to sleep until Rroathurr had also awoken. Then using illusionary spells, Andromodeus entered the human settlement. Instead of destroying it, he slowly began to manipulate its leadership causing it to grow and strive. Planning to present a metropolis to his father when he had awoken.

Several lifetimes later, Andromodeus's own lifetime was beginning to close. Unaccepting of dieing in a world not controled by his father and "invested" with worshippers of Kord, the dragon-slayer, Andromodeus embraced Lich-hood.

Changing his name and appearance every decade, Andromodeus biult a metropolis from ground up, controls the city as its "Archmage Advisor", and controls the city through its complex networks of dopplegangers who run all the giulds and tielfing eldritch knights who run the underground.

Still discontent, Andromodeus plans to awaken his great wyrm red dragon father, Rroathurr, and his many half-brothers. When this happens he will lead an army of several races against the city of his own making in an epic show of force against the worshippers of Kord. When/if this happens, Kord himself may need to intervien if Kord worship is to continue...

Ranger02
04-16-2008, 04:58 PM
I have a villain that a GM put our group up against that scared me more than anything else. He was a demon with Barbarian/frenzied berserker lvs. He also used a spiked chain as his weapon. Figured it out that when used his full abilities he could do upwards 400 damage in one round. That was the only true villain that scared our group. This guy laid out our paladin who was wearing artifact level armor and almost killed the rest of us. That's my all time favorite villain.

upidstay
04-23-2008, 08:07 AM
I tend to keep my alignments to the extreme when it comes to bad guys. My evil guys prefer to drink their virgin's blood from the skulls of babies, enjoy the smell of slow roasted elf-flesh., etc.

I had one recent slave trader who was a cleric of Erythynul, God of Slaughter. He would break the limbs of his slaves to make them easier to handle, then heal them when it came time to sell. He kept plenty of healing potions around for his henchmen so they could torture all they wanted without "damaging the merchandise" permanently.
I also ran a mostly neutral and lawful neutral party against a maniacal Paladin of a LG god (can't remember which one). He sorta went on a little burning spree, mostly those he called "heretics" (ie anyone who didn't worship HIS god) and the PC's had to stop him. We had one serious law and order type fighter/cleric in the party who had a problem with killing a paladin, so it made for an interesting adventure. The paladin whould NOT be captured and put before a heretic judge, so he fought to the death.

One more, then I'm done, I promise.
Her name was Serr Hia, and she was a Drow Vampire Cleric/Sorcerer. She was realllllly nasty to fight in the dark, particularly with her penchant for Darkness spells of any kind. Finally I think after wading her way through two seperate parties of adventurers, the group had a paladin with a Sun Blade and a cleric of a Sun god fry her good with light based spells. Was one heck of a fight, if I recall. Took several hours of nail biting fight to take her out. I may have to dust her off for my latest campaign, once they get ALOT higher in levels.

upidstay
04-23-2008, 08:20 AM
OK, Just ONE more, then I'm done. For real this time...

I inherited a party of high level power gamers, all Monty Hauled to death. The DM moved, I think, and I just sorta fell into the roll of DM.

Anyway, the party took a long sea voyage, and were stranded for a while on this very remote island populated by some friendly villagers. The islands "protector" was a mysterious being who live on top of a mountain on the island. One of the PC's contracted a disease from a whore before they left for their voyage. Nothing major for the player, as it was just sort of a combination of measles and the flu. He recovered, their boat was repaired, and off they went. Well, the sick PC managed to infect the entire island, and just like the Spaniards did with Small Pox to the natives of Central America, this disease all but wiped out the natives. They returned a year later after adventuring on a distant continent to find the island decimated. The native's "Protector" was a 25th level mage (this was 2nd edition, no epic level). He was quite incensed by the deaths of his people, and sought revenge. He had a magic item that allowed him to change shape at will, and he set about ruining the PC's. He turned into the paladin and then went on a rape spree, turned into the thief and murdered a Duke in cold blood, turned into the fighter and murdered the son of the head of the biggest thieves guild in the land.

I had the players running around like the proverbial headless chicken. One kid got so flustered he just stopped showing up for games. They actually had a challenge now, where their old DM would run five 15th level players, all loaded to the rafters with magic items, up against orcs and goblins, so they could just wade through their foes.

Malruhn
04-23-2008, 10:45 PM
You are a horrid fiend.

And must be applauded! Bravo all over you for your wisdom!!

