Author Archives: Donny Rokk

Rise of the Runelords – Hoard Collector

Dragons are a funny lot.

Generally speaking, folks know the basics about dragons. Dragons fly and breathe fire (or other elements, depending on the colour of the dragon). They also love to collect gold and treasure. Like, really love it. What might not be common knowledge is that the older the dragon is, the more attuned they are to their hoard. Steal a handful of coins from an ancient dragon’s hoard, and they will know it.

Things get more interesting when you steal the dragon’s entire hoard and leave the dragon alive. You think you’ve escaped with the riches, but all you’ve done is agitated an apex predator. And dragons can sniff out their hoard.

The Saviors of Sandpoint thought they had escaped with riches. But all they did was bring a very large, very powerful problem to the people of Sandpoint. Not good.

Here’s Rise of the Runelords Episode 63 – Hoard Collector.

Top Ten Villains in RPGs

RPGs (Role-Playing Games) are a popular genre in the gaming industry. They allow players to immerse themselves in fictional worlds, take on different roles, and interact with various characters. While RPGs are often praised for their compelling heroes and protagonists, they feature some of gaming history’s most memorable villains. Here are the top ten villains in RPGs:

  1. Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI) Kefka is a nihilistic clown and the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VI. He’s responsible for ruining the world and is infamous for his chaotic and unpredictable behaviour.
  2. Arthas Menethil (World of Warcraft) Arthas is the tragic hero turned villain in the Warcraft series. Once a noble prince, he eventually succumbs to darkness and becomes the Lich King, a powerful undead ruler who seeks to destroy all life.
  3. Dagoth Ur (The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind) Dagoth Ur is the main antagonist in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He’s a powerful sorcerer who seeks to become a god and rule over the world of Tamriel.
  4. Lavos (Chrono Trigger) Lavos is the extraterrestrial parasite and final boss of Chrono Trigger. It’s responsible for the destruction of the world and seeks to consume all life energy.
  5. The Master (Fallout) The Master is the main antagonist in the original Fallout game. He’s a mutated human who seeks to create a new world order by turning humans into super mutants.
  6. The Adversary (The Wolf Among Us) The Adversary is the unseen villain in The Wolf Among Us. He’s responsible for the corruption of Fabletown and seeks to maintain his power and control over the residents.
  7. The Reapers (Mass Effect) The Reapers are the main antagonists in the Mass Effect trilogy. They’re ancient machines that seek to harvest all advanced organic life in the galaxy.
  8. Luca Blight (Suikoden II) Luca Blight is the main antagonist in Suikoden II. He’s a bloodthirsty prince who seeks to conquer the world and is responsible for the deaths of countless innocents.
  9. Mother Brain (Metroid) Mother Brain is the main antagonist in the Metroid series. She’s a sentient supercomputer seeking to control the galaxy and is responsible for creating the Metroids.
  10. The Darkspawn (Dragon Age) The Darkspawn are the main antagonists in the Dragon Age series. They’re a horde of monstrous creatures that seek to destroy all life in the world of Thedas.

In conclusion, RPGs have given gamers some of the most memorable villains in gaming history. From Kefka to The Darkspawn, these characters have left a lasting impression on players and contributed to the genre’s success. And if you’re looking for a BBEG for your next RPG campaign, you could do worse than to use one of these fiends as a template for terror to inflict on your players!

The Pain of Being a Raid Boss

If you’re a fan of RPG games, you’re likely familiar with the concept of raid bosses. These bosses require a group of players to defeat and often offer some of the best loot in the game. However, have you ever stopped to think about what being a raid boss is like? In this article, we’ll explore the pain of being a raid boss in an RPG.

What is a Raid Boss?

Before we dive into the pain of being a raid boss, it’s essential to understand what a raid boss is. A raid boss is a boss that requires a group of players to defeat. These bosses are often much more challenging than other bosses in the game and require coordination and strategy to beat. Raid bosses usually drop some of the best loot in the game and are a significant part of the end-game content in many RPGs.

The Pain of Being a Raid Boss

Being a raid boss might seem like a pretty sweet gig. You get to be the biggest, baddest boss in the game, and you drop some of the best loot. However, being a raid boss comes with its own unique set of challenges and pains.

