Content of the article: "I have a theatrical villain with a PC that doesn’t give a damn about grandeur"
TL;DR: Demon lord villain is influential, powerful, and manipulative, but is held back by his own theatrics. One of the party members is unphased by powerful entities and dismisses his threats which could lead to the demon lord being unrestrained if he gets angry enough.
The main villain of my campaign is Malcazotz, the demon lord of ambition and dark dreams.
He's a homebrew demon lord who's obsessed with scheming and manipulation. He embodies all feelings of ambition and as a result he prefers to take indirect long term action to facing his problems head on.
For example lets say he for whatever reason really wanted to kill someone, he wouldn't go out and rip out their soul. He would instead frame them for a crime and manipulate everyone involved in their trial to believe they were not only guilty but also depraved as well. That way that person would be surely executed for their crimes.
His current plan is to cause a world war to distract them from his meddling while he obtains a relic that would allow him to have almost unparalleled dominance over the living world.
The PCs are related to him by them having a magic shield with half the soul of a goddess inside it. Malcazotz wants the shield as it's a threat to his long term plan by potentially creating peace.
But Malcazotz's scheming often gets the better of him, with him being very theatrical. He revels in how evil he can be and often gloats about his power and influence over mortals. He is the type of villain to monologue threats, but not carry them out until much later.
This is the reason why even though he is very powerful and has intervened in several world events throughout the ages, he still hasn't had world dominance as his theatrics distract him from his goal.
Now the players directly encountered Malcazotz last week for the first time via an illusionary message he sent them after they killed one of his prime minions. He told them they still had the potential to give up the shield peacefully, but time was running out.
Now one of my players, Percio, (who happens to be a warlock and son of a water elemental lord) completely dismissed Malcazotz saying things like "blah, blah, blah villain monologue." Apparently this was in character as Percio (not the player) is unphased by powerful people and knew that Malcazotz couldn't hurt them at that moment.
This probably isn't enough to stop Malcazotz from his theatrics yet, but if they constantly dismiss his theatricality then he may just decide to stop it with the schemes and squash these insects as they aren't fun to play with anymore.
How can I do this without ending in a demon lord just TPKing the party either in person or with one of his most powerful minions?
- First time DMing, a journey
- Villain Player Character (Off-Table)
- Is there a good way to introduce a BBEG early in a campaign so that there is build up to the final fight?
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