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54585662 No.54585662 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

What makes a good antagonist force to fulfill the role of villains in a fantasy setting? I don't just want to regurgitate "the bad empire oppressing everyone" or "dark lord bad man from shadow land with orc friends," but there's so many variations of those two basic themes that it feels like everything diverges from them. Can you implement some sort of monsters and a dark lord character without making them shallow evil for the sake of being evil? I thought about trying something along the lines of corruption in nature being responsible for monstrous deformed creatures that serve the antagonist chasing some goal, but it seems flimsy.

>> No.54585671

You could go for the revenge angle, someone from the underclass who experienced the unjust side of the "good kingdoms" so he just wants to erase them

>> No.54585683

>>54585662
How about you make them the antagonists without being evil? Maybe their goals are just opposed to the party.

>> No.54585721

>>54585662
They want more land for their Empire, and have their sights on wherever the party has their adventures. Obviously they'll be pretty brutal about taking it. Its Evil from the party's POV, but the Empire see it as a Manifest Destiny thing.

>> No.54585754

>>54585671
I'll make some notes. I read some criticisms of star trek's starfleet that I thought could be similarly applied to a seemingly benign kingdom to get the same effect, might be a good starting point.
>>54585683
That was what I was trying to aim for, I actually wanted the antagonist to recognize some threat against the world itself and devote himself and his unsavory means to averting a crisis even if his methods are repugnant(ie: amassing normal troops isn't feasible so he turns to necromancy and dark arts to summon daemons).

>> No.54585760

>>54585662
Maybe make him a sort of revolutionary who wants to destroy,in his eyes, corrupt monarchy.
He could've been a leader of mercenary army before declaring war on the kingdom and he could've come out of the underclass with his parents killed by a ruthless tax collector who still lives in lap of luxury

>> No.54585779

>>54585662
>"the bad empire oppressing everyone"
So make "the empire that used the will of a disgruntled population to overthrow the previous republic, solved a lot of domestic problems the republic felt were responsibilities it had to suffer in exchange for what it had, created a bunch of different problems that the pro-imperial population likes more but the pro-republic population thinks are abhorrent, threw the existing systems of rule of law and politics into chaos, and then after ensuring the pro-republic population has little to no authority to stand on in the empire treats them as violent extremists if they resort to anything other than impotent crying"?

The fact that even I wasn't sure if I'm talking about Star Wars or America is a little worrying.

>> No.54585812

>I thought about trying something along the lines of corruption in nature being responsible for monstrous deformed creatures that serve the antagonist chasing some goal
Due to food shortages people have to expand their farmland which pisses off the dryads & friends. Druids normally serve as diplomats of sorts but are having little to no success.

How retarded is my idea

>> No.54585849

>>54585721
I'll tie it in with necessity, more resources needed.
>>54585760
I'd like to implement a mid-level commander with that backstory.
>>54585779
Would make the political intrigue side of things more interesting.

>> No.54585878

>>54585779
This. Just copy Drumpf and his braindead supporters.

>> No.54585891

>>54585849
Does this corruption of nature affect humans?

>> No.54585893

>>54585662
Go for a good old fashion tyranny. No matter how good it looks history shows chaos and violence will follow in its wake.

>> No.54586026

>>54585891
Maybe, something along the lines of power in exchange for physical strengthening? Like the soldiers exposed to the corrupting influence become stronger and more savage, but something like rabies takes hold and they start mutating slightly.

>> No.54586045

Why do fantasy settings always show the Evil Empire as this vast, expansive thing... Yet their soldiers are trash and they always seem to experience nothing but defeats?

>> No.54586064

>>54586045
Because they are villains, and they are there to be defeated by the heroes.

>> No.54586094

>>54586026
If that's the case maybe empire could be more accepting than other nations towards these mutants, but an army of savage, mutated humans creates a very bad image

>> No.54586109

>>54586045
Inverse ninja rule: Because they outnumber the good guys they are weak. I'd like to avoid that sort of thing and not have the backwater village hero who swung a stick once effortlessly destroying hundreds of soldiers who trained their adult lives.

>> No.54586145

>>54586094
Say its a slow, passive process that isn't immediately apparent(red tinted eyes and later skin rippling with natural carapace armor). The outermost holdings aren't aware of what's going on, and many are indebted to the empire for taking in otherwise shunned species. That the BBEG's willing to spend the lives of the mutated peons because he thinks the threat to the world is more serious and doesn't care if he's viewed as a monster?