Kilrex
04-24-2008, 08:51 AM
I inherited a party of high level power gamers, all Monty Hauled to death. The DM moved, I think, and I just sorta fell into the roll of DM.

First they fall into a pit of Rust monsters, then they are attacked by creatures which feed on magic, and then robbed by a succubus.

I personally would have started off a new campaign. The DM probably didn't move, just got frustrated when he lost control of the group due to poor loot management.

upidstay
04-25-2008, 05:19 AM
Oh, they were the biggest thing going in the campaign setting. Everybody knew their names, people lined up at inns to buy them a round, women threw themselves at them, they had the key to the kings personal toilet, etc.

I left them all their stuff and ruined their reputations. They became wanted, hunted men.

Kilrex
04-25-2008, 04:08 PM
I didn't think I had a favorite D&D villian until I was reminded of a cursed intelligent helm the cleric received in one of early 3rd edition games I played in.

The helm was LN and was worn by a Cleric of Pelor. The helm gave the cleric minus -10 to all Cha based skills and gave the wearer delusions that he was the Justicar for the Meek. The cleric was tricked into working to create a society that was basically communist. No one should have more than any other person. The campaign was set in Waterdeep, a city where trade and money rules. The ruling powers did not like the idea, but all the poor did. Riots broke out and much of the city ended up being burnt. The curse was finally lifted, along with the clerics head, by the city executioner.

Maelstrom
04-26-2008, 04:56 AM
He turned into the paladin and then went on a rape spree, turned into the thief and murdered a Duke in cold blood, turned into the fighter and murdered the son of the head of the biggest thieves guild in the land.

That's classic! Nicely handled.

I had one wizard who lived in a tower (*gasp* who would have thought of that?!?). He was a mad wizard style archetype with gads of permenancy scrolls he inherited and strong creature-modification skills.

The PCs were put to sleep by the wizard and stripped of all their gear.

While attempting to escape from this tower, the PCs ran into a 2 foot tall ogre who still felt he was his original size, a gnoll with crab claws, an invulnerable Kobold doorman, an orc who's skin constantly changed color, etc etc. Each of these creatures had one of the players' items, so the PCs gradually got their equipment back.

They finally caught the wizard in the act of attempting to create more abominations at the top of his tower. Of course geared for this kind of work, he was a coward when it comes to staring down four extremely mad adventurers who just cut through all of his life's work...

Fooliobass
05-23-2008, 09:39 PM
My favorite:

The campaign was dual DMed due to a large player group. the party had found their way to a one way locked (the other side) door into the underdark. The guard on the locked side was a lovely half dragon half drow sorc. Seemed really cool took 4 hours to build him and his room. He also had a mimic in the room disguised as a naked woman chained to the wall (turned into a whole Bondage room); also across the hall was a lake with a couple water nagas in it. well the party runs past the nagas kick open the door to the half dragons room i get off one spell and they kill him dead. Four hours of creating out the window in 10 min. however due to the two paladins in the party they tried to rescue the mimic, got stuck to it and blocked others from getting close enough to due much damage. it takes about 2 hours real time to kill the mimic with the nagas taking pot shots from the back sides (which the party didnt take on until another session). needless to say taking time and making a killer monster doesnt always pan out where as a mimic always takes time with the stick factor.

cplmac
05-26-2008, 10:17 AM
"Friends" turn foes...


Kitiara Ulth Matar in Dragonlance. The half sister of the twins, Caramon and Raistlin. She ultimately becomes a Dragon Highlord of Takisis.

wizarddog
06-01-2008, 12:56 PM
None of my "Villains" really survive but one particular was Inquisitor Galieon (a Half elf Cleric/Church inquisitor) who was a church official that investigated the murder of a Lord which one of the PC's was framed for. Galieon first starts out as the villain in trying to capture the PC but he later knows the PC is innocent and wants the PC to investigate to clear their name. The Inquisitor believes the son was the murderer of the Lord but had no authority/proof to arrest him and relied on the PC's to break protocol (they were thieves/scoundrels) to gather the evidence to accuse the son.

So Galieon is a non-corrupt official that uses the PC's to his benefit while officially charged with capturing/prosecuting them.

agoraderek
06-01-2008, 05:50 PM
picking a favorite villain from a campaign over 20 years old is like picking a favorite child. i love them all.

but, if i had to pick one, it wouldnt be a villain of my creation, it would be a player character.

