Enter the cape swirling, moustache twirling villain. The person wives dream of being accosted by, and the person men would kill to be invited to drink with. In the top MUDs and games that we play, there’s always one, if you’re lucky maybe two or three of these characters around. They’re usually charming, roguish and no matter your affiliation you’d probably sell your in-game sister to have a chance to roleplay with them.
This role seems romantic and daring, but it can be a hard and lonely path to tread. What I’m going to expand a bit upon is some tips for playing this kind of character, do’s, don’t’s and some warning of the difficulties you might expect.
Being the bad guy is to walk a fine line. Many people hate the thief, think someone has no right to their hard-earned game loot, and are very focussed on the opinion that you are a troll and merely out to ruin their day/Christmas/Hanukah/Solstice. While you’ll not be able to change everyone’s mind, you can at least make a losing interaction into something of a win for them, some meaningful roleplay, witty banter, give them a story to take away as you lighten their pockets.
The troll bad guys are the ones who consistently take it too far, hiding behind paid for perks that almost guarantee they can never face repercussion,. The ones who don’t care who their marks are, and take everything anyone has and have no desire to barter or offer things back. Stealing vials from new players without a word just isn’t great villain roleplay, but lifting sentimental trinkets from the competent and wealthy with some flirtatious reparte is a chance to make some good gold when you sell them back and ensures your target isn’t a helpless know-nothing.
Beyond the normal thief, another aspect of the bad guy could be a spy of some sort. This carries all sorts of stigma, as you are seen to be taking advantage of others, and possibly ruining their standings in their organisations, perhaps even jeopardising their homes and lives. Many cannot roleplay on from a loss, and you will be accused of ‘ruining their lives’ this is overdramatic and tends to point to a person who is too personally invested in their character, it is something you should expect. For more involved plots you could contact the other parties out of character to discuss the possibilities and repercussions, to make sure all are aware of the risks involved. While this can take the spontaneity out of an interaction we must remember that our games are great because of the other people we play with, and ruining the game for them is not the goal.
Eventually you may well find yourself playing a lonely character, untrusted with anything of meaning, uninvited to personal functions. This is an unfortunate side-effect, but one that might be expected. Perhaps you have a chance to operate within a guild or House of like-minded individuals, and through such a loyalty you can form relationships and bonds with a group that will offer support. However expecting to make meaningful friends of the populous you target might be asking a bit much.
The life of the villain can be a lonely and reviled one, but it takes characters of all types to round out the worlds we love to play in. Thieves, assassins, spies and general ne’er do wells are encouraged and fostered in the free to play games from Iron Realms Entertainment, so if you fancy the hard life of the bad guy, why not come and join us and give it a try?