Thursday 27 May 2021

d100 Villain Backstories

I'm a bit Aristotelian with my villains - the best villains are a bit tragic and if only they were good guys, not jerks are part of their vibe. Some might be redeemable some are long past the point but there is some germ in them of past suffering or tragedy. I might need a separate table for mid-tier bosses and bullies with a sort of less sympathetic backgrounds for mid-tier jerks. I guess the master from DrWho is a pretty good villain. He shares an origin with the Doctor and was a friend but at some point went a different path. Sometimes they cooperate and work well together and respect each other mostly conflict but it nice and personal from the shared link. Possibly the tragedy is simply the villain decided to go for egoism, power or forbidden knowledge. Some tragedy might be the villain thinks they know best possibly from some personal experience. Revenge might start a villains career....  Linking to a character is a useful thing too...

I guess edgelord characters might like these too so you can 
justify your terrible deeds.

You could roll a few and try to mess them up.

Maybe you could help some villains and sorta get along.

d10 What happened to family?
01 Killed by a cult
02 Died in prison
03 Starved in horrible famine
04 Died in a horrible war
05 Killed by the plague 
06 Executed for treason by the ruler
07 Killed by bandits or criminals
08 Killed by a bigoted mob 
09 Murdered by family enemies
10 Murdered by evil relatives

d100 Quick Backstory Types
01 Urchinry - left homeless after the loss of family
02 Utopia lost - lived a rare life of privilege and comfort 
03 Crime & Punishment - some cruel torment 
04 Cult crisis - religious drama
05 Love gone wrong - relationships apparently make it ok to be awful
06 War gone wrong - seen the worst 
07 Friends & Enemies - relationships wrecked everything
08 Cursed Taint - something changed them with taint
09 Destined by Fates - omens warn of their coming
10 Magical Mystery - magic stuff

d100 Villain Backstories
 Raised in an orphanage child sweatshop in an industrial city
02 Foundling adopted by mean family treated as a farm slave
03 Was kidnapped and raised by some strange social outcastes
04 Was raised on street and survived off begging and thieving
05 Tormented by a sadistic relative or guardian until escaped
06 Spent time lost and starving in the wilderness
07 Clan or people all exterminated and raised by strangers
08 Left at a shrine as a baby and raised by religion or cult
09 Child slave bought by family and 1in6 eventually adopted
10 Kept in a cage and tormented by d4 1=witch 2=monster 3=rich weirdo 4=relative
11 Raised by a perfect successful family who tragically was all killed suddenly
12 Raised in a palace but escaped siege where the family all killed
13 Raised in an idyllic hidden community destroyed by invaders
14 Raised by simple jolly affluent farmer folk who died suddenly
15 Adopted by kind wealthy family and adopted into the clan before they all died 
16 Raised by hidden magical faerie folk of the wilderness
17 Raised by magical animal folk d4 1=talking animals 2= beastfolk 3=centaurs 4=fauns
Raised by kindly demihumans d4 1=dwarfs 2=elves 3=halflings 4=gnomes
19 Raised by harsh but wonderous humanoids d4 1=goblinoids 2=orcs 3=ogres 4=giants
 Raised in a fairyland by dryads and nymphs, reached adulthood in a year mortal time
21 Spent years in prison colony
 performing hard labour in a faraway land 
22 Spent years in a dungeon beneath a horrible prison complex of a tyrant

