PDA

View Full Version : Zombiegeddon Adventure Advice



Karsh
2007-12-11, 03:38 PM
Based upon inspiration from Oakspar77777's amazing thread over at WotC, (relevant portion begins here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=7285316&postcount=98), I have decided to run a similar Zombie adventure for some of my friends over the holidays, and being my first attempt at an adventure of this sort, I wanted to get some commentary from you all.

The updated zombie I believe I'll be using is as follows:

Doom Zombie
Medium Undead
2d12+3 (16 HP)
Initiative -1
Speed: 50' (Can't run)
AC11 (-1 DEX, +2 Natural), Touch 9, Flat-Footed 11
BAB/Grap +1/+2
Attack: Bite -3 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Full Attack: Bite -3 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Space/Reach: 5'/5'
Special Attacks: Infectious Bite
Special Qualities: Single Actions only, Spawn, DR 5/Slashing, Darkvision 60', Undead Traits, Critical Death
Fort +0, Reflex -1, Will +3
STR 12, DEX 8, CON -, INT -, WIS 10, CHA 1
Toughness

Critical Death (Ex): Doom Zombies have a special type of fast healing. Doom Zombies are not automatically destroyed when they reach 0 HP and gain Fast Healing 2 as long as their hit points are below 1 until they have recovered to 1 hit point. Doom Zombies are destroyed when they reach -10 HP.

Infectious Bite (Su): Anyone bitten by a Doom Zombie takes 2 points of permanent ability damage per hour to both CON and CHA until death. This can only be removed by a Wish or Miracle spell. No saving throw is allowed against becoming infected, though a Fortitude save of DC 10 + 1 per hour of infection negates the ability damage for that hour.

Single Actions Only (Ex): Doom Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Spawn (Su): Anyone killed after receiving an Infectious Bite rises as a Doom Zombie after 1d4+1 rounds.



The idea is much akin to how Oakspar executed the adventure: level 1 PCs will be forced to turtle up inside of buildings and hold off the zombies, which in the entire city will number in the 1000s. They'll be strapped for resources and have to deal with civilians who were in the building with them. Then, I rely on the PCs ingenuity to deal with the situation and we'll see where it goes. Thoughts/comments?

herrhauptmann
2007-12-11, 03:49 PM
Oh god, what level is this party?
I saw the zombie HD and thought it would be a low level party. But that Doom zombie is something else!
It shambles at 60ft a round!!
Its bite!

EDIT: looked again, saw level 1 party. I'd say slow the zombies down a little. They're already so deadly that it's suicide to turn and fight for even a round.

weenie
2007-12-11, 04:01 PM
Wow, this zombie is kinda hardcore. Are you sure about the speed and the party level? 1 seems a bit low for such a setting.

Karsh
2007-12-11, 04:03 PM
The idea is that they aren't supposed to stand and fight. They take up defensive positions that allow them to attack them from a distance or without fear of retaliation. Most terrain will be considered Difficult, preventing the zombies from being able to charge, so their "Single Actions Only" quality is still very limiting.

Also, I will be playing these zombies as accurately as I can. Mindless zombies that just want some delicious brains. They'll be exceedingly stupid, easy to trap and manipulate (though not so much on the complex tricks; they're too dumb for those to work), and not smart enough to figure out how to chase the PCs into difficult-to-reach areas.

EDIT: Furthermore, just to clarify, this adventure will take place inside of a city, providing hundreds of buildings and other resources available to the PCs.

loopy
2007-12-11, 04:14 PM
Nah, level 1 is perfect for this kind of horror based campaign. I've read (and played in) an Oakspar77777-style zombiegeddon campaign. It was fantastic fun, forcing us to all be careful and husband our resources.

Interesting to find a game where purify food/water can be more powerful than damage spells.

My fighter, Sturn, was eventually bitten and turned in the middle of the night... in field plate.

His reanimated corpse tore havoc through the civilians on the roof, until the sorceror used a illusion spell to lure him off the room edge. He kept crawling around the base of the building though.

Some advice:
Start in a place with a lot of civilians, for added complications and a good way to show how serious the situation is:

"A sailor staggers into the inn, covered in blood. The innkeeper who just brought you a round of drinks goes over to tend to the drunken sot, putting an arm around him. As the patrons of the tavern watch helplessly, the sailor tears a chunk out of the innkeepers throat. The poor man collapses to the floor, lifeblood pumping from his arteries. The inn erupts in chaos as the sailor moves towards the closest living occupant, arms raised."

Be sure to give lots of detailed descriptions of the horrors of the zombiegeddon. People snapping at each other, the sites of heroic last stands, faint screams coming from the now eerily quiet city.

Shops for supplies are obviously needed, whether they be armories, grocers, or whatever. A sketched map of the surrounding few blocks will really help your players here. Oh, and don't have the buildings all attached to each other. Risky supply runs are a good deal of fun.

Oh, and don't give XP per zombie killed. This isn't that type of campaign. If the players are hurling balls of fire at the zombies, all they are likely to do is attract more. Remember, most buildings weren't built out of brick... Couple of hundred zombies pushing against a wall? *kaboom*

Other than that... Enjoy your campaign!

EDIT: Oh, and you might want to slow your zombies down. Shambling zombies are still bad, especially since the civilians the heroes will hopefully will be dragging along are nowhere near conditioned soldiers. 10 minutes of running and half of them would be exhausted. Besides, there are zombies everywhere... where would they run? If you still want fast zombies, you might want to consider cutting it to say 40ft, so a character can still outrun them, but at normal movement the zombies will slowly gain on them.

Prometheus
2007-12-11, 04:29 PM
Yeah, I would move the base speed down to 30 and say that they do run (but never fatigue), otherwise you have weird rules when it comes to encumberment, terrain, magical slowing, unusual forms of movement etc.

I'm not 100% convinced that Oakspar's DR strategy, and your Critical Death ability really do simulate a creature that is only destroyed when you chop it up into unusable bits or destroy its head. I might be tempted to separate critical hits, sneak attacks, and precision damage in one category that would go towards killing it, and all other damage in a category that would go towards weakening it. But in the end, you strategy works well enough.

I would caution, that if this is every zombie in your campaign than the likely result will probably be a) piece of cake or b) everyone dies. With a single type of monster, the party is either able to handle it in a systematic way or not. Oakspar's approach to throw in random environment challenges, like random breaches, special missions, and extra weaponry sounds fun, but I'm not sure if it would actually do the job he wants it to. I would suggest in addition, that there is a small population of zombies with beneficial mutant traits, which throw the players for a loop (especially if they are at a higher level). Here are some ideas:
-Hulking Strong Zombie (strong enough to attack walls and fortifications)
-Leaping/Climbing Zombies
-Plague Zombies (who carry diseases other than the zombification virus, and could spread them via proximity or touch)
-Smart Zombie (rudimentary use of tools, able to relay simple commands to other zombies)
-Aberrant Shape (multiple limbs, tentacles with reach, ability to move, large gaping mouth that also eats)
-Acidic Zombie (spits acid, leaves a trail that burns through steel)

SpikeFightwicky
2007-12-11, 04:31 PM
Here's my 2 cents as a veteran PEACHer before the WotC forum moved over the Gleemax:



Speed: 60' (Can't run)


- Way too fast! The zombie can partial charge the same distance a regular character can do a regular charge. A 60 ft movement is not something a slow brainless plodder should have.


Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Full Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite

- 1d6 is the average medium sized bite damage, though the 1d4 may be representative of a human's mouth not being as bite friendly as a wolf. So I guess it works either way.


Toughness, Improved GrappleB

- Why go for improved grapple? It makes more sense for this kind of monster to have the 'improved grab' monster ability instead. You can stick in a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks if that's an issue, but the 'improved grapple' feat represents some wrestling/martial arts style grabs and holds (judging by the prereqs).


Infectious Bite (Su): Anyone bitten by a Doom Zombie takes 2 points of permanent ability damage per hour to both CON and CHA until death. This can only be removed by a Wish or Miracle spell. No saving throw is allowed against becoming infected, though a Fortitude save of DC 10 + 1 per hour of infection negates the ability damage for that hour.

- Kind of painful. The PCs will drop like flies unless they're careful (though that's the point :smallbiggrin: )


Single Actions Only (Ex): Doom Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

- The 60 foot movement kind of negates this penalty. Unless they're obstructed, a partial charge from this zombie still covers as much distance as a regular character charging.


That's my 2 cents about it. All in all, seems most posters are in agreement that they're too fast. Happy zombie hunting :smalltongue:

loopy
2007-12-11, 04:34 PM
I'm generally not a fan of the "lets have a type of zombie for every situation", but if the city has a bunch of minotaur laborers for example... hehe.

You now have strong zombies. Or a rogue giant that was being held in the city for whatever reason. All it takes is one bite.

-Plague zombies will also occur 'naturally' after a few weeks pass and the bodies start rotting. This will happen to all rotting matter around the area, so be sure to burn your dead to prevent plague.

....
2007-12-11, 04:41 PM
Look up Strahd's zombies in EtCR. They're similar to this.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-12-11, 04:42 PM
Look up Strahd's zombies in EtCR. They're similar to this.

Seconded! Not sure how they equate 42 HP to a CR 2, but it's horror, so it's alright :smallbiggrin: 1000 of those things will strike terror into PC hearts.

Karsh
2007-12-11, 04:53 PM
Ok, to address some concerns:

Re: Zombie speed: If the characters are flat out running through the streets being chased by zombies, they're doing something horribly wrong. I may lower their movement speed to ~40 feet as suggested, but a lot of the replies so far seem to be assuming for some reason that the PCs are going to choose to fight the zombies on level, open terrain. Also, these are supposed to be "Dawn of the Dead-esque" zombies, which, if you've seen the movie, are really, really fast zombies.


With a single type of monster, the party is either able to handle it in a systematic way or not.

That's exactly what I want. The challenge of limited resources and whatnot would be outright unfair if I was forcing them to fight a bunch of different things. At least this way, they know what they need to do to defeat what they're fighting.


1d6 is the average medium sized bite damage, though the 1d4 may be representative of a human's mouth not being as bite friendly as a wolf. So I guess it works either way.

It's not the damage that the PCs have to be worried about... ultimately it doesn't matter, though I would grouse a little bit at having the average damage be enough to one-shot a d4 hit dice character.


Why go for improved grapple? It makes more sense for this kind of monster to have the 'improved grab' monster ability instead. You can stick in a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks if that's an issue, but the 'improved grapple' feat represents some wrestling/martial arts style grabs and holds.

Again, because if the PCs have been bitten, they've already lost. Improved Grapple allows zombies to latch onto them and try to bite them, which I feel has a bit more of a frightening feel to it than being able to bite them and then latch on.

EDIT: Please, please, please do not interpret my multi-quoting as being defensive. The purpose of this thread is for people to find flaws in my plans and let me see if I am able to adequately justify their existence or not.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-12-11, 05:35 PM
Ok, to address some concerns:

Re: Zombie speed: If the characters are flat out running through the streets being chased by zombies, they're doing something horribly wrong. I may lower their movement speed to ~40 feet as suggested, but a lot of the replies so far seem to be assuming for some reason that the PCs are going to choose to fight the zombies on level, open terrain. Also, these are supposed to be "Dawn of the Dead-esque" zombies, which, if you've seen the movie, are really, really fast zombies.

- That works, though it may be easier to just give them 30ft speed and remove the 'single actions' weakness (the 'single action' flaw is mostly to stop zombies with multiple attacks from being too powerful) to simulate Dawn of the Dead (2004) zombies. Those things are on some kind of crack surpassed only by 28 days/months/decades infected.


It's not the damage that the PCs have to be worried about... ultimately it doesn't matter, though I would grouse a little bit at having the average damage be enough to one-shot a d4 hit dice character.

- That makes sense.


Again, because if the PCs have been bitten, they've already lost. Improved Grapple allows zombies to latch onto them and try to bite them, which I feel has a bit more of a frightening feel to it than being able to bite them and then latch on.

- I guess that works. I designed some myself for a zombie game and gave them a slam attack with improved grab, and they used a weak bite attack when in a grapple. Same difference, pretty much.


EDIT: Please, please, please do not interpret my multi-quoting as being defensive. The purpose of this thread is for people to find flaws in my plans and let me see if I am able to adequately justify their existence or not.

No worries :smallbiggrin: (from me anyways). For curiosity's sake: there's no CR attached to them, so I'm guessing it's going to be an abstract 'no experience' game?

Karsh
2007-12-11, 05:40 PM
Yeah. The adventure is only targeted at lasting maybe 3 sessions, 4 at the most, so I'll probably level them up after the first one depending on their progress.

Ultimately, if they need some nudging to get things accomplished, I might grant them a level faster or slower. Also, I'll be taking a page out of Oakspar's book and allowing one or two to take a LA +1 race if they so choose.

Fuzzy_Juan
2007-12-11, 06:20 PM
I did something similar to a game but with wights...and it was my character using the wights =).

A city full of undead is neat...the chaos is much fun.

Those zombies though...wow...now that is brutal...I agree that PC's will have a hell of a time staying alive. HIgh AC and concealment with traps and reach weapons seems the order of the day, and you might wanna rule that a coup de grace is a decapitation/head destruction that prevents them rising again...

pray that you have a bunch of clerics of pelor on hand. What level is invisibility to undead?

I do sort of wonder what sized city are you shooting for...viliage, town, metropolis? Are there city walls? Any high level NPC's around? Any NPC's actively helping the undead? Are the PC's destined to survive/win? or is this how long before you all die horribly?

Make sure you use water/food/ammo as a very large problem...sanitation (if you know what I mean) can also be a big problem. Disease is a major factor, and any dead in and around local water sources could probably foul them up...within a few days too, most local food will be grabbed or rotted (cities depend greatly on imports of food form the countryside, all stores, no local growing/raising)

Pray one player is a thief...the local thieves guild likely has a hideout that requires some nack to get into and is likely the safest place next to a wizards tower, or a warded church.

On the evil side...why not have an evil, or at least a neutral cleric that commands undead? Master a Zombie and have it do your bidding. Safest way to collect supplies...a zombie and a tag along familiar to report. Well...maybe a few bugs to work out.

Karsh
2007-12-11, 08:40 PM
Having a Cleric of Pelor would actually present a rather major problem. I'm hoping that none of my PCs take the Sun Domain just because they'll be a lot more scared if they don't have an auto-duster available to them once a day.

Hide from Undead is a 1st level spell; the PCs will get a lot of mileage out of that.

I'm thinking Small city, so a population of about 10,000. The PCs will be able to "win," but in this situation, "win" is really more like "Survive and escape." If things start to go sour or take too long, I might have the cavalry in the form of some high-level wizards/clerics show up to bail them out.

All the high level NPCs who stuck around will have been zombified; not before doing a goodly amount of damage, granted, but higher level people tend to stand and fight, and natural 20s are auto-hits and after that it's only a matter of time.

Fuzzy_Juan
2007-12-12, 02:55 AM
Having a Cleric of Pelor would actually present a rather major problem. I'm hoping that none of my PCs take the Sun Domain just because they'll be a lot more scared if they don't have an auto-duster available to them once a day.

Hide from Undead is a 1st level spell; the PCs will get a lot of mileage out of that.

I'm thinking Small city, so a population of about 10,000. The PCs will be able to "win," but in this situation, "win" is really more like "Survive and escape." If things start to go sour or take too long, I might have the cavalry in the form of some high-level wizards/clerics show up to bail them out.

All the high level NPCs who stuck around will have been zombified; not before doing a goodly amount of damage, granted, but higher level people tend to stand and fight, and natural 20s are auto-hits and after that it's only a matter of time.