>> No.54586385

>>54586145
yeah that could work
But anyways how should the empires army be? A horde kind of army with a LOT of poorly equipped soldiers or a smaller but more elite army?

>> No.54586431

>>54585878
>Hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
grow up loser

>> No.54586460

>>54585662

Make the Evil Emperor an affable badass who rose to power through charisma and force of arms, he's not an asshole per se, he's simply addicted to conquest, and won't stop until the world lies beneath his boot.

>> No.54586474

>>54586431

> t. Drumpfkin Swarmling

>> No.54586497

>>54586474
Seriously, grow up. Not everything is politics. You must be absolutely no fun to hang around. I imagine it would be like a fuckin /pol/ meet up or something

>> No.54586573

>>54586431
I'm adult enough to not vote for russian-backed Annoying Orange. All the college-educated people voted Hillary, this should tell you something.

>> No.54586586

>>54586573
Here's your (You)

>> No.54586593

>>54586573
>I'm adult enough
Yeah nah mate, you are at best a manchild. You're the kind of person that just has to inject politics into everything... shoving your unwanted opinion into everything, even a make believe world.
Grow. Up.

>> No.54586628

>>54586045
A big empire needs a lot of troops to secure it so you need to take anyone whos willing to join the Army. Sometimes theyre not the best quality but hey its better then leaving a region undefended.

>> No.54586688

>>54586497
>>54586593
This whole thread is about politics. Obviously people crafting political scenarios for their stories are going to be heavily influenced by their actual political beliefs. Refusing to mention real politics because you want to "keep politics out of it" is idiotic. Any good political story will have a strong basis in real politics.

>>54586573
Piss off. You don't represent all college-educated people. Hillary is just as shit as Trump, and your childish insults and appeal to authority undermine your own position.

>> No.54586843

>>54586573
All you 'college educated' cunts also caused a shortage of skilled labor in this country because you're so obsessed with having a liberal arts degree to hang in your 300 sq/ft efficiency that you share with three other people, all because your mother told you to go to college.

That should tell you something

>> No.54586888

>>54586843
t. hick without a degree

>> No.54586960

>>54585754
It's better by far if the antagonist is just human, with human reasons for doing what they do. An enemy who turns to dark magic and demon summoning is already clown shoes, we all float down here evil, no matter what their motivation. Your players won't feel conflicted at all cutting down such an enemy. You might as well have them fighting a lich or a mind flayer or an evil cult.

>> No.54587085

>>54586888
what a smart, college educated response, thank you for increasing my hillbillly iq by at least 30 points. I couldn't even count that high before you hit me with that fierce comeback just now, you're a force to be reckoned with

>> No.54587145

>>54585662
The heroes have just defeated the dark lord and destroyed the Empire.
The players are mid to high ranking officers in the dark lord's army who were stationed elsewhere and are now trying to maintain order as communication and transport networks grind to a halt and people start to wonder if their money is still worth anything.

>> No.54587196

>>54587145
That would be kinda interesting, since we don't often see what happens to the big bad's empires after the heroes win

>> No.54587214

I tend to base my 'evil empires' off WW1 germany. A country that feels hard done by, that is conquering for the sake of its own people. It's not necessarily antagonistic, it just doesn't particularly care what happens to the countries other than itself and its allies and is willing to take what it can for its own people. Add an element of the country being screwed by another nation, or being on the verge of starvation when a new king took the throne and it's semi-sympathetic while still being an easy 'bad guys' faction.

>> No.54587225

>>54585779
You're thinking of Venezuela, not America.

>>54586960
Necromancy and demon summoning would be pretty top-tier as far as military assets go. While shit like skeletons and zombies wouldn't be exactly ideal troops, they'd be fantastic for tying down infantry and screening against cavalry. Demons would be far more situational in their usage; assuming you're sticking to low-ranked demons as a safety precaution they'd be excellent shock troops and harassers. Opposition to the use of dark magic in what in this context is outright warfare is just bitching about things not being "proper."

>> No.54587705

My bad guy was the head warlock of a magic academy who began to worship an elder god. The god's motives are unknowable but the main villain is attempting to cause as much panic as possible as the god gains power the more people fear it.

This guy started out by torturing an elf and by now has killed hundreds and has kidnapped the sister of a party member.

>> No.54587789

>>54587705
>This guy started out by torturing an elf and by now has killed hundreds and has kidnapped the sister of a party member.

