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The evil guys – how to paint them black in a greyscale world

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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:

  1. Speak slowly. Very slowly. Or have any other annoying vocal habit.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 19th, 2008 at 8:46 am