d20 Villain Actions

So, game designer and Internet DM guru Matt Colville did a video in which he described how to make a villain or monster more interesting by using the action economy to give your baddies some cool new abilities to engage your players. So, if you’re interested in doing that but can’t think of any actions, I made you some lists! Just pick 3 or so to give your villain, and you should be good to go!

Standard Boss (like a goblin chief)

  1. Summon 1d4 minions
  2. Revive 1d4 minions 
  3. Order minions: “Target that hero!”
  4. Order minions: “Avoid that hero!”
  5. Order minions: “Defend the treasure(s)!”
  6. Order minions: “Block the exit(s)!”
  7. Order minions: “Steal the item(s)!”
  8. Simple area effect on heroes (blow a horn to deafen, ignite a flare to blind)
  9. Simple area effect on terrain (set a brush fire, open a floodgate)
  10. Prepare device (weapon, trap)
  11. Activate device (weapon, trap)
  12. Kidnap the hero(es)
  13. Exchange prisoner(s)
  14. Run away!
  15. Sacrifice minion
  16. Sacrifice self
  17. Heal self (potion, spell)
  18. Surrender (true, he’s giving up!)
  19. Surrender (false, it’s a ruse!)
  20. Summon greater boss (uh oh…)

Super Boss (like a dragon)

  1. Summon 1d4 swarms
  2. Birth / hatch 1d6 offspring
  3. Order minions: “Target that hero!”
  4. Order minions: “Avoid that hero!”
  5. Order minions: “Defend the treasure(s)!”
  6. Order minions: “Block the exit(s)!”
  7. Order minions: “Steal the item(s)!”
  8. Complex area effect on heroes (confuse, enrage, charm)
  9. Complex area effect on terrain (structural change, atmospheric change)
  10. Prepare device (weapon, trap)
  11. Activate device (weapon, trap)
  12. Swallow/engulf the hero(es)
  13. Curse the hero(es) (petrify, frozen, blight)
  14. Run away
  15. Detonate minion (BOOM!)
  16. Mutate minion (ew)
  17. Heal self (absorb life from land / minions / heroes)
  18. Surrender (true, he’s giving up!)
  19. Surrender (false, it’s a ruse!)
  20. Evolve into greater form (is it the final form???)

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