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ID: 3565


January 9, 2007, 4:50 am

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Dr. Emil Vincent


“They took you away from me, Victoria.  They killed you.  Those fools took away the only thing I had, and they turned me into a monster.  Well, I’ll make them pay, Victoria.  I’ll avenge you, beloved.  I’ll kill all of them.”


Dr. Vincent is a tall, gaunt man.  He wears a long hooded cloak that he is never seen in public without, and keeps his face covered with a scarf in addition to the hood.  He seldom speaks, and when he does, his voice is a hoarse rasp.  The scarf, hood, and cloak hide terrible burn scars that cover his face and most of his body.

He is usually accompied by his companion, a very attractive, silent woman whom he calls Etellia.  She acts as his servant and seems to regard him with affection.


Dr. Emil Vincent was a brilliant and well respected doctor.  He was perfectly content with his life, and lived quietly with his wife Victoria, whom he adored utterly.

Then came the fire.  Someone set Vincent’s manor ablaze in the night.  The few servants he kept fled unharmed.  The doctor and his wife were not so lucky.  They were trapped inside, and by the time the fire died down enough to contain it, it was too late.  They found Victoria, barely alive.  She died within a day.  The good doctor couldn’t be found at all.  He was presumed dead.

Unknown to any one, Vincent escaped the fire.  He was alive, but his face was burned beyond recognition.  He had also lost his mind, driven mad by his injuries and the death of his beloved wife.  In his madness, he decided to punish those he deemed at fault for her death: the ones responsible, the servants who fled, and the local village doctors who let Victoria die.

He waited, and he planned.  He planned the most fitting death for each of his victims, and he gathered as much information as he could about each of them.  The arsonist was a local drunk, who had had an arguement with Vincent a week previously.  However, Vincent was convinced he had been paid to do so by a rival doctor.

In the midst of his planning, Vincent met Etellia, a beautiful, silent woman, who quickly became his companion and servant.  She tended to his few needs, and was an integral part of his plans, usually acting as bait for male targets.

Authorities were shocked and disgusted when the deaths started.  The first was the man who had been the butler.  He was found in a locked room, with thousands of bees that had stung him to death.  Soon after, another servant was killed, this time by a golden unicorn statue that had literally been catapulted across the street, impaling him.  The maid was killed while she was sleeping, after her face was covered with a plant mixture and her room filled with locusts, which ate her face down to the bone. 

It didn’t take long for the authorities to make the connection, and they tried to protect the others from the mad doctor.  However, Vincent was always three steps ahead of them, and had a way around every precaution they took.  He was impossible to find, or to stop.

Vincent’s murderous activites were not restricted to those he’d planned to kill; anyone who got in his way died as well, and in terribly imaginative ways.


Perhaps one of the future victims knows they’re on the list, and wants protection.  The PCs could be bodyguards, or could be hired to do what the authorities could not and find Vincent.

Perhaps one of the people killed was a friend or relative of one of the PCs, and they don’t want to take this lying down.

One of Vincent’s targets has died or fled beyond reach, but in his madness he doesn’t acknowledge that, so he’s fixated on someone else… say, a PC or important NPC.

The PCs have gotten in Vincent’s way, one way or another.  Maybe they’ve been investigating too closely, or are trying to foil one of his plans.  Or perhaps they just offended him without even meaning to.  Either way, now they’re marked for death.

Vincent has completed his revenge, but it has not satisfied him, and he’s been going ever crazier.  So he’s found another group that needs to be ‘punished’ in his own special way. 

Roleplaying Notes

Dr. Vincent is very, very smart and very calculating.  He’s also completely obsessed with his revenge.  All of his crimes are well-planned in advance, and demonstrate his imagination.  The murders he’s been planning for revenge are all fitting in some way, those who just get in his way are killed in amusing ways. 

He’s a type that plans for every contingency, so GMs will have to do the same.  His plans are very elaborate, but take preparation.  At the very least, he will always have an escape plan.  (Riff cards may prove useful.) 

He himself is not much of a threat, physically; the danger is in his cunning.  Etellia can be as much of a threat as necessary, as she does all the heavy work required.

As long as the PCs don’t actually see him die, they can defeat and “kill” him, and he can come back later to torment them.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Wulfhere
January 9, 2007, 10:58
The Abominable Dr. Phibes strikes again! Yes, we've seen him before, but he's still an amusing villain.

(Calling him Vincent was just too much of a hint, as Vincent Price played Doctor Phibes in those classic, corny films...)
Voted valadaar
January 9, 2007, 11:22
An interesting character, my only concern is that the only reason presented for his apparent unstoppability is his intelligence. I think he needs a few more clubs in the bag to be able to kill that many people with impunity. Did he get mystical training ala The Shadow? Sell his soul? Find a mystical book of encantations? :)
January 9, 2007, 15:16
Most serial killers manage to allude capture after killing even after killing dozens of people. (Note most serial killers are charged with a small handful that are provable beyond a shadow of the doubt.). These are smart and sociopathic individuals, obsessed with details and planning. They don't need more "tools" like magic or exotic killing arts (thought those are fun), they master the tools they need and have the will to use them.

Go watch Profiler (first two seasons anyways), see what a really smart serial killer iss like.

And these real ones are not the ones that are as smart as the fictional ones like Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Jack, Dr. Phibes, Raj al Goul, and a host of others. If it was not for their own irrational drives, they would be uncatchable. And those irrational drives (like vengence here) and super detectives (or special powers) are what bring them down.