Pssh, that's baby-tier. Call me when it turns out that the warlock actually switched bodies with the party member's sister to escape the party and it's actually the sister-in-warlock kidnapping the warlock-in-sister in an attempt to get her body back but then it turns out the sister has secretly been magically influencing the warlock's psyche to lead him to worshiping the old god and spreading panic and is trying to throw suspicion off herself. Oh, and that elf he tortured? Was just a little hardcore BDSM that went a bit too far and everyone involved is embarrassed about it.

>> No.54587835

>>54585662

Make them a band of close knit murderhobos that will do anything to win. Aka: PCs that think YOUR side is the evil empire.

They just have a 5 level head start on you, is all.

>> No.54587850

>>54587085
Heh, nice.
10/10 would have a beer with

>> No.54587861

>>54586573
>Muh Russian backing
You know that's complete bullshit?

>> No.54587881

>>54587145
Would play.

>> No.54587942

>>54585721
>>54585662
They need more space for their people, more farmland especially. Living room, let's call it. They're also saddled with a heavy indemnity to foreign powers after a long war some years ago. This, combined with the rhetoric of a strongman who cajoles the people's fear of economic uncertainty and foreigners corrupting their way of life and controlling their economic system, leads to a massive patriotic uprising of the nation to retake what it feels is rightfully theirs. Things get out of hand from there - maybe those foreign dissidents get shipped off to holding camps to remove them from society, for instance.

>> No.54591785

>>54585662
Just 2 ennemies. I think one of the best things Skyrim did, was to create 2 sides that collided in a murderous encounter, without making one "better" or "more evil" than the other: the Stormcloak Nords and the Imperial Legionaries. They're inspired from the Roman Empire and the Germans and what I find funny about this is that this time around, it wasn't the emptire that was attacking: it was the others.
The previous game also described a great context that creates a lot of tension also: a cataclysm that creates a lot of refugees who, in turn, invade a new land. What if some human kingdom managed to hunt orcs/goblins/centaurs from their land by destroying their environment to the point they couldn't survive anymore (like Europeans did for the Indians); so in turn, the monsters attack a weaker human kingdom. Except this time, they're desperate because it's their only chance at survival, so they give it all they have.
It could also be a race. Remember how Europeans conquered as much as they could in Africa and Asia because their buddies were trying to establish themselves as colonial powers too ? What if a new island or continent is discovered, or some magical source (as important as oil). Wouldn't people kill each other over it ?

>> No.54591918

>>54591785
The Stormcloaks are pretty much retards. It's all but stated that they're weakening the Empire through conflict, focused almost entirely on petty and short-sighted political games, hypocritical, and playing directly into the Thalmor's goals.

>> No.54591990

>>54585662
I've got several tribes of not!gauls being led by witch priests who are stealing souls from Hades in a war of vengance against the Roman analogues who had conquered them centuries previously; until the past century when a continent wide plague of lovecraftian madness nearly saw the total breakdown of the empire and left several outlying groups to their own devices.

no big evil overlord who gets hard form being in charge. just several factions who have some valid points, and some shitty qualities, but with one faction utilizing methods/powers that are very unwise to tamper with.

>> No.54592368
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54592368

>>54585662
>I don't just want to regurgitate "the bad empire oppressing everyone"
>or "dark lord bad man from shadow land with orc friends,"
>Can you implement some sort of monsters and a dark lord character without making them shallow evil for the sake of being evil?

Both can be good ideas if you *explain* them.

>The bad empire oppressing everyone
Alright then. Who leads this empire, why is he leading this empire and why is everyone willing to tolerate his evil? Perhaps he was an incredibly loyal general to the point where his troops would follow him over the rightful king, and he rules because the soldiers are happy that he keeps providing them with war and potential spoils? Perhaps he was once the leader of a peasant uprising, who now rules with a "bread and games" policy that the populace at large accepts because it's preferable to the return of the old aristocracy? Perhaps he is tolerated by foreign powers because he's seen as a useful projectile that can be "guided" against rivals? In LOTR terms, imagine for example Rohan allying with Mordor because they want summa dat sweet Gondor clay, something like that.

>Dark lord bad man from shadow land with orc friends
Alright, why do the orcs trust him? Seriously, why the fuck would these xenophobic, savage semi-monsters trust a pinkskin when they literally use human skin to make leather hats? The fuck kind of crazy profitable deal did this guy present them, and why do they trust him on his word?

If an idea seems superficial, in my experience that's usually because you're ignoring the underlying questions. Answer them, and a bad idea becomes a good one, or at the very least a decent one.

