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General Comic Relief Villains

Gradine

Final Form
In my current game my PCs are students at Morgrave University, the leader of their rival guild is named Chad Crocker, a dumb jerk jock wizard who's super popular in campus. He named his guild "The Griffin's Fangs" (it took my players a session to get that one). At the conclusion of the last arc they basically car-jacked his fancy air skiff to chase the bad guys.
 

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I think an effective use for a Comic Villain is to, yes, have them be.te brunt of jokes, but twist the format by having them being FULLY CAPABLE of doing things.
Like having an annoying Drow Assassin show up at the worst times and completely full of himself. Yes he suffers the brunt of jokes, but in the actual legit boss fight against him, he's actually quite good at fighting!
 

J-H

Explorer
The (video game) one that this thread makes me think of as Kefka. A ridiculous, absurd jester who makes stupid jokes... and who is also vindictive and crazy enough to poison an entire city/castle with civilians inside, murder an honorable comrade, commit mass murder to gain magic for the emperor, and then betray the emperor and literally destroy the world as we know it.... and then he sits up on his tower and plays with his death ray for fun.
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
For me comedy is only inconsistent with heroic fantasy when comedy logic takes over the storytelling. I like lots of the characters being fairly ridiculous as long as the ridiculousness doesn't start determining the course of events. A villain can be pretty goofy without actually effecting the narrative based on their ridiculousness.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
Herr Starr from Preacher both the comic and the TV series, would be an example of a really despicable villain who still manages to be comic relief.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I think an effective use for a Comic Villain is to, yes, have them be.te brunt of jokes, but twist the format by having them being FULLY CAPABLE of doing things.
“You must never imagine, that just because something is funny, it is not also dangerous.”
― Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

There's something oddly sinister about this trope. I dig it. Cracking wise while doing actually evil things after being just-for-fun-silly seems like a solid turn, especially in combat.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I've certainly used them in other more light-hearted games. I can't think of one that I've used to date in D&D, but I've got one upcoming for my D&D group who built a funhouse dungeon for them specifically because he wants to laugh at them as they go through it.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I've certainly used them in other more light-hearted games. I can't think of one that I've used to date in D&D, but I've got one upcoming for my D&D group who built a funhouse dungeon for them specifically because he wants to laugh at them as they go through it.
Nice! Two follow-up questions.

1. What is this villain like that they would build a funhouse dungeon? Are they presented as sinister or silly?

2. What's in the dungeon? Asking for a friend. >_>
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
Nice! Two follow-up questions.

1. What is this villain like that they would build a funhouse dungeon? Are they presented as sinister or silly?
I think both. So far the PCs have only learned of him from notes and kobold minions, which are got a lot of laughs at the (virtual) table. The last note included hashtags. At the same time, he's a black dragon, and I think it's also clear that in the end he wants to kill the PCs.

2. What's in the dungeon? Asking for a friend. >_>
Still fleshing it out but so far I know...
A bunch of cursed jewelry. They are in display cases with labels, but one of the kobold minions mixed up all the labels.
A room full of mimics and bugs that look like coins
A flooding room filled with giant sea anemone, telepathic sea-stars, and a giant shark bowl ooze (from Creature Codex)
A sculptor who creates life-like statues of people in terror and always wears a veil to cover her face, but who is not a medusa, just a really good sculptor being held prisoner.
A hall of deadly traps (to be determined)
A perfectly ordinary room just to make the suspicious.
Somewhere in there I'm going to include a sphere of annihilation.
And when they finally defeat him, the heroes discover that the dragon only really has one (non cursed) treasure: a deck of many things.
 

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