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Rebuilding Dead Head for Bedlam

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So over here I was talking about moving Dead Head out to Bedlam.  But then I was reminded of something: Bedlam's got a cap of PL 10.  And right now, he's at PL 12/15 (PL 12 for offense, fully Toughness-shifted PL 15 for defense).


Time for some changes!


How to explain it?  Maybe his long absence weakened him some physically, but he made up for it by learning some new tricks.

Edited by Dr Archeville
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That's a fair point.


Assorted Musings:


Lower Toughness to +15 (Impervious 10)


Lower attack and damage.  May get rid of Sneak Attack, just to keep the math simpler.


Add Well-Informed, from gossipy spirits lingering about.  Maaaybe Connected, too.


Add Weapon Bind & Improved Disarm (you stab him, the blade gets stuck in his ribs!  Now you don't have a knife anymore!)


Lower Necromancy/Fearsome Presence so it's at PL 10.


Lower Regeneration, from Injured (no time) to Injured (1 minute).


Remove Device flaw from Shovel, per this idea.

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Abilities: Increased Wisdom by +4 and Charisma by +4

Combat: Reduced Attack

Saves: Reduced Toughness.  Reduced Reflex save, increased Will save

Skills: Added Diplomacy, lowered Intimidate, increased Gather Information and Sense Motive.

Feats: Added Improved Disarm, Interpose (which I was sure he already had), Prone Fighting, Skill Mastery, Weapon Bind, and Well-Informed.

Powers: This had the biggest change

  • Animated Objects/Undead: Reduced Progression
  • Comprehend (Spirits): Added Challenge [Discrete Inquiry], to reflect how spirits gathering information for him won't alert suspicion from the normals.
  • Device (Shovel): changed to a non-Device power.
  • Immunity (Crits) and Impervious Toughness: removing Blessed/Holy (b/c when Papa Ghede left he removed the corruption from the Horrors that had tried setting up shop there), but replacing it with Salt (a traditional bane of voudoun zombies).  Keeping the Magic and Silver thing, and a note that "Magic" does include the natural weapons (claws/fangs/etc.) of supernatural critters.
  • Insubstantial: moved to Undead Body (see below).
  • Necromancy: increased ranks.  
  • Increased speed of Flight for "Aspect of the Penanggalan".  Added Strike 0 (“Bite-y Flying Head”; PFs: Improved Grab, Improved Grapple, Improved Pin, Mighty) to represent his bite-y head that latches on and won't let go.
  • Reduced ranks of Fearsome Presence.  Added Skill Challenge feats.
  • Lowered ranks of Morph, added Comprehend (languages).  None of the powers in this slot are linked, so he can use the Comprehend even when not actively Morphed and Shrunk.
  • Reduced rank of "Body Weapons" Strike, added Penetrating, Improved Critical, and Incurable.
  • Added Change Direction, Change Velocity, and Turnabout to Teleport, increased Progression/Mass, and clarified that it only works to and from "places of death."
  • Protection: Decreased ranks.
  • Regeneration: decreased rate of recovery for Injured. 
  • Speed: moved to Undead Body (see below).
  • Undead Body array: now contains Insubstatial (disturbingly limber body) and Leaping + Speed + Super-Strength (pushing body beyond human athlete limits)

Also, an edit to A Mutt: spent that last unspent PP on the Move-By Action feat, and swapped the 'blessed' for 'salt' on his Insubstantial.





Appearance:  It's a zomumbie!  Eek!  The GM may give him a Hero Point if someone reacts negatively upon seeing him use some of his more disgusting abilities (or simply upon seeing him for the first time), such as fleeing from him, trying to drive him off, and/or attacking him.

Creepy and Kooky, Mysterious and Spooky: Even when he's trying to present himself as 'normal,' Dead Head always has an 'Addams Family vibe' about him.  The GM can give Dead Head a Hero Point when his antics run counter to the etiquette practiced by those around him or otherwise make them uncomfortable, which can, for example, give him a penalty to an interaction skill check, or cause him to fail it automatically.  Alternately, this can be a Complication for another character, who will suffer a penalty or automatic failure to their check.

