Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blind Homebrew: Playable Zombies for AD&D

After a grueling senior semester I have returned to bring more you more ill-advised material for role-playing games. In case you're wondering what "Blind Homebrew" means, it means that I have a very shaky and incomplete grasp of the AD&D rules but I could not results the sweet siren's song to create, and so I made this. It's basically a 3.X-style template that uses the rules from The Complete Book of Humanoids. I should also note that technically this template is for Cannibal Zombies or Ghouls (I know some grognards bristle at the notion that regular zombies eat people in D&D). I conceived this template as part of a campaign idea - huge magical cataclysm, heroes dies, decades/centuries later spontaneously rise as smart zombies, struggle to save the world while avoiding fearful mobs and looking for some of that sweet sapient flesh.


Zombie Player Character Template

Ability Score Adjustments. The initial ability scores are modified as follows:
• +2 Str; -2, Dex, No Con, -2 Cha

Ability Score Range




As base creature +4

As base creature -2
As base creature -4


As base creature -2
As base creature -2

As base creature -2

As base creature -4

Class Restrictions and Level Limits
Same as base creature (i.e. Human Zombies have all the normal class restrictions and level limits for Human characters, Elf Zombies have all the normal class restrictions and level limits for Elf characters, etc).

Hit Dice.
Player character Zombies receive hit dice by class. In addition they receive 1 bonus hit point at each level.

Zombies tend to either True Neutral or Neutral Evil depending on their creators. PC zombies may be of any alignment.

Natural Armor Class
Zombie have a natural armor class of 8.

Whichever languages the base creature could speak.

Special Advantages
• Do not need to eat (but see the Monstrous Craving trait below), drink, or sleep.
• Are immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, effects that require a save vs. death, damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), fatigue/ exhaustion effects, and critical hits.
• Always pass System Shock rolls.

Special Disadvantages
• Cannot heal naturally: Negative energy and Inflict spells heal damage. At the DM’s discretion certain unholy sites or artifacts may grant the equivalent of natural healing as long as the Zombie remains in that area or near that object.

Monstrous Traits
Bestial Fear (holy symbols and/or fire), Bestial Odor*, Monstrous Appearance 3*, and Monstrous Craving (once a week, at least 10 pounds of flesh from a sapient creature).

*for a total -8 penalty to reaction checks

Generally none but the Zombie may select personal superstitions as outlined in Chapter 6 of The Complete Book of Humanoids.

Weapon Proficiencies:
Same as the base creature.

Nonweapon Proficiencies:
Same as the base creature.