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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    I was only half joking with the secret DM covention, earlier.

    We have a common pantheon, which is fine. I have noticed reference to the gods all around the board and they are consistent from adventure to adventure because our gods are pretty much ripped off from the greek/roman pantheon and that's part of most posters cultural heritage in some way.

    We need the same thing for the major forces of Evil (note the capital E).
    We have existing forces of evil. The gods. The idea behind the L4W gods is that they are not constrained by alignment, and are both and neither good/evil. Introducing capital 'E' Evil forces, suggests that the gods are good, and they are not. I would hate to see the views of the gods altered this way, because it's one of the things that makes L4W unique. So whenever possible I feel we should tie planes, immortals, etc. to the gods, rather than to some other 'E'vil power.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    And we need some kind of log where DMs contribute a three line summary of the setback and victories that the PCs have inflicted them.
    Good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    I suggest at least (but not much more than) the following.

    We need one Devil Lord and one Demon Lord. I strongly suggest dispensing with the numerous demon prince and lord of hell, let's focus on a stong archetype of what devils and demons represents.
    This isn't a bad idea. We need to decide where these powers (if they are not gods) stand in relation to the gods, however. Again, I'm againstmaking them wholly adversarial.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    We need one fallen power, cast out in immemorial time and of universe ending power, trying to take vengeance on creation if he can break away from his prison.
    Can this be a Saturn/Cronus corollary?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    We need a force of the underdark, marshaling the beholders, drow, duergar and so on.
    Why? Evil creatures like those mentions are notorious for being fractious and xenophobic. Why do they need to be unified at all?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    We need one invincible conqueror threatening all free people (I'd suggest an ancient dragon).
    Maros? I invite you to read the Dragon Magazine #172 article on Bane, and see how much of his attitude you can mine for this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    We may also need a threat from the sea and the planes.
    I think that the primary adversity could easily come from the conflicts between the gods. I haven't seen much of that conflict, and I'd like to see more of it. Traditionally, the god of the sea also presided over most natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, tidal waves, maybe even storms). And I think Hecate as a veiled and mysterious force makes a good addition.

    All in all, I like Cronus as the Adversary, or perhaps the titans altogether, but an alien, unconnected one might work, though I feel it undermines the basic concepts of the L4W pantheon.
    Andrec

    Last Updated: 05:28 am PST, 01-15-10
    Human Warlord (Bravura) Character Sheet
    Initiative: +6 P Perception: 12 P Insight: 12
    HP: 32/32(Not Bloodied) Surgevalue: 8 Surges/Day: 7/7
    AC: 19 Fort: 17 Ref: 15 Will: 14
    +1 AC while not bloodied.

    Action Points: 1
    Speed: 6
    BasicAttack: - “Sword” +9 vs. AC; 1d8+5 damage
    BasicRangedAttack: - “Javelin” +7 vs. AC; 1d6+4 damage (Range 5/10)
    powers
    Commander's Strike
    Opening Shove
    Brash Assault

    Inspiring Word (2)
    Aid the Injured
    Diabolic Stratagem
    Inspiring War Cry
    Battle Awareness
    Concentrated Attack



    Minharath

    Last Updated: 03:19 pm PST, 02-03-10
    Kalashtar Cleric (Juna) Character Sheet
    Initiative: +0 P Perception: 15 P Insight: 22
    HP: 25/25(Not Bloodied) Surgevalue: 6 Surges/Day: 8/8
    AC: 16 Fort: 11 Ref: 10 Will: 17

    Action Points: 0
    Speed: 5
    BasicAttack: - None
    powers
    Astral Seal
    Sacred Flame
    Bastion of Mental Clarity
    Healer's Mercy (Channel Divinity)
    Healing Word (2)
    Bane
    Beacon of Hope


 

  • #52
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    ř Ignore Mal Malenkirk
    Another concern is to have most of the classic evil groups/races tied to at least one (but ideally to just one or two) of the Archetypical Evil. Don't get me wrong, not ALL of X type of monsters are supposed to answer to a single big shot, but there should be very few big shots clearly identified as controlling a large group of these particular fiends. Kind of like gods and domains. You don't have six gods with the war domain and you shouldn't have four Evil Forces commanding a large number of dragons either.

    The idea is again to improve continuity between DMs. That way, things becomes more consistant. Let's say you are facing the evil plans of [Evil Force of the Underdark] who is known for [Cruelty, deceit and cowardice, his ambition is to ultimately conquer Daunton] and employs mostly [Drows, Beholders, Duergars etc.] If all DM sticks to this basic premise, then a player could face the same foe under different DMs and still feel this is the same world. Better yet, if a Wiki log is kept of who fought against which forces, a DM could easily drop that in his adventure.

  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomalak View Post
    We have existing forces of evil. The gods. The idea behind the L4W gods is that they are not constrained by alignment, and are both and neither good/evil. Introducing capital 'E' Evil forces, suggests that the gods are good, and they are not. I would hate to see the views of the gods altered this way, because it's one of the things that makes L4W unique. So whenever possible I feel we should tie planes, immortals, etc. to the gods, rather than to some other 'E'vil power.
    I disagree. Only if the gods directly oppose them do they appear good. I haven't read that suggestion. In fact they still only appear more sort of good by comparison. Comic books are filled with this situation. Bad people fight other bad people all the time. That doesn't make them good. They are often regarded as grey heroes at best.

    Even in traditional 4th devils fight demons. Devils are not generally considered good.

    I could easily see some of our gods working with some of the beings/forces mentioned.

