D&D General What is the Single Worst Person or Entity in Your World/Campaign?

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
The title pretty much says it all, but let me elaborate for a bit. I've been thinking about this a lot recently (with the recent discussions about antagonists and villains in D&D campaigns and how different groups/creatures can fill these roles), and decided to create a thread in a similar style to this one and this one inspired by this topic, but taken to the extreme. Because, let's be honest here, D&D is a heroic fantasy roleplaying game, and a major part of heroic fantasy is killing the villain(s) and saving the world and being rewarded for it. And this style of play is really enhanced when there are truly awful and malevolent villains (you know, "A story is only as strong as its villain", and all), and there's a lot of tables out there that play a heroic fantasy-style of D&D, so sharing examples of your dastardly villains with each other enhances all of our games.

So, that brings us back to the main question of the thread: "Who (or what) is the Single Worst Person or Entity in your World (or Campaign)?" I have my own example, which I'll cover in a spoiler below, but I want to know yours.

There's really only three rules for what people/entities can qualify:
  1. They have to be evil. Like, irredeemably evil. Think Sauron, Emperor Palpatine, and Voldemort (or, in D&D worlds, Vecna, Tharizdun, Orcus, Demogorgon, and Dendar the Night Serpent). Not just antagonists, full-fledged villains whose plots will likely destroy the world (or, at least, the lives of the people in your world, by conquering them or driving them insane or something like that).
  2. It has to be a single person. Not a group of people/entities (like a cult, empire, faction, or family), one single person/entity. So, not "the Cult of X evil god" or "Fantasy Nazis", but probably the entity that the cult worships or leader of the "fantasy nazis".
  3. It has to be your own creation. You can't use any existing D&D (or other existing IP's) villain in this thread, even if you significantly changed them. You can obviously use people/entities that you created that are inspired by existing characters (all of us are inspired by something), but it has to be an original character for your world/campaign and not ripped straight from another story.
Now, onto my example.

Okay, I'm going to be simplifying a lot of this, because I have a ton of lore in my world, and it would take way to long to give the whole story.

Basically, in my world, the Raven Queen is in charge of handling the Afterlife system (which takes place in the Shadowfell). She's a goddess of justice, order, and judgement, so she wanted to encourage the mortals whose souls would be sent to her after they died to behave well while alive. So, she created a reward for those that do good, and a punishment for those that do evil. It's actually fairly simple, but the results are a bit more complicated (especially when you take resurrection magic into account).

When a soul dies, the Raven Queen "reads" their soul to discover the circumstances of their life, learn all of their memories, and judge whether or not they were good or bad in life. While reading their soul, she takes everything good they ever did as well as everything good that they experienced, and adds that to a Demiplane that she creates for them, called "Paradise". If they were a good soul, they end up in Paradise, and experience everything good that they have ever experienced, but only the good, for the rest of eternity (they also get to visit their loved ones if they want to, and can even merge their Paradises if they wish to spend the rest of eternity with each other).

However, she also takes everything bad that they've ever done or experienced and puts it into a single Demiplane, which is called "The Punishment". While every good soul gets their own Paradise, all of the bad souls share the same Punishment, and the Raven Queen only sentences each soul to experience the Punishment for a limited amount of time based on how bad they were (then she basically recycles their souls and reincarnates them in a new form). And this Punishment is formed out of all of the bad actions, memories, and experiences of everyone that has ever died ever since the Raven Queen has been in charge of the Afterlife system. Everything bad that anyone has ever done or experienced is experienced by the damned souls that the Raven Queen condemns her.

And the absolute worst actions, memories, experiences get put into the center of the Punishment, becoming a part of an entity that is known solely as "The Abomination". It's a horrific and awful monster, the literal embodiment of the worst things in all of existence (genocide, rape, murder, torture, enslavement, war, abuse, and so on). It's a colossal amalgamation of everything wrong with the world, and it is in charge of torturing the souls that are sent to the Punishment. Whenever someone dies and they've experienced something particularly traumatic, whether or not they were a bad person, the trauma that they experienced gets added to The Abomination, and it grows even stronger. It's trapped inside the Punishment, and if that demiplane stopped existing, so would The Abomination, but the demiplane it resides in is its territory and no one that meets it escapes its torment (it is covered in chained-up souls of the damned that hang from its giant form. A new chain is added for every victim it takes. No one knows precisely how many souls it has captured, but there are probably hundreds of thousands of souls that it has hanging from it at any given moment, and it's always adding more to this number. The few people that have been captured by it and managed to be resurrected have been driven mad by being tormented by it, and ramble about its horrible features and the torture it did to them).

