It can go anywhere from a cabal of fanatical sycophants in darker games, to a group of the BBEG's genuine friends and companions in more neutral ones to having some kind of monstergirl/power ranger/maid squad in more surreal ones.
I usually cover the Standard Fantasy Evil Empire Hierarchy - General of the Armies; if someone's portrayed sympathetically it's usually him - Warden in charge of a prison or other fortress. Usually cruel and/or a coward, since he's sitting in his presumably safe fortress whipping prisoners or slaves or whatever - Archmage in charge of anything magical. Usually the hardest to kill individually - BBEG's right-hand man, his personal attack dog that shows up whenever one of the above wouldn't fit. Usually leads a small team of elite mooks who may or may not be characters unto themselves depending on how I'm feeling - Power behind the throne
Then I pick out which ones would fit and adapt them to whatever society is fitting the role of standard evil faction.
>>34457482 My current game has the BBEG being a spectral fucker from the Great Beyond, who cannot directly manifest or intervene in the mortal realm. His main lieutenant was a farmer, but is now the commander of several armies, a black-armored knightly figure who calls himself Dreadlord Gothrax. His birth name, Zeke Flanders, is long forgotten to all but himself and those dead villagers he used to live with.
The others, who think Dreddie Goffs is the big boss trying to conquer the continent (he is, but he's doing it because he's trying to bring his boss to this world and needs a whole lot of manpower and resources to do it), are a bunch of thematic supervillains really. For them and the mid-bosses they use to control smaller groups of their armies I did less thinking, mostly stapling a thematic monster, a personality disorder and a wacky costume together and seeing what comes out of it.
Rejected or unused PC ideas are good place to look for potential candidates. One of my BBEG's token not really all that evil at all lieutenants was actually an idea about female mages who use dance and fans to help augment their spells..
>>34458097 >His main lieutenant was a farmer >His birth name, Zeke Flanders, is long forgotten to all but himself and those dead villagers he used to live with. Is there any way for the PC to achieve this information, or it is just fluff-wanking?
>>34458319 There is. There's also a way to use it to get him to see the error of his ways.
As it turns out, he's not the worst emperor someone could ask for. His minions pervert the law, he has secret ninja death squads and trying to resist his conquest isn't very healthy, but there are definitely worse options.
I use his background as an option in case the PCs want to appeal to his humanity, get him to realize his boss is likely to award his success by letting him be the first to be eaten, and turn his empire into a nicer thing.
Or they can kill the shit out of him and his legions, overthrow the empire and throw the world into a state of chaos, justifying it as being better than the alternative involving an unstoppable genocide monster.
>>34457482 >Potion Seller (Who sells only the strongest of potions to the strongest of beings, and you and your party are clearly of the weakest) >Decadent Dandy >Obnoxious Frenchman >Thermal Furry Digman >Subject Delta from Bioshock 2 >A Spooky Ghost >Perpetually Angry Nordic Teenager asked to Shovel Snow >Midget
>>34457482 Big bad is always some kind of sniveling practically crippled lithe mastermind with lots of brainpower
Lieutenants are always huge juggernauts with giant bulging muscles and enough willpower to fight long after a normal guy has died. Note that he's not stupid, just not smart enough to get into politics.
>>34458895 Have a squad of five or so guys, a special forces team. Make them all very strong but in different ways, like having one very strong guy, one extremely fast guy, one guy who is actually kind of weak and pathetic, but has special powers, a wizard who is very good with ball style magic, and give the captain some dangerous cool ability like bodyswapping.
I think what would fuck up a specific member of my group and take that an extra ten steps. What'll fuck over the rogue, a nice construct Monk. What'll make the whole party mad, rust monster/ gelatin cube. What'll tick the mage off, anti-magic field/ monster that attacks dreams.
>>34458996 Yeah, though while the that anon was referencing DBZ, I was referencing Shovel Knight, which shows a great way of creating a boss squad of wonderful concepts (Such as Propellers and Moles, of all things), or reusing old ones like Death or Ice, making an all around wonderful villain team.
