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RE: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day

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  • Soylent Green
    There is a Google+ Icons group? Why wasn t I informed? What goes on there? CC: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com From:
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 24, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      There is a Google+ Icons group? Why wasn't I informed? What goes on there?


      CC: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@...
      Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:42:09 -0400
      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day

       

      Sure. I had forgotten the Google+ community because I haven't used it myself (though I'll try to in the future).

      On 2013-06-23, at 8:34 AM, Ron Frazier <ronfraz63@...> wrote:

      John,

      Can I share these in the Google+ Icons Community? They're really good.

      On Jun 23, 2013 8:28 AM, <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      3 New Messages

      Digest #802
      1a
      Villain A Day (Dr. Sin) by "John McMullen" jhmcmullen
      1b
      Re: Villain A Day (Dr. Sin) by "Soylent Green" gsoylent
      2a
      Re: Villain A Day (Diamond) by "Soylent Green" gsoylent

      Messages

      Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:54 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "John McMullen" jhmcmullen

      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&#39;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@yahoo.com

      Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:09 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "Soylent Green" gsoylent

      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@yahoo.com
      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
      To create a true elixir vitae, one needs the Philosopher&#39;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?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.
      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.
      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?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@yahoo.com

      Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:05 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "Soylent Green" gsoylent

      Those are some really good ideas John. You'd need a reasonably long campaign to fully play out the before and after but I think it would be really cool.
      Diamond should be featuring in my Icons campaign this Monday. I've gone for a less canonical take on Diamond in which she publicly acts as a hero but secretly works for the Octofather. That's a lot less subtle but I only have a short campaign to work with. Her role will be to lead the characters into an ambush. The characters will have a chance to catch her out before that happpens, we'll see how it goes.
      As an aside, I feel Diamond's is too powerful (Strength 10, Invulnerability 8) for someone who is essentially a fraud and feels she needs to stage fights and deck the stack in her favour.

      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@yahoo.com
      Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:55:42 -0700
      Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Diamond)

      Diamond clearly has a before situation and
      an after situation: do the heroes expose her or not?

      I think Diamond is great setup, and the before period with the slow discovery of the reveal can be strung out for months.

      One-Sentence Summary: The beautiful fraud,
      Diamond defeats villains she created or lets other people wear villains down,
      then knocks them out.
      Before the heroes know of her situation

      On the wall in her office is a calendar for
      a future year, with a date circled. That is the date of her planned retirement.
      She will be hit by a "villain" (she hasn't quite decided what his
      name will be, but demographics suggest a white upperclass male, probably with
      facial hair) and, though she will win, her powers will become
      "unreliable&quot; and she will have to retire from heroing. She will be
      able to make a reappearance if her popularity needs a jolt, but she won't be
      expected to risk herself.

      After two alien invasions, one uprising of
      the Subterraneans, a mystic conjunction, and any number of malevolent AIs and
      robots, she doesn't want to do this any more. She no longer faces only threats
      that are easy or that she has created; sometimes she has to face real
      threats. That's the price of being the most popular metahumans on the planet.
      That's the price of the fame she wants. So she's slogging through to that date,
      the one she and Marketing figured out in the ten year plan.

      She's more than halfway there. And she's
      terrified it will all slip away. The average popularity period for a meta is
      six years; her plan takes her beyond that.

      She has become an encyclopedia of metas:
      there are some she will not face, because she does not want to lose. (Physical
      threats don't bother her; only The Grudge and The Troll can scratch her without a lucky shot. Life drain is awful. Mentalists scare the crap out
      of her.) For others, she knows their weaknesses. If someone discovers her
      secrets, she needs to know theirs. She has private detectives on retainer, and
      the authorities will often help the most famous metahuman on the planet. If she
      needs to know about someone, the information is there.

      Her private life? That seems to have
      slipped away. She has no secret identity. Oh, she's seen in public with movie
      stars (she might be ready to consider another meta after the whole *Diamond Is
      Forever" fiasco...really, whose idea was it to use real zombies?) but
      instead of dating, it's business, or more acting lessons. Still, there will
      come a time when no one cares about her private life: this work is to make sure
      that's a distant time.