Yeah, I asked the size of the city cause if it is a small enough town the PC's can exit the place in a day tops if they are being careful. Now, a city the size of like...Waterdeep would be another story...but if it is like 10,000 pople, while not small, it isn't gonna be more than a few miles of sparsely populated areas. with a bunch of people concentrating in a few blocks, maybe 4 sq miles worth of actual 'city' then the rest is rural 4 acre plots, estates with larger lands and families living in houses to work the land...that sorta thing. The town might have walls of some sort, but nothing uber, and likely no sewers either. A city of that size though will need a source of fresh water, so it is likely built around a river with one or two bridges across, possibly a ferry in other places and likely has a castle somewhere. Likely on a hill overlooking the town.

The real problem with that size of a town won't be 'can we get out'...the problem will be how do we contain the problem? The walls (if any) will likely be pourous enough to not be able to keep in fleeing people and zombies...they will be able to get out easy. Once out, any infected people could turn at a moments notice, and roaming zombies could go far and wide searching for food...and god knows what might happen.

Once they find out what is going on, they need to figure a plan to alert nearby towns and stem the flow of the infection...while possibly finding a cure/solution...

The doombite...is it a poison, disease, curse, special dm fiat of doom? If it is a disease...are Paladins immune to it? Some diseases/curses might be immune to remove disease, or remove curse...but even magical diseases won't effect paladins. Might they be a beacon of hope?

What world are you doing this in? Will anyone be a warforged and spoil your fun?

Ramos
2007-12-12, 03:27 AM
Hehehehehehehehe:




SIGN: RESTLESS DEAD

Atropus's presence in the sky causes the dead to rise from their graves.

Faint: Necromancy spells and spell-like abilities are cast at +2 caster level. Whenever a living creature dies, a 20% chance exists that it will spontaneously rise as a zombie (MM 265) in 1d4 rounds.

Moderate: As faint, but the chance of spontaneous animation increases to 40%. In addition, the entire campaign setting is affected as if by a desecrate spell (PH 218). Casting consecrate removes this effect in the spell's area until its duration expires.

Strong: As moderate, but the chance of spontaneous animation increases to 80%. Even creatures that died before this sign manifested begin to rise as skeletons or zombies, depending on the condition of their corpses. In addition, the campaign setting is affected as if by an unhallow spell (PH 297). Casting hallow removes this effect in the spell's area.

All conjuration (healing) spells and similar spell-like abilities are impeded, meaning that a caster must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell) or lose the spell or spell slot without effect.

Overwhelming: As strong, but any creature that dies automatically rises as a zombie 1 round after death. Previously dead creatures automatically animate as skeletons or zombies. All undead creatures gain an extra 2 hit points per Hit Die. In addition, they gain turn resistance equal to one-quarter of their Hit Die total (1-7 HD grants +1 turn resistance, 8-15 HD grants +2, 16-23 HD grants +3, and so on). This bonus stacks with any turn resistance a creature already possesses

Khanderas
2007-12-12, 03:40 AM
Overwhelming: As strong, but any creature that dies automatically rises as a zombie 1 round after death. Previously dead creatures automatically animate as skeletons or zombies. All undead creatures gain an extra 2 hit points per Hit Die. In addition, they gain turn resistance equal to one-quarter of their Hit Die total (1-7 HD grants +1 turn resistance, 8-15 HD grants +2, 16-23 HD grants +3, and so on). This bonus stacks with any turn resistance a creature already possesses
1/4 rounded down, minimum 1 would give:
+1 1-7 HD (4-7 HD if not minimum of 1, something that can be possible)
+2 8-11 HD
+3 12-15 HD and so on.

The restless dead thing is pure awesome though. You know you are in deep crap when that one is up and even scaleable.


Im also concerned with winning this scenario. Naturally all Zombies cannot be destroyed, but just escaping would let this very potent disease spread and cover the world, quite fast.
Perhaps the city has a natural chokepoint (as in it is on a penninsula) or
Zombies decay to dust in 3-4 days (new ones gets made all the time though, but they cannot spread too far).
I think we can assume XP rewards depending on how many NPC's you save ?

Cuddly
2007-12-12, 03:56 AM
Who, and what, can catch this disease?
I'm imagining some really nasty stuff out there with the infection.

I'm also imagining the PCs discovering a mind flayer city, except everything there's undead.

turkishproverb
2007-12-12, 04:37 AM
Who, and what, can catch this disease?
I'm imagining some really nasty stuff out there with the infection.

I'm also imagining the PCs discovering a mind flayer city, except everything there's undead.

Undead mindflayers are almost as annoying as undead Beholders.

I do think that movement is a little much, though.

Delta Nu Delta
2007-12-12, 06:33 AM
This is a glorious plan.

Quick question - are you aiming at running this campaign as a zombiepocolypse only adventure, or will it be the beginning of a longer campaign? If it's a longer campaign, I'd suggest making the bite somewhat curable.

I also might let them keep the slam attack but give them improved grab, then only let them bite in a grapple. That would preserve the PCs a bit longer, but also allow for some extremely tense grapple checks and allow stronger PCs to watch out for the weaker ones by intervening in grapples. It would also work great to represent that iconic zombie scene where they break down the walls just enough get a few arms inside and then pull the PCs to them.

Level one casters will be pretty hard pressed here. Perhaps give them wands very early on so they'll have stuff to do? I love the idea of forcing people to really budget their spells though.

I think it would be a lot of fun to add a few mechanics around that save VS the disease - for example, with a supply of fresh water and clean linen, you gain a bonus to the save, but under strenuous activity in a crappy area, you get a minus. Maybe even with exceptional care, the PCs could temporarily gain some ground fighting the disease off. This could stop the PCs from completely turtling and provide some major motivation to continue exploring the city, and it could lead to some "oh-sweet-cupping-cakes-please-roll-well" skill checks. I like the idea of all the PCs winding up infected and desperately scrounging for resources to keep the disease at bay for just a bit longer...

You've inspired me to kick off my campaign with a zombiepocolypse!

Neon Knight
2007-12-12, 07:26 AM
If you use this particular zombie, you'll probably have to mention to your players that building melee centric characters will be a very bad idea.

Fixer
2007-12-12, 07:49 AM
Doom Zombie
Medium Undead
2d12+3 (16 HP)
Initiative -1
Speed: 60' (Can't run)
AC11 (-1 DEX, +2 Natural), Touch 9, Flat-Footed 11
BAB/Grap +1/+6
Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Full Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Space/Reach: 5'/5'
Special Attacks: Infectious Bite
Special Qualities: Single Actions only, Spawn, DR 5/Slashing, Darkvision 60', Undead Traits, Critical Death
Fort +0, Reflex -1, Will +3
STR 12, DEX 8, CON -, INT -, WIS 10, CHA 1
Toughness, Improved GrappleB

Critical Death (Ex): Doom Zombies have a special type of fast healing. Doom Zombies are not automatically destroyed when they reach 0 HP and gain Fast Healing 2 as long as their hit points are below 1 until they have recovered to 1 hit point. Doom Zombies are destroyed when they reach -10 HP.

Infectious Bite (Su): Anyone bitten by a Doom Zombie takes 2 points of permanent ability damage per hour to both CON and CHA until death. This can only be removed by a Wish or Miracle spell. No saving throw is allowed against becoming infected, though a Fortitude save of DC 10 + 1 per hour of infection negates the ability damage for that hour.

Single Actions Only (Ex): Doom Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Spawn (Su): Anyone killed after receiving an Infectious Bite rises as a Doom Zombie after 1d4+1 rounds.
According to this calculation (http://www.enworld.org/cc/fiend_factory/cr_calculator.php) that zombie should have a CR of (3.5[hp/4.5]+1.5[critical death, not quite fast healing]+2[infectious bite, but frankly allowing no saving throw is just cruel in a bad way]+2[damage reduction]+1[spawn]+1[undead, although this could be 2 points])/3 = 4

So, just one of these zombies (CR 4) should be enough to take out an entire 1st level adventuring party (ECL 1).

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-12, 11:39 AM
First I would change the setting to a large city that is surrounded by a wall so that the zombies can easily get out. This makes it possible for the PC's to achieve something along the lines of a victory. For one they could flood the city with holy water from the Oceans of Celestia using an artifact or something similar.

Also I would make the Infectious Bite curable by Remove Disease with a caster level check and Protection from Evil allows x number of consecutive saves to cure the subject of it. This would reduce how deadly the disease is to the PC's since they really shouldn't be dieing off as fast as I think this would kill them.

As for the zombies I would like to suggest somethings that are a little outside the box.

First instead of the Critical Death ability I would suggest (insert a name here) which causes your attacks to deal Strength damage to them, this would reflect superficial damage to joints and muscles that the magic which animates them can repair, which heals at a rate of 1 point per hour. Lethal damage can be dealt to them with Critical Hits ect..., using Prometheus's idea

I'm not 100% convinced that Oakspar's DR strategy, and your Critical Death ability really do simulate a creature that is only destroyed when you chop it up into unusable bits or destroy its head. I might be tempted to separate critical hits, sneak attacks, and precision damage in one category that would go towards killing it, and all other damage in a category that would go towards weakening it. But in the end, you strategy works well enough., and things like Coup de grce attacks would work on them which would reflect, as Prometheus put it,
chop it up into unusable bits or destroy its head this would allow for some serious wet your pants fun before the party realizes what is required to actually destroy these creatures. Oh yeah as far as Fire and Acid damage go I would have that do either permanent Strength damage or have damage from those sources take longer to recover though implementing a sort of "Death from Massive Damage" effect for these creatures might be cool but only for certain damage sources. Cold damage could possibly "freeze" them for one round.

This means that you should probably increase their STR score a little bit to give them more "life" and/or not make it a strait conversion from Hit Point damage to Strength damage.

Also I would definitely reduce the speed of the Doom Zombies to somewhere around 20 - 30ft per round but allow them to take a ten foot step and attack instead of a five foot step. This would simulate how zombies seem to lurch towards you faster when they get close. If you don't like the fast lurch feature/idea then don't include it as it is simply something that the stereotypical Living Dead Apocalypse zombie seems to do.

I like the One Move Equivalent Action idea which helps even things out for the party.

Okay that is all I can think of. A lot of these ideas are based in "The Zombie Survival Guide", seriously you should get this as a Christmas Gift for everyone who is going to be in this campaign, and "World War Z" which is by the same author and is in the same alternate earth setting (not very alternate except for the Zombies).

I do have a couple of questions though:

Why do the Zombies have a Wisdom stat and should they actually have a Charisma stat? I'm not intimately familiar with the rules for undead so I am not sure if they should or not.

How long do you want this campaign to last? I know you said how long you thought it would last but if you want a longer campaign then I think this has the makings of one.

What is behind the appearance of these creatures?

How high do you want your PC's to level in this campaign?

How stereotypical do you want these Zombies to be?

Would you consider changing the creature name from "Doom Zombie" to something with more of a ring to it? It's definitely not a bad name and it is DEFINITELY not the worst name I have heard but it lacks a certain flare to go along with the awesome concept. Just some ideas:

Apocalypse Zombie
Walking Doom
Walking Death
...
and I'm out of ideas... As I said Doom Zombie isn't a bad name but with a creature this interesting may have a better name lurking down an alley somewhere.

Baxbart
2007-12-12, 12:03 PM
*Steals idea*

This one is too fun not to run as a one off :smallbiggrin:

I have 7 players, I wonder how fast they'll die...

Adumbration
2007-12-12, 12:29 PM
If you won't reduce the movespeed and nerf them a bit, please, please at least emphasize their abilities to the players, if not flat-out handing them the stats.

Believe me, if you don't, a TPK is most likely necessary at the first fight before they realize what they're up against.

Karsh
2007-12-12, 12:31 PM
Wow... go to sleep for a night and suddenly your thread explodes.

Here we go! I cast Multiquote!


The real problem with that size of a town won't be 'can we get out'...the problem will be how do we contain the problem? The walls (if any) will likely be pourous enough to not be able to keep in fleeing people and zombies...they will be able to get out easy.

Perhaps I'll have to go larger, then, but the idea is that Mage's Guilds have showed up and quarantined the town, surrounding it with walls of iron and stone and picking off any zombies that get too adventurous. Ultimately, I anticipate them being the "Cavalry" that come in to rescue the PCs once they've successfully survived.


The doombite...is it a poison, disease, curse, special dm fiat of doom? If it is a disease...are Paladins immune to it? Some diseases/curses might be immune to remove disease, or remove curse...but even magical diseases won't effect paladins. Might they be a beacon of hope?

It's essentially a deity-level curse that can only be overturned by Wish or Miracle.


What world are you doing this in? Will anyone be a warforged and spoil your fun?

No, it's just in a generic campaign setting. None of my players are really very familiar with any of the established campaign settings, and I only *really* have to worry about the city since the only action will be taking place inside of it.


Who, and what, can catch this disease?
I'm imagining some really nasty stuff out there with the infection.

I'm also imagining the PCs discovering a mind flayer city, except everything there's undead.

Humanoids only. There will be random animals roaming around the town that the zombies won't even notice.


Quick question - are you aiming at running this campaign as a zombiepocolypse only adventure, or will it be the beginning of a longer campaign? If it's a longer campaign, I'd suggest making the bite somewhat curable.

One-shot adventure. It's just something fun for over the holidays.


According to this calculation (http://www.enworld.org/cc/fiend_factory/cr_calculator.php) that zombie should have a CR of (3.5[hp/4.5]+1.5[critical death, not quite fast healing]+2[infectious bite, but frankly allowing no saving throw is just cruel in a bad way]+2[damage reduction]+1[spawn]+1[undead, although this could be 2 points])/3 = 4

So, just one of these zombies (CR 4) should be enough to take out an entire 1st level adventuring party (ECL 1).

I think your logic is a bit flawed... take a Human Zombie, which was what this zombie was based off of. It's a CR 1/2 creature. Using your calculations, though, we get...

3.5 (HP) + 2 (DR) + 1 (Undead) = CR 2

...what?

Now, if we incorporate Mindless and Single Actions Only both as -2 traits, we wind up with a CR 1 creature. So, that means Undead isn't an adjustment, and indeed, Necropolitan is a +0 CR template that grants Undead Type, giving us CR 1/2.

So, to apply that to my zombie... 3.5 + 2 (DR) + .5 (You give Critical Death way too much credit. It only kicks in when they're Unconscious. Still useful, but much less so than you would think.) + 2 (Infectious Bite) + 1 (Spawn) - 2 (Mindless) - 2 (Single Actions Only) = 1.33333, which rounds to CR 1, or right around where I wanted it.


First instead of the Critical Death ability I would suggest (insert a name here) which causes your attacks to deal Strength damage to them, this would reflect superficial damage to joints and muscles that the magic which animates them can repair, which heals at a rate of 1 point per hour. Lethal damage can be dealt to them with Critical Hits ect... *snip*

While I like this idea, it creates wayyyyy too much bookkeeping for me.


Why do the Zombies have a Wisdom stat and should they actually have a Charisma stat? I'm not intimately familiar with the rules for undead so I am not sure if they should or not.

MMI Zombies have the exact stats listed for my zombie. I lifted them directly from the stat block.


How long do you want this campaign to last? I know you said how long you thought it would last but if you want a longer campaign then I think this has the makings of one.

What is behind the appearance of these creatures?

How high do you want your PC's to level in this campaign?

How stereotypical do you want these Zombies to be?

In order, a few sessions; most of the players and myself are in college and will only be around for a month at most. I might try to expand it into a campaign for a later date, but right now I just need to worry about this.