    I believe it was already suggested that the gods view the adversary as a necessary force of the universe. Gods may also not be directly fighting evil because they are petty, or egotistical, or busy with other affairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk
    We need a force of the underdark, marshaling the beholders, drow, duergar and so on.
    Why? Evil creatures like those mentions are notorious for being fractious and xenophobic. Why do they need to be unified at all?
    This question sprang to my mind as well. Though I don't think its problematic to have a being attempting. It just doesn't seem like a really well needed thing.
    Current Work: http://stuffershack.com/tag/brian-liberge/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomalak View Post
    We have existing forces of evil. The gods. The idea behind the L4W gods is that they are not constrained by alignment, and are both and neither good/evil. Introducing capital 'E' Evil forces, suggests that the gods are good, and they are not. I would hate to see the views of the gods altered this way, because it's one of the things that makes L4W unique. So whenever possible I feel we should tie planes, immortals, etc. to the gods, rather than to some other 'E'vil power.
    The capital 'E' evil forces suggest nothing about the gods.

    The gods have been established as distant. They don't intervene. Well, there is nothing distant about marshalling a host of dragons and giants to invade Daunton (The invincible conqueror Evil archetype, for example).

    That's the problem with distant gods in a high fantasy setting. The gods don't want to play an active role, using avatars and powerful lieutenants to shape the world's destiny? Fine. It's all good. But someone will.

    And want that someone is an evil bastard, heroes step up to stop him. Then you got a high fantasy story.

    DMs need epic evil for their heroes to battle. If the gods won't play this role, then they step out of the way and leave room for vicious demon lords, ancient dragon conqueror and forgotten deity of the underworld clawing its way back to the sun.

    That's what I am talking about. That's already what several DMs have been doing. It's a done deal, it's happening right now. I just want some coordination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    Another concern is to have most of the classic evil groups/races tied to at least one (but ideally to just one or two) of the Archetypical Evil. Don't get me wrong, not ALL of X type of monsters are supposed to answer to a single big shot, but there should be very few big shots clearly identified as controlling a large group of these particular fiends. Kind of like gods and domains. You don't have six gods with the war domain and you shouldn't have four Evil Forces commanding a large number of dragons either.

    The idea is again to improve continuity between DMs. That way, things becomes more consistant. Let's say you are facing the evil plans of [Evil Force of the Underdark] who is known for [Cruelty, deceit and cowardice, his ambition is to ultimately conquer Daunton] and employs mostly [Drows, Beholders, Duergars etc.] If all DM sticks to this basic premise, then a player could face the same foe under different DMs and still feel this is the same world. Better yet, if a Wiki log is kept of who fought against which forces, a DM could easily drop that in his adventure.
    I love consistency and I definantly think we should track which bad guys are know to have what kind of minions. However, I don't see any reason why 4 really bad guys can't command a large number of dragons. I'm not suggesting this as cannon, but there's bound to be overlap, and in a living world especially, I don't see this as a problem.

    Oddly, I wouldn't see having six war gods as an issue either.

    The capital 'E' evil forces suggest nothing about the gods.

    The gods have been established as distant. They don't intervene. Well, there is nothing distant about marshalling a host of dragons and giants to invade Daunton (The invincible conqueror Evil archetype, for example).

    That's the problem with distant gods in a high fantasy setting. The gods don't want to play an active role, using avatars and powerful lieutenants to shape the world's destiny? Fine. It's all good. But someone will.

    And want that someone is an evil bastard, heroes step up to stop him. Then you got a high fantasy story.

    DMs need epic evil for their heroes to battle. If the gods won't play this role, then they step out of the way and leave room for vicious demon lords, ancient dragon conqueror and forgotten deity of the underworld clawing its way back to the sun.

    That's what I am talking about. That's already what several DMs have been doing. It's a done deal, it's happening right now. I just want some coordination.
    Yup.
    Current Work: http://stuffershack.com/tag/brian-liberge/

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    Another concern is to have most of the classic evil groups/races tied to at least one (but ideally to just one or two) of the Archetypical Evil. Don't get me wrong, not ALL of X type of monsters are supposed to answer to a single big shot, but there should be very few big shots clearly identified as controlling a large group of these particular fiends. Kind of like gods and domains. You don't have six gods with the war domain and you shouldn't have four Evil Forces commanding a large number of dragons either.

    The idea is again to improve continuity between DMs. That way, things becomes more consistant. Let's say you are facing the evil plans of [Evil Force of the Underdark] who is known for [Cruelty, deceit and cowardice, his ambition is to ultimately conquer Daunton] and employs mostly [Drows, Beholders, Duergars etc.] If all DM sticks to this basic premise, then a player could face the same foe under different DMs and still feel this is the same world. Better yet, if a Wiki log is kept of who fought against which forces, a DM could easily drop that in his adventure.
    I agree with the idea of a log, detailing who has foughtwhom. It would also be convenient if foiled or publicly known plots are recorded here as well. And adventures currently involving these entities, so as to prevent continuity conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    The capital 'E' evil forces suggest nothing about the gods.

    The gods have been established as distant. They don't intervene. Well, there is nothing distant about marshalling a host of dragons and giants to invade Daunton (The invincible conqueror Evil archetype, for example).

    That's the problem with distant gods in a high fantasy setting. The gods don't want to play an active role, using avatars and powerful lieutenants to shape the world's destiny? Fine. It's all good. But someone will.

    And want that someone is an evil bastard, heroes step up to stop him. Then you got a high fantasy story.

