Zombie, Burning

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 4d6
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 6
HD: 4
Attacks: 1 grapple and 1 bite
Damage: none +3d6, 1d6+3d6
Save: L4
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: N/A

Mix a chemical compound created to help burn victims with the virus responsible for creating the horror of the walking dead and an entirely new breed of deadly zombie was created.

These particular undead often appear as blackened corpses, who have clearly been through an inferno. The skin is usually black, split in numerous places where the interior of the creature is visible. Instead of showing cooked meat and organs, there is a hellish light, and it appears as if the material exposed through the cracks is still burning.

Which, case in point, is exactly what is happening, although the monsters are not being consumed by the internal heat. They do not seem to be bothered by the superheated material inhabiting their remains, and despite the temperatures, the remains are not consumed by the thermal dynamics.

These creatures are slow moving and are typically dispatched from a distance with little to no effort, and that is the best way to deal with them. When they approach a potential victim, the creatures radiate a powerful heat aura out to 30 feet. Anyone caught in this aura will take 3d6 points of thermal damage per round until they leave. It makes dealing with the creatures in a melee environment difficult, at best.

Furthermore, anyone or anything hitting the creatures with a melee weapon are forced to make an item saving throw versus thermal or the item will suffer 1d2 points of condition level damage. If it is not an artifact, the item in question will be destroyed. Any creature using natural weapons will suffer 3d6 additional points of thermal damage (on top of the damage sustained from the heat aura).

If that was not bad enough, hitting these creatures with a piercing weapon can have unexpected and horrific results. Any piercing attack (including bullets) will cause a jet of super-heated blood and viscera to spew from the wound. This will shoot to 20 feet in the direct from which the wound was inflicted, and anyone caught in that will have to make a saving throw versus energy or be hit by the stream. This inflicts 3d6 points of damage but will continue to burn for another 1d4 rounds, inflicting the damage each round. It can be put out using water or any sort of fire-retardant, such as chemical fire extinguishers.

Of course these creatures are immune to any sort of thermal-based attack, and shockingly enough, they are also immune to cold-based attacks. It should be noted once they have been dispatched, the bodies will rapidly cool and crumble into a pile of black and grey ash in 1d4 rounds after death.

When they engage in combat, they will attempt to grapple a target. They have Strength of 12 for this purpose. Even though the grapple does not inflict any damage, the heat radiating from the corpse WILL inflict 3d6 points of damage. If the grapple succeeds, they will then get a bonus of +4 to hit with their bite. Anyone bitten by the creature must save versus poison or become infected with the strange chemical / viral cocktail. This will inflict 1d4 points of Constitution damage per hour, and the victim’s core body temperature will rise as well, causing brain damage. This likewise will cause 1d4 points of Intelligence damage per hour.

Once the Constitution hits zero, the victim dies, their body bursting into flame, burning away all hair, clothing and gear and they will join the ranks of the burning undead. If the Intelligence score hits zero first, the victim will slip into a coma and cannot be awakened until their intelligence reaches at least 1. Most of the time this will not happen, as they burn.

The effects of the virus can be reversed, requiring any medical drug which cures disease. Any lost statistic damage will heal at the victim’s natural healing rate, and as usual the victim can choose which statistics are healed.

These monsters are typically found in areas where there is an abundance of heat, such as open crevaces which spew lava, the burning oil-fields of the Dakota’s, Alberta and Texas, the still-smoldering coal fields of the East coast and even some cities.

Generally it is easy to spot when these creatures are coming, as the heat generated by their bodies tend to start a lot of wild-fires, so not only are they deadly in their own right, they can cause significant property damage by simply walking through.

Mutations: Immunity (cold, thermal), toxic weapon (modified)

Source: The Burning Dead (2015)