Apr 202010
 

Yesterday afternoon I received my Pathfinder book.  Last night I read through it all (not all that impressive as I’m already familiar with 3.5).  Now I’m revising a few things that have to do with Aruneus and it’s humans (both living and undead).  This includes not one, not two but three types of Contagion Infected zombies and at long last. . . a cure.

Note: If you want to follow the development of the Aruneus world, just click this. Bookmarking that will bring you back to the latest news.

Head Strike

A Head Strike is an attack that targets a specific portion of the body – the head.  Head shots may be taken if the following conditions are met:

  • The target is in range of the weapon being used.
  • The head the character is attempting to hit is not obstructed by armor or other obstructions.
  • The target must be moving at 10′ per round or less.

A Head Strike may be used during any normal attack action (either an attack action or a full round attack action).  If the character has more than one attack per round during a full round attack action they may substitute a head strike for any or all of these attacks.

Each head strike causes the character to take a -4 on their attack roll.  On successfully hitting with a head strike, the target takes an additional 6 points of damage and is exhausted.  If that target is a human infected with the Undead Contagion, they are considered to have received sufficient damage to the brain to kill them.

Head Strikes on infected humans wearing a helm do normal damage and will not be considered enough of a blow to kill them.  These individuals must either have their head gear removed or be killed by a coup de grace.

Contagion Infected (CI) Human Zombie

These creatures are humans who have been infected by the Contagion.  Once a human has been bitten by a Contagion Infected Human Zombie, they themselves will turn in a matter of hours or at best, days.

These creatures retain no knowledge of their former existence.  They are motivated by one purpose only, which is to feed on living flesh of warm blooded creatures.  Unlike their magically created counterparts, CI Zombies do not follow orders from any source.  They are incapable of understanding any commands.  A significant portion of their brain must be destroyed before the zombie succumbs to a final death.

Much like their counterparts however they feel no pain and will in no way attempt to defend themselves against attack or the ravages of nature.  CI Zombies can be controlled by those who can control the undead if they are so mastered.  Should their new masters lose control, CI Zombies immediately revert to mindless eating machines.

When not actively feeding, a CI Zombie will ceaselessly search for warm blooded, living flesh to feed on.  They do not hunt in groups but are often seen together (ranging from two zombies to hordes in the thousands) because they are attracted by the same stimulus.   They do not distinguish or prefer one type of target over another.  They will head to the nearest source of food whether it’s a field mouse or a sleeping dragon and immediately attack.

CI Zombies always attack by first attempting a grapple and then attempting a bite.  Once they have successfully bitten their target, they will continue to feed by biting once per round (per zombie) until that target’s heart stops beating.  As soon as the target dies, the CI zombies will lose interest and immediately seek a new target.

There are three types of Contagion Infected Zombies.  Decrepit (50 – 100 years), Old (20 – 50 years) and Standard (0 – 20 years).  All CI Zombies share the same Special Attributes.

Decrepit Contagion Infected Zombie

XP 150
Medium Undead
Perception (warm blooded creatures only) +5
DEFENSE
AC 11, touch 10, flat-footed 11 (+1 natural)
HP: 12 (2 HD: 2d6)
Defensive Abilities: Undead Traits
OFFENSIVE
Speed: 5 Feet (1 square – cannot run)
Melee: Bite -1 (1d2), Grapple -1.  Will always attempt a Grapple first.
Space/Reach:    5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: none
Special Qualities: Prolonged Undeath, Single actions only, damage reduction 5/–,undead traits, brain must be destroyed, moan.
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 8, Con 10, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0
Base Attack -1; CMB -2 ; CMD 13

Old Contagion Infected Zombie

XP 200
Medium Undead
Perception (warm blooded creatures only) +5
DEFENSE
AC 11, touch 10, flat-footed 11 (+1 natural)
HP: 18 (3 HD: 3d6)
Defensive Abilities: Undead Traits
OFFENSIVE
Speed: 5 Feet (1 square – cannot run)
Melee: Bite +0 (1d4), Grapple +0.  Will always attempt a Grapple first.
Space/Reach:    5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: none
Special Qualities: Prolonged Undeath, Single actions only, damage reduction 5/–,undead traits, brain must be destroyed, moan.
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0
Base Attack +0; CMB 0; CMD 15

