How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

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JMISBEST
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How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby JMISBEST » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:03 pm

A thing that came up in A Campaign years back and which I'm thinking of doing again for nostalgia has hit a snag. Can you help?

The idea is that after they defeat him and seemingly save the sub-sector the villain that at that point seemed to be the campaigns main villain and was its primary villain up to that point must, no matter what, survive and escape as following the overconfident guy back to the campaigns real main villain at a time when his personal forces will be low enough on numbers, tech and weapons for the characters be able to win without any Npc aid. But as I've lost my 15 odd year old notes how do I guarantee that The Pcs Archenemy, as they see it, survives and escapes in order for them to locate and kill the campaigns real main villain
Hopeless
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby Hopeless » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:05 pm

Have them called away before they can finally meet learning through intercepted communications or conversations about the bbeg leaving them an opening to place a tracker so they can follow the villain to his boss?
Galadrion
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby Galadrion » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:09 pm

Okay, at this point I don't believe you've actually been gaming for fifteen-plus years, and I'm starting to wonder if you've even been alive that long. This is a problem you can't figure out how to solve? As my wife put it, Arthur Conan Doyle is spinning in his grave...

First rule if someone on the opposition must survive: the players don't see the body! He disappears over a high drop, the vehicle he's escaping in goes up in a fireball, the building collapses, something. It's too much trouble to dig out and identify the corpse. Or if your players are sheer bloody-minded enough to dig it out anyway, it's burned/mangled/desecrated enough that it's not identifiable... not positively, anyway. Or maybe there was a body double involved - with enough damage to the corpse, the semblance doesn't even have to be that close. A body with a pulped head and the right clothes will do the job.

Just make sure of a few things. Telegraph to the players that such a thing is possible, maybe after the fact. (A local politician's assassination is foiled by the use of a body double. Highly illegal cloning equipment - clearly set up to clone people, of all things! - is recovered when the authorities are dismantling/investigating the recently "deceased" villain's base. There's no need to make it too obvious - a gloating vid-message from the dastard laying out how he did it is probably unnecessary, and would most likely leave the PCs wondering what he's lying about anyway - but what you're aiming for is the players saying, "Wait a minute - do you think...?" Fade to cut-scene, and new evidence comes to light a few months later...

Second rule: who's to say this rotter is the one who survives? Maybe one of the fanatical followers turns out to be a True Believer (tm) and takes up the cause of completing the Great Work... and getting revenge at the same time. Okay, so the Galactic Overlord (pat. pending) bit it - Son of the Galactic Overlord (with bigger teeth and a badder attitude) still has access to all of dear ol' Dad's plans... and bank accounts, and the organization (plus his own - evil cackle!). And since this isn't even the main villain, maybe the main villain went out and recruited Son of the Galactic Overlord - informed SotGO about what those monsterous PCs did to dear ol' Dad, give him some ideas for revenge, wind him up and point him at them.

In short, look at superhero and pulp fiction - particularly serials - for ways that the bad guys keep coming back and escalating. This ain't new stuff. The Red Skull has done it. (Over and over and...) The Joker's done it. (Over and over and...) Professor Moriarty did it. Heck, if you include the SotGO gambit, Grendel and Grendel's mother pulled it off against Beowulf! This ain't even remotely new! You've got centuries' worth of examples - use 'em.
JMISBEST
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby JMISBEST » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:15 pm

Galadrion wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:09 pm
Okay, at this point I don't believe you've actually been gaming for fifteen-plus years, and I'm starting to wonder if you've even been alive that long. This is a problem you can't figure out how to solve? As my wife put it, Arthur Conan Doyle is spinning in his grave...

First rule if someone on the opposition must survive: the players don't see the body! He disappears over a high drop, the vehicle he's escaping in goes up in a fireball, the building collapses, something. It's too much trouble to dig out and identify the corpse. Or if your players are sheer bloody-minded enough to dig it out anyway, it's burned/mangled/desecrated enough that it's not identifiable... not positively, anyway. Or maybe there was a body double involved - with enough damage to the corpse, the semblance doesn't even have to be that close. A body with a pulped head and the right clothes will do the job.

Just make sure of a few things. Telegraph to the players that such a thing is possible, maybe after the fact. (A local politician's assassination is foiled by the use of a body double. Highly illegal cloning equipment - clearly set up to clone people, of all things! - is recovered when the authorities are dismantling/investigating the recently "deceased" villain's base. There's no need to make it too obvious - a gloating vid-message from the dastard laying out how he did it is probably unnecessary, and would most likely leave the PCs wondering what he's lying about anyway - but what you're aiming for is the players saying, "Wait a minute - do you think...?" Fade to cut-scene, and new evidence comes to light a few months later...