They're grotesque zombies. Pretty standard fare, really.

I imagine that they should reach level 3 or 4.

Not very. That's why they're fast and angry. Unless you meant in some other way?

And for the name... well, I'm not going to call them that; I'm just going to say Zombie.


If you won't reduce the movespeed and nerf them a bit, please, please at least emphasize their abilities to the players, if not flat-out handing them the stats.

Believe me, if you don't, a TPK is most likely necessary at the first fight before they realize what they're up against.

Never fear. I'm not above fudging a few die rolls in the beginning to make sure the PCs have an idea of what's going on. Once they're in safety, I'll let them make Knowledge: Religion checks to figure some things out about them, and other things they'll be able to observe.

sikyon
2007-12-12, 12:43 PM
The real problem with that size of a town won't be 'can we get out'...the problem will be how do we contain the problem? The walls (if any) will likely be pourous enough to not be able to keep in fleeing people and zombies...they will be able to get out easy. Once out, any infected people could turn at a moments notice, and roaming zombies could go far and wide searching for food...and god knows what might happen.

Once they find out what is going on, they need to figure a plan to alert nearby towns and stem the flow of the infection...while possibly finding a cure/solution...


If zombies break out, and attract the attention of anyone high-level, no real problem. Sure, you'll have lots of dead pesents around, but even a massive horde wont be able to fly and get through extraplanar space, especially if they are mindless (no casting).

Cuddly
2007-12-12, 01:32 PM
Why do the Zombies have a Wisdom stat and should they actually have a Charisma stat? I'm not intimately familiar with the rules for undead so I am not sure if they should or not.

Things without wisdom or charisma scores are objects, since those two scores represent perceiving and interacting with the environment (in a dualist sort of way), respectively.

Here's the srd section on nonabilities:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#nonabilities

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-13, 08:56 AM
Wow... go to sleep for a night and suddenly your thread explodes.

Here we go! I cast Multiquote!

Well what did you expect with an idea this cool? :smallbiggrin:

Also I cast Multiquote as well :smallwink:


Perhaps I'll have to go larger, then, but the idea is that Mage's Guilds have showed up and quarantined the town, surrounding it with walls of iron and stone and picking off any zombies that get too adventurous. Ultimately, I anticipate them being the "Cavalry" that come in to rescue the PCs once they've successfully survived.

That works well. You might want to give the PC's a reason that the mages haven't already moved in at some point. Maybe there is an issue with the local religions who are saying that the Mages have no right to interfere? You could also have any party Wizards be from an exploratory group into the city that got lost.



It's essentially a deity-level curse that can only be overturned by Wish or Miracle.

I'm still not sure that this is a good way to go... maybe let them forstall its effects with Protection from Evil? It's not a cure but it would let the PC's live longer and they would have to ration their spells.


Humanoids only. There will be random animals roaming around the town that the zombies won't even notice.

Food maybe?


While I like this idea, it creates wayyyyy too much bookkeeping for me.

Not really since you don't actually have to keep track of the regen. If the characters are still around the "dead" zombies twelve hours later when they get back up then they have done something wrong anyways.



In order, a few sessions; most of the players and myself are in college and will only be around for a month at most. I might try to expand it into a campaign for a later date, but right now I just need to worry about this.

Post this again if you decide to expand it :smallbiggrin:


They're grotesque zombies. Pretty standard fare, really.

I imagine that they should reach level 3 or 4.

Not very. That's why they're fast and angry. Unless you meant in some other way?

And for the name... well, I'm not going to call them that; I'm just going to say Zombie.

mkay

sounds good

no I didn't

sounds good


Never fear. I'm not above fudging a few die rolls in the beginning to make sure the PCs have an idea of what's going on. Once they're in safety, I'll let them make Knowledge: Religion checks to figure some things out about them, and other things they'll be able to observe.

This is definitely a good idea.

wormwood
2007-12-13, 11:01 AM
Never fear. I'm not above fudging a few die rolls in the beginning to make sure the PCs have an idea of what's going on. Once they're in safety, I'll let them make Knowledge: Religion checks to figure some things out about them, and other things they'll be able to observe.

I'm still concerned for your poor players. Those are definitely NOT CR 1 critters. You should straight up tell them that fighting = horrible death or make it clear in the beginning some other way. It's a D&D game... they're going to expect to be able to hold their own, at least for a bit. They surely aren't going to expect a level 1 fight to have a no-save death attack. Clue them in quick or you're going to have a very short game.

Awesome idea, though. I like it.

kjones
2007-12-13, 11:15 AM
IIRC, the justification given in the original campaign as to why high-level adventurers haven't shown up and cleaned out the place was that some had tried, but did so by standing and fighting toe-to-toe against the zombies. They're high-level; what do they have to be afraid of? Of course, all it takes is one bite, and you're done for within the day.

So it makes sense that the lower-level party might succeed where the higher-level ones failed; 1st level characters have the good sense to be scared.

Karsh
2007-12-13, 09:39 PM
That works well. You might want to give the PC's a reason that the mages haven't already moved in at some point. Maybe there is an issue with the local religions who are saying that the Mages have no right to interfere? You could also have any party Wizards be from an exploratory group into the city that got lost.

Local religions will all be dead and zombified. The Mage's Guild has been kept busy containing the infection to the city. They figure everyone inside is already dead, so they're not in a hurry to actually take out the zombies.


I'm still not sure that this is a good way to go... maybe let them forstall its effects with Protection from Evil? It's not a cure but it would let the PC's live longer and they would have to ration their spells.

True, but they'll have no way of knowing it. The DC for a Knowledge: Religion check to reveal that about the curse would at least be in the 30s since this curse has never been seen before. I'll have to consider what to do about it more thoroughly, but for right now...


Food maybe?

Exactly. :smallbiggrin:


Not really since you don't actually have to keep track of the regen. If the characters are still around the "dead" zombies twelve hours later when they get back up then they have done something wrong anyways.

True, but I'd have to constantly recalculate damage and attack bonuses and whatnot, and keep which zombie has how much STR damage straight, in addition to keeping track of HP... It's more of a headache than that.


Post this again if you decide to expand it :smallbiggrin:

Certainly :smallsmile:

Fuzzy_Juan
2007-12-13, 11:54 PM
Ahh...the details help alot...mages using walls to encircle the town and ensure noone gets out is a god way to solve the problems of it being a small town.

I might suggest you allow for some means of ressurection to be found so that infected players can have themselves killed and brought back?

I might also suggest that at some point after the players have had some encounters and find out about the walls, that a flying mage uses magic to announce to the town that they have been quarenteened and that noone is allowed in or out...that help is on the way and they should be able to deal with the problem soon...until then...they are to survive however they can...cannot allow the infection to spread...yadda yadda...

As a fun sideplot...you have to have the players stumble across a plot by a group of evil clerics who want this plague unleased across the land and who are working to breach the blockade and spread the infection...it will be the job of the players to not only survive, but to try their best to stop these lunatics from making the entire region and maybe even the world suffer and die like the town.

Zombies kick ass...

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-14, 12:25 PM
Local religions will all be dead and zombified. The Mage's Guild has been kept busy containing the infection to the city. They figure everyone inside is already dead, so they're not in a hurry to actually take out the zombies.

This makes sense I guess.


True, but I'd have to constantly recalculate damage and attack bonuses and whatnot, and keep which zombie has how much STR damage straight, in addition to keeping track of HP... It's more of a headache than that.

Hmmm... Maybe Con instead? As far as I know that shouldn't present any other issues besides 2 numbers to deal with and lots of monsters do Con damage.

Talic
2007-12-15, 02:38 AM
I designed this one a while back for a zombiegeddon campaign... Thought it captured the feel of a zombiegeddon.

NOTE: It is very important to let players know that it's a status quo encounter system, and that encounters will be neither balanced, nor fair. Let them know that even with the best of luck, the campaign is designed to be a meat grinder, and that having backup characters is well advised.

Living Zombie (Template)

Can be applied to any living creature, hereafter referred to as the base creature.

Attributes: Str +4, Dex -6 (min 1), Con +2, Int - Wis -, Cha -

HD: Remove all class levels, double racial HD of base creature, and change to d12.
Movement: As creature.
Base attack: Poor attack progression (+1 per 2 HD)
Attacks: If the creature does not have a bite attack, give it one, at -5 BAB and lower the reach by 5' (minimum 0). If the creature does not have any natural attacks to begin with, give it 2 claw attacks at full BAB.
Damage: As creature. If bite or claw attacks are added, damage per size category and MM entry.
Special Attacks: Infection, Spawn.
Special Qualities: Feels no Pain, Scent, Hungering Moan, Heedless charge, Toxic Carcass, Fearsome Grapple, Low light vision, Ponderous.
Skills: Listen +1 per HD.
Cr: +3, or +4 if creature had a natural bite attack prior.

Infection: When a creature is bitten by a zombie, they become infected (no save). Even immunity to disease only offers a 50% chance of avoiding disease. When a creature is struck by a claw attack, there is a 5% per point of damage chance of infection. (if armor or natural armor is greater than the damage inflicted from a claw attack, then there is no chance of disease from claw attacks). Disease: Fort save every day (DC 20) or suffer 2d6 Wisdom damage, 2d6 intelligence damage, and 1d6 Cha damage. If any attribute reaches 0, victim collapses, apparantly dead. As this disease is magical, consecutive saves will NOT cure the disease. Remove Disease, at 20th caster level will cure the disease. Ability damage is accompanied by acute pain to the head.

Spawn: Victims reduced to 0 in a mental attribute by infection collapse, and over the next 1d4+1 rounds, are transformed into Living Zombies.

Feels no pain: Living Zombies are immune to Stunning, Fear, Nonlethal damage. Living Zombies are not affected by nausea, disease, and are immune to any effects based on respiration. Reducing a Living Zombie to 0 hp does not destroy it. HP from normal damge will not kill (though at every 50% of max, remove one limb). Living zombies are subject to precision damage and critical hits (though precision damage should only be awarded to characters aware of the vulnerable location). Treat all critical hits and precision damage as head injury. 50% of the zombie's HP dealt as damage to the head will destroy the zombie.

Scent: As the MM ability. Zombies can use this with unerring accuracy to sort living flesh from dead, and will always choose the former. In addition, they can always sort infected people from uninfected, and will choose the latter, if both are equally available. Because of this, Living Zombies universally ignore each other (except for hungering moan).

Hungering Moan: Living Zombies who detect prey emit constant loud moaning. This moaning will attract other nearby zombies. (DC 5 Listen Check)

Heedless Charge: Living Zombies will forego the use of all weapons in their single minded determination. If they must move to attack, they will attempt to claw. If their bite has a 0' reach, they will aggressively enter the target's square, provoking Attacks of Opportunity. They will use full attack progression (claw, claw bite) when possible, and grapple if they begin a turn within 5' of a target, bearing the victim to the ground.

Toxic Carcass: Once dead, living zombies are no longer carriers, but are highly toxic. Ingestion of living zombie flesh is treated as a poison, DC 20, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Con.

Fearsome Grapple: Zombies have a +4 racial modifier to grapple checks. Note that they still provoke attacks of opportunity when initiating grapples.

Ponderous: While Living Zombies get full actions every round, they may move no more than their listed movement speed in a single round. This includes limiting charges to single moves, disallowing double move actions, and disallowing running.

Living: As living creatures, Living zombies are NOT subject to turning. Something that will likely prove disastrous for the first temple overrun.

Kizara
2007-12-15, 04:00 AM
You realize that any mid-level cleric can take out an arbitarily large number of mindless zombies and would be completely immune to them? (Death Ward, Invisibility to Undead).

Also, Paladins are immune to disease.

My point is, that unless the church of pelor doesn't exist in your setting, the size of a chapter in a city that size is going to be able to deal with the zombie issue. Sure, a lot of people will die in the process, but they really aren't going to get anywhere.


As a final note, I agree that the infection should require a succesful grapple. Perhaps make the grappling their only attack form.

Talic
2007-12-15, 05:27 AM
You realize that any mid-level cleric can take out an arbitarily large number of mindless zombies and would be completely immune to them? (Death Ward, Invisibility to Undead).

Also, Paladins are immune to disease.

My point is, that unless the church of pelor doesn't exist in your setting, the size of a chapter in a city that size is going to be able to deal with the zombie issue. Sure, a lot of people will die in the process, but they really aren't going to get anywhere.


As a final note, I agree that the infection should require a succesful grapple. Perhaps make the grappling their only attack form.

Not necessarily. If you remove the undead template, and make them essentially mindless living creatures, you can preserve the shock factor. In addition, mages can do the same thing with Fly.

When running zombiegeddon, it's wise to limit magic. Especially mobility magic.

Further, the bite has always been the big transmitter in most zombie lore. Granted, most zombies overbear, but some get the bite on the arm and such. As such, putting the zombie as a 0' reach bit for medium zombies will deal with it nicely. They provoke AoO's, and it's a sometimes grapple, sometimes bite situation. Further, making the bite a secondary attack helps players survive the initial discovery combat.

I'm against the idea of zombies healing. The best thing about zombie horror is when your neighbor is dragging himself across the ground to get at you, intestines dragging across the ground, legless, and completely unfazed by it.

Zombies aren't fast, or smart. They're relentless. Nothing short of death will stop them. That's the real horror. Impale them with a spear... They'll drag themselves down it and gore you... And the next guy will see a zombie with a gruesome spear wound.

Karsh
2007-12-15, 02:26 PM
You realize that any mid-level cleric can take out an arbitarily large number of mindless zombies and would be completely immune to them? (Death Ward, Invisibility to Undead).

Sure, the Clerics can take out as many as they can turn, but what then? Does a cleric in a city prepare Hide From Undead every day? And if they attack or try and turn or even touch an undead, the spell ends. They'll do a bit of damage, but eventually be overwhelmed by the thousands of zombies trying to get at them. And the basic idea is that this is in a low-magic-ish zone, or else the level 20 wizards and CoDzillas could just glass the city and be done with it.

And Death Ward is ineffective against Infectious Bite. It's not a death attack, nor is it negative energy or energy drain.


Also, Paladins are immune to disease.

As has already been established, it's a curse, not a disease, and it bypasses resistances to such, though I can't think of anything that can resist being cursed...


I'm against the idea of zombies healing. The best thing about zombie horror is when your neighbor is dragging himself across the ground to get at you, intestines dragging across the ground, legless, and completely unfazed by it.

That's what happens. This Fast Healing represents the time it takes for the zombies to recover from near-death to keep going, and provides a pop-out scare factor when they get back up after the PCs thought they were dead. They don't physically heal damage, they just keep going.

Kizara
2007-12-15, 02:43 PM
Ok, I'll put more thought into it:

Feats: DMM, Persist (gimmes), whole bunch of extra turnings (after all, they took DMM persist), power attack

1) Repulsion (persist)

2) Fire Storm (MASSIVE AoE, good damage)

3) Air Walk (cant hit what's floating 15ft in the air)

4) Summon Monster X (like, the series in general), Giant Vermin, Gate

5) Flame Strike

6) Turning

7) Holy Word

None of these spells or actions require being in melee.

And aside from maybe the repulsion (which is pretty useful still), a cleric would have these spells prepared in a given day. Not to mention as the zombie problem spread and over a few days he had to fight them more and more, he would specialize his spell selection.

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-15, 09:15 PM
Just to add another dimension to this if any of you get or have access to Dungeon Magazine (before it went online :smallfrown: ) then take a look at the Age of Worms adventure path. It deals with something similar but over a larger time frame.

