Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zombie Preparedness

Welcome to the Tower of the Archmage’s April A to Z Challenge!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “Z” the number “26” and the support of readers like you.

Thank you.

The A to Z challenge has claimed many blogs over the last 30 days. Many started out this challenge, and some have fallen. Today we see the predictable results of the month:


I hope that you’ve been practicing your preparedness drills. It’s a weekly occurrence in my household. Usually I pretend to be a zombie who has invaded the house. My corgis Lucy and Alice start out a few feet away from me barking and doing a good job of alerting Virginia that a zombie has breached the perimeter. Unfortunately then Lucy decides to take matters into her own paws and attacks. Sadly this does not go so well for my 11” tall dog. As we all know a zombie is vulnerable to either massive damage or head shots. Lucy is then either killed or infected, and at this point Alice comes to the rescue, her three braincells overstimulated by seeing her sister become a zombie snack. Alice proves to be nutrient poor, and becomes a very friendly zombie. Virginia is then hunted down and slaughtered. She’s usually found with her feet up, watching the predictable events unfold, and clicking on her laptop.

Judging by the survival rate of Zombie Preparedness drills in my household, I’m considering a few preventative measures. First is the Zombie Proof House.  With one foot thick concrete walls and a second floor entrance with a DRAWBRIDGE it’s way more secure than almost any other single family dwelling out there! With some solar panels, water processing equipment, and a greenhouse, you'd be completely set, for a while anyway.

Alternately you could take to the water with the SS Tom Sawyer - Zombie Destroyer riverboat.  Of course obtaining either of these isn’t going to be easy after the fact, so we’d all better get on it. Especially since there is only one house, and the boat hasn't been built yet!

After an encounter or two with zombies, if your players survive, they become a lot less scary an encounter... that is until they run into variant zombies!

Surprise Zombies! Roll on this chart once per zombie encounter after the 2nd in the campaign.

1. Fast Zombies! Double movement, +2 initiative
2. Cunning Zombies! When more than one zombie attacks the same target all gain a +1 to attack
3. Projectile Vomiting Zombies! All zombies gain a breath weapon attack, single target, 10’ range, 1d4+2 damage, save for half
4. Infested Zombies! When killed zombies will release an insect swarm
5. Leaping Zombies! Jump attack, 1d8 damage, save vs paralysis or knocked prone
6. They Just Wont Die Zombies! When killed 1d3 body parts will remain animated and begin attacking anyone alive*
7. Exploding Zombies! Whenever the zombie takes any damage roll a die. On an even result the zombie explodes, causing 1d6 damage to anyone within 10 feet.
8. Sapient Zombies! For whatever reason these guys remember their former lives. They still kinda want to eat your brain though. Intelligence 9, neutral alignment
9. Magic Zombies! They glow faintly with magic power. melee attacks do an extra 2 damage, ranged magical attack does 1d4+1 points of damage and slows the target.
10. Jiang Shi Zombies! These zombies absorb half the damage they cause as temporary hit points - no cap!
11. Pregnant Zombies! When killed a hideous demonic being bursts forth from the zombie’s chest and attacks**
12. Roll Twice, ignoring duplicate results

*Zombie body part - AC8, hp 1, move 15 (5), 1d3 damage, XP 5
**Use kobold stats - 1d6 damage with claw attack


  1. I had to do zombies for my final A to Z blog too; how could I not. If I add your table for variants with my mini-adventure, I can kill all the PCs off in no time at all. :)

    Glad this A to Z is over now. It's been a struggle at times; but at least we got to the end. Now, what's the bandwagon for May? ;)

  2. We did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

  3. @Simon~ Zombies was really the natural end to the challenge. :-) I hope your players enjoy the variant zombies! They aren't all killer, but they do bring a little more zowie to zombies.

    I think the bandwagon for May is "Taking a break from Bandwagons!" :-)

    @Elizabeth ~ Thank you!