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NullAshton
2006-09-21, 02:38 PM
I had an idea for a campaign. Some type of magical effect goes around the word, turning most living creatures into undead. The player characters are 'normal characters', level 1, forced from their homes banding together to survive. Certain people (including the PCs) are immune to that magical effect, which is why they're not zombies. They start out in a small town, with the rest of the inhabitants zombies, and they work to survive, eventually getting out into the wilderness and meeting up with other survivors.

The survivors would form small groups, with 'stores' in them for the PCs to get items from. After surviving for a while, they can start clearing out zombies from towns, rescuing survivors, that sort of thing. Eventually, the higher up in level they go, the more they help out the recovery, doing things like starting defended towns for survivors to be truely safe inside, and eventually 'saving the world' so to speak, repopulating the planet. Truely epic campaign, with a zombie theme to boot.

Zombies and undead in general would stick around where they 'died', thus preventing the PCs from getting more than wealth by level guidelines. Survivors stores would be relatively weak in comparison with standard scores, thus treasure will be slightly more than normal to compensate for that. Food and survival skills would be heavily regulated, to keep the zombie survival theme.

What do you think of this campaign idea? Any ideas for improvement, plot hooks, that kind of thing? Any living creature is vulnerable to that magical effect, but there's survivors out of every species, so there's still the possibility of 'living creature encounters'. Ideas for some type of higher force behind this would be nice, since a force controlling the zombies could make it much more fun, in the sense of huge undead armies clashing. Also, ideas of how to keep the PCs in one place for quite a while is good, since I'd like to have a few 'zombie massacre' type events, where they're stuck in a town for a few days, till they can escape the zombie horde. Kind of like Dead Rising.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-21, 03:18 PM
You could take a note from Faerun and try making the cause of the Zombie Outbreak[supTM[/sup] be because some idiot wizard tried to use an epic spell to wrest the powers of Death (or Undeath, as the case may be) from the existing God of Death.

Yes, Karsus' Folly. Tried to become the god of magic via magic, but didn't realize that he wasn't all that hot and died. Netheril died too.

Were-Sandwich
2006-09-21, 03:37 PM
Set it in Eberron. Call it:

The Day Of Mourning 2: This Time We Followed The Instructions

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-21, 03:39 PM
Ooo! Ooo! I have Ideas!

1) Make every town have at least one or two 'Intelligent' zombie leaders.

2) Create a Special Ability for Outbreak Zombies.
* *Cannabalism- A zombie can devour another zombie or a dead person and gain HP equal to the Consumed victums HD.

Maerok
2006-09-21, 03:40 PM
An Infectious Dead template? I had thought about something like this two days ago.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-21, 03:52 PM
3) Also, make Rogue Evil Clerics who control zombies to kill for there gods!

4) This would be a fun addition! How about In order for a Cleric to regain his spells, he must do it at a Church in town! Therefor, they would stay in one town longer than normally!

Matthew
2006-09-21, 07:22 PM
Definitely worth playing around with the Zombie Monster for this campaign, otherwise the players will get bored too quickly. So many options. I recommend having some Zombies not die until at -10 or only die from decapatations (Criticals or Coup de Graces). Some should be surprisingly fast, others specialise in Grappling Attacks followed up by poinsonous / disease ridden Bites. The occasional acid vommiting Zombie and so on...

LoopyZebra
2006-09-21, 07:41 PM
Although the theme of zombies is prevalent, you could try to switch out to all types of undead, allowing for more variety.

Now, the main logic problem with this is:

Why haven't the zombies killed the survivors?

You've stated that they don't go far from where they died, but in the average DnD world, villages are only a day's walk away or less. How far will the zombies range? Presumably, you're getting a good bit of your idea from zombie horror games and movies, so, based on those, the zombies would hunt down the people. Plus, you'll need a significant reason as to why the zombies stay put. If they do stay put, Adventurer A could simply rain down arrows from outside of their walking range.

Elrosth
2006-09-21, 08:01 PM
Set it in Eberron. Call it:

The Day Of Mourning 2: This Time We Followed The Instructions

lol.

