The Gift of Giving (Evil) – December RPG Blog Carnival

Today’s entry in the December RPG Blog Carnival from James Introcaso at the World Builders Blog goes into the darkness a little. A good friend of mine showed me this image and made the suggestion that perhaps I explore the angle of someone or something evil giving gifts for nefarious purposes.

This actually came up in a recent episode of The Flash where the Trickster (played by Mark Hamill) and the Weather Wizard gave neatly wrapped little boxes to the good little boys and girls of Central City. But of course, they were all rigged to explode so they could hold our speedy protagonist at bay… A bit over the top for my tastes, but definitely one way to go for a bad guy willing to cause some chaos in the name of revenge!

hamill-social_9But how do we take this idea and twist it to fit our roles as GMs? Creatively of course!

There’s always the Grinch Who Stole Christmas idea from good old Dr. Seuss. In that case, our villain steals all the gifts from Whoville to ruin their holiday but learns his lesson and his heart grows “three sizes that day.” If we change it to some entity like Cthulhu delivering joy and terror to good little tasty morsels all over the world, you start to see some potential.

Though I honestly think Christmas is a bit underwhelming for an extra-dimensional evil being such as Cthulhu, I could easily see many other evil creatures reversing the Grinch’s approach for their own evil purposes.

Here are a few ideas to explore:

  • Brainwashing the children: Give them some cursed sugar treats such as a fruitcake with evil intent or a chocolate bunny. When they ingest the evil substance they find themselves unable to resist the Pied Piper’s magical call on Christmas Day leaving all the adults wondering what happened.
  • Arming the people: Give away weapons to anyone who wants one and then create an inciting event that sets the townsfolk against one another. (See Something Wicked This Way Comes or even The Witches of Eastwick for a few ideas.)
  • Becoming their friend: The new person in town starts giving things away – gold, gifts, dreams, or whatever the citizenry desires – only to use their bought love and eventually take over the town for their own fiendish goals. (Watch any episodes of Gotham season 2 for some ideas here as well as how No-Face treats folks in the bathhouse in Spirited Away…)
  • All in the name of charity: Imagine a corporation or other organization who suddenly comes to town and gives the poor and undesirables food, clothing, and shelter, building a small army of invisible people to cause enormous damage to those in town with anything to lose.

These are just a few ideas and I’m sure you can come up with a few more.

The best villains have patience. And the ones that cause the most damage are usually the ones you don’t see coming. 🙂

Be sure to check out the RPG Blog Carnival for tons of other great ideas. The archive is hosted by Roleplaying Tips these days!

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