RPGs are often full of villains. If they aren’t outright evil, they are adversarial to the goals of our characters. they come in all shapes and forms, and sometimes it’s difficult to identify them. Other times nothing is as obvious.
Villains add a lot of flavor and drama to our game sessions and often can be quite memorable. it’s not unusual for them to become favorites. In our The Sky is no Limit campaign of Leagues of Adventure Leftenant Armbruster Credenza is as a welcome sight to the players as he is a very unwelcome sight to the characters. He has become a rich detailed character that we love to hate.
Now we can easily fall into the trap of not wanting to let the favorite villains come to an end. For the most part I tend to be in the camp that advocates not protecting your darlings and letting the dice fall where they may. In general I don’t like forcing outcomes.
However, there are certain genres where the heroes or the villains rarely ever die, it just seems that way. Broken Compass Buy two little mice does a very good job of emulating a 90s action movie. The text gives you clear examples of times where it is appropriate for a character to die, only to return in the next episode. This usually includes a Munchausen worthy account of how they barely escaped death after being washed away by the current, falling off of that cliff, Being pulled underwater by that saltwater crocodile, or being trapped in that building when it exploded.
Now for the most part that text deals with the death of player characters, but what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In a three part one shot of that game we were introduced to a set of rivals that quickly became quite interesting. These villains are actually part of the procedure and mechanics of the game. It is remarkably genre appropriate. During play two of them seemed to get what they deserved, but we know they are coming back. And they’re probably going to be very angry. We are looking forward to that the next time we play that game.
I certainly hope that the good lefttenant continues to make appearances in our LOA game. He’s pretty fantastic for that genre as well.