Basically the thing is that high level adventurers aren't standing around on every street corner waiting for the dead to rise.

Also clerics while they would last longer than most by the time the zombies were out in the streets there would be enough of them to simply overwhelm the clerics even past the ability of spells like Fire Storm or Wall of Fire to deal with them.

Karsh
2007-12-15, 09:56 PM
Kizara - Part one of the problem with your calculations: This is a Small City you're dealing with, so according to the DM Guide, the absolute highest level Cleric in the city is level 12, with an average of level 9/10. Hardly capable of spamming all those spells. Further, I have already pointed out that this sort of game can't take place in a place like Faerun since the high level people running around could just nuke the city from orbit.

Furthermore, I seriously doubt that clerics who are posted in a city to help the people and who have no reason to suspect an undead uprising are going to have those spells prepared; these aren't adventurers, they have to have Atonements and any number of other spells prepared for ceremonial duties. After only one day, the save DC vs. Infectious Bite is 34, and the moment they start failing saves, its all over.

And no, as a DM I do not make all of my NPCs to their full potential. Your argument that all clerics are DMM Persist monsters may be true for your world, but it isn't for mine. I prefer to leave that sort of thing to my PCs.

Talic
2007-12-16, 01:07 AM
That's what happens. This Fast Healing represents the time it takes for the zombies to recover from near-death to keep going, and provides a pop-out scare factor when they get back up after the PCs thought they were dead. They don't physically heal damage, they just keep going.

That's just it. Relentless. There should be no "near death". Either they're destroyed, or they're trying to gnaw you. There is no in between. It'd be more feasible to have a zombie lose a limb every so often, and take penalties (falling, unable to stand, penalties to grapple, movement, etc), creating situations where some zombies may not be at 100%. Couple that with a low magic world, and you've got the making of something memorable.

Side note: Since zombies typically ignore dead things, it's wise to bar any necromancy or conjuration spell that summons other undead. Keeps the campaign from breaking.

Karsh
2007-12-16, 08:50 PM
Ok, I've resolved most of the gaming aspects, toning down the zombie's speed, making its bite a Secondary Attack, and removing Improved Grapple.

Now, I'm designing the immediate area around the inn that they will begin in and trying to determine what I should place where. The inn itself is a 3 story 50x80 building with a basement, positioned in the middle of a block. Directly across from it is a jewelry store with all sorts of valuable gems that are completely useless against zombies. There is a small stall to the northwest of the inn that vends magical components, should the PCs become desperate for those. To the northeast, on a corner, lies a weapons shop which should provide the PCs with extra weapons. To the southwest, I've placed an an armorer. Slightly more difficult to access than the weapon shop, but still not too far, the PCs should manage to figure it out. I have two full city blocks for them to play around in, with ways out to the northwest, the west, the southwest, and the southeast.

I will also include a general store, a butcher, a bakery, and possibly a blacksmith or a tailor. A well will be situated *dangerously* far away from the inn, should water supply become an issue. Anyone have any other suggestions for important things to have access to?

EDIT: Also, to keep you guys updated on the status of my players, I'm going to have 4 with a possibility of adding 1 or 2 more later. So far, I know I have a:

NE Whisper Gnome Rogue
LN Goliath Monk (I subtly encouraged the player to take Versatile Unarmed Strike to overcome the DR)

Talic
2007-12-17, 01:41 AM
Perhaps docks? Warehouses? For that matter, houses. There will be a lot of useful items tucked here and there in houses, but it's dangerous to deal with.

If you use zombiefication of non-humans, one of the most terrifying concepts is an animal pound... Zombie kittens is a rough thing to deal with, in numbers.

One of the more interesting things about D&D is the wide variety of base creatures. Just as they've made skeleton and zombie a template that applies to different things, you may want to expand your concept to tackle things such as elves, dwarves, goblins, humans, Ogres, Hydra(shudder), and the like.

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-17, 09:25 AM
I would also suggest that you place no restrictions on the PC's alignment which if they are good role players could add a whole new dimension to the adventure. Also I would suggest that you could augment the zombies by changing who is zombiefied. A peasant with bloody rags covering him is less scary than a town guardsman with armor. Or worse a Wizard who's Mage Armor spell hasn't worn off yet and has a Ring of Protection +1.

This also gives the PC's access to such things but you should make the good stuff like a decanter of endless water out in the town somewhere.

Delta Nu Delta
2007-12-17, 12:47 PM
Sewers. Definitely sewers.

I also totally second houses. Looting abandoned houses for basic crap is too iconic not to include. Any building the players can use to engineer a massive trap for the zomboids could be fun.

For part of it, they could manage gobs of unruly survivors. Perhaps with a agitator who resents their leadership and has terribly risky ideas. Plus, you could include the guy who snaps (there is always one) and rips down the fortifications to make a break for it.

How are the players going to win this one? Survive it out? Escape? Call in reinforcements? Totally open-ended? Or are they just delaying the inevitable...

Karsh
2007-12-17, 02:10 PM
First off, Re: alignments, there are no restrictions, hence the already NE rogue, though I did have to dissuade the player from playing a "stabby stabby" CE rogue.


Sewers. Definitely sewers.

I also totally second houses. Looting abandoned houses for basic crap is too iconic not to include. Any building the players can use to engineer a massive trap for the zomboids could be fun.

For part of it, they could manage gobs of unruly survivors. Perhaps with a agitator who resents their leadership and has terribly risky ideas. Plus, you could include the guy who snaps (there is always one) and rips down the fortifications to make a break for it.

How are the players going to win this one? Survive it out? Escape? Call in reinforcements? Totally open-ended? Or are they just delaying the inevitable...

The goal depends on the PCs' actions. Ultimately, it's to survive. Whether it's "Find a way to kill all the zombies," "Escape," "Get someone to come in and save us," or "Make an impregnable fortress and wait it out," it's up to my players.

I'll have to come up with some generic sewer locations. I've filled in the gaps of special stuff on the two main blocks with random houses. For some reason the computer that I'm using doesn't have Paint on it, or I would draw it out for you all, but here are my buildings:

Knight's Mare Inn: 50'x80' building, 3 stories and a basement. Roof access.
Stables: Attached to the Knight's Mare Inn to the east, 1 F, 30x60.
House 1: 20' west of Inn, 30x40, 2 F
House 2: 10' north of House 1, 30x30, 1F and a basement
Mungo's Magical Components: Small stall (think fireworks stand) 25' N of House 2; 5x20

House 3: 30' E of Mungo's Magical Components, 30x50, 2 F, roof access
Butcher: 10' E of House 3, 30x40, 2 F
Armand's Arms (Weapon Shop): 10' E of Butcher, 30x30, 3F, site of zombie fight (multiple zombies trapped inside)

Statue Garden: Creates empty space to prevent easy rooftop to rooftop access to the weapon shop and butcher; positioned between the inn/stables and the aforementioned stores.

That's the first block. There is a street which runs around the entire block that is 20 feet wide, lined with generic houses. To the south is the second important city block (though if the PCs decide to go north, I will just move it up there.):

Directly across from the inn, at 12 o'clock, is Jarvis' Jewelry Store. 30x40, 2 stories, filled with valuable gems that are of no use to the party. Silver could be retrieved for use in creating Holy Water.

House 4: 20' E of Jewelry store; 30x30, 2 F, Roof Access
Bakery: 5' E, 30' S of House 4, 40x30, 2F, B
General Store: 10' S, 10' W of Bakery, unusually shaped building, 3F and B
Temple of Pelor: 20' W of General Store, 50x30, 1F, B, roof access. Stores of Holy Water and perhaps some magic items can be found here. Site of a massive battle, however, and therefore filled with zombies.
Aegis Armor: Armor store, 50' W of Temple, 40' S of House 4. 40x30, 2F. Separated by a large park in the center of a block which makes any access other than ground access impossible.

A well is also situated across the street from the General Store.

Delta Nu Delta
2007-12-17, 08:06 PM
Again, this just sounds so awesome.

Out of curiosity, how do plan on pacing it? It seems like it will sort of be a zombie sand box game in which the PCs just do their best to survive. How will you run things when they venture forth from fortifications? Will there be gobs of zombies they have to avoid? Random zombie "patrols?" Will the day time be safer than the night?

Karsh
2007-12-18, 12:11 AM
I'll be using die rolls and percentiles to determine how heavily zombied the surrounding area is. If they make their presence obvious, more zombies will be swarming around their location as they try to get at some delicious brains. I anticipate the PCs relying on Hide from Undead a lot, which will limit their options while level 1. The doubled duration from 2nd level should give everyone the biggest cause for being glad to level up to level 2 ever.

The final 2 members have confirmed their class, though I don't know the specifics yet:

NE Whisper Gnome Rogue
LN Goliath Monk
?? ??????? Cleric
?? ??????? Sorcerer

Talic
2007-12-18, 01:25 AM
Things should start normal... Then there should be some subtle signal... Some injury report, a mauled farmhand that was rushed to the temple, reports from different people conflict on whether he was attacked by his wife or chewed up by an animal.

Afterwards, maybe a half hour, the guy should die, despite the cleric's best effort. The cleric shakes his head, and moves on to something else. A minute or so later, the cleric moves back, puts his hand up to close the guy's eyes (respect for the dead and all that), and gets bitten, and killed.

Party hears a guard whistle as the town guard is called... Then hears another whistle as that guard calls for help, then two or three whistles... If the party investigates, they should see some people fleeing the temple, chased by some wounded humans, who overbear the victims and begin attacking them... If they pass an alley, they should see a woman hunched over on the ground, above a guy with a torn out throat... She looks up, and her mouth is covered in gore, dripping down her chin... She then moves to attack party. Bonus points if the party had previous interaction with her, and she was a sweet and mild mannered lady...

From there, start with one... then three... then ten join the fight... keep having more come in every round or two until the party flees. It's important to convey a hopeless feel to the combat. Portray the savagery of the attacks, the humanity of the zombies beforehand, and the overwhelming nature of the enemy. I did my zombiegeddon in a town of 15,000 people. It started at a farm and a temple district, and in 20 minutes, was raging throughout 5 city blocks...

Karsh
2007-12-18, 01:35 AM
The game will start with the PCs awaiting a mysterious employer in an inn. As they're sitting there, the door will bust open and a little girl will try to run in, screaming for help. As she does, a zombie will pick her up, tear her throat out, and begin attacking bar patrons. From there, killed people will start reanimating and it will all go south from there until the PCs either flee outside or run upstairs to defend themselves.

Talic
2007-12-18, 03:58 AM
Try giving the party a bit of time in the city first... Let them identify with the residents first. Every good zombie flick out there shows that before they were zombies, they were people. That's the true terror, that something can not just kill you, but rob you of your very choice, your will. That you can become the monster.

Let them meet the employer on session two or three. First, have them do something normal... Get rid of goblins plaguing farmlands, deal with a troglodyte infestation nearby... Build up the anticipation. A tale of Zombiegeddon is all about SHOWMANSHIP. Starting with the normalcy makes the surreal nature of your campaign that much stronger by comparison.

Also, read Max Brook's Zombie Survival Guide. Good reference for this kinda adventure.

Bear in mind, the first human reaction to a wounded friend/loved one is to get him medical attention. They take people to hospitals, temples, and the like. When they succumb, there, the very people that could possibly treat the plague are the first to fall, overwhelmed before they even know the nature of the problem. Afterwards, people who get wounded, and have an injury problem try to get to the centers of healing, thinking them safe havens...

The ones who survive the journey find no hope there, as the concentration of zombies is actually worse in those outbreak places.

Have "safe zones" in certain places of the city, where people who have PK's can have a new character introduced, a new survivor.

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-18, 08:20 AM
To preserve the level balance I wouldn't actually have them go out and do the "normal" adventure instead have them go through all of the normal lead up and then spring it one them. This is kind of assuming that they don't know exactly what they are up against though. If they do you will have to stop them from barricading the inn prematurely.

Also you could increase their survival rate by having the "normal encounter" be something that they would back Holy Water for. This gives them a small supply to work with that might keep them from dieing while they hurriedly board up the inn.

BadJuJu
2007-12-18, 12:44 PM
Based upon inspiration from Oakspar77777's amazing thread over at WotC, (relevant portion begins here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=7285316&postcount=98), I have decided to run a similar Zombie adventure for some of my friends over the holidays, and being my first attempt at an adventure of this sort, I wanted to get some commentary from you all.

The updated zombie I believe I'll be using is as follows:

Doom Zombie
Medium Undead
2d12+3 (16 HP)
Initiative -1
Speed: 50' (Can't run)
AC11 (-1 DEX, +2 Natural), Touch 9, Flat-Footed 11
BAB/Grap +1/+2
Attack: Bite -3 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Full Attack: Bite -3 melee (1d4+1) plus Infectious Bite
Space/Reach: 5'/5'
Special Attacks: Infectious Bite
Special Qualities: Single Actions only, Spawn, DR 5/Slashing, Darkvision 60', Undead Traits, Critical Death
Fort +0, Reflex -1, Will +3
STR 12, DEX 8, CON -, INT -, WIS 10, CHA 1
Toughness

Critical Death (Ex): Doom Zombies have a special type of fast healing. Doom Zombies are not automatically destroyed when they reach 0 HP and gain Fast Healing 2 as long as their hit points are below 1 until they have recovered to 1 hit point. Doom Zombies are destroyed when they reach -10 HP.

Infectious Bite (Su): Anyone bitten by a Doom Zombie takes 2 points of permanent ability damage per hour to both CON and CHA until death. This can only be removed by a Wish or Miracle spell. No saving throw is allowed against becoming infected, though a Fortitude save of DC 10 + 1 per hour of infection negates the ability damage for that hour.

Single Actions Only (Ex): Doom Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Spawn (Su): Anyone killed after receiving an Infectious Bite rises as a Doom Zombie after 1d4+1 rounds.



The idea is much akin to how Oakspar executed the adventure: level 1 PCs will be forced to turtle up inside of buildings and hold off the zombies, which in the entire city will number in the 1000s. They'll be strapped for resources and have to deal with civilians who were in the building with them. Then, I rely on the PCs ingenuity to deal with the situation and we'll see where it goes. Thoughts/comments?

Ok, my buddy did a similar zombie outbreak but his disease was slightly weaker. The zombies werent proficent with their natural weapons, for a -4 penalty. +4 Stength-4Dex. DR5/- unless you called a shot at the head or rolled a confirmed crit. They also had a fast healing rate, but I dont have it off the top of my head. The bite started at DC15 or a d6 wis and cha. At 0 of either you went into a coma and 2d4 rounds later rose. It could be remover with a CL 10 remove disease, but magic was failing so it wasnt assuredd. Not bad.

Yakk
2007-12-18, 03:01 PM
Doom Zombie
Medium Undead
2d12 (16 HP)
Initiative -1
Speed: 20'+1d4*10' (Can't run)
AC11 (-1 DEX, +2 Natural), Touch 9, Flat-Footed 11
BAB/Grap +1/+6
Attack:
Claw +2 (1d6+1), Grab, Bite -3 (1d4+1) plus Infection
or Bite -3 (1d4+1) plus Infection
Full Attack: N/A
Space/Reach: 5'/5' (0' on Bite)
Special Attacks: Infectious Bite
Special Qualities:
Single Actions only, Spawn, DR 5/Slashing, Darkvision 60', Undead Traits, Critical Death, Vunerable to Criticals, Improved Grab, +4 racial bonus to grapple
Fort +0, Reflex -1, Will +3
STR 12, DEX 8, CON -, INT -, WIS 10, CHA 1
Toughness

5' reach on Claw
0' reach on Bite

Doom Zombies can be critical hit, unlike other undead.

