What is your favorite Big Bad that you've created?

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No campaign is complete without a Big Bad, in my opinion. Ok, you can do one without a big villian. But I like to have one!

My favorite is in the campaign I'm currently running. He (currently she, actually) is a hivemind shapeshifter that is following the party. He has the power to absorb people into himself, their mind and/or body. In doing so he adds their mind into his, both personality and memories. He is currently hunting the party to try and absorb the half-god child they are protecting. At this point he is in the guise of an NPC traveling with the party. I've given hints but none of them seem to realize it for some reason, except for the player he already killed and who's mind he absorbed.

He's pretty fun to have around, I think, and gives me more options for a more subtle bad guy rather than the average Enemy Leader.

So I am curious, what is the favorite enemy you DM's have created? I'm always on the lookout for new evil to throw at my players that they don't expect.
mine is a member of a race i made for this game. the entire race is trying to decide which of them should be in charge so they decided whoever can remove the most trash (aka people races) from the land will become their leader. their rank goes up based on the number and quality of those that they kill. this one even enslaves others of its race to work for it after proving itself to them as being better than them in every way. this one is more of a tactician and uses tricks poisons and traps along with monsters and beasts that it trains and raises to kill instead of fighting directly, but once he was required to actually fight he was always a bit mentally unstable and looses it becoming a primal beast who has a powerful regenaration and physical prowess. he always hated the fact that he when not aided with some herbal medicine to become more stable (which didn't always help) he became a beast who would only destroy and kill with his bare hands and always wanted to prove himself better then the violent other members of his race.
My favorite in recent years was a Pan Lung (Chineese(?)) water dragon.

It was a 3x game.
There was a quite extended arc of play where the PCs discovered ones presence (by stumbling into its area & its' plans).
They then decided to thwart & ultimately slay this horrible beast, freeing the "oppressed" bullywugs.

Not a single player had any idea what a Pan Lung was.  They didn't even ask.  The good allingned party just took the evil frogmen at their word.  And so off they went to sow destruction throughout the Pan Lungs "lair". 

Many fun sessions later they came face to face with the fact, & irrifuitable proof!,  that the dragon was NOT the BBEG.  Not at all.
One of the players decryed this a trick & insisted upon charging the thing.  Surprised
The rest of the party?  They made no effort to restrain him.
Because of this the party as a whole lost out on a fantastic ally, & great new base of operations, and was banished from the Pans territory on pain of death.
The offender who actually attacked?  He was killed.
To be fair, my party was largly responcible for creating this Big Bad, and that is why I love it so much.
A while bad they were in a vault they found abandoned in a drow outpost, and discovered a magic item. I was improvising at the time so I flipped open the magnifisant emporium to find an item and though 'that looks cool... you find a helm, the helm of seven deaths."
Anyways one of the party members thought a helm that uses the souls of those that die near it as fuel for its dark power was to evil to keep, and was out to destroy it, while another wanted to give it to a magical item trading house they owed a debt to. They unloaded their dailies on eachother, and the others steped in to stop the fight.... they knocked eachother out, and the helm was hidden in the artificers bag to be delt with later....
when it was next seen it was being put on to sway the balance of a tough fight, and the ranger in the party who thought it had been left behind to rot, launched a daily on the helm and its holder, resulting in out first party member death.
it was lost in a crowd, and not seen again..... for 150 years..... in the past.
They ended up in the past after a botched portal, and found the helm in the ruins of the Rune Lords, now known as the Lords of Ruin. It was Wraths helm that he used to keep the souls of the other ords when he turned on them.... the Helm has now taken us to its place of creation, in Gloomwroght, where they will try to end it.
Its all very exciting for me as a DM because it is something the party decided was evil, and they made it what it is today... Im like a proud dad seeing my party grow up and get their first job.
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
While the villain of my most recently completed campaign holds a special place (as that campaign was probably my most successful one), I still have a paticular soft spot in my heart for my first big villain all the way back from 3.0, Glib the Goblin Barbarian. Nothing like seeing the players faces when a Goblin is wielding an axe larger than his whole body talking like Mushmouth from Fat Albert XD
I didn't make this one, rather one of my PCs did.  Also this will possibly contain spoilers from the Book of Vile Darkness adventure, so read on at your own risk.







