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Person_Man
2007-10-19, 02:18 PM
New article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20071019a) up on the WotC site. What have we learned?

Turn Undead is still in 4th Ed. I smell divine/turn undead fueled feats as well, since they've figured prominently in most of the recent supplements.

Critical hits are still in 4th Ed.

Zombies are subject to critical hits. I'm guessing that they're getting rid of the whole Precision damage/critical hit immunity thing. But that's just a guess.

Zombie is no longer a template?


Discuss

Mewtarthio
2007-10-19, 02:31 PM
There's also some mild implication of death by massive damage. At one point, he mentions something about a sufficiently powerful blow killing a zombie in a cooler manner than a headshot, and he actually uses the phrase "massive damage" in the final paragraph. Of course, that could also be interpreted as some form of fast healing.

Morty
2007-10-19, 03:43 PM
I don't like zombies not being a template. There should be a difference between a zombie created from big and muscled orc and from fragile elf. Otherwise, meh. Lots of talking about one creature.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-10-19, 03:53 PM
Well, I hope they don't retain death by massive damage, or if they do it has a much better application. Such as basing it off of HD, or total HP, not just a flat number.

Metal Head
2007-10-19, 03:54 PM
What!? Zombies aren't templates? What sort of idiocy is this?

KIDS
2007-10-19, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the link!

It's simple. Elegant. Devious. I like it.
In an age of coming improvements, even if I have less trivial things to worry about, articles like these fill me with happiness.

p.s.

What!? Zombies aren't templates? What sort of idiocy is this?

*takes a deep breath*

THIS IS SPARTA!

Eldmor
2007-10-19, 03:56 PM
When I do massive damage in D&D it's 5 times your Constitution. This rewards tougher characters and makes the squishy squishier. I based it off of d20 Modern's massive damage which is just your Constitution. Sticks very close to the "one bullet can kill you" mentality.

Rockphed
2007-10-19, 03:58 PM
I don't like zombies not being a template. There should be a difference between a zombie created from big and muscled orc and from fragile elf. Otherwise, meh. Lots of talking about one creature.

I don't think he said that you can't make your gnoll zombies, just that you don't need to.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2007-10-19, 04:03 PM
I don't like this very much. This is all implications that zombies rely on what's inside them instead of just bones and muscles to scoot around. In the D&D I know, you don't kill a zombie by putting a hole in it's head, you just break up it's body. Also, a lot of that article seems to imply the zombies of D&D are going to be like the zombies of the movies, where the zombies of the movies are really more like mindless ghouls. That is an aspect of movies that bugs me, I don't want it at my table.

Lord Tataraus
2007-10-19, 04:04 PM
GAH! How come I can get on to my Gleemax account but D&D Insider doesn't recognize me? Aren't they supposed to be the same account? As you can guess, I can't read the article, could someone copy it into a spoiler or something? Please?

Starsinger
2007-10-19, 04:05 PM
Also, a lot of that article seems to imply the zombies of D&D are going to be like the zombies of the movies, where the zombies of the movies are really more like mindless ghouls.

Cuz zombies are intelligent in D&D now...

KIDS
2007-10-19, 04:06 PM
Wait I don't understand - why the hate towards lumbering and mindless? Isn't that what zombies are supposed to be?

(I'm talking about classic zombies, not voodoo or similar ones which are closer to ghouls and spirit-wraiths)

Sinsie
2007-10-19, 04:12 PM
Shambling, mindless corpses are getting all gussied up for 4E Although it might be hard to believe that something as simple as an animated carcass needed an overhaul, with ample influences in movies and video games, the designers knew the zombie was an ideal guinea pig for applying the new monster philosophy. So they set about keeping the zombie simple to run, but they gave it a clear role and made it feel more like the zombies from the big screen.

Every 3rd Edition D&D player thinks of a zombie, at best, as a tough bag of hit points that can take a beating. At worst, the zombie is seen as a really slow fighter or grist for the turn undead mill. Unfortunately, a Large or smaller 3E zombie really required a weapon to be scary on the damage-dealing side, and they were a lot easier to take out than any movie zombie.

Rethinking the zombie required harkening to the zombie in popular culture while maintaining the D&D elements that make undead cool. Zombies move slowly, dragging their lifeless feet, and it takes a heck of a blow to kill one, so tough is right. But zombies donít pick up weapons, even convenient ones. They tear you apart with their bare dead hands. They overwhelm you with numbers, drag you down, and eat you.

The new zombie is a brute with just enough reasoning power to know who to kill. Itís easy to hitózombies donít dodgeóbut itís rotten body just soaks up blows that would kill a living creature. You had better be hitting the zombie hard every time, or itíll just keep coming. If you manage to hit it really hard, say with a critical hit or a power that deals hefty damage, you might just take the creep out in one fell swing.

Thatís right. I did say, ďcritical hit.Ē The zombie is vulnerable to that now, which is sweeter than a head shot in any zombie flick.

If youíre a player, take a moment right now to thank the merciful designers that turn undead is still in the game. That power doesnít send the zombies running off to gods knows where, but if it doesnít turn them to putrid dust, it does hold them at bay. Believe meóyou donít want zombies close to you. Even though they wonít come wielding greataxes, zombies can take your head off with their vicious slams. The bigger the zombie, the uglier the thump. And when zombies swarm you, some of them are going to grab you, maybe even pulling you to the ground. Thatís not the place to be when the dead come knocking.

As a DM, you donít have to worry about creating the gnoll zombie or the orc zombie. The one set of Medium zombie statistics should do you fine. The players wonít know the difference, except by virtue of your descriptive talents. They should be most worried about the pummeling their characters are taking anyway.

At appropriate levels, a fight against zombies should look more like a horror movie scene. Protagonists have to maneuver to keep away from the possibility of devastating damage while trying to cut their way through a relentless wall of dead flesh. The players get a thrill when a zombie goes down to massive damage, and the DM gets the satisfaction of using a monster that lives up to popular expectations.

Itís a whole new game, even from the very bottom of the undead barrel. Now if we only had a few zombies that added some spice to the basic shambling corpse recipe. Perhaps Iíll go dig a few up for our next look at zombies....

