Maybe this was an obvious one, but… yeah, bad-guys have to be prepared.
When GMing with Sorcerer’s Relationship-Map method, you (the GM) don’t decide who the main villain is; that comes out through play. You start with lots of NPCs who each have their own motivations and plans, and who will each try to influence, recruit, help or hinder the PCs accordingly. As the story develops, one (or more) of the NPCs will naturally end up opposing the PCs or trying to harm them.
My problem is: twice now in the current game, an NPC that had the potential to develop into the main villain has ended up dead. In their very first interaction with the PCs.
I’ve been statting up these NPCs as if they were some-what experienced PCs, which I see now was not the right approach. These are ambitious and dangerous people who already have a number of enemies. They should each be walking around with the equivalent of a couple of Glocks, a kevlar vest and six body guards. With a bullet-proof limo idling out front.
The prepared bad-guy was practically built into the dungeon-crawl model of play. A whole maze of mooks, lieutenants and guard-dogs stood between the heroes and the villain. In the new democratic world of R-map play, I will have to be a little smarter. Or at least, my antagonists will have to be.