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

Richards

Legend
In my last 3.5 campaign, it would be the incubus Malaterminus. He was imprisoned in the form of a longsword and tucked away in a dungeon, with multiple traps intended to make him inaccessible. But the PCs fought their way to the magic sword - and one PC in particular, a ranger named Finoula Cloudshadow, was overjoyed when it started telepathically communicating with her and letting her know he had been crafted at the behest of a diviner who had foreseen a time when the fate of the entire world would one day rest on her shoulders.

Over the next half-dozen adventures, Malaterminus ("Slayer of Evil," or so he claimed) bided his time until he could strike, for although he had been cursed into sword form there was one way he could break the enchantment: by getting a good-hearted wielder to willingly slay an innocent. The opportunity arose one night when Finoula had been awakened by her good friend Ingebold, a dwarven cleric of Moradin, for her turn on watch. Malaterminus waited until Ingebold was asleep then telepathically "warned" Finoula that at some point during the previous watch shift a doppelganger must have slain the real Ingebold and taken her form, for he had been telepathically scanning its thoughts as it fell asleep and it was recalling slaying the dwarf and hiding her body in the forest, with plans to pick off the rest of the group one at a time as opportunities arose. The only way to stop the doppelganger, Malaterminus insisted, was to slay it now while it slept; trying to wake the other PCs was too dangerous, for if it woke up it would know they were aware of its impersonation of Ingebold.

Finoula, unfortunately, was convinced (due her unwavering belief that this was actually an intelligent sword and not a demon in disguise) and crept up on her sleeping friend, only to plunge the blade of Malaterminus ("Evil Slayer" it turns out, not "Slayer of Evil") through her chest. Finoula killed her best friend, only to have her sword suddenly turn into an incubus that then did its level best to kill her and the rest of her adventuring group. Worst of all, while the PCs managed to overcome the other demons Malaterminus summoned to aid him, he ended up getting away to taunt Finoula a few other times.

Finoula's player said she actually had real-life nightmares about the incident. Fortunately, she eventually got her revenge, when they managed to track the incubus down to a truly horrid lair on a plane of the Abyss and Finoula and a resurrected Ingebold jointly slew Malaterminus. He was probably that campaign's most hated villain out of everyone they fought over the course of the 80 adventures played over a span of about five years.

Johnathan
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Do the PCs count?
I was intending NPCs, but they did something so extreme that it would make them actually fit this designation, sure! (My own character might fit this in my DM's campaign. They're trying to re-found Netheril, bring back Karsus as the God of Magic and Emperor of New Netheril, ascend to godhood at their master's side, and commit genocide against the Faerie Dragons.)
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
An evil rat named Six* once used a Zoltan-like fortune-telling machine to brainwash a little human girl into burning down her own family's house in order to kill a parrot. That wasn't his most dastardly deed by any stretch, but it was probably his most off-the-wall.
And to be sure, it was a very important parrot.


* Six had learned hypnosis from a cobra. He later killed the snake by feeding to it a chubby rat with a packet of poison sewn into his belly-- a chubby rat who also happened to be a friend of the PCs... which is how the party** and Six began their special relationship in the early days of that campaign.

** The party, btw, were all little critters-- rats and mice-- living in the gutters and crawlspaces of an ambiguous human city, a campaign inspired by
The Rats of NIMH and such.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I had a fairly powerful vampire, Zane Grayson, who the party encountered in a stripmined valley weeks travel into a desolate mountainous terrain.

Unable to pass the adventure hook by, the PCs infiltrated the castle and tried to destroy the vampire and his lieutenants (all at once!). They were massive outgunned and illprepared and the encounter ended with a downed PC cleric and the rest of the party fleeing.

The sailor couldn't resist the urge to save his companion and went back in on a rescue mission, but the rest of the party refused.

The vampire turned the sailor into a lieutenant and offered the cleric a choice. He would kill him with honor (the vampire doesn't want to honk off any gods) or he would let him live to tend to the living slaves working the quarry alongside the undead. The cleric chose a life of slavery to help others.

But the thing that makes the vampire the ultimate evil is that the stripmine was there because he knew that buried somewhere was a super powerful artifact that would give great power.

Because the PC failed in their mission the vampire was able to find the artifact and use it to move to another reality and with his increased power take over the entire planet.

Thus was born the story arc that linked my DnD world/campaign with my future planned Torg Eternity campaign, where Zane Grayson assumes the title of "The Gaunt Man" and with his darkness device Heketon he has conquered multple realities and has set his sights on Near Now Earth.
 