Feeling Isolated

One of the most significant pains of being a raid boss is the feeling of isolation. You’re often alone in a room, waiting for players to come and try to defeat you. Depending on the game, you might be unable to move around the room or interact with your environment. This can make for a very lonely experience.

Being a Punching Bag

Another pain of being a raid boss is being a punching bag for players. Players will be attacking you for an extended period, and depending on the game’s mechanics, you might be unable to fight back or even move around much. This can be a frustrating experience and can make you feel like nothing more than a target.

Repeating the Same Thing Over and Over

Being a raid boss means that you’re going to be repeating the same mechanics and attacks over and over again. This can get incredibly tedious and boring, especially if you’ve been the raid boss for a long time. You might start to feel like a robot, repeating the same thing over and over.

Frustration at Being Defeated

As a raid boss, you’re going to be defeated more often than not. This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’ve been defeated multiple times in a row. You might start to feel like players are just steamrolling you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

The Endless Grind

Finally, being a raid boss means that you’re going to be dropping some of the best loot in the game. This means that players are going to be farming you over and over again, hoping to get that one piece of loot they’re after. This can become an endless grind, with players constantly coming back to defeat you.


Being a raid boss might seem like a great gig, but it comes with its own unique set of challenges and pains. From feeling isolated to being a punching bag, raid bosses have a lot to deal with. However, without raid bosses, many RPGs would lose a significant part of their end-game content.

Creating Villains for RPGs

Role-playing games (RPGs) have been around for decades and continue to captivate players worldwide. A critical aspect of these games is the villain, the antagonist that players face throughout the game. A well-crafted villain can add depth and complexity to a game, making it more immersive and enjoyable. In this article, we’ll explore the key elements of creating villains for RPGs.

Understanding the Role of a Villain

Before we dive into creating a villain, let’s take a closer look at the role of a villain in RPG games. The villain is the main antagonist that opposes the player character(s) throughout the game. The villain is usually the source of conflict, driving the story forward and challenging the players.

Types of Villains

There are various types of villains in RPG games, each with unique characteristics that set them apart from one another. Some examples include:

  • The Overlord: A powerful, evil leader who seeks to dominate and control everything in the game world.
  • The Dark Knight: A villain who operates outside the law and uses his/her strength and cunning to achieve their goals.
  • The Mad Scientist: A genius inventor who is obsessed with creating powerful weapons or dangerous experiments.
  • The Cult Leader: A charismatic and manipulative leader who leads a group of fanatical followers.
  • The Demon Lord: A powerful, supernatural being that seeks to enslave or destroy the game world.

Characteristics of a Successful Villain

A successful villain is not merely an obstacle to overcome. A good villain should have depth, complexity, and a compelling backstory that makes them relatable and believable. The following are some characteristics of a successful villain:

  • Motivation: A good villain should have a clear motivation for their actions, whether it’s revenge, power, or a desire to save the world in their twisted way.
  • Intelligence: A villain should be intelligent and cunning enough to be a real challenge for the players.
  • Complexity: A good villain should have layers to their personality, with flaws and weaknesses that make them more relatable and believable.
  • Charisma: A villain who can charm and manipulate others can be just as dangerous as one who is physically powerful.
  • Memorable: A villain should be memorable and leave a lasting impression on the players.

Creating a Villain

Now that we’ve explored the role and characteristics of a villain, let’s move on to creating one for your RPG game.

Understanding the Game Setting and Story

The first step in creating a villain is understanding the game’s setting and story. Your villain should fit seamlessly into the game world, with their backstory and motives tying into the overall narrative. Consider the game’s themes and tone, as these will help guide the type of villain you create.

Developing the Villain’s Backstory

Once you clearly understand the game world and story, it’s time to develop the villain’s backstory. The backstory should explain the villain’s motives, personality, and how they became the game’s antagonist. The backstory should be complex and nuanced, with details that make the villain’s actions understandable, if not sympathetic.