There's also a cult that worships The Abomination and believes that it's destined to escape the Punishment and consume all of reality. They're called "The Cult of Terror" and they do their best to try and make this happen as soon as possible. They mutilate their own bodies to make themselves look as monstrous as humanly possible and capture innocent people, torture them within an inch of their life, abuse and mutilate them, and do their best to make their life as terrible as possible so that when they die (from natural causes, of course, they aren't wasteful. They're not murderers, they merely want to hasten the destruction of the multiverse. They'll torture, mutilate, and abuse people, but they won't kill them, because then they'll have to capture more people. They're efficient, they'll do what they can to the victims they have captured until they die of "old age", and then move onto new victims. This way every victim adds more power to the Abomination than if they just wasted people by murdering them).

The Abomination . . . is bad. Like, really bad. You can technically Plane Shift to the Punishment (not that you'd ever want to), and if you manage to encounter the Abomination while still alive . . . you're not going to have a good time. As the physical embodiment of all of the worst experiences of basically everyone that's ever existed combined into one single malevolent entity . . . it easily takes the place in my world as the single worst person/entity in all of existence. You do not want to run into The Abomination (or the Cult of Terror. In many ways, they're even worse than the Abomination, as they can affect the campaign in a real, tangible way if the party has the misfortune of running into them).

So . . . that's my example. What's yours? Do you have someone in your world/campaign that's worse than the Abomination? I'm really interested to see what people have come up with for their worlds.
 

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I generally use official settings. So I don't really have anyone that fits this that's not official. (Though in my opinion from the official settings Iuz is probably the worst. )

Your Abomination sounds a bit like Tharizdun.

While he's not a setting wise big bad, the worst person I ever created was probably Laval the Bright. A former paladin that founded and led a Paladin order to try and make a better mark on the land. However Laval secretly had become a selfish evil oathbreaker. Having made a bargain with the Demon Prince of Deception Fraz-Urb'luu to hide his true nature from everyone. He still appeared to be a just and holy man, and his lies would sound like the truth. This power that Fraz-Urb'luu gave him even allowed him to fool angels lie detecting abilities, so he was able to recruit angels to his cause though his ability to lie to them and them always accepting it as truth. (Though he was careful not to say anything too outlandish.) While he had the Paladins under his command do actual good things and largely allowed them to act freely to do the right thing. He secretly had them aid many criminal enterprises he started allying and setting up. (Not directly of course) While also ensuring various bad things could get started for his master Fraz-Urb'luu. He took a perverse joy in using his angel allies as assassins and guardians for stuff instrumental to his plan, knowingly using them for evil purposes.
 
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My favorite setting tweak is that Emotion = Magic. Magic items cannot simply be forged, but are born from moments of middling to great emotional impact. Imagine a family killed by goblins, and the lone survivor beneath a bed clutching a knife in her hand. The knife soaks in the fear, determination, and desire for revenge to become a magic knife that yearns to cut goblins like butter.

Acts of incredible kindness and terror alike can give birth to magic items. Some of these even happen to the items of PCs as they experience major events in the campaign.

One villain became the advisor to a lord and guided him to make selfish fiscal decisions. This dragged the people into gaping poverty for a decade, just so the suffering would make useful or profitable items. The advisor arranged for a town to be wiped out, but to save a few people with strong attachments to survive.

Then the advisor quit his job and arranged to become a mentor to the survivors. He gave them a few of the items soaked in poverty and told them how the lord was responsible.

Afterwards, he left for another kingdom to start the cycle over again, while quietly bankrolling the survivors to continue their war until the lord was toppled and the land became a fractured anarchic mess.

The advisor stages a surprise twist. The real culprit the whole time is the lord of a second kingdom. So the survivors patch together the unruly lands and build them back into a kingdom to march on the innocent kingdom.