Enemies: Baron Samedi, Hades, and Malador are the big three.  Then there's all the graverobbers, organlegging rings, and death-cults he's busted up.  The GM can give him a Hero Point in exchange for one of these people/groups attacking or otherwise disrupting him at the worst possible times.

Spare Change? Chaaange?: No job, legally dead, gets most of his clothes from the dumpsters behind the Goodwill and Salvation Army (or the closets of allies).  The GM can award a Hero Point should these present a significant impediment to him.

Temper/Hatred: Dead Head has a special dislike of those who harm children or disturb the dead.   The GM can give him a Hero Point to force him to take a course of action which would be straightforward but also foolish and/or rash.  The GM may force him to make a Will save to resist the urge, or simply dictate that he gives in to it.  Alternately, the GM can give another character a Hero Point and force them to make a contested interaction skill check to convince him otherwise.



ABILITIES: 14 + 4 + (-10) + 2 + 6 + 6 = 22PP

Strength: 24 (+7), effective Str 29 w/ Shovel

Dexterity: 14 (+2)

Constitution: ---

Intelligence: 12 (+1)

Wisdom: 16 (+3)

Charisma: 16 (+3)


COMBAT: 10 + 4 = 14PP

Initiative: +2

Attack: +5 Ranged, +9 Melee, +11 Shovel (+5 Base)

Grapple: +16, +17 w/ Shovel or Tireless Limbs, +18 w/ both

Defense: +4 (+2 Base, +2 Dodge Focus), +1 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -12, -7 vs Magic, Salt, or Silver








DC 22 Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical)



DC 24 Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical)

Shovel, Breaking


DC 17 Fortitude (Staged)

Drain Toughness; Objects Only



DC 22 Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical); Objects Only

Necromancy / Body Weapons (Crit 19-20)

Touch +5 ft.

DC 26 Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical)

Necromancy / Fearsome Presence

50 ft.

DC 20 Will (Staged)

Shaken / Frightened / Panicked



SAVING THROWS: 0 + 3 + 7 = 10PP

Toughness: +15 (Impervious 10 [not vs Magic, Salt, or Silver])

Fortitude: ---

Reflex: +5 (+2 Dex, +3)

Will: +10 (+3 Wis, +7)


SKILLS: 72R = 18PP

Diplomacy 8 (+11)

Disguise 0 (+3, +23 w/ Morph)

Gather Information 7 (+10) SM

Intimidate 11 (+14) SM

Knowledge (Arcane Lore) 9 (+10)

Knowledge (Life Sciences) 4 (+5)

Knowledge (Popular Culture) 4 (+5)

Knowledge (Theology & Philosophy) 9 (+10)

Notice 8 (+11) SM

Sense Motive 12 (+15) SM



All-Out Attack

Attack Focus (Melee) 4

Attack Specialization (Shovel) 1


Dodge Focus 2


Improved Disarm


Jack of All Trades


Power Attack

Prone Fighting


Skill Mastery (Gather Information, Intimidate, Notice, Sense Motive)


Takedown Attack 2

Weapon Bind



Enhanced Feats

Challenge 4 (Gather Information: Discrete Inquiry [-20 to penalty]) (from Comprehend Spirits)

Challenge 7 (Intimidate: Demoralize as a Move action, Forceful Intimidation, Mass Intimidation, Powerful Intimidation 3 [-5 penalty], Startle as a Move action) (from “Boo!”)

Elusive Target (from "Aspect of The Penanggalan")

Fearsome Presence 10 (from “Boo!”)

Improved Grab (from “Bite-y Flying Head”)

Improved Grapple (from “Bite-y Flying Head”)

Improved Pin (from “Bite-y Flying Head”)

Improved Trip (from “Body Weapons”)

Move-By Action (from "Aspect of The Penanggalan")


Veteran Feats

Minion 15




Characters Name: A Mutt (a pun on the name of a certain other critter)
Alternate names: Carcass, Scraps

Power Level: 10 (but built as PL 6)

Power Points: 150 / 150

Unspent PP: None
Trade-Offs: None

(Ain't he the cutest thing?!)


In Brief: Dead Head's faithful hound!