This is a challenge for me. I wrote the ZEITGEIST setting that EN Publishing has published, and we made an effort to make a world reminiscent of the 19th century, with a fantasy world going through an industrial revolution. Conflicts are motivated by philosophy and nationalism, and not so much matters of "good and evil." Even the 'villain' of our adventure path, like, players have mentioned wondering briefly if they ought to switch sides and work with him, because he had goals they could appreciate; he was just ruthless and manipulative.

But if I'm going to go for the 'worst' being in the setting, it's Egal the Shimmering. Imagine King Midas was immortal, and had the additional magical ability to make infernal binding contracts trading people gold for their servitude. And not just any gold - golden chains. The mantra of his legion is that 'Loyalty is prosperity, and prosperity is freedom.'

Do that for three thousand years, and you end up with a legion draped in golden chains, enslaved to you, conquering and enslaving more, convinced that because they're adorned with gold, they're actually in charge of their lives. They think that all matters is to be rich, and they look down on the people they're terrorizing. Egal doesn't directly chain everyone as part of his legion, but he and his minions create social systems of poverty and desperation so they can force people to toil with no hope but the barest scraping margin of survival.

And when people feel like they have nothing, gold is quite the temptation.
 

I've got a necromancer called Ferridoon. It's a low powered (E8) game. Ferridoon is the traitor whose actions kicked off the campaign and destroyed the PC's army.

Ferridoon was meant to lead the PCs a merry chase then get caught and die at the start of the campaign. But... the players done screwed up. He got away, 1hp remaining.

Since then he has joined the main bad guy group. The PCs have fought them and him several times. And he keeps escaping. I'm not fudging. What I do is keep him towards the back of any fight and the instant it looks like his side is struggling he runs away. This has cost team evil the win on 2 occasions. He's grown into a total Starscream (check the TV Tropes definition.)

The PCs and he have talked on neutral grounds a few times and he has offered to betray his overlord. The PCs, quite sensibly, don't trust him.

And the players haaaaate him. So, so much. Much more than they hate the main villain. I think he's my all time favourite villain.
 

Ace

Adventurer
The Fallen One who is basically an expy of the Abrahamic Devil via Rudolph Steiner has to be the winner, although his human servants are mostly just as awful.

The #2 "Big Bads" would be the Skeleton King and his apprentice the Witch Queen who have a Skeletor, Evil Lyn thing going on.
 

In my pirate campaign, it is the immortal Emperor of Cyr. His empire spreads far and wide, as he conquers more nations. The small bands of pirates disrupting his trade routes, are a minor nuisance, but a nuisance none the less.

At first the emperor attempted to rid himself of the pirates, by sending a cursed item to the pirate lords as a 'peace offering'. When this was unsuccesful (for the most part), he hired a warlord with a large fleet, to hunt down the pirates.

The players never meet with the emperor, as he is on the other side of the world, busy with his dreams of conquest. But the effects of his actions are felt by all.
 

Richards

Legend
In my first 3.5 campaign with my current group ("Wing Three"), the worst was probably a pair of people: an NPC tiefling rogue, Kazmira the Magpie, and an "abandoned former PC and thus NPC" human sorcerer, Gareth. Gareth started out as an experiment of my son's, who wanted to try making a "front-line fighter" out of a sorcerer with the right spells, feats, and ability scores. He gave Gareth a high Constitution (for the bonus hp), a toad familiar (for the extra 3 hp the Toughness feat provides), took weapon proficiency in the greatsword as his bonus human feat, and figured he could use mage armor and shield to duplicate the effects of wearing armor and carrying a shield. And he held his own for a while, but after several levels he was almost as good as a fighter of his own level...if you discounted all of the fighter feats a true fighter would have gained by that level by then.

At the time, we had this deal going where each player had two PCs, all of whom were part of the same Adventurers Guild. The PCs all wore magic rings and had a designated partner, such that one PC went "out in the field" on a mission while the other stayed at Guild HQ as a backup. In an emergency, a PC in the field could use his ring to teleport back to Guild HQ, where his "ring-partner" could then touch rings and teleport back to where the first PC had teleported from. (It was a means by which the players could swap out PCs if circumstances warranted.)

So, when my son realized Gareth was a failed experiment he pretty much always sent his other PC, a paladin named Akari, out in the field and left Gareth on backup duty. In fact, he was planning on having Gareth retire and bring in a new PC concept he wanted to try (a summoner wizard), but for the moment Gareth was technically still part of the team.