23 Spent years in slavery performing hard labour including farming and mining
24 Spent years around gladiatorial fighter pits among slaves and death
25 Captured by humanoids and enslaved as labourer or fighting thrall
26 Born in prison, the whole family in prison for generations
27 Accused of crime and sentenced to death, had to flee life
28 Family dealings with criminals were exposed by enemies, most were killed
Family dealings with criminals all killed by the rival crime group
30 Accused of a crime and had to flee family 
 Family accused of heresy all killed by the mob led by an amateur witch hunter
32 Family members accused of keeping forbidden books and hunted by the inquisition
33 Family had a blood feud with a cult and both sides decimated and scattered
34 Cult seek character for bloody sacrifice and family massacred trying to stop them 
35 Cult raised as a child and saw depraved terrible things
36 Cultists killed family, burned down-home and kidnapped child to raise as own
37 A family member taught villain cult lore in secret then the rest of the family burned for cult crimes they were innocent of
38 Family became cultists and wanted to sacrifice the villain 
39 Family joined fringe religion or sect and were banished and ruined by state
40 Family were rounded up and sacrificed to summon an evil god or demon or monster
41 A mature lover corrupted and abused villain who had to flee
42 A lover was tortured and killed by d4 1=demons 2=church 3=state 4=cult
43 Lover was carried to hell and is imprisoned beyond the ability to communicate with
44 Lover betrayal, allowed enemies to get close and almost was killed 
45 Lover fled to arms of an enemy and spread slander (couldn't be your fault)
46 Lover died in childbirth and child kidnapped by mysterious persons 
47 Lover was really a plant being and they were banished to another realm
48 Lover magically imprisoned or asleep and is helpless, requiring constant protection
49 Lover stole secrets and fled d4 1=charmed 2=possessed 3=insane from black lotus 4=cursed
50 Lover taken hostage by the enemy and never returned
51 War destroyed homeland and friends
52 Years of war made them callous and indifferent to suffering
53 After seeing the loss of war and tyranny determined to do better 
54 Was part of a losing faction that was crushed unfairly
55 Served an incompetent or insane leader who went too far
56 Kinslayer wars over a blood feud decimated two great clans
57 Clan destroyed in war and survivors lived in secret as assassins
58 Grew in poverty in war crushed kingdom in constant danger from warlords
59 Kept as a prisoner of war in torment and escaped into the wilderness for years
60 Beaten in war and people crushed under tyranny in which family vanish
61 Joined with a peer into an alliance but became deadly enemies 
62 Had a great ally who was killed by enemies
63 A former ally betrayed them in a grab for power
64 Came into conflict with the enemy and both have caused each other many enemies
65 Has spent life battling a monster who now seems to now live to torment them
66 An enemy has constantly goaded them into increasingly worse conduct
67 Served a former lord faithfully then turned on them and took their power
68 Was infamous adventurer murder hobo party all turned corrupt and still keep in contact and aid each other
69 Served a dark lord with peers until betrayed and it all fell apart
70 Rivalry with per turned to bloody factional war
71 Found an evil relic that tainted them
72 Came under the influence of a forbidden idol
73 Read too much blasphemous lore
74 Passed through a mysterious portal
75 Came to be served by a sinister pet who seemed to whisper to them
76 Sold soul to hell for revenge and became agent of hell
77 Allied self to demon lord for sinister powers
78 Visited hidden black library of forbidden lore and were never the same
79 Once wielded a powerful relic now lost they will do anything to get back
80 Visited the hidden underground capital of the sinister black lotus empire
81 Born under an evil star sign and prophets troubled
82 A parent vanished after birth, some believe was a magical being
83 Bare signs from a prophecy predicting great evil and troubles to follow them
84 A witch made a terrible prediction of fate when young
85 Performed an act that prophets warned was a sign of dark days ahead
86 Found a follower who gave warnings of the future yet manipulated them to evil
87 Performed a vile act and a saint declared them the enemy of the church
88 Conquered a weird villain and took their home, slowly becoming more like old master
89 A dark power has taken an interest in their career as a patron
90 Came into mental contact with some forgotten evil power
91 Made a pact with planar beings for power through forbidden oaths
92 Went to adventure in other worlds came back bitter and strange
93 Was lost in the Sunderland kingdoms and the dark deep for too long
94 Adventured beneath the sea to the underwater fairyland until cast out
95 Lost in the abyss with the adventuring party, was the only survivor
96 Opened the titanic crypt of a dark god on a strange magic island of kelp
97 Was taken to the stars by outer beings and saw things not for mortals
98 Became chosen of dark dungeon spirit to expand across the world
99 Lost adventuring the planes and made a deal with power to return
100 Someone loved is captive of planar power who demands service

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