      When she shows up in combat, she's not
      totally ineffectual: she's hard as steel and can lift a mountain, after all.
      (The costume is designed to tear artfully, so she has no wardrobe
      malfunctions.) Heroes must be really mishandling the situation before she will
      share any of her secret knowledge of villain weaknesses. Best that she get the credit.

      As her goal gets closer, she gets a bit
      more strident, a bit more anxious, a bit more determined that it doesn't all
      fade away. She keeps looking at that calendar.

      Story ideas

      Before discovery:

      1. She and her family didn't have the best
      relationship, and she pays them every month to be quiet. But someone finds out
      and kidnaps her awful, foul-mouthed ungrateful mother. Diamond's first instinct
      is to say, "Fine, kill her," but they send a copy of the ransom note
      to the police, so it's public. And they're protecting her with several of the
      villains that Diamond absolutely hates: mentalists and power leeches. She's not
      going in alone--not first, either. n. So she calls the PCs. either because
      they're local (contacts, knowledge of the local scene) or because they're not
      local (not ever likely to run into her family again). What might be a covert
      operation becomes a media circus, due to Diamond's involvement. Ear Worm has
      set this up, so he can get her body. He`s using an android duplicate of her
      father (from Smith or Dr. Kafka) as a host, and he plans on her not entering
      the fight until the end (he`s going to run into the aftermath and grab hold of
      his little girl in gratitude).

      The exact composition of his villain team
      depends on your players, but there needs to be a known mentalist. Something
      like Mister Mastermind, Tarpit, Copy Cat, and Beast Man might do.

      Do the heroes discover the plan? Or do they
      have to deal with a mind-controlled Diamond?

      2. Diamond has decided to date one of the
      player characters, probably whether the PC wants it or not. (Though it might
      well be flattering at first.) Someone strong is her first choice, but a trained
      or powersuited sort would do, too. (And Diamond is not above implied
      lesbianism, though real lesbianism would hurt her appeal in the heartland.) She
      mentions this for the first time on the Ellen show, which means that the
      paparazzi begin to seek out the character, hoping to get a glimpse of Diamond. The dates might or might not be real,
      depending on the player and the GM's decision on Diamond's orientation, but the
      entire relationship will be closely choreographed for maximum marketing impact.
      The hero will undoubtedly be cast as the bad guy, no matter what actually happens (Diamond is
      paying one of the paparazzi).

      3. One of the inventors she paid to create
      a powersuit with a hidden weakness decided to make two powersuits, one without
      the weakness. That's the one he wears for actual crimes. And now she's in trouble. The suit has at Strength or some
      kind of attack at 9, Invulnerability 10, can fly, and it probably has a ranged
      attack. She usually fights with the fix in or a weakened foe. Can the PCs help?
      Can she summon them without revealing her special knowledge?

      After the reveal:

      Much depends on how the PCs reveal her situation.

      1. If they merely force Diamond into
      retiring early, she dislikes them but is still available in case of a
      world-threatening situation. However, then someone steals her files…the ones on
      every hero and villain that she's ever dealt with. The ones containing secret
      information from the government. She can't go after them; she's claimed her
      powers don't work any more. She calls the PCs, who know her whole situation.

      2. If they shame her publicly, her first
      step is damage control. Yes, she still has money (diversified portfolio, after
      all), but not nearly as much as she was going to have: she loses the clothing
      line, the perfume, the endorsements. With some help from loyal fans who don't
      believe these scurrilous lies, she sets out to destroy the PCs. She can still
      pay powersuited thugs to distract them, or to hit them in (known) weak spots.
      She might even save them.

      3. To try and rehabilitate her name, she
      decides to take something big on her own. After all, she's super. She doesn't
      need to cheat, she just gets better results that way. So when reports of Dirge or
      Tempus Khan come in, she swoops in to try and handle it. She probably won't win,
      so what do the PCs do? You can also use this tactic if the PCs drastically lose
      an adventure: she tries to fix it. Again, she probably won't win—the bad guy(s)
      did just beat your whole hero team—but she might give them a breather so they
      can win. It's up to the players whether they trust this change of heart.