And then they went out on an adventure and ended up capturing Kazmira the Magpie, a wanted criminal with a price on her head. Not able to return to the city at the moment (another adventure plot hook was dangling there in front of them at the time), they stripped Kazmira, bound her with ropes, placed Akari's teleport ring on her finger with a note to Gareth to hold her until they returned so they could turn her in for the reward, and teleported her to Guild HQ with the ring.

The PCs went on the other adventure, returned to Guild HQ a few days later, and not only found no evidence of Kazmira ever having showed up there, but nobody else had seen Gareth for days. It turns out the fast-thinking tiefling had convinced Gareth she could show him a much more exciting time than sitting around for backup duty for a paladin who would never need him; why not join forces with her and rob the wealthy and live a life of excitement?

When the PCs managed to scry on Gareth, they found him and Kazmira in a zoo. Gareth flipped the PCs the bird through the scrying window while Kazmira placed Akari's ring on the finger of a half-fiend girallon at the zoo and activated it, teleporting the monstrous ape into the PCs' Guild HQ living room, blowing them a farewell kiss as the girallon attacked them all. Later incidents involved sending a team of assassins after the PCs, replacing Kazmira with a mirror clone after she'd been captured so when the authorities tried hanging her she just vanished (after threatening the city with demonic retribution), and finally being slain after trying to beat the PCs to a treasure hoard and running up against an unexpected vampire.

My players absolutely hated Gareth and Kazmira after his betrayal. This event ended up turning that whole campaign from a "beer and pretzels" mish-mash of individual adventures with no real ongoing overall plot to a more focused campaign, and it was all thanks to a series of events that I couldn't have planned out ahead of time.

Johnathan
 

Unwise

Adventurer
Interestingly, in my current setting, there are no evil entities at all.

Why would a creator make a goddess of torture? or anything else bad for that matter? D&D always has this odd assumption that everything needs to have a god attached to it. Why? What good/neutral creator would create such a thing? If the creator is bad, why isn't the air acid and peoples' nerves made of fire?

IMC the closest thing to evil things are things that should not exist. The creator only made good and neutral things. He did not make everything he could have though. Some things he chose not to make. These things never became more than possibilities. Given infinite time though, any possibility becomes a certainty. These things/people claw their way out of oblivion and breach their way into existence. Some of them don't even want to do anything bad, but they should not exist, they are against the natural order of things and tend to break the world.
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My version of Keraptis in my current homebrew is called "Jocose" (an SAT word meaning "cheerful"), though the PCs recently learned that in ancient times when among the gnomes he was called "Tomfool Twinkle." He is basically responsible for creating various funhouse dungeons (like White Plume Mountain) to "delight and horrify" and test (i.e. "prove") the corruption, greed, and foolishness of mortals.

I imagine him as the worst kind of internet edgelord troll who dresses like a clown and that most of use would love to give a good punch in the face, except with the power beyond even the most powerful archmages currently in the world. So kinda like the Joker and the Riddler and John Wayne Gacy and Marvel's Grandmaster. He loves games and puzzles and the stakes are life or death (or humiliation, is another of his favorites).
 

Laurefindel

Legend
Not sure if it was the worst, but I had a recurrent villain that I enjoyed playing a lot.

Not the talker "I will find your weaknesses and hurt the ones you love" type of villain, just a strong opponent showing up in the worst moments and moving the bad guys into action. It was a Barbarian 3 (Berserker) / Fey-Warlock X (where X was the party's level), champion of an evil god, who could be summoned and be reborn out of 16 ritual helmets. So even when the PCs would finally beat him, they knew it would come back (up to 16 times) to mess things up at a later point. Figuring this out was part of the main plot so by the time they got there, that villain had already built its own "mythical" aura amongst players
 

S'mon

Legend
In terms of PCs-love-to-hate, probably Sir Thomas Blackraven, a minor knight who kidnapped raped & forcefully married the Lady Rebecca Ramvira, as part of a plot to seize her lands.

In terms of BBEGs, probably Rheligaun the Horned, the Nentyarch, last cambion emperor of the Demon Empire of Narfell, and lich-king of Dun-Tharos. He hasn't actually done anything in the campaign, though!
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Cool topic for a thread. I don't know if I can compete with "the Abomination." That is some serious Big Badiness to live up to.

I tend to think, for my setting, along a few different axes. So, the "single worst entity/person" in the setting is dependent on the campaign, the PCs, their choices and development, not to mention flat out level/power. The worst thing in the world a PC is going to encounter at 3rd level is proooobably not the same thing they will find/encounter (release by accident?) at 12th.

