01:50 PM
The Red King
A Cat of a Different Coat
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Name: Aody (M)
Coven: ADA
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12-16-2011, 01:50 PM
Playing a villain [Post #1]
So, many of you may realise my penchent for playing villainous characters. Whether it be Ares in ADA to Sebastian Shaw in GENEsis to Aburius/Irrulius in EC, to the numerous other, older characters have come and gone over the years.

Playing a villain comes with its own challenges and rewards. However, I find the most difficult task is actually finding places to put the character. I mean, it's not like a Magi High Magistrate with a penchent for Dragon meat could be found in a tavern (unless, of course, that tavern also housed the soon-to-be Spellbreaker Commander).

Furthermore, it can be difficult to create a sense of villainy around a character when their plans are always destined to fail.

I think this can be changed by tying the character themselves into the plot of the game (i.e. Lucreti and, to a certain extent, Ares) as this gives the player license to go a bit beyond what would normally be possible.

So I suppose my question is, how should you go about creating a villain and, after their creation, where do you go with them to keep them active, an actual threat, as well as displaying a certain sense of humanity to that character.
Watch your little black sheep run.
10:48 AM
Weak Fantasy
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Name: Todd (M)
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12-20-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm inclined to agree with you, Aody, about how hard it is to place a villain somewhere. Tristan and Howl prove that to me time and time again. The same with Shinobi.

I think the biggest issue to creating a villain is that you can't simply go about senseless villainy without it becoming camp.

I think I ground a lot of my villains by making them a product of a situation or an environment to give them the proper motivation. At least, in that sense, they have a bit of humanity left rather than the alternative. Their motivation is personal, making them well-rounded in the sense that there may be things that they love just as much as things they hate. It's a delicate balance to strike, though.
Fear is a choice you embrace.
07:57 AM
Magi General
No rhyme or reason
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Name: Chrissie (F)
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12-21-2011, 07:57 AM
Well, I guess the three PCs I've had as villains were Daeva (ADA), Saora (TH) and Lucius (EC).

Though I kinda don't really count Daeva here because ... well being a member of the ADA and such it was easy to keep her "evil". Well, the only thing I did notice with her was that the further she climbed in ranks the harder it was to play her. She matured, learned, gained power and in the end I could barely tap into her because she'd be so far removed from everything. For example going into one of the recreational venues was simply not her thing to do anymore at a certain point. And then to not break character meant actually keeping her out of there.

Then followed Saora. She was the hardest character to play given The Summoning (Final Fantasy based) was an RPG about heroes basically. She had to stay on the outside, because socializing would not have worked and at times it was so hard to keep her where she was supposed to be.

And last but not least we have Lucius. He's like the mix of Daeva and Saora when I come to think about about it. He's got Daeva's fiery passion but will level it with Saora's analytical detachment. I guess that's why I love him so, because he's got both sides. Despite being a Magi, he's very capable of emotions - strong emotions, which on the other hand doesn't mean he can't be cold or detached.

I agree that one of the hardest things about villains is that you have to really screen where you can put them. There's usually 1 out of every 3 or 4 threads they'll only really lend themselves to - which makes char dev slow at times.

And in order to develop them properly you do need people willing to play along. What I've come to notice is that you really need to plan ahead. Like with every big dramatic SL you need to always be one step ahead in the layout out of a story with villains because you need people that let you do certain things. So like with Saora - one of my fellow players let me simply have her shoot one of his chars right at the start (into the shoulder only, but without real reason other than the guy mouthing off a little). This set the scene nicely. Then I'd have her kidnap people, kill people and my fellow players would allow me to have her do terrible things to their characters. Mutually beneficial really. They got their drama out of it, I got my villain

Same applies to Lucius. I am dependent with him to have others play along. Like that certain things cannot be known by other characters. Or have him use emotional or physical violence against them.

So the gist really is ... involve others. Make sure you have a couple of go to people that are up to going with your storylines for the villain by giving them something they need. There is no use setting your own villain against a character that the player refuses to let lose... because a villain who goes up against someone else and loses ... well, they will either be that ever unsuccessful middle man, or you need to go at the story all over again with a different angle then. And yes, where to put the character is definitely important. As I said, a large portion of threads will simply no longer work when the villain has reached a certain reputation / position ...

bury my heart next to yours
12:21 AM
burning bright
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Name: Gina (F)
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01-04-2012, 12:21 AM
I don't think I could honestly bring a villain into RPing, unless it had more structure and there was a lot of planning invested in making them believable. Otherwise, IMO, it just comes across as being "comic villain" sort of appearance - only good for the entertainment value and no real sense of villainy being left in them.

I find it a lot easier to create a villain and make it doable when it's all my own writing. There's full control that way over the scene and other characters. While I'd struggle to bring a character who's a villain into an RP, I think my methodology would be about the same: give them a reason or incentive, the means to do something and set the scene enough so that there is the right time & place to have the events unfold.
I keep forgetting I should let you go,
but when you look at me, the only memory,
is us kissing in the moonlight.
07:21 PM
hostage to the light
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Name: Amy (F)
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Style: Avengers
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01-04-2012, 07:21 PM
My first character, Red Apollo, was a demon, but I think anyone who remembers her would say she was hardly demonic. Anytime I attempt to play a 'villain', I just can't seem to do it. I need to be able to relate to my characters, and it's hard for me to relate to demonic characters. I do still try once in a while to play villains, but it never really works out.
fear is a choice you embrace
10:58 AM
Swan Song
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Name: Cornelia (F)
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01-12-2012, 10:58 AM
I don't play villainous characters much, but I did have a few. Vivian was my most notable and longest-running evil character, and her creation was pretty simple because she belonged in an evil side (ADA). I don't remember much about how she came to be, actually, since it's that long ago. As has been said it's difficult to keep her realistic. For example, she was known as one of the strongest demons around for a long time, but the fact that she kept being stuck at level 6 and never made it to a leader position (which of course she craved) started to feel strange. Of course, this has to do more with OOC factors so it couldn't be helped. But Viv was quite a name back in her days, and it still didn't make much sense.

I loved Vivian. A lot. These days I also still sometimes ponder about bringing her back. The thing is there isn't much she can do. My best and most favorite posts with her happened in single-playing-and-NPC environments such as Danger Room missions, tournaments in which the goal were to kill as many people as possible, and Venom Coyote posts. Those were the times I could truly unleash her to her full potential - when she was killing NPCs.

There's also the problem that she's really, really evil. Love is out of the question; she's had a few men she's gotten involved with but every time it came close to being something serious I had to step back because I thought it wouldn't make sense for her to fall in love. And eventually her development got stuck there because I had no idea how to make her do relationships in a way that would be in character for her. These are all reasons why eventually I was left with nothing to do with her.

Yvaine was another villain I tried to make in EC, but she grew a soft spot for Ashton too quickly and I felt that she was becoming out of character too soon and then when I revamped her slightly into a more appropriate villain, I just didn't feel her that much anymore. She had things to do, plots I managed to get her involved with, but something about her just doesn't work for me, so she was retired as well.
Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark grey all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met
But loving him was red

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