    DMs need epic evil for their heroes to battle. If the gods won't play this role, then they step out of the way and leave room for vicious demon lords, ancient dragon conqueror and forgotten deity of the underworld clawing its way back to the sun.

    That's what I am talking about. That's already what several DMs have been doing. It's a done deal, it's happening right now. I just want some coordination.
    So the gods are distant, but the 'E'vils forces aren't? That makes sense, I can go with that.
    Andrec

    Last Updated: 05:28 am PST, 01-15-10
    Human Warlord (Bravura) Character Sheet
    Initiative: +6 P Perception: 12 P Insight: 12
    HP: 32/32(Not Bloodied) Surgevalue: 8 Surges/Day: 7/7
    AC: 19 Fort: 17 Ref: 15 Will: 14
    +1 AC while not bloodied.

    Action Points: 1
    Speed: 6
    BasicAttack: - “Sword” +9 vs. AC; 1d8+5 damage
    BasicRangedAttack: - “Javelin” +7 vs. AC; 1d6+4 damage (Range 5/10)
    powers
    Commander's Strike
    Opening Shove
    Brash Assault

    Inspiring Word (2)
    Aid the Injured
    Diabolic Stratagem
    Inspiring War Cry
    Battle Awareness
    Concentrated Attack



    Minharath

    Last Updated: 03:19 pm PST, 02-03-10
    Kalashtar Cleric (Juna) Character Sheet
    Initiative: +0 P Perception: 15 P Insight: 22
    HP: 25/25(Not Bloodied) Surgevalue: 6 Surges/Day: 8/8
    AC: 16 Fort: 11 Ref: 10 Will: 17

    Action Points: 0
    Speed: 5
    BasicAttack: - None
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    Astral Seal
    Sacred Flame
    Bastion of Mental Clarity
    Healer's Mercy (Channel Divinity)
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    Bane
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  • #57
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    Yah! Distant gods leaving the world of mortals alone while they do whatever it is gods do (party like Rockstars in Olympus ) while other powerful forces work their dark plots on the Material Plane.

  • #58
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    ř Ignore Mal Malenkirk
    Here are some suggestions for major evil forces.

    The way I see it, other people make suggestions, we debate for a while and eventually a vote will have to be taken.

    I wanted to add an 'invincible conqueror' but I have to watch V and Lost tonight so that's it for this evening.

    Spoiler:

    The Usurper

    He was the eldest and most powerful of the gods. Or is it of the titans? Maybe he is Ouranos or Chaos himself. It all happened so long ago that no one knows but the gods and they aren’t talking. It is believed that several aeons ago, the Usurper attempted to overthrow the Powers of the day. The few who know of the Usurper assume it occurred early in the gods ascension to power, others think it was a war between primordials (Titans).

    The attempt sparked a war that would have killed every mortal had there been any. It ended with the utter destruction and scattering of the essence of the would-be ruler of everything. But you can’t truly kill a being as powerful as the Usurper. Its essence roams creation and gathers in pockets. Sometime in creates a pocket in the astral plane, stores itself in a powerful artefact or even in the soul of a mortal with the right disposition. Some of these pocket of essence have regained various degrees of sentience and awareness of other pockets. The Usurper wants to become whole again. But by now it no longer craves power; it has gone utterly insane. It wants the end of all thing. A true end. No more cycles.

    Truth: I don’t even know who could possibly know that, but the truth is that the war against the Usurper did destroy the universe. It basically rebooted it. It occurred before the gods, the titans, before chaos itself. The essence of all immortal beings scattered and reformed in haphazard way in the new universe, very slowly and erratically. Still, many gods have a kind of primal memory of the incident and this is a large part of their anti-interventionist stance.

    Stats: None. If it reforms, the world ends. It was a different universe, back when it was first defeated. Power was more thickly concentrated. In this new universe, too much essence is scattered over billions of mortal creature. They’d never be able to unite in time to contribute any kind of resistance.
    Ultimate Goal: Destroy creation.

    Ploy:
    -Reform at all cost
    -Cause gods to go mad and then trigger a genocidal war. Failing that, doing the same to any lesser power or even powerful mortal is good too.
    -Spread nihilism.

    Theme:

    Madness: Eons of being barely sentient made him stark raving mad. It still has some of its former trappings of ambition and rulership, but this is just to seduce the more craven of his followers, those who expect riches and powers once he is back in power. None who truly have its favour expect anything else than sweet oblivion from his return.

    Nameless: The Usurper has no name anymore. It has been destroyed along with the previous universe and it has forgotten it. It doesn’t even have a name for itself, for that matter. The ‘Usurper’ moniker seeped from the gods’ primal memories. It is how they think of this thing.

    Nihilism: Those of his followers who are coherent enough to express thoughts are thoroughly nihilist. Check it on Webster if you have to.
    Flaw: Just about every sentient force fighting under the usurper’s banner is calling for oblivion. They want to die, basically! They should be outright suicidal in their tactics and schemes, often wasting resources that could have lived to fight another day.

    Forces: Nihilists cultists of all breed. Lots of them should be Shadar-Kai. Anything with a shadowfell origin or the ‘shadow’ keyword is good. In fact, he should be the primary source of such monsters. Anything tainted with shadow and madness also fits, like Death Giants. Many undead work too, but stay away from free-willed undead who aren’t seeking oblivion (Vampires, for examples).

    Asmodeus, The Prince

    Everyone knows Asmodeus. That’s what is great about him; I don’t have to make a long description! He is the unquestioned ruler of the devils. Cunning, powerful, ambitious, patient. You know the deal.

