View Full Version : The Zombie Survival Guide for D&D

2009-09-26, 05:57 PM
The advice given herein does not apply to necromancer's beasts. Rather, it applies to more Hollywood-esque zombies, often using this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124682). Also note that The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks was in inspiration, for this as well as for the aforlinked thread.

There are zombies, shambling corpses crerated by necromantic rites. And then there are zombies, shambling corpses created by each other.
The first zombies were created by a ecromantic ritual using samples of an ancient substance that once created these, strengthening it and placing it in a new body. This ritual was only done once, but cabals of necromancers hoping for easy armies often use a version of it and a sample of zombie salivia or equivilant.

From the Journal of Agden Tweed, Historian
"I have heard from the archaeology team again. They have found a ruin of some ancient time. It contains many strange items, the likes of which have not been seen. A book was also found, written in what appears to be an ancient form of Common. It talks of surviving a 'zombie uprising'. It contains so many fallacies about zombies that I would have discounted it if I had not remembered reading about similar beings years ago.
"It seems that the book describes zombies similar to ones exterminated a few years back-zombies that could make more by fluidic contact. It used several terms that doubtless had meaning in those times, such as "rifle" and "Los Angeles", but it seems to be mostly sound. Many minor details were off-the author, a Max Brooks, seems to imply that all zombies are the same, whereas the real zombies have occasional variations, and the description of zombie infection, while accurate in symptoms and time between death and reanimation, is dead wrong (so to speak) about how long it takes for death.
"Thus, I belive that this cabal that made the zombies made an improved version of the ancient one. More research must be done."

Agden Tweed did indeed spend much of the rest of his life investigating this subject. He even caught some zombies and did tests on them. Much of the information given here results from his work or that of his collegues.

2009-09-26, 05:59 PM
Surviving Zombies 101
In a D&D world, the gods will likely strike down zombies before they endanger the world. But what if they don't? What if they attack you before the gods notice? What if, like the some governments described in the ancient book, they're preoccupied with other matters? What if, Celestia forbid, the gods STARTED the plague? In any of these cases, or many more, you need to take the fight to the undead.

Obviously, most characters will find this their second most valuable asset, their first being their lives.

Bard: If you know enough beforehand, learn a Perform skill that doesn't require sound. This adds two possibilities to ow you could die: Zombies hearing your lute and song, and your allies strangling you after you almost got them killed with that.

Cleric: Two words: Turn Undead. Anyone with decent Charisma and a spare level should dip into this class. (The healing's not too bad, either.)

Monk: This class can travel fast and light. Monks have an edge in zombie combat over fighters, assuming they follow my stealth advice.

Ranger: Another class that's good to dip in, simply because of the Favored Enemy (undead) thing.

Rogue: A third class everyone should have a few levels in, this time because of the stealth.

Other Classes: Bear in mind various advice I give you later before chosing a class.

Avoid armor with an ACP. A single extra +1 bonus could be the difference between being survivors and being zombies. Also, grapples aren't affected by armor, so that full plate probably only serves to encumber you and to announce to nearby zombies, "Here's some canned food!*"

*A term used in the ancient book to describe humans in armor and those in "trucks".

Choose onethat can deal massive enough damage to smash through skulls.

Get nightsticks or other items that improve/increase Turn Undead. Avoid unneeded gear. Torches give you away, and besides, many races have darkvision.Try to get magic items that improve stealth.

Cleave and Great Cleave, while useful against necromancers' "pets", have less use against zombies created by Solomnum*.
Anything to augment your turning is also useful, as is Improved Sunder, to smash those heads.

*A term the ancient book used as a name for a "virus" in zombie salivia.

2009-09-26, 06:00 PM
Reserved for new stuff

2009-09-27, 01:10 AM
clerics and the very gods themselves render Hollywood zombies rather obsolete. There are few high level zombies, but plenty low level ones with turn undead. Gods will directly intervene in a serious infestation, there are all the celestials, etc...
There are much much much more powerful "self replicating creatures" in DnD... shades are but one example.

However if zombies are the problem the gods do not intervene, then you have to look to surviving youself, survival is very different than the real world.

Concencrate spells provide further protection, food hunting is not a problem, magic can provide as much food and water as you want...

And with some diamond dust clerics can literally put down a zombie and then bring it back to life.

You can always go the OTHER route... evil clerics can rebuke undead to gain control of them... plus gain control of 4x their CL in zombies they themselves create via magic. So you can have your own personal zombie army protecting you from other zombies.

2009-09-27, 01:55 AM
A mild recrunching and refluffing of the shadows (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/shadow.htm) would make excellent zombies. It should quickly become clear that these aren't the same as Ol' Gem-eyes (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/animateDead.htm).