NullAshton
2006-09-22, 07:44 AM
Well, the zombies staying put is just to explain why they stay around places that have lots of items. So they won't exceed wealth by level guidelines. They do range out of it, but only if they see something to attack. Something like that, anyway.

Zombies were just the basic undead I thought of, they'll probally be more undead. Though, there needs to be some reason of why they don't encounter the 'harder' undead till later.

The zombies havent killed the zombies because A. They're lucky and went out of town for a day or two or B. They holed themselves up in a building. B. means that the players can eventually come save them, but it also means that incorporeal dead can still get to them. Maybe they hole themselves up in the church.

Iron_Mouse
2006-09-22, 12:59 PM
Zombies were just the basic undead I thought of, they'll probally be more undead. Though, there needs to be some reason of why they don't encounter the 'harder' undead till later.

Maybe the magical zombie-effect was only the beginning. After a while (just when the PCs start to get the hope that they can get the situation under control...) a second effect goes over the world - this time, a powerfull wave of negative energy, raising even more undead and making existing more powerful (getting HD/templates or maybe even turning them into new, stronger versions). So the struggling begins all over again.

fangthane
2006-09-22, 02:28 PM
Sounds a lot like you're looking for a sort of Ghosts of Mars kind of an idea - and like others, in DnD or real life I'd expect the zombies/mutants/whatever other undead to attack the living where possible. Perhaps something whereby commoners become zombies or skels, shopkeepers become something bigger, inkeeps even bigger and aristocracy/experts/other plausibly "higher-level" citizens become intelligent undead and exert some level of control on their lesser brethren?

In any case, I'd expect enclaves of remaining "live ones" to be forced to keep moving around - which forces the PCs to be the effective resistance since it's tough to arrange when you're dealing with women, children and the need to keep avoiding undead but somewhat easier for an adventuring party with relatively greater resilience and mobility. It also means that while they may find an enclave the first time, they'll have to repeat the process for any enclave, including those they've already been to unless they specifically roleplay some signal-arrangements.

Ratkiller
2006-09-22, 02:39 PM
npc's have variable hit die, why not homebrew zombie-apocolypse undead? so small villages and even minor cities have only 2HD zombies, but i bet the capital has wights, ghouls, etc. how about if the npc's had pc class levels they keep those levels in addition to being undead? also if if zomibes don't move much unless they sense food, that would explain 2 or 3 in the woods while 2 or 3 hundred stay in the city. imagine running into an undead chasing squirrels.

that would naturally preclude shooting zombies from afar with impunity.

and about regulating survival skills, don't punish driud/ranger/barbarians for the sake of a campaign feel. the fact that they would be valuable to the survivors is good imho. well, maybe druids. ;D fact is, that that's a perfect 1st-3rd level quest. "hey we need food for everyone, the grain stores are running low." instant questhook, no-one want to starve to death!

NullAshton
2006-09-23, 01:21 PM
I mean regulating survival skills in that I'll actually be tracking supplies of food and stuff, and the survival skill will become very important.

Arakune
2006-09-23, 01:47 PM
you are a future psic! I wanted to make a infested zombie campaign.

ohh bit!

NullAshton
2006-09-23, 02:06 PM
you are a future psic! I wanted to make a infested zombie campaign.

ohh bit!

Hehe. I use my time-traveling mind reader ray sometimes too. ;D

Mike_G
2006-09-23, 03:55 PM
Well, the zombies staying put is just to explain why they stay around places that have lots of items. So they won't exceed wealth by level guidelines. They do range out of it, but only if they see something to attack. Something like that, anyway.

Zombies were just the basic undead I thought of, they'll probally be more undead. Though, there needs to be some reason of why they don't encounter the 'harder' undead till later.


Maybe the tougher undead are at the epicenter of the "event" that caused the infestation. The PC's could start on the fronges, where it's mostly zombies, then move in to the worse areas, which contain the higher forms.

NullAshton
2006-09-23, 04:04 PM
Maybe the tougher undead are at the epicenter of the "event" that caused the infestation. The PC's could start on the fronges, where it's mostly zombies, then move in to the worse areas, which contain the higher forms.

