Super Villain Archetypes (or Roles)

edited January 2008 in Game Design Help
I'm working on an idea for a supervillain game and I need a little help from the SG crowd. Help me come up with a list of Supervillain Roles. The roles should be basic and fairly generic; like Leader, Mastermind, or maybe Muscle.

Thanks,
Michael

Comments

  • You mean supervillain types? Or archetypes for a supervillain game?
  • Reformer: This villain has a compelling crystal vision of how the world should be ... but their methods, oh their methods.
  • villainous motivations

    Desperado - You're a man on the run. Maybe the law is out to get you; maybe it's some old enemy trying to settle a score, but either way you're a fugitive and must do unscrupulous things to survive. The antagonist doesn't have to be externalized: drug addicts, vampires, and others trapped in a cascade of bad choices, like the embezzler who murders a witness, are driven by internal pressure to do wrong.

    Green-Eyed Monster - Your extremely competitive nature drives you to villainy. You are insanely jealous of someone, and you can hardly sleep until you've proven your superiority, even if you have to break a few rules along the way. You'll do anything to get the recognition you crave. This motivation resembles "Vengeance is Mine," but it's less fixated on hurting the other person: it's enough to best him or her once and for all.

    Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - Everyone says you're crazy, and they're right. Your version of reality is very different from others' and this leads to trouble. Depending on the tone you have in mind, you might be the sympathetic victim of delusions, a deranged serial killer, or the sinister aspect of multiple-personality disorder. This motive may be depressing, but at least you can always plead insanity.

    Merry Prankster - You're not evil, you're just a jerk. You think it's funny to pester people and cause mischief. Being a pest isn't quite in the same class with being a mass murderer, but it's still villainy, especially if you're persistent about it. Examples: threatening to reveal a hero's secret identity unless he goes on a scavenger hunt, moving into the hero's home and refusing to leave, offering to help people and then making a mess either accidentally or on purpose. This motivation is related to "Schadenfreude," but far less dark.

    Road to Riches - You want a life of luxury--a huge mansion with a solid gold bathtub, a fleet of Italian sports cars, attractive and pouty models of either sex, and those black fish eggs rich people smear on toast. Supervillainy represents the quickest and most direct route to a swimming pool filled with thousand-dollar bills. Your villainy is more materialistic than diabolical: you're more likely to knock over a bank than torture a child to death.

    Schadenfreude - You're a manipulative sadist who enjoys hurting people just for the hell of it. Maybe you're more into physical torture... or perhaps you prefer the psychological approach, causing despair and anguish. Villainy is simply your way of expressing this urge. This is a pretty nasty motivation, and if indulged in indiscriminately could cause severe storytelling problems, so be careful.

    Twisted Ethics - You're a hero in your own mind, but others view your behavior as extremist or villainous. You have an ideological or deeply personal axe to grind, and this leads to conflict with the status quo. Maybe you want to take from the rich to give to the poor, protect the environment by any means necessary, restore life to the dead, or defend your little brother from bullies; in any event, you take things a little too far.

    Vengeance is Mine! - Sometime in the past, someone wronged you. Badly. Now you hunger for revenge! Maybe a business partner betrayed you, maybe you were defeated in public by some brainless do-gooder, but your time will come, and you're not going to let the law get in your way. Note that unless you've picked a very powerful or crafty target, your quest could be over pretty fast--then what?

    World Domination - Power! You crave it and will do anything to attain it. For whatever reason, you are convinced that you would be the perfect person to enjoy complete command over the human race. This could be because you want to make mankind suffer... or because you want to usher in a utopia, even at the expense of breaking a few ethical taboos. Note that you don't need to go after the world: controlling a city, neighborhood, or even a fast food restaurant can lead to villainy.

    Yes, Master - Even supervillains have codependency problems. In your case, you've never really seen the appeal of having a will of your own. It's so much easier to take orders from an authority figure, whether that's a relative, boss, romantic other, or the mad scientist who pieced you together out of tinkertoys. The trouble is that your devotion leads you to villainous acts. Even if you know what you're doing is wrong, you can't bear the thought of being all alone.
  • edited January 2008
    Posted By: northerainYou mean supervillain types? Or archetypes for a supervillain game?
    I'm looking for roles that a supervillain might fill. Okay, the gist of my idea is a Suicide Squad game using The Mountain Witch (I'm using, what I assume to be, the Game Chef rules). My thought was to replace the Zodiac signs with the Villain roles. That's why I was looking for simple archetypes: leader, mastermind, brute, madman/psycho, shadow, etc. Basically, a list of types for determining Trust (or lack thereof, as the case may be).

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    -Michael
  • City of Villains divides them into Mastermind, Stalker, Dominator, Corruptor, and Brute.
  • Posted By: MalthusianPosted By: northerainYou mean supervillain types? Or archetypes for a supervillain game?
    I'm looking for roles that a supervillain might fill. Okay, the gist of my idea is a Suicide Squad game using The Mountain Witch (I'm using, what I assume to be, the Game Chef rules). My thought was to replace the Zodiac signs with the Villain roles. That's why I was looking for simple archetypes: leader, mastermind, brute, madman/psycho, shadow, etc. Basically, a list of types for determining Trust (or lack thereof, as the case may be).

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    -Michael

    See, what confuses me is that those don't sound uniform to me. Can a supervilain NOT be a mastermind?
    I can offer:

    Mad Scientist
    Pusher (Corruptor, like Dave said above, basically manipulates people)
    Cult Leader
  • Seriously, Dave's Roles + James' Motivations FTW. I'll have to come back to this when I run my Necessary Evil game.
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