The Civillain is a former villain who has spent time in prison or otherwise went through the normal punishment for his crimes. Now he wants to be an upstanding member of society. But is this the truth, or does he just want to hide his latest nefarious schemes? If this trope applies, it's the latter. If he has genuinely changed, it's often a case of Reformed But Rejected.
Game and Story Use
- If the PCs have ample reason to suspect the Civillain, make sure that he is well-integrated into his community and has given his neighbors reason to believe him over the PCs - much of the dramatic tension should come out of the fact that they cannot get enough people to believe them to stop the villain.
- In other cases, it's a good idea to make the identity of the true villain in the story as ambiguous as possible - let them guess until the last minute whether the Civillain is responsible for the Evil, or whether he is just a red herring distracting from the real perpetrator.