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The villain's ultimate goal:

Space hobo
My Big Bad plays in an interplanetary setting where sapient species are just starting to know each other. Society, if neither good or bad, is flawed, with discrimination and overpowered companies abundant.

I was planning her arrange her rise to power as President or Earth, develop two superweapons and conquer the known galaxy leading to a Bad Future akin to the Imperium of Man if the heroes fail to stop her.

But the "TAKE OVER THE WORLD" plot point has already been used to death in science fiction and Omnicidal Maniac is just a no no for me. What other goals could a villain in said setting try to achieve? How about a good way to make Take Over the World a more interesting goal?

edited 23rd Sep '10 2:29:40 PM by heartlessmushroom

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
The simple answer is to give your Big Bad a compelling reason to take over the known galaxy. Make her a Visionary Villain, perhaps, one who does not seek power for herself, but for the betterment of humankind/alienkind/whatever. She could be interested in letting humanity operate on a level playing field to the rather more advanced aliens, or even engage in a bit of paternalistic imperialism towards the primitives on other worlds.

Power is, above all else, a tool. What does she want to use it for?

edited 23rd Sep '10 2:51:15 PM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Space hobo
Well, the selfish desire to control the lives of trillions sure is tempting isnt it? Powerlust and Vanity are some of her characteristic flaws. She could also do it as a way to show the superiority of mankind to the aliens. I'm aiming for a Magnificent Bitch here so I probably should scarp her being racist. Also, I forgot to mention that humanity and the aliens are by that time more-less on the same technological level if humans being a little lower (Kind of like Mass Effect but without a defined council of races to keep order)

Space hobo
What kind of past would my villain have to go on a campaign of this magnitude?

Space hobo
Hey, umm, help?

Well, my guess is she'd probably be someone important. Nobility or related to someone in power. That would give her the right connections, and would also suggest that she'd been raised with the expectation of wielding power and the understanding of how to do it.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
I thought you wanted an unconventional Take Over the World objective. Power for power's sake is about as conventional as it comes.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Moronic, pretentious fan
Well, if you want to run with the whole idea of lust for power, perhaps she could embrace power on an ideological or philosophical level? Kinda like the Merovingian and his application of reason and belief in causality to explain his love of power and earthly pleasures.
Because I choose to.
Who is the hero she will be set up against? What abilities and traits the hero has it may give a hint on what sort of villain is most suited for him. (The villain should challenge something integral to the hero's character.)

Space hobo
So my hero is a guy in his eigtheens, a cheeky, snarky and cheerful Trickster with a preference for Obfuscating Stupidity, Le Parkour and hand to hand combat. SO I suppose my villain should be a foil to him, perhaps lack a sense of humor and take things too seriously.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
In that case, basing their political career around a strong ideal might be an especially good idea. Fanatics aren't known for their sparkling wit.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
^ ^ That could work. Both polar opposite and Not So Different villains can work pretty well. Since she seems to be in the opposite position than him (he's a free spirit out in the streets, she's a serious politician most comfortable in an office), I'd recommend that version too.

Maybe a Well-Intentioned Extremist with some Fantastic Racism who wants to prevent the fall of humanity which the interaction with other species will lead to, so she wants us to destroy or conquer them before that happens. There could be a lot of Strawman Has a Point material there. Villains usually see even complex social issues clearer than the heroes do, and if she clearly sees that events could lead to a destructive trend she would be justified to act on it.

Sapient civilizations meeting for the first time is bound to bring about a lot of problems. Are they competing for any of the same resources that we are? How much of it do we have to give up? Depending on what their biology and society like, is there some kind of -even invisible- price that we pay for this cooperation? Are their civilization or biology any more advanced than ours? As it is often pointed out, in nature the presence of a better, faster breeding, more adaptable species tends to be fatal to another on the long run. If they are less developed than us, is there any guilt or fear that they will take revenge if we treat them as inferior? Even if we are equals, it will put an end to our cozy situation of being the single dominant species here on Earth. She probably sees further than those who simply just fear change, but there are some very real risks that could serve as a good motivation for her.

EDIT: ^ I don't like fanatics because I don't like easy targets. That kind of thing is more fit for a minor baddie.

edited 24th Sep '10 1:17:39 PM by Vree

Space hobo
^ Thats a really good idea. Perhaps she sees that other species are potential threats, if not directly, for mankind's development and survival due to competition for rare resources needed for the current technology.

She could be specially harsh with more advanced and more primitive ones, which leads me up to a good plot point where this villain sets up shop in a planet inhabited by tribal aliens, in an attempt to keep them in a cultural and technological stasis and prevent further competition.

But I think adding too much racism to her character would be obstructive to her Magnificent Bitch persona. Any way to develop her xenophobia in a way that doesnt make herself too hateable?

edited 24th Sep '10 12:45:26 PM by heartlessmushroom

There was a character in the Foundation series that comes to mind, Harla Branno. May be worth a few minutes to just search for a 'net copy of Foundation's Edge and make a search for "Branno", just to have a quick glance at the quotes. Most of them won't make sense out of context, but there should be some good inspiration in there about how a master politician should talk or act like.

Anyway, she does not need to be an actual racist (only a practical one).

