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Cortex (PL10) - NPC Tier 1

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Power Level: 10 (244/244PP)
Unspent Power Points: 0 
Trade-Offs: (Pulse Blasters) -2 Attack / +2 Damage, -3 Defense / +3 Toughness


In Brief: Mutated super genius drug lord.


Alternate IdentityHenry Todd (Secret)
Birthplace: Emerald City

Residence: Hidden location in Emerald City, normally known simply as the Laboratory.
Base of Operations: Emerald City
Occupation: Drug Lord
Affiliations: The Cartel
Family: Louisa Todd (Mother, deceased)


Age: 36 (DoB: 1982)
Apparent Age: Difficult to tell, due to mutation. Appears to be at least early 40'es.
Gender: Male.
Ethnicity: Caucasian.
Height: 5'4''
Weight: 190 lbs. (most contained in cranium and brain)
Eyes: Black
Hair: None

Cortex is a rail thin man, standing below average height. His face twisted, his body seemingly having little fat or muscle, he would appear just malnourished, if not for his very visible mutation: A gigantic skull and brain, weighing enough to make movement all but impossible for the man, stretching down to almost at his waist. His face appears older than it should be, perhaps from the strain. Without the mechnical support pod he has built for himself, he would have difficulty even moving. He is usually dressed in loose green suit, with a large yellow belt, a yellow harness on his chest, connected to his support pod and yellow boots.




Cortex grew up in Black Pines, a small town south of Emerald City. His mother was a former mental patient, institutionalized after she was found wandering on the highway in a state of hysteria with no memory of who she was or how she had gotten there. The doctors determined that she was pregnant, and at birth little Henry seemed normal. By the age of two, however, his head was already starting to show growth outstripping that of the rest of his body; he was also already reading at a college level and spoke several languages. 

As he continued to grow, so too did his frightening intellect. Louisa Todd (given a first name by a caring nurse and taking her last name from the county hospital that had delivered Henry) tried to provide for and protect her son,
but she was a weak and fragile woman that never recovered from whatever ordeal had placed her on that road the night she was found. She lacked marketable skills and was prone to incapacitating panic attacks. Unable to hold a job for long, she and little Henry stayed in subsidized housing, where her son quickly became the source of amusement and target of ridicule for the neighboring children. He learned quickly and painfully that the world broke down into two fundamental categories of people: victims and victimizers. Henry Todd resolved that he would not remain a victim, no matter what it cost himself or others, especially others.

Early in life, he was exposed to drug dealers, their processes for making drugs, and their business practices… and he observed the respect and fear people showed these men, as well as the money they made. By the age of five he had mastered “kitchen” chemistry to the point where he could produce marketable merchandise using only cheap and legally obtained materials. Effective drugs bought him allies, who sold his drugs in the surrounding area. Money bought him
better material to work with, and connections, both of which he leveraged to make more powerful merchandise. By the age of ten, he had manipulated a number of older teenagers into forming the first of many short-lived gangs used solely to front his product. Where money alone failed to motivate, he supplied drugs; where money and drugs both failed to sway, difficult to trace toxins crippled or eliminated. As he grew older, those who encountered Henry
learned that it was very profitable to work for him, and very dangerous to work against him. 

By his early teens, Henry’s mother had passed away gently in her sleep (with a little assistance) and he had disappeared from social service’s records completely. Todd took the name “Cortex” and used various inventions to portray himself as a “supervillain” simply because such beings held so much sway over certain elements of the criminal underworld. Over the past two decades, he built a sophisticated network of fronts, connections, and distributors so large it became a drug cartel all its own. Despite the fact that Cortex would rather stop designing drugs and instead follow his own interests into more esoteric research (still in the realm of biochemistry and organic engineering), his money and respect are both tied up with the cartel, so he continues to split his time between the two. However, in his mind, he now views the cartel as the source of money for his research, not the goal itself.



