I need a term for the Big Bad

So, this is for my game based on Castlevania. I need a term for the Big Bad, which is always going to be a malevolent supernatural entity in an unassailable position. The GM or the group as a whole make one up before play.

In my head, I've been calling it "the Dracula." That ain't gonna fly in the rulebook, so I need something else.

Comments

  • The Boss Encounter?
  • edited January 2009
    It needs to be something I can use in sentences like:

    "GM: You are not competing with the players. As facilitator of the game, you are providing them with a worthy challenge so that they can compete with each other to get the highest score. As player of [the Dracula], you are unassailable (at least to begin with); you are toying with the Hunters rather than trying to destroy them, like a cat playing with a mouse."

    Things like Boss Encounter also don't work because [the Dracula] is pervasive and often physically present, much like the Master in My Life With Master. It's not just an encounter, it's a force.
  • The Unassailable?

    The Master/Master of the Castle?

    The Enemy?

    The Adversary? (I've heard this one used to refer to Satan a few times)
  • Seems to me like "The Master" would be an obvious name. He's the master of his environment, after all.

    You could go with "Horror" or some such, but that brings to mind something slightly less human-shaped.
  • edited January 2009
    Ooooooh, "Master of the Castle" has a great ring to it. And it's easily shortened to "Master" is someone wants to do it in a non-castle environment.
  • The boss sounds right to me, as opposed to mini-bosses. Why not just use video game parlance, if that's what you're inspired by. Also, there's nothing wrong with the Big Bad either.
  • Jonathan,
    I'm going for a certain vibe, for which I need to avoid the video game terms. I'm subtitling the game "The Game of Operatic Horror Adventure." There's a Duel of Wits-ish thing called an "Interlude" (or a "Prelude" if it is leading into a fight), skills and items are handled by a system of "Boons," level bosses are "Minions" (and then there's the more persistent ones, who you'll have to fight two or three times before you kill them, and they're "Lieutenants").
  • edited January 2009
    The Ogre
    The Black Beast
    The Fiend (my favorite)
    ?

    Edit: How could I miss the obvious... Of course it should be The Dark Lord, shouldn't it?
  • Hmm... Dark Lord could work too.

    One problem here (with both "Dark Lord" and "Master of the Castle") is gender. Since I started working on this thing, I was thinking of a mad, grief-stricken sorceress named Genevieve, who carries around the skull of her husband, into which she has put one-ninth of his soul (having separated his soul from his body just before his death, in hopes that she could bring him to life with a new body later), while the other eight-ninths are sealed in artifacts protected by hideous monsters in various locations surrounding the isolated village of Grimstadt, and only by bringing them all together can the barrier protecting Genevieve's castle be penetrated.

    But this issue of gender non-neutral terms doesn't really bother me that much.
  • Master is cool, but especially in light of the gender concern "the Fiend" is pretty awesome in my book.
  • If you're going for color how about The Malevolence
  • I like "Fiend", too! Vote!
  • I think fiend is too narrow if the group is to make it up. At least for me in conjures up a rather specific kind of big bad.
  • No no, it's just right - in gothic parlance a "fiend" can be any evil person, it's just figurative.

    Still, I do like "Master" slightly more. The gender issue is looking for trouble where there is none, and I like the nod towards MLwM which deals with the same sort of characters in a rather different manner.
  • The Dragon
  • I like The Fiend too.

    I actually quite like The Dracula.

    The Evil.

    Graham
  • Yet another "vote" for the fiend
  • BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy/Girl)

    Or you can wax philosophical and reference Descartes' dieu trompeur "deceiving god" (often translated as the Evil Genius, Malignant Genius, Evil Daemon etc) which seems to conceptually represent what you're getting at.

    I often like using other languages or even making up a word when I want to place emphasis on the uniqueness of the role.
  • Posted By: ValamirIf you're going for color how about The Malevolence
    You beat me to it (by quite a bit). That was my best suggestion as well.
  • Key Villain?
  • Posted By: Marshall Burnsmalevolent supernatural entity
    Do you remember the movie "The Entity?"

    Of course you do.

    What about just calling it that?
  • The Foe ?
  • Posted By: Eero TuovinenNo no, it's just right - in gothic parlance a "fiend" can be any evil person, it's just figurative.
    Exactly. I toitally vote for "Fiend."



    I have to admit, though, "the nemesis" is a bit more broadly and instantly undersatandable in terms of role. But c'mon, y'know, Fiend!
  • The Ula is the Unassailable Legendary Asshole.
  • Posted By: Graham
    I actually quite like The Dracula.
    You know, I do too, but it's too funny. I'm going for a very earnest and melodramatic vibe, in homage to the very earnest and melodramatic scripts of the more recent Castlevania titles. The sort of vibe that would be pretentious if you took it seriously, but is fun when you approach it with some awareness.