It seems like an acceptable conversion to me.

wowy319
2007-10-19, 04:14 PM
I like the new zombies. I like the warlocks. I tolerated the cosmology. But I can't STAND the removal of saving throws! Not cool, WoTC! Not! Cool! Saving throws have been a staple of D&D for almost its entire existence!

GimliFett
2007-10-19, 04:16 PM
The way I understand the use of massive damage is just that: lots of damage. Meaning they're going to have DR and lotsa HPs with which to back it up and make it meaningful.

My two copper.

Mewtarthio
2007-10-19, 04:26 PM
GAH! How come I can get on to my Gleemax account but D&D Insider doesn't recognize me? Aren't they supposed to be the same account? As you can guess, I can't read the article, could someone copy it into a spoiler or something? Please?

I think the DnD Insider just gives you a prettier article. Anyone can read the printer-friendly version.

osyluth
2007-10-19, 04:30 PM
zombies should still be immune to criticals, it makes sense and adds flavor

Mewtarthio
2007-10-19, 04:33 PM
zombies should still be immune to criticals, it makes sense and adds flavor

Plus it's always bugged me when zombies get offed with headshots. Seriously, they're dead! Their brains are useless! You might as well say that they all die for no reason when their brains inevitably decompose!

Glaivemaster
2007-10-19, 04:37 PM
Plus it's always bugged me when zombies get offed with headshots. Seriously, they're dead! Their brains are useless! You might as well say that they all die for no reason when their brains inevitably decompose!

Yeah, zombies...scientifically, they make no sense :smalltongue:

I want to see how this works before making my final opinion (as with most of 4E), but I have to say, I don't like the idea that zombies are going to be more like movie zombies. I've always used them in the past as moving corpses, possibly minions of a necromancer. They don't need intelligence to do their job - a formless pile of flesh and bones can do it just as well

tarbrush
2007-10-19, 04:37 PM
I like the new zombies. I like the warlocks. I tolerated the cosmology. But I can't STAND the removal of saving throws! Not cool, WoTC! Not! Cool! Saving throws have been a staple of D&D for almost its entire existence!

I kinda like the move away from saving throws. The huge volume of save or lose effects makes quite a lot of battles turn into a 'who can avoid rolling a 1 the most' competion. Depending on the mechanic used to replace them, I'm cautiously optimistic about saving throws dying.

Nowhere Girl
2007-10-19, 04:47 PM
It always bugged me that zombies were immune to critical hits.

Look, I don't care whether they're dead or not, a body functions on a certain mechanical design and can be effectively disabled with minimal effort if the right parts are attacked:

Broken spine = body can't do anything meaningful at all

Severed Achilles = body can at best drag itself

Exploded head = no way for body to navigate ... and no way to do anything if the brain is needed (sure, it's a dead brain, but those are dead limbs with dead muscles inside, too, and that doesn't seem to be slowing them down)

And so on.

I maintain that precision should let you disable a zombie efficiently.

But even more, I like the promise of zombies being made actually scary. I hope they can deliver on it.

Jack Mann
2007-10-19, 04:47 PM
When I do massive damage in D&D it's 5 times your hit points. This rewards tougher characters and makes the squishy squishier. I based it off of d20 Modern's massive damage which is just your constitution. Sticks very close to the "one bullet can kill you" mentality.

At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?

EvilElitest
2007-10-19, 04:52 PM
Cuz zombies are intelligent in D&D now...

wait what?
from,
EE

Jasdoif
2007-10-19, 04:56 PM
At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?When you have less then three hit points? <<;

0oo0
2007-10-19, 05:00 PM
It always bugged me that zombies were immune to critical hits.

Look, I don't care whether they're dead or not, a body functions on a certain mechanical design and can be effectively disabled with minimal effort if the right parts are attacked:

Broken spine = body can't do anything meaningful at all

Severed Achilles = body can at best drag itself

Exploded head = no way for body to navigate ... and no way to do anything if the brain is needed (sure, it's a dead brain, but those are dead limbs with dead muscles inside, too, and that doesn't seem to be slowing them down)

And so on.

I maintain that precision should let you disable a zombie efficiently.

But even more, I like the promise of zombies being made actually scary. I hope they can deliver on it.

The counter to this is to say they are animated by fell powers (negative energy, magic, whatever) which preclude the usual physical means used for perception and movement

martyboy74
2007-10-19, 05:04 PM
At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?

When you have Delay Death, a bucket of water, and a lenient DM?

Jack Mann
2007-10-19, 05:12 PM
When you have less then three hit points? <<;

Okay, granted, but at that point, isn't forcing them to save vs. death a little cruel?

Jasdoif
2007-10-19, 05:22 PM
Okay, granted, but at that point, isn't forcing them to save vs. death a little cruel?Yeah, -9 to 2 is a rather slim range. I think that the original post was in error...but the thought of renaming massive damage "<3 Attack" amuses me greatly.

kjones
2007-10-19, 05:39 PM
You're all missing the most important bit. The article mentions that a zombie can still "take your head off with a vicious slam". This means that the zombie's attack is still a slam.

Now, nobody has ever given me a satisfactory answer to this question:

What in the name of $DEITY is a slam?

This would have been the perfect opportunity to fix this once and for all. How could they have screwed this up?

Somebloke
2007-10-19, 05:42 PM
At last...no more death-stares at the DM every time my character ends up in a crypt. Go rogues!

Thinker
2007-10-19, 05:45 PM
Okay, granted, but at that point, isn't forcing them to save vs. death a little cruel?

I'm pretty sure he meant five times HD :smalltongue:

Draz74
2007-10-19, 06:23 PM
You're all missing the most important bit. The article mentions that a zombie can still "take your head off with a vicious slam". This means that the zombie's attack is still a slam.

Now, nobody has ever given me a satisfactory answer to this question:

What in the name of $DEITY is a slam?

This would have been the perfect opportunity to fix this once and for all. How could they have screwed this up?