Personality & Motivation:

Henry Todd has no conscience or moral restraint. People and money are both just tools to be used and discarded as needed. As Cortex, Henry doesn’t aspire to world domination or other traditional manias associated with the villainous set. He simply wants to be left alone to pursue his research; however, he knows his kind of research usually provokes some form of interference from those with badges or costumes, and so he makes sure he has the resources and power base to deal with any such obstacles. Cortex is coldly vicious when interfered with or confronted. He doesn’t waste time with games or bluster or other egotistical displays unless he thinks such actions grant him some form of advantage. Though not a coward, Cortex is invested in his own personal safety above all else—he abandons facilities, people, and projects without hesitation if he has to choose between himself and them. He is a patient man and in his estimation, he can always get more ”tools”.


Powers & Tactics:

Cortex possesses superhuman intelligence. He can forecast the likely events of the future from current information and work out the past with the same certainty. Telepaths find it difficult to process his thoughts, granting him a degree of resistance to most forms of mental intrusion. His knowledge and mastery of the biological sciences knows few equals, knowledge he uses to develop and sell designer drugs ranging from horribly addictive narcotics to super-soldier treatments. Cortex’s body is highly underdeveloped thanks to his cranial deformity, but the support pod he uses more than compensates as it is capable of protecting him from even most superhuman threats with its offensive and defensive capabilities.


Power Descriptions:

Cortex's powers are all ultimately due to his genius. Either the cause of it, or made by it. While his grotesquely oversized brain makse him incredibly intelligent, he has created a support pod to both stabilize him when standing, protect him and aid him in combat. The support pod's most obvious enhancement are the pair of extendible cyberarms, capable of supporting Cortex's weight, fine manipulation and being used in combat. Less obvious are the protective force field that keeps Cortex safe, and the gravitic pulse generator that not only helps keep him upright, but also allows him to fly. The onboard systems include computer and navigation systems, and tools to enhance Cortex's senses, allowing him greater clarity as he works on new drugs. The support pod's weapon systems include pulse blasters, gravity wave discharges and neurotoxin aerosol dispensers.


While the exact origin of Cortex's mutation remains unknown, his father might have been involved. Was his mother abducted and experimented on by aliens? Did she escape some secret lab where research on the DNAscent
process was being conducted? Or is he simply a mutation or Terminus Baby? Or something far more sinister in pedigree?


Disability: Cortex’s grossly overgrown cranium and brain are larger than the rest of his body. He needs artificial support for his head to keep his neck from breaking and would barely be able to crawl without its support.


Motivation - Power and Fortune: In the back of Cortex’s mind, he is never very far from the roach-infested countysubsidized housing where he grew up hungry and ridiculed. Power and money are his security blanket and he can never have enough of either. He may find the cartel and its upkeep tedious now, but they are too necessary to discard.


Rival - The Labyrinth: Cortex has created many enhancement drugs and cutting edge bio-modification technologies. This has put him into competition with other fronts for the Labyrinth’s DNAscent enterprises. Todd suspects there is more to his competition than is apparent, but is far from piecing together Taurus’s involvement.

Abilities: -2 + 0 + 2 + 20 + 8 + 2 = 30PP
Strength: 8 (-1) / 18 (+4)
Dexterity: 10 (+0)
Constitution: 12 (+1)
Intelligence: 30 (+10)
Wisdom: 18 (+4)
Charisma: 12 (+1)

Combat: 8 + 14 = 22PP
Initiative: +0
Attack: +4 Base, +4 Melee, +8 Ranged (+4 Base, +4 Attack Specialization), +10 Cyberarm Smack (+4 Base, +6 Accurate)
Defense: +7 (+7 Base, +0 Dodge Focus), +0 Flat-Footed

Grapple: +8
Knockback: -6

Saving Throws: 0 + 0 + 6 = 6PP
Toughness: 13 (+1 Con, +12 [Force Field])
Fortitude: +0 (+0 Con, +0) / Immune
Reflex: +7 (+0 Dex, +7 [Enhanced Reflex Save])
Will: +10 (+4 Wis, +6)

