What to do with A Npc that was intended to be a 1-off villain?

edited December 2022 in General Discussion

A GM I know has A question for 4th edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

The question is what to do with A Npc that was intended to be a 1-off villain that is now a recurring villain and even though he's nowhere near as physically powerful as  the campaigns main villain he is is a lot more dangerous then the campaigns main villain?

Basically the villain that was supposed to be a 1-off villain is A Evil version of Warhammer Roleplay version of Robin Hood, he's A Noble that was involved in all sorts of illegal activities but wasn't chaotic

The  Pcs decided that as he is A Noble they'd take him in alive and in fairly good heal so that he could stand trial but because of the respect they have for nobles they healed him back to almost full health and as a result after they got him to jail he escaped, on the bright side he was outlawed

At the time of the 1st encounter his career track was Rank 1 Noble-Rank 1 Thief and his career track is now Rank 1 Noble-Rank 1 Thief-Rank 1 Outlaw-Rank 3 Outlaw and he commands 60 followers

The 5 main reasons that despite not being as physically powerful as the campaigns main villain this guy is far  more dangerous then the campaigns main villain are as follows

The 1st is that its been proven that he isn't a follower of Chaos

The 2nd is that despite being Outlaws his followers are 100% loyal to him

The 3rd is that despite being A Outlaw he is still of noble birth, meaning that he has access to funds that most Outlaws don't

The 4th is that because he's of Noble birth and despite being A Outlaw a lot of people still respect him

The 5th is that because he's of Noble birth its very easy for him to convince people that he was framed for the crimes that got him outlawed

Post edited by marshalljames1 on


  • Abersade
    Posts: 324

    I guess I'd say that sometimes the stories that we think we are telling and the stories that actually emerge as a result of gameplay aren't always going to match up, and that that's a good thing. This is an agent of change that the PCs have had a direct hand in creating, due to this the character's actions are going to mean so much more to the players than that of some NPC from a far off Keep or something. That agency in the NPCs evolution will lead to a sense of direct responsibility for that NPCs actions, keeping this NPC important to the players. 

  • marshalljames1
    Posts: 198

    Thanks Abersade

    Another question. Even though this Npc isn't anywhere near as physically powerful as the campaigns main villain the resources he has and can call upon mean that he's far more dangerous

    So what do you suggest The GM I know do about the fact that even though this Npc isn't anywhere near as physically powerful as the campaigns main villain the resources he has and can call upon mean that he's far more dangerous?

  • Abersade
    Posts: 324

    I'd recommend that the GM reevaluate the main villain, because so far it doesn't sound like that character serving as the main villain is where the story is going. If that's not feasible then the GM has all of the capability here to nerf this new villain into the ground. Maybe an opponent starts a smear campaign to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of the people. Maybe the new villain's forces botch a raid, slaughter some folks, and word gets out. Maybe the ruling body declares the assets of the new villain as forfeit due to his standing as an outlaw. Regardless, the ball is squarely in the GMs court here to decide what to do and they have all of the tools needed. Sidenote: physical power isn't the only thing that makes for a powerful enemy, that's what hordes of minions are for.

  • twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,953


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  • ElMuggs
    Posts: 15

    There's a old joke that a CR1 Noble can be more dangerous if insulted then a Red Dragon.

    The key question is what is to stop your Noble HIRING the main villain to take out the party - or do whatever it was you originally planned them to do?

    This way they get the best of both worlds - you get your original BBEG - but then you also have the extra layer that once defeated the players will learn that this noble they may not have thought much about has been the actual one pulling the strings the entire time.

    This can be far more satisfying as you get both the epic combat, but I'd also add in the Noble doing things behind the scene's over the long game to trash the parties reputation - spreading lies that THEY where the criminals and he was trying to stop them!

    However I'd take great care to make it unclear where the claims are coming from. Use lots of middle men and goons rather then have your villain turn up again. This way it gives the PC's the impression that they are a 1-off villain. - Only to have them discover much later on that this Noble has been working against them THE ENTIRE TIME and letting them escape was a mistake. 

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