SDHSR design: Villains

True to its anime inspirations, Super Destiny High School Rumble has three levels of villains: minions, lieutenants, and bosses.

Ideas for minions: These are the kind of baddies who approach in a group and can be taken down with one good hit. They include robotic hordes with themed outfits, townsfolk possessed by a dark power, sinister corporate lab technicians, aggro anthropomorphized objects or trees, classmates’ fears given shape but not much substance, enlarged local pigeons, automatons made of unlikely materials, mobsters and toughs, and of course disposable ninjas.

Ideas for lieutenants: These villains are more powerful than any one of the students, and the team will need to work together to defeat them. They traditionally come in groups of four, but choose whatever number you like. Lieutenants should have personalities as big as those of the students. Bring out the catchphrases and witty repartee, the wild outfits and the biggest shoulder pads and swords you have.

Lieutenants should have connections to the students, for maximum drama and excitement. Give your heroes and villains baggage with one another! Did a player make their student character an orphan, or do they have a long-lost sibling? Use that! Lieutenants can be brainwashed or possessed family members, fellow lab subjects, evil versions of the students from a dark future, super soldiers who once were friends, interstellar rivals here to test their strength, evil corporate middle management our heroes have inadvertently foiled before, or vampires the students have been prophesied to stop. Lieutenants are here to create conflict on every level, including emotional, and in the right circumstances they can even change sides.

Ideas for Bosses: Bosses are epic evils who are beyond saving. You can’t take them out in a fight without serious prep time and combining your powers. They should be big and a bit unfathomable, capable of destroying cities or even planets. Here is where you put your corrupt JRPG gods, your universal hungers, powers that seek the oblivion of the multiverse or the re-writing of time itself. The world is not enough for these titans. They can be hell lords, galactic empresses, evil popes, surging storms of oblivion, embodiments of universal despair that seek to nullify all hope, or ill-tempered sentient black holes who wish to devour universes.

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