I usually follow this list: >BBEG >Second in Command >Enforcer >Spymaster >Archamage >Generals (from 1 to 3) >Assassin >Auxiliaries (from 2 to 4, these guys have their own separate goals but work with BBEG) >Pawns (People that aren't aware that they work for the BBEG)
>BBEG: Gnollish-Khan, extremely charismatic female gnoll warlord >SiC: Gnollish-Khan's husband, the spiritual leader of the Gnoll horde >Enforcer: former ogre warlord, defeated by the khan and mindraped to submission by her husband, 100% loyal but not particularly smart >Spymaster: human raised by gnolls, had a spy and saboteur network that ensued that the khan’s enemies were weakened by infighting, sabotage and traitors >Archamage: SiC doubled as this >Generals: 2 less powerful gnoll warlords, one of them betrayed the khan after she was convinced by one of the auxiliaries, an orc cleric, that war was lost and following the khan would get them both killed >Assassin: human, a hired killer >Auxiliaries: >orc cleric, the supreme leader of 3 orc tribes >dwarf barbarian, strong as bull and commanded a force of 300 mercenaries >Pawns: >a bandit leader, harassed the trade lines, had he not be stopped those supply lines would had been unusable >rogue noble, the false BBEG for levels 3-7, attempted to cause a civil war in the PCs’ homeland >cult of necromancers, attempted to resurrect a long dead human demonologist >coven of smugglers, SiC attempted to use them to deliver plague to the PCs’ homeland
>>34459431 Not really. Propeller is all about Mobility and being a sky pirate. Tinker is all about conveyor belts, gears and cogs, and having a giant tank after you beat his pathetically easy first stage.
>>34459514 I really feel like Tinker would have been a better main villain than the Enchantress, I mean the Enchantress' reveal was good and all, but I just think Tinker would fit the knight theme better, and he already has a massive tower for the final boss stage as well. His second form also reminds me of some of the Wily fights.
I usually make my lieutenants first, then figure out what kind of BBEG it would take to get them to work together.
I currently have a setting in the works themed extensively on the Four Humors, with the four lieutenants all being a particular humor running rampant, and the BBEG being the one who's trying to get these fucking idiots to work together.
>>34460850 i apologize for never having heard of your obscure indie game and for hailing from a different niche of nerdom if my ideas do not intrigue you, i will promptly unsubscribe you from my newsletter
>>34462450 The Starscream has nothing to do with competence. It's the villain whose ambitions exceed his current station and who ends up fighting the BBEG (who he used to work for) not because he disagrees with his ideals, but because he wants to be the one in charge.
I went full weeaboo and gave him a quirky miniboss squad of cute girls, complete with mythological theme naming and each one exponentially more powerful than the last. Also, obscure astrophysics references.
My BBEG's base of operations is in a lawful evil country where non-human races are slaves. His lieutenants are those non-humans who he freed and to whom he promised he'd overthrow the oppressive government after he ascended to demi-godhood.
>>34457482 I did make a Quirky Miniboss Squad consisting of a Macho Elf Ranger named Hunts A Lawful Evil Monk acting as hired muscle for the BBEG An inept sorceress who was only good for scrying shit, her only defense was an insane beholder who thought he was her manservant, she called him Blink. And an insane Monk turned Chaotic Evil Bard who was based off Nui from Kill la Kill
>>34464369 Working on this sort of and here is what I have for races if anyone is interested. It is kind of modified for the campaign so it won't work for everyone (I doubt you have snow naga as a race)
Format will probably be a bit odd since I am pasting this from a txt file with tabs in it.
>Templates (Reroll, ignore a 2nd template or something that doesn't make sense i.e. Werewolf Kumiho or Half-Human Human) >Vampire 84-85 >Werewolf 86 >Lich 87-88 >Half-Human 89-95 >Half-Demon 96-97 >Half-Dragon 98 >Planetouched 99
The lieutenant might be a slave, a friend, a consort, a student, a son/daughter, a creation (construct, undead, etc), and so on.
I usually just go by what would make sense, and then justify whatever changes I make to that. For instance, in one campaign I came up with, the BBEG was a smokin hawt human sorcereress with a horde army composed of evil humanoids and giants. Her lieutenant was a charmed half-drow marshall who was the tactical/strategic leader of the horde army and her personal little concubine. She gained several of her levels in a drow city, and that's where she met him. She was a tactically retarded bitch with fucktons of charisma and personal magical power, and he was a logical male with lots of battlefield experience and training (and also lots of charisma).
Starscream is, of course, the named example. He was ambitious, always scheming to get himself in charge, and was as sniveling coward whenever his plans blew up in his face. When things go wrong, he goes back to kissing Megatron's boots and hoping that he doesn't get scrapped.
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