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Dr Archeville

Dead Head

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Introduction

Give a two or three word description of yourself. (Describe your character's concept.)

Grim Revenant-turned-Jovial Revenant

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?

Baron Cimetie, Captain Zombi, Dead Head, The Dead-tective, Patches, Revenant, Stinky, Xombi, The Zombie

What is your full birth name?

Burton Lee (no middle name).

Where do you live?

I don't! But I currently roam around Freedom City, mostly Lantern Hill.

Why do you live there?

I'm here because it is where I have been called to come.

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?

My indefatigable spirit!

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?

People with more shotgun shells or machetes than good judgment.

Physical Traits

How old are you? (Chronological age as well as age category.)

I was 22 when I died, but that was about a decade ago.

What is your sex?

Male

What is your race?

Undead American; formerly Human American

How tall are you?

6'2"

How much do you weigh?

170 lbs.

What is your general body type, frame, bone structure, and poise?

Slim and shamble-y.

What is your skin colour?

A cadaverous greenish-purple.

What is your hair colour?

Ghostly white

What is your hair style?

Wild and untamed!

Do you have any facial hair?

Nope; I died before my facial hair follicles really got their start.

What is your eye colour?

Ectoplasmic Green; formerly blue.

How attractive are you?

What are you, a necrophiliac?

What is your most distinguishing feature?

The fact I'm a walking nigh-unstoppable corpse with a permanent rictus grin.

Do you have any scars, tattoos, or birthmarks?

A small scar from the appendectomy I had when I was 10, but nothing else.

What is your handedness (left/right/ambidextrous)?

I'm a lefty.

Do you resemble some currently known person?

Malador the Mystic, if he were dressed as a biker

What kind of clothing do you wear?

Whatever I can find. I tend to go through clothes very quickly.

Do you wear makeup?

Nope.

What sort of vocal tone do you have?

A gravelly whisper. Though every once in a while, I can pull off a sepulchral reverb.

History

Where is your homeland?

America! Specifically, North Carolina.

Are you aware of its history?

Somewhat. Go Wolfpack!

Are you patriotic or a social outcast?

There are better, there are worse.

What are your opinions of home?

The nation itself has been better, and it's been worse.

Where is your home town?

A small (but growing) city in North Carolina, though I've no been by it in years.

Are your real reasons for becoming an adventurer different from what you tell others?

No, I'm pretty forthright about why I do what I do. Not that I know that much about how I cam to be the way I am...

How far would you go to keep such secrets from being revealed? What would you do if the truth became known?

Nothing, because there is no such secret. Besides, I've already been chased more than once just based on my appearance.

What do you fear would occur if the truth became known?

Run from the inevitable pitchfork- and torch-carrying crowds.

Do you have any particularly high or low ability scores?

I'm pretty strong.

How have these scores affected your life so far?

Helps me batter down doors and windows, and hold on tight to people.

What about your race, growing up were you in the majority or a minority?

Growing up, I was in the majority. Now, I'm an oppressed minority!

Did this impact your outlook in any way?

Not really; I never really thought about it much.

How do you feel about other races?

All are born and die in the exact same way.

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?

I almost died from appendicitis when I was ten, though that was far harder on my parents than on me.

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.

When I was six I fell out of bed and got a severe bump on the head, bad enough to require stitches. Since then, I’d get bad migraine headaches which plagued me pretty much all through my life.

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?

Two things stand out. One is that, when I was very young, I was very talkative. My mother and I would be in an elevator with someone, I’d start gabbing away, introducing us and telling the people what we were doing, and asking for their name and what they were up to. It was a habit that concerned my mother, since she was afraid one day I'd say the wrong thing to the wrong person and get in trouble.

The other really stupid thing I did when I was younger was when I tried to "moonwalk" on my first day back at school after my appendectomy. I tripped over some stairs, fell, and wound up breaking my right arm.

Which toys from your childhood have you kept?

None; I travel light.

Why? What do they mean to you? If you didn't keep any, why not? What did you do to them all?

N/A

Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?

Other than a few instances of cheating on college tests, no.

Are you who you claim to be?

Yes; there is little I hide.

Do you have any sort of criminal record?

Nope -- one of the advantages of being (legally) dead.

How do you view the heroes/legends of your country?

They are awesome!

Family

Who were your parents?

David and Jamie Lee.

Were you raised by them? If not, then why didn't they and who did raise you?

Yes, they raised me, with a great deal of love.

What was their standing in the community?

Decent. Dad worked at a small hardware store, Mom was a nurse.

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?

When I was very young we moved around a lot -- dad had some trouble holding down jobs -- but by my early teens we'd settled down.

How did you get along with their parents?

No better or worse than most American kids, I'd imagine.

How would your parents describe you? Answer this in the voice of your mother, then in your father's.

"My son was a fine young man. So creative, so kind. I still can't believe he was taken from us at such a young age!"

"My son was an outstanding young man. Very skilled with his hands."

Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what were their names? How did you get along with each of your siblings?

I got along with Keith (younger brother) and Katherine (younger sister) moderately well while growing up, though I drifted apart from them once I entered college. I'd heard that, in my absence, they’d grown closer an done more to be there for each other and for our parents.

What was your birth position in the family?

Firstborn, oldest son.

List all current knowledge of family locations, spouses, children, birth dates, schooling, and any important incidents that only you and they might remember.

Most of my family is in North Carolina, but I've got some aunts and cousins up in Massachusetts, and an uncle in Hawaii. Also of note is that one of my mother's mother's aunts is buried in Arlington Cemetery; she'd been married to a cryptographer who is also interred there.

Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?

They believe I am dead, and I have chosen not to let them believe any differently.

Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?

I was always closest to my immediate family.

Is any member of the family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?

When we were both much younger, Keith looked up to me as a mentor, but he soon found his own way.

Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)?

I'd always heard rumors about Uncle Mark (the one in Hawaii), that he’d been involved in drugs or other illicit activities, but I near heard or saw anything definite.

If so, who are they and how did they "gain" the position?

See above.

Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor?

None I've yet found.

If so, what did this person do to become famous or infamous?

See above.

Do you try to live up to the reputation of your ancestor, try to live it down, or ignore it?

N/A. However, I like to think that, by helping others in the way I do, I can assist others in living up to the reputations and hopes of their ancestors.

Do you ever want to have a family of your own someday?

To hear the pitter-shamble of little zombie feet? No, I think not.

Would anything change your mind on this issue and if so, what?

I'm an Undead, and a fairly unique one at that. I can't have a family; even if I had the desire, my "plumbing" doesn't work.

What type of person would be your ideal mate?

None; I'm no biophiliac.

Relationships

Do you have any close friends? If so, who and what are they like?

Not anymore; most everyone who knew me when I was alive and in college were killed in the event that changed me, and I'd lost touch with most friends from my high school days.

What is the history of their relationship(s) with you?

We met and bonded over a mutual love of horror and sci-fi.

Do you currently have a best friend whom you would protect with your reputation or your life?

No; all my friends either drifted away years ago, or... well, drifted away years ago.

If so, who are they and what caused you to feel so close to them? What would have to happen for you to end this relationship?

N/A

Do you have any bitter enemies?

Baron Samedi. I'm none too fond of Jack A Knives, either.

If so, who are they, what are they like, and what is the history of their feud with you?

He wants me as a General for his undead armies. I refused.

Have you defeated them before?

Samedi himself, no, I've always ran. His minions (and other ne'er-do-wells), though, yes. Unfortunately, I know there are always more.

How might these enemies seek to discomfit you in the future?

Try to destroy me; I'm not the type that can be easily blackmailed or bought off.

Which person(s) or group(s) are you most loyal to?

There are none I'm truly loyal to, since I interact so rarely with any, and interaction is needed to build trust.

Who is your most trusted ally?

See above. One of the downsides of going at it alone as I have, no one around to watch my back.

Who do you trust, in general?

People who try to make the word a better place, especially for children.

Who do you despise and why?

People who abuse the dead (graverobbers, necrophiliacs, and so on; let the dead rest!). People who harm children (children should be able to enjoy life and bask in their innocence before facing the adult world). People who inflict cruel & unusual harm upon others (there's already more than enough suffering in the world without others intentionally adding to it).

Name seven things you hate in others.

Abuse of power/Corruption, Apathy, Deceit, Envy/Greed, Ignorance, Intolerance/Racism/Sexism, Irreverent punks, and Treachery

Is your image consistent?

Remarkably so, yes.

Do you deliberately present yourself differently in different situations, and how?

Nope, I'm pretty upfront.

What would you die for?

My friends, my ideas. Oh, wait, I already have, many times over!

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?

Having all my college friends taken from me, twice. I don't know who or what did it the first time, but the second time, it was Mike Livingston. He was a high-strung man whose newly activated metahuman powers (a flaming aura) sent him into a panic attack which lead to him running into my friend's house, knocking lose a gas main, and blowing the entire place to splinters. (Last I heard he had just been released from a mental institution, though he may have been let out early b/c the place was losing funding.)

What is your general reaction to an attractive member of the opposite sex who lets you know they are available?

Run away, b/c they're probably a necrophiliac, or they're after me for some other unpleasant reason.

How do you get along with others of the same adventuring class?

I get along well with most everyone. Whether or not they get along well with me is another matter.

Have you lost any loves?

Yes.

How did you handle the situation (short & long term)?

Short term, I reanimated and then resurrected her, and we continued to party. Then she died again. Long term, I am comforted in knowing she was happy as she went Beyond. Or, at least, seemed happy.

Who would miss you should you go missing?

Most who knew me (and are still alive) already think I'm missing.

How close are you to your adventuring companions?

I try to be friendly with whomever I work with.

What do they not know about you?

The same things I don't know about myself.

Are you a member of any house, guild, organization, or church? What is your level of involvement?

Nope; being legally dead has some downsides.

Personality & Beliefs

Do you, or did you, have any role models?

A few years ago, I would've said The Raven. Now, I'd go more with Vincent Price.

