Last night, I recorded the next game session from Scales of War (the third session), with my dwarf warden Vandal, and his as-of-yet-unnamed blink dog companion. I was pretty tired when I started recording around nine thirty or so, and I kept going until after eleven. I had to take some extended breaks because I was pretty tired.

Not sure about the quality of my roleplaying, if such a thing can be measured, but I do think I was a little bit more fluid with my self-mastering, or whatever you want to call it. I decided to veer a little off the beaten path, and it enabled me to introduce one of my character’s “rivals” in a relatively seamless manner. It was pretty cool.

Speaking of rivals and nemeses, I’m exploring the concept with the Wednesday-night campaign I’m running. I asked my players to think about characters who would make good rivals and antagonists for them, and explained how the more work they saved me in coming up with the stuff, the better the campaign would turn out.

Two of them have already gotten back to me on nemeses, and one of the guys actually provided me with almost one nemesis for every suggestion / creation point I brought up — such that I should have more than enough content to shore up the downtime between adventures. Waiting to hear back from the other guys, but still.

I wanted to share with the guidelines I gave my players, but I’ll put it behind a “more” tag, so you can skip it if you want.

First of all, you want your villains to be cool. Look at Batman. Some of his antagonists are more interesting than he is, poor guy.

When you consider your nemesis (or nemeses, if you want more than one), a great place to start is every class you wanted to play, but didn’t. If you put time and effort into building a paladin but realized the warpriest was your one true love, make that paladin. Figure out how you pissed him off enough for him to want you dead.

It means that you didn’t waste that time building your first character.

Second, make nemeses to serve as “foils.” A foil is someone you can be compared to in some way. Let’s say you play a striker; there’s the defender, the leader, and the controller left over. Make one of each and decide how you pissed them off being a striker. You learn what makes a striker special, and you learn to fear the others.

If being a human is a big deal, make a non-human nemesis. Figure out how you pissed them off. You may have noticed a pattern by now. That’s intentional.

Also consider your power source, what it means to your character. If you’re playing a fighter (martial), you could make your antagonist a warden (primal). Sure, they’re both defenders, but you use the Martial power source, and he uses the Primal power source. What makes you different? What makes you the same?