Halfway through the war, with countless people dead, farmland salted, and betrayals revealed, they unite with the innocent kingdom to march on the advisor and his current kingdom.

But the advisor had been busy, and had a new set of survivors determined to defeat these revenge filled attackers. In the final battle, with so many sacrifices made, the first survivors kill the second survivors.

The monologue happens. The survivors seethe with anger, the air is fresh with the crushed hopes of the second survivors trying to protect their homes, the wailing of the wounded hangs heavy in the air, and countless people across all three kingdoms know their loved ones are not coming home and there's not enough food to last the winter.

The advisor's heart becomes a magic item then and there - one of stone. His pact with Orcus is complete. Enough people were silenced forever, or suffering, that he was gifted his lichdom.

He rips his own heart out, still as marble, and has it plane shifted away. Then the final battle starts.

He was a bit of a dick, is what I'm saying.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
My campaigns are very "Planecsape-y" in tone, which make it so that everyone is fairly complex, even fiends have emotions and feelings, even if they are rotten at the core. So who is the worst does not really have a sense there, it really depends on your perspective and on the moment.
 

Of the people the party has actually met?

Jafar el-Aly, the richest man in the richest city in the known world (Al-Rakkah, the city where the characters live, though only one of them was actually born there.) Jafar is conniving, utterly amoral (and sometimes immoral), something of an elitist, and only really cares about his mysterious habits and advancing his business interests. He'll gladly order the deaths of inconveniences if he thinks the potential benefits outweigh the potential detriments, but he does know when he's erred, and can apologize when he thinks it's worthwhile. The players know they can't truly trust him any further than they could spit him, but that within narrow areas he is...not "trustworthy" but "reliable." You can be sure he'll look out for his own best interests, and if you can manipulate the situation such that your goals just so happen to be a requirement for his own best interests, you can be sure he'll be there.

Of course...

What they don't know is, "Jafar" is just the most recent human guise worn by a wicked black dragon from Yuxia, across the sea, having fled from punishment by his fellow dragons there. Dragons in Yuxia see themselves as "guardians," watching over the land and its people not as rulers but as guardians, guides, gardeners...basically there to protect and nurture. A few dragons go off, though. Whether believing that they're superior (which, in fairness, they are much more powerful, nigh-immortal, and highly intelligent), or feeling slighted and slowly building up resentment, or simply a malicious streak that grows with time--whatever it is, a few Yuxian dragons cease to be as benevolent as their fellows. These are given an opportunity to mend their ways, but if they don't, they will be hunted down, killed, and banished by their fellows so they don't ascend to becoming spirit-dragons (which would be significantly harder to deal with than physical ones, albeit less overtly dangerous). This one black dragon, however, escaped from Yuxia rather than getting caught, and the gold dragon sent to track this one down has only recently arrived in the region. The party has voiced furtive suspicions already, but are wise to not immediately resort to accusations--if "Jafar" knew they suspected him, he'd clamp down on all activities and just wait out the next decade or two, 'cause he has the time and they don't.

There's also many dangerous but not strictly evil characters the party has run into somewhere along the line. Most prominent among these is His Majesty, His Eminence, Sahl Thaqib Humaidan al-Nazar yatt-Asmar, Prince of the South Wind and de facto ruler of Shalast-Asmar, the wind-swept Jinnistani city-state by the sea. A dashing gentleman several centuries old, though because he became a noble genie pretty early in life, he looks about 25-30, Prince Sahl is almost as dangerous with a sword as he is with his silver tongue. He's a master of Raqsa Shifrat Al-Sahhir, the Dance of the Wizard's Blade; he's enjoyed many a non-lethal duel...and has survived numerous duels to the death as well. But he mostly enjoys novel experiences and interesting events, so being introduced to the party as one of the suspects of a murder investigation very much caught his fancy, and he's personally extended an invitation to them to come visit him sometime soon-ish. He's neither evil nor good (he's probably TN with a very slight CG leaning) but he's probably the single most dangerous person they've met, and that's counting the spoilered stuff above.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Since you said no borrowed IP, then after M. Bison...

Misterion the Mindmolder.