      4. She's got money problems: she's been
      sued for all the property damage caused by villains sponsored by her, and her
      income isn't what it was. The only solution she can see is theft. She'd rather
      plan the attack (well, have her business manager do it) and then split the take
      with the actual crooks, but her business manager has left her. She has to wear
      a disguise (perhaps calling herself Carborundum) and do it herself. She knows
      enough about various people to blackmail them or hire them. Can the PCs defeat
      her new villain group? If she loses and escapes, she'll probably go on an
      extended tour of non-extraditing nations.

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


    • Hollis McCray
      Same thing as goes on here, just more of it most days. ... -- Hollis McCray aka The Fifth Wanderer ascensionschild@gmail.com GMing is like herding cats. Wet,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 24, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Same thing as goes on here, just more of it most days.


        On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 3:17 AM, Soylent Green <gsoylent@...> wrote:
         

        There is a Google+ Icons group? Why wasn't I informed? What goes on there?


        CC: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: jhmcmullen@...
        Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:42:09 -0400
        Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day


         

        Sure. I had forgotten the Google+ community because I haven't used it myself (though I'll try to in the future).

        On 2013-06-23, at 8:34 AM, Ron Frazier <ronfraz63@...> wrote:

        John,

        Can I share these in the Google+ Icons Community? They're really good.

        On Jun 23, 2013 8:28 AM, <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        3 New Messages

        Digest #802
        1a
        Villain A Day (Dr. Sin) by "John McMullen" jhmcmullen
        1b
        Re: Villain A Day (Dr. Sin) by "Soylent Green" gsoylent
        2a
        Re: Villain A Day (Diamond) by "Soylent Green" gsoylent

        Messages

        Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:54 am (PDT) . Posted by:

        "John McMullen" jhmcmullen

        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&#39;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@yahoo.com

        Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:09 am (PDT) . Posted by:

        "Soylent Green" gsoylent

        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@yahoo.com
        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
        To create a true elixir vitae, one needs the Philosopher&#39;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?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.
        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.
        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?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@yahoo.com

        Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:05 am (PDT) . Posted by:

        "Soylent Green" gsoylent

        Those are some really good ideas John. You'd need a reasonably long campaign to fully play out the before and after but I think it would be really cool.
        Diamond should be featuring in my Icons campaign this Monday. I've gone for a less canonical take on Diamond in which she publicly acts as a hero but secretly works for the Octofather. That's a lot less subtle but I only have a short campaign to work with. Her role will be to lead the characters into an ambush. The characters will have a chance to catch her out before that happpens, we'll see how it goes.
        As an aside, I feel Diamond's is too powerful (Strength 10, Invulnerability 8) for someone who is essentially a fraud and feels she needs to stage fights and deck the stack in her favour.

        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: jhmcmullen@yahoo.com
        Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:55:42 -0700
        Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Diamond)

        Diamond clearly has a before situation and
        an after situation: do the heroes expose her or not?

        I think Diamond is great setup, and the before period with the slow discovery of the reveal can be strung out for months.

        One-Sentence Summary: The beautiful fraud,
        Diamond defeats villains she created or lets other people wear villains down,
        then knocks them out.
        Before the heroes know of her situation

        On the wall in her office is a calendar for
        a future year, with a date circled. That is the date of her planned retirement.
        She will be hit by a "villain" (she hasn't quite decided what his
        name will be, but demographics suggest a white upperclass male, probably with
        facial hair) and, though she will win, her powers will become
        "unreliable&quot; and she will have to retire from heroing. She will be
        able to make a reappearance if her popularity needs a jolt, but she won't be
        expected to risk herself.

        After two alien invasions, one uprising of
        the Subterraneans, a mystic conjunction, and any number of malevolent AIs and
        robots, she doesn't want to do this any more. She no longer faces only threats
        that are easy or that she has created; sometimes she has to face real
        threats. That's the price of being the most popular metahumans on the planet.
        That's the price of the fame she wants. So she's slogging through to that date,
        the one she and Marketing figured out in the ten year plan.

        She's more than halfway there. And she's
        terrified it will all slip away. The average popularity period for a meta is
        six years; her plan takes her beyond that.