Skills: 200R = 50PP

Bluff 15 (+16)

Computers 15 (+25)

Craft [Chemical] 15 (+25)

Craft [Electronic] 15 (+25)

Craft [Mechanical] 15 (+25)

Diplomacy 9 (+10)

Disable Device 8 (+18)

Intimidation 6 (+7)

Investigation 6 (+16)

Knowledge [Business] 9 (+19)

Knowledge [Life Sciences] 15 (+25)

Knowledge [Physical Sciences] 15 (+25)

Knowledge [Technology] 15 (+25)

Medicine 12 (+16)

Notice 9 (+13)

Profession [Drug Lord] 12 (+16)

Sense Motive 9 (+13)


Feats: 27PP

Attack Focus [Ranged] 4

Benefit 1 (Status: Head of drug cartel)

Benefit 3 (Wealth: Multi-millionaire)


Eidetic Memoery

Equipment 10 (Underground Lair, 3 Abandoned Warehouses)


Languages 5 (Japanese, mandarin, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, whatever else needed by GM)



Equipment: 10PP = 50EP 


The Laboratory (Headquarters; Underground Lair) (19 EP)




Size: Huge (3 EP)
Toughness: +15 (2 EP)
Features:  (14 EP)
Defense System
Fire Prevention System
Holding Cells
Living Space
Power System
Security System



Secret Labs in Abandoned Warehouses x3 (Headquarters; Abandoned Warehouse) (10x3EP = 30EP)



Size: Medium (1 EP)
Toughness: +11 (1 EP)
Features:  (8 EP)
Living Space
Power System
Security System

Powers: 19 + 90 = 109PP

Computer-Like Mind 3.8 (19PP Container) [19PP] (Mutation, applies to all powers in Container)

Impervious Will 10 [10PP]

Quickness 10 (Flaws: Mental Only; x1000 normal speed[5PP]

Super-Senses Rank 4 (Postcognition; Flaws: Limited [Requires evidence to study][2PP] 

Super-Senses Rank 4 (Precogntion; Flaws: Limited, [Macro-scale trends][2PP] 


Support Pod 22.5 (112/112PP Device; Flaws: Hard-to-lose) [90PP] (Technology, applies to all powers in Device)

Extendible Cyberarms 2.8 (14PP Container) [15PP]

Damage 6 ("Cyberarm Smack"; Flaws: Limited [Extra Limbs Only]; Feats: Accurate 3, Mighty[7PP]

Elongation 2 (Flaws: Limited [Extra Limbs Only]; 10 feet[1PP] 

Enhanced Strength 10 (Flaws: Limited [Extra Limbs Only][5PP]

Extra Limbs 2 [2PP]

Gravimetric Pulse Generator 2.8 (14PP Container) [14PP] (Gravity)

Enhanced Reflex Save 7 [7PP]

Flight 2 (Flight Speed 25 mph, 220 ft./rnd[4PP]

Flight 3 (Flaws: Distracting; Flight Speed 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) (Stacks with Flight 2) [3PP]

Onboard Systems 1 (5PP Container) [5PP] 

Features 2 (Computer, Navigation System[2PP] 

Super-Senses 3 (Analytical Auditory, Analytical Visual, Radio[3PP]

Protective Fields 10.8 (54PP Container) [54PP] (Kinetic Energy)

Force Field 12 (Extras: Impervious[24PP] 

Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects; Extras: Linked to Force Field[30PP]

Weapon Systems Array 10 (20PP Array; Feats: Alternate Power 3) [24PP]

BP: Blast 10 ("Explosive Gravity Wave Discharge"; Extras: Area [Burst (50 ft. radius)]) {20/20PP} (Kinetic, Gravity, Impact)

AP: Blast 12 ("Pulse Blasters"; Extras: Secondary Effect 8, Feats: Autofire, Incurable) {20/20PP} (Kinetic, Impact)

APStun 10 ("Gravity Knockdown"; Extras: Alternate Save [Reflex], Area [Burst (50 ft. radius)], Flaws: Daze{20/20PP} (Kinetic, Gravity, Impact)

AP: Stun 6 ("Neurotoxin Aerosol Dispensers"; Extras: Area [Cloud (30 feet diameter)], Feats: Subtle 2) {20/20PP} (Pharmaceutical, Gas)



Drawbacks: (-0) + (-0) = -0PP

DC Block





Attack bonus


10 ft.