The Villain’s Motives

The villain’s motives are crucial to the success of the character. The motives should be clear and well-defined, with a reason for their actions that make sense within the context of the game. The motive can be anything from revenge for a perceived wrong, a desire for power, or a belief that they are doing what is best for the world.

The Villain’s Strengths and Weaknesses

A well-crafted villain should have strengths and weaknesses that make them a formidable player opponent. The villain’s strengths could be physical strength, intelligence, or magical abilities. At the same time, their weaknesses could be a lack of empathy, arrogance, or personal weakness that can be exploited by the players.

Making the Villain Realistic and Memorable

Creating a realistic and memorable villain is essential for the character’s success. There are several aspects to consider when creating the villain’s personality, appearance, and dialogue.

The Villain’s Personality

The villain’s personality should be complex, with a mix of positive and negative traits. This can make the character more relatable and believable, as real people are not all good or all bad. The villain’s personality can be reflected in their speech patterns, body language, and actions throughout the game.

Dialogue and Speech Patterns

The villain’s dialogue should be well-crafted and memorable, with a unique speech pattern that reflects their personality. Consider giving the villain a catchphrase or a particular way of speaking that sets them apart from other characters in the game.

Appearance and Design

The villain’s appearance should be unique and memorable, with a design that reflects their personality and backstory. Consider giving the villain distinctive clothing or accessories that make them stand out from other characters in the game.

How to Introduce the Villain in the Game

Introducing the villain in the game is crucial for establishing their role and creating tension for the players. Consider the following when introducing the villain:

Choosing the Right Time to Introduce the Villain

The villain should be introduced at a point in the game where the players clearly understand the game world and the challenges they face. This could be after the players have completed a series of quests or challenges that set the stage for the villain’s arrival.

Creating an Effective Villain Introduction Scene

The villain’s introduction should be memorable and impactful, with a scene that sets the tone for the rest of the game. Consider giving the villain a powerful entrance with a show of strength or a dramatic reveal that leaves the players in awe.


In conclusion, creating a villain for RPG games requires careful consideration of the game’s setting, story, and themes. A successful villain should be well-crafted, with a compelling backstory, clear motives, and a personality that makes them relatable and memorable. Introducing the villain effectively is crucial for creating tension and setting the stage for the rest of the game.


  1. Can a villain be sympathetic or even likable? Yes, a well-crafted villain can have traits that make them sympathetic or likable, even if their actions are reprehensible.
  2. Should the villain be the sole antagonist of the game? Not necessarily. The villain could have allies or henchmen that the players must also face as they work towards confronting the main antagonist.
  3. How important is the villain’s dialogue in creating a memorable character? The villain’s dialogue is essential in creating a memorable character. A unique speech pattern or catchphrase can help set the villain apart from other characters in the game.
  4. Should the villain’s appearance be intimidating or unique? The villain’s appearance should be both unique and intimidating, reflecting their personality and backstory. A well-designed villain can help create tension and enhance the game’s atmosphere.
  5. How can the players defeat the villain in the game? The method for defeating the villain should be challenging and require the players to use their skills and resources to overcome the antagonist. Consider providing multiple options for defeating the villain, each with its own challenges and rewards.

How to Write an RPG One-Shot

Are you a fan of tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) and want to write your own one-shot adventure? A one-shot is a self-contained RPG session that is designed to be played in a single sitting, usually lasting a few hours. Writing a one-shot can be a challenging but rewarding experience that allows you to flex your creativity and storytelling skills. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to write an RPG one-shot, from brainstorming ideas to creating memorable characters and encounters.

Brainstorming Ideas

The first step in writing an RPG one-shot is developing a compelling idea to capture your players’ interest. You can draw inspiration from your favourite books, movies, or TV shows or create something entirely original. Here are some tips to help you brainstorm ideas:

Consider the Setting

Think about the type of world or setting you want your one-shot to take place in. Do you want it to be a medieval fantasy, a sci-fi space opera, or something else entirely? The setting will influence the type of characters, encounters, and plot you create.

Choose a Theme

What message or theme do you want your one-shot to convey? Is it about redemption, revenge, or survival? Having a clear theme can help you stay focused and create a cohesive story.

