Over the years I've played in countless campaigns and I'm always struck at how rarely I've encountered a real villain. Oh sure, there have been caricatures of villains here and there but so often it seems as though the Dungeon Master's I've played under have been afraid to let a villain be truly evil. It's almost as though they're afraid that if they do so that the game will somehow be less entertaining and enjoyable then if they throw out these easily defeated foes.
So my question for all of you out there is this: have you ever encountered a villain in game that you'd really call evil. What did they do that made them evil? What made them worth your time as a player to put forth the effort to actually go out there and thwart their vile plans?
I was asked to provide a description of the sort of villain that gets my juices flowing. So here goes.
I am tired of villains who are shades of gray. We've all seen them and they were novel when they first came out in the thirties and we started identifying with every character in literature but they've come to dominate our imaginations both in the game and in our daily lives. We no longer have a vile, despicable villain to hate.
I want a villain who compels me to get off my ass and do everything that I can to fight him. I want a villain who walks in the room and we all look over and know that this fucker must die. I want him to commit acts of villainy. I want him to kill villages and kidnap princesses. I want him to be Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. I want a villain and not some knock off that I'm having to identify with. I'm fine with the rest of the world being shades of gray where I have to understand what they're doing and how their cultures impact the world around them - but let my villain be a stark, blood drenched, black in this world.
That's what I'm looking for, in a nut shell.