She may genuinely believe that she is working for the sake of the people. And why shouldn't she? You said that fantastic racism is prevalent, and those are the people who have elected her, and whom she has chosen to represent. She may be justified to think that humans would not be able to coexist with other races (and may even believe that the humans' nature is to blame for this, rather than the aliens' - but since she is representing the humans, it's their problem that she must solve). She could even lament the situation, insist that she has no personal grudge against the aliens, and bring it up at every possible occassion that she does not want the hero to mistake her for some sort of fanatic. How to account for it to her conscience is a different question - personal feelings should not sweep into a decision about what is the correct thing to do. She knows that she will hate herself for it later, but it was still the right thing. (But then again, does the hero, feel no responsibility for those children and grandchildren who will come after him, who will feel the consequences of their decisions -or lack of a decision- now?)

Even better if she is right. Or at least partially right, or one can leave the answer intentionally ambigious. You can give her some in-story justification for thinking that she is. If she has been such a successful politician as she probably is, she has probably had solved important public issues and had major successes that are telling her -and us- that with her methods she's on the right track. Some of the problems she wants to solve her may be things that the hero actually encounters in -some- form. (If you don't want these to be too negative, she can assure him that these are far bigger than what his limited experiences can reveal and that he has only seen the tip of the iceberg.)

The question is, if feel like you can pull off intelligent, insightful reasoning (even when it means doing something radical)? The hero does not neccessarily have to be more idealistic than her (with a more intimitate closeness to the aliens -I assume- he may have had entirely different experiences and revelations about what aliens are truly like), but her argument has to be sound and the correct ones in her position. The fact that she is something of a politician helps a little - she should already be used to making hard or unpopular choices. I think we can establish that she is not a romantic, and likely considers the hero naive for pursuing those views that, in her more experienced view, are unrealistic. She may even sympathize with him, just think that he can't form adequate judgement if he never had to make a hard decision when there was no good solution like she had to, or seeing the whole picture.

Lot of text, I hope that some of it helps a little.

Space hobo
Yep, that helped me a lot. Better start writing her profile right now. Got me thinking, her inentions may be good and maybe will end up to be best way around for mankind, but the ones succeeding her (Earth's PRESIDENT remember?) might aswell be worlds different on their mindsets and misintepret her original itnentions and message, leading to a xenophobic rampage similar to the one of performed by The Imperium of Man. The idea itself can also lead to my Magnificent Bitch to realize either this or the next president being just like the last one she replaced and arrange her rule to be similar to a harsh dictatorship with a total absence of a senate or anything similar in order to lead her goal just as she intended. Ever heard of Porfiro Díaz? After he got elected as pResident of Mexico he decided he should stay in power until he died and estabblish a dictatorship. If you read about Mexican history, you should find out that he set the country forward in terms of technology and culture, this with the price of the neglect of the poor and abused. But in the other hand, if the hero stops her plans, the corruption and commercial abuse might continue unless the hero and his group do something to open the eyes of the public (of course, this setting is advantageous for the Big Bad and might as well use it until she rises to power. Now talking about my Big Bad's means to get to point A to point B, while political manipulation can br effective, she might get suspicious soon if she spends all time in the senate. So what I was planning was giving her a secret organization whose goals are:

  • To trigger events around the galaxy that will further increase tension between aliens and humans as well as distracting the goverment
from her actions by deploying minor disturbances around Earth and its colonies.

  • Research and investigation of weaponry for later use when she decides its time to conquer the aliens.

  • All while masquerading as a multi-purpose company to fund her projects legally and feign harm whenever her enemies attack her plans which eventually will give my Hero and his Nakama a bad reputation

  • To command a League of "Superheroes" to fight the organization that opposes her and further paint herself a hero facade.

So as you can find out, there is one non gubernamental organization (the one that "hires" my Hero) whoese goal is to stop organized crime, and stopping This Magnificent Bitch is their prime directive. This is turning out to becoming interesting. I neither want a generic "WE FIGHT FOR JUSTIS, LOL" heroic organization, so i was thinking on giving my Big Good some reson to stop these crimes. The real reason I currntly have in mind, I dont want to reveal, as it would spoil things.

edited 24th Sep '10 5:07:03 PM by heartlessmushroom

 16 OOZE, Fri, 24th Sep '10 5:18:57 PM from Transsexual,Transylvania
Don't feed the plants!
In the story I'm writing, the villain's ultimate evil goal is to hide the fact that he does not have an ultimate good goal.
I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene. Oh don't you see, finally I'll be, somewhere that's green...
Space hobo
You mean like hiding his true intentions?

 18 OOZE, Fri, 24th Sep '10 6:03:19 PM from Transsexual,Transylvania
Don't feed the plants!
No, it's more... the villain created The Virus before the story began and swore to develop a vaccine for it, but secretly has no such thing in mind.
I'm feeling strangely happy now, contented and serene. Oh don't you see, finally I'll be, somewhere that's green...
Space hobo
So, moving on with the Big Bad's minions. Assuming that this villian would attempt to do anything to achieve her goal, would she be willing to hire a Psychopatic Manchild if he proves to be useful enough to her plans?

I don't see any reason why she couldn't.

Space hobo
Thanks for all the input guys!

 22 alexthewhite, Fri, 24th Sep '10 9:36:02 PM from a castle in the clouds
For AMAZING Justice
If the villain is ruthless enough, they'd hire Satan himself, right? If you're writing a careful Chessmaster, he wouldn't take the risk of such an unstable underling.
You'll never see it coming.
Space hobo
I'm reviving this little thread because I still need some doubts sorted out.

If my villains decides to manage a secret Syndicate like I mentioned earlier, how would she do so without getting busted? Should she have someone in charge while she commands from afar?

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 23
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