He found an illusion and enchantment feedback loop to mind control the god of death and the god of healing. So for a year, people could get serious injury but not die nor be healed. Then he got the goddess of peace and caused everyone to quarrel and fight to cause unnecessary injury.
 



TheSword

Legend
His name was Tom Lumpy Face to his friends, which were few and far between.

When orcs ambushed a caravan and it’s guards on the Rivendale pass through the Misty Mountains, Tom was among the guards and survivors that fortified a small hilltop ruin to try to survive the night.

Even when we adventurers arrived to help them, Tom Lumpy Face abandoned his fellows in such a way as to let the orcs into the ruins as he escaped. Knowing this would happen.

Worse, when we returned from the mountain pass, we discovered Tom ahead of us, claiming credit in every village for defeating the orcs.

He was openly salacious of my elf fighter/rogue despite being rebuffed and told other people we were betrothed. Then when this was proved incorrect we found he was spreading stories I was a fallen women.

He made alliances with evil men and orcs, and worse creatures.

He spied on innocents and free peoples for material gain, selling those secrets to the forces of darkness.

He made us chase him across half of Middle Earth

He had no shame, no sense of honor or duty. In short he was the worst NpC I have ever met in 32 years of gaming… he was brilliant.

The closest I’ve ever seen to him is Obadiah Hakeswill from the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwall, in terms of absolute loathing.
 
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GuyBoy

Hero
I have to admit to enjoying DM-ing Tom Lumpyface!!
The sheer open-mouthed shock and anger of the players when they descended from the Misty Mountains to discover the villagers heralding the exploits of Tom of Bree, who had defeated the orc raids......

As a player aged 18/19, the recurring assassin Mylekek in my friend’s long-running game was a sheer terror, slaying several beloved NPCs from the shadows. He was scarily effective and downright vile.
 

Im found of ancient god, banished outside the world, and who’s mere goal is the control and obedience of the entire world or its destruction if the first goal could not be achieve.
The most interesting part is to create Cult, searcher, philosopher who seek this god as a way for power, renewal, bring back old order, and so on. They usually misinterpret the true goal of this wicked god, or hope they can be allied, or control him or use him in some way.
Such being reveal the temptation for power and control.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Hm. Unfortunately, the worst I have isn't from D&D, but the form still works.

The entity doesn't actually have a name - sentient species have various names for it. We can call it... Loki. Loki was a nigh-omnipotent, nigh-omniscient being locked away by its fellow entities for its bad behavior a few thousand years ago, which escapeed its prison (shortly before campaign start), thanks to human meddling, to find its fellow entities have disappeared, and its own powers severely diminished. Indeed, it may even be mortal now.

This is unacceptable. Loki WILL get its powers back, by hook or by crook. The problem is that the technology Loki is pretty darned sure is necessary to fix its little problem does not exist yet, and in Loki's diminished capacity, it cannot create the technology itself. Loki is left manipulating mortals to discover, design, and produce this technology.

And there is no better accelerator of technological advance than war. Especially interstellar war, with the lives of tens of billions of sentient beings on the line.

By the way, getting Loki back its powers will probably bring back the malevolent forces that destroyed the galactic political unity about a decade ago, which might kill off whatever billions survive Loki's war. This is not Loki's problem, as Loki will be unconcernedly omnipotent again anyway., and not vulnerable to mortal rampaging hordes of intergalactic invaders.
 

The worst person in the world/campaign turned out to be the player all along.
My honest thought. I used to play with a guy that'd regularly be worse than whatever villain I'd come up with. In a campaign about dark temptations, he complained that I never put him in that situation, to which I replied "it's not temptation if you'd just take it without question."
 

aco175

Legend
In 4e I had a drow warlock as part of an encounter for the PCs. She escaped and kept coming back off and on to harass the PCs or set them up with allies. This kept going on for several levels and she kept leveling along with the PCs to stay relevant. The players would get both excited and cringe when that figure came out of the case. I still cannot use that mini to this day.