Do you have any heroes or idols, either contemporary or from legend?

Aside from the two mentioned above, the “fun” version of Baron Samedi, the one who is an irreverent trickster, who scares people in order to drive some point home (or just for laughs). I don’t know who this guy is who claims to be Baron Samedi, but from what (admittedly little) I've read, he's focused too much on the negative sides of that loa.

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?

No, and I do consider myself quite lucky in that regard.

When did you decide to become an adventurer?

When I died and was reanimated, lost all my friends, and realized just how forsaken many of the dead are.

Why have you chosen to risk your life as a career?

Because almost no one thinks to stand up for the rights of the dead, to make sure their wishes and hopes are resolved.

What do you expect to get out of being an adventurer? What, if anything, would make you stop adventuring?

I hope to make sure the dead are honored; I foresee only Final Destruction stopping me.

Do you have any dreams or ambitions? If not, why?

Years ago, I would've said "to mete our vengeance." Now, I focus more on helping others who cannot help themselves.

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?

I don't really have any long-term goals, partly because I don't make much in the way of future plans. (As far as I can tell, I will forever be the exact same way I am now.) Aside from helping others and seeing what there is to see, I cannot think of anything else to do, and thus nothing else to plan for.

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?

See above. Though I suppose I would eventually like to see more of the world. The Catacombs of Paris, the Imperial Tombs, the Sedlec Ossuary, the Valley of the Kings... and maybe float down the Ganges River.

If these goals seem at odds with each other, or with your dreams, how do you reconcile the differences?

N/A

Do you have any great rational or irrational fears or phobias? If so, what are the origins of, or reasons behind them?

I used to be afraid of heights. Then I was pushed off a high building, and out of a plane, a few times, and I got over that. My one true fear, though, is that I will eventually become what many people think I am upon first seeing me: a brain-gobbling ghoul.

How do you react when this fear manifests itself?

As with most things, I hide it behind an air of grim humor.

What are your attitudes regarding material wealth?

It's useful, certainly, but it's not everything. And unless they're unreasonable, the wishes of the deceased in how their material wealth is to be split and used should be honored.

Are you miserly with your share of the wealth, or do you spend it freely?

I have no wealth to share! But if I did, I'd donate it to children's charities or funeral homes.

Do you see wealth as a mark of success, or just as a means to an end?

A bit of both. It can be a measure of success, but is not the sole measure. "He who dies with the most toys is still dead."

How do you generally treat others?

Years ago, I would've said something like "as either sheep or wolves, and I'm the shepherd," or something equally gritty. But now, I try to be less severe, and usually go with a "trickster mentor" image. 'Course, if you cross me, or harm a chill or disrespect the dead, I can still gaslight you so bad you'll run screaming to the police for protection.

Do you trust easily (perhaps too easily) or not?

I used to not trust anyone, but I've gotten better at that. I'm still careful, I don't trust just anyone, but I'm more willing to open up. Besides, it's not like I have much to lose should someone stab me in the back!

Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)?

Used to be the former, now more the latter.

Are you a humble soul or blusteringly proud?

I can be quite proud of what I've done, yes.

What habits do you find most annoying in friends?

That they're all dead and cremated!

What are your most annoying habits?

I used to be very dark and grim and brooding, but I've (mostly) gotten over that. Now, folks would probably say my main bad habit is that I don't take things seriously. And that I leave body parts here and there.

Is there any race, creed, alignment, religion, class, profession, political viewpoint, or the like against which you are strongly prejudiced, and why?

Definitely: I am prejudiced towards pediatricians and morticians. Also, archaeologists and teachers, or at least the ones who work to make sure the peoples of the past are not forgotten.

What is your favourite food?

Brains! I mean, I don't really have one; I haven't eaten in about a decade. (Besides, do you know how high in cholesterol those things are?)

What is your favourite drink?

Blood! I mean... see above.

What is your favourite treat (desert)?

Brain Smoothies! No, wait...

Do you favour a particular cuisine?

Ain't got one. In the last several months of my life, I was hooked on "college food," which is to say, junk food and fast food.

Do you savor the tastes when eating or "wolf down" your food?

Back when I ate, I usually wolfed it down.

Do you like food mild or heavily spiced?

I had favored spicy foods.

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?

Nah, I wasn't too picky. (Especially if it was really cheap.)

What are your favourite colour(s)?

Black. Hides most stains. Although I must say I did look really snazzy in a snow white tuxedo & top hat I once got hold of.

Is there any colour that you dislike?

Pastels: it looks like they're colors that were washed out, faded, forgotten.

Do you have a favourite (or hated) song, type of music, or instrument?

No, I can appreciate pretty much anything. I do have a preference for the music from "Jazz Funerals," especially the more upbeat swinging tunes from after the body is laid to rest.

If you have a favourite scent, what is it?

Brains! I mean... lilies.

What is your favourite type of animal?

Not particularly. Bats and cats are cool. But...

Are you allergic to any kinds of animals?

No, but most animals seem to really not like me (especially cats). That whole "I should not be!" thing.

Is there anything that enrages you?

Seeing children harmed or the dead desecrated (robbed, defaced, raised or animated unwillingly, etc.)

Is there anything which embarrasses you?

Nothing at all!

Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?

Comforts are nice (especially since it appears I'm going to be in this world for a looong time), but I rarely have access to them.

Do you have a patron deity?

I was raised Baptist, but never really believed. Though there's at least one who'd like me either enslaved or destroyed!

Are you devout or impious?

I'm devout to the spirits of those who have gone on.

Do you actively worship and proselytize or do you simply pay lip service?

Most of what I do, I do in service to the dead, which I suppose is a form of worship and proselytization.

What lengths would you go to defend your faith?

I'd die for it! Ha! Seriously, though, I'll do almost anything the dead ask of me.

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?

All my dead friends.

Do you belong to a dominant church, or an independent church, cult, or sect (and is the group accepted, frowned upon, or considered heretics)?

No one particular, though I do get along well with those who do the ancestor worship thing. Used to belong to a Baptist church back home, but I'd drifted away from it even before my current situation.

Will you kill?

If necessary, yes. I prefer not to: I prefer to hang out with Death, not act in its stead.

When did you decide (or learn) that you would?

Back in the summer of 2000. I was in Atlanta at the time, and noticed an unusual number of child ghosts. Turned out there was a man, Todd Sorenson, who'd been kidnapping and murdering children for over a year. I found him before the police did, and during our fight I killed him. Then I watched his spirit as it was dragged off, screaming, into some unusually dark shadows.

When do you consider it okay to kill (under what circumstances)?

The heat of battle, when your own life is threatened, or when it is clear the target cannot or will not change their ways.

When do you consider it wrong to kill (under what circumstances)?

Whenever there are other alternatives.

What would you do if someone else attempted to (or successfully did) kill under your "wrong" circumstances, what would be your reaction?

I would try to stop them; failing that, I would try to make sure they answered for it.

What if it were your enemy?

Doesn't matter who it is.

What if it were your friend?

Doesn't matter who it is.

What if the opponent were not in control of their own actions (under duress, charmed, dominated, possessed)?

I would work to make sure the one applying the pressure were made to answer.

What would you do if something were stolen from you?

Assuming it's my own stuff, probably nothing, I'd just try to find a replacement. If it's something entrusted to me, though, something truly valuable, I'd do all I could to retrieve it.

What would you do if you were badly insulted publicly?

Laugh it off, and probably insult them right back.

What would you do if a good friend or relative were killed by means other than natural death?

Try very hard to determine whether or not I would resurrect them (as there is a chance they'd come back wrong), and hunt down whoever killed them and make sure they pay.

What is the one task you would absolutely refuse to do?

Harm an innocent.

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?

Harming a child. Because children should be allowed to enjoy their innocence.

How do you feel about government (rulers) in general? Why do you feel that way?

I'm not old enough to have the "governments come, governments go, people are all the same" view most immortals have. But, I do know that corruption is bad, and governments that try to genuinely help others are good.

Do you support the current government of your homeland?

It's pretty good, yeah. The only one I know, really.

If so, how far are you willing to go to defend the government? If not, do you actively oppose it?

Well, any threat to my government would likely accompany a threat to a large number of people, and I'd definitely be opposed to that.

What form of government do you believe is the best (democracy, monarchy, anarchy, aristocratic rule, oligarchy, matriarchy) and why?

Democratic Meritocracy. Everyone should have a voice, but not all voices -- those of the bigoted or corrupt, for example -- should be listened to.

Do you have any unusual habits or dominant personality traits that are evident to others?

My personality -- formerly a dark and brooding loner, now more a morbid clown -- are very obvious to others.

If so, describe them and how you acquired them, as well as when they might be more noticeable and what causes them.

The dark & brooding part came from having lost all of my college friends (including a girl I'd had a crush on), and the newness of being constantly exposed to the spirits of the dead. In time I came to terms with that, and began to enjoy my existence.

Do you have any unusual or nervous mannerisms, such as when talking, thinking, afraid, under stress, or when embarrassed?

When I'm bored, I tend to get… creative with my body. Like popping off fingers one by one and then reattaching them, or tearing off a hand and watch it scuttle about, or taking off my head and reciting Shakespeare. (Well, more like quoting movies that cite Shakespeare.)

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is my only possession: my shovel.

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what 5 things would you do in those remaining hours?

My life's ended many times already…but, if I knew my Final Destruction was to come in 24 hours... well... I don't know. I really don't.

Career & Training

Where and how were you educated?

NC State University (Go Wolfpack!), in Raleigh, NC. And later, the School of Hard Knocks.

Who trained you in your adventuring class(es)?

Most of my hero-ing stuff has been self-taught, trial and error, though a few spirits have been kind enough to teach me a thing or two before Moving On.

What was your relationship with your teacher(s)/mentor(s)?

Fairly good; most were happy to help me after I had helped them.

Is this person or institution still in existence?

Some have hung around, but many have Moved On.

Were you a prize student or did you just barely pass?