    Stats: None. He can be thwarted, he shouldn’t be killable.
    Ultimate goal: He wants to become a god.
    Ploys:
    -Amass enough worshipers to be a god by default.
    -Coerce the gods into granting him godhood.
    -Corrupting divine aligned forces to his service.

    Theme:

    Disciplined: I recommend emphasizing the devils ability to work together. Sure, we can’t turn our back entirely on classic tales of backstabbing politics in hell, but there are plenty of evil forces who are their own worst enemies. I advise straying away from outright self-destructive backstabbing. A disciplined, motivated host of devils working together of their greater good is much scarier. Most devils should be portrayed as fairly respectful and obedient to Asmodeus and willing to work with each other to the point where seeing devils turning on each other is a twist in the story and not something you would expect going in.

    Calculating: Good tactics and backup plans should be integral to any adventure against devils. They don’t throw resources away.
    Machiavellian: They don’t just conquer. Remember that they are political creature capable of generating loyalty through the savant dosage of cruelty and generosity. Turning an ally of the PC against them is a good way of demonstrating that.

    Ambitious: When they show up, always make sure that Asmodeus’ troops are involved in a credible and efficient ploy to amass more power. If they are not doing that, they’ll feel like token monsters for the encounter. They are not roaming vagabonds!

    Leadership: Every adventure against Asmodeus Troops should feature prominently a charismatic and rational leader. Every villains should have flaws, but being indecisive or unable to obtain the loyalty of his troops shouldn’t be attached to one of Asmodeus’ henchman.
    Flaw: Pride and overconfidence.

    Forces: Devils. Lots of devils. Corrupted angels (Asmodeus loves them, it’s a bit of a signature). Various humanoid worshippers (Almost exclusively from very civilized races.) The odd powerful sentient worshiper like a dragon, (I recommend using a very limited number of these; make them unique and memorable, they aren’t the norm)

    Moloch

    Moloch is the most powerful and cunning fiend in the abyss. He has coerced the loyalty of more demons than any other and plays the other lord one against the other to stay on top. He dreams of conquering and laying waste to creation, using it as a perpetual playground for his debauchery. Trouble is, he spend as much time quelling rebellions and bringing to heel ‘lesser’ demons lord who are barely weaker than he is.

    Stats: Unlike Asmodeus, he should be killable. Solo level 32 or so. After all, his death would be an occasion to come up with a new kingpin of the demons, that’s all.
    Theme:

    Hedonistic sadism: Moloch wants to have fun. Power is only a means to an end, not an end. It brings him the freedom to do what he wants to do. And what he wants to is inflict suffering. The more powerful and pure the victim, the better. In absence of a quality prey, millions of mortals screaming in agony are a fine substitute. DMs do have a responsibility not to alienate players but having Moloch’s fiends as enemies should also be an opportunity to push the envelope. It’s kind of a DM version of the Aristocrat joke. There is no avoiding this; this is a foe that revels in massacre, in rapes, in torture, in torment.

    Divide to conquer: To maintain power, Moloch has to create conflicts between the others powerful demons, both his underlings and those he doesn’t command. That doesn’t make him nearly as Machiavellian as Asmodeus; demons aren’t that hard to goad. But it does make it very likely that an adventure involving demons also involves inter-villains squabble or outright war. If there are two demons with authority in the adventure, they shouldn’t like each other.

    Rivals to supremacy: There are other demons lords. Feel free to introduce another powerful demon at odds with Moloch. Just remember that Moloch is more powerful and is actively trying to bring him down. Like, right now. It should inform every action that lesser demon lord is taking.
    Berseker: Moloch himself is more about the sadism, but many of his fiends are all about the savagery of combat. They should behave accordingly.

    Flaws: Did I mention berseker? Most demons shouldn’t be too tactical. Those who are shouldn’t be too brave.

    Ultimate Goal: Fun. Acquiring a large and heavily populated tract of land along with a few powerful beings would make him happy for a few generations.

    Forces: Demons. Lots of Demons. Debased creature of elemental origins (Titans, Djinns, archons...) Savage humanoids (Gnolls and orcs in particular), sadistic cultist, serial killers and rapists worshipping him etc.

    Queen Akneth of House Viegar

    A very powerful and old drow matron. She is the most powerful figure in the underdark. She rules over the city of Yenethrocal. There is no pretense that she can rule every nook and crannies of the underworld, but she rules her city with an iron fist, having managed to eliminate every rival a century ago. Her city has forced the allegiance of five lesser drow cities as well as a number of other races. She has countless war slaves and beasts at her disposal and an ever increasing need of resources to maintain her standing army. She has built it beyond the ability to easily maintain. She could have been raiding the surface for almost a century with impunity she held off and built her strength. It cost her politically but now she is almost ready. She is deep in the intelligence gathering phase and soon plans of conquest will be drawn.
    Stats: Elite in the mid epic levels.

    Theme:

    Fanaticism: She believes. This is the mission Lolth gave her in a dream when she was a little girl, half a millennia ago. The exile must be avenged. Lolth will be acknowledged, the drow will be acknowledged! They will take their place into the sun! Most of the citizenship of Yenethrocal is on fire with these notions. The rest of the underworld empire... less so.
    Deceit and ambition: Drows. What can I say. Deceit and misdirection are their stock in trade. Unluckily, so is ambition and many turn these ‘virtues’ on each other. The Queen herself is secure at this time, but few of her underlings are.

    Skillful: Drows are skilful warriors. Use fewer drow troops of higher level and have them use sound tactics. In so far as possible, start with an ambush.

