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Thread: Villian Problems

  1. #1

    Default Villian Problems

    I have a rather large problem for this campaign i am setting up. (I'm a GM) Every time i have any form of droids and troopers fighting the PC's, one player usually will be able to take down them all faster than i had hoped. In the last campaign, there was to be three battles with the main villian then the final one, saddly he died in the second battle not the last.
    I just cann't seem to find a villian that cannot die so soon. Does anyone have any ideas?
    Never underestimate the power of the Stormtroopers Blaster. Just him.

  2. #2


    With big time villians you want to use more than once, sometimes you just have to fudge the rolls. Make a reason for him to escape, and then beef him up a bit the next time they face him or her. If the players are mowing down your droids, make tougher droids for their next battle. Good luck.
    "Someday I will become the most powerful Jedi ever." ~ Anakin Skywalker

  3. #3
    Skilled Player
    Join Date
    April 2002
    Fairfax, VA


    Funny, I have the opposite problem. I'll occasionally throw a bad guy (or guys) at the group who I think is underpowered or reasonable, and the players will end up getting stomped.

    In your situation, you can do a few things. First off, you can try to increase the power level of the enemies. For example, don't use standard battle droids when you can used the experienced ones. If you find that you've made the enemies too powerful, ease off a little bit and then tweak their power level later on.

    Another thing you can do is take advantage of rules and actions that give your NPCs bonuses. The players can do it, so why can't you? If you're running a d20 campaign, have your bad guys help each other out in combat (see the rules for Flanking and Combined Fire in the Revised Core Rules, page 161), and never forget to have them take advantage of cover if it's available.

    When I run my games, I want to challenge my players without necessarily wiping them off the map. It can be tough sometimes, but let challenge codes be your guide.

    One more bit of advice: if you want a bad guy to stick around, make sure he never gets his hands dirty. One of the most valuable and expendable resources of bad guys the galaxy over is goons.

    The Rebellion - d20 to D6 Conversions
    Last updated April 24th, 2004 (oh, so long ago!)

    Freelance Father

  4. #4
    Moderator: Fan Fiction
    Join Date
    April 2002
    Toronto, Canada


    Always give your villain a back door - a way out, or at least a way to keep on keepin' on. Don't be afraid to fudge the rolls.

    Someone put a few entertaining rules or guidelines on-line here for the 'returning villain':
    These are both humourous and handy!

  5. #5


    TOUGHNESS this feat is the GMs best friend

  6. #6
    Doin' the bull dance, feelin' the flow...
    Join Date
    April 2002
    detroit, michigan, usa


    I'm reminded of the end of "A New Hope" when Vader gets hit and his fighter goes spiraling out of control. Before you know anything about Star Wars and if sequels even exist, you almost automatically forget about him -- not literally of course. You get the idea though.

    You can just push that same idea into your games.

    Your big villain is fighting, fighting, fighting, and gets defeated. You can always fudge your dice rolls, but I find that it's easier to fudge them in favor of PCs, so you might consider making your character stronger rather than weaker. Anyhow, as he's getting defeated, find a good-luck way for him to get out of there. As someone said, "Always leave a back door."

    Vader didn't really have a back door, but, from a GMing standpoint, that's exactly what it was in many ways.

    The important part is to make a feasible exit from the story. Vader's in ANH was perfect. He got hit and knocked way off course. You never see him right himself, so you don't expect him to return and you know the Rebels have won, but you never see him die. So his return is an obvious possibility.

    I've seen, far too often, someone die and reappear, miraculously. Don't rely to heavily on the suspension of disbelief, basically.

    Anyhow, just some random thoughts for you. Hope you can use 'em. :-)

  7. #7
    Experienced Player
    Join Date
    December 2000
    Perth, Western Australia

    Default If your bad guy must escape...

    Always have a loyal pet/droid/sidekick who will come in and fight to the end while your main character escapes.
    If your imperial officer is getting kicked, a pair of stormtroopers turn up as reinforcements...
    Just add a few more low level opponents to level the playing field...


  8. #8
    New Player
    Join Date
    July 2002
    Columbus, Ohio

    Default Here's a tip

    Emphasize to your heroes that they should NOT be killing as many people as player's tend to do - ESPECIALLY if one of them plays as a Jedi. Make real consequences for killing someone. At the very least, make it a hassle. I.e. a player kills a thug in a bar fight. The authorities arrest him. As his allies go walking around, or spend their hours waiting, the cops are grilling the player. Seeing as how it was self-defense, they won't charge him, but it'll still keep the player's minds off slaughtering every shmoe they encounter.

    Now, in your case, analyze how your villain is doing after each round. If he has 50 Vitality and loses 38 in the first round, he's going to probably want to retreat. If the heroes chase him down and slaughter him, then they're going to have some explaining to do. Make sure your villain has some back up, too. Tyranus used a starship to escape, Vader was flung through space, and crimelords fling dozens of thugs at their opponents, even if the thugs hang out in the background. So what if your crimelord looks like a wimp when he fails to take on the heroes by himself? At least the heroes will realize that their opponent, a real bad guy, DOESN'T play fair - he's in it for himself
    Why am I surrounded by the cess pool of the galaxy? Into my mouth with you!

