Jump to content

Tyrants & Hellions: A Book of Villains for 5th Edition


Recommended Posts

  • Members


About this project


Tyrants & Hellions is a Dungeon Master's aide, containing twelve villains complete with schemes, lairs, backstories, and everything else you need to drop them into your own 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Within its 250 pages you'll also find the methods, both mechanical and thematic, used to create villains that spark the imaginations of your players. Finally, the back of the book will contain villainous archetypes, options for every player class if you have a group that wants to take a walk on the evil side.


Every villain in Tyrants & Hellions is designed following the same core principles as the Total Party Kill Handbook and the Trap Compendium: easy to use, minimized prep time, and plenty of scaling options to adjust it to fit your game. In other words, they're Dungeon Master friendly. Your job is hard enough already, let us make it easier.

One of the new scaling features we'll be introducing in Tyrants & Hellions is time. Some groups meet weekly, and can handle a villain with plans that take 10 sessions to come to fruition. Some groups are lucky to meet once a month, and, unless your players take exemplary notes, they're going to forget a few details. The villains in Tyrants & Hellions are written around a midpoint between these two extremes, and have advice for how to scale the villain's schemes so they take longer or get rolling more quickly. The game should fit your group's schedule, not the other way around.

The writer's maxim is "show, don't tell" and we'd like to follow that advice by setting you up with a sample villain from the book: Amunrahx the Intrepid, a Red Dragon Tyrant whose story arc runs from levels 5 to 10. Note that the artwork and formatting here isn't final, and even the written content may change in the final release of the book. Basically, if you like this preview, you'll like the finished book even more.

Click here to get the promo!

Other villains include:

  • Purgos - Once the high wizard of Khorrenthal, Bessadia Silune forsook her humanity to save her people, sealing them in stasis and committing an act of unspeakable evil to become a Lich. She waits until the lost empire can rise again. But as years of undeath sap her sanity and the protective spell begins to weaken, she again turns to drastic measures to stave off extinction for her people.
  • The Silver Knight - A champion of the orcs, the Silver Knight is an immortal hero blessed with divine power. None know the origin of this hellion, as every time one is struck down, another rises up mere days later. Each one wields the same axe and wears the same shining armor, both far beyond the forging capability of even master artisans.
  • Whim - A doppelganger who you can retroactively weave into the backstories of your players' characters, Whim thrives on manipulating and tricking the "statics" (those who can't shapeshift) of the world. Shapeshifting is a primal joy for Whim, and your players may find some of their closest friends and family have been impersonated by the devious doppleganger. Whim may not stay their enemy forever, but even if diplomacy prevails, a shapeshifter is mercurial in form and temperament.

Like with our previous Kickstarter campaign for The Total Party Kill Handbook, we're reaching out to you to help make Tyrants & Hellions the best it can be. If you pledge at the Adventurer level or higher, you'll be able to vote on community-submitted villains for inclusion in the book. Everyone pledging at the Storyteller level or higher will be able to both vote on villains and submit villains to the Rogues' Gallery. We'll take the top-voted idea and adapt it into one of the villains featured in Tyrants & Hellions, crediting you as the original creator!


To make Tyrants & Hellions a truly indispensable companion for the busy Dungeon Master, we'll be adding The Villainous Workshop to the book. This 20+ page section offers insight into the design process for all the villains in Tyrants & Hellions, built to inspire and help you design your own nefarious foes. Here's a quick preview of the building blocks for villainy:

  • Introductions - A general returns from war, victorious over a hated enemy. A hero to the people, he seizes power, declaring himself emperor!
  • Goals - Her homeland has been ravaged by civil war long enough, it is time to unite the factions. If strength of arms is all they respect, so be it.
  • Schemes - The heir to the throne is weak-willed and easy to manipulate, it's time the monarch was removed so a more cooperative ruler can take charge.
  • Lairs - A flying tower, suspended on a cloud, which can conjure a lethal lightning storm once every month.
  • Artifacts - A dragonslayer's longbow which deals incurable wounds to any true dragon its arrows strike.
  • Aftermath - The villain's army descends into pillaging and looting, disintegrating into groups of bandits. Any surviving Lieutenants declare themselves leaders of these splinter factions, battling for what scraps remain.

You'll also find a class-specific plot hook section with twelve tables, each offering eight ways to engage players of every class. These are loose concepts, meant to provide the starting point for an adventure. If you have killer content and you aren't sure how to get your players over there, this is how to do it. Some examples include:

  • Fighter - A powerful warrior finds a cursed weapon, which compels him to seek out stronger and stronger opponents until he is beaten by a worthy foe. He challenges the fighter to single combat. If the fighter wins, the weapon leaps into his or her hand, giving them the same curse. A spell can free the fighter from the curse, but what is to be done with the blade?
  • Monk - While meditating, the monk begins to hear two voices. One voice begs the monk for help at a remote location, the other warns them to stay away. After a week, the voices stop.
  • Warlock - The warlock's patron goes silent for several days, leaving them unable to recover spell slots. When the silence ends, their patron has been usurped by another entity, one with a far harsher contract. The warlock has one week to agree to the new terms or face dire consequences. Of course, they could travel to the patron's home and make an appeal...

The last section in Tyrants & Hellions is villainous archetypes, introducing a brand new archetype for every class in the Player's Handbook. Much like the Death domain for Clerics, and the Oathbreaker archetype for Paladins, sometimes your players want to make a character that walks on the dark side. You can also use these to make villainous NPCs using player classes. Here's a teaser:

  • Sorcerer: Bloodcaster - They all know sorcery is in the blood. You know how to extract every last drop of magical power from yours.
  • Warlock: Celestial Pact - What could be more evil than stealing the power of an angel and using it for your own ends? Not all pacts benefit the patron.
  • Druid: Circle of the Woad - Balance must be maintained. Civilization has grown too fast and too far, you will keep it in check. You will level cities with nature's fury.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...