        She has become an encyclopedia of metas:
        there are some she will not face, because she does not want to lose. (Physical
        threats don't bother her; only The Grudge and The Troll can scratch her without a lucky shot. Life drain is awful. Mentalists scare the crap out
        of her.) For others, she knows their weaknesses. If someone discovers her
        secrets, she needs to know theirs. She has private detectives on retainer, and
        the authorities will often help the most famous metahuman on the planet. If she
        needs to know about someone, the information is there.

        Her private life? That seems to have
        slipped away. She has no secret identity. Oh, she's seen in public with movie
        stars (she might be ready to consider another meta after the whole *Diamond Is
        Forever" fiasco...really, whose idea was it to use real zombies?) but
        instead of dating, it's business, or more acting lessons. Still, there will
        come a time when no one cares about her private life: this work is to make sure
        that's a distant time.

        When she shows up in combat, she's not
        totally ineffectual: she's hard as steel and can lift a mountain, after all.
        (The costume is designed to tear artfully, so she has no wardrobe
        malfunctions.) Heroes must be really mishandling the situation before she will
        share any of her secret knowledge of villain weaknesses. Best that she get the credit.

        As her goal gets closer, she gets a bit
        more strident, a bit more anxious, a bit more determined that it doesn't all
        fade away. She keeps looking at that calendar.

        Story ideas

        Before discovery:

        1. She and her family didn't have the best
        relationship, and she pays them every month to be quiet. But someone finds out
        and kidnaps her awful, foul-mouthed ungrateful mother. Diamond's first instinct
        is to say, "Fine, kill her," but they send a copy of the ransom note
        to the police, so it's public. And they're protecting her with several of the
        villains that Diamond absolutely hates: mentalists and power leeches. She's not
        going in alone--not first, either. n. So she calls the PCs. either because
        they're local (contacts, knowledge of the local scene) or because they're not
        local (not ever likely to run into her family again). What might be a covert
        operation becomes a media circus, due to Diamond's involvement. Ear Worm has
        set this up, so he can get her body. He`s using an android duplicate of her
        father (from Smith or Dr. Kafka) as a host, and he plans on her not entering
        the fight until the end (he`s going to run into the aftermath and grab hold of
        his little girl in gratitude).

        The exact composition of his villain team
        depends on your players, but there needs to be a known mentalist. Something
        like Mister Mastermind, Tarpit, Copy Cat, and Beast Man might do.

        Do the heroes discover the plan? Or do they
        have to deal with a mind-controlled Diamond?

        2. Diamond has decided to date one of the
        player characters, probably whether the PC wants it or not. (Though it might
        well be flattering at first.) Someone strong is her first choice, but a trained
        or powersuited sort would do, too. (And Diamond is not above implied
        lesbianism, though real lesbianism would hurt her appeal in the heartland.) She
        mentions this for the first time on the Ellen show, which means that the
        paparazzi begin to seek out the character, hoping to get a glimpse of Diamond. The dates might or might not be real,
        depending on the player and the GM's decision on Diamond's orientation, but the
        entire relationship will be closely choreographed for maximum marketing impact.
        The hero will undoubtedly be cast as the bad guy, no matter what actually happens (Diamond is
        paying one of the paparazzi).

        3. One of the inventors she paid to create
        a powersuit with a hidden weakness decided to make two powersuits, one without
        the weakness. That's the one he wears for actual crimes. And now she's in trouble. The suit has at Strength or some
        kind of attack at 9, Invulnerability 10, can fly, and it probably has a ranged
        attack. She usually fights with the fix in or a weakened foe. Can the PCs help?
        Can she summon them without revealing her special knowledge?

        After the reveal:

        Much depends on how the PCs reveal her situation.

        1. If they merely force Diamond into
        retiring early, she dislikes them but is still available in case of a
        world-threatening situation. However, then someone steals her files…the ones on
        every hero and villain that she's ever dealt with. The ones containing secret
        information from the government. She can't go after them; she's claimed her
        powers don't work any more. She calls the PCs, who know her whole situation.