Yeah, that made me sad too.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-10-19, 06:25 PM
Lets see, 5xHD. That means...5 HP's at level 1, 10 HP's at level 2, 15 at level 3 etc. I don't buy that for a second. The capability to deal damage scales much faster then that, practically every attack from a dedicated fighter would then provoke a roll, at every level. He talked about making the squishies squishier, basing it on HD also dosen't make sense.

Jasdoif
2007-10-19, 06:25 PM
Now, nobody has ever given me a satisfactory answer to this question:

What in the name of $DEITY is a slam?

This would have been the perfect opportunity to fix this once and for all. How could they have screwed this up?What makes you think there isn't going to be an elaboration on the subject in the MM? This was an article about zombies, not natural weapons.

Machete
2007-10-19, 06:30 PM
From what I've been able to reason, a Slam is pretty much just throwing your torso at someone ala belly bump except with the full body.

Its just a semi-cool name for a really lame method of attack that takes no skill to use.

Bardbarian
2007-10-19, 06:32 PM
Lets see, 5xHD. That means...5 HP's at level 1, 10 HP's at level 2, 15 at level 3 etc. I don't buy that for a second. The capability to deal damage scales much faster then that, practically every attack from a dedicated fighter would then provoke a roll, at every level. He talked about making the squishies squishier, basing it on HD also dosen't make sense.

--->I'm leaning towards him meaning HD type, based on the "squishy squishier" clause. Wizards save at d4 * 5 = 20 hp, Barbs at 60hp.

--->Lord Tataraus, you are not alone in your Gleemax plight. :smallconfused:

Tallis
2007-10-19, 06:37 PM
You're all missing the most important bit. The article mentions that a zombie can still "take your head off with a vicious slam". This means that the zombie's attack is still a slam.

Now, nobody has ever given me a satisfactory answer to this question:

What in the name of $DEITY is a slam?

This would have been the perfect opportunity to fix this once and for all. How could they have screwed this up?

Punch, kick, head-butt, etc.

I'm undecided about this. Not enough information...

Tallis
2007-10-19, 06:40 PM
Lets see, 5xHD. That means...5 HP's at level 1, 10 HP's at level 2, 15 at level 3 etc. I don't buy that for a second. The capability to deal damage scales much faster then that, practically every attack from a dedicated fighter would then provoke a roll, at every level. He talked about making the squishies squishier, basing it on HD also dosen't make sense.

Except that wouldn't make the squishies squishier. They'd have to take more than their max hp (without con bonus) to ever have to save. At that point there is no point.
I'm gonna guess he meant hp/5. That would fit his description of the effect he's going for.

Nowhere Girl
2007-10-19, 06:48 PM
Slam is an attack from EverQuest. Ogres, trolls and barbarians get it as racial abilities.

That's what zombies are doing. :smalltongue:

EvilElitest
2007-10-19, 06:49 PM
From what I've been able to reason, a Slam is pretty much just throwing your torso at someone ala belly bump except with the full body.

Its just a semi-cool name for a really lame method of attack that takes no skill to use.

IN my games, a same is ether a tackle, or a really tough but untrained punch
For vampires it is any attack, kick, punch, tackle whatnot
from,
EE

Closet_Skeleton
2007-10-19, 06:52 PM
What!? Zombies aren't templates? What sort of idiocy is this?

They weren't templates in 3.0 and of cause earlier editions, so it's an idiocy that at least has precedence.


(I'm talking about classic zombies, not voodoo or similar ones which are closer to ghouls and spirit-wraiths)

Uhm, voodoo zombies are classic zombies. There's no other source for zombies. The european version, revanants, have some form of their original personality. A voodoo zombie is a mindless slave to an evil wizard, just like the D&D zombies.

Making D&D zombies closer to movie ones seems like a sell out to me. Or possibly just an ignorant designer messing with things beyond his ken because he thinks it's 'cool'.

If they make zombies into movie zombies but keep Gorgons as a stupid iron plated bull I'll have to bang my head against a wall at least once.

3.5 zombies are my favourite D&D ones, that DR 5/slashing really brings home the "must be hacked to pieces, it has no beating heart to pierce" thing.

Ryshan Ynrith
2007-10-19, 06:52 PM
I always envisioned a slam as either a palm strike or a backhand-no real attempt to improve damage, just a lot of strength.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-19, 07:03 PM
D'oh, while this was probably thought of as a nice idea, it's purely idiotic. Before I start on this, I should also tack on it that the tone of the article was pathetic, extremely patronizing. "Be thankful..."... PAH! give us the task of creating a new edition, and we'd do it better than them designers.

Now, onto the article. My beef with it is that, from what can be garnered from it, bread 'n butter zombies are now going to be massively wussy unless in hordes. In almost all movies, a single zombie is a pathetic piece of borsht. And it's only when there's seven gazillion zombies than the going gets tough. Which means, you'll have to drop 25 zombies per PC to make 'em a credible fight. That's really, really bad. Plus side is, this would mean reworking the CR system, which would be good.

Orzel
2007-10-19, 07:06 PM
I'm iffy on these zombies.

I like the crit hit working on them because I liked zombies being dead stupid people than evil flesh constructs. Zombies not having a weak spot seemed stupid.

but not a template.

What the hobgoblin?

Mewtarthio
2007-10-19, 07:10 PM
I always figured that a slam was just a big, heavy limb being swung.

Draz74
2007-10-19, 07:30 PM
PAH! give us the task of creating a new edition, and we'd do it better than them designers.

Very true, except for the way we can rarely agree on anything. Anything at all. Heck, it's only things like "full casters are overpowered" that most of us can agree on. :smalleek:

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-19, 07:41 PM
And powergamer Monte Cook and crappist Jonathan Tweet agree mucho? Doubt it, considering one designed the BovD and the other one made the PHB. 'Nuff said.

Cruiser1
2007-10-19, 07:43 PM
I don't like zombies not being a template. There should be a difference between a zombie created from big and muscled orc and from fragile elf. Otherwise, meh. Lots of talking about one creature.
I agree doing away with the Zombie template "in the name of simplicity" is a poor mechanic and akin to "dumbing down D&D". What's next, going back to Elf being a character class? :smallwink: I like the 3.5 Zombie (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/zombie.htm), where they describe the template, but also give examples of various complete creatures for DM simplicity, such as Human Zombie, Bugbear Zombie, etc.

