One hundred of the creepiest, most sinister traits imaginable for the villains of your fantasy world.
|They change voices between every sentence. Most of the time it's just one of many intimidating voices, occasionally multiple, sometimes they throw in that of an innocent sounding child, rarely, you'll hear your own...
|They are never fully seen, as they're always behind a veil of magical darkness that nothing seems able to dispel/always hidden beyond the party's perception checks. Occasional hints of their appearance come out, only to immediately be contradicted by something.
|They are completely unflappable. No amount of threats, bargaining, insults, etc. are able to change their demeanor of eerie grinning stoicism.
|They never move normally, whether crawling along the walls and ceiling, taking exaggerated movements, flailing about as they give chase towards someone, they never just casually walk.
|Whenever one isn't looking at them, they can move completely silently and over any terrain without difficulty.
|While you are speaking with them, they are stacking and restacking small piles of rodent bones. Every few minutes, they will ask whether this arrangement looks better than the last one.
|They can possess other living beings. Makes for great 'oh shit' moment when party realizes that they are never safe, even when they are alone because one of them could be possessed.
|You never, EVER, see them enter a room. They are just... There.
|They never blink.
|They know impossible things about your character.
|If you see them eating or drinking it looks normal at first, but something is wrong. They eat/drink in a strange manner or the food/drink itself is strange and upsetting but it takes you a moment to notice.
|Their shadow moves and acts independently, but you have to be very perceptive to notice.
|When looking at them with peripheral vision, they appear totally different or monstrous.
|When in their presence you hear something from your worst memory.
|Your skin feels clammy anytime you are in their presence.
|You feel intoxicated in their presence.
|Whatever is... Wrong about them only YOU notice it (DM, hand different secret notes to your players with different creepy aspects).
|They always stare for a couple seconds when asked a question as if trying to understand an alien language.
|They are obsessed with dolls, doll houses, or doll house furniture.
|They stare for hours on end without moving or uttering a word.
|They bring up traumatic events, death, or torture with a playful or casual tone.
|They understand things about the spirit world more than a normal person should.
|They introduce dead objects on their person with you as if they are legitimately alive things.
|Have no remorse for any morally questionable actions or thoughts.
|They illogically blame others for the negative way they reacted to a situation.
|They occasionally run their hand through their hair, with clumps of it coming out each time.
|Turns out, the off-looking villain 'person' you've been talking to, was just a shape-shifted appendage of a much bigger creature hidden in the ground...
|They talk to the group via a ventriloquist puppet with a mummified head.
|The underlings of the villain are absolutely terrified to the core by the mere presence of their boss, despite the fact that they are totally calm and (overly?) friendly to them.
|Unsettling perfection. Beauty, style and gracefulness turned up to 110%. Too good to be real.
|Being normal and relatable contrasted by showing glimpses of extreme lack of empathy or sanity. 'You're from Gray Oaks? Ha! World's small! I grew up not half a days walk from there on a farm, just like you. Also had a younger brother. We had so much fun playing together. I left after I chopped him up and fed him to the pigs.'
|Despite seemingly being a normal person with no supernatural powers, some very powerful people are terrified of them.
|It's impossible to sneak up on them, they're always perfectly aware of where everyone is.
|They don't seem to feel pain, however badly they're injured.
|They have too many teeth.
|They float across the floor, as of the very act of walking is beneath them.
|Their face never moves when they talk. It’s a mouth on their chest! Let someone get a perception check as it moves.
|The villain’s body is covered in ritualistic cuts, some of them quite gruesome. The villain’s clothing may cover them, but the villain isn’t concerned with keeping them concealed.
|When something disappoints the villain, a minion approaches and offers its throat. The villain slays the minion without changing expression, then turns its attention elsewhere.
|The villain keeps the head or skull of a hated opponent at hand, and frequently stops to condescend to it.
|The villain’s body is covered in places by spiderwebs. If the villain spies one of the arachnid inhabitants, it eats the spider.