I'm still here, ain't I?

Look at your skills. How did you acquire them (especially the unusual ones)?

Through either studies in college, picked up here and there from spirits, or an (un)natural knack.

Have you ever done anything else for a living?

Nope, and I doubt I ever will. Unless there’s some public access horror movie show that needs a new host.

How do you function in combat (maneuvers, weaknesses)?

Wear 'em down, strike from surprise when possible.

Have you ever received any awards or honours?

Just the admiration of several spirits.

Is there anything that you don't currently know how to do that you wish you could?

I do wish I knew more about how I got this way, and how I'm able to do what I do (and figure out what more I can do). I'd also like a chance to catch up on more “Genre” stuff, the horror and sci-fi shows and movies; I hear some pretty good ones have come out in the past decade.

Are you envious of others who can do such things in a good-natured way or are you sullen and morose about it?

Envious? Nah, but I keep them in mind for when I have some problem I cannot solve on my own.

Lifestyle & Hobbies

When not adventuring, what is your normal daily routine?

Most of the day is spent in underground tunnels and other dark places, either chatting with the dead or catching up on the news. If there's a horror or sci-fi or comics convention in town, I'll spend the day there (like I did in my living days); it's one of the few places I can operate openly. Most nights, if not actively on a case, I hang out at local graveyards to make sure there are no punks defacing tombstones (or worse).

How do you feel and react when this routine is interrupted for some reason?

If I can't get to a convention, I'm a bit upset, both due to missing a chance to interact in a semi-normal way with the living, and due to missing the fun of a convention.

What are your hobbies when you are not adventuring or training?

Reading, talking, listening. Listening I do the most: spirits have a lot to say.

What do you do for relaxation? What things do you do for enjoyment? What interests do you have?

I'm still a horror and sci-fi geek, so I catch up on those when I can. Much as it pains me, a parent throwing out a child's comics collection has been a boon to me, since dumpster diving is the main way I get anything.

How do you normally dress when not in your adventuring gear?

I only have one set of clothes, so if I'm not in them, I'm naked.

What do you normally wear in bed at home?

I don't have a home, or a bed, or anything to change into. Besides, I don't sleep anyway.

What do you normally wear in bed while adventuring?

See above.

Do you wear any identifiable jewelry?

Do toe-tags count?

Where do you normally put your weapons, magic items, or other valuables when you are sleeping?

I don't sleep, and I don't have much to keep track of. If it's not strapped to me, it's in my hand.

What morning or evening routines do you normally have?

Stretch, shake off any carrion-eating critters from me.

Do these change when you are adventuring?

I'm almost always adventuring.

Travel: how do you get around locally?

Walking, or hitching a ride on a truck or bus. Well, not so much "on" as "under." Once in a blue moon I find I can actually walk "between shadows," step into one shadowed area and reappear in another, but I've yet to work out how I do that.

Do you have a Last Will and Testament?

Nope; doesn't really seem necessary.

What does it say?

N/A; See above

Miscellaneous

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

All my most memorable activities have happened after my death! But, after my Final Destruction (if there is such a thing for me), I'd like to be remembered for having helped bring peace to the living and the dead.

What kind of threat do you present to the public?

None at all! I'd certainly never raise an army of zombies to roam through the streets and terrorize others! Or haunt someone until they were driven mad! Never!

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?

Wait a few minutes, and I'll tell you who I am.

As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice...

It's great that you've gotten over your uber-angst phase, but don't go too far in the other direction and treat everything like a joke or game, because that's just as bad.

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TV Tropes: Dead Head

Angst? What Angst? (he used to be all dark and brooding, and he hasn't forgotten all the horrible things that have happened to him, but now he's gotten to the point where they don't both him so very much, and is focusing on helping others and doing good)

Back From The Dead (all the danged time!)

Badass Longcoat (he likes 'em)

Beauty Equals Goodness (horrifically inverted)

Body Horror (on multiple levels)

Brain Food (Inverted; he does not want to eat your brains!)

Came Back Wrong (this sometimes happens when he resurrects people, which is one reason he's reluctant to do so.)

Cursed with Awesome (played straight, but later inverted, as he no longer sees it as much of a curse)

Dark Is Not Evil (He's not! Really! Stop running!)

The Dead Can Dance (he can't dance well, but he sometimes shakes his groove thing to a funky beat)

The Dead Have Eyes (justified, in that he can regenerate)

Death By Origin Story (all his college friends)

Everything's Deader with Zombies (and how!)

Eyes Do Not Belong There (he can pop 'em out and put them anywhere & Still see through them)

Gallows Humor (oh so very much of it)

Glowing Eyelights of Undeath (he does still have his eyeballs, but they're constantly burning with green flame; if his eyes [or head] are destroyed, the flames remain where his eyes would be)

Healing Factor (his Nigh Invulnerability is largely due to this)

Horror Hunger (Subverted; he does not crave your brrraaaiiinnnsss)

I Love The Dead (completely inverted, and he in fact hates people like this)

Improbable Weapon User (shovel, occasionally his own limbs)

Kill It With Fire (people keep trying to do this to him)

Man on Fire (there's one in his backstory)

The Necrocracy (subverted, in that some necromancers have tried to enslave him & help set ones up. Quasi-inverted, in that he thinks the living and the dead could work together for the betterment of all.)

Night of the Living Mooks / Mook Maker (he can raise basic PL 1 Zombies and Skeletons)

Normally I Would Be Dead Now (well....)

Obfuscating Stupidity (sorta; people expect a zombie to be mindless, but when he talks, it's with a noticeable Southern drawl, which many equate with simple-mindedness.)

Our Zombies Are Different (and how!)

Raising the Steaks (he did this once to a butcher who'd been knowingly using cheap, tainted meat, which sickened several people and killed one. The butcher eventually ran to the police and confessed.)

Stone Wall (he generally wears others down before they wear him down)

Terror Hero (though generally easygoing and laid back, he can pull this off this when needed)

Undead Tax Exemption (subverted; he has not even tried to enter society and seamlessly pose as a normal human)

The Virus (Averted; he became what he is through an interrupted summoning ritual, and while he can raise lesser zombies, it's a conscious thing and none are nearly as powerful as him)

Zombie Apocalypse (Inverted; he does not want this, and in fact fights against those who do try to bring it!)

Zombie Gait (varies; sometimes he plays it straight, but he's really as fully mobile as any average living human)

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All the ways Dead Head kills time

(Summer), 1977: Burton "Burt" Lee is born to David and Jamie Lee in a small town in North Carolina.

Fall, 1995: "Burt" enrolls at NC State University, majoring in biology.

New Year's Eve, 1999: Burt attends a big Y2K party with all his college friends, including that one gal he really, really likes...

12:00am, January 1st, 2000: ... and then they all die when Burt's head explodes in pseudonatural energy...

12:01am, January 1st, 2000: ... and then they start rising up... and continue their party. Until a burning man runs in and re-kills everyone. Burt becomes an undead avenger, seeking to right wrongs and balance injustices, and mortal pains are no deterrent.

Spring, 2008: Dead Head begins to shift out of his "grim & brooding" mindset and into his "have fun, laugh while you can" mode. He visits some kids in Virginia after an April Fool's Day prank goes horribly wrong.

September 23rd, 2009: Dead Head arrives in Freedom City. He meets Blink, Jack of Blades, Leon Mighty, and Tempest while Leon is Training in Wharton Forest.

October 1st, 2009: Atlas, Avenger, Dead Head, and Phantom meet up to stop the Darkness Rising in south Lincoln.

October 12th, 2009: Breakdown gets back together with an old friend (Grimalkin), and meets a new one (Dead Head) in Lantern Hill. He soon discovers that Death Don't Have No Mercy.

October 16th-26th, 2009: Deedra's Traveling Menagerie in in town, for a full ten days! Colt, David (Ironhide), Dead Head, Erik (Jack of Blades), Kristian (Razorwing), Lynn (Grimlakin), Marcus (All Star), Max (Spitfire), Megan (Velocity), Tempest, and Yuki (Tarantula) are all present at the Carnival in the Park. Hilarity ensues! Dead Head makes some money (and interacts with some real live people) by working at the Haunted House.

October 31st, 2009: Dead Head enjoys himself at the 14th Annual Haunted Block Party in the Theatre District.

November XX, 2009: Dead Head fights lots of demons alongside Atlas, Avenger, and Phantom (Invasion! Riverside), but later retreats to Ace Danger's warded mansion (Invasion! Danger Mansion).

Late Nov/Early Dec, 2009: Once things settle down, Avenger and Phantom decide to try and make a new team of heroes, ones geared more towards the dark and ugly side of things. Atlas, Dead Head, and Hellion are recruited, Once Upon a Midnight.

January 4th, 2010: An angel appeared in Freedom on Christmas Eve, or so the rumor goes. Is there truth to it? Dead Head plans to find out. Along the way, he finds two others who wish to know: Moira and Mongrel Angel. What will come of this Holy Meeting?

February 28th, 2010: Physicus speaks to the family of his mentor, the first superhero under that name, seeking their permission to take up his now-dead friend's mantle. He learns many things that the first Physicus never told him when the superhero's brother talks of Happier Times, and encounters Dead Head when he seeks something the old superhero left behind.

March 12th, 2010: Breakdown, Dead Head, Fleur de Joie, Hellion, and Jack of all Blades fight weird plant-creatures, mutated by a meteor that the Green Man is after! Can they stop him, leaving him Green with Envy?

April 3rd, 2010: Moira and Dead Head team up to stamp out a new threat to the city, before it becomes a threat to all life, in Gods & Zombies.

April ??, 2010: Avenger & Dead Head have a chat while bustin' cultist heads. Dead Men Do Tell Tales!

May 7th, 2010: Avenger, Dark Star, Dead Head, and Phantom fight Monsters in the Streets of Midtown!