At range, the Doom Zombie will charge (20'+1d4*10'), and attempt to claw. If the claw hits, improved grab kicks in. If the grab works, the zombie moves into the target's square, and gets a free bite attempt. Every round the zombie maintains it's hold, it gets another free bite attempt.

If the Zombie is within 5' of a food source, it will make a 5' step into the target's square and attempt to bite.

Some changes:
Random speed: So running can help. The speed varies by individual zombie.

1/4 of the zombies can keep up with a running human. The others, less so.

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-18, 03:23 PM
Yeah but that is hard for her to keep track of the various zombies on the field. Plus the advantage of zombies has always been that they have unlimited endurance as opposed to faster humans that tire out.

Karsh
2007-12-18, 10:56 PM
Hm, an interesting curiosity: The rules do not provide for dying of thirst or suffocation hunger. It seems that a reasonable action would be that once a character has taken their maximum HP in nonlethal damage from one, the other, or both, they begin taking lethal damage, dying normally, though the damage cannot be healed unless they are somehow fed.

Thoughts?

Prometheus
2007-12-18, 11:13 PM
With suffocation they do die: "A character who has no air to breathe can hold her breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check in order to continue holding her breath. The save must be repeated each round, with the DC increasing by +1 for each previous success.
When the character fails one of these Constitution checks, she begins to suffocate. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she suffocates [is dead].

Thirst is slightly more ambiguous. I would rule the same occurs for suffocation when a player is unconscious due to subdual damage. Automatically the next hour they drop to -1 hit point and is dying. The hour thereafter the character dies of thirst.

Talic
2007-12-19, 01:14 AM
Ok, my buddy did a similar zombie outbreak but his disease was slightly weaker. The zombies werent proficent with their natural weapons, for a -4 penalty. +4 Stength-4Dex. DR5/- unless you called a shot at the head or rolled a confirmed crit. They also had a fast healing rate, but I dont have it off the top of my head. The bite started at DC15 or a d6 wis and cha. At 0 of either you went into a coma and 2d4 rounds later rose. It could be remover with a CL 10 remove disease, but magic was failing so it wasnt assuredd. Not bad.

Were you in my zombie game? That sounds like mine almost exactly.


Yeah but that is hard for her to keep track of the various zombies on the field. Plus the advantage of zombies has always been that they have unlimited endurance as opposed to faster humans that tire out.

It's not that hard to keep track of. Use different tokens to represent different speeds. There's a box game called ZOMBIES! that I used to represent most zombies, with different markers to represent the occasional faster or slower one (1/2 movement ability, or double move ability). I never made a zombie that could move faster than a double move.

Yakk
2007-12-19, 03:34 PM
For a mass of zombies, they spread out by quarters.

If a particular zombie has to move, roll it on the spot. ;) When you reroll movement is a matter of dramatic tension, not war gaming.

You can sometimes describe the fast moving zombies as dogs, sometimes as leaping zombies, and sometimes don't bother saying why they are different.

Felius
2007-12-19, 04:28 PM
I'd say make then with 10+1d4x10 speed.

As one single bite of your zeds is guaranteed doom, making one quarter of the zombies capable of keep up with your players WILL cause a TPK. If you cant fight them, and can't outrun them, the moment a group of them sees you, you're dead.

GoC
2007-12-19, 08:10 PM
Deity level curses don't create zombies, level 4 spells create zombies.
Deity level curses create Dread Wraiths (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wraith.htm) or Night (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG196.jpg)walkers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/nightshade.htm#nightwalker)

Infectionous Bite is HORRIBLE!
It's inevitable death to a PC even when they're level 17!
I'd make the DC 12 instead of 10+1 per hour (all characters < lvl10 will fail eventualy) and let Restoration (or remove disease) remove it.

Also all melee characters are now useless due to the inevetiable death effect. This further amplifies Wizards rule, Fighters drool!

BadJuJu
2007-12-19, 10:33 PM
Were you in my zombie game? That sounds like mine almost exactly.



It's not that hard to keep track of. Use different tokens to represent different speeds. There's a box game called ZOMBIES! that I used to represent most zombies, with different markers to represent the occasional faster or slower one (1/2 movement ability, or double move ability). I never made a zombie that could move faster than a double move.

Yeah, I was in your game, duche bag. Long time no see, mook. Quit hiding from mee, Im only mad becasue you hid, idiot.

Talic
2007-12-20, 01:13 AM
Deity level curses don't create zombies, level 4 spells create zombies.
Deity level curses create Dread Wraiths (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wraith.htm) or Night (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG196.jpg)walkers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/nightshade.htm#nightwalker)

Infectionous Bite is HORRIBLE!
It's inevitable death to a PC even when they're level 17!
I'd make the DC 12 instead of 10+1 per hour (all characters < lvl10 will fail eventualy) and let Restoration (or remove disease) remove it.

Also all melee characters are now useless due to the inevetiable death effect. This further amplifies Wizards rule, Fighters drool!

That's the idea. standing toe-to-toe is FATAL. No exceptions. Haven't you watched your zombie lore?

Though, in fairness, you nerf casters. My zombiegeddon had a Caster Level max of 10, Spell level max of 5, no fly or necromancy spells, and a 10% failure chance on all arcane and divine spells (negatable with a feat). Wizards still had options, but it was hardly a sure thing.

Oddly enough, the most combat effective characters were essentially a spiked chain AoO fiend, and a TWF fighter. Damage didn't need to be stellar, it just needed to get a good head wound. Of the two, the Spiked chain fighter died, along with most people in the party, at least once.

New players were allowed entry at "safe points" like boarded up buildings, and you'd be surprised how many players chose to hide their bite wounds... Until they turned in the middle of the night.

Karsh
2007-12-20, 01:16 AM
Ok, the first session ended a little while ago, so here's the rundown. The party consisted of:

NE Whisper Gnome Rogue
LN Goliath Monk
LG Dwarf Cleric
NG Elf Wizard

Day One

The PCs were situated in the bar and began introducing themselves, when in the middle of the third character's introduction, a young girl runs into the doorway begging for help before being lifted up and having nearly the entirety of her throat torn out. The wizard began firing off spells and the monk spent some time ineffectively pummeling it with his fists before he decided to grapple it. I feel I will be intimately familiar with the Grapple rules by the end of this run, due to the fact that the monk already has a +11 modifier to Grapple thanks to his Powerful Build and Improved Grapple, which allows him to essentially eliminate a zombie's ability to harm him.

After two rounds, the girl's corpse stood up and the first zombie dropped a patron into the negatives (not hard to do when you're attacking 1st level commoners with 2 HP). The rogue coup de graced the dying guy, but I rolled a 4 on the reanimation roll so that it took 5 rounds for him to get up. Zombies slowly filtered into the room as the PCs desperately tried to fight them off until the cleric succeeded on a turn attempt and drove the 3 in the tavern out. This gave them a 1 turn reprieve to kill the one the goliath had grappled, though they failed to reduce it to -10. 2 rounds later, he was back up at 1, and more began coming in through the windows and doorway.

The PCs were determined to stand and fight, and after another patron was bitten, the Cleric stabilized him. I got excited at my chance to really show the effects of the infection to them, though it didn't quite pay off as I'd hoped. The monk eventually succeeded on a Knowledge: Religion check to know that slashing damage was the way to go and began grappling and ripping apart zombies, though he failed to knock any to -10. The dead patron reanimated, and another dying zombie returned to animation as I began rolling increasingly large dice to determine the number of zombies making their way into the inn.

The monk finally realized that flight was the only option, and, to my horror, shouted for the others to run into the basement where they could try and hold them off. At this point, I had the innkeeper run downstairs to discourage them from such an act, and a zombie got to show off its surprising speed, crossing the room to threaten the wizard, even as he readied his longsword. The tables and chairs prevented any charges from being made, and so despite some close calls, the PCs managed to remain unscathed without my having to fudge rolls. Making the bite attack secondary was a very good idea, because otherwise it would have been a huge problem.

The PCs fled up the stairs and the rogue cleverly used his Ghost Sound spell-like ability to cause the stabilized corpse to distract the zombies by making sounds as if it were still alive and getting up. This was both hilarious and very in-character, and the sight of me pushing all the zombies across the room to bum-rush the unconscious guy was enough to relieve the tension building in the room.

After barricading the door, the PCs introduced themselves and the rogue went around the inn investigating the presence of windows and the outside situation. After some more decent Knowledge: Religion checks and a few Spellcrafts from the Wizard to rule out the possibility of an illusion, (as well as the suggestion that perhaps the characters were dreaming and this was all just a bad nightmare), the PCs shared what they knew and erroneously have been led to believe that these zombies cannot die. They failed to truly finish one off for good, though I doubt that will last long.

Unfortunately, no NPC was infected, so I will have to introduce an NPC in the next session who has been recently bitten but hides the bite to create a great sense of fear and lighten the extremely heavy load on supplies that the PCs have.

After thoroughly searching the upstairs, the PCs located a trap door that led to the ceiling, and, shockingly, abandoned the NPCs down below to their own fate before spending the better part of 4 in-game hours debating what to do. The rogue established himself as completely untrustworthy, which essentially led to his being forbidden from traveling alone for the time being, while the PCs tried to determine a way to either jump from building to building or otherwise escape.

Ultimately, after some friendly DM nudging (and a near-attempt to light a zombie on fire with an arrow which would have ultimately burned the inn down), the players decided that they were not capable of attempting an escape right away, and spent the night on the roof, praying that nothing horrible would happen overnight.

Day 2

The night passed without incident, and the Cleric prepared two Hide from Undeads for the day, the new plan being (eventually) to scout out a Pelorian chapel to the south of the inn. The wizard and the rogue were both Hidden and then lowered to the ground by the goliath, before heading to the chapel and discovering the ashes of obliterated zombies beneath the feet of not-so-obliterated zombies, including one which was dressed in the garb of a Cleric of Pelor. So discouraged, they headed quickly back to the inn and, after a tense moment of multiple failed strength checks on the part of the goliath and dwarf, coupled with their Hide from Undead wearing off, the two were hauled out of harm's way just as a mob of zombies converged upon where the two had been standing, leading to a (very satisfying, if I do say so myself) massive group exhale as the players rejoiced their continued survival.

Day 3

After more discussion, the PCs finally decided to bring the NPCs onto the roof rather than leaving them to their fates. The rogue refused to give up any rations or water for the NPCs, so the other three were forced to divide what little trail rations they had into thirds to provide a mere two days' worth of food.

It was determined that there was a high probability that the Pelorian chapel had a large store of Holy Water, and after testing to ensure that Holy Water did in fact harm the zombies, the PCs decided their next move would be to amass quantities of Holy Water. The NPCs had been hard at work moving everything useful from the 2nd and 3rd floors onto the roof, though the zombies have as of yet failed to take the upper levels due to the doorway at the top of the stairs being barricaded with every piece of furniture that they could muster, and it was established that they had enough silver to make 4 pints of holy water among the supplies from the upper levels of the inn.

There was talk of attempting to raid the first floor for more, but it was ultimately rejected as being too risky to attempt, and they instead Hid the Monk and had him climb down and loot the jewelry store across the street for as much silver as he could find. In the time he had, with the search checks he mustered, the monk managed to find enough silver to make another 4 pints, along with a few gems to appease the rogue's lust for wealth.

The innkeeper was questioned regarding the layout of the surrounding area, and the PCs learned of a General store, a bakery, a butcher shop, the armor and weapons stores and the magical components stand. Plans were then beginning to be formulated for a schedule over the next few days. Increasing the food supply and gathering surplus water were of utmost importance, as (and I had to be generous here, allowing Create Water to be Arcane as well as Divine) the Wizard and Cleric were both capable of creating barely enough water for everyone on the roof. Later in the day, the goliath would make a run to the bakery on advice from the inn's cook that it was likely that the bakery had a good amount of water on hand to facilitate the baking, in addition to providing them with a lightweight, long-lasting, filling source of food to supplement their already dangerously low supplies.

That was where the session ended. It seems that over the next few days, they will attempt to build up their food stores before raiding the armor and weapons stores, as well as the magical components shop in hopes of getting their hands on some useful reagents. In an interesting twist, the Wizard has ranks in Craft: Alchemy, so I will be interested to see if they attempt to make a makeshift Alchemist's lab on the rooftop to provide them with more splash weapons. The long-term plan for the players is to build up enough stores to fight off the undead in the chapel and seize the stores of Holy Water located in the Pelorian Chapel's basement to increase their weapon supply against the zombies.

Next Session

The PCs will encounter two very frightened, but still alive NPCs, an NPC who has been infected, the site of an ill-fated last stand, and the battle for the Chapel, which will involve only two PCs (probably the monk and the cleric, but we'll see) attempting to gain entry into the chapel before killing and/or driving out the zombies contained within. Then, they will be forced to spend a harrowing night holed up in the chapel, praying that they are able to survive long enough for the cleric's spells per day to refresh and to allow them to safely make it back to the inn with their stocks of Holy Water.

Rules Commentary
For the benefit of anyone contemplating running a game similar to that which I have running right now, here are my thoughts on the build for the zombie that I am using:

Bite as Secondary Attack - I think that the choice to make the zombies have a terrible chance to hit was a wise choice. They are still capable of hitting an unarmed commoner with a bite fairly frequently, but even hitting AC 13 becomes very difficult. Of course, the PCs don't know that they have this penalty to attacks.

Infectious Bite - This hasn't come into play much. The PCs are aware that they more or less are dead if they get bitten.

Critical Death - The concerns voiced over how ambiguous/clunky this mechanic is were fairly accurate. It's somewhat difficult to describe the effects of it in non-game terms, which has led to some confusion on the part of the PCs. Which is fine, in a sense, as it will later lead to a revelation that they really don't understand what they're fighting, which will keep them wary of any new tricks that the zombies are able to pull out. I plan on forcing them to kill the infected NPC after they are fully zombified by having it occur during the night. Unless the goliath chooses to bull rush the zombie off the roof, they'll be able to fight it in an isolated setting and really get a good look at how you kill these zombies.

Speed - This wasn't a problem. It freaked the wizard out very effectively, but even though it could close the distance to attack, the zombie's Single Actions trait severely limited it as the PCs used the placement of tables and chairs to prevent charges from being made. It kept the characters on their heels as they continued to fight to avoid becoming surrounded, which in turn forced zombies to further waste turns chasing after them. All in all, I really feel it worked out very well. We'll see if this continues to remain the case.

Absence of a primary attack - I feel that the PCs have enough to worry about with food and water that causing them to take damage from the zombies aside from the "get bitten and lose" rule is overly cruel. It causes extra days of wasteful resting or wasted work by causing people to have to rest in order to regain health or by forcing the cleric to sacrifice a full day's or half day's worth of scouting and supply runs in order to bring someone back up to full health. Plus, sheer numbers would be equally if not moreso lethal if they were able to damage and latch onto PCs, preventing them from escaping as they are buried underneath ravenous undead hordes.

Wrap Up

I was somewhat disappointed by the small number of days that we covered today, but Days One and Two are the really big ones as they try to figure out how to survive for an indefinite period of time, so I can't complain too much. After all, if they'd gone with their first plan, it would have been a TPK and the game would be over. So all in all, I can't complain, and it gives me time to really plan out some stuff to throw at them next time.

We won't be playing again until after the New Year due to a diaspora as everyone goes to celebrate the holidays. Hopefully, the time to think will give my players some new ideas to increase their chances of survival, and me some time to hammer out the contents of the stores that are about to be raided.

