Of all the various threats that face heroic player characters in the course of a game, be it either the D&D roleplaying game or the D&D miniatures game, perhaps the most dangerous comes from the type of enemy known as outsiders. Demons, devils, yugoloths, and slaadi, and other extraplanar creatures are among the most powerful mid-level foes that PCs can face. These entities, beyond being merely evil, are also alien, aberrant, and simply "other." They have come (or been summoned) from other realities to serve evil on the Material plane. Against such enemies, the heroes must use their brains as well as their brawn to win the day.
This installment of Recurring Villainy uses the "otherness" of these villains, in this case the red slaad in particular, to your advantage as a DM. Many of this Big Bad's lackeys are also outsiders, so this installment could be used to represent a major new theme in your game: repelling incursions of hideous alien beings. The role these intrusions play in your game is for you to determine. The table provided below can get you started.
Presented here are 20 encounters ranging from EL 4 to 10. Each involves the Slaad and/or its minions. Feel free to substitute other figures of the same CRs if you want more variety among the lackeys or to startle players who visit this area of the site. Only the Slaad and the Chain Devil figures are rare. If you lack the Slaad miniature, replace it with a Half-Elf Hexblade, a Flind Captain, a Ravenous Vampire, a Spectre, or another figure of your choosing. Substitute a Renegade Warlock, a Feral Minotaur, or a Scorpion Clan Drow Fighter for the devil figure. Of course, some of these substitutions may require work to redefine the theme.
DMs must ensure that the Big Bad Evil Guy survives long enough to play a major role in your campaign. The referee is responsible for maintaining the flow of the campaign's story, and letting the chief villain die too soon not only ruins much planning but also does a disservice to the players. So be certain to have an escape route for your villainous foe, give him or her a magic item that allows a quick exit, or simply don't let the PCs meet the villain until such time that the DM chooses.
About the Author
Dale Donovan is a 15-year veteran of the gaming industry, during which time he edited Dragon Magazine, wrote or edited on every roleplaying line produced by the company (be it TSR or Wizards), and moved from rural Wisconsin to suburban Seattle and back to Wisconsin. He's worked for Steve Jackson Games, Guardians of Order, White Wolf/Sword & Sorcery, the Valar Project, Green Ronin, and Wizards, among others. He loves games, books, comics, movies, and his wonderful wife and lovely daughter.
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