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How come villains never win?

Written by Expy - Published on November 22, 2007

Villains are smarter than PCs

If it’s considered smart for villains to play it safe to hire henchmen to do their bidding, why isn’t every rich adventurer doing the same?  PCs could keep the fun stuff for themselves, but shouldn’t they at least send scouts ahead of themselves on their adventures?

The perfect hook

A scout giving a report to the PC party would be the perfect way to start an adventure!

  1. The players are interested in the storyline otherwise they wouldn’t have sent out a scout to investigate.
  2. The PCs have enough clues and hints in the report to achieve their goals so the DM doesn’t have to plant obvious clues if the players act unpredictably.  The PCs can still gather more clues by acting brilliantly.
  3. The scouting report is a great way to build hype about your best scenes and encounters.

What do you think?  Has anyone tried this approach before?

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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7 Responses to “How come villains never win?”
  1. Russell says:

    When I first read this I thought: You don’t send scouts ahead to check out a potential danger area (as a good aligned adventuring party) like a villian might because good guys don’t like to waste lives whereas the bad guy is just using a tool.

    Besides, risking death yourself is just more fun.

    However, I’ve never thought of using scouts as an adventure hook. Thanks!

  2. Yax says:

    Ah! Risking death – my favorite hobby!

  3. Pé0 says:

    I thought collecting stamp was your favorite hobby!

  4. josh says:

    Pcs dont like to use scouts simply because they have to pay them. I mean think about it. When a pc has to pay a man say thirty gold a week for his services and that turns into several weeks that can get expensive for poor characters who like to use there money for other things. Not to mention those who do have the money to spend on a scout are less likely to do so because they are greedy and are more willing to spend the money on other things like expensive magical items.

  5. Yax says:

    They have to be rich, but not greedy… It eliminates a lot of PCs!

  6. ScottM says:

    I suspect it’s because the PCs expect problems that require solving will be big and noisy– if it’s something that they and only they can solve, someone will come knocking at the door. While if it’s something routine… isn’t that why the city has a guard patrol? They must do something other than lock up PCs after their bar brawls…

    If the PCs hired scouts, their to do list would be arm length. Now if they had the scouts also verify their client’s ability to pay…

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  1. […] Have you ever saved the world?  Well, I’m telling you: it will keep you busy.  So busy that you might not have enough time to kill goblins anymore.  That’s why some adventurers and villains choose to hire scouts or henchmen to do their dirty work. […]



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