If you've read this far, wow. If you skipped down to here, I don't blame you.

Good night, and good hunting!

Talic
2007-12-20, 01:31 AM
Bear in mind, even with single actions only, partial charges are an option (1x move, attack at additional -2 penalty, -2 AC).

Also keep a thought that it may be beneficial to have the zombies occasionally use, but not favor, a primary attack, such as slam... This would showcase the zombie tendency to try to batter down doors to get to people. Perhaps make it an attack only used of barricades.

Karsh
2007-12-20, 01:34 AM
I'm representing attacks against barricades as more or less strength checks where the DC lowers over time, allowing zombies to slug away at doors and whatnot until they just give out.

Re: Partial Charges, I'm aware. The point I was making was more that the PCs managed to block charge lines effectively enough that nearly no zombies got clear shots at anyone. To charge, you have to have an unobstructed line to your target, which is reasonably easy to prevent from happening inside of a building with tables and chairs and whatnot when the thing trying to charge you is mindless.

Talic
2007-12-20, 01:53 AM
I'm representing attacks against barricades as more or less strength checks where the DC lowers over time, allowing zombies to slug away at doors and whatnot until they just give out.

Fair nuff. I just like the 1.5 Str, and the damage versus hardness. It truly lets you get a play by play, and lets players reinforce failing doors. It's also a bit less arbitrary.


Re: Partial Charges, I'm aware. The point I was making was more that the PCs managed to block charge lines effectively enough that nearly no zombies got clear shots at anyone. To charge, you have to have an unobstructed line to your target, which is reasonably easy to prevent from happening inside of a building with tables and chairs and whatnot when the thing trying to charge you is mindless.

Are your zombies usually going after the closest warm body? Easiest way to do mindless is to develop a ruleset for them and always follow it.

1) look for living prey
2) attack living prey, closest first
3) straight line paths, no detours, not even for pits and such.
4) limited manual dexterity. Simple jumping is ok, but climbing ladders is out.

Delta Nu Delta
2007-12-20, 01:08 PM
Sounds like a great success! I'm encouraged to start my own campaign with this. I'm toying with the zombies a bit, but they should stay pretty close. Based on your feedback, I think the movement as you have it is great. Especially with PCs being able to block charges with clever positioning and scenery.

I'm going to go with the slam/improved grapple route and then a bite followed by a succesful grapple check. I'm hoping it will lead to some tense grapple rolls and some great team building as the PCs jump in to help grappled pals (maybe even a gnome tug o'war!), and I just can't imagine a zombie fight without loads of zombies initiating fierce wrestling struggles. It's good to note that you think it may slow the game down too much. I'll have to be careful with it.

As for the fast healing, I came up with this. It's quite different, but I hope the effect will be close enough and it's a lot less book keeping (since I'm a very new DM.)

Relentless: Doom zombies are not destroyed when they reach zero hit points. Instead, they are knocked prone for 2 rounds. At the end of two rounds, doom zombies pull themselves to their feet and continue attacking. They are destroyed once they reach -10 hitpoints.

I think the key will be flavorful descriptions between the two modes. Zombies at 0 hp or below should be missing huge amounts of bodyparts, whereas as zombies above zero look terrible, but semi-intact.

I think my zombies will also be sneak attackable and crittable to make them closer to Twenty Eight Days later zomboids (TEDs) instead of more traditional Romero zombies.

Talic
2007-12-21, 01:39 AM
When I did zombiegeddon, grappling wasn't a huge slowdown. The lead zombies were usually cut down, leaving remnants of a wave to grapple. Usually another PC would enter grapple to rescue the other, and occasionally the rescuer would get bit for his efforts. But all in all, there's generally not more than one grapple a fight, if the players are smart and more or less optimized.

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-21, 12:35 PM
Okay this sounds like it was INSANELY SUCCESSFUL!!!! CONGRATS!!! :smallcool:

Did you leave the speed at 60 or did you reduce it is the only question I have.

Also a suggestion for the bitten NPC encounter. If the PC's do bull rush it off the roof at low HP or knock it out and then drop it off the roof then to give them the sense that you can kill the zombies I would suggest that you have it land on it's head or in some other way that says "I'm at -10 hit points because bits of me are scattered around the alley".

This will let the players know that they can be killed when the zombie is still down in the alley in the morning.

Also I would give the dice for that Str check to pull up the other 2 a medal for dramatic timing. :smallbiggrin:

Karsh
2007-12-21, 04:28 PM
The zombies I used appear exactly as the stat block in the first post looks. I edited it after the initial posting, and I've since realized that the bite attack should only do 1d4 damage and not 1d4+1 since secondary natural attacks only get 1/2 STR, which in the zombies' case is zero.

I lowered the speed to 50' because it allows the characters with faster move speeds to escape them while still creating a need to use the environment to their advantage.

Thanks for the tip on the bull-rush off the roof. Mechanically, it wouldn't make sense, but who needs mechanics when you have Rule 0? :smallbiggrin:

Epic_Wizard
2007-12-23, 09:16 PM
The zombies I used appear exactly as the stat block in the first post looks. I edited it after the initial posting, and I've since realized that the bite attack should only do 1d4 damage and not 1d4+1 since secondary natural attacks only get 1/2 STR, which in the zombies' case is zero.

I lowered the speed to 50' because it allows the characters with faster move speeds to escape them while still creating a need to use the environment to their advantage.

Thanks for the tip on the bull-rush off the roof. Mechanically, it wouldn't make sense, but who needs mechanics when you have Rule 0? :smallbiggrin:

Thanks for the tip about the stat block and the bite damage matters VERY little since it all boils down to the curse that goes along with it anyways.

I also like the tactics bit as well. Breaking up the terrain to prevent charges adds a whole new dimension to the PC's hideout setup. You might E-Mail them all a list of everything big or numerous enough to be used as a terrain feature (as in 1 table with X hardness and Y hit points 10ftx5ft, enough scraps of a door to create difficult terrain in 1 5ftx5ft square, ect) and have them create a layout for the upstairs of the inn.

Also I would figure out in your own mind how these zombies react to illusions and things like that before the next session so that there isn't any hesitation or inconsistencies. We already know that they can be fooled by sounds but will things like an illusionary person fool them? Would an illusion of a pitfall scare them off?

As for the bull rush if they must have an explanation or you think that they are going to request one then tell them that it was a protruding brick or large beam that you were planning to make them deal with on their next excursion but now it has been broken off by the Zombie's fall. (Just because it's rule zero doesn't mean they have to know it :smallwink: )

Karsh
2008-01-06, 03:40 PM
Ok, the game has concluded. Here's a brief rundown of what happened. I didn't have time to write down my thoughts immediately after the fact, so these will be a little more patchy than I'd like, but so be it.

Game 2 encompassed days 3-12.

Day 3, part 2
The goliath takes the second Hide From Undead and searches the bakery for water. Nothing on the first floor can be found, though the zombified baker was sitting around downstairs. The door at the top of the stairs was closed, and the monk didn't want to risk encountering more zombies, so he left, unwittingly dooming the baker's wife and daughter to a grisly death.

Day 4:
The Wizard is Hidden and sent to the magical component shop where he manages to round up three pearls to be used on Identify, two potions (Cure Light Wounds and Lesser Restoration), and two scrolls (Silent Image, Charm Person).

The monk is Hidden and sent to a well that the party learned of, fills up several waterskins to bolster their reserves, and rushes anxiously back.

Overnight, one of the elderly patrons succumbs to the bare-bones rations and dies from exposure. The party argues over what to do with the corpse. Some want to dump him over the edge and be done with it, some want to bury him, and the cleric wants to cremate the body. Ultimately, they dump the corpse onto the roof of the stables, a compromise to prevent the body from attacking them if it reanimated and prevent it from infecting anyone with disease, while also keeping it from just being trampled by zombies.

Day 5

The monk is Hidden and sent to the General Store, where he finds a huge amount of food (effectively enough, with Purify Food and Drink, to keep them alive for three weeks). He also recovers some Holy Water, Acid, Alchemical Fire, and Tanglefoot bags. Unable to identify the alchemical substances, however, he returns laden with food and one of each. The wizard, who had taken ranks in Craft: Alchemy, identifies the Holy Water, Acid, and Tanglefoot bags.

The monk returns to the general store to get the rest of the alchemical items and, in the process, discovers the wife and daughter of the General Store owner barricaded upstairs. He returns with this news.

Day 6

Overnight, a patron attempts to rape one of the barmaids. A scuffle ensues as another tries to stop him. The NE rogue hears the fight, threatens them, after which the attacker charges him and is summarily killed. The second patron backs away from the rogue and accidentally falls off the building, breaking his neck. The rogue cuts the head off of the dead patron and hurls the body and head over the side of the building.

The cleric heads to the General Store and hastily brings the daughter back to the inn with his Hide From Undead.

Day 7

Cleric returns to the general store, hastily gathers up the silver platter which the holy water was resting on, Hides the woman, and quickly brings her back to the inn, barely getting hauled up when the Hide spell wears off.

The party, for surviving the first week and rescuing the two civilians, gains a level. Normally, I would have waited much longer to grant the first level, but this adventure was intended to last only three sessions, and I needed to speed things up a bit, which granting the level very effectively did, while also boosting player morale considerably.

Day 8-12

The party, ever cautious, begins a sweep of the remaining unsearched buildings in pairs. The doubled duration and ability to cast the spell on two people simultaneously does nothing to embolden their searches, as the party chooses safety over efficiency. Several searches are aborted by the Monk and Cleric due to the presence of zombies in the buildings, which are later searched by the Rogue. One such search yields a rather sarcastic man living upstairs in his home, hiding from his zombified wife. The cleric is sent to rescue him, and the man unwittingly bumps into his wife. The cleric Turns, sending the zombie running out of the building before soundly scolding the man and recasting her last Hide From Undead for the day. They make it back to the inn, and the players look at me expectantly for another level, to which I simply shake my head.

Day 12, Nighttime:

The party is roused by a scream as the sarcastic man turns into a zombie from an unnoticed bite and attacks a barmaid. The goliath charges over, grappling the zombie and dragging it to the edge of the building before beating it into unconsciousness and hurling it off the edge, dealing enough falling damage to smash its head, permanently killing it.

The party argues over what to do with the bitten barmaid, who deteriorates over the next few hours. Eventually, it is decided that they will kill her and throw her over the edge in hopes of preventing her from rising as a zombie. The monk snaps her neck and begins dragging the corpse to the edge, when it reanimates and attacks. The Wizard begins casting Disrupt Undead, while the Cleric and Rogue stand guard over the other civilians. The goliath drops the zombie to -10, killing it permanently, and the corpse is tossed over the edge.

The session ends.

Game Three goes from Day 13 to 17, and from there to Endgame and Epilogue.

Day 13:
The party resumes its searches, shaken by the nights events but slightly wiser, having learned from observing the long-term effects of a bite, and successfully destroying two zombies. Several empty houses are searched, until the rogue and Cleric reach a house with a closed door. The rogue fails the listen check and hears only a zombie shuffling around, rather than the sounds of it fighting someone, and so they leave the house and move on to the next. Frustrated, I simply move my NPC to the next house who, as the rogue listens at the door, opens it, knocking it to the floor. Confused and wary, especially when the zombie politely apologizes, they demand an explanation. The zombie introduces himself as Morgan, hastily explains that he was the cause of the outbreak, and agrees to meet them at the inn later to explain before running back into the house to kill a zombie that was presumed to be dead.

Later, a confused party holds a shouted conversation with Morgan, and he explains that he accidentally infected some thugs two weeks ago and immediately sought out adventurers to help him with containing the threat (the party groans as they realize that this zombie was their "mysterious employer"). He tells them that he's locked the city down and, after several sense motive checks, allow him to come up, where he explains his plan for removing the zombies from the city. He describes an Artifact known as the Celestial Mirror which is hidden somewhere in the city and appears as simply an unusually heavy plain silver disc. The party quickly realizes that this matches the description of the "platter" they retrieved from the General Store, and he confirms that it is indeed the Celestial Mirror.

If placed on the Blessing Altar in the basement of a Peloran Church, it can open a gate to the seas of Celestia, flooding the city with Holy Water (kudos to Epic_Wizard for the idea). Morgan explains that his curse prevents him from entering ground devoted to Pelor, and so the party agrees to place the mirror on the altar.

Morgan leaves, giving the party three days to prepare while he cordons off the area and kills all the zombies he can find to allow the party to reach the chapel unmolested.

Day 14-16

The party discusses tactics, scouts the chapel out, and creates seven additional flasks of Holy Water. Ultimately, it is decided that the party will sneak into the chapel while Hidden from Undead, and hope that they reach the altar, though they are prepared to fight.

Day 17/Endgame

Morgan returns, and the party heads to the chapel. He takes up a position just outside to kill any zombies that try to escape, and I randomly determine the zombies' placement within the chapel. Unluckily for the party, they block nearly every way into the basement, with one standing directly in front of the stairs down, and another blocking the door into the chapel. The rogue tries to sneak in, with a 5% chance of accidentally hitting the zombie. I roll a 97, and the monk and rogue wink into visibility. Several zombies charge outside, where Morgan, the monk, and the rogue quickly finish them off. The wizard and cleric, still Hidden, sneak inside and hide in a corner for several rounds while the party draws out and kills two more of the zombies.

In another stroke of bad luck (completely unfudged d% rolls by me), a different charging zombie bumps into the wizard, and now the battle reaches a new height as the Cleric casts Sanctuary and runs for the now clear basement while the monk, wizard, and rogue desperately engage the remaining three zombies without the aid of Morgan. Several bad grapple rolls on the monk's part later, and...

The monk is bitten.

Seeing this, Morgan charges into the church and takes the head off of one of the zombies. As soon as he sets foot on the church grounds, however, he begins getting blasted with positive energy, which causes him to retreat outside as his limbs and flesh are seared from his body. Meanwhile, the cleric successfully places the mirror on the altar, which opens the portal to Celestia and quickly begins filling the basement with holy water.

The party finishes off the remaining zombies, and Morgan calls out to the monk and has the monk kill him so that he wont turn into a zombie. The party hustles back to the inn and waits the better part of a day while the water works its way throughout the city, killing most of the zombies. Then, they shoot out the window that was illuminating the mirror through the first-floor altar, closing the gate. After the water receded, the party took the civilians out, to be confronted with the quarantine put in place by the mages guild.

Epilogue

The party explains the situation to the guildmember that confronts them, and spend the next month going into buildings and sweeping the city for any surviving zombies. The party gains three levels. My players expressed interest in going on another adventure to find a cure for the monk over the summer, so it seems like the adventures of our heroes havent come to an end quite yet

Baxbart
2008-01-06, 04:36 PM
Wow, that sounds like it actually went really well!

I... er... won't go into how mine went. I'll just say that all but two of the party got infected in the initial meeting... one player got ripped to shreds, literally.... one of my players insisted on playing a farmer, and somehow ended up riding a cow through the streets (But not, of course, before demolishing the stairs in the inn, effectively dooming the half of the party that was stuck downstairs with the zombies.... One player spent the entire session chasing the barmaids around the attic, rather than actually making himself useful...

Its only a matter of time before they all turn/kill one another, I highly doubt the game will finish with such a successful conclusion!

FlyMolo
2008-01-06, 05:50 PM
I was thinking about zombies. This is the best I got.

It should be a template, right? Add the half the base creatures con score and its HD to its strength score. This is the new strength score. The zombie gains fast healing 1 and DR3/slashing. For every 5 points of damage the zombie sustains(regenerated or not), it permanently loses one point of strength. Sneak attacks and critical hits count double. When a zombie hits 0 strength, it's destroyed permanently. Mindless, undead, etc etc.