In my last campaign that ended, my players were searching for a way to destroy the Book of Vile Darkness.  I was running the adventure in the back of the BoVD's DM booklet, so the party had to find the Well of Many Worlds.  (I really like the idea for this well)  However, before all of this even happened, the Dwarven Warlock in the party, named Cragnor, held the book and was horribly currupted by it.  He believed that he held the book in a way that was saving the party from its curruption.  Well, some things happened that led to the party not trusting him at all after they found out he was hiding the Book of Vile Darkness from them.  After some talking, an inner-party fight broke out, killing poor Cragnor. So the party finds the well and the party Fighter and worshiper of the Raven Queen, a Dragonborn named Rhogar, now held onto the book and was actually managing to keep its curruption at bay.  At the well they are beset by followers of Vecna and the fight spills into the well of many world, which is bassically a single portal linking all dimensions and worlds togeter at other wells on other worlds.  Well, the party is in the well, floating in time and space, and they land in the Shadowfell reality of Neverwinter.  Rhogar has the book and had been currupted by it and fled from the party by flying away.  (The game had been at Paragon tier for a while, as the PCs were level 14 to 15.  

Old Rhogar flew to a tower in the Shadow fell called the Tower of Evil.  This was the Shadowfell version of the Spire of Ice to the North East of Neverwinter in Rhogar's player's own campaign.  So naturally he flew there, and contacted Vecna himself.  What did Rhogar do?  He managed to create FOUR of the best villains I had ever had in any campaign I had ever run.  Rhogar Revives a fllen commrade, lures another of his commrades to the Tower, and the best part, Revives Cragnor!  Now Rhogar and Cragnor each have a copy of the Book of Vile Darkness, Rhogar carrying the first book, and Cragnor carrying the Shadowfell's copy of the book that was housed in the Tower.  Cragnor immeadiately requests the Lich Creation Ritural be cast on himself and he becomes a Lich.  An epic fight breaks out at the Shadowfell's well of many worlds, between the four evil turned party members now working under Vecna, and the five remaining good characters now under the Raven Queen.  (the five good party members went to Latherna to ask for her aid, as one of the PCs was Her Avenger.)

So yes.  Rhogar, the good fighter turned evil;
Sora, the other Dragonborn Fighter, and close childhood friend of Rhogar, turned evil;
Adrie, Fey Pact Warlock turned Lich, and also evil;
and Cragnor, Abyssal Pact Warlock, turned Lich, always evil, and greatest villain I ever had.  

Rhogar and Sora Died in the fight against the good party members, while Adrie was killed, but will come back in eight days thanks to Lich's regeneration.  Old Cragnor was the only remaining evil PC left after that fight.  He managed to, sorta, redeem himself.  The good party left the fight through the well of many worlds to tell a temple of Bahamut's Paladins in the Nentir Vale that they knew where to find the Book of Vile Darkness.  They knew of the Paladins as this was established in a Heroic Tier adventure they went through.  Cragnor met them at the Nentir Vale's well, and stole the book that the good party had got from killing Rhogar, but not before a Paladin got a grapple on him.  Cragnor used the well to travel to the top of a volcano where he attempted to dump the Paladin into the lava, but the Paladin, a Paragon Dragonborn, scored a hit on Cragnor, causing him to hit 0 HP, dropping the Book and Cragnor into the heart of the volcano.  The Dragonborn Paladin Flew away.  

With the good party in possession of one of the two Books after the fight, they were able to destroy at least one copy by flooding it with positive energy and sending it into the heart of the Sun.  The remaining members of the good party then established that they would destroy the other remaining Books if they had to, as well as the Liches Cragnor and Adrie.  Cragnor and Adrie made it their point that after they regenerated, they would send out new found minions and servants to find the remaining copies and claim them, and take out any resistance they found on the way.


Let an evil or cursed item do its job, and the campagin villains will show themselves.
I didn't make this one, rather one of my PCs did.  Also this will possibly contain spoilers from the Book of Vile Darkness adventure, so read on at your own risk.