Paradan Cyboriak, in 3.5 terms he'd be a tiefling, but in 1.0 terms i called him "demon touched". he was the scion of the arch-duchy of killonen, a coastal region of the kingdom of henecia, which is ruled by my first PC that lived past first level (but has been raised twice), Gregory Elhaylen, retired paladin 18.

Paradan was the perfect foil to the group at the time. he was a spoiled son of an archduke who happened to have a touch of demon somewhere in his ancestry. he inherited some very minor powers (alter self and darkness 15 ft radius, 1x day) but was otherwise a normal fighter. the rest of the group were paladins (2), and elven ranger, a human wizard, a dwarven cleric of moraddin and paradan's only close friendin the group, the thief byron the nimble.

while adventuring, paradan would never be disruptive, and was a shining example of the team player. in the downtime, however, paradan was anything but. his father, archduke of killonen, had ambitions to the throne, as he was of native henecian stock, whereas the king was of commish decent (think norman invasion for reference), and the archduke was of the opinion that the commish were a pox upon the fair isle of henecia.

one of the paladins in the party was a relative of the king (second cousin) and the other was the son of a rival to the archduke of killonen, the baron of kinnebar (whom the archduke of killonen considered a traitor for collaborating too closely with the commish ruling class). paradan worked tirelessly to discredit both paladins and make them unpopular with the teeming henecian masses. he was careful, however, that there were no links back to himself, and would resort to murder on occasion to ensure his secret.

the poor paladins were driven to distraction when not on a quest, having to constantly defend their honor and reputation from innuendo and rumor at every front. on one occasion, they were bombarded by rotten fruits and vegetables from villagers in a remote region of the kingdom, and could find no lodgings, as there was a rumor going about in the area that the paladins took young henecian children to work as slaves on their estates.

all in all, it was interesting to have the group nominally work well together against threats to the kingdom, but work against each other in a low key, relatively non-violent "civil war" between the native henecians and their commish conquerors. we would play several sessions between "advetures" that had more drama and intrigue than any mere quest to stop invading hill giants could muster. my players would occasionally be heard to say "do we HAVE to go on a quest? i havent put the finishing touches on my plot to manipulate the price of rantian wool!"

sometimes the best villains arent evil necromancers in a remote tower, sometimes they're just regular folk with a different political point of view...

tesral
06-04-2008, 11:27 PM
I kept the Undying King going for three centuries and three major wars. How, the PCs never dealt with him directly. He was always the power behind that which they fought.

A wizard that had corrupted the very justice of the grave he found a way to transfer the sins of those that had recently died to someone else. The wicked where getting into Heaven. This so angered the power that the gods bow to that he was cursed to never die and to take on himself all the sins he had misplaced to suffer their guilt for all of eternity.

Raging in guilt and pain he was determined to destroy the world and thus end his agony.

In the first undying war the Weirdling Lands were created, and area of freaky magic and stranger creatures. the close of that war saw the death of gods.

100 years later he returned as a living lich and the second war further eroded the civilize nations. the undying king was trapped in a stone coffin by an artifact of great good.

75 years after that he was freed by an unknowing adventurer. A living specter his essence now trapped in the hold of his making. Once again even Hell rose up to fight against him. In the final climatic battle the magic of life and death came together to suck his unholy presence out of the universe and to protect the world from the funnel of destruction.

It has been 70 years since the final battle and the world is still dealing with the aftermath of those wars.

nijineko
06-08-2008, 03:46 PM
kinda off track somewhat here, but i have to say that my favorite d&d villian is Mordenkainen.

(pause for recovery)

yes, i really picked him. i happen to seriously disagree with his in-game philosophy, so whenever i get the chance in-character, i see what i can do to derail some of his plots. not that i get to play characters that can actually pull that off very often. but still.

broxolm
07-01-2008, 12:02 AM
I came up with this Necromancer named Icobad Lander as part of a mid to high level side-quest climax.

Icobad Lander is a necromancer and a golem-crafter hobbyist who was lucky enough to gain the companionship of a Psuedodragon familar named Nazuroth. Together the two traveled around the land as "partners in crime". There usual gig would be to find the bodies of animals and raise them as undead and extorting a small town out of some money in exchange for calling off his undead beasts. On one occasion, he was managed to steal a gith thrall away from Illithid Mindflayer when his Psuedodragon killed the Gith and Icobad used a Fell-Animating Metamagic Spell to instantly animate the Gith's body. The Undead Gith then tore the Illithid apart before succumbing to the short duration of the temporary animate undead spell.