DC19 Tou (staged)



Cyberarm Smack

10 ft.

DC25 Tou (staged)



Explosive Gravity Wave Discharge

50 ft. radius

DC25 Tou (Staged)



Pulse Blasters

120 ft.

DC27 Tou (staged) (DC23 secondary effect)



Gravity Knockdown

50 ft. radius

DC20 Ref (staged)



Neurotoxin Aerosol Dispensers

15 ft. radius cloud

DC16 Tou (staged) 




Totals: Abilities (30) + Combat (22) + Saving Throws (6) + Skills (50) + Feats (27) + Powers (109) - Drawbacks (0) = 244/244 Power Points


Cortex tends to use criminals that he enhance with his drugs as foot soldiers. While they can be different, these are their common stats.


Enhanced Soldier

Power Level: 7 (70/70PP)
Unspent Power Points: 0
Trade-Offs: +2 Attack / -2 Damage, -2 Defense / +2 Toughness


Drugged Loyality: Addition to the drugs provided by Cortex means that the enhanced soldiers are fanatically loyal to the drug lord.

Abilities: 2 + 2 + 4 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 8PP
Strength:  12 (+1) / 20 (+5)
Dexterity: 12 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+2) / 22 (+6)
Intelligence: 10 (+10)
Wisdom: 10 (+0)
Charisma: 10 (+0)

Combat: 10 + 10 = 20PP
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
Attack: +5 Base, +5 Melee, +5 Ranged
Defense: +5 (+5 Base, +0 Dodge Focus), +0 Flat-Footed

Grapple: +6 / +10
Knockback: -4

Saving Throws: 3 + 4 + 1 = 8PP
Toughness: +9 (+6 Con, +3 [Body Armor])
Fortitude: +9 (+3, +6 Con,)
Reflex: +5 (+4, +1 Dex)
Will: +1 (+1)

Skills: 24R = 6PP

Climb 4 (+9)

Drive 2 (+3)

Intimidation 3 (+3)

Knowledge: Tactics 4 (+4)

Notice 3 (+3)

Profession: Soldier 4 (+4)

Swim 4 (+9)

Feats: 12PP

Attack Focus [Ranged] 4

Equipment 7



Equipment: 7PP = 35EP

  • Assault Rifle (Blast 5) [16EP] (Ballistic damage)
  • Body Armor (Protection 3) [3EP]
  • Assorted other Equipment worth up to 16EP


Powers: 16 = 16PP

Chemical Enhancement 8 (Container) [16PP] (Pharmaceutical, Physical)

Enhanced Constitution 8 [8PP]

Enhanced Strength 8 [8PP]


DC Block





Attack bonus



DC20 Tou (staged)



Assault Rifle

50 ft.

DC20 Tou (staged)





Totals: Abilities (8) + Combat (20) + Saving Throws (8) + Skills (6) + Feats (12) + Powers (16) - Drawbacks (0) = 70/70 Power Points

Edited by RocketLord
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Adapted from the 3E threat report on Cortex, semi-requested by Ari.


I'm well aware of the PP cost being way above 15PP/PL, but this is in part due to the conversion, and the Terror being a major threat when it shows up in Emerald City. If there's any changes to suggest, in case that won't be allowed, please let me know, and I'll see what I can do about changing it. The way I at least choose to see it, is that he is a higher PL character that haven't advanced in PL, much like player characters can, if that helps.


Tier pending, will edit once I got that, based on what an Emerald City ref will decide, since it isn't my own original character.

Edited by RocketLord
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