Second rule: who's to say this rotter is the one who survives? Maybe one of the fanatical followers turns out to be a True Believer (tm) and takes up the cause of completing the Great Work... and getting revenge at the same time. Okay, so the Galactic Overlord (pat. pending) bit it - Son of the Galactic Overlord (with bigger teeth and a badder attitude) still has access to all of dear ol' Dad's plans... and bank accounts, and the organization (plus his own - evil cackle!). And since this isn't even the main villain, maybe the main villain went out and recruited Son of the Galactic Overlord - informed SotGO about what those monsterous PCs did to dear ol' Dad, give him some ideas for revenge, wind him up and point him at them.

In short, look at superhero and pulp fiction - particularly serials - for ways that the bad guys keep coming back and escalating. This ain't new stuff. The Red Skull has done it. (Over and over and...) The Joker's done it. (Over and over and...) Professor Moriarty did it. Heck, if you include the SotGO gambit, Grendel and Grendel's mother pulled it off against Beowulf! This ain't even remotely new! You've got centuries' worth of examples - use 'em.
ve

History of my RPG and stuff

Turned 35 in October, was playing very little kids Friendly RPG versions of very late 80's cartoons my dad wrote for me aged 7 and a half to almost 9 and little bro aged almost 4 to 5 and a half, then A Player in Kid-Friend versions of several early 80's RPG's in the mid to to late 90's at School from 9 to 19 and then decided to try being A GM. but always with a group with little experance with the system I was using cos I didn't want my own lack of experance at the time to show
HalC
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:41 pm

For what is it worth, my online cyberpunk campaign has my own players wondering if "Crew-cut" (that was the nickname that they bestowed upon him) is really dead.

What happened? William Green shot Crew-cut in the heart with a 10mm Glock 40. Crew-cut (Actually named Billy "Jack" Jackson) suffers cardiac issues - which in turn, triggers the REO-MEATWAGON company (think ambulance in a Helicopter) shows up within 2 minutes of the arrest. They in turn, slap a life support system on the now legally dead body, and have the life support system handle the breathing and blood circulation duties.

They arrive at a hospital and the operating theater is used to try and save Billy "Jack" Jackson. Then a hacker shows up to switch tags on a dead body to that of the crew cut guy so that the records show Billy died, etc.

Then? Billy's body was taken off site.

The players don't know about the operating theater, but they do know about the body switching and the fact that Billy Jackson's body is no where to be found.

So - yeah, don't let them see the body works, but even in this case? They SAW the body - they put the hole in the heart themselves - but the fact that they can't find the body now is what is worrying them. The fact that a cybernetic heart can be installed worries them. The fact that as Billy Crystal once famously put it...

"There is a difference between mostly dead, and all dead."

So - the trick is simple enough. Make certain that they lose sight of the body and take it from there. If you want to have fun? Make it so that the villain planned to be thought of as dead. He clones his DNA to the extent that it is present on a burned out shuttle. Maybe he bribes the Coroner who certifies time of death certification so that he isn't dead or even close to dying, just that reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.

In the last campaign I ran for my gaming crew at the table? My wife's character lost her mother because the mother left the father, and two children behind in a way that made the character ANGRY. Little did she know that her mother was a victim of a nasty plot from her Grandfather (Noble) who not only convinced her mother that her husband (the character's father) had cheated on her, but did so with her best friend. Then, when the mother left (She was common born), he arranged to insure that she was kidnapped and stowed in hibernation chambers to be released only after her children had died (did I mention the Grandfather was both slightly unbalanced and hated her mother?)

She was on a quest to find what happened to her mother, unaware that not only was her mother still alive, but pregnant with an unborn child as of yet?

;)
steve98052
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby steve98052 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:45 am

Back in the early 1980s, I had a big bad that was a ship commanded by an artificial intelligence. The player characters disabled the ship and carried away the valuable parts of it for salvage.

A few years later, the big bad was back -- in the form of a new ship created from a back-up of the artificial intelligence, which had dumped itself through a laser communications link to a emergency computer somewhere in deep space. Next time the big bad's allies passed through the system, the emergency computer recognized its transponder and requested retrieval. The allies took it to a shipyard wherever a new ship was built for it, and the back-up restored into it.
arcador
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Re: How to ensure the villain escapes no matter what

Postby arcador » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:29 pm

You can't. That is the charm of rpgs - you can't, unless you use some cheesy stuff, but then you lose the respect of the players.

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