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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I tend to run a lot of Greyhawk, but one of my friends runs mostly home brew and here are a couple of big bads we encountered in his campaign:

Caedur - he was a terror for players. He would ride up and shoot at us with arrows of slaying. We went through a lot of raise deads in his wake. This was back in 1e days when being hit with an arrow of slaying was it - not extra damage, no save. And he wasn't a pushover in a close-up fight either, but we did everything we could to close and keep him from shooting us with impunity. He was something of a terrestrial agent for another big bad though...

Shadrach M'shek, Lord of the Pit - Shadrach was a demon-god worshipped by one of the nasty empires of the campaign setting. He frequently made bids for domination of the campaign setting (which was suffused with a lot of swords and sorcery based on the DM's interest in Conan). We encountered him directly once or twice and banished him from the plane by destroying his corporeal form. His worshippers were also the cause of a grand, global war segment of the campaign in which we deployed pretty much all of our many PCs in the setting as parts of various mission teams. It was pretty glorious.
 

TheSword

Legend
I have to admit to enjoying DM-ing Tom Lumpyface!!
The sheer open-mouthed shock and anger of the players when they descended from the Misty Mountains to discover the villagers heralding the exploits of Tom of Bree, who had defeated the orc raids......

As a player aged 18/19, the recurring assassin Mylekek in my friend’s long-running game was a sheer terror, slaying several beloved NPCs from the shadows. He was scarily effective and downright vile.
1641506496588.gif


Damn You Tom Lumpy Face!
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I run a lot of shades of grey. I have an unbelievably ancient vampire from a "first-ones" type race that has fashioned a whole xenophobic empire driven by blood as cost for any infractions - but they have a large, safe society, only the guilty give blood and rarely to the death, it's collected humanely, and the they have a lawful but otherwise free society that he actively promotes and does his best to lead. Is he the worst evil? He (well, it) doesn't see himself as evil, nor do the forest gnomes protected by were-leopard elite that any can aspire to join.

We have an ancient and failing Imperium that has genocided the dwarves in order to steal their mines of the literal Bones of the Earth (the land is the dead body of a deity), and created the drow to take their place. Oh, and also created halflings as a servitor race, and even mucked with the human nobles to make them better (where v. humans come from). They rewrote histories, pushed the elves to reservations because their memories were too long to gaslight, and commited various atrocities when they were growing and at their peak. But that was long ago and the current Empress is an 11 year old child, continuing her late father's trend of roads, food, justice, and education for her people. Is she evil, because she leads an Imperium has been in the past? On the other hand, when her "uncle" (father's cousin) made noises that she was squandering the Imperium's resources on exploration, she had him exiled before he could appear before the Council of Nobles to make a case for him to be put in as a legally Regent.

We get to one of the PC's uncle. He's rabidly racist against the elves, tried to kill the PC's father (a Duke) when the father took up with an elven woman, captured the baby and had his ears reshaped, raising him as a human and to also hate elves and lead raids against the very elven reserve his mother came from. He's pretty bad. But he's not a big-bad, he's just a middling-evil self-absorbed out-for-himself racist a-hole. We're talking ancient vampires, how could be be the worst?
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The first one that comes to mind is Illrigger, an NPC villain in my "Sundered World" campaign setting. He's a tiefling pirate, and the warlock of a mysterious underwater patron called The Lord of Countless Fathoms. His favorite thing to do is capture a ship, plunder it, lock the crew in the hold, and then sink it as an offering to his master. He always spares one eyewitness in a lifeboat as his calling-card, so that his infamy (and his master's influence) can grow.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
I'm going to go with Vane Eddy. He is an evil bard that is like a twisted version of Gaston (from Beauty and the Beast). I spend a lot of time crafting his music to sing at the party - and I am not a great singer. Generally, he sweeps into a campaign like a hurricane, causing chaos and destruction, and then leaving with a laugh as the world burns behind him. He was, once, a PC - for three sessions before the player decide they did not want to be a bard and handed the PC off to me to become an NPC. That player has taken a lot of abuse, for 20 years, for that decision.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
For my swamp hexcrawl campaign, it's Bokrug the Great Water Lizard, soon to be risen from the sunken tower of Ib by the Cult of the Water-Dead God to destroy civilization.

For my D&D/supers mashup campaign, it's the illithilich Doctor Lobotomy who is set on raising an army of evil to enslave humanity.
 

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