Ooo, good idea. Kind of like the exact reverse of how it is in MMORPGs.

Eighth_Seraph
2006-09-24, 12:18 AM
Great stuff here all around. The only problem is that a cleric in any party will be ultrainsanelyuber powerful in almost every encounter. You'll need some way to balance that, or give most zombies a degree of turn resisatnce, or make cleric an NPC class. Actually, that would be pretty cool.

"Quick, run to the cathedral, there's a cleric there!"
"But what about you? there's no way you can hold them all off yourself!"
"Don't worry about me, just get the cleric! If you manage to find him, then he'll be able to save us; now GO!"

Of course, when they enter the cathedral, the cleric is fighting for his life against a dozen powerful zomibes, whittling away his turn uses for the day.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-24, 01:32 AM
Cloistered Cleric fixes that.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-25, 08:40 PM
Like I said before, In order for a Divine Spellcaster to gain his spells he needs to go to a Church!

Eighth_Seraph
2006-09-26, 03:57 PM
I'm assuming a cloistered cleric is from Complete Divine, which is yet another sourcebook which I am, unfortunately, deprived of.

soylentplaid
2006-09-26, 04:31 PM
I'd change the rationale a bit, from "everyone in the world except X number turn zombie!" to the more reassuring, George Romero type "Evil curse/infectious disease turns people who die to zombies, and can be passed on through biting". Set the campaign a few years in, Land of the Dead style. Or even better, Dawn of the Dead era, your characters are around at the beginning of the invasion, and the zombies seem completely unstoppable.

NullAshton
2006-09-26, 04:53 PM
I'd change the rationale a bit, from "everyone in the world except X number turn zombie!" to the more reassuring, George Romero type "Evil curse/infectious disease turns people who die to zombies, and can be passed on through biting". Set the campaign a few years in, Land of the Dead style. Or even better, Dawn of the Dead era, your characters are around at the beginning of the invasion, and the zombies seem completely unstoppable.

Hmmm, that might work, actually. With it mutating somehow, creating more difficult forms.

Then I could make level 5 or so the maximum level, anything beyond that is truely an 'epic' accomplishment... scrolls and items for the higher levels would probally be in the form of ancient ruined libraries and old storehouses. Slightly low magic campaign.

Eighth_Seraph
2006-09-26, 06:16 PM
Yes! I've always disliked the ultra-commonality of magic in standard D&D. Of course, then I tried to make a game without quite so much, and the rarity of magic items really, REALLy sucked. Be careful with that particular trap.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-26, 09:14 PM
Im writing down a Accual Campiegn now. . .

I am Doing the Histroy, If someone where to make different types of Zombies I would be grateful.

History: Two years ago, a disease made by a mad alchemist broke out of his laboratory and started to infect the people in the city above. The people started dying and the King dismissed it as a Sickness. However, the Dead started to Rise from the Cemeteries and they started to kill people. Whenever a Zombie bit someone, they would transmit the Disease and make them slowly turn into a zombie. The Zombies brought kingdoms to ruins, and many people sought shelter in fortified houses. At this time, the gods started to become picky with whom could gain there spells, and only those who made it to their church could gain there spells. Now, only Lordaron a Nation Built within high walls is surviving. However, there are several Small towns which have blockaded themselves from the Zombies. Many have believed that this is the end of the world, and only a handful still have hope.

Zombie Notes: Outbreak Zombies donít die until at -10.

1st level quest : The Grain stores are getting low in (Current town). We would be thankful if you were to find us food!
* * * * * * *: The Mayor has been trapped in the town! If you rescue him, he could give you information or gold!
* * * * * * *: There are some evil clerics in the town controlling the zombies and making them attack us! We need them to be killed!
: There is a School of Children in the middle of that town! Save them!

Eighth_Seraph
2006-09-26, 09:27 PM
I like it, give me a few days and I can make a two-page long expansion of that. Lately I've found that I enjoy making fluff for great ideas, and this is a great idea. If you want me to make something really good I can have it done by Saturday afternoon; just say the word, Aron.

Krieg
2006-09-26, 09:28 PM
I'd play in this campaign in a flash, had I the chance.