Standard Contagion Infected Zombie

XP 300
Medium Undead
Perception (warm blooded creatures only) +5
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+1 natural, +1 DEX)
HP: 24 (4 HD: 4d6)
Defensive Abilities: Undead Traits
OFFENSIVE
Speed: 10 Feet (2 squares – cannot run)
Melee: Bite +1 (1d4+1), Grapple +1.  Will always attempt a Grapple first.
Space/Reach:    5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: none
Special Qualities: Prolonged Undeath, Single actions only, damage reduction 5/–,undead traits, brain must be destroyed, moan.
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0
Base Attack +1; CMB 2; CMD 17

Special Attributes

Prolonged Undeath

CI Zombies, once turned, decay at a fixed rate equivalent to 1 day of normal decay every 5 years.  For every 10 year interval, the CI Zombie suffers a -1 to hit.  After the equivalent of 20 days of decay (100 years) has been reached, the CI Zombie is no longer able to move under their own power.  They will still attempt to attack/bite any warm blooded creature that passes within their reach.

When a CI Zombie reaches zero hit points, they will become immobile for one round, during which time they will recover 2d6 hit points.  At the end of that round they become fully mobile again.  If a CI Zombie suffers a Head Strike, or if their heads are completely consumed by fire or acid,  they will die a true death and will not become mobile again.

Damage Reduction

A zombie has damage reduction 5/–.  Zombies are essentially masses of flesh for which wounds are not an issue.

Single Actions Only

Zombies may either move or attack as a single action each round.

The Contagion

All CI Zombies are infected with the contagion.  A single bite from a CI Zombie will infect any human bitten.

Moan

CI Zombies, on determining that potential pray is nearby, emit a long, low moan which carries quite a distance.  Any other CI Zombies within a half mile radius have a 60% chance of being attracted by this moan per round and will also begin moaning themselves.  Often, this results in a CI Zombie Horde.  Zombies will moan if they see prey or hear loud noises which may indicate prey.

Destruction and Dismemberment

If a CI Zombie takes 2x their hit points in damage in a single round from weapon damage there is a 75% chance they will become Dismembered.  If this happens any limbs separated from the body will cease to function.  The CI Zombie becomes immobile but will continue to attempt to attack and feed any warm blooded creature that comes within its reach.   This will continue until the CI Zombie is either destroyed through other means (fire, acid, crushing damage or magical means) or is killed with a head shot.

If a CI Zombie takes 2x its hit points in damage in a single round from fire, acid, crushing damage, cold damage or other magical energy that causes damage, it is considered destroyed (dead).  The exception is a good Cleric who uses the Channel Energy ability.  If Channeled Energy is used to reduce a CI Zombie to 0 hit points, that zombie is destroyed.

A note on CI Zombies and equipment/loot.  Decrepit and Old zombies almost never have any loot on them worth speaking of.  They may be wearing armor if they died from the contagion while wearing armor.  Over the course of the years though, they tend to lose most of what they’ve had on.  There is a 5% chance (d100) that a Decripit CI zombie will have a +1 to AC and a 10% chance that an Old CI Zombie will have a +1 to AC.

Standard CI Zombies may well be dressed in still functioning armor.  On a d100 a roll of 1-10 should add +3 to AC, 11-20 a +2 and 21 -30 a +1 .

Contagion Infected Human Zombie Encounter Chart (CIHZEC – these acronyms are getting ridiculous!)

These quick charts can be used to determine random zombie encounters from one zombie to a huge stinking horde.

