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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    New article 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

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    What!? Zombies aren't templates? What sort of idiocy is this?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal_Head
    What!? Zombies aren't templates? What sort of idiocy is this?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.
    Last edited by Eldmor; 2007-10-19 at 11:49 PM. Reason: CON != HP
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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?

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    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...

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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)
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

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    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.

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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!

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tataraus View Post
    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    zombies should still be immune to criticals, it makes sense and adds flavor

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by osyluth View Post
    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!
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    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

    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
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by wowy319 View Post
    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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.

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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldmor View Post
    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?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Starsinger View Post
    Cuz zombies are intelligent in D&D now...
    wait what?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?
    When you have less then three hit points? <<;
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Girl View Post
    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
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    At what point does getting hit for five times your hit point not kill you?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    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?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    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.
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    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?
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    Default Re: 4th Ed Design Article: The Zombie

    At last...no more death-stares at the DM every time my character ends up in a crypt. Go rogues!

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