Villians are difficult do create and play for an Cyberpunk 2020 GM. In D&D, a evil aura is all you need for the groups paladin to cry “I shall smite this evil” and a fight will occur. Which will be Level-appropriate. And be won by the group after having expended the precalculated amount of spells, magic item charges and hitpoints. Boring.
So how do you give your PCs a villian they will remember? When I was young, you could identify them rather easily. They wore a tie. This is no longer an option – I have to wear a tie at work myself. But then, I’m probably a villian, too. Only less well payed. And no, we don’t get any cool guns or explosives. Not even super-powers.
Where was I? Ah, right. Yax, over at dungeonmastering.com, wrote an D&D related article on how to greate a love-to-hate villain. Some stuff (also taken from the comments) might be useful for cyberpunk, too. In the comments I found
Make the villain an ally, until story arcs climax, then betrayal then return in reacuring arcs. Annoying, frustrating, and appealing. Plus, get one of the players intimatly connected, like a relative, or childhood friend or lover. thats a hard thing to kill.
Okay, that’s basic for us. What else is there? Lot of stuff that might be innovative for D&D, but not new for cyberpunk. A selection of the best ideas:
The love-to-hate-them villains should:
- Speak slowly. Very slowly. Or have any other annoying vocal habit.
- Be good. That villain is lawful and good, but stupid or manipulated so that he doesn’t realize he’s causing harm. It’s hard to deal with someone who well-meaning, but they’re still annoying.
- Have the villain send a thug to beat the tar out of one of the PCs – not permanently damage them but beat them into unconsciousness (if they can). Of course the villain has an alibi but everyone KNOWS it was his/her order.
- Have the villain steal a prized magic item from one of the PCs and then wear/use it publicly, much to the adoration and amusement of the commonors in town.
I would love to collect your tips on how to create the most memorable and well-hated villians for cyberpunk 2020 in the comments. Yes, comments in german are willkommen.