Content of the article: "Vaguely Truthful Villains"
I'll preface this with that this is not and-all-be-all advice, and is highly specific, but if you find yourself in this situation, it can rock.
(Three Minstrels of Falorn, leave pls)
So, my players don't currently know the BBEG is the BBEG, instead she's working as a group patron leading them to destroy her enemy (also a bad dude, which helps sell the situation).
That said, she does not lie to them. Her enemy is a bad dude, and ending him would help loads of people, including them. As 'group patron,' she does interact with them often. Now, of course, she leaves out details, or sets things up enough that they party will draw connections between them that just aren't there, which is on them, not her, from her point of view.
For example, she told them that the worst night of her life was when her son died in her arms (true), his murder will always haunt her (true), and she wishes she could see him again (true). This builds sympathy, then she talks about how she wishes to save other people from the pain of losing their child as her nemesis is responsible for many deaths, and thus has hurt many parents (also true). Party then logically thinks 'Her nemesis killed her son, what a jerk! We will totally help you kill that guy!' Now, you're good-aligned party thinks they're doing good, which they are, but for bad reasons they don't know about.
Of course, group patron doesn't admit that she killed her son as he found her evil schemes and wouldn't join with her. But those details are ever so…unnecessary. From her perspective, of course.
You can even add in hints to the truth that feel like tricks. Like if the nemesis' has a right hand man who knows his boss didn't kill the son, but if he tells the party, he will look like a liar.
Of course, truth spells can get in the way, but played smart there's nothing to say that the right hand man spoke the truth as he knows it.
- A Player Made My Little Brother Cry
- When prejudices make you the villain.
- When the DM actually has things planned out ahead of time.
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