May 22nd, 2010: Nick Cimitiere, the new necromancer in town, heads to Lantern Hill Cemetery to check out the Fresh Plots and ends up meeting some of the heroes who regularly haunt the place.

May 23rd, 2010: Following the Grue Invasion, several of the city's heroes meet to let off steam. Dead Head decides to check it out, and is immediately attacked by Wander. When he uses a newfound ability to see certain parts of her past (Which she ten relives), she beats him again. (Fisticuffs 2: The Opening Credits/Wander vs. Dead Head)

May 30th, 2010: Robin Cross seeks out Dead Head for some assistance in a case involving a Hand of Glory. (A'Walkin' Amongst the Lilies)

June 5th, 2010: Lady Winter and Dead Head meet. Hilarity ensues! (Cold Case)

Later that night, he meets with Fleur to see about restoring the graves which were disturbed during the meeting with Lady Winter. (Groundskeeping)

July 3rd, 2010: Midnight's grandfather has been kidnapped! But by whom? And why? Can Dead Head help? Perhaps... but while they'll find the trip is short, the exchange rates are murder!

July XX, 2010: The Midnighters -- Atlas, Avenger, Dead Head, Hellion, and Phantom -- receive a distress call from a strange world where vampires have taken over! But is it a true distress call, or a trap set by the denizens of this World of Darkness?

July 24th, 2010: Dead Head and Wander meet again, but this time just to talk. Crypt Tonight

August 1st, 2010: The various mystics, magicians, and spellcasters of Freedom gather at Pyramid Plaza to discuss the arcane and the unknown, in Thistle and Thyme.

November 1st, 2010: During a massive battle between Hades & his forces, many of Freedom City's heroes, and Baron Samedi and his minions, Dead Head undergoes a radical change. Unbalanced: Dead Head's Oct 2010 Vignette.

November 12th, 2010: Dead Head meets (briefly) one of Fredom's newest heroes, the kinetic manipulator Push. When Push Comes to Shovel

November 16th, 2010: Dead Head, while tracking down rumors of cultists, finds other heroes at the warehouse he'd tracked them to: Cobalt Templar, Dragonfly, Ironclad, and Push. When the dust settles, they are left with Too Many Questions, Too Few Answers.

November [late], 2010: Miss Americana happens across Dead Head while he's fighting a mad graverobbing scientist, and helps him out of a sticky situation. After the brief fight, she takes the revenant back to her laboratory for study; he is remarkably okay with this. DOA? A-Okay!

November [late], 2010: Gabriel gets word of a zombie running around n the cemeteries. He investigates, and finds Dead Head, chasing down some organleggers. Carson Finbar and the Deathly Fellow

December 21st, 2010: Dead Head's heard rumors about people who've been killed by the Mob being buried by Mob-affiliated contractors into the foundation's of buildings, so he began checking out some of these tales. It was perhaps unwise to chose to investigate the Millennium Mall four days before Christmas, but it's a good thing he was there at that time, due to an attack by hideous monsters! The Closing of the Year

Dec 25th, 2010: Dead Head finds a card on one of the tombstones at Lantern Hill, addressed to him! It's from Push, asking him to help move in. Having nothing better to do, he partakes in A Moving Day Christmas.

March 15th, 2011: Dead Head helps Grimalkin take out some Neo-Nazi Cultists who've been desecrating Jewish graves (with White Knight's help!). Along the way, they talk about their odd forms of immortality, and what the future may hold for them. (Whole Kit and Kaddishle)

June 29th, 2011: There's a dead man walkin', and he's after a little girl. Dead Head works to get to the bottom of it! (Die and Let Live)

September 24th, 2011: Nick Cimeterie, Dead Head, Equinox, Kid Cthulhu, Phantom, and Rene de Saens deal with an invasion by magical creatures and their goons while the Gorgon looms. (Gorgon: Unwelcome Guests)

October 28th, 2011: Nick Cimitiere's taking Ghost Girl around on a tour of Freedom's necropoli, and takes her to see their other resident caretaker, Dead Head! Equinoix is there, too. (Fine Spirits)

November 2nd, 2011: Dead Head, Equinox, and Nick Cimitiere investigate a series of grisly murders, and try to find out who made Burnt Offerings to Baron Kriminel!

January 23rd, 2013: Dead Head, Nick Cimitiere, Equinox, and Ghost Girl investigate weird goings-on at the Levant Arms, an apartment building in the West End. What will they find of The Lonesome Death of Henry Darger?

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The following was submitted anonymously to the the Riverside Review on October 30th, 2009.

Films of the Living Dead

WHITE ZOMBIE, first released on August 4, 1932, is believed to be the first film to deal with zombies. It featured Bela Lugosi as a big-eyebrowed Zombie Master whose undead slaves worked ceaselessly at a mill. These were the more traditional Voodoo zombies, mindless and not flesh-eating.

The original DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) was George Romero's sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and, along with DAY OF THE DEAD (1985), make up his "Anubis Trilogy". DAWN is widely considered to be the best of the three. Most of the filming for these three movies were shot in Beaver County, PA; NIGHT cost $114,000 to produce (dirt-cheap even by the standards of the time), and DAWN a paltry $1.5 million. There was never a concrete reason for the zombies existence, but it was a worldwide phenomenon, and two theories were suggested. The first, in NIGHT, had a meteor crash mentioned on a news program -- radiation or alien bacteria from it may have been the cause. The second theory, posited in DAWN, is the old addage "When there's no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth," spoken ominously by a large black man whose grandfather was a Voodoo Priest. In DAY, they survivors are less concerned in what creates them, and more in how they can be harnessed/trained. In these, all dead bodies all over the world arise as Zombies, though the bite of a Zombie almost always brings a painful death (since corpses, even animate ones, are riddled with disease, and brushing their teeth really isn't foremost on a zombie's mind). The Zombies can be easily dispatched by destroying the brain, or at least severing it from the body, and all are slow and shamble-y (except for children... who probably just couldn't take proper direction).

A remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (hereafter abbreviated as NotLD) was released in 1990, directed by Romero's close friend Tom Savini. Savini is a make-up effects guru, and had done the make-up effects for Romero's DAWN and DAY OF THE DEAD, as well as played a menacing machete-wielding biker called 'Blades' in DAWN. This remake was produced by Romero, who also got much of the same film crew from the original.

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (hereafter abbreviated RotLD) was the second 'sequel' to the original NotLD. Released in 1985, it's premise was that the events in the first NotLD were real, caused by a chemical spill in Pennsylvania, but the government was able to move in and cover everything up, and the movie released by Romero was part of the cover-up. However, due to a screw-up in shipping, some of the drums containing the animate corpses were accidentally shipped to a medical supply warehouse, where they were accidentally released some fifteen years later. RotLD Part II came out in 1988, and was a good deal more (intentionally) comedic than any of the others. RotLD III came out in 1993, and was a romantic love story (guy meets girl, girl & guy run away together, girl dies, guy exposes girl to chemical & reanimates her as a brain-craving zombie). In the RotLD series, the Zombies arise due to either exposure to the chemical 2, 4, 5-Trioxin (corpses exposed to it animate, living people exposed sicken and die and come back as Zombies), or when a living person is bitten by a Zombie (though one guy bitten in the original RotLD was never shown to rise, so it either took longer for the bite to affect him, or the writer/director may've meant it to show that only the chemical itself made people zombies, not the bite of one). There's also a reason given as to why the Zombies eat brains -- it makes the pain of being dead go away, for a time (as one Zombie explained in RotLD "I can feel my body... rotting..." -- RotLD was in many ways far darker than Romero's works) (though in RotLD 3, it's said the Zombies actually draw motive power from the electrical energy in the neurons of living brains). The RotLD zombies are also fully intelligent, able to use radios and speak full sentences -- in one instance, using a police radio to call for more backup, which the hordes then ambushed -- though the constant pain of their state makes it difficult for them to concentrate for long. The Zombies in the first and second RotLD movies were also fully capable of running, though the ones in RotLD 3 (save for the girlfreind-turned-zombie) all just shambled. These Zombies in the RotLD series are a good deal harder to put down than the ones in Romero's flicks -- every bit of them is animated, so if you destroy the brain, the body'll still come after you; severed limbs continue to grasp at you. The only way to destroy the RotLD Zombies was to burn them to ashes (or dip them in a large enough vat of acid), though burning them proved to cause even more problems, because the smoke would contain 2,4,5-Trioxin, which if mixed in with rainclouds would cause a rain of the re-animating chemical. The zombies in RotLD 2 could be killed, or at least temporarily stunned, with a massive jolt of electricity; the Zombies in RotLD III seemed as indestructible as the ones in RotLD.

(Fun fact: Trioxin is a real chemical. It’s a mortician's restorative chemical, used to repair cells and maintain the corpse's contours after postmortem tissue constriction. Another form of Trioxin is a dangerous by-product of industrial waste, one tightly regulated by the EPA. Trioxin is related to Dioxin, a toxin found in Agent Orange that causes cancer and birth defects. Trioxin is formed by burning chlorine-based compounds by hydrocarbons.)

RotLD gives story credit to John Russo (a friend of Romero's), Russ Streiner and Rudy Ricci. The three originally worked on George Romero's NotLD in 1968, and decided a few years later to write a treatment for a sequel they called RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Romero had started working with other filmmakers and was planning his official NotLD sequel called DAWN OF THE DEAD. So, Russo finished a novel and a script about flesh-eating zombies roaming the Pennsylvania countryside set ten years after the original NotLD and was looking to sell it. A new producer, Tom Fox, bought it and the title rights, anticipating a similar success to Romero's independent smash DAWN OF THE DEAD, backing it with his investor pals at Orion. He wanted Tobe Hooper to direct, after his work on TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and POLTERGEIST. Then, Fox, aware that Romero was doing a new film (the 1985 DAY OF THE DEAD), decided the script resembled his films too closely and needed a major rewrite. When Hooper committed to the space-vampire movie LIFEFORCE, and recommended a new director (Dan O'Bannon), a new script was born. Dan only used two elements from the original script the name Burt Wilson. Everything else was his imagination. Russo then attached his name to the project again shortly before its release, novelizing O'Bannon's script. Last names were invented by Russo, and a KGB subplot was thrown in, among other things. The filmmakers ignored this book in the posters, ads, etc. When asked what he thought of RETURN, Romero would often say "no comment," but recently he's admitted that it wasn't that bad.

