Enigmatic Minion
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Basic Information

The Enigmatic Minion is a type of villain who apparently serves the Big Bad of the story, yet who apparently has his own agenda which may or may not be at odds with either the Big Bad or the heroes. It is often unclear for a fairly long time on which side the Enigmatic Villain actually stands, and it is anyone's guess whether he serves the Big Bad, the side of the "good guys", or another side entirely.

This is one of the roles in which an omnipotent plot device can avoid being a game breaking character.

See Also



Game and Story Use

  • These guys are great if you want to cause paranoia among the PCs - and also if you want to get them to think twice before blindly attacking an enemy.
  • These guys can also turn out to be beings of vastly more power than the big bad (and/or representatives of such) serving as a liaison between the PCs enemy and the "minion's" patron.
    • Scariest, perhaps, when they appear during a climactic battle and the BBEG orders (or begs) them to help, only to be given a "you have failed us" sort of brush-off, after which they watch, nod to the victorious PCs (or, if your players are of the right vintage, make the "be seeing you" gesture) and vanish.
    • Also, consider using a devil or demon in this role - PCs will become convinced that it is either the BBEGs puppetmaster or his dragon, and in either case something they need to fight. For low powered PCs this may well be quite daunting: consider allowing them to think they have separated the BBEG from his minion until the boss battle and then having it turn up anyway. And doesn't help. Turns out the demon/devil is just there to ensure their claim on the BBEG's soul and isn't prepared to render any further assistance (perhaps because the BBEG's "credit" has run out…).
  • This is also good cover for a BBEG - appearing to act in this role for some lesser villain.
    • Or, failing that, as a starter job for BBEGs in training, working for another boss earlier in the campaign arc.
  • Also good as a sort of punch-clock villain (perhaps even a punch-clock dragon), working for the villain for pay or to discharge a previous obligation rather than out of any kind of loyalty or common cause.
    • Alternatively, they do have a common cause with the BBEG, but one aside from his main agenda - once their own sub-plot is paid out, they may turn out to be neutral or even friendly to the PCs.
    • Mercenaries make a good candidate for this, especially supernaturally powerful ones contracted in from some external power (think Charlie's Archons in Rob Balder's Erfworld) - contractor minions working leased out by a power that has very much his own agenda.
    • If approached correctly, such a "villain" might very well be prepared to point out the gaps in his remit that allow the PCs to avoid fighting him, for example explaining in detail the letter of his orders (which he intends to prefer to the spirit) and what they must do - or avoid doing - so that the don't fall within them. Alternatively, he can simply state that they must give the password but, if asked, is quite happy to tell them what it is because he has not been specifically told not to.
      • This works especially well for things that have been bound for a specific task, resent it, and are quite happy to work with those capable of breaking the binding.
        • And that my friends, is an excellent punishment for murderhobos - if they blindly attack the guardian monster, they've managed to get themselves into an unnecessary boss fight with no extra treasure beyond what is already there (and presumably already accounted for by the encounters they have already had, especially if you are playing "that RPG".
  • The Enigmatic Minion might also be a Capulet Counterpart who is very guarded about her true feelings.
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