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 Guide to Making a Fun Villain: By Beetz

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Posts : 18462
Join date : 2008-08-22
Location : Death Star

PostSubject: Guide to Making a Fun Villain: By Beetz   Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:27 pm

Beetz wrote:
Greetings, fair readers! I am [REDACTED DUE TO COMMON DECENCY]! And today, I shall walk you through the steps of how to make a good, fun antagonist for your roleplay, story, ECT.

What makes me qualified? Good question! Too bad it shall never be awnsered, due to several contracts I signed that prevent me from disclosing the details. Suffice to say, my qualification involved a [CENSORED], A Bookshelf, [CENSORED], a man named Ted, [CENSORED], [CENSORED], A basketball, a one way ticket to New Zealand, [CENSORED], and the long lost prince of texas!

Okay, it involves none of that, so sue me. Anyways, to make a good bad guy, you need the following:

1. NAME- The name. Such a simple thing. I know what you are thinking. BUT BEETLE, MAKING A NAME IS SO EASSSY! WHY DON'T I JUST GIVE HIM A NAME MADE UP OF SYNONYMES OF HIS MOST PROMINENT TRAITSSSS! Well, unflattering strawman of every person who makes a villain, naming a guy 'Pyro Fuego', who happens to be a evil luchadore with fire powers, tends to make people not take you that seriously, and can give him a rather silly name. Conversly, throwing together two unrelated, 'dark' words, such as 'Darkshade', 'Shadowdoom', 'Ted Wiggums', can make it seem like you are trying too hard. BUT BEETLE, THAAT JUST LEAVES ALL THE BORING NAAAMES! Well, Strawman Roleplayer, that's where three time tested strategies come in. You can make up a gobbeldy gook fantasy sounding name, which, if you do it right, can give you such names as 'Grelder Vafnar', 'Vark the Betrayer', 'Lord Blyth', ect. Done wrong, you can get such horrendous insults to language as 'Ghugh'Lndr', 'Tokijuariajui', 'Sarah Palin', ect. Next is to use real names that are uncommon, but not unheard of. Done right, you can get something like 'Alexander Ducard', 'Darth Johaan'[FYI, Star Wars didn't invent the word Darth, the germans did.], 'Maximillan DuPree', ect. Done wrong...Well, I shall let you think of a few examples. Next strategy is to use a foreign name or word. This is the most tricky method, as you can get a name that means something offensive, something bizarre, or simply looks silly. I would only go this route if you know the language you are picking the name from well. Anyways, yeah, names are important. NOW, ONTO BACKSTORY!!!!

2. BACKSTORY- Back story. The bane of bad villains everywhere. This is where most bad bad guys fail first. You see, a villain needs a good backstory, to explain his motivation. Now, you can go with 'ohohohoho mah char is evil bcaus he is a sociopath he no care bout people he lieks screaminsssssss oh so ebil'! Indeed, you can make a character who is 'evil just to be evil', but this tends to make them flat. Indeed, even Sauron, the greatest villain ever made, had a backstory explaining why he became evil. You see, children, people are not born evil. Evil is something that develops over time. Usually as a result of parents not smacking their disobedient children enough, but also as a result of personal trauma, slow corruption via greed, fear, or hate, or a misguided attempt to do good. So, backstory wise, make sure you have a good reason your character became evil.

3. MOTIVE - From Doctor Doom, to Lex Luthor, to Ronald Reagan, every villain has a motive. From world domination, to money, to improving the world in their own twisted fashion, and my favorite, to getting those damn kids to hand over some Trix every now and again. A good villain has complex motivation, a bad one has a simple and clichéd motivation. Well, most of the time. Cliched motivations can be done well. But not often. A good motivation for a serial killer: "Kills homeless because he views them as a drain on society and barely living, to the point where he considers his murders mercy killings" vs a cliché motivation: "Kills homeless because they make the most WONDERFULL screams". Good motivation for a bank robber: "Steals money so he can afford a better life for his children" vs a cliché motivation: "Money, dear boy!" And so on and so forth. A good motivation can make your bad guy seem round, real, and interesting

4. SCALE - Thing is, whether you have a serial killer, a mad king, a evil scientist, you need to have the right SCALE. Don't have them out on the streets killing people personally if they are a person who would, in their position, delegate, nor should you have a serial killer tasking people to kill others.

5. 50% Realism- One thing I always hate is when a villain, hero, or other type has a unrealistic background, abilities, or motivations. That being said, sadly, it is the most common failing you can find. I honestly can't give you much advice for thise one besides, 'DON'T go with your gut'. Ask a highly knowledgeable friend to review it and point out its biggest inaccuracies. If they can spot three on the first reading, you may want to do some editing.

6. Flaws - Lets face it, we all want to make a villain that never loses, that cannot be beat, and in a book or story, that is fine, people might not buy the book, but that's no skin off your bones. In a RP, however, the villain needs a few exploitable flaws to give the heroes a chance. A few questions you should ask when adding a flaw is, 1. "Is this a REAL Flaw, or a kinda-flaw, like being clumsy" 2. "Is this flaw nigh-impossible to exploit" 3. "If it IS easy to exploit, how much damage to my character can be caused by exploiting this flaw" 4. "Do I have enough flaws". As a general rule, I advise giving your villain three to five flaws. Because remember, no one wants to fight "OMG I IZ SUPAH BADGUY NO WEAKNESSES".

"Woman? Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man."
-Daenerys Targaryen
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