In 1999 the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. The film lapsed into the public domain because of the film makers' neglect to put a proper copyright notice on the film's prints -- Romero originally entitled his film NIGHT OF THE FLESH EATERS, but the distributors changed the title without his knowledge or permission; NotFE is what the copyright is under -- at a time when proper notice was required to maintain copyright. (That requirement was later removed with the United States' Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 and Copyright Term Extension Act, which together provided for automatic copyright on any work once it was put into a "fixed form," and automatic copyright term renewal on all copyrighted works.) As a result, the original film is available through numerous distributors in wildly divergent qualities, is available for free download at the Internet Archive, and has spawned a parody in which the audio track has been replaced with new dialogue showing that (among other things) the heroes attempted to leave the farmhouse in order to get a pizza.

2004's DAWN OF THE DEAD, directed by Zack Snyder, was a remake of the 1978 original, made with no input from Romero at all. Three cast members from the original DAWN have cameos in it (Savini has a cameo as a sheriff). Snyder's DAWN was much more an action movie than Romero's. Many fans of Romero's works who decry Snyder say the worst part was the running zombies, but zombies have been running since 1985's RETURN. Romero himself says his zombies are all slow b/c of rigor mortis, but any mortician (or anyone who's seen RETURN) can tell you rigor does eventually work itself out after several hours, and since Zombie's lack a metabolism that would normally be causing lactic acid to build up during anaerobic activity (like running), zombie's shouldn't get muscle cramps or experience fatigue, and so it's not too far-fetched to have zombies who run as fast as they're able after tasty living meat-snacks for as long as their bodies hold together.

A fourth & fifth RotLD were aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2005. In RotLD 4: NECROPOLIS, Gen-X skater-kids break into a corporate lab where a friend of theirs had been taken, and find Zombies. RotLD 5: RAVE TO THE GRAVE centered around a drug dealer on a college campus who gains access to the reanimating chemical, and finds that if diluted and swallowed gives people an NDE (Near Death Experience); it quickly becomes a popular Rave drug... until the side-effects start to appear (i.e. anyone who takes a hit of "Z" will die and become a zombie, the length of time dependent upon how much "Z" the person takes). Both were filmed at Chernobyl, the first commercial movies to be shot there since the 1986 reactor meltdown. Both movies were fairly bad, and the zombies in both were far weaker than in any of the other three RotLD flicks (some seemed to go down after a few shots to the chest, and all went down after a shot to the head, though this weakness could be due to the fact the chemical used to reanimate them was Trioxin-5, rather than 2, 4, 5-Trioxin).

2005's LAND OF THE DEAD was a direct sequel to Romero's original NIGHT-DAWN-DAY trilogy. Tom Savini appears in this one as well, as a zombified version of the machete-wielding biker he portrayed in the original DAWN OF THE DEAD (though, technically, he should not have, since his character in DAWN was shot in the head as he was being attacked by zombies). The film's title was originally going to be DEAD RECKONING; the title was changed, but the large "assault vehicle" featured in it is named "Dead Reckoning."

In 2008 Romero released DIARY OF THE DEAD, a reboot of his zombie franchise it follows a band of people making a horror film at the time of the first outbreak who decide to record the epidemic incident documentary-style and end up themselves being chased down by zombies. This movie was packed with horror icon cameos: Quentin Tarantino, Wes Craven, M. Night Shyamalan, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Josh S. Clair, and Stephen King all lent their voices as newscasters on the radio. Fan reaction is split on this one; it either condemns or redeems Romero in their eyes.

2008 also saw a remake of DAY OF THE DEAD, originally meant for theatrical release but instead done direct-to-video. It has no connection to Snyder's remake of DAWN, reveals the zombies here were created by a military-created virus (and said zombies have superhuman strength and speed), and vegetarians who catch it become vegetarian zombies, not flesh-eaters. It was generally panned by everyone.

The big thing to keep in mind about Romero's movies is that all four of them contain a good deal of social commentary -- they are far from being simple splatterfests. NIGHT comments on racism, DAWN on how mass consumerism threatens to turn us into zombies, and DAY on the differences between military and civilian/scientific mindsets; DAWN and DAY also both touch on people's tendency to ignore problems and try to convince themselves Everything Is Okay. LAND actually has two messages, according to Romero in an NPR interview. Originally, the zombies LAND were to be seen as an allegory for the homeless, which the people living in the Big City ignore. But just b/c you ignore them doesn't mean they're not there. On the other hand, the zombies in LAND can be seen as an allegory for the Afghani/Iraqi people, Dennis Hopper's Kingpin-like character as George W. Bush, and most of the other characters as either soldiers going into war, or normal folks who just want to live normal lives. Mind you, some prefer Russo's RETURN series and Snyder's more action-packed DAWN reboot for this reason -- they don't want their horror movies to be "preachy."

So why are zombies so popular? Two reasons. One is that they metaphorically embody a number of our fears. Most obviously, it is our own death, personified, the physical manifestation of the thing we fear most. More subtly, they represent a number of our deeper insecurities. The fear that, deep down, we're little more than animals, concerned only with appetite. Zombies also represent the threat of collectivism against individuality, the notion that we might be swallowed up and forgotten, our uniqueness devoured by the crowd. Conversely, though, they also give us hope. Zombies may be tenacious, single-minded and as relentless as lava, but they're also stupid and slow, ineffectual and inept. You don't need to be a Van Helsing to put down a zombie, or even Peter Venkman. Anyone with a pulse can step up; as long as you keep your head, defeating a zombie is not an insurmountable task. You don't need stakes, silver blades/bullets, exorcism rituals, or so on -- just your wits and a good, solid weapon. A gun is good, but any blunt object readily found around the house will do. (Caveat: this applies more to Romero-style slow-and-shamble-y ghouls than the Russo/Snyder-style sprinting-for-your style of ghoul.) It is this combination of hope in the face of terror that makes the zombie so attractive to us. The idea that we can ourselves beat death, beat it until its brains come out its ears.

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Dead Head's Ritualist Cheat-Sheet

Knowledge (arcane lore) at +9.

No Quickness.

Design up to 19pp rituals (if Taking 20, though that takes 20x the time). Requires 4 hours per pp; since you can Take 20 on this, Quickness does apply. Can halve design time by taking -5 on the Knowledge check.

* Take 10, can design a 9pp ritual in (9x4) 36 hours.

* Take 20, can design a 19pp rituals in (19x4x20) 1,520 hours. (That's 63.3 days working non-stop!)

* Take 20, and a -5 on the check, and can design a 14pp ritual in (14x4x20/2) 560 hours (23.3 days of non-stop work).

Failing the research check means the ritual isn’t usable and failure by 10 or more results in a mishap (at the GM’s discretion).

Perform rituals of up to 19pp, if rolling a natural 20 (cannot Take 20, but can Take 10). Takes 10 minutes per pp to perform. Since you cannot Take 20 on this check, Quickness does not apply, but he can halve time by taking a -5 on the Perform check.

* Take 10, can enact a 9pp ritual in 90 minutes.

When he absolutely, positively needs something now(-ish), that's when Jury Rigging/Kit Bashing comes in.

Dead Head can Kit Bash up to 14pp inventions (if rolling a 20 on Knowledge check). Requires one round per pp, and the expenditure of a Hero Point. Cannot Take 10 or 20, so Quickness does not apply.

* If looking to make just 10+ on the die roll, he can throw together a 4pp ritual in 4 rounds.


Sample Rituals

Assay Health

Once this ritual is performed, Dead Head can assess the current medical condition of a single living patient in his presence. He can tell how much damage the patient is suffering, as well as any physical addictions he suffers, any illnesses or diseases with which he is infected, and any genetic defects that afflict him.

Super-Senses 4 (acute analytical ranged detect physical condition) [4pp]

DC 19 & 4 rounds to perform as a thrown-together ritual.

Know Death

Through this quick ritual, Dead Head can look at a dead body and know what killed it, if that cause isn't already obvious (or its ghost isn't around to tell him). The answer he gets is somewhat generic (the reading would tell him a person had been poisoned, for instance, but not by what poison), but it's conclusive despite the presence of falsified or misleading evidence. Generic causes of death include bleeding (most slashing & piercing damage), burns (fire or electrical), disease, drowning, exposure, heart attack or other organ failure, hunger/thirst, internal trauma (most bludgeoning damage), poison, suffocation, and old age.

Super-Senses 2 (acute detect cause of death [mental]) [2pp]

DC 17 & 2 rounds to perform as a thrown-together ritual.

Teleportation, Short Range

Dead Head's used this ritual (consisting of drawing a veve of and praying to Legba, loa of crossroads) to travel from the Lantern Hill cemetery to any spot within five miles, as long as both his point of departure and point of arrival are covered in enough shadows to completely cover him. The location must be one he can either see clearly or knows particularly well (such as the cemeteries and morgues of Freedom City). He can bring along one or two passengers; they must also be able to fit into the shadows.

Teleport 5 (500 feet/5 miles; Flaw: Medium/shadows; PFs: Progression 2/500 lbs.) [7pp]

DC 22 & 7 rounds to perform as a thrown-together ritual.

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27 March 2010

The scene opens on a cemetery, at night. The scene is far form any city lights, but it's a clear night, and the moon is nearly full, so there is enough light to get by. However, the cameraman is holding a powerful flashlight, casting a harsh beam to light the way.