Orzel
2007-10-19, 08:04 PM
I hope that they give the zombie enough mobility to dance...

you know where I'm going with this.

Golthur
2007-10-19, 08:28 PM
Grumble, grumble...

Why is my Spidey Sense (tm) telling me that they're getting rid of templates as a whole because they're "too complicated"?

I'm not normally the type to be a grognard, but each new article I see makes me less happy about the new edition, not more.

As much as I like the occasional zombie apocalypse, it's not the default mode I want for zombies. Making them back into a regular monster from a template is just silly, and critical hits? Zombies should be practically immune to anything that harms vital organs. Why does someone who's already dead care if you stab them in the heart, or heck, even if you remove one of their arms (aside from not being able to use a two-handed sword anymore)?

Still trying to remain cautiously optimistic, but it's getting harder and harder...

StickMan
2007-10-19, 08:31 PM
Zombie not a template madness I say, 3.5 I still play.

Yvanehtnioj
2007-10-19, 10:47 PM
I like the new zombies. I like the warlocks. I tolerated the cosmology. But I can't STAND the removal of saving throws! Not cool, WoTC! Not! Cool! Saving throws have been a staple of D&D for almost its entire existence!



umm...saving throws are still in dnd at 4.0

there is even a "fourth" now. they made AC into the fourth. (the others three are still fort, ref, and will. btw, these three are WAY better than the saves from adnd. remember sav vs breath? sav vs rod/staves/wands?)

3 saves in 3.0 better than 5 saves in adnd.
so 4 in 4.0 wont be a bad thing, i think.

ideasmith
2007-10-19, 10:52 PM
Concerning slams: 3e/3.5e apparently uses 'slam' to mean 'lethal natural weapon bludgeoning attack'.

horseboy
2007-10-19, 11:18 PM
Romero or Russo zombies? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main.ZombieApocalypse)

Kyeudo
2007-10-19, 11:29 PM
I'd like to say that Zombie should remain a template. It was a step forward to make them a template. As for a retheme so that they can be used in groups, the CR system seems to be being reworked in that direction already, so I'm not surprised.

Jack Mann
2007-10-19, 11:30 PM
Eh, I don't really worry about zombies not being templates. Zombies just never seemed worth templating to me, honestly. They're a mook undead. Sure, you can argue that elf zombies aren't worth as much as orc zombies, but then, why should anyone use elf zombies if they can make orc zombies? The only difference is the strength and dex scores.

So long as they have some way to customize and improve monsters, I don't see a problem. If you want to make a bugbear zombie, just add a couple of hit dice to toughen 'em up.

So they're going to be mob monsters. We already knew that there were going to be some monsters that would appear mostly in large numbers. Which undead did you think was going to be the undead mob? Liches? Zombies are the basic unit of the undead. Even beyond taking from the movies, it makes sense for them to attack in large numbers, if you're going to have monsters that do so.

It's not like zombies are some manner of super undead in 3.5. They're minions. That's their iconic use. The zombie minions at the heed of the wicked (or at least badly dressed) necromancer. Sure, they're strong, and good monsters for their CRs. But they're not a monster you generally expect to encounter as a single entity. Zombies and skeletons were made for the mob role.

And really, zombies just don't differ enough to need a template. Like I said, the only difference between a half-orc and an elf zombie is +2 Str, -2 Dex. I'd rather just fudge the description and use one set of mechanics. You want a tougher zombie, like a bugbear? Just advance the monster a few hit dice and call it a day. Want it larger? They've mentioned the medium zombie, so they'll probably have large, huge, and bigger versions (and probably smaller ones as well). Need it to fly? Give it a fly speed and describe wings.

Now, if vampires all have to use one monster entry, then I'll be annoyed.

Renegade Paladin
2007-10-20, 12:16 AM
You make elf zombies because you have elf bodies. :smalltongue:

Anyway, Wizards of the Coast continues to patronize and insult the intelligence of their customer base. Color me completely unsurprised, and also more than a trifle annoyed. :smallyuk:

Human Paragon 3
2007-10-20, 12:23 AM
What exactly is patronizing about making a zombie a normal monster and not a template? I'm not sure you know what patronizing actually means. Personally, I'm of the mind that zombies aren't worth templating, and I'm ALWAYS annoyed that there isn't a regular zombie I can just borrow the stats for. Even a sample zombie in the MM would have been useful.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-20, 12:29 AM
That probably wasn't the patronizing bit, but rather the one that says, for example, "You should thank the merciful designers".

Jack Mann
2007-10-20, 12:37 AM
All they meant was that they left players a defense against zombies. Of which they're playing up the horror and danger in the article in a slightly over-the-top way. Which is perfectly natural, given we're nearing Halloween. Of course they're trying to be "spooky." It's seasonal, like the flu.


umm...saving throws are still in dnd at 4.0

While there are saves, I don't believe you roll them. Now the three 3rd edition saves work more like AC, in that the opponent rolls to try and hit your save score. So, you don't roll a saving throw. The monster attacks your static save.

DSCrankshaw
2007-10-20, 01:41 AM
While there are saves, I don't believe you roll them. Now the three 3rd edition saves work more like AC, in that the opponent rolls to try and hit your save score. So, you don't roll a saving throw. The monster attacks your static save.

The term they're using is defenses. Spells and the like now get rolls to beat defenses, as opposed to the defender rolling saves. Like Star Wars Saga Edition uses. I haven't played it myself, but most people who have seem to like it.

And I'm not really concerned about the zombie template going away. Templates are a good idea in theory, but can be needlessly complicated in practice. It's basically an exercise in building a character of the right level, and then adding a whole other level of complication on top of that. Sure, it'd be a loss if lich or vampire templates went away, those are major villains you want some detail for. I can accept zombies just being an entry in the monster manual.

