Villain's background

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Pardum
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Villain's background

Postby Pardum » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:25 am

What is the best way that you have found to put the background of the villain into the story? I know that I can just make them go on a rant, but I would like to stay away from that old cliche.

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Gilliam
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Re: Villain's background

Postby Gilliam » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:43 am

One way is to have snippets of their background appear in a newspaper or tv special for example "10 years ago to the day Captain Evil made her first appearance annexing the island of Santa Lopez overnight in a bloodless coup. Two months later the hero team The Titans liberated Santa Lopez driving Captain Evil away but at the cost of ...." and so on.

More detailed information could require an Investigate, Gather Information or Knowledge History/Streetwise/Current Events check.

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saint_matthew
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Re: Villain's background

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:57 pm

Pardum wrote:What is the best way that you have found to put the background of the villain into the story? I know that I can just make them go on a rant, but I would like to stay away from that old cliche.


Make it part of the story: If its got not part in the story, don't try to shoehorn it in. Otherwise you end up with the Skyrim problem, in that you just have characters walking around speaking solely in exposition of canon.

So like Gilliam said: If the players do some research as part of the sotry, give them the spiel, be it from a newspaper source, a personal source, a government liason source, or a JLA database style source.... Just don't try to shove it into the story on your own.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

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XLS
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Re: Villain's background

Postby XLS » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Yeah, I'd say that a nice way to do that is via searches and checking-- even making it a plot point where they might need to break into a secret computer station (using charisma-based skills like Diplomacy, or feats like Benefit [Security Clearance] (I'm thinking in 2e terms, but I'm sure 3e works the same way), or a similar situation where skills and feats that don't often get used in combat-based games can show up. (Players who invested a lot in those sorts of things might appreciate it). Then you use good old Gather Information or Computer skills to get background, etc., as needed.

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Pardum
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Re: Villain's background

Postby Pardum » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:26 pm

I have decided to combine these ideas and one from another thread. At the beginning of the session I will give the players a fake newspaper that talks about what is going on in the city that week. The newspaper will contain background information on the villain's secret identity, what has happened relating to past events, etc. Then during the actual play session there will be checks to find out more details about the villain.


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