Outsmart Your Gamers With 3-Step Villain Plans

How will we outsmart our gamers? It’s all their brains towards ours. Certainly the percentages are towards us.

Nonetheless, right here’s a neat trick we are able to carry out to make our villains smarter and our adventures extra crafty.

We have a look at the doable plots and actions our poor villain would possibly take and group them into three buckets.

Every bucket types a significant step towards the villain’s victory.

Very often I’ll decide the buckets first, after which fill them with applicable evil actions. However generally I’ll brainstorm an inventory of actions and accomplishments after which pile and file them into three teams that make sense.

I name this method 3-Step Villain Plans. And I simply produced a tutorial for it within the Journey Constructing Grasp Sport Plan, which will probably be opening up once more early this 12 months.

This considering can also be much like 3 Spherical Fight plans. Summary to understand the entire image, then element specifics for the win.

Our purpose at this time is to determine three buckets that, when accomplished, will convey our great villain final victory.

3-Step Plans For the Win

Why would we do that?

Nicely, we get a number of wins:

  • It’s a easy AI we are able to set-up to assist us compete with our gamers’ massive brains
  • It makes our planning a complete lot simpler
  • It makes our prep sooner
  • It provides us improbable flexibility as a result of we’re considering in massive phrases, so minor setbacks by these pesky adventurers don’t defeat us
  • We’re preserving it easy so we are able to let the gamers make it difficult

And be aware that you may put as many sub-steps in our buckets as we like. We simply group them into three buckets or phases for the explanations above.

The three-Step Plan Method

To create a 3-Step Villain Plan take into consideration what main achievements the villain must impact complete victory.

They should [get this] to [do that] to in the end obtain [the thing].

We then fill every bucket or Step with duties for minions, evil deliverables, and diabolic components. It’s right here the place our 5 Room Dungeons and adventures happen!

So slightly than making an attempt to boil the ocean with a posh and detailed plan certain to fail contact with the characters, we as a substitute give attention to the main issues our good villain desires to perform together with any concepts on how which may occur.

Then we watch for gameplay and react to get together decisions.

Between classes, we replace our buckets with any new concepts and based mostly on what’s working and what’s not.

On this approach, we’ve a versatile, straightforward, but efficient path to villain victory.

Beneath are three buckets I typically construct for my 3-Step Villain Plans.

There’s nothing fancy right here.

It’s fairly easy.

But, I hope you see how this method leaves you with a fantastic sport plan that’s straightforward to prep and stays versatile as gameplay wends onward.

Step I: Basis

On this section, our variety villain gathers sources wanted for victory.

They could want specialist minions (assassins, spies, CEOs, and many others.), an elite unit of guards, a military, and so forth.

They could want particular components similar to all of the items of a magic merchandise, 47 dragon eggs, and the deed to a mine.

This stage additionally entails establishing key areas. Headquarters, secret ritual locations, ammunition dumps, or army staging areas.

The wonderful thing about our bucket methodology right here is we are able to add components in the course of the journey as we consider them.

For instance, if the gamers destroy the headquarters beneath development, the villain can react by beginning a brand new one, thus making your sport dynamic.

One other boon: the villain can undergo partial defeats by the hands of the participant characters and this doesn’t derail our journey.

“These jerks would possibly’ve stolen the dragon eggs, however I’ve nonetheless bought my military!”

Step II: Impending Doom

With Basis laid, our resourceful villain has what they should start the subsequent section of their evil plan.

This section can be run concurrently with useful resource gathering, for those who like. Strike whereas the iron is sizzling.

I name this bucket Impending Doom as a result of our beloved villain begins to wield the sources they’ve gathered.

This creates ripples, portents, and struggling.

These indicators alert the characters to one thing better afoot.

The get together may not even know there’s a villain in Step I. They have been busy coping with early machinations siloed by weak stage bosses.

Now they confront extra highly effective stage bosses who conduct raids, commit sabotage, and activate brokers who’ve infiltrated key organizations and governments.

To the gamers, it seems to be like many various fires that should be put out to save lots of the area.

Step III: Execute

We now enter the ultimate section.

Our pretty villain is able to pull the lever and win their best victory.

We should presume the gamers have stopped a number of evil plots by this level.

So the beleaguered villain’s determined. They could even be contemplating one final dangerous motion to win all of it.

Nonetheless, we nonetheless have a number of villainous sources we are able to convey to bear as specified by Basis or probably acquired throughout Impending Doom from agent missions.

We also needs to apply most stress on the get together at this level.

Family members and even whole communities get threatened. The water provide’s poisoned. The military besieges the final maintain of Good. The villain holds the ultimate piece of the magic merchandise. The ritual begins.

On this Step, the villain Executes their ultimate actions to attain win-state.

Can the PCs cease them and save the world?

Give It a Whirl

Open up Marketing campaign Logger or seize some pen and paper and take into consideration your villain.

Even when mid-campaign, we are able to create a 3-Step Plan to shine our journey and add readability on what opposes the participant characters and why.

If caught, strive my steps:

  1. Basis
  2. Impending Doom
  3. Execution

Fill every bucket with actions the villain and their minions can take to finish that Step. Then flip your favorite actions into 5 Room Dungeons to play out.

Replace your 3-Step Plan between classes as your GM Fog of Battle recedes additional with every get together victory or defeat.

Do this methodology out and let me know the way it goes!

For a couple of extra suggestions, try Fast Plot Design: How To Create A Villain Plan First Draft.


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