Well one day, Icobad's Psuedodragons died of old age and this scared the living hell out of Icobad. He reasoned that not many people outlive a "dragon" and decided he should be making preperations for his own death. Knowing of the many horrific things that he has inflicted upon the living and dead alike, he wagered that a less than enjoyable after-life awaited him. So he decided to do what any respectable necromancer would do....
Icobad Lander set out to embrace Lichdom.

Being 60 years old, he figured he had roughly 10 years left to live before the Lower Planes would claim him. He checked his money purses and realized he had less than a quarter of the needed gold to start the unholy ritual. So Icobad enacted a long and brilliant plan...

Step 1: Icobad Lander used his knowledge of necromancy and powers as a sorcerer to bring his Psuedodragon familar back from the dead as a Ghost. Icobad then cast an "undead lutenient" spell on the Psuedodragon and used him to command his undead. This would allow Icobad to remain at a safe distance during combat and hopefully remain unseen as his normally invincible familar shared his spells and ability to command undead. The Psuedodragon greatly enjoyed the new template and powers. Not only did his ghost status give him the ability similar to a real dragon's fear aura (Horrific Appearence), the undead lutenient spell gave his a horde of minions to command.

Step 2: Send the Psuedodragon and the horde of undead out to pillage the country-side stealing and killing as much as possible to increase the horde and garner the money resources needed for the lich ritual.

After several years of doing this, Icobad had almost half of the money he needed and have gained a notable and much feared reputation as the best necromancer in the region. Many vengeful villagers and amatuer adventures had fallen to the Psuedodragon's tactics and been added to the horde.

However, in the 8th year of these pillages Icobad developed Skin Cancer. The cancer paled his skin and made him deathly allergic to any light source, including candles. Icobad now realized he would not be able to gather the resources needed to become a lich before the cancer would kill him. Quite desperate to cheat death, Icobad rethought his plan and turned to a spell he had newly aquired, "Magic Jar". Already having a knowledge of golem construction, Icobad and his Psuedodragon enacted a new plan.

Taking over a Temple of Pelor in a nearby village. Icobad used the bodies in the cemetary to craft a Flesh Golem and raise some undead shadows to stand guard and keep away any meddling adventurers and curious villagers. He then set to constructing an Iron Golem in the basement of the church.

Planning to place a magic jar inside the Iron Golem and them place a Permanency Spell on the Magic Jar, this would give Icobad not only the immortality he desired. It would also give him the strength of a dozen men and allow him to retain his spell-casting abilities while being immune to spells himself.

Moments after the Iron Golem's completion, a team of Paladins and the PC's sent by a Cleric of Pelor arrives to finally put an end to Icobad Lander and his schemes of immortality. Just when it seems as if the Paladins have dispatched Icobad, the Iron Golem springs to life revealing that Icobad has cast his spell. After an epic fight between the Paladins, PC's and the high level spell-casting Iron Golem with his ghostly familar, not many survive.

If the party members die or flee, Icobad wins the fight and goes on to be a re-occuring villian who is interested in becomeing more rich and powerful. If the PC's win, they are rewarded with Icobad's life-work of looted goods which usually totals 60,000gp in gold and items.

ryan973
07-01-2008, 07:44 AM
I think my favorite villains would be the PCs. I like to get one to turn every now and then eather through offering them riches or mabie a well placed dominate by a vampire lord. Or even turning one of them into a vamp. It rare that i try that stuff and usually only if one of my guys eather is dissatisfied with his charascter concept or he has been basically playing evil in a good party the entire time so i make him an offer and he goes for it.
Just recently in my elven campain two of my players disagreed on how to deal with the humans whos settlement got closer and closer to the elven lands. I was surprised but it actually came to blows. I dont go for character duking it out over a good magic item but if its actual role play then i kinda dig it.

tesral
07-01-2008, 10:49 AM
I came up with this Necromancer named Icobad Lander as part of a mid to high level side-quest climax.

Icobad Lander is a necromancer and a golem-crafter hobbyist who was lucky enough to gain the companionship of a Psuedodragon familar named Nazuroth.

You have a nice back story on this one.

broxolm
07-07-2008, 07:15 AM
I know this thread is about villians, but I can't resist posting about my all-time favorite hero. His name is Dandar Knight. I didn't get to play him much but when I did play him it was one of the best characters I ever played. He eventually rose to be a multiclass level 5 fighter level 5 paladin.