Orzel
2007-10-20, 06:05 AM
The more I think about it, the more not having a zombie template isn't bad. In my current game, a zombie is a body soaked in positive or negative energy. To kill them, you have to separate the energy into enough pieces that the zombie doesn't have enough to move. this is done by destroying the brain (where most of the energy lies) and blasting/smashing/chopping the zombie into pieces. So human and elf zombie where the same. The issues came when we met winged and tailed zombies.

vegetalss4
2007-10-20, 06:25 AM
I don't like this very much. This is all implications that zombies rely on what's inside them instead of just bones and muscles to scoot around. In the D&D I know, you don't kill a zombie by putting a hole in it's head, you just break up it's body. Also, a lot of that article seems to imply the zombies of D&D are going to be like the zombies of the movies, where the zombies of the movies are really more like mindless ghouls. That is an aspect of movies that bugs me, I don't want it at my table.

i agree with this 100%
or do you say QFT? i dont really know
EDIT: that was before i read Orzels post now im not so sure anymore

appending_doom
2007-10-20, 08:28 AM
I don't like zombies not being a template. There should be a difference between a zombie created from big and muscled orc and from fragile elf. Otherwise, meh. Lots of talking about one creature.

Elves are fragile because their constitution is low; once this is removed (by dint of them being undead), you've got a "fast" zombie compared to a "strong" zombie, something you can decide to do with a second of work.

Zombies lose special attacks, special qualities, racial abilities, skill points, feats, and mental ability scores. The only thing that differentiates them is the presence of gross physical characteristics, like wings and natural weapons; and Strength and Dexterity. I don't see enough of a difference between an elf corpse and orc corpse to make their zombie significantly different.

UserClone
2007-10-20, 08:58 AM
Definitely not worth it, in my opinion, to bother with statting out a freakin' mook zombie every time you want/need one. Way better to just have the stats, and change the fluff up a bit. That IS what they did before the advent of Templates, after all.

Logos7
2007-10-20, 09:12 AM
to be truthful , with no int score non intelligent undead ought to be stupider than movie zombies. This is where you get bs like the players saying "that zombie wont try to attack me unless someone told it to, and other DnDism's which is part of the reaon why i think in CoC they had to get Int of 3 and stuff"

If they can make my zombies act more like movie zombies( and hopefully the original kind leaving the fast new super smart zombie of todays flicks to the GHOUL hopefully) More Power To Them.

As for being insulting, honestly I think that half the DnD community has their panties in such a bunch, and the other half bunched in the exact opposite way that they cannot do anything without the "wah im offended syndrom" honestly it seems like it to me.

Also to the person who like rolling for saves, Have you ever dm cause when you'r dealing with mook armies, that static reflex defence looks preety damn temping. And Besides the active player rolling the dice i thought made a lot of sense.(FIREBALL! Just a second, *The Tumble of maddly rolling dice* Save, Fail, Fail, Fail , Fail, Save, Fail, Fail , Fail , Fail, Fail okay now what do you? FIREBALL AGAIN, AGAIN , AGAIN)

Renegade Paladin
2007-10-20, 12:10 PM
What exactly is patronizing about making a zombie a normal monster and not a template? I'm not sure you know what patronizing actually means. Personally, I'm of the mind that zombies aren't worth templating, and I'm ALWAYS annoyed that there isn't a regular zombie I can just borrow the stats for. Even a sample zombie in the MM would have been useful.
Even a... There are two pages of sample zombies in the Monster Manual. :smallannoyed:

Fax Celestis
2007-10-20, 01:04 PM
Even a... There are two pages of sample zombies in the Monster Manual. :smallannoyed:

...of creatures that only appear within the MM. What if I want a zombie greenspawn zealot? I've got to spend twenty minutes figuring out all that crap when, with the nontemplate version, I can grab the "advanced" version and describe it as a rotting anthropomorphic alligator in full-plate.

Renegade Paladin
2007-10-20, 10:41 PM
If you want a zombie greenspawn zealot, you apply the zombie template to a greenspawn zealot. It isn't all that much paperwork next to, I don't know, everything else a DM has to do in any case to prepare for a campaign. Alternatively, you can take the sample human zombie and describe it as a rotting anthropomorphic alligator in full plate. :smallamused:

Fax Celestis
2007-10-20, 10:58 PM
And I try to prepare like any other DM does. But there are instances when the PCs do something I was completely unprepared for--or not planning on preparing for another three or four sessions--and I have to make things up on the fly. In such an instance, the non-template format is vastly superior in usefulness to that of a template format. In an instance where I can readily prepare, the template is more accurate and is still useful, but the non-template format does not reduce in value at all--and actually cuts down on my preparation time, leaving me with either more free time on my hands or the ability to focus on other things that the PCs may run into.

Zeal
2007-10-20, 11:38 PM
Personally, I don't mind the change. I always wanted to use Zombies, but they just didn't seem powerful enough to pose much of a threat, I mean, their HP was measly, at best. Also, Zombie isn't a template, that's not a huge deal for me, as long as the zombies are decently tough and lumbering, a Zombie template for 4e would be easy enough to put together. That being said, I really hope templates stay in.

Jack Mann
2007-10-20, 11:42 PM
To be honest, if I wanted to do a greenspawn zealot zombie, I'd just use the commoner zombie with some hit dice slapped on. It's not that templates are complicated, it's just that zombies aren't worth the effort. The template changes most of the creature's mechanics anyway. Nearly everything from the original creature is lost, so why bother with a template? It's like a vampire, where the starting creature makes a great difference in the zombie's abilities.

Binary Stars
2007-10-21, 01:20 AM
I, for one, mostly like this one. If you don't, just take a skeleton and pretend it still has some chunks of flesh on it still, slower/clumsier, call it a "Zombie", etc. Bam!

Edea
2007-10-21, 01:37 AM
This makes me want to break out The Cranberries.

Solo
2007-10-21, 01:40 AM
*takes a deep breath*

THIS IS SPARTA!

No,

THIS IS FOURTH EDITION!

Helgraf
2007-10-21, 01:47 AM
At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?

I suspect this was meant to read "5 x your Constitution stat" - not the bonus, mind you, the actual Con Score.