    Callous: While drow lives are precious, their slaves’ are not. The ‘sound tactics’ of the drows should readily involve the sacrifice of the non-drows.

    Matriarchy: While few drows are potential Drizzts, few males have reasons to be ecstatic about their position in the Drow society.

    Flaws: Beside their natural chaotic tendencies, the ratio of slave to drow is just too high. History teaches us a thing or two about that kind of situation.

    Forces: Drows, Duergar, troglodytes, delvers, Umber Hulks... Well, you know, anything underground. Throw in some breed of dragons for fun. Summoned demons, too.

  • #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    Here are some suggestions for major evil forces.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Usurper
    Spoiler:

    He was the eldest and most powerful of the gods. Or is it of the titans? Maybe he is Ouranos or Chaos himself. It all happened so long ago that no one knows but the gods and they aren’t talking. It is believed that several aeons ago, the Usurper attempted to overthrow the Powers of the day. The few who know of the Usurper assume it occurred early in the gods ascension to power, others think it was a war between primordials (Titans).

    The attempt sparked a war that would have killed every mortal had there been any. It ended with the utter destruction and scattering of the essence of the would-be ruler of everything. But you can’t truly kill a being as powerful as the Usurper. Its essence roams creation and gathers in pockets. Sometime in creates a pocket in the astral plane, stores itself in a powerful artefact or even in the soul of a mortal with the right disposition. Some of these pocket of essence have regained various degrees of sentience and awareness of other pockets. The Usurper wants to become whole again. But by now it no longer craves power; it has gone utterly insane. It wants the end of all thing. A true end. No more cycles.

    Truth: I don’t even know who could possibly know that, but the truth is that the war against the Usurper did destroy the universe. It basically rebooted it. It occurred before the gods, the titans, before chaos itself. The essence of all immortal beings scattered and reformed in haphazard way in the new universe, very slowly and erratically. Still, many gods have a kind of primal memory of the incident and this is a large part of their anti-interventionist stance.

    Stats: None. If it reforms, the world ends. It was a different universe, back when it was first defeated. Power was more thickly concentrated. In this new universe, too much essence is scattered over billions of mortal creature. They’d never be able to unite in time to contribute any kind of resistance.
    Ultimate Goal: Destroy creation.

    Ploy:
    -Reform at all cost
    -Cause gods to go mad and then trigger a genocidal war. Failing that, doing the same to any lesser power or even powerful mortal is good too.
    -Spread nihilism.

    Theme:

    Madness: Eons of being barely sentient made him stark raving mad. It still has some of its former trappings of ambition and rulership, but this is just to seduce the more craven of his followers, those who expect riches and powers once he is back in power. None who truly have its favour expect anything else than sweet oblivion from his return.

    Nameless: The Usurper has no name anymore. It has been destroyed along with the previous universe and it has forgotten it. It doesn’t even have a name for itself, for that matter. The ‘Usurper’ moniker seeped from the gods’ primal memories. It is how they think of this thing.

    Nihilism: Those of his followers who are coherent enough to express thoughts are thoroughly nihilist. Check it on Webster if you have to.
    Flaw: Just about every sentient force fighting under the usurper’s banner is calling for oblivion. They want to die, basically! They should be outright suicidal in their tactics and schemes, often wasting resources that could have lived to fight another day.

    Forces: Nihilists cultists of all breed. Lots of them should be Shadar-Kai. Anything with a shadowfell origin or the ‘shadow’ keyword is good. In fact, he should be the primary source of such monsters. Anything tainted with shadow and madness also fits, like Death Giants. Many undead work too, but stay away from free-willed undead who aren’t seeking oblivion (Vampires, for examples).
    YES


    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus, The Prince
    Spoiler:

    Everyone knows Asmodeus. That’s what is great about him; I don’t have to make a long description! He is the unquestioned ruler of the devils. Cunning, powerful, ambitious, patient. You know the deal.

    Stats: None. He can be thwarted, he shouldn’t be killable.
    Ultimate goal: He wants to become a god.
    Ploys:
    -Amass enough worshipers to be a god by default.
    -Coerce the gods into granting him godhood.
    -Corrupting divine aligned forces to his service.

    Theme:

    Disciplined: I recommend emphasizing the devils ability to work together. Sure, we can’t turn our back entirely on classic tales of backstabbing politics in hell, but there are plenty of evil forces who are their own worst enemies. I advise straying away from outright self-destructive backstabbing. A disciplined, motivated host of devils working together of their greater good is much scarier. Most devils should be portrayed as fairly respectful and obedient to Asmodeus and willing to work with each other to the point where seeing devils turning on each other is a twist in the story and not something you would expect going in.

    Calculating: Good tactics and backup plans should be integral to any adventure against devils. They don’t throw resources away.
    Machiavellian: They don’t just conquer. Remember that they are political creature capable of generating loyalty through the savant dosage of cruelty and generosity. Turning an ally of the PC against them is a good way of demonstrating that.

    Ambitious: When they show up, always make sure that Asmodeus’ troops are involved in a credible and efficient ploy to amass more power. If they are not doing that, they’ll feel like token monsters for the encounter. They are not roaming vagabonds!

    Leadership: Every adventure against Asmodeus Troops should feature prominently a charismatic and rational leader. Every villains should have flaws, but being indecisive or unable to obtain the loyalty of his troops shouldn’t be attached to one of Asmodeus’ henchman.
    Flaw: Pride and overconfidence.

