Don’t let the picture fool you. We aren’t talking exclusively about physical pain and torment. That’s fairly easy and people have their own preferences. Some villains go for the bones while others focus on the skin. I went to Evil Bastard University (Go Pink Chickadees!) with a guy whose only struck the left side of his opponents. Not sure what happened to him, but I’m sure he’s either doing okay or been killed by somebody who wasn’t in the mood for his antics. Anyway, how do you REALLY hurt a hero? Here are a few tips:
- The most common method is to hurt or kill a loved one. If you go with the first or third option then make sure the hero is watching. Doing it when they aren’t paying attention will get them mad, but having the see it happen creates a sense of helplessness. Out of sight, out of mind type of thing. You should be ready for a rage-fueled enemy to come after you, so spruce up the fortress and upgrade your skills a little before attempting this one.
- Kidnap a loved one, which is a milder version of #1. It can be combined with hurting and killing, but I’m talking about taking a hostage. Some heroes will back down and even do what you ask while you hold a loved one prisoner. This isn’t the best idea since you’re going to have to give the person back at some point. See the last sentence of #1 to see what you should do to prepare for that one.
- Have an agent send them on a long journey that will help them defeat you, but is really a distraction. Heroes always fall for somebody in need or messages that hint at a weapon designed to kill you. Don’t get me wrong. Many times there is a big thingy that will ruin you, which is why this trick works. They’re off searching for something in the wrong direction while you’re getting stronger and doing whatever it is that makes you evil. DO NOT BE IDLE! The heroes won’t feel a sense of shame for falling for your trick if it’s revealed that you did nothing more than paint your nails and learn how to play the pipe organ while they were away.
- Corrupt a loved one to your side. It’s best that you do this without magical manipulation because that can be undone. Woo their lover or tempt their best friend to get them to turn. Lie about the hero and make them think he or she is really the bad guy. Few things are more entertaining than the look on a hero’s face when they’ve been betrayed. If you’re not very charismatic then get an agent who is. Just don’t let that person turn their power against you.
- Burn a place they love to the ground. It’s your choice if you want people to be there or not. Personally, I avoid that because of the smell and it attracts hungry dragons.
- Start a large propaganda campaign against the hero. One method is to hire bards to spread rumors about their mistakes. You can even set the hero up with a trap that makes it look like they’re the ones who destroyed the orphanage. Try to avoid building yourself up as the real good guy because we both know that will never fly. It also requires that you do things to counter them, which can take time away from your true machinations. Keep the rumors coming and flying faster than they can react. Before long, they’ll be hated around the region and their fragile hero ego will be considering retirement.
- Capture them and make them suffering. Yeah, I said this wasn’t going to be about the physical side of things. Yet, you should never underestimate the psychological aspect of torturing the hero. They always in control and confident with that gag-inducing faith that good will triumph over evil. That isn’t easy to maintain when they’re getting broken and there’s no end in sight. I guess this isn’t a great one for the list since you can’t go very far after you’re done. Kill them or release them into the wild where they’ll either die or come back stronger than ever. Go back to that last sentence of #1 just to be safe. In fact, forget this and just try to kill the hero. Why take the risk?