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 Post subject: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:04 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 10:29 pm
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I'm curious what GMs have done for that iconic hated villain who keeps coming back no matter how many times the group "kills" them.

Superpowers, racial abilities, magical spells, what has kept villains coming back to torment the players time and time again?

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:37 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Comment: 44 years in denver, but now in grand rapids.
Oddly a trick that I use in palladium that doesnt seem to work as well in any other system is invisibility. For some reason my players seem to suspect invisibility to be used against them in other systems, and I can't explain it, but I can have an invisible opponent harrass my players for weeks without them noticing. And when they finally do notice... The vengeance is always extra special. Shapeshifters are another one. Amazing how consistantly you can get your bad guys to spy on and harrangue the party by utilizing a shapeshifter.


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:09 am
  

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Champion

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And those are valid methods for the return. I'm more looking for how does the villain appear to die or consistently escape, but survive?

Say they gun the badguy down, he appears dead. What brings him back next time? As he's dying he triggers a smoke bomb and teleports. Or soul transfer into a clone. Some kind of delayed regeneration or reanimation or resurrection power, the multiple lives super power, etc.

The group thinks he's dead or he makes a miraculous escape. How?

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"But you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others." -Order of the Stick #760


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:28 pm
  

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Monk

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
Oddly a trick that I use in palladium that doesnt seem to work as well in any other system is invisibility. For some reason my players seem to suspect invisibility to be used against them in other systems, and I can't explain it, but I can have an invisible opponent harrass my players for weeks without them noticing. And when they finally do notice... The vengeance is always extra special. Shapeshifters are another one. Amazing how consistantly you can get your bad guys to spy on and harrangue the party by utilizing a shapeshifter.


I think the large number of Races and R.C.C.'s with an innate invisibility or natural low-level-magic which easially included invisibility is part of it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:12 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Comment: 44 years in denver, but now in grand rapids.
multiple beings (instead of multiple lives) is very useful for this ruse. he always sends in a duplicate while himself remaining close by. when it seems like the battle is lost, drop a smoke grenade and the original being removes the copy from existance. Like teleporting away but the original copy who's waiting in the wings typically isnt as beholden to his place within the initiative order if nobody knows he's nearby. Copy can be resummoned in perfect condition after a brief delay.

Intangible characters can play dead even if they're feelin just peachy. Unless your party likes to 'loot the body' a lot... They can also sink into the ground or hide within a tree or a wall the second the grenade goes off at his feet, simulating having been blown to bits.


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:07 pm
  

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The villain's immortality is tied to an object (rune weapon, magic ring, ducks' egg, etc.) - destroy it, and kill the foe once and for all.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:16 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 10:29 pm
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Thanks for the ideas!

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:28 pm
  

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Rifts® Trivia Master

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
multiple beings (instead of multiple lives) is very useful for this ruse. he always sends in a duplicate while himself remaining close by. when it seems like the battle is lost, drop a smoke grenade and the original being removes the copy from existance. Like teleporting away but the original copy who's waiting in the wings typically isnt as beholden to his place within the initiative order if nobody knows he's nearby. Copy can be resummoned in perfect condition after a brief delay.

doesn't even need to be copies/clones.. could just be designated successors taking up the identity.

The Princess Bride, Film wrote:
"Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited the ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.' Then he explained the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley. So we sailed ashore, took on an entirely new crew, and he stayed aboard for a while as first mate, all the time calling me Roberts. Once the crew believed, he left the ship and I have been Roberts ever since. Except, now that we're together, I shall retire and hand the name over to someone else. Is everything clear to you?"

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:26 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Variation on theme here I used previously in PF
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155988
Fifth entry down is the tale of Slyestria the Unknown
(I hate to cross link, but long post is long)

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The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:01 am
  

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Knight

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:09 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 10:29 pm
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eliakon wrote:
Variation on theme here I used previously in PF
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155988
Fifth entry down is the tale of Slyestria the Unknown
(I hate to cross link, but long post is long)


I like the writing style. I had actually come up with a similar villain idea after reading the living rune weapons in one of the Rifters. But I decided that dealing with a rune weapon that can possess people could be problematic and disruptive to a campaign in Rifts so I have yet to throw it at the players. Instead using the rune weapon as a recurring NPC who the players don't yet realize is the same person because the host-bodies keep changing. At some point they might cross the NPC and then it may take a form of cat and mouse and revenge against the party. We'll see.

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"But you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others." -Order of the Stick #760


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:36 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
LostOne wrote:
eliakon wrote:
Variation on theme here I used previously in PF
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155988
Fifth entry down is the tale of Slyestria the Unknown
(I hate to cross link, but long post is long)


I like the writing style.

Thanks :D

LostOne wrote:
I had actually come up with a similar villain idea after reading the living rune weapons in one of the Rifters. But I decided that dealing with a rune weapon that can possess people could be problematic and disruptive to a campaign in Rifts so I have yet to throw it at the players. Instead using the rune weapon as a recurring NPC who the players don't yet realize is the same person because the host-bodies keep changing. At some point they might cross the NPC and then it may take a form of cat and mouse and revenge against the party. We'll see.

