Zombie, Living

Chris Van Deelen

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook and co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement.

No. Enc: 3d12
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120’ (40’)
AC: 7
HD: 5
Attacks: 2 punches, 1 bite
Damage: 1d4 / 1d4, 1d6
Save: L5
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: None

Many different types of undead were created during the Ancient’s final wars. Some of these creatures were true undead, re-animated through the use of genetically engineered viruses which could be spread through bites or contact with body fluids. But each of these genetically engineered terror weapons had to have their beginnings somewhere.

Back in the early 21 st century experiments in creating a viable zombie ‘plague’ began in earnest. Many different variations were created and tested and it was discovered that one particular virus, one that combined two different types of Virus and a portion of the Rabies virus created a monster that spread quickly and could strike terror into the hearts of those who encounter them.

This particular virus started out as flu-like symptoms, and when it entered the second stage, several things happened at once. First the victims would begin to feel an itching sensation, as if insects were crawling all over their bodies. Once this occurred, the victim would then strip out of their clothing and turn extremely aggressive, easy to anger and quick to strike out with their hands. In less than a minute (typically 1d10 rounds) the victim’s coherent thoughts would shut down entirely, and all that would be left would be a creature of pure animal instinct. After this stage, the victim would be irrevocably lost. The final stage of this virus would instill a powerful cannibalistic hunger. Other food would do if there are no humans, animals, or even other zombies, but if any of these were present, the zombie would attack and consume them.

This first type of zombie was deemed to be a failure, as even though the creatures had the desired traits, and the disease could be spread by a single bite or contact with body fluids (such as getting blood into an open wound), it was not quite what the creators were hoping for. The Ancient mad scientist that created this virus wanted a truly undead zombie, one which would not be hampered by the need for food, shelter, water or even warmth. These particular zombies were deemed too weak to be the effective terror weapons that they had been searching for.

If no food was available, these zombies would attack, kill and then eat the weakest member of their own, and if they were trapped, they would eventually either starve or die from dehydration. In colder climates, once winter hit, the creatures would quickly succumb to hypothermia. This could be an issue even in warmer climates, as the creatures ended up perishing from exposure as well.

Any Pure Human or Human (see Wisdom from the Wasteland issue 4: New Races) bitten by one of these creatures would have to make a saving throw