I have several really big bad creatures and persons strewn throughout the setting, the histories and mythologies of the setting, extraplanar beings and deities. What is "the worst thing" in the setting? Well, that's kind up to the players/characters, where and how far they are willing to go.

For the OP's present sort of extradimensional "Root of All Evil" kind of thing, I guess that answer is Karos, the Chaosbringer. An "Elder" God [one of the original 10 deities formed to oversee/administrate facets of the Creation of the setting world, and one of 4 that are left/currently exist]. Portfolio includes (Lord of/the First) Evil, originator/creator of Demons, and [the destructive facets of] Fire. Would-be usurper/destroyer of Creation. Something akin to an amalgam of Morgoth, Tiamat [original not D&D], Apophis, and the worst elements of Hades/Loki/Set/Satan rolled into one. Sole purpose/desire is to take over Creation (the material/"mortal" world), burn it to the ground -literally and figuratively "consume" it, and remake it in/for his own image. Karos is [for most "current day" theologies/religions in the setting] the source of all the original evil of the world and "father/maker" of a great many of the existing evil-aligned deities, the demon lords and higher order demons (thus, by extension, all demons), other monsters and mythological source of a great many other woes.

Beneath that sort of "All Evil" godly being there are multiple tiers of villains.

There are the remains of an originally human empire, long forgotten to the majority of the setting's peoples, who sold their souls to a serpent-demon-godling. The mutated "Men of Duus," now known as Gorgons, are a fearsome subterranean society of unknown sciences, magics, and alchemy entirely unknown/lost to the bulk of the setting. Largely serpentine/reptilean in nature they represent nothing of their original humanity: cruel, depraved, alien beyond comprehension to peoples above and below the surface. Their existence is largely unknown to the general populace, though adventurers and other danger-seekers can (and have) crossed paths or heard tales of individual or small patrols/raiding parties of the Gorgon snake-men.

There are the rumors of the ancient lich-lord, Kren Dalek. But his decimated "valley" of evil is lost (or hidden) and whispers of the undead archmage -and his untold magics and endless riches- are now little more than campfire stories.

Kren Dalek is alleged to be in league with, or as mount, or captured/enslaved -depending on the tale- an ancient wyrm of catastrophic power called Yrss Undalig. But it is said the dragon does act independently, every so often, and is attributed -historically- with the destruction of many a fortress and theft of many an ancient magical treasure. Some say the wyrm was even granted possession of one of the Gifts of Doron to serve as its protector and insure it never again saw its way to mortal hands.

Whether there is a legitimate "partnership" between the two, the lich's power is augmented by the legendary dragon (or magics within its treasury), the lich claimed the dragon's hoard and territory for his own, or whatever the true nature of their association is completely unknown/yet to be discovered. But based on the tales of absolute undying power commanded by each, and both, one would have to be a madman to even suggest seeking out either (let alone both) for glory or riches.

For "persons" there is the scheming would-be conqueror/warlord Stelak D'Ensior -wielder of an ancient magic (and evil) sword, leader of a rogue's gallery of maurauding henchmen, and the current (latest) "lord" of the thrice-cursed stronghold (and surrounding realm), Nor Tyrilith, and so holds command over the (substantial) evils and magic contained therein. He is the setting's general -and most powerful/influential- "Skeletor/Mumm'Ra/Modred/Darth Vader."

There are myriad orders and organizations: the psychic-supremacists of the Ruby Shard, the treacherous crime-lords of the Fathen Brotherhood, the assassin cult-guild of Syris (god of shadow and deceit), the cabal of the so-called "Warlocks of Nekri," though I do not use an actual warlock class. The "Warlocks" are a secret intelligence organization stemming from the Magelands of R'Hath seeking wizardly control over all magic (They are deemed magi-supremacist terrorists by most outside realms and publicly disavowed as "anarchists" by the R'Hathi government/ruling class).

There are, naturally, innumerable cults to various demon lords, ancient evil dragons, and other evil deities... and, of course, the disparate agents of the "Temple of Karos." A coherent "church hierarchy" of Chaotic Evil is a somewhat difficult to maintain. So the "temple" is largely independent actors or small cadres -easy to obscure their true natures/intentions, and easy to infiltrate lands to wreak havok and bring about their lord's "rule/remaking" [destruction] of the world. The largely undisputed "head" of the temple is a particularly infamous high-priestess, Dralana the Demonspawn. She has been known to align herself with the schemes of Stelak D'Ensior more than once.
 

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