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Villain A Day (Dr. Sin)

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  • John McMullen
    Alphabetically, he s next, even though he s hidden off in the adventure. Dr. Sin One-sentence summary: A twenty-five hundred year old Taoist alchemist,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 22, 2013
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      Alphabetically, he's next, even though he's hidden off in the adventure.

      Dr. Sin

      One-sentence summary: A twenty-five hundred year old Taoist alchemist, searching for true immortality.

      Taoist alchemy probably started at about the same time as given for Dr. Sin as a search for immortality and perfection of the body. The idea was that you could take the elixir once, your body would be perfected, and you would be immortal. (Hundreds of years later, the idea of creating gold turns up.)

      But why was the prolongation elixir never given to the emperor of the Middle Kingdom? Partly because it is not the immortality the emperor wanted, it is only  nei tan, a life prolongation serum. The emperor didn't get it, either: perhaps the emperor died before it could be deliver, or perhaps it wasn't finished, or maybe it didn't work on
      him. Perhaps Dr. Sin is a mutant, one of a small number of people on which his nei tan works. Or perhaps the elixir is quite similar to the one in The Sins of the Past, and it requires the subject to be different: the Golden Agents were dosed with cosmic rays; Dr. Sin might have been exposed to a natural radioactivity that made him "extensible."

      Alternatively, the emperor was the mutant, the one who it would not help...but Sin could not have known that.

      The failure of the elixir to save the emperor is a source of shame to Dr. Sin. He believes that only by finding true immortality will he blot out the shame, and will only then permit himself to have children.

      Dr. Sin can be involved in situations by the promise of a serum, but be careful: A two-thousand year old man is not easily taken in. He is cautious about immortality formulae: if the person claiming the serum is not at least five hundred years old, the formula is dismissed out of hand. How could they know if it offers immortality?

      How does he know about these supposed immortals? There's an internet chatroom for immortals and for the very long-lived. It's a place to go when you miss an older, simpler time. All names are false, of course, though members have ways of finding out who is who. By agreement, they do not hunt one another, not even the vampires: after all,
      personal knowledge of a long-ago time is much more valuable than the lives of mayflies.

      Dr. Sin has an astounding intellect, but he is hobbled by two thousand years of wrong thought. He himself is aware of this. He has a tendency to prefer the old over the new, partly because he would prefer that the immortality serum has had time to be tested, but also partly because he chooses not to study more of the modern sciences than he needs to. Yes, they work, but they have no elegance.

      Other villains occasionally hire Dr. Sin for his mind, to solve chemical problems. Often, he needs only to glance at the problem to understand it. He will not help someone else with immortality.

      For your needs, though, Dr. Sin is a fine shadowy figure who can be behind any number of things.  Unlike Rex Mundi, he doesn't create gadgets that might let him go toe-to-toe with superheroes, nor does he have powers that let him do much more than escape...or control the mind of an individual.

      We know that he has control of the Qing Ri assassins (possibly translated as "the clear sun"), and there might be other groups as well. Members of these groups might not even know he was instrumental in the founding, but he knows the correct passwords. He might, in fact, be The Face That Is No Face, the ruler of the Black Hoods--or in a deadly war with them.

      Story ideas

      1. To create a true elixir vitae, one needs the Philosopher's stone, which is being sold on Ebay. The seller claims it is genuine...but the seller is a Harry Potter fanatic and she believes many untrue things. Dr. Sin has decided to make an example of her. Dr. Sin warns her he is coming (what good is a warning if there is no publicity?), she contacts the PCs. Can they protect her? Is the obvious attack on her the real attack? And can the player characters stand her long enough to do their jobs?
      2. Dr. Sin tested one variant of his prolongation serum on a servant who volunteered, Lo Fat, and later escaped. Alas, the variations did nothing to improve the serum, and Lo Fat is showing signs of aging now, after a hundred and fifty years. (A more modern researcher would use mice, but that option wasn't obvious in 1880.) In expectation of this time, Lo Fat has studied martial arts and weaponry, because he feels he is going to have to take some of the elixir by force. To practice those skills, he has chosen to battle the PCs. If they win too handily, he might enlist them in his battle against Dr. Sin.
      3. Another variant on the elixir actually shortens people's lives and grants them superpowers. The length of life depends on the person's life force, but it has never been more than a year and is usually several months. Upon learning that they have only thirty to sixty days to live, most people go through a violently angry phase…which is where the PCs come upon them: a crazed new superhuman who will burn out in weeks.
      4. Dr. Sin founded the Black Hood, but it was stolen from him by a student, Nicholas Flamel. (In part, the founding of the Qing Ri assassins was to compensate for that loss.) Now it is time to destroy them. The players begin to get hints that point them at Black Hood activities. Rather than dealing with the Black Hood directly, Dr. Sin plans to use the authorities and the PCs. Will they discover that he is their benefactor? If so, what will they do?
      5. Because of the destruction of habitat, one of the ingredients that Dr. Sin needs for his elixir of life was believed extinct…but there is a close relative in the seed banks of Russia. Dr. Sin needs that plant, to see whether it is suitable or not. However, they won't just give him the seeds. He needs to steal some of the seeds,  and he needs the Creeper to accelerate the plant's growth…except the Creeper is currently in prison, and is not allowed plant matter. Players can be involved in either the theft (which Pulsar will not do; he has some loyalty to Russia), or in the operation to free the Creeper and possibly other supervillains as well, to cover his tracks.