Person_Man
2007-10-21, 02:26 PM
I'm guessing that they're getting rid of templates and level adjustment all together. And I say good riddance. They've been very clear that material in the MM is meant for monsters/enemies, not PCs. Instead, they'll publish separate rules for PCs who want to play non-standard races. IMO, this is a much better way of going about it.

Building encounters will be much faster and easier for DMs. Building a PC will be much easier and balance issues will be reduced (i.e., you can have play something that would normally be a high LA race but still be a full caster, without being totally nerfed). The down side is if WotC doesn't publish rules for a race that you want to play, then you have to home brew them. And I'm fine with that.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-10-21, 09:35 PM
I'm guessing that they're getting rid of templates and level adjustment all together.The Death Knight article mentions that that's template material, not monster material, so templates are still around. I'll be in favor of that if the "actually differentiating melee abilities" thing pans out nicely; my problem with the Zombie template is just that the thing doesn't tend to pay off.

A good template takes the core monster and builds on it. The Zombie template takes a monster a strips away just about everything. And then it takes another monster and strips away just about everything so that it looks almost exactly like the first monster post-zombification. When you have a template that takes different monsters and boils them down into simpler, nearly identical monsters, it's really not very useful as a template.

Dausuul
2007-10-21, 09:47 PM
I think the best approach would be to say that all zombies of a given size use the same basic stats, but then allow certain characteristics to carry over from the base creature. For instance, a zombie wyvern would be a Large zombie with a fly speed. No calculating stats, no crunching numbers, just take the basic zombie and slap on wings--sort of a "template lite."

Merlin the Tuna
2007-10-21, 11:57 PM
Since there seem to be so many people upset at the loss of the Zombie template, here's a rundown I did of the existing system over at ENWorld.
Rather than arguing the merits of a template versus the merits of a monster, let's actually look at the 3.5 Zombie template (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/zombie.htm) and compare two creatures to see what kind of difference you actually get out of the thing. Let's say we use an Elf and a Half-Orc.

Size and Type: Same for both creatures.
Hit Dice: Same for both creatures
Speed: Same for both creatures
Armor Class: Natural armor is the same for both creatures.
Base Attack: Based off of HD, and therefore is the same for both creatures.
Attacks: Same for both creatures, except for Elven weapon proficiencies.
Special Attacks: None for both.
Special Qualities: Hey look, this isn't even described clearly. Appears to be the same for both creatures.
Saves: Same for both creatures.
Abilities: 4 of them are the same for both creatures. The Half Orc has 2 more Str than the Elf, and the Elf has 2 more Dex.
Skills: None for both.
Feats: Just Toughness for both.
Alignment: Same for both creatures.

Result: The only meaningful difference between the graceful elf becoming a zombie and the brutish, boorish half-orc becoming a zombie in 3.5 are their Str and Dex scores, and even those are barely different.

The thing about the zombie template is that it really isn't that useful -- it doesn't adjust monster properties as most templates do, it simply sets them to the same value every time, whether this means dumping special attacks and qualities, hard-coding 4 of the 6 ability scores, dropping feats, or eliminating skills. This is hardly the only example. A Zombie Gnome is a Zombie Halfling with 2 less Dex and no bonus to thrown weapons. A Zombie Dwarf is a Zombie Human with Dwarven Waraxe proficiency and +1 to attack versus orcs and goblinoids. If you decide that a Warforged has a sufficiently skeletal structure, you can make a Zombie Warforged that's exactly the same as the Zombie Human except for his built-in armor. (And then what do you do if he took the Adamantine/Mithral Body feats?)

Zombies are pretty much the same, even when you do use the template. That's kind of iconic for zombies anyway -- they're faceless (literally, sometimes) members of a mob, utterly unremarkable from each other. The template further muddles things by not being very clear what gets retained and what gets dumped in the infamous catch-all category that is "Special Qualities."

Would a zombie template be useful? Possibly, though not likely. Is the current one useful? Not so much.

Try it with a Wyvern and a Minotaur. Same size, same hit dice. Totally different zombies.Both are in the SRD, and they don't have the same hit dice. Even with that, I wouldn't say they're totally different zombies.

Size and Type: Same for both creatures.
Hit Dice: The wyvern's got 13 HP on the minotaur thanks to his 2 extra HD.
Speed: The Minotaur moves 30 ft per round, the Wyvern moves 20 feet per round, because actually trying to use Clumsy flight in battle isn't worth the trouble.
Armor Class: The Wyvern has 4 more natural armor than the Minotaur.
Attacks: Slam or gore at +10 for 1d8+5 for the Minotaur, Slam at +11 for 2d6+7 from the Wyvern. (Note that this damage appears to be incorrect -- it should be 1d8+5, just like the Minotaur's, going by the template's provided information. Hurrah for biffed stat blocks in core.) The Minotaur also has a greataxe listed, but eh, zombies with weapons? Lamesauce incarnate. The Minotaur also has 5 feet more reach.
Special Attacks: None for both.
Special Qualities: Exactly the same for both.
Saves: The Wyvern has +1 to its base Will save.
Abilities: Strength is 21 for both creatures, Dex is 10 for the Wyvern and 8 for the Minotaur. The other 4 are the same for both.
Skills: None for both.
Feats: Just Toughness for both.
Alignment: Same for both creatures.

So the Wyvern has a bit more HP, a bit more AC (unless you do, for some bizarre reason, go the equipment route for the Minotaur, in which case the ACs end up about the same), hits slightly more often for slightly more damage (maybe), has slightly better saves, and has one ability with a modifier one higher. It can fly in story mode, but it has slightly less reach and moves slightly slower in battle.

That to me does not say "totally different zombies." Rather it says "Zombie advanced 2 hit dice past other zombie," especially because the key remaining difference between the two -- flight -- can't actually be used in battle because of the ludicrous hassle involved. It further illustrates the point I made in the first place -- we took two completely different monsters, applied the template, and ended up with Mindless Bruiser 1 and Mindless Bruiser 2. Had I actually had to build these rather than pull the stat blocks from the SRD, I'd have been kicking myself in the teeth by the middle of the Wyvern's. It's really not worth the time, especially for a mook.

