Run The Villain Sequence

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0956

Roleplaying Tips GM Strider Starslayer has a neat villainous idea for us today:

Let’s say the villain is capable of killing the player characters but doesn’t want to.

The proper order for this type of villain is:

  • Seducer
  • Corrupter
  • Merchant
  • Torturer
  • Murderer

Thanks Strider. Concise and interesting, The best kind of tip.

Here’s a quick exercise for us all.

Grab an evil and powerful NPC from your campaign.

Ask: Why don’t they want to kill the PCs?

Perhaps the villain sees the PCs as toys. Maybe the NPC wants to terrorize the party for fun. Could be the antagonist wants to use the characters as a path to defeating the party’s allies or greater powers of the world.

Start the villain out at stage one:

Seduction. Tricked with flattery, gifts, or false promises, the party unwittingly propels the villain’s plans forward.

As soon as the PCs foil the villain’s plans the NPC:

  1. Tries the same approach with a new plan (i.e., Seducer)
  2. Moves on to the next tactic (i.e., Corrupter) and makes a new plan

Following the Five Steps of Villainy should provide you with many adventure seeds and a good plot arc backbone.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

See you again later in July!