Have fun. It can be a blast. Assuming your party is interested in the detective work that is.

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:00 pm
  

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Champion

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eliakon wrote:
Have fun. It can be a blast. Assuming your party is interested in the detective work that is.


We'll see. They tend to be all about shooting all things.

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"But you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others." -Order of the Stick #760


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:05 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: A snow-covered forest, littered with the bones of my slain enemies...
I don't do it.
If the villain dies, fair and square... it's just another NPC.
The closest I came was a mage who used the Doppleganger: Superior spell.

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I am the first angel, loved once above all others...

Light a man a fire, and he's warm for a day; light a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Turning the other cheek just gets you slapped harder.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:58 am
  

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Champion

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Vrykolas2k wrote:
I don't do it.
If the villain dies, fair and square... it's just another NPC.


Agreed. I'm just trying to build a villain with several ways to escape while the characters can be deluded into thinking he's dead so he can be a recurring thorn in their sides. Without doing something that would make the rules lawyer (admittedly less so in Rifts than D&D) lose his mind.

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"But you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others." -Order of the Stick #760


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:22 pm
  

Wanderer

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Comment: Cry as you might, if the Ruby Slippers fit, wear them.
LostOne wrote:
I'm curious what GMs have done for that iconic hated villain who keeps coming back no matter how many times the group "kills" them.

Superpowers, racial abilities, magical spells, what has kept villains coming back to torment the players time and time again?

I like using a Dimension-Hopping, (HU-2E) Immortal Necromancer, bent on learning all spells/rituals of the various Necro-related Dark Arts, including the M.C.C. specific spells/rituals. Stopping short of Demon/Pact Magic and any other magic (spell, ritual or item) that could, just by use, force subservience. Though, allowing for Herbology, the making of wands, staffs and other items related to Necro-Magic, Rift & Ley Line Magic and Temporal Magic.
Unknown by the Players/Characters, there really is no grand plan/scheme/evil plot, past "What would you do if you lived for who-knows-how-long, did not age or "die", knew not why, but Death Magic?".

As for Super Powers and other abilities beyond that, I go with Immovability (PU1, pg. 31), Power Touch (PU1, pg. 81; short the glowing hands/arms), Focused Touch (PU3, pg. 14) and the Power Category-Specific Mega-Hero Option of Magic (Rifter #37, pg. 27).



Cr'Imson


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:55 pm
  

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Champion

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LostOne wrote:
Vrykolas2k wrote:
I don't do it.
If the villain dies, fair and square... it's just another NPC.


Agreed. I'm just trying to build a villain with several ways to escape while the characters can be deluded into thinking he's dead so he can be a recurring thorn in their sides. Without doing something that would make the rules lawyer (admittedly less so in Rifts than D&D) lose his mind.


That's fair.
Of course, GMs who won't let an NPC die caused me to start beheading anything resembling a GMPC or "important" villain with pretty much every character I play.
It causes some frustration, I suppose, but... whatever.

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Eyes without life, maggot-ridden corpses, mountains of skulls... these are a few of my favourite things.

I am the first angel, loved once above all others...

Light a man a fire, and he's warm for a day; light a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Turning the other cheek just gets you slapped harder.

The Smiling Bandit (Strikes Again!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!)


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:23 pm
  

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Demon Lord Extraordinaire

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Have the NPC know Chi magic and make use of the Chi Clone spell. The spell creates an almost exact duplicate of the caster, with the only exceptions being Chi and PPE. The caster's Chi is transferred to the clone and the mage gets to decide how much PPE to place into the clone.

Alternatively you could have the NPC be a negative Chi master and at/near the moment of death have their spirit leave their body, and become an undead immortal in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:44 pm
  

Wanderer

Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:14 pm
Posts: 72
I generally dislike "Immortal" Villains, both as a GM and a player. So usually I have them come back by having them run away whenever they might be in danger of dying.

If the campaign I am running does need that reoccurring villain to function, then I usually make the villain "immortal" by having it be an organization.


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:29 pm
  

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Champion

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smashed wrote:
I generally dislike "Immortal" Villains, both as a GM and a player. So usually I have them come back by having them run away whenever they might be in danger of dying.

If the campaign I am running does need that reoccurring villain to function, then I usually make the villain "immortal" by having it be an organization.



Running away shouldn't be in every character's psychological make-up.

_________________
Eyes without life, maggot-ridden corpses, mountains of skulls... these are a few of my favourite things.

I am the first angel, loved once above all others...

Light a man a fire, and he's warm for a day; light a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Turning the other cheek just gets you slapped harder.

The Smiling Bandit (Strikes Again!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!)


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:03 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:13 pm
Posts: 114
I villain type I once used was the Cadaver Corpse/Ghoul found in one of the rifters.
Basically it's and undead that was killed by an Earth Animal (including dinosaurs) and can only die when said animal dies.

Harassed the party until one day he never came back.