Create a Hook

A hook is something that captures your players’ attention and draws them into the story. It can be a mysterious artifact, a dangerous foe, or an urgent quest. The hook should motivate your players to engage with the story and take action.

Creating Characters

The next step is to create memorable characters that your players will care about and want to interact with. Here are some tips to help you create compelling characters:

Make Them Unique

Your characters should have distinct personalities, motivations, and quirks that set them apart from each other. Avoid creating stereotypes or one-dimensional characters.

Give Them a Backstory

A character’s backstory can provide context for their actions and motivations. It can also create opportunities for plot twists and character development.

Consider Their Role in the Story

Each character should have a clear role in the story, whether it’s the hero, the mentor, or the antagonist. Make sure their actions and motivations align with their role.

Creating Encounters

Encounters are the events and challenges your players will face throughout the one-shot. They should be engaging, varied, and balanced. Here are some tips to help you create memorable encounters:

Vary the Challenges

Encounters should vary in difficulty and style to keep your players engaged. You can include combat encounters, social encounters, puzzles, or a combination of all three.

Create Interesting Locations

The location of an encounter can add depth and atmosphere to the story. Consider creating unique and interesting locations that reflect the setting and theme of your one-shot.

Consider Consequences

Each encounter should have consequences that impact the story and the characters. This can include gaining or losing items, allies, or information.

Creating the Plot

The plot is the backbone of your one-shot. It should be engaging, well-paced, and have a clear resolution. Here are some tips to help you create a compelling plot:

Have a Clear Goal

The plot should have a clear goal or objective that the players are working towards. This can be finding a lost artifact, stopping a villain, or surviving a dangerous situation.

Include Plot Twists

Plot twists can add excitement and unpredictability to the story. They can also challenge the players’ assumptions and force them to think creatively.

Provide Choices

The players should have meaningful choices throughout the one-shot that impact the story and the outcome. This can include deciding whether to take a certain path, ally with a certain character or make a crucial decision.

Creating the Game Mechanics

Game mechanics are the rules and systems that govern the gameplay of your one-shot. They should be easy to understand, balanced, and immersive. Here are some tips to help you create effective game mechanics:

Choose a Game System

There are many RPG game systems to choose from, including Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Savage Worlds. Choose a game system that fits the setting and style of your one-shot.

Balance the Mechanics

Make sure the game mechanics are balanced and fair for all players. Avoid creating overpowered characters or encounters that are too difficult to overcome.

Include Mechanics that Match the Theme

Consider including game mechanics that match the theme and style of your one-shot. For example, if you’re creating a horror-themed one-shot, include mechanics that create tension and fear.

Writing the Adventure

Now that you have all the elements in place, it’s time to write the adventure itself. Here are some tips to help you create a well-written adventure:

Create an Outline

Create an outline of the adventure that includes all the major plot points, encounters, and game mechanics. This will help you stay organized and ensure that the adventure flows smoothly.

Write Descriptive Text

Use descriptive text to set the scene and create an atmosphere. Describe the characters, locations, and encounters in detail to immerse your players in the story.

Include Dialogue

Dialogue can bring your characters to life and create memorable moments. Write a dialogue that matches the personality and motivations of each character.

Edit and Revise

Once you’ve written the adventure, edit and revise it to ensure it’s clear, concise, and well-written. Ask a friend or fellow RPG player to read it and provide feedback.


Writing an RPG one-shot can be a challenging but rewarding experience that allows you to flex your creativity and storytelling skills. Following these tips can create a memorable and engaging adventure that your players will love.


  1. What is an RPG one-shot? An RPG one-shot is a self-contained RPG session designed to be played in a single sitting, usually lasting a few hours.
  2. How long should an RPG one-shot be? An RPG one-shot should last between 3-5 hours, depending on the complexity of the adventure.
  3. Can I use pre-made characters in an RPG one-shot? Yes, you can use pre-made characters or allow players to create their own.
  4. Do I need to have a game system to write an RPG one-shot? It’s recommended to choose a game system that fits the setting and style of your one-shot, but it’s not strictly necessary.
  5. How many players should I have for an RPG one-shot? An RPG one-shot can be played with as few as two players and as many as six or more, depending on the game system and adventure.