Growing up in a village Dander was always captivated by his father's adventuring stories. His father had been a bard who settled down and discontinued his adventuring career after meeting Dandar's mother. Dandar's father would teach his son about legendary heroes and of exciting adventures. Many of his stories were untrue, but all of the were exaggerated and fantastical. Dandar beleive every word.

When Dandar turned 13, he began helping his father earn money for the family by performing simple sleight-of-hand tricks in the local town square. His father let him keep a portion of his earnings as an allowance. Dandar took special care to save his money, even disallowing himself to buy the sweet treats of the town mage who would use a prestidigitation spell to add sweet flavors to pebbles for the young children to suck on for the hour that the spell would last.

On Dandar's 16th birthday, he secretly took his sack of copper peices to the town smithy and commisioned the crafting of a longsword. A week later, Dander had a sword. That night when his parents were asleep, he took out the sword from its hiding place and stared at it in the glow of a candle. As the light reflected off of its blade, Dandar remembered all the stories of heroes and valor his father had told him. It was in this moment, Dandar knew he would dedicate his life to becoming a hero himself. Not only to make his parents proud, but also help those who couldn't help themselves.

Gathering his sword, a traveling outfit, a waterskin, and a loaf of bread, Dandar walked out the door. Dandar, not more than 50 feet outside his house, heard his father calling for him from the second story window. Seeing Dandar with a longsword and in a traveling outfit, he cocked a smiled and yelled, "Don't get yourself killed!" Acknowledging his father, Dandar set off towards his destiny.

After joining an adventuring group, Dandar became an expert with his longsword. He eventually met an order of Paladins called, "The hundred sons of Heronius" who tried to recruit him as a force for good. Dandar had heard of the heroics of the paladins and thought he always wanted to be one, but Dandar was let down when the real-life versions where less heroic than he had imaged. To join the order, the paladins wanted Dandar to buy a 1000gp phylactory of faithfullness to help guide his moral decisions. Dandar was appalled by this request saying, "1000gp would feed a poor family for years! You want me to spend it on a head-cloth that offers fortunes and advises on pieces of paper? I know what is right and what is wrong and if you need one of those to tell you that, then you don't deserve to be a Paladin!" Its unnecessary to say he was not welcomed into the order after that...

However, after many more years of adventuring, Dandar was blessed by a cleric of Pelor after he saved a village from a dangerous necromancer. Dandar took this blessing to heart and became a Paladin of Pelor.

Upon hearing that some Orcs were slaying peasants in the country-side, Dandar set out to save the villagers and kill the Orc chieftain. When Dandar learned that the Orc chieftain was being held and tortured by a demon, Dandar slew the demon and freed the Orc in exchange for mercy on villagers. The Orc Chieftain was so grateful for his rescue, he ordered his Orc horde to aid the peasants and then became a worshipper of Pelor himself. The Orc chieftain named "Solid", inducted Dandar was an official member of the Orc tribe.

Dandar continues to adventure to this day, helping those who cannot help themselves and being as much a hero as the legendary champions his father told stories about.

RandomAct
02-06-2009, 12:55 AM
My favorite D&D villain would have to be The Skull Missionary, a CE human barbarian I created. What makes this villain special is that he doesn't fit the traditional CE barbarian role of mindless brute. Specifically, he has an incredible intellect, and is fully literate in 14 languages.

While he does pillage and murder, his main ambition is to convert others to his way of life by whatever means necessary. through various methods, he has managed to "reform" hundreds of people who may otherwise have been heroes. At any given time, he will have between 4 and 10 such disciples around with him. His odd moniker is the only name anyone knows him by, even he doesn't remember his real name.

What I like about The Skull Missionary is that not only does he provide a refreshing change of pace from the old cliched villains, but he can provide a plausible backstory for any minor villain who isn't really important enough to deserve a detailed history.

Skunkape
02-06-2009, 07:33 AM
I created a lich character in a non-3.5 campaign over 20 years ago, and in my current 3.5 campaign, two of my players wrote him into their background.

Funny thing is about the lich, he's selfish, not evil and yet, those two players are more interested in hunting him rather than another villain I've had for 20 years or more who is even more dangerous than the lich.:D

Webhead
02-06-2009, 11:15 AM
Favorite D&D villain? One word...

Bargle.

Mindbomb
02-06-2009, 12:11 PM
Jarlaxle. Perhaps it's a little cliche or passe but he's just always cool.

nijineko
02-06-2009, 01:30 PM
you know... those singing mushrooms are worth a mention, just for sheer massive irritation value. ^^