    And in that spirit, I have to say that "the Malevolence" is quite possibly the best so far. Even though "Unassailable Legendary Asshole" strikes a certain chord. So, tell me, Burr, if that's what ULA stands for, what does DRAC stand for?
  • Here's why I don't like "Fiend," even though so many others apparently do. It communicates a sense of evil all right, but it doesn't communicate a sense of power. I want villains who are powerful and imperious.
  • Posted By: Marshall Burnswhat does DRAC stand for?
    Dance Rave At Castlevania?

    The Usher

    The Tyrant

    The Caligula
  • edited January 2009
    X-Men has featured a bunch of good ones:
    Malevolent god bent on crushing humanity: The Adversary
    Uber-telepath feeding off misery: The Shadow King
    Posessor who turns you evil: Malice

    I assume Lovecraft isn't the right vibe... but if it is, you could mine that too...

    I like "the Malevolence"... you could do "the Malignance" to save a syllable and broaden the scope a bit...

    Or you could take dry terms and stick punchy adjectives in front of them, like "the Dread Antagonist".

    You could also refer to what the Big Bad does... the Watcher, the All-Seeing, the Unknowable, the Puppetmaster, the Heart of the Storm, etc.
  • If you want a genderless version of the Dark Lord, try:

    The Dark One

    I like "The Enemy". That's used when talking about Satan in various religious texts, and other places, so it can take on a very creepy vibe in the right context.

    You might also consider getting more poetic, as well, if there are themes in your game (or your game's colour) that you can relate to. Like "the Mistaken" in Polaris.
  • Oh, yeah, it could be a body part too. As in the [part] of [Evil].

    Like the Heart of Darkness, or the Mouth of Madness, or the Eye of Ang'lotl, the Hand of Malice, etc.

    For the text, you can just use the body part. "As the Hand, be sure to..." "Next, the Eye takes one token..."
  • Posted By: Marshall BurnsIt communicates a sense ofevilall right, but it doesn't communicate a sense ofpower.
    You obviously don't have the same idea of "Fiend" as I do.

    I think my beef with "The Malevolence" is that it's not actually a personal noun--it's not something you would call a person, even as an epithet. Which is not to say you can't, just that it's generally not done, so it could be confusing or off-putting. But hey, I'm a pretty sticlery grammar nerd sometimes, so feel free to ignore me.

    In face, feel free to ignore any and everyone, of course. If you get a term yo like it, knock yourself out! :)

    Peace,
    -Joel

    PS. If Fiend is out I vote for master or Nemesis. "An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome" sounds pretty damn powerful to me.
  • Posted By: Burr
    Dance Rave At Castlevania?
    Oh. My. God.

    I'm gonna have to make a whole other game for the crazy shit that just popped into my head when I read that. Thanks, Burr, like I don't have enough to do already!
  • edited January 2009
    Posted By: Marshall Burns
    Oh. My. God.

    I'm gonna have to make a whole other game for the crazy shit that just popped into my head when I read that. Thanks, Burr, like I don't have enough to do already!
    I sense a sea dracula hack. Just take out the sea and there you go!
  • Wait, what? Sea dracula? The hell is that?
  • Aberration

    Abyss

    Bane

    Chasm

    Deviant

    Nightmare

    Scourge
  • Posted By: John PowellAberration

    Abyss

    Bane

    Chasm

    Deviant

    Nightmare

    Scourge
    Oh, hell. Those seem like great attributes to me!
  • The Ancient - gender-neutral, draculaish, conveying vast superiority in wisdom, experience, age and power to the human(?) protagonists, and in this context can easily be understood as "Ancient evil" without the need to actually spell out the evil part.

    The Undying One - same arguments

    The Eternal - ditto
  • You've never heard of Sea Dracula??!

    Well, Now You Have.
  • You know, in Console I just went whole-hog and called him the Main Villain.

    But yes, Master works great.
  • After batting this around in my head over the weekend, I have decided on "the Master."

    Fact of the matter is, all of these terms imply a certain type of Big Bad -- and "the Master" implies the one I'm going for. I think it will work nicely.
    Posted By: Brennen ReecePosted By: John PowellAberration

    Abyss

    Bane

    Chasm

    Deviant

    Nightmare

    Scourge
    Oh, hell. Those seem like great attributes to me!

    Some of those are attributes in The Libertines, aren't they?
  • You mean this rock band? :confused:

    I just noodled around with the thesaurus on my macbook to come up with those.
  • Posted By: Marshall BurnsAfter batting this around in my head over the weekend, I have decided on "the Master."

    Fact of the matter is,allof these terms imply a certain type of Big Bad -- and "the Master" implies the one I'm going for. I think it will work nicely.
    As long as you anticipate and prepare for "The Xander Effect."*

    * That being, there's a 50% chance of the word "bater" being whispered after "The Master" is spoken aloud.
  • edited January 2009
    John,
    No, I meant the "Lord Byron, vampire hunter" game that Brennen (and another guy, I think?) are working on, called The Libertines

    Quintin,
    Y'know, I think I'm kindof okay with that. I think the degree of seriousness would be a local dial, set by the individual group. That being said, I'm almost certain that the characters will need to be very, very earnest.
Sign In or Register to comment.