      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
      jhmcmullen@...
    • Soylent Green
      Oh I like the idea of linking Dr Sins origin to that of The Golden Agents from Sins of the Past. He could have been exposed to the same alien radiation and his
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 23, 2013
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        Oh I like the idea of linking Dr Sins origin to that of The Golden Agents from Sins of the Past. He could have been exposed to the same alien radiation and his Elixir Vitae is chemically the same potion that Madame Curious discovered several centuries later.

        Just so you know I am saving these Villain A Day posts in their own folder for future reference.


        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: jhmcmullen@...
        Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 11:54:12 -0700
        Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Dr. Sin)

         

        Alphabetically, he's next, even though he's hidden off in the adventure.

        Dr. Sin

        One-sentence summary: A twenty-five hundred year old Taoist alchemist, searching for true immortality.

        Taoist alchemy probably started at about the same time as given for Dr. Sin as a search for immortality and perfection of the body. The idea was that you could take the elixir once, your body would be perfected, and you would be immortal. (Hundreds of years later, the idea of creating gold turns up.)

        But why was the prolongation elixir never given to the emperor of the Middle Kingdom? Partly because it is not the immortality the emperor wanted, it is only  nei tan, a life prolongation serum. The emperor didn't get it, either: perhaps the emperor died before it could be deliver, or perhaps it wasn't finished, or maybe it didn't work on
        him. Perhaps Dr. Sin is a mutant, one of a small number of people on which his nei tan works. Or perhaps the elixir is quite similar to the one in The Sins of the Past, and it requires the subject to be different: the Golden Agents were dosed with cosmic rays; Dr. Sin might have been exposed to a natural radioactivity that made him "extensible."

        Alternatively, the emperor was the mutant, the one who it would not help...but Sin could not have known that.

        The failure of the elixir to save the emperor is a source of shame to Dr. Sin. He believes that only by finding true immortality will he blot out the shame, and will only then permit himself to have children.

        Dr. Sin can be involved in situations by the promise of a serum, but be careful: A two-thousand year old man is not easily taken in. He is cautious about immortality formulae: if the person claiming the serum is not at least five hundred years old, the formula is dismissed out of hand. How could they know if it offers immortality?

        How does he know about these supposed immortals? There's an internet chatroom for immortals and for the very long-lived. It's a place to go when you miss an older, simpler time. All names are false, of course, though members have ways of finding out who is who. By agreement, they do not hunt one another, not even the vampires: after all,
        personal knowledge of a long-ago time is much more valuable than the lives of mayflies.

        Dr. Sin has an astounding intellect, but he is hobbled by two thousand years of wrong thought. He himself is aware of this. He has a tendency to prefer the old over the new, partly because he would prefer that the immortality serum has had time to be tested, but also partly because he chooses not to study more of the modern sciences than he needs to. Yes, they work, but they have no elegance.

        Other villains occasionally hire Dr. Sin for his mind, to solve chemical problems. Often, he needs only to glance at the problem to understand it. He will not help someone else with immortality.

        For your needs, though, Dr. Sin is a fine shadowy figure who can be behind any number of things.  Unlike Rex Mundi, he doesn't create gadgets that might let him go toe-to-toe with superheroes, nor does he have powers that let him do much more than escape...or control the mind of an individual.

        We know that he has control of the Qing Ri assassins (possibly translated as "the clear sun"), and there might be other groups as well. Members of these groups might not even know he was instrumental in the founding, but he knows the correct passwords. He might, in fact, be The Face That Is No Face, the ruler of the Black Hoods--or in a deadly war with them.

        Story ideas

        1. To create a true elixir vitae, one needs the Philosopher's stone, which is being sold on Ebay. The seller claims it is genuine...but the seller is a Harry Potter fanatic and she believes many untrue things. Dr. Sin has decided to make an example of her. Dr. Sin warns her he is coming (what good is a warning if there is no publicity?), she contacts the PCs. Can they protect her? Is the obvious attack on her the real attack? And can the player characters stand her long enough to do their jobs?
        2. Dr. Sin tested one variant of his prolongation serum on a servant who volunteered, Lo Fat, and later escaped. Alas, the variations did nothing to improve the serum, and Lo Fat is showing signs of aging now, after a hundred and fifty years. (A more modern researcher would use mice, but that option wasn't obvious in 1880.) In expectation of this time, Lo Fat has studied martial arts and weaponry, because he feels he is going to have to take some of the elixir by force. To practice those skills, he has chosen to battle the PCs. If they win too handily, he might enlist them in his battle against Dr. Sin.
        3. Another variant on the elixir actually shortens people's lives and grants them superpowers. The length of life depends on the person's life force, but it has never been more than a year and is usually several months. Upon learning that they have only thirty to sixty days to live, most people go through a violently angry phase…which is where the PCs come upon them: a crazed new superhuman who will burn out in weeks.
        4. Dr. Sin founded the Black Hood, but it was stolen from him by a student, Nicholas Flamel. (In part, the founding of the Qing Ri assassins was to compensate for that loss.) Now it is time to destroy them. The players begin to get hints that point them at Black Hood activities. Rather than dealing with the Black Hood directly, Dr. Sin plans to use the authorities and the PCs. Will they discover that he is their benefactor? If so, what will they do?
        5. Because of the destruction of habitat, one of the ingredients that Dr. Sin needs for his elixir of life was believed extinct…but there is a close relative in the seed banks of Russia. Dr. Sin needs that plant, to see whether it is suitable or not. However, they won't just give him the seeds. He needs to steal some of the seeds,  and he needs the Creeper to accelerate the plant's growth…except the Creeper is currently in prison, and is not allowed plant matter. Players can be involved in either the theft (which Pulsar will not do; he has some loyalty to Russia), or in the operation to free the Creeper and possibly other supervillains as well, to cover his tracks.

        John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
        jhmcmullen@...

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