Speed is related to strength remaining:
1-5 str. 5 foot speed
5-10 str. 10 foot speed.
10-15 str 15 foot speed
15-20 str 20 foot speed.
Etc. Round up to the nearest multiple of 5.

Stunning: If a zombie is reduced to 0 hp, It is unconscious until it regains full hit points. Zombies cannot be destroyed if they reach -10 hp. Coup de grace on a sleeping zombie kills it, no save.

Attacks: A slam attack and Improved Grab. Zombie hits, zombie grabs, if zombie wins grapple check, zombie bites. Zombie fever as described earlier.

I'm not sure how to write this up pretty, but you get the idea. The speed might need to be tweaked, but I'd like to think this tracks zombies who slowly degenerate into crawling, nearly harmless bags of flesh. Best of all, you can assume all zombies have full health, if not full strength. Zombies who were big and tough before they became zombies will be harder to put out of action, even if they've been worn down. Minotaurs, etc.

So what do you guys think?

Epic_Wizard
2008-01-06, 09:18 PM
Sounds like that went really well and your party had a lot of fun. I am so excited that you used my idea about a flood of holy water. The level up also sounds like it came at just the right time as well.

The character of Morgan sounds particularly interesting and the curse itself has fleshed out quite a lot as well.

For the summer adventure I would suggest that the party be led back to the shrine by their research only to discover that it either moves on its own, like the old wandering city idea, or that a collector of obscure religious objects has carted it off to his place. The characters now have to find the guy and either convince him to let them cure the monk or defeat him and cure the monk.

Also I would suggest that because of [insert action of the PC's in these encounters] the progress of all remaining cases of the disease has been slowed (this should be easily determinable by the PC's or you could have one of the Mage Guild people tell them. This will give the PC's time to find a cure for the Monk.

Anyways this seems to have been a very successful adventure. I'm glad we could be of help and it sounds like you have a great group of PC's.

Karsh
2008-01-06, 10:47 PM
Sorry, I forgot to include that detail. In killing Morgan, the monk took the curse from him, so now he's an intelligent zombie, yada yada yada. I'm going to come up with an LA +1 or +2 template to reflect the curse for him.

Silentmaster101
2008-01-08, 07:45 AM
Deity level curses don't create zombies, level 4 spells create zombies.
Deity level curses create Dread Wraiths (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wraith.htm) or Night (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG196.jpg)walkers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/nightshade.htm#nightwalker)

Infectionous Bite is HORRIBLE!
It's inevitable death to a PC even when they're level 17!
I'd make the DC 12 instead of 10+1 per hour (all characters < lvl10 will fail eventualy) and let Restoration (or remove disease) remove it.

Also all melee characters are now useless due to the inevetiable death effect. This further amplifies Wizards rule, Fighters drool!

Ha i used this directly in a campaign and a few even harder versions of my own creation, only changed it to needing to use improved grab for a bite and my group of players just stood there and killed 263 of them before they even bothered to leave. my creatures couldnt even touch them. stupid power gamers. it wasnt until i introduced the spitting varient with just a fortitude save to catch disease that they even got worried. then the infected meleers just kept making the saves and didnt bother with the disease, which i made curable with a remove disease but divine castors no longer had that spell.

so only potions worked, which cost 700gp from the one merchant remaining in the city. just to give them a chance, which ment they defied all logic and just smushed my zombies.

Karsh
2008-01-08, 11:54 AM
What level were your characters? Zombiegeddon really works best if you start at level 1, since part of the problem in a zombie game is management of resources.

Justinian
2008-04-12, 10:24 PM
Hope you don't mind a bump, but I found this thread on Google and I wouldn't mind some advice from the OOTS crowd.

I'm running this next week, based on Oakspar's template, set in Port Verge in Eberron. My concept is as much inspired by Resident Evil as it is by Romero or 28 Days Later, but it should also have a big conspiracy and pulp serial mystery nature that fits Eberron well.

I think I've got all the kinks worked out, but the major troubles include:

a) Sending stones (the ability to send out word to the mainland and possibly receive word back is problematic)

b) Airships - though I suppose helicopters and the likes didn't save people in the Romero films

c) The overwhelming likelihood of someone somewhere having an eternal wand of fireball. :smalltongue:

d) Warforged are immune to disease.

Anyhoo, here's my zombie model, and it should look pretty familiar, more or less.


Dread Zombie Template

Hit Dice: Drop any Hit Dice from class levels (to a minimum of 1), double the number of Hit Dice left, and raise them to d12s.

Speed: +10' movement. If the base creature can fly, its maneuverability rating drops to clumsy.

AC: Bonus to Natural Armor +1 Small +2 Medium, +3 Large, +4 Huge, +7 Gargantuan, +11 Colossal
BAB: A zombie has a base attack bonus equal to its Hit Dice.

Attacks: Retains all natural weapons of the base creature. It gains a slam attack and a bite (that can only be used in a grapple); Small: 1d3 bite, 1d4 slam; Medium: 1d4 bite, 1d6 slam; Large: 1d6 bite, 1d8 slam)

Saves: Base is Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will + HD+ 2.

Attributes: Strength increases by +4, its Dexterity decreases by 2, it has no Constitution or Intelligence score, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma changes to 1.

Special Qualities:
Bonus Feat: Toughness (Lose all other feats)
Damage Reduction 5 / slashing;
Single Actions Only only a move or attack each round; can move speed and attack as a charge.
Unnatural Vitality: Only fully destroyed at -10 HP; immobile at 0 hp; prone and helpless at -9 -1
Fast Healing 1.
Diseased Bite: Dread Plague*
Critical Hit Vulnerable significant cranial trauma (as represented by a critical hit or coup de grace) will destroy a zombie instantly; the lack of fortification makes these creatures vulnerable to sneak attack or sudden strike damage as well.

Dread Plague Supernatural Disease (Curse); Infection: Injury, DC: 10 + Str Mod (+1 per hour); Incubation: Instananeous; Damage: -1d4 Con; Secondary Damage: 1d4 Con once per hour; Special: Once initial damage is done, successful saving throws do not allow the character to recover. Any living entity infected by the Dread Plague that dies for any reason other than a coup de grace reanimates as a Dread Zombie in 1d4+2 rounds.

Special: Plague is sustained by high level arcane effect centered on the progenitor zombie; if the progenitor is destroyed, all infected undead are destroyed, all infected living possess a weakened form of the disease. Secondary damage changes to 1 Con per week, successful saving throws do not allow the player to recover. Should an infected character die, without a progenitor's negative energy aura, the corpse does not reanimate.

Constitution damage cannot be recovered through natural or magical means until the Dread Plague is purged by (accomplished by the spells Wish or Miracle).

Dread Zombies (by race)

Human Child / Halfling Dread Zombie
Size / Type: Small Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12+3 (16 hp)
Initative: +0
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares; cant run)
AC: 12 (0 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1 / -2
Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d4+1) or bite +3 melee (1d3+1 plus Dread Plague)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft
Special Qualities: Single actions only, damage reduction 5/slashing, darkvision 60 ft., unnatural vitality, fast healing 1, diseased bite (DC: 11), critical hit vulnerability, undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref 0, Will +3
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 10, Con , Int , Wis 10, Cha 1
Feats: Toughness

Gnome: As above, -1 AC, -1 Ref

Human Commoner Dread Zombie
Size/Type: Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12+3 (16 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares; cant run)
AC: 11 (-1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+3
Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d6+2) or bite +3 melee (1d4+2 plus Dread Plague)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft
Special Qualities: Single actions only, damage reduction 5/slashing, darkvision 60 ft., unnatural vitality, fast healing 1, diseased bite (DC: 12), critical hit vulnerability, undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref -1, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 8, Con , Int , Wis 10, Cha 1
Feats: Toughness

Changeling / Kalashtar / Half-Elf: as human.

Dwarf Changes: 30 ft move;

Elf / Shifter Changes: +1 AC, +1 Ref

Half-Orc Changes: Grapple: +4, Slam +4 melee (1d6+3), bite + 4 melee (1d4+3, Plague DC: 13).

Orc Changes: Grapple +5, Slam +5 melee (1d6+4), bite +5 melee (1d4+4, Plague DC: 14).

I'm retaining the slam so that the warforged have something to be scared of since the bite is weak and even magical diseases don't effect them.

I find the secondary natural weapon bite solution interesting, but in practice, in my version, without improved grab or improved grapple, the zombies aren't going to be biting a PC before getting through several contingencies:
1) If an AoO hits them and does damage, the grapple attempt fails.
2) If they fail to beat the PC's grapple check, the grapple attempt fails.
3) The bite attack cannot occur until the zombie's next turn 6 seconds later.
4) The bite attack is made as a natural weapon in a grapple.
5) There is a saving throw to avoid the initial infection, just like with mummy rot, and the DC is based on the only stat zombies really have left to manage such things, Strength. This allows Bugbear / Orc / Ogre zombies to be particularly frightening, and Eberron's relaxed stance on monstrous humanoid social roles means they're fair game for any cosmopolitan center.

I am considering altering some of the above because I'm afraid that many "outs" may be babying the players too much; nevertheless, it is a save vs. death versus level one characters and I don't want to go too far the other way and be a cheap b!@#ard and get a TPK.

Anyhoo, I'd love advice from anyone, especially people that have already played in / run this "module" or something like it.

The progenitor is going to be escorted by a undead commanding cleric. The exact hitdice and stats of Grail (LE Warforged Cleric, Domains: Death and Necromancer) and the progenitor zombie I'm still working out; the purpose of the progenitor is threefold:
1) demonstrate that the outbreak was no accident
2) provide the players with a means to "win" the scenario
3) provide a "boss zombie" encounter that is novel and fulfilling

The progenitor will have a natural bite attack and claws and will be far more lethal than his offspring. He may or not retain intelligence, but he will certainly be "on a leash."

The manner in which the disease weakens after the progenitor is slain offers heroes that survive to the end but take damage in the final hours have an opportunity to make it through the next leg of the quest, which will take the heroes from the Lhaazar Principalities to Flamekeep (where just such a Miracle spell can be arranged, and also where the disease can be researched, or a PC can be raised from the dead if need be). It also generates a strong time restraint / urgency. In the event that no survivors are bitten when the progenitor is slain, that mechanical / plot element becomes unnecessary. In the event that the progenitor is not slain and the PCs merely escape, the infection will likely spread to other surrounding islands.

The PCs will start at level 1 to maximize the survival horror aspect but should level relatively quickly.

I intend to scale up or scale down the Grail + progenitor fight as needed to fit the PCs capabilities when they finally bring the island's zombiegeddon to a close, but I'm thinking I'd like a Very Difficult CR combat fit for 4-5 level 3-4 PCs + associated other warrior / expert survivors (as well armed as the players can manage in a setting as well fortified at the players can manage). To make a Resident Evil allusion, the progenitor should fill the role of the Tyrant and be overpoweringly strong but not impossible to defeat - a worthy final foe for the end of a story "chapter."

Talic
2008-04-13, 12:08 AM
Hope you don't mind a bump, but I found this thread on Google and I wouldn't mind some advice from the OOTS crowd.

I'm running this next week, based on Oakspar's template, set in Port Verge in Eberron. My concept is as much inspired by Resident Evil as it is by Romero or 28 Days Later, but it should also have a big conspiracy and pulp serial mystery nature that fits Eberron well.

I think I've got all the kinks worked out, but the major troubles include:

a) Sending stones (the ability to send out word to the mainland and possibly receive word back is problematic)

b) Airships - though I suppose helicopters and the likes didn't save people in the Romero films

c) The overwhelming likelihood of someone somewhere having an eternal wand of fireball. :smalltongue:

d) Warforged are immune to disease.
Solutions.

a) Fine. Let them send messages. By the time someone gets there, the city will be fallen, with only small pockets of survivors. They can beat it back, set up safe zones, containment areas. They can capture zombies for study... But one error, and those containment zones breach, and it's out of control again...

b) Airships need to land every so often for supplies, repairs, etc. Let there be small safe colonies in the sky. They don't fly forever.

c) You know what happens when you burn a zombie? It walks towards you, while burning. Relentless is the key.

d) Ignore this. The disease is supernatural in nature, and affects creatures regardless of natural immunity.

Karsh
2008-04-13, 12:35 AM
Honestly, Justinian, the important thing in a zombie outbreak game is that direct hand-to-hand combat should be avoided no matter how easy/difficult it is to get bitten. The problem with your idea regarding the grapple/bite is that the players may not be given the opportunity to realize exactly how dangerous these zombies are until it's too late.

You're not going to be running lots of low-level undead encounters; you need to place the PCs in a nearly impossible situation that pushes their ability to improvise and plan to the limit. Modules like the ones that Oakspar and I ran are not for groups that enjoy hack-and-slash. The main weapon that the party will have is ingenuity. Force them to exploit the few weaknesses the zombies have and the game will be much more rewarding; there were stretches of maybe 30 minutes in the three sessions I ran where I was only really dealing with two characters, but the other two players who were still on the roof were just as edgy and engaged as the players of the characters who were the ones in danger.

Find ways to create artificial suspense. Something I discovered which was amazing was the requirement of strength checks to lift up the scouts who were holding onto the rope. The check was easy, but the chance of failure, coupled with an early flub which nearly ended in disaster caused each subsequent rope lifting to be an exciting event which ended in a collective sigh of relief once the strength check was successfully made.

The fun in this sort of game really comes from being put up against insurmountable odds and overcoming them through intelligence, planning, skill, and a healthy dose of luck. After my game was over, I showed my players the stats of the zombie I used and they were incredibly proud of themselves for successfully overcoming such an intense challenge.

EDIT: Also...


I think I've got all the kinks worked out, but the major troubles include:

a) Sending stones (the ability to send out word to the mainland and possibly receive word back is problematic)

b) Airships - though I suppose helicopters and the likes didn't save people in the Romero films

c) The overwhelming likelihood of someone somewhere having an eternal wand of fireball.

d) Warforged are immune to disease.

A. Let them use them. Just turn it into a Cloverfield situation where the outside help's response is "Ok, damage control time. We may lose the city, but we'll save the continent." After all, nuking from orbit is the only way to be sure. Or, alternatively, let acquiring a Sending Stone be a sort of checkpoint on the road to success. I don't think that Sending Stones are particularly commonplace, though I could be incorrect. Just make it very dangerous to acquire one and the PCs will be forced to evaluate if it's really worth it to try and get help from the outside.

B. Exactly. There's always the possibility of someone infected making it onboard. Alternatively, if most of your party winds up being good, you may choose to reward them for altruism by sending in an airship occasionally that brings supplies and evacuates civilians. Of course, this should only be done if you're sure that they won't just abandon the city.

C: There's nowhere that's permanently safe from zombies; especially with only 2 fireballs per day to protect you. Eventually anyone with such an item would be overrun and devoured; especially since a Fireball would attract the attention of a lot of zombies.

D: Make it a curse all the way, and not a disease at all. It's just unusual in that its transmission is via a bite.

Justinian
2008-04-13, 10:06 AM
Honestly, Justinian, the important thing in a zombie outbreak game is that direct hand-to-hand combat should be avoided no matter how easy/difficult it is to get bitten. The problem with your idea regarding the grapple/bite is that the players may not be given the opportunity to realize exactly how dangerous these zombies are until it's too late.

I absolutely agree that the players should know that they need to run like the dickens and I plan to establish that. The disease mechanism I can probably demonstrate visually via an NPC or two. I did read your campaign log and it did seem unusual how long it took your players to figure it out, so I will account for that.

