• Justin Handlin

What Makes a Good Dungeons and Dragons Villain? Use This Simple Trick to Make GREAT Villains!

Avacyn the fourth angel (who shall not be named)

There are many facets that make up a great villain in your story and campaigns. Some of the most memorable villains aren't the creature that was born and raised full of anger and just wants to see the world burn. So is it hard to create a great villain? Is it a complex process? No, the answer is much simpler than that. The best villains are those that you're able to humanize. What we mean by that is a villain who truly believes they are trying to help a person, or persons, not themselves. Their motivations are, at least, in their eyes, is out of some sort of righteousness, but nobody else can see it. Let's look at some great examples.

An example we like to use is Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze. Terrible movie, yes, but the character's motivations are all about curing his wife, who has been frozen to slow a disease that will kill her. Most people can relate to wanting to save a loved one, but the lengths some will go, and the approach they take could lead them down a darker path. This makes Mr. Freeze relatable and you can kinda see his side.

Another great example is Killmonger from the Black Panther movie. Killmonger spends his life working toward dethroning his cousin after the death of his father. He seeks to use the power of Wakanda in order to cease the oppression of people of African descent all across the world. Now, this is definitely a point that many people in the world can relate to. All he wants is to end the suffering of people. Is this wrong? I don't think so. But, his approach is, and that is what makes him an interesting villain.

When you decide on building a villain. Considering this simple detail in their development can help make the decisions of "how should this villain react?" much easier. But, best of all, you will create a memorable and engaging villain for your stories and campaigns.

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