New 'Dungeons & Dragons' Supplement is a Monster Manual for Villains

A new Dungeons & Dragons supplement gives DMs a treasure trove of fully fleshed out villains for [...]

A new Dungeons & Dragons supplement gives DMs a treasure trove of fully fleshed out villains for use in their campaign.

Coming up with a good villain is one of the most difficult parts of planning a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. While your campaign might revolve around a "big bad" or grandiose threat to conquer, the most memorable villains are often the ones that only plague your heroes for a few sessions. It's a tricky balancing act designing these villains - you want to give them motivations and purpose, but you don't necessarily want to spend time brainstorming a complicated backstory...especially if there's a good chance your PCs will cut them down as soon as they encounter them.

That's where Villains & Lairs, a new 170 page publication organized by Jeff Stevens, comes in. The new supplement gives Dungeons Masters over 46 NPCs to use as either one-off villains or recurring antagonists in your next D&D campaign. None of these NPCs are necessarily meant to be the "big bad" of a prolonged campaign, but there's plenty who could easily be a thorn in your players' sides for months or even years.

Each NPC in Villains & Lairs has their own detailed backstory explaining their motivations, long term goals, and some unique magic items that they might have on them. Most of these characters aren't one-dimensional moustache twirling bad guys either; many of them have tragic or sympathetic backstories. Some examples include the kobold mage who hates adventurers for their attacks on his childhood colony, the ousted noble who steals to raise the money needed to reclaim her home, or the elf paladin who has lost touch with his humanity while guarding a sacred forest.

Best of all, Villains & Lairs includes alternate ways to use many of the NPCs in a campaign, in case players decide to spare or even befriend them. After all, not every villain has a bone to pick with adventurers, and many can become valuable resources for those unafraid to get their hands a little dirty.

While many of the NPCs in Villains & Lairs have roots in the Forgotten Realms or Eberron for use in official D&D adventure storylines, it's just as easy to bring many of these characters into any campaign setting.

Villains & Lairs is a great source of inspiration, especially when looking for secondary threats for low to mid-level parties. While D&D has plenty of monsters for players to fight, Villains & Lairs gives DMs additional options when looking for humanoid threats and enemies.

You can purchase Villains & Lairs from DMs Guild here. The full publication costs $9.99.