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Old 04-11-2020, 05:44 PM   #21
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Default Re: Villains worth Stealing!

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Originally Posted by thestor View Post
I haven't watched Star Wars rebels, but a friend showed me the scene were Grand Moff Tarkin shows up and admonishes Grint and Aresko, two imperial officers, for their repeated failures.
I quite like hat type of character, cool and collected, so complete in control at least of himself. For another example, I would give The General form Saints Row 2.
A competent officer on the other side of the conflict makes a great antagonist. Since the PCs will do stupid stuff and he won't. He won't even need to read the Evil Masterminds List to already do most of what's on it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:32 PM   #22
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IME, that kind of villain in a game gets rather annoying fast. In a novel, it works; in a game, if the PCs have zero chance of succeeding, why even bother having the game?

IMO, this is the worst kind of villain to use in a game.
I agree, if it's used as a direct antagonist. But that sort of character can be useful as part of the background, an NPC who might be on your side today and the antagonist's tomorrow, then neutral after that.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:02 PM   #23
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It occurs to me that Claude Frolio as depicted in the Disney Animated Hunchback of Notre Dame is a fairly dangerous villain on multiple levels. As a purely physical threat Frolio is able to attack two PC level figures ( Esmeralda and Quasimodo both of whom have to be substantially above normal in both ST and DX) and they were in serious danger. The guy is older but still an excellent horseman and a brutally dangerous if inelegant swordsman. He has skill and speed.

As a social political threat, the guy is a High Court Judge in Medieval Paris. He could simply have you seized and thrown in a dungeon (probably the actual oubalette "place where they forget you" ) and leave you to rot without explanation. It happened in the period. Add to that the fact that he could have the Guards simply cut you down in the streets no questions asked. Rank has its privileges.

Finally, you don't get Frolio's status and authority in that Paris without years of desceplined study, and the will and intellect to back it up. Frolio's passions do get the better of him, but he is far from brainless.

All in all, a very dangerous villain.

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Old 04-16-2020, 06:21 PM   #24
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The last Palace Ruler from Persona 5 Royal. Even if you agree with him, it's clear he didn't think his plan through (what happens when he dies?).

He is a very sympathetic figure that if even if you disagree with him, you can't help but understand him and sympathize with him.

Don't spoil others please.

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Old 04-16-2020, 07:14 PM   #25
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Actually we are missing something. Some of the best antagonists are not villains at all. That is they are not evil but simply happen to be on the other side. Laslo Almasy was a grand fellow for that. He was a commando and spy as well as a true Indiana Jones type explorer. He wasn't evil, fact is, it is said he helped smuggle several Jews out from Eichmans maw. But he is a good player for the opposing side.
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Old 10-17-2021, 08:26 AM   #26
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Default Re: Villains worth Stealing!

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Actually we are missing something. Some of the best antagonists are not villains at all. That is they are not evil but simply happen to be on the other side. Laslo Almasy was a grand fellow for that. He was a commando and spy as well as a true Indiana Jones type explorer. He wasn't evil, fact is, it is said he helped smuggle several Jews out from Eichmans maw. But he is a good player for the opposing side.
Following your insight, imagine the Doctor as a foe. The line " You'll discover the universe is a small place when I am angry at you." is a profound threat.
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Old 11-09-2021, 11:00 AM   #27
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Firebrand was one of the more interesting villains in Honor Harrington. However it is hard to think of situations where you are directly pitted against him (when you are cleaning up his mess he is long gone and even if he is there you do not know it).

Actually that brings up another possibility. Use a character from fiction (or someone based on them). But frame it in a way that the PCs do not know he is their opponent.
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Old 11-11-2021, 12:26 PM   #28
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Thinking of some web serials, Jack Slash from Worm was a fascinating villain. A decent (albeit often twisted) sense of humor and a surprisingly-charming demeanor, but an absolute sadist and master manipulator who managed to lead a group of markedly-more-powerful* individuals than himself. Morgunov the Mad Demon from The Zombie Knight Saga (currently on one of its extended, unannounced hiatuses - hiati?) is also interesting, a tinkerer with, again, a peculiar sense of humor (one of his inventions is a vending machine that you pay for with pain and potential maiming**). You'd need some fairly powerful characters to be able to be any sort of threat to him, however.

*As is eventually revealed, while his known power isn't great (but isn't terrible either - he can use any bladed instrument to strike from a distance; he favors straight razors and knives, but does use swords or - on one occasion - basically rides another super who is largely made of blades), he has a more subtle one that basically lets him detect nearby supers and what they're doing (and probably how their powers work), which likely contributed to his longevity.

**"A slap to the face for a pack of gum seemed fair, as did a boxing of the ears for a bag of chips and a purple nurple for a candy bar. He wondered if anyone would go for the bag of mini-donuts, though. Maybe a needle in the eye was too much to ask."
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Old 11-13-2021, 11:17 AM   #29
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I really liked The Master from classic Dr. Who. He had his own agenda and didn't care who got hurt in the process.

The key was not caring. If it was easier to not hurt people, he didn't hurt them. If killing was easier, people died. He didn't care about The Doctor (or anyone else) except as their status as help or hindrance toward his objective.

This meant they occasionally worked together, and sometimes worked at unrelated things near each other. And betrayal was not a given. If it wasn't in The Master's best interest, it wasn't going to happen. It wasn't until later that one of his objectives became the elimination of The Doctor who was a frequent obstacle.

This kind of indifferent superiority and calm calculation made him very chilling.
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Old 11-15-2021, 02:48 PM   #30
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I've liked the antagonists (hard to call most of them "villains") in the TV series version of The Expanse.

Each of them, in their own, believes they're doing the right thing.

-Sadavir Errinwright genuinely fears that Earth, hobbled as it is by a huge and needy population, will surrender its primacy to people grown so alien that, to his perception, they care little about the vast majority of humanity.

-Jules-Pierre Mao clearly recognizes the profound potential of the protomolecule to move humanity forward into the future, and considers any lives sacrificed in the short term to be worth the benefits gained for billions of people in generations yet unborn. (Sometimes, big-picture guys make the best villains -- just remove from them any sense of compassion for lives ruined, in the short term.)

-Antony Dresden has all of Mao's understanding, but also a genuine terror of the motives of the aliens who dispatched the protomolecule, and perceives any sacrifice made to understand it as part of a race against time to counter an existential threat.

-Anderson Dawes genuinely wants what's best for the majority of Belters, but accepts without question that what's best for him is also what's best, for them.

-Marco Inaros claims to share the same goals as Dawes; and has all of Dawes' hubris, but dialed up to, "11." He beautifully captures the screaming frustration that drives extremist political violence, and then twists it with hefty dollops of both charisma and malignant narcissism.

Just great, great foes to steal.
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