"... and for those of you just joining me, this is Rich "Voyeur" Royer, broadcasting from the Greenville Cemetery. I was here yesterday morning, attending the funeral of my friend Robert, and saw something bizarre, a skeletal figure, out of the corner of my eye. The boys at the studio reviewed the footage and confirmed there was something there, it wasn't just a figment of my imagination. A bit of digging in the studio's crank files paints an interesting picture, which is why I'm out here. Apparently, for the past six months or so, there's been a bizarre figure skulking about the cemeteries and graveyards of Freedom. Now, I know what you're thinking: mysterious figures skulking about in such places isn't exactly news, there's tons of urban legends and such about evil sorcerers and crazed cultists and the like doing all manner of unnatural things out here, late at night, but that's where this... being differs. He's an ugly thing, straight out of nightmares, with weird and decidedly superhuman abilities, but he's been seen in daylight, and while most run when spotting him, those who don't, those who stick around, report that he's a talkative and even, if you can believe this, friendly guy! And that's why I'm here -- to try and interview him! No telling hat I'll find out here, or- wait! I think I heard something... yeah, something's moving out here... c'mon, Sam, get the lead out! Oh, yeah, that's Sam, my bodyguard for the evening. Say 'hi' to the folks, Sam."

The view turns to a large bald man in jeans and a tight white shirt. He grunts, and the view shifts back.

"Sam doesn't say much. Okay, I heard footsteps over this way, so we- oh ****!"

A form off in the distance is seen slowly shuffling by. From this distance all that can be made out of it is that it's roughly the size of an adult human male, and has some sort of green light near its head.

"I see a form in the distance, seems to be carrying a light of some sort. A flashlight? No, it's a weird green color? Oh, man, if that's a glowstick from a rave, and this is just some local blitzed out on Zombie Powder, I-"

The figure suddenly turned its head and looked straight at Voyeur.

"Oh, ****, he's seen us! I- wait, hold on, this is what I came out here for-"

The figure began slowly moving towards him.

"... yes, yes, interview him, or it, or... whatever. Sam, you're still here, right?"

"Hrm."

"Real comfort there, Sam. Okay, he's coming closer, let's... let's go over to that clearing there, get a better shot. I- oh, *****, where'd he go? He was right there!"

"Over here... over here...." a rasping voice hissed.

"Oh***whatthe****wasthatdoyouseewhere-Samwhereareyougoing?!"

"Over here..."

The scene became jangled, as Voyeur was panicked and running through the cemetery. He stumbled several times as he looked back behind him. The first two times, he saw nothing, but on the third look, he saw the figure again, some sort of rotting zombie with green flaming eyes, reaching out for Voyeur.

"**** **** ****-" THUD!

The scene flipped along with Voyeur as he tripped over a discarded beer bottle and plowed headlong into a tombstone. The video and audio began to fade out as he lost consciousness.

"Hey, I said I was over here... whoa, man, you don't look so good...."


The image flickers back, and from the angle one would assume Voyeur is sitting on the ground, propped up against something. The "camera" pans up, and sees what was presumably the creature from before, now looming over Voyeur. It is man-like, dressed in what could generously be called tattered Hell's Angel gear. Its skin is the purplish-greenish-gray of a bruised and decayed corpse, made all the eerier by the lambent green flames dancing in its eyes and the tangled mane of ghost-white hair radiating from its head. Voyeur mistook its leering smile for a predatory look, but then it occurred to him that it was a frozen rictus grin.

Q1: "Wh-what are you?"

"I am a Southern gentleman. We're a dyin' breed, y'know, 'specially up here in Yankee country."

It threw back its head and laughed, a sound that somehow echoed through the open night sky.

"Nah, seriously, t'give an answer ya'd find useful: I'm some sort'a Revenant."

The 'camera' tilted slightly, and so did the head of the creature.

"Revenant... er, like a zombie, but not brainless."

Q2: "Oh, ****, you're gonna eat my brain, aren't you?"

Voyeur's arms go up in a defensive pose.

"What? No!"

Voyeur's arms lower slightly. The creature looks quite offended at the suggestion.

"You know how high in cholesterol those things are? Or, heck, how strong I'd have to be just to get to yer brains? The skull's the hardest bone in th' body, it ain't an easy nut t'crack; I certainly couldn't just bite my way through it, like ya see in 'em movies."

Q3: "O-Okay... not eating my brain... that's good. So... uh... what does keep you going?"

Voyeur's voice was slowly becoming more steady, more sure.

"Helpin' others, mostly. I investigate deaths, make' sure last wishes are fulfilled an' unfinished business gets finished, that sort'a stuff."

Q4: "Ohhh... so you're a homicide detective, and this is all a costume? To scare superstitious and cowardly criminals?"

Voyeur's voice had returned to his usual tone, and now he was slowly standing up, sliding up against the hard surface he had been leaning against.

"Detective? Nah, ain't had no real trainin', I just do what I can, like all them other vigilantes. Though I am lucky enough to count a lot of folks as mentors an' advisers, an' I've learned a lot from 'em all. As fer my appearance... well, this ain't th' first choice of clothes I'd wear, but they've stood up pretty well. But... if this were all just a costume... could I do... this!"

The strange being grasped its head with both hands and pulled upward, cleanly and neatly removing it from the neck and holding it up as high as it could. It then tossed its head from hand to hand, rolled it across its arms, and performed other tricks worthy of a Harlem Globetrotter. It ended the display by tossing its head into the air, which then landed on the neck, backwards, then grabbing and twisting the head right way around.

"And that is why they call me Dead Head the Magnificent!"

Voyeur was quiet for some time. A slight distortion in the image was the only indication that he was temporarily stunned with fear.

Q5: "That... wow... um, okay... how long have you been... like this?"

"How long? Oh, let's see..."

The creature taps its chin with one long, bony finger.

"Well, guess it's been almost a decade, now. Yeah, got turned on New Year's Eve'a 1999, right when it turned t' 2000."

Q6: "What? Some sort of 'Y2K Bug' did this to you?"

"Ehhh, kinda. I was at a party, big bash, bunch'a friends there. Right as th' clock struck, some weird energy thing burst outta my head, killed me an' everyone there. But then I got up, lookin' like this."

The flames in the creature's eyes dim a bit.

"Lost a lotta god friends that night."

Q7: "You were the only one to rise? No one else? No one else like you?"

Dead Head is quiet and still for some time. In this state, one could easily mistake him for an ordinary corpse... whose eyes were on fire.

"No, no one else. Jes me."

"Whoa... I can't... can't imagine what that's like, losing all your friends like that, never being able to talk to them again or-"

The creature cocked its head, and it became more animated.

"Who said I couldn't talk to 'em again?"

Q8: "What? You mean to say, you can talk with the dead? How? What do they say?"

The creature threw its head back and barked out a short laughed.

"Oh, what don't they say! Give 'em a chance, they'll talk yer ear off! But, that's 'cuz there ain't no one else t'hear 'em. An' I pass on what they say to the ones what they want t' hear it... though, sometimes, all they want is jes fer someone to listen. Like, this one gal I was chattin' with, 'bout a month ago. She'd wanted to be a comedienne, but she slipped and fell in the shower th' mornin' of her big debut. Conked her head, died right then an' there. Her spirit lingered, since she never got t'do her bit, 'till I came along. She ran through her routine -- which was really good! -- and then she jes'... moved on."

Q9: "'Moved on'? What, you're saying there's an Afterlife, a Heaven?"

The creature cocked its head again, and it appeared slightly annoyed at the question.

"Boy, look around you! Ya got'a Voudoun Goddess on the Freedom League, an' a Voodoo God tryin' t'run all the drug rackets an' gang activity! Ya had a Greek God invade here, back in the 60s, with a whole army'a undead, an' I hear tell the Nazis had one bound to their cause! Of course there're afterlifes!"

"'Uh, yeah, I guess that does make sense."

"'Course it does!," it said matter-of-factly, looking straight at Voyeur (and , thus, straight into the 'camera').

Q10: "Does it get lonely? Seeing them Move On, but not Moving On yourself? And, well, looking as you do, I'm sure you don't get to interact much with regular people."

"Lonely? Naah," it says with a dismissive wave of the hand. "It took some gettin' used to, sure, 'twas a big shock fer me. But the dead keep me company, and there's a few'a you live folks out there who're happy t'hang with me."

Q11: "Oh? Like who? Who hangs out with 'Dead Head the Magnificent'?"

"Wow, that does sound cool," it murmurs, just enough for Voyeur to hear.

It quickly resumes it normal speaking volume, "Oh, all sorts'a folks. Goth kids, 'course, though just as many of 'em run when they see me as they do stay an' chat. An' I'm on pretty good terms with the folks runnin' th' local morgues, 'specially seein' as how often our paths cross. Spoken with a few priests an' other holy rollers, too." It paused and scratched the back of its head, "'Course, a few'a them tried t' run me outta town, or exorcise me! Didn't relaly work, a'course, but I jes steer clear of 'em. Unless, of course, mah work brings my path 'cross theirs... but then, I can usually get one'a the Midnighters t'act as a go-between there."

Q12: "The Midnighters? Who are they? Some sort of 'monsters-only' vigilante team?"

"Well, yer partly right, but if Avenger caught you callin' Phantom a monster, he'd tear yer throat out."

A loud gulping sound is heard.

"Eh, I'm just messin' wit' ya!," it said, chuckling and slapping its knee. "Nah, they're all good'uns. Atlas, th' big red fella what's been jumpin' 'round lately. Avenger, he's a sneaky, stealthy one. An' then there's Hellion an' Phantom; they got some weird magic mojo in their corners. 'When things go bump in th' night, we's the ones what bump back!' Got that from a movie."

Q13: "How did you all meet? How did you come to form a team?"

"Well, let's see..."

The creature strokes its chin in thought, but on the third stroke its jaw comes off in its hand. It looks down at it, raises its free hand in a "just a minute" pose, and turns slightly. When it turns back, the jaw is reattached.