Dausuul
2007-10-22, 12:10 AM
Since there seem to be so many people upset at the loss of the Zombie template, here's a rundown I did of the existing system over at ENWorld. [snip]

Yeah, this sums it up pretty well. There are other advantages to using a "standard zombie" rather than a template, too--like game balance. It's a lot easier to balance animate dead if you don't have to worry about the possibility that some monster will happen to interface perfectly with the zombie template to produce a super-zombie.

my_evil_twin
2007-10-22, 12:41 AM
I like templates in general because they make monsters more interesting. The zombie template doesn't appeal to me because it doesn't make things more interesting, it provides a system for stripping away what's interesting about a monster until all that's left is its shambling corpse. It's just as well that they strip away everything but size (and, I hope, shape: quadruped zombies should probably have some difference from biped zombies) and save a lot of work.

Khanderas
2007-10-22, 02:41 AM
No template = bad.
Slam = Unarmed attack, available only to monsters (this to keep seperate from PC's, specifically monk types).
Zombies now succeptable to crits = I don't like it. Dead tissue ignores stabbings in the lungs thankyouverymuch.

Rockphed
2007-10-22, 03:01 AM
No template = bad.
Slam = Unarmed attack, available only to monsters (this to keep seperate from PC's, specifically monk types).
Zombies now succeptable to crits = I don't like it. Dead tissue ignores stabbings in the lungs thankyouverymuch.

But if you hack a zombie to pieces in the right places it will just fall apart.

And as Merlin the Tuna said, how does the zombie template actually help? In almost every case it churns out the same creature at any given size category. The only real differences are hit dice and speed. Even a fly speed doesn't help a zombie much.

Fixer
2007-10-22, 08:07 AM
GAH! How come I can get on to my Gleemax account but D&D Insider doesn't recognize me? Aren't they supposed to be the same account?
I had the same problem with my account. You are not alone. I can log into my old D&D forums account, Gleemax, etc but Insider seems to have lost me.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-10-22, 09:03 AM
All this means to me is that I have to homebrew a 'Voodoo' zombie, compared to now, where I have to homebrew a 'Romero' zombie.

Thing is, I like the Romero zombies more.

Also, what implications will this have to animated dead? Current zombies don't do anything beyond their simple orders, even after their master dies. Will current zombies roam free?

Mike_Lemmer
2007-10-22, 11:39 AM
Also, what implications will this have to animated dead? Current zombies don't do anything beyond their simple orders, even after their master dies. Will current zombies roam free?

Yes, until a passing bard rebukes them into a dance brigade.

Jack Mann
2007-10-22, 11:43 AM
"Back to back, belly to belly, I don't give a damn, 'cause I'm stone dead already..."

SpikeFightwicky
2007-10-22, 11:48 AM
Yes, until a passing bard rebukes them into a dance brigade.

That bard character would be a real 'thriller'...

Rex Blunder
2007-10-22, 12:04 PM
Zombies now succeptable to crits = I don't like it.

I dunno. My group was fighting undead last session. The barbarian kept rolling 20's with his warhammer, but being denied that x3 crit. I don't think that made the session MORE fun.

If crits were allowed on undead, I'm sure my DM could come up with flavorful crit descriptions that didn't break believeability. "You swing your hammer and totally pulverize the zombie's rib cage. Limbs fly everywhere." "The skeleton reaches for you, and your dagger hacks off its arm." "You shoot it in the head. Its head explodes."

Firstborn
2007-10-22, 12:06 PM
Well well well, yet another thing that helps convince me to not be bothered to buy 4th-edition, which is depressing considering how much I fell in love with 3rd-edition. Come on, half the cosmology stolen from Warcraft (Feywild coughEmeraldDreamcough)? Tiefling Warlocks as a core race and class? What were they drunk or something? :smallfrown:

Techonce
2007-10-22, 12:11 PM
This looks like an improvement to me. Hordes of zombies are earier to run if they are all the same. Who cares what the abse race is if there are 10 of tem attacking you. It's just fluff now.

As for saves being a target... That's pretty mcuh how I play now. I make casters roll d20 to set the DC for spells now and thiss will remain the same.

As for criticals... Maybe a stab to the heart won't overly damage a zombie, but if I hack a leg off at the knee, it will seriously slow it down.

Since there are not rules for specific body part damage, it is represented by damage to the overall system.

And for slam attacks. I always view them as general swipes with a body part, usually arms. I didn't think it needed to be spelled out. Does it really matter if it is the creatures, head, arm or legs?

turkishproverb
2007-10-29, 10:38 AM
The term they're using is defenses. Spells and the like now get rolls to beat defenses, as opposed to the defender rolling saves. Like Star Wars Saga Edition uses. I haven't played it myself, but most people who have seem to like it.

And I'm not really concerned about the zombie template going away. Templates are a good idea in theory, but can be needlessly complicated in practice. It's basically an exercise in building a character of the right level, and then adding a whole other level of complication on top of that. Sure, it'd be a loss if lich or vampire templates went away, those are major villains you want some detail for. I can accept zombies just being an entry in the monster manual.
'


Really? You've heard good things about the "DO away with any chance they have not to use a mini system" Saga edition?

Wow. I haven't had a chance to play it, but I've heard nothing but bad things about the dumbing down of t he system, and the obvious attempt to force minis on players.

Person_Man
2007-10-29, 11:31 AM
'


Really? You've heard good things about the "DO away with any chance they have not to use a mini system" Saga edition?

Wow. I haven't had a chance to play it, but I've heard nothing but bad things about the dumbing down of t he system, and the obvious attempt to force minis on players.

I've played Saga, and I like it a lot. It's basically just a streamlined d20 system with fewer obnoxious rules. Here's a good summary (http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/12/0154216), if you're interested.

Also, I've found that its nearly impossible to play D&D without some sort of minis. Even when I played 1st ed 20 years ago we used graph paper and tiny chess pieces (from a magnetic portable set that folded up and fit in your pocket). Combat with measurements involved pretty much requires it. But there's never been a need to buy TSR/WotC sanctioned anything. You just need a map, proportionately sized figures, and maybe some terrain from the bin at the gaming store or from your Lego collection.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-10-29, 12:07 PM
'


Really? You've heard good things about the "DO away with any chance they have not to use a mini system" Saga edition?