        2. If they shame her publicly, her first
        step is damage control. Yes, she still has money (diversified portfolio, after
        all), but not nearly as much as she was going to have: she loses the clothing
        line, the perfume, the endorsements. With some help from loyal fans who don't
        believe these scurrilous lies, she sets out to destroy the PCs. She can still
        pay powersuited thugs to distract them, or to hit them in (known) weak spots.
        She might even save them.

        3. To try and rehabilitate her name, she
        decides to take something big on her own. After all, she's super. She doesn't
        need to cheat, she just gets better results that way. So when reports of Dirge or
        Tempus Khan come in, she swoops in to try and handle it. She probably won't win,
        so what do the PCs do? You can also use this tactic if the PCs drastically lose
        an adventure: she tries to fix it. Again, she probably won't win—the bad guy(s)
        did just beat your whole hero team—but she might give them a breather so they
        can win. It's up to the players whether they trust this change of heart.

        4. She's got money problems: she's been
        sued for all the property damage caused by villains sponsored by her, and her
        income isn't what it was. The only solution she can see is theft. She'd rather
        plan the attack (well, have her business manager do it) and then split the take
        with the actual crooks, but her business manager has left her. She has to wear
        a disguise (perhaps calling herself Carborundum) and do it herself. She knows
        enough about various people to blackmail them or hire them. Can the PCs defeat
        her new villain group? If she loses and escapes, she'll probably go on an
        extended tour of non-extraditing nations.

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





        --
        Hollis McCray
        aka The Fifth Wanderer

        ascensionschild@...

        "GMing is like herding cats. Wet, angry cats who are pumped full of LSD and methamphetamines." - Stolen from some forum sig somewhere
      • Ron
        Yes: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/113120229222506788636
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 24, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          Yes:

          https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/113120229222506788636

          --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Soylent Green <gsoylent@...> wrote:
          >
          > There is a Google+ Icons group? Why wasn't I informed? What goes on there?
          >
          > CC: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          > From: jhmcmullen@...
          > Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 09:42:09 -0400
          > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day
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          > On 2013-06-23, at 8:34 AM, Ron Frazier <ronfraz63@...> wrote:
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          > Can I share these in the Google+ Icons Community? They're really good.
          > On Jun 23, 2013 8:28 AM, <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
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          > Villain A Day (Dr. Sin)
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          > Villain A Day (Dr. Sin)
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          > Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:54 am (PDT) . Posted by:
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          > "John McMullen" jhmcmullen
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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.
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          > John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
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          > Re: Villain A Day (Dr. Sin)
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          > Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:09 am (PDT) . Posted by:
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          > "Soylent Green" gsoylent
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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."
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          > Alternatively, the emperor was the mutant, the one who it would not help...but Sin could not have known that.
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          > 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.
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          > 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?
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          > 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,
          >
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          > personal knowledge of a long-ago time is much more valuable than the lives of mayflies.
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          > 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
          >
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          > because he chooses not to study more of the modern sciences than he needs to. Yes, they work, but they have no elegance.
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          > 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.
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          > 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.
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          >
          > 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.
          >
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          > Story ideas
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          > 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?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.
          >
          >
          > 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.
          >
          >
          > 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?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)
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          > 2a
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          > Re: Villain A Day (Diamond)
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          > Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:05 am (PDT) . Posted by:
          >
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          > "Soylent Green" gsoylent
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          > Those are some really good ideas John. You'd need a reasonably long campaign to fully play out the before and after but I think it would be really cool.
          >
          > Diamond should be featuring in my Icons campaign this Monday. I've gone for a less canonical take on Diamond in which she publicly acts as a hero but secretly works for the Octofather. That's a lot less subtle but I only have a short campaign to work with. Her role will be to lead the characters into an ambush. The characters will have a chance to catch her out before that happpens, we'll see how it goes.
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          >
          > As an aside, I feel Diamond's is too powerful (Strength 10, Invulnerability 8) for someone who is essentially a fraud and feels she needs to stage fights and deck the stack in her favour.
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          >
          >
          > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
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          > From: jhmcmullen@...
          >
          > Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:55:42 -0700
          >
          > Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Diamond)
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          >
          >
          > Diamond clearly has a before situation and
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          > an after situation: do the heroes expose her or not?
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          >
          >
          > I think Diamond is great setup, and the before period with the slow discovery of the reveal can be strung out for months.
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          >
          >
          > One-Sentence Summary: The beautiful fraud,
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          > Diamond defeats villains she created or lets other people wear villains down,
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          > then knocks them out.
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          > Before the heroes know of her situation
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          >
          >
          > On the wall in her office is a calendar for
          >
          > a future year, with a date circled. That is the date of her planned retirement.
          >
          > She will be hit by a "villain" (she hasn't quite decided what his
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          > name will be, but demographics suggest a white upperclass male, probably with
          >
          > facial hair) and, though she will win, her powers will become
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          > "unreliable" and she will have to retire from heroing. She will be
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          > able to make a reappearance if her popularity needs a jolt, but she won't be
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          > expected to risk herself.
          >
          >
          >
          > After two alien invasions, one uprising of
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          > the Subterraneans, a mystic conjunction, and any number of malevolent AIs and
          >
          > robots, she doesn't want to do this any more. She no longer faces only threats
          >
          > that are easy or that she has created; sometimes she has to face real
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          > threats. That's the price of being the most popular metahumans on the planet.
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          > That's the price of the fame she wants. So she's slogging through to that date,
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          > the one she and Marketing figured out in the ten year plan.
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          >
          >
          > She's more than halfway there. And she's
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          > terrified it will all slip away. The average popularity period for a meta is
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          > six years; her plan takes her beyond that.
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          >
          >
          > She has become an encyclopedia of metas:
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          > there are some she will not face, because she does not want to lose. (Physical
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          > threats don't bother her; only The Grudge and The Troll can scratch her without a lucky shot. Life drain is awful. Mentalists scare the crap out
          >