"Well, let's see... I met Atlas, Avenger an' Phantom back in early October. We was all investigatin' some weird goin's on an' our paths all crossed. Good thing, too, since it got pretty hairy down in th' sewers! We worked well together, an' we'd come t'each other's aid if th'other gave a holler. 'Round about December, Hellion joined, an' we decided t'make the team a more organized thing."

Q14: "Any other heroes you'd like to work with?"

"Oh, I'd be happier'n'a hog in slop t'work with any'a Freedom' heroes! 'Course, a better question is, would any'a them wanna work with me, y'know?"

Q15: "Heh, yeah, I suppose so. So... is there any particulat type of criminal element you go after? You mentioned monsters..."

"Yeah, monsters, an' those who make 'em. Some mad scientist types, but mostly necromancers, raisin' up th' dead as mindless shells, desecratin' their remains, or bindin' spirits t'do their evil bidddin'. Nasty sort. Graverobbers, too, even the non-magicin ones, what just rob graves fer any valuables inside. An'... well...."

The creature looks, astonishingly, a bit sheepish.

"I... I got a soft spot fer kids. Hate seein' 'em get hurt."

Q16: "Wow. That's... wow. Okay, so, we know what you hate -- what is it you love?"

"Well, helpin' folks, like I said. Both th' livin' an' the dead. Horror an' sci-fi movies, too, I was a huge movie an' tv geek in college, an- hold on a sec. 'We'?"

"Yes, 'We'. The audience. My viewers."

"Yer what?!"

The creature turns this way and that, looking for hidden cameras.

"Yes, I... don't you know who I am? I'm 'Voyeur', the guy who can broadcast whatever he sees and hears to any television or radio. I'm broadcasting this all now to some recording units at the GBN studios!"

The creature turns to face Voyeur/the camera. It appears agitated.

"You what?!"

Q17: (nervously) "So... uh... h-how do you like it here in Freedom City? Must be a long way from your home, based on your accent"

The creature stalks forward, the lights in its eyes flaring up.

Voyeur takes a few steps back.

Q18: "H-how do you feel about superhumans and aliens, and their p-place on Earth?"

The creature continues slowly stalking forward, now with arms outstretched, mouth slightly agape. Voyeur keeps backpeddling, but also keeps stammering out questions.

Q19: "If there's one b-bit of advice you could give the audience -- the children! -- what would it beEEE?!"

The creature had lunged forward and grasped Voyeur by the shoulders, and pulled him close.

"Yousaidyoudon'teatbrains!yousaidyoudon'teat-"

Viewers would see the 'camera' being pulled towards the zombie, up towards its open mouth, then up level with its flaming eyes.

"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Suddenly, the 'camera' jerked, and a view could easily think that the undead monster had just taken a large bit out of Voyeur's neck.

The long drawn-out smooching sound, and then the reappearance of the creature's smiling face (with not a hint of blood on its lips or teeth), indicating that it had drawn Voyeur close to hug him and kiss him on the cheek, was perhaps a relief.

"I always wanted t'be on tee-vee! Ha!"

The scene wobbles a bit, as Voyeur fights the urge to faint.

"An' t'answer yer questions: Freedom's a great city, very welcoming t'all types'a folks. Aliens an' superhumans have as much place here as anyone else; jes 'cuz they may not be people don't mean they ain't folks."

"Oh, Lord, I think I soiled myself."

"An' as fer advice: drink plenty'a milk, stay in school, an' don't do drugs. Take time, make time, t'enjoy life, an' take care'a each other, 'cuz we're all in this together."

Q20: "I... oh... that... that's good advice, yeah... okay, s-so... if... if someone w-wanted to contact you, or the other Midnighters, how w-would they do so?"

"Oh, we do patrols e'ry night, we keep an eye out fer trouble. We all gout our sources, see, an'-"

The creature is suddenly still, and looks past Voyeur. Voyeur quickly turns to see what might be behind him, but sees nothing immediately threatening, and turns quickly back to his interviewee.

"Sorry, Voyeur, but duty calls! Been a pleasure, though!"

The creature shambles off in the direction of Wharton State Forest.

"Holeee ****!"


Voyeur's impromptu interview with Dead Head the Magnificent has yet to air, deemed too controversial for airing by the Globe Broadcasting Network execs. However, it does still exist on tapes in the GBN studios.

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Allies & Enemies

The Midnighters (Old & New)

A team of other "fringe" types. When things go bump in the night, we're the ones that bump back.

Atlas - Big Red Man

    Incredibly nice guy, which is very good considering his immense strength and toughness. Hope he's doing after the Grue Invasion.

Avenger - Vengeful Vampire
    Reminds me way too much of myself in my early years. Hopefully fatherhood will mellow him.

Nick Cimitiere - Psychobilly Necromancer

    This guy's awesome! Probably never would've met him if I'd never died. Er, un-died.

Equinox - Heroic Witch
    A bit uptight, but maybe she's jes' freaked out by me an' Nick. Solid in a fight, though.

Ghost Girl - Gregarious Ghostie

    I like this one! She's spunky! Yeah, she's probably hidin' or supressin' somethin' dark an' terrible, but she's got time to work that out.

Hellion - Hell's Harbinger?
    On the one hand, he admitted to us he kicked off the Demonic Invasion. On the other hand, Phantom vouches for him, and if she says he's okay... well, I guess I can work with him.

Phantom - Pandimensional Protector

    Kind, caring, yet stern, and super-knowledgeable about magic. What she sees in Avenger, I do not know. But she's mellowing him, which is a good thing.


Others
Ace Danger - Legendary Lothario
    ZOMG! (That's what the cool kids these days are saying, right?)

All-Star - Overconfident Powerhouse

    Punches first and maybe asks questions later. He's gonna get himself in deep trouble someday if he don't watch that temper.

Blink - Rogue Russian Teleporter
    One of the first folks I met in this city. Very quiet, didn't learn much. Wonder if she's still around?

Breakdown - Boisterous Bio-Boombox

    Seems okay, if a bit frazzled from all the music. Wonder if he's still hunting vampires with Grimalkin?

Dark Star - Super-Singularity
    Powerful fella, but a bit too "I must be the best hero I can be!". I hope he keeps his happy outlook; we need more people like that.

Divine - Amoral Amazon

    Met her when the angel showed. Says she's a goddess, daughter of two gods. I've seen weirder.

Doktor Archeville - Mad Scientist
    Isn't he supposed to be the villain in the movies? Then again, maybe offering myself as a medical cadaver to his company could be a source of income.

Fleur de Joie - Forbearing Flower-Child

    We fought weird plant-monsters from out space. It was awesome. Seems kinda wallflower-y, though.

Freedom Angel - Heaven's Harbinger?
    I'd probably like him better if he didn't keep trying to "end my tortured existence".

Fulcrum - Earnest Paragon

    Big Red Gal. Good sense of humor, and don't take guff from no one.

Grimalkin - Moxie & Mystique
    Nice gal, but seems a bit overeager on things. Her boyfriend, Breakdown, seemed cool.

Jack of All Blades - Scintillating Swashbuckler

    Another one of the first folks I met. Great guy, very fun, but also very driven. Pretty sure there's something in his past he's trying to cover.

Mongrel Angel - Weird Winged Wonder
    Saw her when the angel came, too. Kinda angel-y herself, but also kinda demon-y. Weird, but seems pleasant enough.

Physicus - Alien Legacy

    This guy's carrying the weight of his world on his shoulders. Gotta be rough. I'm glad I was able to bring him some peace.

Tempest - Captaaain Planet!
    Weird elemental thing, very new to human experience. Shame he disappeared, I bet we could've had some awesome chats.

Velocity - Eager Speedster

    Met her at the Carnival last October, but haven't seen her since the Demon Invasion. Seemed as pleasant as all the papers say.

Wander - Horror Survivor
    She Who Would See Me Mulched. Gotta try and keep my distance from her. Though I still wanna know why she goes all red-eye when she sees me.

Enemies

Baron Samedi - Ruining the Party for All

    My dark reflection (or am I his 'dark' reflection?), but also partly responsible for m being what I am. Got a feeling he and I will be clashing a lot.

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I can make the dead walk. Most of the time, they're just basic mindless zombies (or, depending on the condition of the body, skeletons), animated just by my own will and a spark of the same ju-ju that keeps me going. 'Course, I always ask the local spirits before animating them -- it's just good manners.

Basic Zombie, PL 1

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: None

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –30 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 0 + Powers 32 - Drawback 3 = 1/30pp

Basic Skeleton, PL 1

Abilities: Str 10/+0, Dex 12/+1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +1, Damage +1, Defense +1 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -0, Initiative +5

Saves: Toughness +1, Fortitude —, Reflex +1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Improved Initiative

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 35 (Fortitude effects, cold damage)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 10 (piercing damage, slashing damage; Flaw: Limited to half effect)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 1
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Strike 1 (bony claws or fists; PF: Mighty)

Totals: Abilities –28 + Combat 4 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 1 + Powers 43 = 20/30pp

Weird thing, though, is that no matter what shape the body's in -- what condition it was in while alive or dead -- the animated form works pretty much the same: slightly stronger but slightly slower than a regular person if intact enough to rise as a zombie, slightly faster than an average person if animated as a skeleton. Now, I've heard of folks rising -- either on their own or due to some necromantic effect -- and having a wide variety of powers and such based on what type of person they were in life or the particulars of their death. I never really bothered looking more into it, until recently, when I started looking over some of the stuff Phantom's got, and chatting with some of Avenger's -- let's say, "associates". And I finally worked a few tricks out.

Blazin' Bones: Sometimes I can make a skeleton burst into flames when I animate it! It's easier to do so if the person had died via fire,but sometimes my own weird energies are enough to ignite them. They become wreathed in flame (usually everywhere but their feet, so they don't burn a hole in whatever they're standing on), and become immune to fire, but lose their immunity o cold (some sort of 'elemental balance' thing, according to Phantom). I've done similar tricks with cold and electricity. I could probably do similar with radiation... but that's a bit too eerie.