It is the "BatBrain" syndrome. This guy is so smart, so much smarter than your GM probably is, that you have to play it by fiat, and just give the illusion that he is beyond your smarts. (Unless you are a rated Chess master and good at anticipating 20 moves ahead). So little bits of prepared planning have to be back inserted into the story to give the illusion of their preparedness.
Ancient Gamer
January 10, 2007, 7:37
If the setting is low magic, a mundane serial killer migth very well get away with everything. In a high magic setting, he will be traced by a diviner and scorched by the local band of heroes before you can say badda-bing.
January 11, 2007, 15:37
Unless he is smart and has a magical dingus of privacy or other tools that those of the shadowy professions or religions have to have to survive in secrecy. After all, if diviniation is so plentiful or useful, then there should be no thief class/ archetype. So there must be things to stop divination or clarisentience.

Oh, if divination is only used for murders and kidnappings and such, then the PCs would be out of a job most of the time (since hunting such events is a common PC past time). And just because you know who did it, does not mean you can catch them.

So being seen at the crime just means more offuscation/ disguise/ setting up others to be present at the actual time of death (Poison that activates later...). Or you set up to catch the first round or two of persuers.

And what about checking out the "dugneon" before you go in...

nah. Divination that is that useful or common mangles most adventuring potential.
November 7, 2008, 15:47
Keep in mind also that even if divination is capable of discovering the circumstances around a crime, it might be inadmissible in a trial, depending on the region in question. At best the divination might give investigators clues and starting points to truly catch the criminal.
Voted Cheka Man
January 9, 2007, 11:56
Only voted
Voted MoonHunter
January 9, 2007, 15:33
My Bad. I was the one who suggested the name. "Curse you old movie buffs!"

Still he is a baaaaaaad man and will give the PCs a serious run for their money given his patience and intelligence. (He also has medical training). Remember, cleverness and tactics, give some time and resources, will overcome almost all brute power every day. Study up on some Spycraft and you will be impressed what mere normal people can do without mystical ninja training or vast magical powers. Study some military campaigns and you will see the same sort of thing.

So your PCs might be counting on their magical dinguses and their vast powers to save them, when simply those will be anticipated. (After all, if you have vast powers and magical dinguses, you will have a reputation). While you are aleep he will simply drip a contact poison onto the handle of the magic sword from a tiny hole in the ceiling above down a single piece of sting. He will simply poison their breakfast with part A of a binary poison. Part B might be in dinner or on the sword handle. Neither one will check as a poison if casting detect poison until after they are consumed and in the person. But really you don't need to kill them, just slow down the mighty warrior some... Hard to be heroic when you are tied to a privy. Then the upturned blade, from a triggered mechanism, when they are sitting on the pot (which they are glued down to by contact glue)... So much for that armor of invunerability and flaming sword of whatzit.

So sure the cleric might burn through six or seven cure poisons, but will he have enough spells left to cure you after you get poisoned again at dinner or heal you from your own crossbow rigged to shoot you as you enter your room? And while you are doing that, he will attack his real target, your party thief.

Lets face it, most fantasy gamers are not up to handling mundane threats like a espionage gamer. Use those cunning little toys (which are not hard to make, just most people don't make them) to stop your opponents. This is what Dr Vincent will do. All the counter magic spells in the world will not save you when your opponent is not using magic. Sure you can beat him to the pulp with your weapons. He is never going to let you get that close. He has an escape planned, including burning down the building he is in while you are in it. He has two escape tunnels, one built off the other. So when he is safely down his seconary one, he will pull the lever and flood the first one. Did you pack that magic item that lets you breath underwater?

And if magic is really that plentiful, maybe he might have a magical dingus or two as well. If the Silent girl is an assassin enchantress, you are all just toast.

Yes you can get him, but only because you might force his time table some and you know what he wants and can somewhat anticipate him.
Voted Murometz
January 9, 2007, 15:59
Only voted
Voted Siren no Orakio
January 10, 2007, 0:33
Moon speaketh well, here.
Voted kamina
January 10, 2007, 0:35
A nicely thought out sub Ria! In true mass murderer style he is inteligent but has had a break with reality. No reason is needed to justify his actions. The reasons exist only in his mind and only he would understand them.

Never underestimate the power of a mundane character in a game. I had my PCs perplexed for 10 hours while they tried to figure out what magic, curse, etc was causing their troubles.

Moral: when you are playing games that have everyone predisposed to fantasy, it is the mundane options that are rare and often overlooked.
Voted Scrasamax
January 10, 2007, 3:33
I would like to know more about Etallia, why she helps him, as ti is she is just a black character next to this diabolical mad doctor.
Voted Strolen
April 27, 2008, 21:53
It sucks being on the wrong end of a psycho.

Was looking for a meaning behind the creative killings though. A hidden message, a clue to his methods..something more than just a creative murder. I think he could have more depth but a good take on a classic revenge story!
April 28, 2008, 21:42
Excellent villain, reminds me a slight bit of Jack the Ripper. He;s the perfect guy to work in as a "trusted ally" of the PC's or perhaps their regular Dr. (Before the fire occurs of course)
Voted Chaosmark
November 7, 2008, 15:53
I love this NPC and the entire concept of the mundane super-genius villain. After all, weren't the greatest of the classics simply those who planned and plotted and schemed until the protagonist was trapped in a web of insanity?

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       By: ephemeralstability

The village sits on the edge of the deep fjord, often engulfed in mist or rain. Its people are fishermen, who work even through the sea-ravaging winter. And they pray to the gods of the deep.

At the beginning of every winter they hold a summoning ceremony. Three boats are taken out into the fjord, a hornsman on each. The mournful horns are blown in the language of the whales, the gods of the deep. The whales sometimes appear in answer to these calls, and it is taken as a good omen when they do.

To a party of PCs wandering the misty hills and valleys nearby however, the doleful whalesong of the horns can be disturbing and misinterpreted...

Ideas  ( Locations ) | September 24, 2002 | View | UpVote 0xp

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