Description: A mix of Mastiff (Neopolitan and Tibetan), Newfoundland, and Saint Bernard, standing about two feet (~0.6m) tall at the shoulder. Most foes only see his terrible jaws and glowing red eyes, though.

History: One of Papa Legba's loyal hounds, loaned to Dead Head after the events of the Hades/Samedi debacle.

Personality & Motivation: Much like Dead Head, A Mutt is friendly, loyal, protective, and tolerant. A Mutt loves the water, as fitting a creature from Guinee, the Island Beneath the Sea. He is highly intelligent (for a dog), and very protective of children.

Powers & Tactics: A Mutt is a spirit, and as such naturally exists in an incorporeal and invisible/inaudible/un-sensable form. He can run up walls and across the air with ease, and his mighty jaws can bite corporeal and insubstantial foes, whether he is corporeal or not; these wounds are slow to heal. He can let our a baleful howl, far more terrifying than the call of any mere wolf. Most impressive of all, though, is his extraordinary sense of smell, which allows him to track creatures even across other dimensions!

ABILITIES: [6 + 4 + 10 + -4 + 4 + 0 = 20pp]
Str 16 (+3)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 20 (+5)
Int 6 (-2)
Wis 14 (+2)
Cha 10 (+0)

COMBAT: [4 on Attack, 8 on Defense = 12pp]

Initiative: +2
Attack: +2 (ranged), +6 (melee)
Grapple: +9
Defense: +6 (+4 Base, +2 Dodge Focus), +2 flat-footed
Knockback: -3








DC 18 (20*) Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical)

Jaws, Standard


DC 19 (21*) Toughness (Staged)

Damage (Physical)

Jaws, Soul-Shredding


DC 19 Fortitude (Staged)

Damage (Physical)

* with Sneak Attack

SAVING THROWS: [0 + 3 + 3 = 6pp]
Toughness +6
Fort +5 (+5 Con, +0)
Ref +5 (+2 Dex, +3)
Will +5 (+2 Wis, +3)

SKILLS: [48 ranks = 12pp]
Intimidate 14 (+14) SM
Notice 13 (+15) SM
Stealth 13 (+15) SM
Survival 8 (+10) SM

FEATS: [21 feats]
Attack Focus (Melee) 4
Dodge Focus 2
Fearsome Presence 10 (50 ft., DC 20)
Improved Trip

Move-By Action
Skill Mastery (Intimidate, Notice, Stealth, Survival)
Sneak Attack


POWERS: [21 + 3 + 12 + 22 + 10 + 1 + 4 + 10 = 83pp]

All have the Magic and Supernatural descriptors.

Concealment 10 (all non-Mental senses; PFs: Selective) [21PP]
Note: Duration is reversed (a +0 Extra). It is an active sustained effect for him to be un-concealed, and if unable to sustain the power, he goes completely concealed.

Flight 1 ("air walking"; 10 mph / 100 feet per Move Action; PF: Subtle) [3PP]

Immunity 12 (aging, life support, need for sleep, starvation/thirst) [12PP]

Insubstantial 4 (ghost form; affected by magical, salt, or silver attacks; PFs: Selective, Subtle) [22PP]
Note: Duration is reversed (a +0 Extra). It is an active sustained effect for him to be corporeal, and if unable to sustain the power, he goes completely incorporeal.

Mighty Jaws of Doom 4.5 (9 points; PF: Alternate Power) [10PP]

BE: Strike 1 (standard jaws of doom; Extra: Affects Corporeal 4; PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable, Mighty) {9/9}

AP: Strike 1 (spirit-shredding jaws of doom; Extras: Affects Corporeal 4, Alternate Save [Fort] 4; Flaw: Action [Full round] 4; PFs: Affects Insubstantial 2, Incurable, Mighty) {9/9}

Protection 1 [1PP]

Super-Movement 2 (mystical dimensions) [4PP]

Super-Senses 6 (communication link [mental, with Dead Head], darkvision, scent, tracking [olfactory; Extra: Extended; PFs: Dimensional 3], ultra-hearing) [10PP]

Disability (no hands; very common, moderate; -4PP)


Abilities 20 + Combat 12 + Saves 6 + Skills 12 (48 ranks) + Feats 21 + Powers 83 - Drawbacks 4 = 150/150 Power Points




POWERS: 3 + 12 + 2 + 1 + 30 + 1 + 5 + 7 + 21 + 15 + 31 + 5 + 9 + 2 + 6 = 150PP

All powers have the magic, supernatural, and undead descriptors.  "Shovel" also has the dimensional/summoning descriptor (since he summons it from another dimension).


