Back in the day, when I first played Dungeons and Dragons, my group consisted of my cousin Daniel being the DM (he was a few years older than us) and Jack (who was my age). We had many a grand adventure. Jack and I each had two characters, with me playing a thief (what they called a rogue back in the day; there were no archetypes) and a cleric (I loved the idea of a spellcaster that could wear heavy armor!), and Jack playing a wizard and, I believe, a fighter.
We battled across the world, saving maidens in distress, righting wrongs, and thwarting villains. Particularly one villain: Kief.
I’m not sure about the origins of Kief, be it his name or his inspiration, but when I was young and first playing D&D, my DM, Daniel, presented us with our foil: the villain Kief. Kief seemed to be behind every problem our party encountered, and eventually was discovered to be a vampire. It was a wild roller coaster ride of a campaign. But Kief…we hated him. And Kief was more villainous for it.
Remember my article on Creating Memorable Villains? This guy, if there ever was a memorable villain, it was this bastard. Yeah, you heard me.
Well, in my own campaigns, I’ve taken that limey bastard and inflicted him upon my players…now he’s been their problem to deal with. And most times, it’s been awesome.
The last time I’ve used him was my Fallout D20 campaign. I used the D20 Modern/Future/Apocalypse rules to create a fallout campaign. There was a Fallout d20 booklet I found online, of course, but that’s aside the point. I mostly used that for rules on super mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel class stats. But that’s aside the point.
Kief was a hell of a bastard in that campaign, and I made sure of it. Even moreso, because I couldn’t make him a vampire, I wanted to make him something diabolical…so I looked at all the available Fallout lore and made him…a synth. A rogue synth that went all sorts of bad. And bad he was.
The campaign ended with a large fight between the players in Kief’s compound fort and all of his minions, with Kief at the center of it. The Brotherhood of Steel player had prepped a couple of mini-nukes for detonation if things went sideways, ensuring the destruction of Kief at the very least. The party was about to be overwhelmed (a very bad mix of some bad rolls and some poor tactical decisions), when the Brotherhood character saw the tactical situation becoming untenable. He looked around at his friends and comrades and rushed to Kief…setting off the mini-nukes.
It. Was. EPIC! One of the best ends to a campaign I could have imagined, and I wasn’t even the one to come up with it.
What’s next for Kief? I don’t know, but I think I’m going to make him a long-term BBEG in the future campaign when I go back to playing in-person on Tuesdays. What that campaign will be, I don’t know, but I do know that it will involve the master planner, the evil, the diabolically intelligent, Kief…
So, what do you think, Dear Readers? Do you have a recurring villain in your campaigns that you love to hate? Let me know in the comment section!
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Until next time, Dear Readers…