    Forces: Devils. Lots of devils. Corrupted angels (Asmodeus loves them, it’s a bit of a signature). Various humanoid worshippers (Almost exclusively from very civilized races.) The odd powerful sentient worshiper like a dragon, (I recommend using a very limited number of these; make them unique and memorable, they aren’t the norm)

    YES

    Quote Originally Posted by Moloch
    Spoiler:

    Moloch is the most powerful and cunning fiend in the abyss. He has coerced the loyalty of more demons than any other and plays the other lord one against the other to stay on top. He dreams of conquering and laying waste to creation, using it as a perpetual playground for his debauchery. Trouble is, he spend as much time quelling rebellions and bringing to heel ‘lesser’ demons lord who are barely weaker than he is.

    Stats: Unlike Asmodeus, he should be killable. Solo level 32 or so. After all, his death would be an occasion to come up with a new kingpin of the demons, that’s all.
    Theme:

    Hedonistic sadism: Moloch wants to have fun. Power is only a means to an end, not an end. It brings him the freedom to do what he wants to do. And what he wants to is inflict suffering. The more powerful and pure the victim, the better. In absence of a quality prey, millions of mortals screaming in agony are a fine substitute. DMs do have a responsibility not to alienate players but having Moloch’s fiends as enemies should also be an opportunity to push the envelope. It’s kind of a DM version of the Aristocrat joke. There is no avoiding this; this is a foe that revels in massacre, in rapes, in torture, in torment.

    Divide to conquer: To maintain power, Moloch has to create conflicts between the others powerful demons, both his underlings and those he doesn’t command. That doesn’t make him nearly as Machiavellian as Asmodeus; demons aren’t that hard to goad. But it does make it very likely that an adventure involving demons also involves inter-villains squabble or outright war. If there are two demons with authority in the adventure, they shouldn’t like each other.

    Rivals to supremacy: There are other demons lords. Feel free to introduce another powerful demon at odds with Moloch. Just remember that Moloch is more powerful and is actively trying to bring him down. Like, right now. It should inform every action that lesser demon lord is taking.
    Berseker: Moloch himself is more about the sadism, but many of his fiends are all about the savagery of combat. They should behave accordingly.

    Flaws: Did I mention berseker? Most demons shouldn’t be too tactical. Those who are shouldn’t be too brave.

    Ultimate Goal: Fun. Acquiring a large and heavily populated tract of land along with a few powerful beings would make him happy for a few generations.

    Forces: Demons. Lots of Demons. Debased creature of elemental origins (Titans, Djinns, archons...) Savage humanoids (Gnolls and orcs in particular), sadistic cultist, serial killers and rapists worshipping him etc.
    YES, but with the caveat that DMs should keep the board rules in mind. Not everyone here is over 18.

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Akneth of House Viegar
    Spoiler:

    A very powerful and old drow matron. She is the most powerful figure in the underdark. She rules over the city of Yenethrocal. There is no pretense that she can rule every nook and crannies of the underworld, but she rules her city with an iron fist, having managed to eliminate every rival a century ago. Her city has forced the allegiance of five lesser drow cities as well as a number of other races. She has countless war slaves and beasts at her disposal and an ever increasing need of resources to maintain her standing army. She has built it beyond the ability to easily maintain. She could have been raiding the surface for almost a century with impunity she held off and built her strength. It cost her politically but now she is almost ready. She is deep in the intelligence gathering phase and soon plans of conquest will be drawn.
    Stats: Elite in the mid epic levels.

    Theme:

    Fanaticism: She believes. This is the mission Lolth gave her in a dream when she was a little girl, half a millennia ago. The exile must be avenged. Lolth will be acknowledged, the drow will be acknowledged! They will take their place into the sun! Most of the citizenship of Yenethrocal is on fire with these notions. The rest of the underworld empire... less so.
    Deceit and ambition: Drows. What can I say. Deceit and misdirection are their stock in trade. Unluckily, so is ambition and many turn these ‘virtues’ on each other. The Queen herself is secure at this time, but few of her underlings are.

    Skillful: Drows are skilful warriors. Use fewer drow troops of higher level and have them use sound tactics. In so far as possible, start with an ambush.

    Callous: While drow lives are precious, their slaves’ are not. The ‘sound tactics’ of the drows should readily involve the sacrifice of the non-drows.

    Matriarchy: While few drows are potential Drizzts, few males have reasons to be ecstatic about their position in the Drow society.

    Flaws: Beside their natural chaotic tendencies, the ratio of slave to drow is just too high. History teaches us a thing or two about that kind of situation.

    Forces: Drows, Duergar, troglodytes, delvers, Umber Hulks... Well, you know, anything underground. Throw in some breed of dragons for fun. Summoned demons, too.
    Hmm. We don't have Lolth in this setting, as such. I know there was talk at one point of an evil spider goddess, but I seem to recall some fairly strong opposition. Hecate might have come out of that discussion; not sure. If someone could find a pointer to it, that would be useful. I'm guessing it's in one of the earlier discussion threads.

    We don't know much about the Depthworld, L4W's take on the underdark. I don't think it's been featured yet in any games to my knowledge. (Feel free to correct me on this if you know otherwise.) There is at least one character, my Ikni, from the Depthworld, but there's no trace of Drow in her background.

    Which is not to say that there can't be a powerful Drow city getting ready to raid the surface there. The Depthworld is presumably a big place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Malenkirk View Post
    Here are some suggestions for major evil forces.

    The way I see it, other people make suggestions, we debate for a while and eventually a vote will have to be taken.
    That works for me.