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:38 pm
  

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Hero

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Comment: Arrrrgggghhhh!
I dont like having villains die and come back.
If I want them around again and again then I have the PC's take out their underlings and never get the chance to stop the Big Bad.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:05 am
  

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Megaversal® Ambassador

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I think it, like most things, is good if used in moderation. If all of your villains come back from the dead over and over then it gets ridiculous.

I created a villain right after Conversion Book 1 came out with super powers. The players killed her pretty early on, I still needed the character for the story so I added multiple lives to her and took it from there. Now this became pretty interesting after a while and we also played it for laughs a few times. Now I did this once, and players were fine with it, if I did it every campaign they would have gotten bored.
Shorty Lickens wrote:
I dont like having villains die and come back.
If I want them around again and again then I have the PC's take out their underlings and never get the chance to stop the Big Bad.

I think the disposable henchman is a better way of advancing the story then the immortal villain unless it is part of the character. The villain I loved using for more then a decade was Ahriman from Pantheons. This was a villain they could never kill, no matter how hard they tried. The best they could do was keep him inprissoned.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:43 pm
  

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Palladin

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Warshield73 wrote:
I think it, like most things, is good if used in moderation. If all of your villains come back from the dead over and over then it gets ridiculous.

I created a villain right after Conversion Book 1 came out with super powers. The players killed her pretty early on, I still needed the character for the story so I added multiple lives to her and took it from there. Now this became pretty interesting after a while and we also played it for laughs a few times. Now I did this once, and players were fine with it, if I did it every campaign they would have gotten bored.

This is the big thing with a recurring villain.
They need to be done with care.
Done right, they add to a game... done poorly they take away from it.
The biggest issue I find is that you need to carefully construct the villain in advance. This way, you know exactly what they can and more importantly can not do and how they will be recurring. This means that if the party does find a way to beat them that defeats what ever the villains shtick is, that the villain will stay beaten. This care turns them from "GM fiat/railroading" into "just another part of the story"

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:57 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
This is the big thing with a recurring villain.
They need to be done with care.
Done right, they add to a game... done poorly they take away from it.
The biggest issue I find is that you need to carefully construct the villain in advance. This way, you know exactly what they can and more importantly can not do and how they will be recurring. This means that if the party does find a way to beat them that defeats what ever the villains shtick is, that the villain will stay beaten. This care turns them from "GM fiat/railroading" into "just another part of the story"

I actually disagree with this. I frequently leave loose plot threads, like these, in my games that I can use later. Some of my players favorite villains were ones I created years after they first encountered some of his minions or victims. It is harder to create a villain in what amounts to the middle of his story, and you do have to be careful, but you can reverse engineer a truly effective and interesting villain from things that have already happened.

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 Post subject: Re: "Immortal" Villain
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:10 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Warshield73 wrote:
eliakon wrote:
This is the big thing with a recurring villain.
They need to be done with care.
Done right, they add to a game... done poorly they take away from it.
The biggest issue I find is that you need to carefully construct the villain in advance. This way, you know exactly what they can and more importantly can not do and how they will be recurring. This means that if the party does find a way to beat them that defeats what ever the villains shtick is, that the villain will stay beaten. This care turns them from "GM fiat/railroading" into "just another part of the story"

I actually disagree with this. I frequently leave loose plot threads, like these, in my games that I can use later. Some of my players favorite villains were ones I created years after they first encountered some of his minions or victims. It is harder to create a villain in what amounts to the middle of his story, and you do have to be careful, but you can reverse engineer a truly effective and interesting villain from things that have already happened.

Oh you can create a villain on the fly certainly.
What I think you should never do though is create one that is "immortal" with out careful work on it before you introduce them. You can even introduce them late in the game to tie a bunch of loose threads together into their plot or what have you. But what ever it is that you plan on using to make them "immortal"? That needs to be carefully worked out in advance so that when they 'cheat death' it isn't just the GM screwing with the players via fiat but an actual already existent part of the character.

Thus I would say that what your describing isn't an "immortal" villain anyway. You are talking about a mastermind. Which is something totally different. The mastermind can show up at anytime and be revealed to be the true source of any number of previous events... that's how masterminds work after all. But if your players kill Captain Cruel in a session, simply having him show up six months later with no explanation of how is playing dirty pool with the players. Now if they don't see the body? That's just genre not fiat. But if the martial artist cuts off his head, and then the mage cremates them separately? Then simply retroactively saying "well that didn't work...because stuff" isn't fair. But on the other hand if when you create Captain Cruel you note that he is cruel because the cruelty is the price he pays for the soul pact he made with the demon Bth'x'rexx and that therefore as long as his left pinkie (which was cut off in the ritual) back at his fortress is intact it will regrow him a new body if the old one is destroyed? THAT is fair. After all, just because they thought they killed him... they didn't really, and more importantly they didn't because of a reason that was already in game. Now granted, it is possible to retroactively add such a pact and all. But it needs to be done with care because what ever you add on later needs to not conflict with anything that the players did before or you are once again undermining the players by railroading them into a failure...even if they did the right things at the time.

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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