Single zombies (used to determine what types are present in small groups) using a percentile roll:

1 – 50 Decrepit Contagion Infected Zombie

51 – 80 Old Contagion Infected Zombie

81 – 100 Standard Contagion Infected Zombie

Group encounters (used for small groups of zombies) using a percentile roll:

1 – 25           5 Decrepit, 4 Old and 1 Standard

26 – 40        10 Decrepit, 6 Old and 4 Standard

41 – 70        15 Decrepit, 10 Old and 5 Standard

71 – 90        20 Decrepit, 14 Old and 6 Standard

91 – 100      30 Decrepit, 20 Old and 10 Standard

Horde encounters (used for large groups of zombies) using a percentile roll:

1 – 25           100 Decrepit, 50 Old and 20 Standard

26 – 50        200 Decrepit, 100 Old and 30 Standard

51 – 80        500 Decrepit, 200 Old and 50 Standard

81 – 90        700 Decrepit, 300 Old and 100 Standard

91 – 100     1000 Decrepit, 500 Old and 200 Standard

The Contagion (Disease) – Effects only Humans

Saving Throw (Will).

Characters bitten by CI Zombies must make a saving throw every hour after the initial bite.  If they succeed, their Wisdom statistic is reduced by 1.  If they fail, they will die within the next 60 minutes.  When a characters Wisdom trait becomes 0, they have died.

There is no known way other than the bite from a CI Zombie to contract the Contagion.  Infected individuals who have not turned undead will not infect other humans.

Death – Characters killed the The Contagion may not be resurrected.  Within 1d4 hours after death, they will rise again as CI Zombies.

Cure Disease – No known spells or clerical powers are able to defeat The Contagion, including Cure Disease and Restoration.

Vial of Life

For a century, scholars, magic users and clerics have been desperately searching for a cure to the contagion without success.  Now a conclave of outlawed wizards, nobility friendly with the League of the Earth and a rogue Order of the White Cloth priest, one has been found.  Taking incredible magical powers based in both knowledge and the divine, along the the presence and blood of a contagion infected zombie, the Vial of Life has been created.

The Vial of life

Aura: strong abjuration; CL 20th
Slot -; Price: 2,000,000+ gp; Weight

Over the course of a month, this small vial which appears to be constructed out of drab, grey soapstone slowly fills up with a sweet smelling, light green liquid.  Once the vial is 3/4 full, production of the liquid stops until the vial is emptied.

If drunk, the light green liquid will cure heal 1d6+6 HP of damage.   If drunk by a human who has been bitten by a CI Zombie but who is still living (has not succumbed to the effects) that human will endure several minutes of pure agony, after which they will be cured completely of the Contagion.  They will also be healed up to 1d6+6 HP of damage.

If the liquid is poured out of the Vial of Life it will lose its healing and curative properties in 1d4 minutes.

The Vial may be stoppered by a simple cork with no ill effect.

Construction Requirements:  Craft Wondrous Item, Wish or Miracle, Cure Light Wounds, Channeled Energy ability, soapstone vial, blood from a still functioning Contagion Infected Zombie.

[tags]zombies, aruneus, rpg, role playing games[/tags]

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

  4 Responses to “New zombies, new system, head shots, encounters and a cure”

  1. How long until you slap all this in a wiki Ben?

  2. What’s a wikiben?

    Ahh wikis. I love ’em and I hate ’em. So I’ll slap it all in a wiki when I can either integrate a wiki into this site easily (probably not hard but a little time consuming) or until more folks poke me to wikify it.

    There’s also some side of me that’s thinking on putting this all together not in a wiki, but in a PDF form and just publishing the damned thing. For free, for a small price, or as a hardcover through Piazo games.

    You hear that Piazo? Call me!

  3. You don’t know what a wikiben is? You are really missing out. I’d tell you more but it’s more fun to find out on your own.

    I love wikis. They inspire such ridiculously unimportant details.

    As far as publishing goes, the classiest thing I’ve seen is plain text for free, PDF + Art and layout for cheap, and book for a reasonable price.

  4. I don’t really mind wikis. I’m just not terribly good at them.

    As for publishing, well here’s how it will go.

    Situation one: I get picked up by an actual, honest to god game publishing house. Get published, retire from my day job and invest my fortune in indie films and a chain of hobby stores.

    Situation two: Finding that Situation one is probably untenable, I release the thing as a pdf for cheap and a self-published book for cheap+shipping.

    Situation three: I get fed up with trying to do one and two and just put up a PDF.

    Only time will tell.

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