I don't know how many more Villainous Cookbooks I'll write up, so while I do still have some ideas, I may as well put them down on paper. Or blog, I suppose. Lately, I've been considering villains whose whole gimmick is just dealing damage in creative ways. It's extremely tempting to go down that route, but... at the end of the day, I decided to try to keep my standards up for as long as I can. This is not about optimization, it's about story themes. Here, I've decided to write up a villain who's gonna screw with the minds of the party just as much as the players who control them.
PrefaceThe purpose of the Villainous Cookbook is to offer cool villain ideas for DMs. It uses homebrew player options sometimes mixed with the official ones, but it bends the rules a little to work better. While sometimes restrictions breed creativity, other times it's nice to push the boundary a little to make the villain more interesting.
The stats are left completely up to the reader. You can make them anything you want, as long as it's within some boundaries, and you don't need to spend any ASIs or consider the stat bonuses provided by the feats unless you want to complicate things for yourself.
Each of the builds is split into 4 Tiers, to show how the villain grows in power over time. At any moment, the villain should be at least on the same tier as your players if not higher, since you want them to be challenging. Unless noteworthy, I won't mention the specific spells, ability scores, backgrounds, or skills. All that I leave up to you so that the villain is more customized.
One last word of caution — while these builds might seem overpowered, making the homebrews seem overpowered, bear in mind two things.
- We're adjusting the rules a little to make the character builds work better. If this demands an in-world explanation, say that this is an exceptional person who figured out something others don't know, or has a special bloodline/destiny.
- We're crossing the homebrew streams. And that can oftentimes go wrong. I'm doing my best to use homebrews that I consider balanced and that I would actually allow my players to use in the games.
With all that out of the way, our next villain is a secretive wizard type. Spying, watching, possibly everpresent.
When you cast spells that require a material component, you can ignore that component unless it has a value, such as the specially marked sticks, bones, or similar tokens worth at least 25 gp for the augury spell, in which case the components are required. [Sorcerer: Spellcasting]
When you cast a spell that has only a verbal and somatic component, you can choose to cast it as though it only had a verbal component. [Warlock: Seeker of the Sound]
When you cast a wizard spell, you don't need to provide verbal components for it as long as you can provide somatic components.
Why Doppelganger? (And Story Background)
It's a Kind of Magic
|Maybe this one would have been better to use instead of the first picture. Then again, both show off regular shapeshifter stuff — this shapeshifter tries its best to blend in.|
Doppelganger - The Elder Scrolls: Legends