>> No.54592440
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54592440

>>54592368
I like to (perhaps falsely) believe that's what I'm doing with my campaign, which will eventually end up being "evil empire vs dark lord bad man from shadow land with orc friends". The idea is that there's a not!Roman republic that's being attacked by orcish hordes, that suddenly appear a lot more organized and agressive. Turns out that one of the orcish tribal lords was both cruel and charismatic, convincing his tribe to commit genocide on multiple other tribes until the remaining ones were scared into submission. He then promised those loyal to him great riches if they follow him in his invasion of "Roman" lands. In reality this orcish leader is possessed by a great demon who merely uses the orcs as a tool to unlock his sealed body. Meanwhile, on the other side of the conflict, the "Roman" republic is in crisis and under threat by these suddenly incredibly organized orcs, prompting a charismatic and opportunistic general to take over, crown himself supreme leader and abolish the senate in the name of maintaining order.

Writing it out like this makes me realize it's still a pretty stupid and superficial idea, but it's not too late to straighten out the edges. I guess the biggest problem with this setting might be "suddenly, a demon lord!" but I have no idea how else to introduce a satisfying BBEG to conclude the campaign.

>> No.54592796

>>54585662
a backstory that makes their motives legitimate and relatable.

The king dies, leaving his brother and son alive. The brother knows the son is a bastard because the queen is a whore. The brother is the leader of a rebellion to take rightful possession of the empire. The son is the recognized leader of the kingdom, the good guys.

>> No.54592984

>>54585662
Okay so how about this:

The evil kingdom is just a kingdom filled with people no worse than any other.

The allegedly evil overlord is trying to achieve justice (reclaiming his father's stolen lands, protecting his religion, etc) and the only reason why anyone thinks he is evil is because of all the lies being told about him.

>> No.54593189

>dark lord has fled to some other plane of existence
>the barbarian hordes are defeated
>political upheaval all over the continent
>ethics and morals blur as kings and nobles begin to use prisoners of war as slaves for reconstruction, or even use them as soldiers - orcs, goblins, ogres and giants led by men
>noblemen have their court wizards scour over forbidden magics now the dark lord's libraries and magical repositories are looted clean

Basically, Rohan and Gondor going full USA v.s USSR post-WW2 after Sauron got BTFO. Except messier, with more countries, more noble houses, city-states, and bullshit.
Throw in some Hussite rebellions, with nobles from poorer regions taking advantage of new available forms of magic to arm peasant armies to take on armies from richer noble houses and you've got a fun mix.

>> No.54593337

>>54592368
>erhaps he was an incredibly loyal general to the point where his troops would follow him over the rightful king, and he rules because the soldiers are happy that he keeps providing them with war and potential spoils?

Flip this idea and turn it into a general whose men were fiercely loyal to him and he was tired of his kingdom going to war all the time so he led a coup and installed himself as king. Maybe the old king could've traced his lineage back to someone important like a Charlemagne type character and all the other surrounding kingdoms despise this new king because of that fact.

>> No.54593367

>>54585662
Peasant republic, want nothing to do with the nobility and their adventurer lackeys who never once did a good days work. Adventurers constantly get in the way of society, damaging crops and properties and standing in the way of serf emancipation

>> No.54593419
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54593419

>>54592368
>Alright, why do the orcs trust him? Seriously, why the fuck would these xenophobic, savage semi-monsters trust a pinkskin when they literally use human skin to make leather hats? The fuck kind of crazy profitable deal did this guy present them, and why do they trust him on his word?

Just take some ideas from Caesar.
>give orcs reading
>medicine
>military tactics and strategy
>modernize their smithing
>teach them about long term logistics planning
>etc.

>> No.54593484

>>54587861
Which is why literally every intel agency is saying that it is true. Oh. Wait.

>> No.54593569

>>54587942
nice meme

>> No.54593809

Ancient, long-dormant civilization returns/awakens and wants their lands back. Views the current inhabitants as invaders and is determined to take back what is theirs.

It turns out that basic is fueled by pain, strife, and suffering in another dimension/plane. Inhabitants think the locals are aware and are trying to bring peace and order to their realm. Bonus points if the people in charge actually are aware but consider it a necessary evil or just don't care.

The creeping eldritch horror is actually the source of all life and its only trying to re-assimilate all life back into itself if what it considers the natural course of events. Yes, it's a rip-off of Halo, but if done well and/or with non vidya types they won't notice/care

>> No.54593827

>>54593809
Magic, not basic

>> No.54594486

>>54585662
Simply have characters with reasonable motivations (reasonable based on their perceptions, understanding, situation, needs, and context) who unfortunately have goals incompatible with the motivations of other reasonable characters.

It's how strong characters are written.