|Due to its diet, the villain’s mouth and teeth are perpetually smeared in blood.
|The villain once collected a beard from a renowned dwarf mystic. The beard has been mounted by leather bindings to a wooden handle, and the villain will sometimes lift the blood-tinged beard to its face like a mask.
|The villain spends its spare time gazing into a special crystal ball that replays the violent final moments of various departed individuals.
|The villain maintains a collection of fetishes of various characters. The fetishes are constructed of real animal bone, blood, hair, leather and flesh.
|The villain can emit a maddening cacophony of whispers and disturbing cries. This supernatural sound can be heard at a distance, regardless of intervening materials, excepting magical silence. Unpleasant from afar, and deafening up close, this sound can be suppressed by the villain at will.
|The villain does not walk. It is carried forth by a tide of putrid limbs that erupt from whatever surface the villain is upon, propel the villain in a seated position, then rapidly decay as the villain passes beyond the spot.
|The villain’s appearance is normal for its species, but it’s lower face is missing. Where flesh would be, there are only teeth and a bony grimace. The villain never speaks.
|The sound of crying, pleading young ones can be faintly heard from within the villain’s clothing.
|The villain’s body is visibly riddled by rot grubs, though it does not seem to suffer ill effects from the wounds.
|The villain carries an unholy tome, and constantly reads aloud prayers to a profane god. Though it may take other actions and cast spells, it will never stop its recitations to engage in conversation.
|Visible within the flesh of the villain gestates a massive, monstrous, pulsating creature. Its birth will clearly kill the host, who shows great affection for the creature.
|The villain’s eye sockets are empty, and it’s head is perforated by dozens of unnatural holes.
|The villain’s head is entirely enclosed within a metal strongbox. There is a slotted panel that it could open if it chose to reveal its eyes.
|The villain must slay one sentient being every day to maintain the pact it made with its dark master. The villain scars itself to maintain the count. After 99 days of victims, the villain will kill itself.
|The villain gave up its mouth for its master. When the master desires it, it will manifest a mouth on the villain’s palm to speak through.
|The villain’s heart beats supernaturally loud. Within thirty feet of the villain, your vision dims slightly on each beat. Standing next to the villain is dangerous to the psyche.
|The villain is entirely encased in leather, armor, and goggles. If its suit is ever compromised, the vile fluid that comprises its body will seep into the earth and reconstitute itself somewhere else.
|Anyone the villain rests its gaze upon experiences bleeding from their eyes and ears.
|The villain can make its hand semicorporeal and remove the heart or brain from a willing or helpless subject.
|There are places on the villain’s body where the flesh boils when the villain becomes angry.
|The villain has a large number of progeny, and they frequently offer their lives in service to the villain.
|The villain can project a shadowy version of itself to any area of dim light or darkness within one mile. It can see and hear through the projection. It frequently uses this ability to interrogate and threaten its enemies when they are alone.
|The villain visits young, old, and vulnerable people, terrifying them and making strange demands of loyalty.
|The villain will almost constantly use magic to create the sounds of an audience; clapping the villain's monologues, booing your/your party's retorts, gasping, cheering and laughing all at the villain's whim.
|The villain's personality will shift between completely psychopathic and terrified NPC. One minute they're flaying the skin off of a live animal for fun and the moment the party have them at knifepoint, the 'villain' is violently sobbing, begging the heroes for forgiveness and asking for death, so as to stop this personality from harming their last remaining family, a young child.
|They have an unsettling laugh that forces itself out of them during their speaking.
|The villain gently caresses someone with something vile and/or deadly, like a ritual knife, a poisonous stinger, or a mummified hand. Bonus points if the villain licks said deadly weapon after that.
|You never hear them approach, but they look like they've been there a while when you finally notice them.
|When someone runs from the villain, the villain takes his or her sweet time. They speak slower, maybe even whistle a tune as they casually give chase.