          > of her.) For others, she knows their weaknesses. If someone discovers her
          >
          > secrets, she needs to know theirs. She has private detectives on retainer, and
          >
          > the authorities will often help the most famous metahuman on the planet. If she
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          > needs to know about someone, the information is there.
          >
          >
          >
          > Her private life? That seems to have
          >
          > slipped away. She has no secret identity. Oh, she's seen in public with movie
          >
          > stars (she might be ready to consider another meta after the whole *Diamond Is
          >
          > Forever" fiasco...really, whose idea was it to use real zombies?) but
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          > instead of dating, it's business, or more acting lessons. Still, there will
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          > come a time when no one cares about her private life: this work is to make sure
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          > that's a distant time.
          >
          >
          >
          > When she shows up in combat, she's not
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          > totally ineffectual: she's hard as steel and can lift a mountain, after all.
          >
          > (The costume is designed to tear artfully, so she has no wardrobe
          >
          > malfunctions.) Heroes must be really mishandling the situation before she will
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          > share any of her secret knowledge of villain weaknesses. Best that she get the credit.
          >
          >
          >
          > As her goal gets closer, she gets a bit
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          > more strident, a bit more anxious, a bit more determined that it doesn't all
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          > fade away. She keeps looking at that calendar.
          >
          >
          >
          > Story ideas
          >
          >
          >
          > Before discovery:
          >
          >
          >
          > 1. She and her family didn't have the best
          >
          > relationship, and she pays them every month to be quiet. But someone finds out
          >
          > and kidnaps her awful, foul-mouthed ungrateful mother. Diamond's first instinct
          >
          > is to say, "Fine, kill her," but they send a copy of the ransom note
          >
          > to the police, so it's public. And they're protecting her with several of the
          >
          > villains that Diamond absolutely hates: mentalists and power leeches. She's not
          >
          > going in alone--not first, either. n. So she calls the PCs. either because
          >
          > they're local (contacts, knowledge of the local scene) or because they're not
          >
          > local (not ever likely to run into her family again). What might be a covert
          >
          > operation becomes a media circus, due to Diamond's involvement. Ear Worm has
          >
          > set this up, so he can get her body. He`s using an android duplicate of her
          >
          > father (from Smith or Dr. Kafka) as a host, and he plans on her not entering
          >
          > the fight until the end (he`s going to run into the aftermath and grab hold of
          >
          > his little girl in gratitude).
          >
          >
          >
          > The exact composition of his villain team
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          > depends on your players, but there needs to be a known mentalist. Something
          >
          > like Mister Mastermind, Tarpit, Copy Cat, and Beast Man might do.
          >
          >
          >
          > Do the heroes discover the plan? Or do they
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          > have to deal with a mind-controlled Diamond?
          >
          >
          >
          > 2. Diamond has decided to date one of the
          >
          > player characters, probably whether the PC wants it or not. (Though it might
          >
          > well be flattering at first.) Someone strong is her first choice, but a trained
          >
          > or powersuited sort would do, too. (And Diamond is not above implied
          >
          > lesbianism, though real lesbianism would hurt her appeal in the heartland.) She
          >
          > mentions this for the first time on the Ellen show, which means that the
          >
          > paparazzi begin to seek out the character, hoping to get a glimpse of Diamond. The dates might or might not be real,
          >
          > depending on the player and the GM's decision on Diamond's orientation, but the
          >
          > entire relationship will be closely choreographed for maximum marketing impact.
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          > The hero will undoubtedly be cast as the bad guy, no matter what actually happens (Diamond is
          >
          > paying one of the paparazzi).
          >
          >
          >
          > 3. One of the inventors she paid to create
          >
          > a powersuit with a hidden weakness decided to make two powersuits, one without
          >
          > the weakness. That's the one he wears for actual crimes. And now she's in trouble. The suit has at Strength or some
          >
          > kind of attack at 9, Invulnerability 10, can fly, and it probably has a ranged
          >
          > attack. She usually fights with the fix in or a weakened foe. Can the PCs help?
          >
          > Can she summon them without revealing her special knowledge?
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          >
          >
          > After the reveal:
          >
          >
          >
          > Much depends on how the PCs reveal her situation.
          >
          >
          >
          > 1. If they merely force Diamond into
          >
          > retiring early, she dislikes them but is still available in case of a
          >
          > world-threatening situation. However, then someone steals her files…the ones on
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          > every hero and villain that she's ever dealt with. The ones containing secret
          >
          > information from the government. She can't go after them; she's claimed her
          >
          > powers don't work any more. She calls the PCs, who know her whole situation.
          >
          >
          >
          > 2. If they shame her publicly, her first
          >
          > step is damage control. Yes, she still has money (diversified portfolio, after
          >
          > all), but not nearly as much as she was going to have: she loses the clothing
          >
          > line, the perfume, the endorsements. With some help from loyal fans who don't
          >
          > believe these scurrilous lies, she sets out to destroy the PCs. She can still
          >
          > pay powersuited thugs to distract them, or to hit them in (known) weak spots.
          >
          > She might even save them.
          >
          >
          >
          > 3. To try and rehabilitate her name, she
          >
          > decides to take something big on her own. After all, she's super. She doesn't
          >
          > need to cheat, she just gets better results that way. So when reports of Dirge or
          >
          > Tempus Khan come in, she swoops in to try and handle it. She probably won't win,
          >
          > so what do the PCs do? You can also use this tactic if the PCs drastically lose
          >
          > an adventure: she tries to fix it. Again, she probably won't win—the bad guy(s)
          >
          > did just beat your whole hero team—but she might give them a breather so they
          >
          > can win. It's up to the players whether they trust this change of heart.
          >
          >
          >
          > 4. She's got money problems: she's been
          >
          > sued for all the property damage caused by villains sponsored by her, and her
          >
          > income isn't what it was. The only solution she can see is theft. She'd rather
          >
          > plan the attack (well, have her business manager do it) and then split the take
          >
          > with the actual crooks, but her business manager has left her. She has to wear
          >
          > a disguise (perhaps calling herself Carborundum) and do it herself. She knows
          >
          > enough about various people to blackmail them or hire them. Can the PCs defeat
          >
          > her new villain group? If she loses and escapes, she'll probably go on an
          >
          > extended tour of non-extraditing nations.
          >
          >
          >
          > John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
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