Anatomic Separation 1 (Extras: Variable Split) [3PP]


Animate Objects 2 (animate dead; Extras: Horde, Range [Perception], Type; Flaws: Action [Full], Limited [to corpses]; PFs: Mental Link, Progression 3 [up to 10 zombies]) [12PP]


Enhanced Strength 0 (ghost grabbin'; Feats: Affects Insubstantial 2) [2PP]


Features 1 (Internal Compartment; lt. load 346 lbs.) [1PP]


Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects) [30PP]


Immunity 2 (Critical Hits, Flaws: Limited [Not vs Magic, including the natural weapons of Supernatural creatures, Salt, or Silver]) [1PP]


Impervious Toughness 10 (Flaws: Limited [Not vs Magic, including the natural weapons of Supernatural creatures, Salt, or Silver]) [5PP]


Medium 3 (6PP Array; PF: Alternate Power) [7PP]

BE: Comprehend 1 (Spirits; PFs: Challenge 4 [Discrete Inquiry]) {6/6}

AP: Comprehend 2 (Objects; Flaw: Limited [corpses]) {2} and Super-Senses 8 (postcognition, precognition; Flaw: Unreliable) {4} {2+4=6}


Necromancy 8.5 (17PP Array; PFs: Alternate Power 4) [21PP]

BE: Enhanced Anatomic Separation 2 ("Fall To Pieces"; Total Rank 3; Extras: Action [Free] [3], Variable Split [2]) {9pp} plus Flight 2 ("Aspect of The Penanggalan"; 25mph / 250ft per Move Action; Flaws: Limited [Only Detached Head Can Fly]; PFs: Elusive Target, Move-by Action) {4pp} plus Strike 0 (“Bite-y Flying Head”; PFs: Improved Grab, Improved Grapple, Improved Pin, Mighty) {4} {9+4+4=17/17}


AP: Enhanced Feats 17 ("Boo!"; Challenge 7 [Demoralize as a Move action, Forceful Intimidation, Mass Intimidation, Powerful Intimidation 3 {-5 penalty}, Startle as a Move action], Fearsome Presence 10 [50-ft. radius, DC 20]) {17/17}


AP: Comprehend 3 (”spirit translators”; read all, speak any one at a time, understand all) {6} plus Morph 4 ("Faces of Death"; Any Humanoid, +20 Disguise; Flaw: Limited [Dead People]; PFs: Covers Scent, Precise, Voice Mimicry) {7} + Shrinking 4 ("Creepy Dead Kid"; Small [-4 Str, -1 Toughness, +1 attack/defense, -4 grapple, +4 stealth, -2 intimidate]) {4} {6+7+4=17/17}


AP: Strike 4 (”body weapons”; Extra: Penetrating 4; PFs: Extended Reach, Improved Critical, Improved Trip, Incurable, Mighty, Split Attack, Variable Descriptor [bludgeoning/piercing/slashing]) {15/17}


AP: Teleport 6 (”gravewalking,” 600 feet/20 miles; Extra: Accurate; Flaw: Limited [only from & to places of death {cemeteries, morgues, etc.}]; PFs: Change Direction, Change Velocity, Easy, Subtle, Turnabout) {17/17}


Protection 15 [15PP]


Regeneration 29 (Recovery 14 [+9], Recovery Rate: Injured 3 [1 minute], Disabled 5 [1 minute], Resurrection 7 [1 minute]; PFs: Persistent, Regrowth) [31PP]


Shovel 1.5 (3 points; PFs: Alternate Power 2) [5PP]

BE: Strike 2 (whack!; PF: Mighty) {3/3}


AP: Burrowing 3 (digging; Soil: 5MPH / 50ft per Move Action, Hard Clay / Packed Earth: 2.5MPH / 25ft per Move Action) {3/3}