Wow. I haven't had a chance to play it, but I've heard nothing but bad things about the dumbing down of t he system, and the obvious attempt to force minis on players.

I've also played Saga Edition, and I can say that I have many good things to say about it. My only real issue is with ninja Jedi deflecting the heck out of every projectile, but even that's not as bad as most D&D stuff. I also don't see how it 'pushes' minis onto players any more than D&D...

Rex Blunder
2007-10-29, 12:12 PM
I haven't played it, but I'd say that the reactions I've heard have been 75% or more positive. About as good as the reaction to ToB. I'm surprised that TurkishProverb's had such a different experience.

Yeril
2007-10-29, 12:12 PM
I like that Undead (Or atleast zombies) and maybe even constructs too are vulnerable to critical hits.

Cause in my head, Smashing a Lich's skull in with a warhammer, even with undead-ness its GOT to hurt more than a regular attack, and Im sure if you jammed your spear into that Iron golems gears or dented a vital joint with a morning star its going to be more than a regular attack, Maybe your sword slashed the G. cube juust right and easily tore it in half.

I don't like the generic zombies, I mean there is a difference between Elves and Bugbears dispite they are both medium humaniods.

turkishproverb
2007-10-29, 12:45 PM
I've played Saga, and I like it a lot. It's basically just a streamlined d20 system with fewer obnoxious rules. Here's a good summary (http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/12/0154216), if you're interested.

Also, I've found that its nearly impossible to play D&D without some sort of minis. Even when I played 1st ed 20 years ago we used graph paper and tiny chess pieces (from a magnetic portable set that folded up and fit in your pocket). Combat with measurements involved pretty much requires it. But there's never been a need to buy TSR/WotC sanctioned anything. You just need a map, proportionately sized figures, and maybe some terrain from the bin at the gaming store or from your Lego collection.

I've played for years and only really used minis for wide scale infantry combat or when the other players demanded it.


I've also played Saga Edition, and I can say that I have many good things to say about it. My only real issue is with ninja Jedi deflecting the heck out of every projectile, but even that's not as bad as most D&D stuff. I also don't see how it 'pushes' minis onto players any more than D&D...


D&D still (for the moment) has a measurement other than SQUARES.

Star wars does not.


Everything has a range/sight/move of X squares. This is a pain when figuring non-combat movment, nevermind the obvious mini-oriented comat issue...

Frankly, in comparison to that, the ninja jedi are enjoyable.


I haven't played it, but I'd say that the reactions I've heard have been 75% or more positive. About as good as the reaction to ToB. I'm surprised that TurkishProverb's had such a different experience.

75%? Who have you been playing around, Wizard reps? :smallwink:

Frankly, like i've said, I don't ahve a group right now, so i haven;t PLAYED it, but I've heard nothing good outside of you guys, wizard reps, and the occasional wizard fanboy. its been like 70% bad feedback coming towards me. 85% if you cut out the wizard reps and you guys.

Jack Mann
2007-10-29, 03:44 PM
D&D still (for the moment) has a measurement other than SQUARES.

Star wars does not.


Everything has a range/sight/move of X squares. This is a pain when figuring non-combat movment, nevermind the obvious mini-oriented comat issue...

Frankly, in comparison to that, the ninja jedi are enjoyable.

Everything in 3rd edition D&D is, effectively, measured in squares. Every form of movement or measurement that matters in a game is measured in increments of five feet. No race has a speed of 33 feet. No spell has a radius of 19 feet plus 4 feet per level. D&D's been running on squares since 3.0 came out. If it bothers you, just translate in your head, every square is five feet. Six squares away? It's thirty feet. Nine squares? Forty-five. We're not looking at calculus, here.

Starbuck_II
2007-10-29, 05:09 PM
Everything in 3rd edition D&D is, effectively, measured in squares. Every form of movement or measurement that matters in a game is measured in increments of five feet. No race has a speed of 33 feet. No spell has a radius of 19 feet plus 4 feet per level. D&D's been running on squares since 3.0 came out. If it bothers you, just translate in your head, every square is five feet. Six squares away? It's thirty feet. Nine squares? Forty-five. We're not looking at calculus, here.

What if you slow than decelerate(Psionic power) enemy? 30 x1/2 speed + X (the new number) x1/2 speed= 7.5 feet. So round down to 5 feet?
Neither slow nor Decelerate say they don't work in combo.

Edit: Slow rounds down to nearest 5 foot so 5 feet.

Leliel
2007-10-29, 05:49 PM
If you want a zombie greenspawn zealot, you apply the zombie template to a greenspawn zealot. It isn't all that much paperwork next to, I don't know, everything else a DM has to do in any case to prepare for a campaign.

It is.

Alternatively, you can take the sample human zombie and describe it as a rotting anthropomorphic alligator in full plate. :smallamused:

Which would be hypocritical by your earlier suggestion.


Overall, I'm glad of this change. No more utterly pointless work on zombies for me!

brian c
2007-10-29, 05:51 PM
What if you slow than decelerate(Psionic power) enemy? 30 x1/2 speed + X (the new number) x1/2 speed= 7.5 feet. So round down to 5 feet?
Neither slow nor Decelerate say they don't work in combo.

Edit: Slow rounds down to nearest 5 foot so 5 feet.

By the rules, you're supposed to round down to multiples of 5ft, but if you don't play with a grid or miniatures at all, then there's no one stopping you from saying "okay, your speed is 7.5 ft per round". It's just generally easier to keep track of everything when it's all nice round numbers.

turkishproverb
2007-10-29, 05:58 PM
What if you slow than decelerate(Psionic power) enemy? 30 x1/2 speed + X (the new number) x1/2 speed= 7.5 feet. So round down to 5 feet?
Neither slow nor Decelerate say they don't work in combo.

Edit: Slow rounds down to nearest 5 foot so 5 feet.

That's happenbed several times in games i played in.

And "squares" kind've hurts the in-universe experience for an RPG.