In my last campaign that ended, my players were searching for a way to destroy the Book of Vile Darkness.  I was running the adventure in the back of the BoVD's DM booklet, so the party had to find the Well of Many Worlds.  (I really like the idea for this well)  However, before all of this even happened, the Dwarven Warlock in the party, named Cragnor, held the book and was horribly currupted by it.  He believed that he held the book in a way that was saving the party from its curruption.  Well, some things happened that led to the party not trusting him at all after they found out he was hiding the Book of Vile Darkness from them.  After some talking, an inner-party fight broke out, killing poor Cragnor. So the party finds the well and the party Fighter and worshiper of the Raven Queen, a Dragonborn named Rhogar, now held onto the book and was actually managing to keep its curruption at bay.  At the well they are beset by followers of Vecna and the fight spills into the well of many world, which is bassically a single portal linking all dimensions and worlds togeter at other wells on other worlds.  Well, the party is in the well, floating in time and space, and they land in the Shadowfell reality of Neverwinter.  Rhogar has the book and had been currupted by it and fled from the party by flying away.  (The game had been at Paragon tier for a while, as the PCs were level 14 to 15.  

Old Rhogar flew to a tower in the Shadow fell called the Tower of Evil.  This was the Shadowfell version of the Spire of Ice to the North East of Neverwinter in Rhogar's player's own campaign.  So naturally he flew there, and contacted Vecna himself.  What did Rhogar do?  He managed to create FOUR of the best villains I had ever had in any campaign I had ever run.  Rhogar Revives a fllen commrade, lures another of his commrades to the Tower, and the best part, Revives Cragnor!  Now Rhogar and Cragnor each have a copy of the Book of Vile Darkness, Rhogar carrying the first book, and Cragnor carrying the Shadowfell's copy of the book that was housed in the Tower.  Cragnor immeadiately requests the Lich Creation Ritural be cast on himself and he becomes a Lich.  An epic fight breaks out at the Shadowfell's well of many worlds, between the four evil turned party members now working under Vecna, and the five remaining good characters now under the Raven Queen.  (the five good party members went to Latherna to ask for her aid, as one of the PCs was Her Avenger.)

So yes.  Rhogar, the good fighter turned evil;
Sora, the other Dragonborn Fighter, and close childhood friend of Rhogar, turned evil;
Adrie, Fey Pact Warlock turned Lich, and also evil;
and Cragnor, Abyssal Pact Warlock, turned Lich, always evil, and greatest villain I ever had.  

Rhogar and Sora Died in the fight against the good party members, while Adrie was killed, but will come back in eight days thanks to Lich's regeneration.  Old Cragnor was the only remaining evil PC left after that fight.  He managed to, sorta, redeem himself.  The good party left the fight through the well of many worlds to tell a temple of Bahamut's Paladins in the Nentir Vale that they knew where to find the Book of Vile Darkness.  They knew of the Paladins as this was established in a Heroic Tier adventure they went through.  Cragnor met them at the Nentir Vale's well, and stole the book that the good party had got from killing Rhogar, but not before a Paladin got a grapple on him.  Cragnor used the well to travel to the top of a volcano where he attempted to dump the Paladin into the lava, but the Paladin, a Paragon Dragonborn, scored a hit on Cragnor, causing him to hit 0 HP, dropping the Book and Cragnor into the heart of the volcano.  The Dragonborn Paladin Flew away.  

With the good party in possession of one of the two Books after the fight, they were able to destroy at least one copy by flooding it with positive energy and sending it into the heart of the Sun.  The remaining members of the good party then established that they would destroy the other remaining Books if they had to, as well as the Liches Cragnor and Adrie.  Cragnor and Adrie made it their point that after they regenerated, they would send out new found minions and servants to find the remaining copies and claim them, and take out any resistance they found on the way.


Let an evil or cursed item do its job, and the campagin villains will show themselves.


That. Is. AWESOME! 

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As far as my favorite RP big bad, it was a true neutral, bug bear druid. He had a seriously twisted sense of balance that he referred to as decay. To him everything was in a constant state of decay. He fought to bring about the end of existance, quoting "Reality is in a constant state of decay, after this existance is gone, a new one will be born; as even the state of nothingness is in decay.


