Myth, legend, fiction and history are replete with colorful villainesses. In some cases, they just happen to be female. But more often, their gender is melded into their role as an antagonist, and the result is a unique dynamic. Villainesses are, by their very nature, different then villains. The differences are physiological, behavioral, societal and sexual. They present a host of unique opportunities in roleplaying adventures
For example, here are some archetypes unique to villainesses, along with ways these archetypes can be used effectively in a campaign:
Seductress: Villainesses of legend are most often beautiful yet perilous, like a thorny rose bush or a brightly patterned venomous snake.
Hag: When not stunningly beautiful, villainesses are usually hideous old hags. No longer capable of creating life within, they become dedicated to destroying that which exists around them.
Manipulator: While seductresses might manipulate their lovers, this archetype specifically refers to a villainesses who plots and schemes in secret.
Duelist: Women are physiologically different from man, usually more lightly built and with a different center of gravity.
Brawler: Female dwarves and half-orcs may be a physical match for human males, on average.
Matriarch: Child-bearing is a uniquely feminine ability. Consider this fact when designing and playing villainesses. When the player characters defeat an evil queen, what do they do with her children?
Tyrant: Historically, some female rulers may have felt the need to be extra strict or even harsh so that they might maintain control in a male-dominated world.
Rival: When a campaign includes a female player character, villainesses can take the role of rival.