I think you're suggesting that if the bite mechanism is only during a grapple that it will be difficult to demonstrate effectively; that, or you're suggesting that they're not immediately lethal enough that the players will know to fear them.


You're not going to be running lots of low-level undead encounters; you need to place the PCs in a nearly impossible situation that pushes their ability to improvise and plan to the limit. Modules like the ones that Oakspar and I ran are not for groups that enjoy hack-and-slash. The main weapon that the party will have is ingenuity.

Oh I agree completely. I just want the mechanical end to hold up, too; I've got long term campaign plans for after this, and it's not all going to be zombies (but the zombies will return, of course).

I don't know where you got that I intended this to be more of a hack and slash; perhaps the progenitor? I just figured it would be an interesting return to normalcy after they've fortified up and began preparing for their final escape to the docks or whatever their route of choice may be.


Force them to exploit the few weaknesses the zombies have and the game will be much more rewarding; there were stretches of maybe 30 minutes in the three sessions I ran where I was only really dealing with two characters, but the other two players who were still on the roof were just as edgy and engaged as the players of the characters who were the ones in danger.

I agree with what you're saying at the end there, but I'm not entirely sure what the takehome message is. Are you saying I've made my zombies too weak?


Find ways to create artificial suspense. Something I discovered which was amazing was the requirement of strength checks to lift up the scouts who were holding onto the rope. The check was easy, but the chance of failure, coupled with an early flub which nearly ended in disaster caused each subsequent rope lifting to be an exciting event which ended in a collective sigh of relief once the strength check was successfully made.

I guess the scouts weren't too good at climbing, huh? :smallsmile: Well, that makes sense, I suppose, at least one of them is going to be a cleric.


The fun in this sort of game really comes from being put up against insurmountable odds and overcoming them through intelligence, planning, skill, and a healthy dose of luck. After my game was over, I showed my players the stats of the zombie I used and they were incredibly proud of themselves for successfully overcoming such an intense challenge.

Yeah, I'm hoping to achieve the same thing, though I don't think I'd need to show them my design (and these guys are just a prototype; Port Verge was isolated enough to provide a good experiment). I have noticed that both in your game and in Oakspar's, there always seems to be someone bitten at the last minute and people wanting to cure them somehow - I really like that notion and I've incorporated it into the disease state.


A. Let them use them. Just turn it into a Cloverfield situation where the outside help's response is "Ok, damage control time. We may lose the city, but we'll save the continent." After all, nuking from orbit is the only way to be sure. Or, alternatively, let acquiring a Sending Stone be a sort of checkpoint on the road to success. I don't think that Sending Stones are particularly commonplace, though I could be incorrect. Just make it very dangerous to acquire one and the PCs will be forced to evaluate if it's really worth it to try and get help from the outside.

Well, I've mapped out my town, and the House Sivis sending station is just a small little building about two-three blocks away from the starting inn (which is designed to be very similar to Oakspar's).

I want the players to treat the other survivors as at least a valuable resource if nothing else. I really hope some of these NPCs survive and become a part of the larger quest, future patrons, or perhaps the crew of the PCs sailing vessel.

If I don't give them a d'Sivis with at least a Least Mark of Scribing, they can't send word out, but I think it might be interesting to put such a character amongst the survivors, perhaps a middle-aged gnome Expert 4, doubles as a barrister in town.

Even if they're able to bust in and send out a message, someone has to be there to receive the message, too, and that's not really practical; especially if they're not able to pick the lock (maybe I should give him a key?).

I imagine by the time the heroes can escape, every ship in the combined Lhaazar fleet will have a blockade around the island, and yes, they will probably be considering sending airships to fireball the island.

Other examples of what I'm planning:

I'm incorporating Eberron elements quite a bit, so the inn is a House Ghallanda establishment, the largest and finest inn in town. I've managed to make the second floor rather fortifiable and the first floor not fortifiable at all, with sliding saloon style doors and large panel, ornate painted glass windows with the Ghallanda crest on them (these are all recent renovations to an older inn, the innkeeper is unaware of the rooftop trap door and the old junk up there).

the innkeeper won't have a Mark of Hospitality but his young son will (purify food and water 1 / day). There will be about 8 barmaids initially, and I'll need names and basic descriptions for all of them, but I imagine several of them won't make it past the first encounter.

Maybe a very old sailor as well, kind of infirm, but lots of ranks in Knowledge (local), Knowledge (geography) and Profession (sailor); difficult to save, but very worth it.

A few Warrior 2s that are rowdy, bawdy, and amoral (pirates), just to provide trouble within the ranks (and initiate Oakspar's barmaid scenario), maybe take more than their fair share of the food or ale, take advantage of the time the PCs are away or asleep, etc.


B. Exactly. There's always the possibility of someone infected making it onboard. Alternatively, if most of your party winds up being good, you may choose to reward them for altruism by sending in an airship occasionally that brings supplies and evacuates civilians. Of course, this should only be done if you're sure that they won't just abandon the city.

I had planned on an Airship landing platform in the northern section of town; Prince Kolberkon has made strong in-roads with House Lyrandar. I haven't decided if I want there to be an airship in port, but if there is, or one arrives, that will give the players one possible escape route. I suppose if the players do manage to contact the mainland and save a lot of survivors and persuade someone to help them, an airdrop is feasible. In the event that an air rescue becomes plausible, that is when I would want to spring Grail coming at them full force; I'll try to give the players the benefit of the doubt as to when Grail finally notices their efforts, but Grail's orders are clear - no witnesses, survivors.


C: There's nowhere that's permanently safe from zombies; especially with only 2 fireballs per day to protect you. Eventually anyone with such an item would be overrun and devoured; especially since a Fireball would attract the attention of a lot of zombies.

I figured if they got too rambunctious with sniping the zombies or dusting them with turn undead, I could show them what 1000 zombies that never need to sleep can do to a wooden building.

In any event, Grail gives me a means to alter the scenario should something go drastically wrong, even by simply directing zombie traffic.

And ultimately, as DM I would decide what they can find and what they can't; a wand of fireball or eternal fireball would be very expensive (10,900 gp) and way beyond what these characters should have (maybe a wand with only 3-4 charges, on a wizard zombie with mage armor still active - could work :smalltongue:). On the other hand, this is a sizable town in a high-magic setting, this kind of quality gear is going to be there somewhere; not like Sharn where the local police force has a plethora of eternal wands and the like, but it's hard to explain a total dearth of the good stuff.

I do have a very simple means of taking away such items after they escape, however. Three words: detainment, quarantine, escape.


D: Make it a curse all the way, and not a disease at all. It's just unusual in that its transmission is via a bite.

I'm just not sure about that, 'forged aren't even affected by Mummy Rot and the like, which is kind of my model. If I have more than one Warforged out of four-five players, I guess I won't have too much choice. The zombies I designed are actually more deadly with their slam attacks - if only they didn't hunger for brains so much. :smallamused: Frankly, I had initially planned on the zombies completely ignoring warforged unless they did something to warrant attack, ala Starfleet walking around on a Borg cube... but that would pretty much screw the whole game model up.

Justinian
2008-04-13, 11:32 PM
Well, looks like I'll have two Warforged characters, so that seals the deal; disease-immune or no, this is going to have to work on 'Forged just the same as anyone, or this'll be pointless.

Talic
2008-04-14, 01:37 AM
May I make a suggestion. Several Sourcebooks show that while demons are immune to poison, special poisons could be designed specifically to affect them.

Something similar.

As for Letting players know how hopeless it is?

In my zombiegeddon, the cataclysm was in session 3. The group had seen a wounded man being brought to the temple district, evidently his dog went crazy and attacked him. Took three neighbors to finally put the thing down.

Later that morning, the group was leaving a tavern, and the shrill whistle of a town guard alarm was heard, several blocks away (the guards blew a whistle once to request a backup unit from a designated guardhouse, and twice to call available units from nearby blocks). Two rounds later, they heard the double whistle, the call for all available units. The group begins traveling that way to investigate... but 2 rounds later, every adjacent block to the first lets out a double whistle. When they arrive at the outer edges of the spread, they see the streets, largely empty, the door to a nearby inn open.

The first person to move should be stopped en route, as that player should see two people hunched over a third in an alley.

A scream erupts from the inn.

The group will likely split, 1-2 looking in the alley, the rest moving to the inn.

Those in the alley, will see the gem merchant look up from a mutilated body blood dripping down her face. A young urchin, the one that showed them around the city earlier, scrabbles to his feet, covered in gore, and lunges at players.

Those approaching the inn will see an NPC crash through the front window, and inside will be a scene of horror, as townspeople fall at the mercy of these savage creatures, once their neighbors. Within two rounds, every living commoner in this scene will be dead or dying...

And, when the PC's fight off the first 2 or 3 (gaining an appreciation for how tough they are), the dead townspeople begin lurching to their feet, almost a dozen of them.... From down the street, a half dozen more are seen approaching, homing in on the sounds of combat... One appears to be a member of the guard.

Make sure you underline injuries. Perhaps one has half of their neck ripped out. Another has an arm barely hanging by a tendon. Still another has a hatchet embedded in its chest, to he hilt, an obviously lethal wound.

After a dozen or so descriptions, you can lay off a bit, as player shock will fade. Make sure you bring the detailed description back up every time you kick it up a notch, though... Like when you add in zombie ogres... or dogs... or hydra... or my favorite, kittens.

Justinian
2008-04-14, 08:26 AM
Well, I suppose this could be more of a "Have Con score? Will kill you." type deal. It pretty much has to be or two of the four players will have no reason to fear the zombies beside numbers, which could just as well be accomplished with a legion army of orcs (or, since this is Eberron, Valenar Elves - whatever :smallamused: ).

I wonder, if we had a Paladin with Divine Grace, should we do the same? Perhaps those with disease immunity should have some benefit from it, at least, like a 25-50 chance, like fortification vs. criticals or something?

I am thinking about using Eyes of the Lich Queen at some point (maybe not in this group, but I could make it fit), and in that, they have Dragonmarks that spontaneously appear on any living character that invades this old dungeon, Warforged included, and that's something that's not supposed to happen to anyone that's not one of the 7 core 3.5 races, especially not the living construct Warforged. So there's another precedent, I suppose.

I do kind of like your method of introducing the disease, so I may integrate some of that. I also don't want them leaving too far from the Crossroads Inn (Dawn of the Dead :smallcool: - the local weapons shop is run by a Dwarven Magewright - Andrakus, Andy for short :smallcool:), since I want to at least give them a chance of a decent early fortified location and some survivors to help, but I may do listen checks for them to hear guard whistles over the hub-bub of the rowdy crowd and the minstrel playing. Also, I will have at least one of them see a wounded man being carried to the Jorasco chapterhouse. I need to figure out exactly where Grail and the progenitor come ashore, and when (if they weren't already in the Port city - come to think, while the docks would be the best place to start a mass infection, it would be easier for them to get in by a simple covered farmer's wagon).

Justinian
2008-04-14, 05:43 PM
Update

Party members are going to be:
Warforged Fighter
Warforged Fighter :smallsigh: (The two of them like 'forged and have been wanting to play Eberron for some time, and so be it)
Elven Rogue (House Thuranni, Least Mark of Shadow)
Human Cleric (Sovereign Host, or just Dol Arrah)

The Human Cleric is probably the most dangerous to my enemies, though the rogue will be capable of hiding well enough on her own and these zombies are not sneak attack immune. I'm not going to lean them towards or away from say, Sun Domain, but if that's what I'm up against, so be it.

I think one or both of the Fighters are planning on multiclassing (Artificer, Ranger). A Ranger focusing on undead as their favored enemy would be a very good idea for this campaign, so I may encourage that. An artificer would also help them more or less fill the missing arcane magic deficit, and well, Warforged need a Wizard, Psion, or Artificer around to cure them in battle.

I did consider raising the starting level to two to allow for some multi-classing robustness, but that might dangerously throw off the curve of power in those early encounters, especially if the Cleric goes Sun.

So looks like one rogue that can generate magical darkness, one CoDzilla in an (undead centric campaign), and two fighters of the metallic persuasion. Not the most optimal of groups, but if I stuck with disease immunity for the 'Forged, the whole scenario would be stupid easy with this group.

Based on what they've told me, I figure by level 2-3, I'll have an Adamantine bodied Meleeficer, a Mithral bodied wielding a repeating crossbow, a War / Sun Cleric, and well, the rogue is going to be as effective as her skill selection is, though I imagine if she doesn't have max ranks in Escape Artist, she will at level 2. My ranged fighter may want to craft or search for some throwing axes, I suppose, but a crossbow does have the advantage of critting on a 19-20, at least.

I told them 28 point buy, and I guess I roughly know what to expect from them at this point. I think the zombie horde will provide a solid challenge, so now it's time to design the progenitor and its escort. Since there is no longer any benefit from being a 'forged for purposes of the disease, since the Cleric is going to need to hide from whatever undead it is not commanding, and since the Warforged demographics are a bit higher in this town than I initially imagined :smallyuk:, I may switch from Grail to something else entirely, but I don't want a Holy symbol giving anything away.

Justinian
2008-04-20, 09:29 AM
So today's the big day; last minute advice?

Talic
2008-04-20, 10:01 AM
Sure. For the disease? No form of disease immunity is 100% effective. The best you can hope for is a 50/50.

If people figure out the DC, and take steadfast determination (don't auto fail fort saves on a natural 1), along with high fort saves, to become "effectively immune", then the strain mutates, becoming more virulent. Raise the DC. (this is why I like zombie-ism as a disease)

The traditional zombie story takes place in a non-fantasy setting. To update to fantasy, take a page from 3.5. Zombie should be a template. It can apply to ANYTHING.

The scariest place in town to be will be the pet shop. Out in the wild? Wait until something with strong enough teeth to penetrate wyvern armor gets one.

Let the fantastic creatures have something to fear too.

Justinian
2008-04-20, 10:44 AM
Yeah, I'm not quite sure if I want zombie horses and zombie dogs and the like.

If this is Resident Evil, then zombie plants aren't out of order.:smallsmile:

If this is Romero style, the zombies only have hunger for human flesh.

Either way, there are plenty of humanoids and monstrous humanoids that could make for a nasty fight with the template I crafted based on the standard zombie... gargoyles could be ridiculously awesome, but not for the initial event because there's no way the players could kill one at their power level. Still, Eberron tends to have more orcs and ogres and minotaurs and the like being normal members of society, so that could make things hard enough.

Talic
2008-04-20, 11:11 AM
doesn't need to be so broad. That's the good thing, you control what the template can apply to. Want humanoids? Monstrous humanoids? Giants? Cool. Want to keep going a bit farther, with aberrations (for the elan lovers)? Ok. Want animal and magical beasts to be immune? Ok, but keep them away from the story, to give the zombies as much focus as possible.

Justinian
2008-04-20, 11:19 AM
Well, I was thinking for example, if the zombies more or less left animals alone, the players could rescue some horses or something. Not sure how it work in practice, but in theory it could work. Sure, they'd probably swarm and kill the horse to get to what's on top of it, or if the horse is attacking them they'd defend themselves, but we'll see.

They're starting out at an inn, this is a port city so most people get around by boat, but it's also a fairly sizable island with smaller fishing villages and farmland dotting the countryside, so there would be patrons that rode horses. It's possible the players won't deem the stables next door to be a worthwhile risk, and if they don't think to rescue the horses they'll could starve before they get to them, but if they think about it, it could be a nice time to start practicing Handle Animal, now wouldn't it? :smallsmile: