How to be a Villain

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Let's face it...playing the bad guy can be fun, but not always easy. If you have ever felt that your villain just ins't inspiring the right amount of fear or if your nefarious schemes seem to never go off quite the way you want them too, then this is the help page for you.

While this help page is geared for our more villainous characters on the server it can be applied to heroic or neutral characters as well.

Let's face it...playing the bad guy can be fun, but not always easy. If you have ever felt that your villain just ins't inspiring the right amount of fear or if your nefarious schemes seem to never go off quite the way you want them too, then this is the help page for you.

This is designed to be the place where players can relate the tricks they have found to making memorable villains, or avoiding the pitfalls we ALL have made at one point or another.

All Players are welcome to post replies or even add pages to these help pages. Please let us know what you have found to make a better, and more memorable villain.

Villain's come in all shapes and sizes.

The purpose of a villain is the antagonist, the person that causes problems for the hero. The villain doesn't actually have to be evil to accomplish this, he doesn't even have to be a villain. Antagonists can come in any shape or form, they can be the tribal leader of a warrior band of vermin to a rival work mate of the hero. It can even be another Lawful Good Character who simply disagrees with others on how to accomplish their goals.

Villains don't have to be made for one story either, they can just be alts who are simply evil.

Dress for the Part

You can actually give others a glimpse into your villain's personality by the way they dress. This goes beyond dressing them in black (or in some cultures white) to show off their evilness. Imagine for example, if you saw a large brute of a monitor lizard wearing the skulls of his enemies as armor, with a teddy bear strapped to his belt.

Some cliche's to avoid are dressing your villain in pure black and over stocking them with weaponry or making them muscle bound behemoths. Each has been done to the point where they don't stand out as different.

If you want to make your villain appear foreboding put a few dents into his armor or put a few scratches into his weapon, one for each beast he has killed. Have him wear the fur of a formidable beast like a badger or even wolf. Or carry the teeth of his enemies on a string around his belt. Have his nose broken and set wrong so it's slightly crooked. Each object should show that he is akin to violence and fighting.

If you want to make your villain appear insane then take something normal and twist it slightly. Your alt's head fur might be cut at an irregular shape. His clothes a little mismatched or his tunic only have tucked into his belt. Have them wear a heavy coat in sweltering heat or have the fur of their paws starting to fall out from washing them too much. Basically their appearance should have something that makes your instincts react to it and say, 'something is not right here'.

If you want to make your villain appear greedy give him fancier clothes than those he is around, or objects too expensive to own for his pay grade. Give him a pot belly or make his facial features more pronounced and akin to a weasel, something that most cultures associate with greed.

Descriptions also have more impact with out the aid of actions and their personality should never be actually expressed in a description, like telling others they are greedy or insane in their description. The description should be able to fit anywhere and in any situation, be they laying down, standing up, or running and jogging.


Motive is what drives your alt to go against his own or societies moral boundaries and commit evil acts. Greed, revenge, and a lust for power are not always motives. They are the compelling force that causes them to twist their morals to justify their actions.

A thief steals because he has to provide food for his family.

A warlord's lust for power drives him to justify his actions in the name of unifying the land.

The rebel's who fight against the warlord justify burning down a village that refused to loan them supplies with the motto, 'those who are not with us are against us.'

Committing evil acts does not also mean your alt is, per-say, evil. They may be misled or are forced to keep committing evil acts as the consequences of poor choices, like a bandit who has been banished from all the neighboring villages and is forced to stay with the gang he is part of.

In the end your alt alt should at the very least find some way to justify to himself why committing evil acts is 'good' or should view themselves as the protagonist to their own story.

As a thought experiment, the next time you eat a meal with someone, ask yourself what, 'What would it take to convince me that reaching over and eating the other person's food is justified?'

Please don't /literally/ try this...

Lesser Villains

Not every villain will march an army upon Mossflower. Perhaps your alt is just a simple thief, a lone bandit, a minion to another players army, or just a jerk with two much power at his paws. In reality these are just as dangerous to the heroes as any warrior. As they say, the pen is mightier than the sword, especially if that pen is writing orders to send your hero to the front lines where they will be killed off in battle.

After all, what is the muscle bound fearless warrior going to do to the person who out ranks him? And never gives him moral reason to harm him?

Chaotic Evil and You.

Making a chaotic evil alt memorable and not cliche is...hard. Very Hard. But possible. For example let's look at the Joker from DC comics. In reality he is nothing more than a killer clown. What makes him different from the hundreds of other DC villains with the same personality type?


He is completely random, he is friendly one moment and dangerous the next. And he has a purpose to his actions.

Similarly Chaotic Villains should never be evil for evil's sake. These villains should never just steal candy from dibbuns because they simply can. Even they need reasons for their actions otherwise your alt will just choose the evil option because they are evil, and it will seem forced.

Turning an alt to the Dark Side

Turning to the dark side is another trope that writers like to employ to create tension in their stories. It can also be a good opportunity to create new rp when you run out of ideas to use them for.

The main danger is making the transition from good guy to bad guy seem forced, like Skywalker turning into Darth Vader where the hero wakes up one morning and decides to sell his soul to evil for kicks and a plate of cookies.

Turning evil is better a gradual process, and role played over a few sessions and not just one. It's better to drop hints into rp that your alt is wavering between good and evil. First come the complaints, that those in charge could do a better job or 'don't understand what it is like to be doing their job etc etc' then come the lesser evil actions, nothing evil enough to cause others around them to do more than protest a bit, but eventually gloss over it. And then you work from there, looking for places where your alt would do something that would go against his old personality.

Ironically lawful good alts, those pesky virtuous knights in shining armor, are easier to turn to the dark side than say a thief who is actually morally grey at best and therefore doesn't have that much farther to fall before being evil. So it might be best to build up your hero with heroic actions first then turn them evil. Give him the same goal but twist the ways that he accomplishes it in ways that go against the morals of those around him. For example, think of how Batman would react to a character like the Punisher. Both believe in protecting the innocent but have very, different points of view on how to go about it.

I plan on adding more here later on. Until then, feel free to comment, agree, disagree, and let us know your own methods behind making a memorable villain.

See Also