    [U
    The Usurper[/U]]

    He was the eldest and most powerful of the gods. Or is it of the titans? Maybe he is Ouranos or Chaos himself. It all happened so long ago that no one knows but the gods and they aren’t talking. It is believed that several aeons ago, the Usurper attempted to overthrow the Powers of the day. The few who know of the Usurper assume it occurred early in the gods ascension to power, others think it was a war between primordials (Titans).

    The attempt sparked a war that would have killed every mortal had there been any. It ended with the utter destruction and scattering of the essence of the would-be ruler of everything. But you can’t truly kill a being as powerful as the Usurper. Its essence roams creation and gathers in pockets. Sometime in creates a pocket in the astral plane, stores itself in a powerful artefact or even in the soul of a mortal with the right disposition. Some of these pocket of essence have regained various degrees of sentience and awareness of other pockets. The Usurper wants to become whole again. But by now it no longer craves power; it has gone utterly insane. It wants the end of all thing. A true end. No more cycles.

    Truth: I don’t even know who could possibly know that, but the truth is that the war against the Usurper did destroy the universe. It basically rebooted it. It occurred before the gods, the titans, before chaos itself. The essence of all immortal beings scattered and reformed in haphazard way in the new universe, very slowly and erratically. Still, many gods have a kind of primal memory of the incident and this is a large part of their anti-interventionist stance.

    Stats: None. If it reforms, the world ends. It was a different universe, back when it was first defeated. Power was more thickly concentrated. In this new universe, too much essence is scattered over billions of mortal creature. They’d never be able to unite in time to contribute any kind of resistance.
    Ultimate Goal: Destroy creation.

    Ploy:
    -Reform at all cost
    -Cause gods to go mad and then trigger a genocidal war. Failing that, doing the same to any lesser power or even powerful mortal is good too.
    -Spread nihilism.

    Theme:

    Madness: Eons of being barely sentient made him stark raving mad. It still has some of its former trappings of ambition and rulership, but this is just to seduce the more craven of his followers, those who expect riches and powers once he is back in power. None who truly have its favour expect anything else than sweet oblivion from his return.

    Nameless: The Usurper has no name anymore. It has been destroyed along with the previous universe and it has forgotten it. It doesn’t even have a name for itself, for that matter. The ‘Usurper’ moniker seeped from the gods’ primal memories. It is how they think of this thing.

    Nihilism: Those of his followers who are coherent enough to express thoughts are thoroughly nihilist. Check it on Webster if you have to.
    Flaw: Just about every sentient force fighting under the usurper’s banner is calling for oblivion. They want to die, basically! They should be outright suicidal in their tactics and schemes, often wasting resources that could have lived to fight another day.

    Forces: Nihilists cultists of all breed. Lots of them should be Shadar-Kai. Anything with a shadowfell origin or the ‘shadow’ keyword is good. In fact, he should be the primary source of such monsters. Anything tainted with shadow and madness also fits, like Death Giants. Many undead work too, but stay away from free-willed undead who aren’t seeking oblivion (Vampires, for examples).


    Yes, I like this. Though it sounds allot like Kronos. Maybe it is Kronos?

    [U
    Asmodeus, The Prince[/U]]

    Everyone knows Asmodeus. That’s what is great about him; I don’t have to make a long description! He is the unquestioned ruler of the devils. Cunning, powerful, ambitious, patient. You know the deal.

    Stats: None. He can be thwarted, he shouldn’t be killable.
    Ultimate goal: He wants to become a god.
    Ploys:
    -Amass enough worshipers to be a god by default.
    -Coerce the gods into granting him godhood.
    -Corrupting divine aligned forces to his service.

    Theme:

    Disciplined: I recommend emphasizing the devils ability to work together. Sure, we can’t turn our back entirely on classic tales of backstabbing politics in hell, but there are plenty of evil forces who are their own worst enemies. I advise straying away from outright self-destructive backstabbing. A disciplined, motivated host of devils working together of their greater good is much scarier. Most devils should be portrayed as fairly respectful and obedient to Asmodeus and willing to work with each other to the point where seeing devils turning on each other is a twist in the story and not something you would expect going in.

    Calculating: Good tactics and backup plans should be integral to any adventure against devils. They don’t throw resources away.
    Machiavellian: They don’t just conquer. Remember that they are political creature capable of generating loyalty through the savant dosage of cruelty and generosity. Turning an ally of the PC against them is a good way of demonstrating that.

    Ambitious: When they show up, always make sure that Asmodeus’ troops are involved in a credible and efficient ploy to amass more power. If they are not doing that, they’ll feel like token monsters for the encounter. They are not roaming vagabonds!

    Leadership: Every adventure against Asmodeus Troops should feature prominently a charismatic and rational leader. Every villains should have flaws, but being indecisive or unable to obtain the loyalty of his troops shouldn’t be attached to one of Asmodeus’ henchman.
    Flaw: Pride and overconfidence.

    Forces: Devils. Lots of devils. Corrupted angels (Asmodeus loves them, it’s a bit of a signature). Various humanoid worshippers (Almost exclusively from very civilized races.) The odd powerful sentient worshiper like a dragon, (I recommend using a very limited number of these; make them unique and memorable, they aren’t the norm)


    Yes


    [U
    Moloch[/U]]

    Moloch is the most powerful and cunning fiend in the abyss. He has coerced the loyalty of more demons than any other and plays the other lord one against the other to stay on top. He dreams of conquering and laying waste to creation, using it as a perpetual playground for his debauchery. Trouble is, he spend as much time quelling rebellions and bringing to heel ‘lesser’ demons lord who are barely weaker than he is.

