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The Smart Villain part 2: Community

887006_63662379 [1]In part 1 [2] of The Smart Villain, we gave two general approaches to how smart villains are handled in game. In parts3 [3] and 4 [4]we’ll discuss the smart villain’s lair, and in our final part [5], we’ll take a look at the smart villain’s gear.  This time we’re discussing, in depth, some community based strategies for your smart villain to employ. To the smart villain, community is of great importance.  Not only does the community serve as an information network and a resource base, but they’re a source of minions, a standing militia, and a reputation booster. Here’s a variety of ways that your smart villain can make use of their community:

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4 Comments To "The Smart Villain part 2: Community"

#1 Comment By Alias On June 1, 2011 @ 1:47 am

Lots of good points there, especially the allies and goodwill ones. It’s much harder to take down a villain that appears as a hero to a non negligible part of the population.

#2 Comment By Lugh On June 1, 2011 @ 7:08 am

I’d like to see some expansion on the last two bits. A smart villain can do a LOT to soften up the heroes long before they get close, especially if the villain has political ties. Police harassment is an obvious one. But, what happens when the heroes’ power gets turned off? Or there is a mysterious “bank error” that wipes out their savings account? Or a business owned by, or friendly to, the heroes suddenly needs a lot of extra inspections? These are the kinds of things that villains would use to gently warn heroes that they are out of their depth. They also happen to be excellent ways to make the players REALLY hate the villain.

The movie Enemy of the State has some good examples of ways to really screw with someone without directly attacking them.

#3 Comment By Volcarthe On June 1, 2011 @ 11:00 am

The classic “Smart Villain” for me would be Victor Von Doom.

Not only is he very intelligent, but he does at least attempt everything on this list.

The citizens of Latveria may not always love Doom, but there are multiple occasions where they are shown to prefer his rule over others, and hold loyalty to him.

And, of course, who doesn’t love weilding some diplomatic immunity?

#4 Comment By Knight of Roses On June 1, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

When I played an evil character, I pretty much followed those rules. The other characters were very important to keep as allies and building a web of friends and contacts was part of my strategic plan. Only an idiot makes enemies if you do not have to.