...well, assuming I could have a cricket bat.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-26, 09:30 PM
I like it, give me a few days and I can make a two-page long expansion of that. Lately I've found that I enjoy making fluff for great ideas, and this is a great idea. If you want me to make something really good I can have it done by Saturday afternoon; just say the word, Aron.

Awsome, It'll look better if you do it my Saturday, so you can do that.


I'd play in this campaign in a flash, had I the chance.

...well, assuming I could have a cricket bat.

Haha, Shaun of the Dead is awsome.

So Seraph is making RE-making the history, Im doing Quests and 'Tribes'. I guess I'll ask VT for the Zombies.

Maerok
2006-09-27, 10:26 PM
: There is a School of Children in the middle of that town! Save them!

Nothing rocks more than a herd of zombie preschoolers... nothing... ;D

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-28, 06:47 AM
No zombie kittens are cooler. . .

Iron_Mouse
2006-09-28, 10:17 AM
I'm assuming a cloistered cleric is from Complete Divine, which is yet another sourcebook which I am, unfortunately, deprived of.
No, it's from Unearthed Arcana and can be found in the SRD too: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric

Pegasos989
2006-09-29, 07:35 AM
Libris mortis is an useful book for this kind of campaign. I got it as I always liked undead the most.


In my mind, I can see this campaign. The first game (starting in tavern as any proper campaign should). (Sorry that my verbal talents aren't that good in english. Not my first language, etc.)

"As you sit there, drinking and having fun, you hear plates crashing from the corner. An old man has just wiped everything from the table onto the floor and sits there, one hand covering his mouth, other clinching to some sort of amulet that he has under his clothes. Suddenly, he screams of pain."

"I run to him and try to see what is the problem."

As you get closer, you feel cold and sickening waves running through you. It seems that everyone else in the tavern does too, as they suddenly look very uncomfourtable. The tavernwenches whisper "Do you feel that?" to each other. The old man suddenly looks right at you, breathing heavily. "Leave this village now. Please leave... You must stay away for this night. Gather your party and leave." he says and stands up, trying to start walking away. The hand still clutching to his amulet, he collapses half-way to the door and falls to floor.

Player: "I go to see what is his status."
DM: "You can't see any marks of life."
Player: "What are everyone else in the tavern doing."
DM: "They are holding their stomaches and trembling. You are starting to feel a bit odd too."
Player: "I tear the amulet from his hand to see what it is. And search the corpse for hints."

As you force his dead fingers from the amulet, you see a symbol of Nerull. His backback has some material components for spells and a journal.

"I open the journal from the last page."

You open the journal from the last page, it is dated on yesterday.
"I can feel it closing on us. Closing on us all. There is still hope, though. In a dream I saw a person who could end this all. I came to Ironridge looking for him but I wonder if it is too late. It is too late for these villagers, but is it too late for the world?

"I run to the others and tell them what happened."


EDIT: In case you want less "This is the destiny" the text of the journal could easily be changed. If you want more of that, he could be cleric of some deity of destiny or something.

Pegasos989
2006-09-29, 08:16 AM
(I know I could have edited the previous post but as this is of a bit diffrent stuff and another as long post, I thought this would be clearer to have as another message.)

Oh, and have you read "Zombie survival guide"? It is not about fantasy world zombies but a book written on how to survive in modern times if (when) zombies break out. It is inconsistent (most of the time it says that only 1 in 4 zombies can even climb ladders and once it says that if you are on a ship, don't lower the anchor as zombie walking in the bottom might climb up the anchor chain) but still would give good idea.

Zombie overrun cities are cool - nearly overrun cities are cooler. What if with all the divine and arcane magic in the world, someone found out a century ago that something like this would happen? What if there was founded a small organisation that was preprared for zombie invasion? Organisation that knew that something like this would eventually happen and consisted of people also immune and had safehouses here and there around the cities, with food, weapons and possibly some with evacuated civilians. This organisation, which kept low-profile for centuries, is not big enough to beat the zombie threat but it would offer a place for PCs to rest, find information, place to buy stuff in, plothooks when they need to help the safehouse staff to move civilians around the city and possibly give you chance to have logical group help the PCs when you threw something too hard and it comes close to total party kill. So I recommend adding organisation like this and some power level that helps PCs but doesn't overshadow them.