    Stats: Unlike Asmodeus, he should be killable. Solo level 32 or so. After all, his death would be an occasion to come up with a new kingpin of the demons, that’s all.
    Theme:

    Hedonistic sadism: Moloch wants to have fun. Power is only a means to an end, not an end. It brings him the freedom to do what he wants to do. And what he wants to is inflict suffering. The more powerful and pure the victim, the better. In absence of a quality prey, millions of mortals screaming in agony are a fine substitute. DMs do have a responsibility not to alienate players but having Moloch’s fiends as enemies should also be an opportunity to push the envelope. It’s kind of a DM version of the Aristocrat joke. There is no avoiding this; this is a foe that revels in massacre, in rapes, in torture, in torment.

    Divide to conquer: To maintain power, Moloch has to create conflicts between the others powerful demons, both his underlings and those he doesn’t command. That doesn’t make him nearly as Machiavellian as Asmodeus; demons aren’t that hard to goad. But it does make it very likely that an adventure involving demons also involves inter-villains squabble or outright war. If there are two demons with authority in the adventure, they shouldn’t like each other.

    Rivals to supremacy: There are other demons lords. Feel free to introduce another powerful demon at odds with Moloch. Just remember that Moloch is more powerful and is actively trying to bring him down. Like, right now. It should inform every action that lesser demon lord is taking.
    Berseker: Moloch himself is more about the sadism, but many of his fiends are all about the savagery of combat. They should behave accordingly.

    Flaws: Did I mention berseker? Most demons shouldn’t be too tactical. Those who are shouldn’t be too brave.

    Ultimate Goal: Fun. Acquiring a large and heavily populated tract of land along with a few powerful beings would make him happy for a few generations.

    Forces: Demons. Lots of Demons. Debased creature of elemental origins (Titans, Djinns, archons...) Savage humanoids (Gnolls and orcs in particular), sadistic cultist, serial killers and rapists worshipping him etc.


    Thoughts on Moloch
    Ok, so very different than the established D&D Moloch, who in turn is quite different to the Moloch of legend.

    We should probably decide what he looks like, since there seems to have been a number of versions. The most common image I found is basically a minotaur with wings. We could run with that, and add savage minotaurs to the list of common followers. Who doesn't love a good reason to use minotaurs anyway?


    [U
    Queen Akneth of House Viegar [/U]]

    A very powerful and old drow matron. She is the most powerful figure in the underdark. She rules over the city of Yenethrocal. There is no pretense that she can rule every nook and crannies of the underworld, but she rules her city with an iron fist, having managed to eliminate every rival a century ago. Her city has forced the allegiance of five lesser drow cities as well as a number of other races. She has countless war slaves and beasts at her disposal and an ever increasing need of resources to maintain her standing army. She has built it beyond the ability to easily maintain. She could have been raiding the surface for almost a century with impunity she held off and built her strength. It cost her politically but now she is almost ready. She is deep in the intelligence gathering phase and soon plans of conquest will be drawn.
    Stats: Elite in the mid epic levels.

    Theme:

    Fanaticism: She believes. This is the mission Lolth gave her in a dream when she was a little girl, half a millennia ago. The exile must be avenged. Lolth will be acknowledged, the drow will be acknowledged! They will take their place into the sun! Most of the citizenship of Yenethrocal is on fire with these notions. The rest of the underworld empire... less so.
    Deceit and ambition: Drows. What can I say. Deceit and misdirection are their stock in trade. Unluckily, so is ambition and many turn these ‘virtues’ on each other. The Queen herself is secure at this time, but few of her underlings are.

    Skillful: Drows are skilful warriors. Use fewer drow troops of higher level and have them use sound tactics. In so far as possible, start with an ambush.

    Callous: While drow lives are precious, their slaves’ are not. The ‘sound tactics’ of the drows should readily involve the sacrifice of the non-drows.

    Matriarchy: While few drows are potential Drizzts, few males have reasons to be ecstatic about their position in the Drow society.

    Flaws: Beside their natural chaotic tendencies, the ratio of slave to drow is just too high. History teaches us a thing or two about that kind of situation.

    Forces: Drows, Duergar, troglodytes, delvers, Umber Hulks... Well, you know, anything underground. Throw in some breed of dragons for fun. Summoned demons, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by covaithe View Post
    Hmm. We don't have Lolth in this setting, as such. I know there was talk at one point of an evil spider goddess, but I seem to recall some fairly strong opposition. Hecate might have come out of that discussion; not sure. If someone could find a pointer to it, that would be useful. I'm guessing it's in one of the earlier discussion threads.

    We don't know much about the Depthworld, L4W's take on the underdark. I don't think it's been featured yet in any games to my knowledge. (Feel free to correct me on this if you know otherwise.) There is at least one character, my Ikni, from the Depthworld, but there's no trace of Drow in her background.

    Which is not to say that there can't be a powerful Drow city getting ready to raid the surface there. The Depthworld is presumably a big place.
    thoughts
    lloth is IP of WotC.

    Aside from that I'm very meh about this. I don't it as a problem, I'm just not excited about it.


    We also have some a hand full of already established bug bads which we should probably keep using due to the fact that they are already established.

    Hecate/Hekates
    I assume they are the same person. Don't know much about him/her.

    Child of Lauto right? Spider Queen? *shrugs*


    Then there's that Zal guy you people keep mentioning.
    Current Work: http://stuffershack.com/tag/brian-liberge/

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