As far as my favorite combat big bad, it was a half/orc barbarian wrestler, his "weapons" were spiked armor that did uh, i think it was str or con damage. The battle was epic, my tank pc was twitchin a bit. He kept saying, "This guy is my equal, he's functionally removed me from combat!" It was neat watching the other PC's step it up, to handle the adds, and dealing with grappling characters in combat. Kinda reminded me of swimming.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka
My personal favorite ... probably an elf wizard who had lost his daughter to literally random circumstances.  So, to seek revenge ... he was going to destroy randomness.  Everything would proceed perfectly, like a perfect machine, for the rest of eternity.

The final battle with him (and some creatures he summoned, of course) took place on a small demi-plane of perfect order.  No dice were rolled; all results were considered to be dead average.  Your d20s were all 10.5 (round down to 10).  d6s were 3.5, so 1d6 was 3, 2d6 was 7, and so forth.

My players were flabbergasted; they were basically used to relying on lucky shots to win fights, and now, there was no such thing as luck.  They actually had to *gasp* use tactics.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
My personal favorite ... probably an elf wizard who had lost his daughter to literally random circumstances.  So, to seek revenge ... he was going to destroy randomness.  Everything would proceed perfectly, like a perfect machine, for the rest of eternity.

The final battle with him (and some creatures he summoned, of course) took place on a small demi-plane of perfect order.  No dice were rolled; all results were considered to be dead average.  Your d20s were all 10.5 (round down to 10).  d6s were 3.5, so 1d6 was 3, 2d6 was 7, and so forth.

My players were flabbergasted; they were basically used to relying on lucky shots to win fights, and now, there was no such thing as luck.  They actually had to *gasp* use tactics.



Speaking as someone who likes to put twists like this in his campaigns, I have to say that is one of the best things I've ever heard. Well done good sir!
My personal favorite ... probably an elf wizard who had lost his daughter to literally random circumstances.  So, to seek revenge ... he was going to destroy randomness.  Everything would proceed perfectly, like a perfect machine, for the rest of eternity.

The final battle with him (and some creatures he summoned, of course) took place on a small demi-plane of perfect order.  No dice were rolled; all results were considered to be dead average.  Your d20s were all 10.5 (round down to 10).  d6s were 3.5, so 1d6 was 3, 2d6 was 7, and so forth.

My players were flabbergasted; they were basically used to relying on lucky shots to win fights, and now, there was no such thing as luck.  They actually had to *gasp* use tactics.



If your group was full of min-max then they would be like *yaoming face* we got this. Or maybe they would join his cause and spread his perfect madness?

My favorite has to be Garaat, an orc shadow priest (a cleric variant, back in 3.5). Think about Revolver Ocelot from the Metal gear saga: a cunning, backstabbing, magnificent bastard, who played his enemies (the PCs an their patrons) as well as his "allies" (the demonic council) to fulfill his selfish plans. 

Once, he managed to catch the PCs by surprise and forcing them to surrender. They were expecting to be disarmed and imprisoned, but in fact, he was just looking for a chance to talk to them. He revealed them the specifics of the council's plan in the region, the one plan the PCs were trying to foil, and left, wishing them good luck. The PCs had no choice but to follow his directions to complete their mission before it was too late, and they succeded. A bitter victory, because they knew they just played into Garaat's hands, helping him to fulfill whatever crazy plan he was after.

Cool character to roleplay, especially since you probably won't expect a big orc dark priest to be a master of subtlety and manipulation.
One of my favourites was an aboleth psion (3.5E) the PCs encountered around 1st- or 2nd-level... and then they re-encountered the aboleth when they were around 19th- or 20th-level and realised that they had been subtly manipulated for the entire campaign by this same aboleth. Over a year had passed in real life and everything about the campaign suddenly made sense.

My personal favorite ... probably an elf wizard who had lost his daughter to literally random circumstances.  So, to seek revenge ... he was going to destroy randomness.  Everything would proceed perfectly, like a perfect machine, for the rest of eternity.

The final battle with him (and some creatures he summoned, of course) took place on a small demi-plane of perfect order.  No dice were rolled; all results were considered to be dead average.  Your d20s were all 10.5 (round down to 10).  d6s were 3.5, so 1d6 was 3, 2d6 was 7, and so forth.