Blaze-Bones, PL 2

Abilities: Str 10/+0, Dex 12/+1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +1, Damage +1, Defense +1 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -0, Initiative +5

Saves: Toughness +1, Fortitude —, Reflex +1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Improved Initiative

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 35 (Fortitude effects, fire damage)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 10 (piercing damage, slashing damage; Flaw: Limited to half effect)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 1
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Strike 2 (fiery aura; Extras: Aura, Duration 2/Sustained; PF: Selective)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Strike 1 (bony claws or fists; PF: Mighty)

Totals: Abilities –28 + Combat 4 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 1 + Powers 52 = 29/30pp

Can replace Fire Immunity and Fiery Aura with cold, electricity, or radiation.

Spry Bones: I'm more limber than most ordinary folks, so it stands to reason I could use the energies animating me to animate skeletons that're really limber. And now, I can! These fellas are really agile, and they've got spidery fingers that're perfect for wedging into cracks and other imperfections in walls to climb up.

Spry Bones, PL 2

Abilities: Str 10/+0, Dex 14/+2, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +1, Damage +1, Defense +2 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -0, Initiative +6

Saves: Toughness +2 (+1 flat-footed), Fortitude —, Reflex +2, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus, Improved Initiative

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 35 (Fortitude effects, cold damage)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 10 (piercing damage, slashing damage; Flaw: Limited to half effect)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 1
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Strike 1 (bony claws or fists; PF: Mighty)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Super-Movement 3 (sure-footed, wall-crawling 2)

Totals: Abilities –26 + Combat 4 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 3 + Powers 49 = 30/30pp

Brainy (I) Zombies: Took me a while to figure out -- mainly out of fear I'd create something too feral -- but now I can raise zombies with varying levels of intellect. Not much, mind you, but enough to make them not completely mindless, and more useful in whatever help I need them for. At the most basic, they're akin to animals: they can single out specific targets and take them out first without instruction, and are able to use flanking tactics. They can and will hunt opponents, and will shamble away from a losing battle if overwhelmed.

Brainy (I) Zombie, PL 1

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int 2/-4, Wis 10/+0, Cha 1/-5

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: None

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 40 (Fortitude effects, mental effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –27 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 0 + Powers 42 - Drawback 3 = 14/30pp

Brainy (II) Zombies: A bit more advanced, able to identify the weakest and strongest members of a group, set ambushes, flank opponents, use cover, and -- what I think is the most impressive part -- use basic tools!

Brainy (II) Zombie, PL 1

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int 4/-3, Wis 10/+0, Cha 1/-5

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: None

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 40 (Fortitude effects, mental effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –25 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 0 + Powers 42 - Drawback 3 = 16/30pp

Brainy (III) Zombies: The smartest ones I can raise up -- that is, without binding their spirit fully back to their body and truly reviving them -- can spy on opponents and recognize weaknesses, identify people and objects, and use more advanced tools (like things with moving parts). They can also speak, but usually no more than a strig of three or four words at a time.

Brainy (III) Zombie, PL 1

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int 6/-2, Wis 10/+0, Cha 1/-5

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: None

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 40 (Fortitude effects, mental effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –23 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 0 + Powers 42 - Drawback 3 = 18/30pp

Diseased Zombie: The human body's full of diseases, and dying just makes some of them more active. I can raise up a zombie and 'amp up' the diseases in it... but doing so's really, really iffy, for the same reason biological weapons got banned.

Diseased Zombie, PL 3

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +3 (melee), +1 (ranged), Grapple +4, Damage +1 (unarmed) or Disease (DC 13 Fort), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Attack Focus (melee) 2

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Drain 3 (all ability scores; Extras: Aura, Disease, Duration 2/Sustained; PFs: Selective, Slow Fade 4/1pp per hour)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –30 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 2 + Powers 58 - Drawback 3 = 29/30pp

Rigor Zombie: These fellas can pass on some of their own stiffness to those they touch.

Rigor Zombie, PL 5

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +3 (melee), +1 (ranged), Grapple +4, Damage +1 (unarmed) or Paralyze 7 (DC 17 Fort), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Attack Focus (melee) 2

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Paralyze 7 (Extra: Alt Save/Fortitude)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –30 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 2 + Powers 46 - Drawback 3 = 17/30pp

Stencher: Wow, do these fells reek! At least, that's what others tell me.

Stinky Zombie, PL 7

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: None

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Nauseate 7 (Extras: 35-ft. diameter Cloud Area, Duration 3/Continuous; Flaws: Permanent, Sense Dependent [smell])
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –30 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 0 + Powers 60 - Drawback 3 = 29/30pp

Swift Zombie: "Oh, slow zombies are so passe; you can just walk away from them. Only the fast zombies are scary!" Fine, you want fast zombies, I'll give ya fast zombies! (Still as dumb as a bag of hammers, though.)

Swift Zombie, PL 2

Abilities: Str 12/+1, Dex 12/+1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +1, Grapple +2, Damage +1 (unarmed), Defense +2 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -1, Initiative +1

Saves: Toughness +2, Fortitude —, Reflex +1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Dodge Focus 2

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Leaping 1 (x2; running long jump 22 feet, standing long jump 11 feet, high jump 5 feet)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 2
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Speed 1 (10 mph)

Totals: Abilities –26 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 2 + Powers 34 = 12/30pp

Tank Zombie: Sometimes ya just need a big, strong friend to help batter down doors or walls, or protect others.

Tank Zombie, PL 5

Abilities: Str 24/+7, Dex 8/-1, Con —, Int —, Wis 10/+0, Cha —

Combat: Attack +3 (melee), +1 (ranged), Grapple +12, Damage +7 (unarmed), Defense +0 (+0 flat-footed), Knockback -10, Initiative –1

Saves: Toughness +10, Fortitude —, Reflex –1, Will —

Skills: None

Feats: Attack Focus (Melee) 2, Interpose

Powers:

    [*:3tc0xmkf]Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Protection 10 (Extra: Impervious; Flaw: Ablative)
    [*:3tc0xmkf]Super-Strength 2 (effective Str 34)

Drawback: Disability (can only take one move or standard action each round; -3pp)

Totals: Abilities –18 + Combat 2 + Saves 0 + Skills 0 + Feats 3 + Powers 44 - Drawback 3 = 28/30pp

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November 1st, 2010

Whoa.

Really... whoa.

So I kinda haven't been me for the past decade, but instead was some kinda puppet for Papa Ghede. Except he was also restin', leavin' me to do my own thing, so... I don't know. But now he's gone, and so's a lot of my mojo. I can still see and talk to the dead, still touch 'em, but I can no longer animate or raise 'em. On the plus side, I 'heal' up a lot quicker'n before. And Mutt seems like a great companion (may have to figure out a real name for him, though).

Fortunately, both Phantom and Nick Cimitiere offered to help teach me some tricks to copy some'a the things I had been able to do, so it's far from a total loss. And, I'm still here, and everyone else is still here ('cept Samedi and Hades and a lot of their crew), which is a definite plus!

This gives me a new appreciation for what Atlas went through, too. I mean, I know it's far from the same deal, but we both had something Not-Us in our heads, for a long time; now that it's gone, things seem... different. I hope the big lug's okay, no one's seen him since the Gruevasion.

An' speakin'a findin' a new way in life, I need to try an' find a job. I don't wanna mooch off Jack & Taylor forever, 'specially not with Erin 'round. Fortunately, an opportunity suited to my unique abilities has come up: Doc Robbins, down in Freedom Medical Center's morgue, says there's always a need for medical cadavers. Why not a recyclable one?

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Some folks bows an' arrows. Some use swords, or fightin' sticks, or whips. A few use guns.

Me, I use a shovel. It's a versatile tool: it can be used to dig holes, to fill in holes, used as a lever to help move stuff, and, of course, be used to wallop folks 'cross the head.

For years I been usin' any ol' shovel I could get my hands on. Usually I can get one from the trash bin of some hardware store, if they throw out a defective batch. Or from someone's garden or tool shed, if the need's pressin' enough, though I always make sure to return it, an' a little somethin' for the trouble if it got broke.

And that's been my big problem: the things breakin'. I'm pretty strong -- stronger than I ever was when alive, since I ain't gotta worry 'bout hurtin' myself -- and I go up against some pretty tough critters. Against a run-o'-the-mill wood an' steel shovel, nine times outta ten, the shovel's gonna break. Which actually has come in handy when I need a wooden stake to ram through some bloodsucker, but more often than not I'm stuck holdin' splinters and a bent shovel head.

So I finally talked to the team -- Nick Cimitiere, Equinox, and Ghost Girl -- for some advice. 'Nox has a sword she pulls up outta thin air -- er, outta the aether -- but that mostly worked 'cuz she made the whole thing with her own mojo (which is why it's so tough). Nick had some ideas about storin' it in some death realm, which I could access easy enough, but there's the issue of it breakin'. It was a comment from Ghost Girl that gave me the idea on how to make it tougher, when she said somethin' 'bout she & I lastin' longer than any tool: make it outta me! I extracted some of my bones -- thigh and shin bones for the shaft, hand bones for the handle, and an arrangement of shoulder blades for the head, all bound together with my own ligaments (had a doozy of a time extractin' them!) -- and with Nick's help was able to keep 'em regeneratin' just like the rest of my own body. He also helped me work out how to store it in an' take it out of a small pocket of a Death Realm (a small, out-of-the-way spot in Duat). Now I'll never be without a reliable shovel!


Device 1 (Shovel, 5 points; Flaw: Easy to Lose; PF: Indestructible [self-repairs from any damage], Subtle [can be stored in pocket dimension]) [5PP]

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

BE: Strike 2 (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 27 [Heavy Load: 1,040 lbs.]; PF: Breaking) {3/3}

Alternatively, just have it as a power; he has several such shovels stored in multiple Death Realms, so can't really be disarmed.

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

BE: Strike 2 (shovel strike; 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 27 [Heavy Load: 1,040 lbs.]; PF: Breaking) {3/3}

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