09 September 2012

New Monster: Plague Zombie

Plague Zombie

No. Enc:2-20
Armor Class:8
Hit Dice:3 + 1
Attack:1 (weapon)
Damage:1d8 or weapon type
Hoard Class:None

A proscribed area of necromantic research, the formula for the creation of the dreaded plague zombie has no claimants among sane wizards and alchemists. That small hordes of these shambling horrors continue to be reported in isolated villages and besieged towns suggests that someone continues to produce them, either for profit or some unknown misanthropic purpose.

The plague zombie is much the same as the commonly encountered zombie: a corpse animated by unwholesome magic and imbued with murderous intent. However, the plague zombie was designed to infect entire regions with the threat of virulent disease. In this way, the forces controlling the plague zombies can move into an area with ease.

A player character must roll save vs. poison each round that he is engaged with a plague zombie in melee combat. A failed save means that the PC has contracted a plague, the effects of which are determined in the table below.

Roll Disease effects Remedies
1-3 Nausea: -4 on "to hit" rolls for 6 turns 1 day of bed rest or magic
4-6 High fever: -6 on "to hit" rolls, -3 to Strength (will not lower below 3) Cured by magic or 3 days of bed rest
7-8 Paralysis of the legs inhibits walking and melee combat Cured by magic or 1 week of bed rest
9-10 Livid boils prohibits all action but sleep, moaning and bedrest. %5 (1 in 20) chance of death per day. Cured by magic or 2 weeks of bed rest
12 Liquefaction of soft tissues leading to death in 2-5 rounds Cured by prompt application of magic

Not that one character can contract more than one aliment per combat session!

The types of magic that cures the plagues above include cure disease, heal and wish. Others spells may be added at the game master's discretion.

Unfortunately, the danger posed by these monsters does not end at their second death. After a plague zombie has been killed, the 10'x10' area in which it died will carry a residual effect for 3 days afterward. Any character walking through an infected area must save vs. poison at a special advantage described shortly. Those who fail the save will contract an illness which will be determined by the table above.

This residual effect of plague zombies can be eliminated with proper disposal procedures. The exact methods are left up to the individual game master, but burning the remains has always been shown to be effective. An area cleansed by fire will be free from the after-effects of the zombie. Perhaps high-level magic or local rituals will be effective too?

Because the effectiveness of the plague born by the zombies diminishes with time, characters gain a bonus to their saves when rolling for incidental contact with it. For each day that the zombie as been slain, the PC gains +2, as this table illustrates:

Days after zombie's death Save bonus

Plague zombies may be distinguished from normal zombies by their bloated and pusilanimous torsos and weeping sores. So bloated are these monsters that they move even slower than other zombies. However, they will not stop until either they or you are dead.