>> No.54594519

>>54585662
The Carthigians are back and really salty about it

>> No.54594537

>>54593484
Not sure if you're being ironic here, but the myth of the 17 agencies confirming it from the NYTimes had to be retracted since it turned out to be bullshit and they just went with 1 unverifiable source instead of 3 verifiable ones (which you learn at the beginning already if you study journalism, basically a massive politically motivated fuck-up in an attempt to influence the american people, they call it a "mistake" of course)

>> No.54594578
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54594578

>>54594519
>salty
Give this man a slice of Gaul!

>> No.54594768

>>54594537
Furthermore, the intelligence agencies that weighed in on it confirmed much less than people think. They merely confirmed that the Russians interfered in the election guess what, they have been doing this as far back as the USSR, it was a KGB specialty, and this is in no fucking way novel or news. Also, we do it too, even to our allies - Obama openly supported the leftists in the Israeli elections just a few years ago. - they still have precisely zero evidence whatsoever that the Trump campaign knowingly colluded with the Russian government. Passively benefiting from the action of a foreign group is not a crime. If it was, Hillary would be guilty for every single foreign national and official who advocated for her presidential campaign.

>> No.54594807

>>54594768
Don't you know it's okay when Democrats do it? Like that time the Democrats colluded with a British spy to create a hoax dossier to undermine Trump. That's okay, because Democrats did it. If Republicans did it, that would be a crime.

>> No.54595064

>>54594807
>>54594768
>>54594537
Oh my fucking god. Stop.

I'd pursue something like the antagonist leader foreseeing some cataclysmic threat, and choosing to take any measures to avert it, even corrupting his troops or expanding his holdings to achieve the manpower needed. With cleverness not being limited to plucky heroes, he'd be doing as >>54593419 suggested and 'uplift' some savage tribes to assist him willingly.

>> No.54595179

>>54585662
Well something you could do is have them execute a commander who they consider went to far. A general that ordered the village to be razed, someone who executed PoW, if he started shooting into his own troops or did start practicing the dark arts.

>> No.54595327

>>54595064
>Oh my fucking god. Stop.
>the truth hurts my feelings ;_____;

>> No.54595417

>>54595327
Look man, I know there's a double standard in the left wing media, and its propaganda exploited by the rich faggots who don't care about any of us. I just want to discuss worldbuilding here, there's other places you can have actual dialogue on those issues.

>> No.54596563

>>54595417
not those anons but, devils advocate: not really.

I mean, you sure as hell can't have a discussion on /pol/

>> No.54597011

>>54596563
I guess you're right. It would be nice to maintain some civility on /tg/ at least.

>> No.54597031
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54597031

>> No.54597226
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54597226

>>54597031

>> No.54597256

>>54596563
Eh depends on the day. Somedays discussion is easily found. Others their are so many baits, trolls, or shills that its best avoided.

>> No.54597279

>>54587145
This sounds fun.

>> No.54597914
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54597914

>>54585662
This is my go-to Evil Empire, kind of Flagg-esq and meant to be a bit on the classic over the-top side of things while still be plausible in a mostly rational world.
>No one expects the Evil Empire to actually survive. It's horribly mismanaged and doomed to implode but it's likely to fuck everyone else in it's last death throws.
>It's piggy-backing of a recently collapse empire, making use of old technology, infrastructure and connections.
>The Evil Emperor is impatient and uncompromising. In times of uncertainty people rallied to him for protection and purpose. He offered them a new empire with black-jack and hookers. Together they quickly squashed the unorganised barbarians around them (maybe evil the lethargic remnants of the old empire)
>The Empire is now in constant state of war to cover all that black-jack and all those hookers. The Emperor's stubborn demeanour and viscous tactics makes diplomacy difficult. However his fanatically loyal legions and stockpile of old-world weapons means he's comparable powers are afraid to intervene at risk of losing any outstretched limbs.
>The Emperor is slipping. He won't admit he made any mistakes but each day he grow more viscous and reclusive. The time when runs out of hookers and super-weapon fuel is approaching. He has no intent of surrendering his treasure like a bitch. This empire, it's glories, it's people, it's neighbours, allies and enemies will all go out in burning glory with the Emperor at the top of the pyre.
>Until then the Evil Empire is a pretty great place to live. Everyone has jobs, they're proud of their country, there is loads of cool shit all over the place, you have all the Old-Empire tech without having to deal with all those lame fucking old-empire laws or that pussy-ass Old-Emperor. As long as you stay on the good side of the Imperial Death Patrol you'll have great time in safe society.

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