|The villain appears differently to whoever views it. Some see a pale human, others see a clammy, zombified creature, others a demon, whatever the case, the true form of this villain is unknown...
|The villain refuses to attack or allow harm to one party member because they like the quality of their hair.
|They’re constantly talking to an inanimate skull. They act more surprised when other people don’t talk to or greet the skull.
|The villain is cheerful, friendly, personable, makes it a point to remember the name of everyone they meet, and it's apparently genuinely confused that the heroes won't join in on the villainy which is often ultra-violent.
|The villain struggles to speak, and when they do the PC's hear it as if someone is whispering in their ear from behind, including feeling like someone is behind them even when there is nobody there.
|The villain has patches of skin sewn on to their own to cover markings/wounds/whatever.
|You can feel them in your head when they look at you, and it feels like they are licking your thoughts.
|They take on the appearance of a porcelain doll, complete with an emotionless mask, child-like voice and frilly clothes. In their hand is a large pair of scissors dripping with blood and a slashed ragdoll similar in appearance to a missing villager.
|They create puppet shows with life-like marionettes. These puppets are humanoids with wounds where the strings would be placed, mouths sewn shut, and eyes full of panic.
|Their eyes are completely white (effectively blind) and will often ask for one to offer their sight to them. In their lair, jars of preserved eyes are kept in the hopes that they can regain their sight.
|They are silent / mute, and often do not waste time with speech, acting quickly and with purpose without a word.
|They have several wounds in their neck with many openings. Every breath sounds like a bagpipe filling, and as they speak their voice comes out as an eerier multi-toned chorus that is eerie and off key. Every proclamation from them sounds as if a chorus of spirits is speaking in unison.
|They have many holes or enlarged pores that suggest illness and set off Tripophobia.
|They assume the form of a treasured loved one of whoever they are speaking with / interacting with. It is a natural effect and they cannot choose the form they are perceived as.
|Their bottom jaw actually splits into 2 when they speak, giving the appearance of mandibles.
|They ominously play with a set of artisan's tools, it is not clear what they intend to do with them.
|They pull out an easel and canvas, and ominously attempt to speed-paint the party whenever they monologue.
|They are missing their left cheek, and their jaw is visible. Their whole outfit is leather made from left cheeks of many, many victims.
|They are devoid of bodily fluids. Instead, insects and bugs swarm through their veins and writhe in their body.
|The wind always picks up when the villain is present, blowing the trees, rustling the leaves, bending the branches, whistling around the eaves of buildings, whistling through fireplaces. Everyone within 50 feet gets a chill, a little shiver, feels as if they want to pull a cape tighter around themselves, button a jacket, throw a blanket around the shoulders, regardless of the weather.
|Everything within 10 feet of the villain experiences accelerated mold and mildew growth, all surfaces (including creature/gear surfaces) turn sickly black/olive/brown with patches of mold and sporulating mildew in about 30 seconds. The stench of decay is noticeable within 60 feet.
|A 10-foot radius around the villain is constantly in shadow (as if the villain were walking under an large, invisible, black umbrella).
|The villain only speaks in whispers, but the whispers sound as if the villain's mouth is just outside your ear (or just behind you, regardless of the villain's location, and regardless of which way you turn).
|All plant life within 20 feet of the villain turns gray, withers and dies.
|All little creatures (insects, mice, roaches, small birds, etc.) within 20 feet of the villain flee (run/fly away from the villain).
|The villain is draped in visible, but ethereal-looking and seemingly weightless, chains and shackles. The villain often tugs at them, as if trying to remove them, without realizing they are doing so.
|The villain drools and smacks their lips constantly, as if looking at the most delicious meal in the world, even when speaking.
|They do not perform incidental movements; they don't twitch, shift in place when standing, swing their arms as they walk, glance around, etc.
|The villain's eyes dart to the source of any slight sound however they will continue to face and converse uninterrupted with whoever they were focusing on.
|They have experimented on themselves and they gleefully and slowly display their glistening new appendages such as wings or extra limbs.