  9. #9


    Thanks for the idea's. Most of them worked out.
    Never underestimate the power of the Stormtroopers Blaster. Just him.

  10. #10
    Captain of the Star Destroyer "Vengeance"
    Join Date
    May 2002
    The mighty mid-west plains


    plus if you really want to tweak your players, have a twin brother (from all the soap operas on TV) or the villain they killed was a loyal clone (like MiniMe from austin powers).

    plus... having the villain threaten the players with MAD (mutually assured destruction) is great. I used this option to secure an NPC from getting wasted by a darksider- he held up a pen, claiming it was really a vial of "Xenomorphic Spores" when the characters were in a starship. Basically, the GM was condemning the whole group to death if they called the "bluff"- my NPC has been untouched since he revealed his willingness to destroy everyone with a biological weapon.
    No longer satisfied blowing droids apart, the cyborg Jawa ordered his very own "Little Tyke Death Star" kit from Imperial Toy Makers

    "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." óGeorge W. Bush, summing up his first year in office, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

  11. #11
    Veteran Player
    Join Date
    April 2000
    Reynoldsburg ohio (SE of columbus)


    Sounds like something i pulled in a AD&D game. THe main baddie, had used a wish spell to call down a triple strength metor swarm on top of him should the party get the best of him. Killed all but 1 character and the baddie teleported out (had a contingency spell that force him to teleport if a metor swarm spell hit him....
    You cannot dodge it if you don't know it is coming, and you cannot shoot at what you don't know is there!

  12. #12
    Worst usertext customization... ever.
    Join Date
    January 2002
    Wauconda, Illinois


    Stormtroopers and Battle Droids in low numbers are popcorn. But there's always more of 'em just around the corner...
    So in the middle of a battle, bring in a second wave. One of the bad guys should have the presence of mind to call for reinforcements, and it makes the heroes think the next time to "jam their comlinks".
    But like they said above, make 'em tougher. And bring in more of 'em.
    Well, that's my 2 cents. Of course, with inflation, you owe me a buck.

  13. #13
    Experienced Player
    Join Date
    February 2002
    Salt Lake City, Utah


    Try this.
    If the main villian is a jedi, he gets hit with some major damage and when the smoke clears, a pile of robes/armor etc. is lying there.
    He just droped a spare set, or disrobed, and ran. He'll be back.
    "You guys act like you have never, seen criminals bug off world before!" Theklarush the Dark noghri, during a New Republic raid on their base of operations.

  14. #14

    Default Villian ideas...yaaaaaay

    Villian ideas:

    The "General": This is the "Grand Admiral Thrawn" type villian. Now, your villian doesnt have to be a Grand Admiral, or indeed an Admiral of any kind. Nor does the villian have to study art. He/she/it simply has to be frightingly intelligent. This type can be most fun to play with, as you rarely have to come up with reasons how/why the villian knew the PCs plan: just tell them he is that damn smart. Sure, it'll piss em off, but it's a good way to test their resourcefulness at escaping from traps.
    The only weakness this villian has, is the weakness they'll (the PCs) never see. Obviously, it's rare for Generals and Admirals to be able to take on a Jedi hand to hand and win. Solution? Never let the PCs take a swing at him. Make the villian always out of reach. Thrawn never once met any of the Solos or Skywalkers, yet was still one of their greatest threats ever. The Warmaster hasnt left his danged Worldship in the books I've been reading...because he's too busy ordering his troops.

    The Puppet Master: Palpatine. Easy. It can be hard for the GM to keep the plot fresh and the villian hidden, but if done properly, it can be most dangerous. Unseen assassins, car bombs, mysterious mail bombs (hey, I dunno. Maybe they DO get mail bombs in Star Wars, who can say?) help keep the game fresh. Only problem is the PCs are suspiscious by nature...but if your smart enough you can use this to your advantage. I never could, admittedly. Probably because I sucked at political intrigue.

    The Oh-So-Original-And-Evil Dark Jedi: *Yawn*. It's an evil Jedi, who no doubt wants to;
    a) Destroy the Universe
    b) Rule the Universe
    And he will accomplish this by:
    a) Getting a new and wonderful Superweapon which does something really evil
    b) Finding yet ANOTHER relic from the Old Republic which somehow makes the user all powerful in the ways of the force. Yipee.
    Hey, it's a cliche, but it's fun.

    The "Oddity: Hard to explain, because I've only ever used on. I got the idea from the wonderful Sci-Fi show "LEXX: Series 3". Simply put, the villian was an immortal. Whever he died, his body would simply vanish, and he would reappear again wherever he liked, in whatever type of body he wanted. He wasn't all powerful. Infact, he was quite human (except for the reincarnation part). The PCs could easily shoot, punch and slice the crud out of him should they wanted, but there was no point. He rarely attacked them openly, instead manipulating those around him to suit his means. No wonder I called this type an "Oddity".

    And that's only a few.
    Last edited by The_Avatar; 1 August 2002 at 10:11 PM.
    "Ok...*before* you cut this man up, perhaps you'd like to QUESTION him, hmm?"

  15. #15


    Thanks again, I got an interesting villian that i am tweaking. An Imp Admiral that is a Jedi. I won't go into any detail but he has work in the first two battles.
    Never underestimate the power of the Stormtroopers Blaster. Just him.

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