Go Villain With the Book of Vile Darkness

Geek Culture

Add a little evil to your next D&D campaign with the help of the Book of Vile Darkness, a resource packed with ideas for nefarious NPCs and PCs. One of the most enjoyable roleplaying experiences I can remember was as a member of a mixed group of nobles and commoners; my character convinced the other nobles to use the commoners to set off a pesky trap we couldn’t disarm. Great fun!

I’d hope that the idea of playing an evil person isn’t abhorrent — it doesn’t (necessarily) mean being a psycho. Oftentimes it’s a matter of the character having his or her own perspective or worldview, or a unique code of honor. How often have two honorable warriors from different tribes or cultures considered the other to be a paragon of evil? It could also be the case of a bitter survivor who has had to become ruthless to survive, or a decent person who has sworn an oath to obey the orders of an evil overlord. There are all sorts of interesting reasons for playing evil.

The Book of Vile Darkness consists of a GM’s Book, a Player’s Book, as well as a poster-sized tabletop map for use with miniatures. The GM’s book is 96 pages long, and is packed with tips and resources like suggestions for PC motivations, as well as more concrete assets such as descriptions of particularly evil traps and curses. The book also covers different types of villains, evil organizations, magical items for evil characters, as well as an adventure for use with the map.

The smaller (32-page) Player’s Book contains themes, powers, and paths for evil-themed PCs. Most of these players’ resources weren’t all that exciting for me, but a lot of it is sort of a “class fatigue” where there are so many options already that new ones often lack enough punch to catch my interest.

Regardless, the overall package is full of really great resources and ideas. Even if a GM just uses the Book of Vile Darkness to make more interesting villains, it’s a win!

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