Episode 021 - Zen and the Art of Villain Design

PFJ emerges from the Fortress of Solitude to talk to Prof. Christopher McGlothlin about his work on Mutants & Masterminds, the new Rogues Gallery pdf series, and how to make the sort of villains that will give player character superheroes nightmares.

Highlights Include:
 - A bunch of fun stories from one of the system's most prolific and entertaining contributors
 - Insight into what we can expect to see in the future

Listen now!

Or download the episode directly by right-clicking here and selecting "Save As".


  1. Great episode! Rogues Gallery is fantastic, the Embalmer is especially creepy. You two always have great advice, keep up the great work.

  2. Regarding that Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi example what if you a pair of friends rivals over the hand of a mutual love but during their courtship one is proving a better match until the pair end up going abroad with only one returning.
    Its eventually revealed one was imprisoned on charges committed by the rival who by the time they're freed has married their mutual love but she's killed in an event blamed on the former prisoner who actually tried to save his love only for his former friend to kill her so he can claim her fortune and insure she never left him as far as the public are concerned but whilst the former prisoner is an eventual vigilante or potential anti-villain with his nemesis the actual villain using his resources to back various groups to insure his former friend turned nemesis never succeeds in proving his innocence and ruining his reputation...

    Now imagine this guy being the heroes patron now has the inside scoop on all their abilities and secrets where he can and these will eventually be "leaked" to prevent them becoming rivals to him...

  3. You know if no one knows whose wearing that suit of armour whose to say that the person wearing that mantle isn't say a nephew of the person whose assumed to be wearing it?

    Talk about instant nemesis if they accidentally kill a wearer of the Doom-like armour resulting in various bands of mercenaries, assassins, etc all seeking revenge for the death of a loved one who wasn't even committing an evil act when attacked after all diplomatic immunity and attacked because they think they're being all righteous and your standard player mentality...

  4. Heh an invasion by an alien species whose naturally shrunk so they're sub-atomic in size and the heroes investigating mysterious disappearances discover the invaders are trying to adapt to humanity and are abducting people shrinking them down and bringing them into their sub-atomic citadels and now like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, John Carter and I think Micronauts have an entire campaign set in the sub-atomic level defending humanity from an invader regular folk know nothing about!

    Antman & Wasp-like characters having powers only when shrunk whilst conversely the invaders gain powers when enlarged but like the Smallville tv series cannot mentally handle the empowerment...

    Coast City assumed blown up is actually shrunk and taken into the Sub-Atomic universe...

  5. Imagine an artefact mixing the Infinity Stones with Dr Who's quest for the shards of time (forget the actual name) so we have a Collector style villain seeking the shards for an ancient artefact that resembles a huge gem when reassembled its eventually revealed each shard is responsible for empowering the various super powered lineages and you get other villains coming out of the cracks seeking these lineages believing they can be used to obtain powers of their own.
    From annoying to outright threatening especially if they're otherwise very low powered.

    Imagine a Thanos-like figure captures a Spiderman-like character using their spider sense to penetrate an ancient citadel to secure one such shard storing them in their dyson sphere sized battle station where the heroes eventually have to infiltrate to thwart the plans of those seeking to access the assembled Gem that literally allows them to treat reality as their plaything a frightening amount of power that was why it was deliberately disassembled and the central spoke was left at point blank range of a super nova in an attempt to destroy it that may have left it unstable and vastly more dangerous...

  6. Oh and the cliffhanger for the above is that the being who went to such extremes to destroy that artefact was actually considered the Universe's worst super villain this artefact was so terrifying that he did his utmost to destroy it and his descendants the only people who can handle the shards safely are all hidden on Earth otherwise completely normal folk until someone stupidly puts them in contact with a shard allowing them to access their ancestors own powers...