My players were flabbergasted; they were basically used to relying on lucky shots to win fights, and now, there was no such thing as luck.  They actually had to *gasp* use tactics.



That is seriously brilliant.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Hardly a Big Bad but funny nonetheless. I had my group tracking a group of drow slavers in the underbelly of the city, once they got to the main base and engaged the leader of the drow it was a pretty smooth fight, well 'cept they set the room on fire (it was covered in webs). The drow leader Moia, was meant to be a throwaway bad guy, shed run away and the party would chase her and see her talk to the REAL big bad who would kill Moia for failing her yada yada.
Or so I thought.
At the end of the fight when Moia ran away greviously wounded, the party decided to put out the last few fires, loot the room and discuss what they thought had happened. I was so surprised that after about 10 minutes of this I actually broke flow for a moment and asked "Uh arent you going to chase Moia?". They all stared at me in shock. They had completely forgotten about the enemy THEY JUST DEFEATED. Made even better because they are usually very astute and pay close attention to these things. Needless to say Moia had evaded them and now instead of a dead flunky she is now nursing one hell of a grudge against the party and will make some grand comeback.

And hey, who knows? Maybe they'll kill her this time 
There was a vampire girl who was fighting the party in anabandoned town. Three of them were inside the building with her and one was outside on guard duty when the fight happened. She was wounded eventually and fled outside, where the other party member decided to try and grapple her. She was able to not only overcome him, but teleport them both away in an attempt to escape. A thousand feet straight up in the air. Then she turned into smoke and flew away. Surprisingly, the player survived, but only after some tricky flight work from another party member. Which, incidentally, stranded them both on top of a mountain for three sessions. Fun times!
My PCs were exploring an abandoned dwarven market located in Stonefang Pass. Behind ever storefront was a storage room, and some of those storage rooms held hidden/illusory doors to the area where the good stuff was kept. In the corner of an otherwise nondescript and ransacked storage room, the PCs found a pile of orc weapons and armor, along with what appeared to be a smashed ladder. They investigated the celing and discovered a hidden trap door, which led to a vertical shaft, a chimney of sorts that was lined with shelves stocked with all sorts of fabulous items. One of them activated his boots of levitation, lit a torch, and floated right up into the shaft, ogling the loot. When he looked directly above him, he saw a beautiful glistening orb descending slowly toward him. Mistaking it for a magic item, he reached up to grab it...and was himself grabbed. At the top of the shaft lived a giant, bloated bola spider that used its silk like fishing line, grabbing anyone that opened the trap door, reeling them up, and cocooning them for a later meal. It was the kind of enemy that the PCs would have had little trouble with on level ground, but the narrow chimney caused them all kinds of problems. Plus, the idea of being reeled up into the darkness toward a ravenous arachnid horror really freaked them out. 
Krung the Barbarian. He was an epic level chaotic good barbarian, though the players were only level 13. He isn't a bad guy, per say, just destructive. For instance, the players were assulting an airship full of enemies. They killed everyone on the ground and were ready to take the interior. Krung had the same thought, unfortunatly, and went into a rage. He crashed into the ship, heading for the engine room. Most of the players thought it would be smart to follow. One stayed behind. They climbed to the top of the ship and worked down several levels. Long story short, the ship starts shaking violently and they attempt to escape. Well, they don't. At the last second, one of them planar shifts the party away from the exploding ship, stranding them on the Abyss (and later, the astral plane thanks to a portable hole/bag of holding mishap). The player that stayed behind saw Krung burst out of the ship, picked himself off the ground and walk up to him. Krung's only explanation for the whole ordeal was "I pulled the wrong lever"
Story about us destroying the Book of Vile Darkness



You forgot how Rhogar was eaten by the same behir in two different encounters, and how he rolled a 2 on his will save and just jumped straight into the well at the beginning of the fight.
My Fav Big Bad is the dude my pplaeyrs have yet to meet Tongue Out. Thats all I can say and some of they guys might be reading this......

But he is cool, he is bad, and quit particularly evil.

I like him, the sort of villain you think you know where you stand with him.