Up to this point in part 1 and part 2, we’ve discussed what the villain wants, what he needs to get and how to use plot devices in villain planning. Now it’s time to set smaller, adventure-achievable goals and discuss timing.
Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a 25 year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Then set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan. – Mind Tools
Our plan is somewhat different than that but the principle is the same. Now that you know what your villain wants, what he ultimately needs to do to get it and the plot device that makes it all happen in less than an elf’s lifetime – you need to start breaking it down into smaller sections.
In my example, Islan Xanti wants to destroy all life on Valiant by manifesting completely in the world by the first day of Spring. In order to do this he needs to – be born on Valiant, get an item needed in the ritual, get a high Priest with the skill to perform it and possibly several other things. Now he has smaller goals as well as the great big one.
Again, unlike Joe who can call the company to find out the job requirements he’ll need to fulfill to be hired at his dream career, this is all on you the GM. If your villain needs that Gem of Destruction, maybe he needs to get it before someone else, needs to find a flunky to go get it for him because he can’t leave his fortress without losing something essential and needs to create the Mining Pick +8 vs marble to pry it out of the rock. Again, be careful to make these things fit in with your campaign and setting as seamlessly as possible so as to maintain suspension of disbelief for your party.
Then rank these goals by time frame. Which goal needs to be done first? To get the Gem of Destruction, that villain needs to send a flunky – but before he does, he’s going to need to create he Mining Pick or the flunky won’t be able to pry the Gem out. I’ve decided that the first thing Islan Xanti needs to do is be born into a mortal body on Valiant.
Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.- Mind Tools
A daily to-do list for your villain is probably going to be far, far more detail and work than you’re going to want to put into it but a list of things he needs to accomplish each adventure…. well, now – you’ve just written your first adventure goal there! And your second, third and so on! Islan Xanti needs a woman who’s pregnant to make a deal with him so he can take her child. He’s not on Valiant at all yet so the usual method of procreation isn’t possible but he is a god so… you get the idea 😛
I recommend weaving in adventures based around the PCs personal goals with this or they’re going to be frustrated and feel railroaded and that doesn’t make for a very good campaign. But even when the characters aren’t dealing with the villain and his goals directly, you should always know what the villain is doing during the time frame of that adventure. After all, Evil never Sleeps!
Stay Tuned for Part 4!