AP: Super-Strength 1 (leverage; STR 29 [Heavy Load: 1,400 lbs.]; PF: Breaking) {3/3}


Super-Senses 12 (Communication Link [mental, with Mutt], Darkvision [Drawbacks: Noticeable], Hearing Counters Concealment [Flaw: Undead only], Magic Awareness 3 [Mental], Mental Awareness 2 [Mental], Vision Counters Concealment [Flaw: Undead only]) [9PP]

+ Enhanced Super-Senses 4 (Acute & Analytical for All Mental Senses; Flaw: Limited [Only for Necromantic Effects]) [2PP]


Undead Body 2.5 (5 points; PF: Alternate Power) [6PP]

BE: Insubstantial 1 (disturbingly limber) {5/5}


AP: Leaping 1 (tireless limbs; x2: running long jump 34 ft., standing long jump 17 ft., high/vertical jump 8 ft.) {1} plus Speed 2 (tireless limbs; 25 mph) {2} plus Super-Strength 1 (tireless limbs; effective STR 29 [Heavy Load: 1,400 lbs.]) {2} {1+2+2=5/5}







Abilities (22) + Combat (14) + Saving Throws (10) + Skills (18) + Feats (23) + Powers (150) - Drawbacks (0) = 237/237 Power Points (0 pp under)


(But by my calculations I should be getting around 7pp for Dead Head for March 2019 activity.)

(EDIT: I was a bit off, he got 6pp for March 2019.)

(EDIT: Added in 3pp earned April 2019.)


Edited by Dr Archeville
added April 2019 pp award
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A couple things:


I wouldn't bank on getting your points from March any sooner than May. The PP awards seem to be about a month behind these days.


I think our House Rules specified that, for the Masterminds Manual skill challenge feats, you had to spend 1PP per -5 increment of penalty you were buying off. The penalty for discrete inquiries with Gather Info is -20, so it would cost 4PP to get rid of it completely with a skill challenge offset feat.


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Rearranged some powers, folded Comprehend Spirits & Precognition into a new "Medium" Array, which freed up a point.


Using that 1pp plus the 6pp Dead Head earned last month, I bumped his CHA back up 2 points (to 16/+3), and got 3 more ranks of the Challenge (Gather Information/Discrete Inquiry) feat, which now completely negates that penalty.  And last 2pp will go to Super-Senses: Counters Concealment (Limited: Undead only) for Vision & Hearing, so he can see & hear ghosts (or Obfuscated vampires) even when they're invisible/inaudible.


EDIT: Used 3pp earned April 2019 to boost WIS by 2 points (which bumps Will save and Notice & Sense Motive skills by +1), and +1 more to Will save (increasing it to +10 total).  Also shuffled skills a bit, -4 ranks from Gather Info, +4 ranks to Sense Motive; he can still reliably hit DC 20 on GI (and if need be can hold a seance -- Ritualist to add ranks in Enhanced Skill/Gather Information -- to hit higher DCs), and can now reliably hit DC 25 on SM.

Edited by Dr Archeville
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So a few weeks ago in chat I floated the idea of Dead Head using his "animate dead" ability on a wrecked motorcycle, "reanimating" it.  (Or maybe he tries reanimating/resurrecting someone, but It Goes Wrong and instead their spirit is bound to their bike?)  He already dresses like a biker who was in a bad crash, so why not?!



Standard Motorcycle (from M&M Core Rulebook)

Size: Medium  [0 ep]

STR: 15  [1 ep]

Speed: 5 (250 mph)  [5 ep]

Defense: 10  [0 ep]

Toughness: 8  [3 ep]


Totals: 0+1+5+0+3 = 9 EP (2 ranks of Equipment)



It'd need a sidecar (for Mutt), so that'd probably call for an increase in STR.  Might increase Speed.  Would definitely increase Toughness.


Features?  Autopilot could fit.


Powers?  Insubstantial, so it can be like some types of ghost ship?  Super-Movement (Wall-Crawling), so it can ride up buildings?  Regeneration, like Christine?

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