Ovu Mobani (Buffy the Vampire Slayer enemy) mask

Ovu Mobani

Joyce: “We got a very exciting shipment in at the Gallery. I, um, thought I’d hang a few pieces in here. It cheers up the room.”
Buffy: (looking at Ovu Mobani mask) “It’s angry at the room, Mom. It wants the room to suffer.”
Joyce: “You have no appreciation of primitive art.”


This demon was the monster-of-the-week in an early episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you need context about this once-major show (it *was* many years ago, after all) you can first hit our Buffy Summers character profile.


  • Base Of Operations: Mobile, formerly Nigeria.
  • Height: Same as host. Weight: Same as host.
  • Eyes: Red Hair: Same as host.


Powers and Abilities

Ovu Mobani (“Evil Eye”) is a demon housed within an ancient wooden Nigerian mask.

The mask’s influence can raise zombies over an increasingly large area. The zombies animated by Ovu Mobani are unusually strong. Ovu Mobani will order his zombies to converge on his location while killing anyone they meet to increase the size of his army. The first zombie to reaching the mask will put it on, allowing Ovu Mobani to fully manifest.

Once Ovu Mobani directly possesses a zombie (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Personality Transfer), it enhances that zombie’s physical abilities even further. The demon makes it much faster and slightly stronger than the other zombies. Once merged with a zombie in this manner, Ovu Mobani can blast opponents with flashes of light from its eyes. These cause temporary paralysis.

Ovu Mobani’s visage is fearsome even to its zombie servitors. This inspired Xander Harris to note, “Generally speaking, when scary things get scared: not good.”


Joyce Summers received the Ovu Mobani mask as part of a Nigerian art collection for her gallery. She hung the mask as a decoration in her house.

The first night it was there it resurrected a cat buried in the Summers’s yard. Neither Joyce nor her daughter Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) knew the mask was responsible for animating the cat’s corpse.

By the second night, Ovu Mobani’s influence had spread far enough to raise corpses throughout Sunnydale. The resultant zombie army converged on the Summers’s home.

One of the zombies reached the mask and put it on, allowing Ovu Mobani to manifest physically. A brief fight with the Slayer ended when Buffy rammed a garden shovel through Ovu Mobani’s eyes, bringing its reign of terror to an abrupt stop.



The Ovu Mobani mask itself is a blocky visage of a human face bearing a malevolent leer. It is carved in dark-reddish wood, with long pointed off-white (possibly ivory) teeth (including extended incisors) and no lower jaw.

Once a zombie places the mask upon its face, the mask will bond with the skin of the zombie, becoming flesh but retaining the same color and shape.

When Ovu Mobani’s powers are in use, the eyes of the mask glow red.


Ovu Mobani was not made manifest long enough for its motivations or psychology to be explored in great detail. When it finally possessed a host, Ovu Mobani was mostly concerned with eliminating nearby opposition.

While the zombies swarmed toward the Ovu Mobani mask, they would stop to attack any innocent bystanders they came across. These events suggest that Ovu Mobani’s primary goal, at least initially, is simply creating mayhem or spreading terror.


“I live, you die.”

DC Universe History

GMs seeking an opponent for a low-power one-shot scenario with a supernatural theme could put Ovu Mobani to good use. Ovu Mobani’s threat level could rise considerably if it became active near a cemetery with powerful individuals, the most obvious choice being a graveyard with dead superheroes.

An additional story hook might be found in the disappearance of the bodies possessed by Ovu Mobani. The heroes might feel compelled to find out what happened if the bodies included deceased companions or out of simple respect for others who anguish over the vanishing of their loved ones’ remains.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Ovu Mobani

Dex: Str: Bod: 02 Motivation: Nihilist
Int: 05 Wil: 06 Min: 08 Occupation: Zombie Master
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 011 HP: 020

Animate Dead: 30, Invulnerability*: 02, Personality Transfer*: 06, Skin Armor: 02, Telepathy: 13

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Animate Dead can be used to reanimate animals as well as humans (+1FC).
  • Animate Dead adds +3 APs to the STR of human zombies as well as their BODY. This Bonus does not apply to non-human zombies (+2FC).
  • Animate Dead has Area Effect instead of Normal Range. When Animate Dead is activated the Area of Effect starts out at 3 APs and expands to 13 APs after 24 hours (15 APs of time) pass (+9FC total).
  • Animate Dead can only raise the dead during the night. Once animated, however, zombies remain active until destroyed or Animate Dead is turned off regardless of whether it is night or not (-1FC).
  • Animate Dead does not require an Automatic Action to maintain. Once a zombie receives an order from Ovu Mobani, it will act independently until that task is completed (+2FC).
  • If Animate Dead is Neutralized or otherwise deactivated (such as by Ovu Mobani’s destruction), the animated corpses vanish. Whether the now-inanimate bodies reappear at the place they were resurrected or if they simply disappear forever is unknown (+0FC).
  • Personality Transfer has a Range of Touch, can only be used to possess a zombie animated by Ovu Mobani, and is permanent (unless Ovu Mobani chooses to end it, presumably) (+0FC total).
  • Telepathy can only be used to relay commands to Ovu Mobani’s zombies and has Area Effect for that purpose. This allows Ovu Mobani to communicate with all zombies within range simultaneously (+9FC total).

Ovu Mobani did not demonstrate any Skills during its brief manifestation, but one possibility is Occultist: 06*.

Assuming Ovu Mobani has the Occultist Skill, possible complementary Advantages include Scholars (Necromancy and Demonology Ritual Disciplines).


  • Miscellaneous. Ovu Mobani’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to attack — this can be treated as a standard Critical Blow. The Drawback is that Ovu Mobani’s eyes glow whenever it uses its powers, making its vulnerable point fairly obvious, 5 points.
  • SPR (Mute and immobile without a host).
  • Strange Appearance (Only when possessing a host with Personality Transfer; Strange Appearance also affects zombies animated by Ovu Mobani).

Design Notes

Ovu Mobani’s manifestation came to an end very quickly, so the Mental and Mystical Attributes are only speculation. Other speculative stats are noted when provided.

The Demon Incarnate

Once Ovu Mobani uses Personality Transfer to manifest itself in a zombie’s body, the following additional abilities can be used.

Mystic Freeze*: 06, Power Reserve*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Personality Transfer also transfers Physical Powers to the host body (+2FC).
  • Because Invulnerability is linked to BODY, it will increase to match that of the host body when Personality Transfer is used (+0FC).
  • Mystic Freeze is caused by a flash of light from Ovu Mobani’s eyes and requires eye contact with the target to work. Accordingly any ability or action that would block eye contact or otherwise protect a character from bright light (such as Shade) will provide similar protection against Ovu Mobani’s Mystic Freeze (-2FC).
  • Mystic Freeze can only be used while Ovu Mobani is directly possessing a zombie via Personality Transfer (-2FC).
  • Power Reserve can only be used to raise the Physical Attributes of a zombie that Ovu Mobani has bonded with via Personality transfer (-1FC).
  • Power Reserve can only be distributed in the following manner: DEX +5, STR +1 (-1FC).
  • Power Reserve adjustments are cumulative with the Physical Attribute changes from Animate Dead for a total change of +4 to STR and a +5 to DEX applied *after* the -3 (minimum of 01) adjustment to DEX from Animate Dead is calculated. Thus an average person (all Physical Attributes at 02) reanimated and then possessed by Ovu Mobani will have Dex 06 Str 06 Bod: 05 (+0FC).
  • Power Reserve cannot raise DEX above 10 (-1FC).

By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), episode 3×02 Dead Man’s Party.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, John Colagioia.