EDIT: Oh! And whether the zombies are curse or disease, it could start by affecting a certain race and then later on mutate to others. Like if players are all human, they could first wonder why there has been lately no dwarven caravans coming from the desert.

First they would start trying to save the dwarves, later when the disease mutates, they could realize that they - and their families - are at risk too.


EDIT2: Just decided that I will design a zombie campaign next, too. After conversing a bit in IRC, I think that it will go like this:
There is a racistic elf ("All the other races are inferior, etc.") that falls in love with a human girl. The human however dies of old age and becomes unable to be resurrected. The elf does not give up but gets idea that there is possible to resurrect her if enough lives are sacrificed. First he unleashes spells that start turning "worthless" humans to undead but as that doesn't help, he gets desperate and starts to do it on other races too.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-29, 08:06 PM
I like, that. Mind if I add it to mine?

Pegasos989
2006-09-30, 05:59 AM
I like, that. Mind if I add it to mine?

Some of my ideas? Sure, that is kinda what forums are for.


Anyways, I have one difficult thingy left:
If I use the idea I mentioned (someone starts to turn people to undead to be able to resurrect his loved one), how will it work out. He must be everywhere himself, so this would be better for a small area, such as one big city. I can't go "This turns first everyone withing 10 miles, later withing 20 miles..." as then PCs would be in trouble too.

Possibly the BBEG could be mind-controlling lesser necromancers to go around the smaller villages or something.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-30, 07:26 AM
Or he found a Artifact of great power. However It clouded his vision and what he wishes will never come true.

Pegasos989
2006-09-30, 07:46 AM
Or he found a Artifact of great power. However It clouded his vision and what he wishes will never come true.

Nah. I kinda like the idea that when party catches him and beats him, he shows his dead wife and pledges "Please. Only 10 more people. Only ten more people and all those deaths haven't been for nothing. Please..." and falls down to his knees begging.

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-09-30, 08:35 PM
That would be awsome. That would totaly be Barbarian vs. Pallidan momment.

Pegasos989
2006-10-01, 07:48 AM
Hmm. I wonder what undead -related rules I would need to change. It would be cool to keep undead -themed spells etc. but in a campaign centered on undead they would be too powerful...

I removed undead turning but what to do with spells such as "hide from undead"? I could up it to level 4 so that it is like invisibility, except it only works against undead but is 10 mins per level and hides from all senses of undead (including life sense and whatever else they have).

Also, as there will be undead -fighting small organisation under the church of St. Cuthbert, I would be interested to create a PrC that fights undead. However, how to make it more specialized against undead without being overpowered in undead-themed campaingn?

Maybe it would have 2 variants: weakish caster class (d4 hd, poor bab) who would be given all these undead -themed spells (such as hide from undead) and a fighting -class (maybe it would have class abilities of resisting level drain, ability damage, etc...).

Fredderf
2006-10-01, 11:41 AM
Wow, this campaign would be completely awesome.

I have seen similar stuff in modern, but seeing it in DND gives it a bit of a twist.
I like most of the ideas. Pretty awesome.

Pegasos989
2006-10-01, 02:04 PM
Wow, this campaign would be completely awesome.

I have seen similar stuff in modern, but seeing it in DND gives it a bit of a twist.
I like most of the ideas. Pretty awesome.

There we heard it from the expert ;D

Carrion_Humanoid
2006-10-01, 02:22 PM
IM pretty sure theres a Undead-Based Ranger PrC or something in the book.

Zombie Plague magical accelerated disease

Spread by Contact (Bite)
DC 25 save every 5 minutes or loose 2d4 con
Unlike normal diseases, zombie plague is not thrown off after two consecutive saves, but rather FOUR. This means that after contracting the disease, your minutes are numbered.
Once a person saves from the disease, they cannot contract it again for 24 hours

If a person dies of Constitution loss (Not HP loss, when con = 0) then 1d4 + 1 minutes later they rise as a zombie or Ghoul or skeleton if stronger(3+ HD).