01 May 2011

Z is for Zombie!

It was a long Saturday, so I'm running a little late on my blog...go figure. But we made it! The final post has arrived.

Zombies. Everybody loves zombies, right? If the series The Walking Dead is any indication, I think that's a resounding "Yes!" Maybe it'll finally do something about the lame-ass vampire craze that's going on. Sparkling vampires...indeed!

I find it someone ironic because the vampires of medieval myth were more like zombies and not suave, urbane aristocrats like the one portrayed in Bram Stoker's Dracula. They did return to their graves, yes, but they also gorged themselves on Blood AND Flesh, in some sort of profane, satanic mockery of Holy Communion. When found, they were undecayed, but they were also described in monstrous terms..."bloated like a tick" is the phrase that springs to mind, even if it's not a direct quote. They were creatures that frequented charnel houses and abattoirs, not Victorian parlors or 1980's discos. Remember this fellow? Not a medieval vampire at all.

Some literary historians point put that the "medieval" vampire (zombie?) is a symbol of the fear of death by disease that was so prevalent. They go on to say that vampires in the Victorian era were symbolic of repressed sexuality and the fear of conditions like syphilis or unmarried pregnancy. Since we're no longer all that afraid of those things (due to abortions, birth control, and antibiotics), we're reverting to something more primal in our fears...death.

Who knows? I'm just a regular historian. I do know that zombies should cause a bit more consternation among players and not just ones with 1st and 2nd level characters who don't have the benefit of a cleric, either. And so, I submit my final monster for the A-to-Z Challenge. Enjoy!

Zombie, Juju

AC: 6 [13]                                   Special: Immune to sleep, charm
HD: 3+12                                    Move: 9
Attacks: Punch or weapon           HDE/XP: 5/240

No one is exactly sure from whence these souless husks come, but they are definitely stronger than the normal zombie. Like standard zombies, they are immune to the effects of sleep, charm, and other mind control spells, They are immune to effects of magic missiles, electricity, and cold; fire only does 1/2 of normal damage (save for 0 damage). Acid and holy water have full effect. They have great strength and whether they use fists or weapons, they cause 2d6 damage per attack; they also attack as 6 HD creatures. They are agile and intelligent enough to hurl javelins or to load and use crossbows. They can climb sheer surfaces easily and are not hampered underwater, either. Only magical weapons (+1 or greater) can affect a juju zombie and even then piercing and crushing weapons have difficulty getting through their tough skin and only do half normal damage (cleaving weapons cause full damage). Finally, juju zombies turn as spectres.

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