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Archvillain Archive

2022 ENnie Award Nominee

Now an ENnie-nominated title!

A dark mage, defiant to the gods.

A marauding warrior bent on conquest.

A true knight, twisted by grief into something cruel.

This book contains them all—and many more! This collection of characters, designed by some of the most prolific designers of D&D 5e content, houses the perfect archvillain for your next campaign. Each villain comes complete with backstory, motivations, and a full stat block. With Challenge Ratings from 15 to 30, you can always find something to suit your game!

But be warned … these villains don’t hold back!

sample page from Archvillain Archive, showing a knight on the left with her helmet visor upsample page from Archvillain Archive, showing a knight on the right with a closed face visor

Archvillain Archive contains:

  • 29 original archvillains, each ready to become your next Big Bad! 
  • Characters across every CR from 15 to 30, each with legendary and/or mythic actions!
  • 36 new items and 3 new spells to be given as rewards against these fearsome foes!
  • Writing and editing by some of the top DMs Guild creators: Hiten Dave, Noah Grand, Brittney Hay, Bryan Holmes, E.R.F. Jordan, Alexis Lewis, Cassandra MacDonald, Steven Pankotai, and Vall Syrene!
  • Layout and art direction by bestselling DMs Guild creator and Rime of the Frostmaiden co-author Anne Gregersen!
a sample page showing the Azul Magus, a blue-robed wizard with swirling blue magical powerthe Azul Magus's stat block
sample page showing the lore for the villain Ethil-Vaansample page showing art for Ethil-Vaan: a glowing figure stands silhouetted in a wood, surrounded by dark shadowy tentacles

Please note: a few small fixes were applied to the PDF that are not included in the print version. These are cosmetic changes only that do not affect the material:
  • Azul Magus, Pg 19: Ranged Spell Attack, Melee Spell Attack, and Hit should be italicized in both the Hurl Flame and Crushing Hug actions
  • Caerie Firemane, Page 21: Ranged Spell Attack & Melee Weapon Attack should be italicized in her Longsword and Eldritch Blast abilities
  • Nemesis, Pg 61: Melee Weapon Attack should be capitalized and italicized in the Nemesis Blade ability; and Erase Birth, Erase Aptitude, and Erase Experience should be bullet points, as they are sub-functions of Erase Story
  • Shadow, Pg 74: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack should be italic under Dagger
  • Winter's Bane, Pg 90: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack should be italic under Cold Strike
  • Spirit Shroud, Pg 101: "Tasha's Guide to Everything" should be "Tasha's Cauldron of Everything"
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Asher W August 03, 2022 3:27 am UTC
PURCHASER
I've begun to suspect Nemesis is real, because never have I seen a villain so close to an idea that has been knocking around my noggin for some time. Phenomenally written, my man!
Customer avatar
Charles W February 17, 2022 3:00 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just picked this up and its such a great pdf! I love how some of the villains are inspired by other pop culture like Poison Ivy and Little Shop of horrors, but Helena seems to be a lot of fun to use. This Sam entity could be many things and I'm drawing inspiration from Bill Cipher or Giegue.
Customer avatar
Colby K February 12, 2022 7:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Would there be any place to just get the art files of the villains after paying for the pdf? Would love to have full versions to show to players!
Reply
Customer avatar
Steven P February 12, 2022 8:13 pm UTC
CREATOR
Unfortunately, I only have license to use the images in a commercial product, not to provide them as individual assets (since that would be reselling them). But I agree they're beautiful! All the artists are listed in the credits, and almost all images were sourced via Adobe Stock so with some searching you should be able to find them for your own use. Sorry I can't be more helpful!
Reply
Customer avatar
Colby K February 12, 2022 9:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
all good, really appreciate the quick reply, and thanks for such a cool product!
Customer avatar
Jeffrey C January 07, 2022 3:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The Azul Magus’ story says he received Wizard training and uses magic but he has no spellcasting trait. Was this an oversight?
Reply
Customer avatar
Steven P January 07, 2022 4:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
It was decided that since he's spent several years becoming something... else, it wasn't necessary for the statblock. He's designed to focus on the inhuman abilities more than the magical, and adding high-level spells makes him significantly more deadly. But a few spells could be added by any DM that feels otherwise, it does fit the lore!
Reply
Customer avatar
Alexis L February 14, 2022 7:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey! Designer of the Azul Magus here, the general idea was that he sacrificed his Vancian spellcasting abilities for the ability to devour extraplanar and otherwise magical creatures' essence and add it to his own.
Customer avatar
Galen S December 25, 2021 4:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
This has worked for me with no problems (sorry for those it hasn't downloaded properly yet). This is such an awesome resource. The villains within are well thought out with enough of a story to get my juices flowing. I immediately want everything you produce it is that good. Thank you!
Customer avatar
Jimmy F December 24, 2021 3:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi! Your product is featured in my latest YouTube video. Feel free to use quotes from it or even the timestamp link as the video on your catalog page if you want. Also please signal boost (share) the video if you can (and haven't already). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UIlNTyzVv8
Customer avatar
Misha M December 24, 2021 12:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
Heya just bought the pdf version as it looked interedting but when seeing it in my library there is not pdf to download. Just the title with nothing under it.
Reply
Customer avatar
Steven P December 24, 2021 1:29 am UTC
CREATOR
Hey! I'm not sure what the problem is; I can see it on my end! I suspect it may be a website issue. I would contact the support team for the site. If they're unable to help you, I'll get you a copy!
Reply
Customer avatar
Thomas D December 24, 2021 3:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey! I actually ran into the same problem, if that helps. I put in a support ticket, so hopefully it gets worked out.

I like what I've seen from the previews, though!
Reply
Customer avatar
Alex J December 24, 2021 1:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I also have the exact same problem. It shows in my library but no pdf to download
Reply
Customer avatar
Misha M December 24, 2021 2:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for a quick reply. I submitted a ticket earlier today and just downloaded it a few min ago :) Hopefully it’s fixed for everyone
Reply
Customer avatar
Alex J December 24, 2021 2:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It's fixed for me now thanks!
Reply
Customer avatar
Steven P December 24, 2021 2:26 pm UTC
CREATOR
I worked with support this morning and it should be fixed for everyone! My apologies for the problems. Enjoy the book!
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Pages
103
Format
Original electronic
Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
December 24, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on December 21, 2021.