Zombie, Screamer

Chris Van Deelen

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.

No. Enc: 1d3
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 6
HD: 1
Attacks: 1 bite or scream
Damage: 1d6, or special
Save: L1
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: None

No one is certain if this particular type of undead was deliberately created or if the virus responsible for the various types of zombies ended up mutating. Either way it really does not matter how the creature became to be. The screamer is both one of the weakest versions of the undead and can be one of the deadliest as well.

Physically the screamer has the typical appearance of the zombies. They are walking corpses. What set these monsters apart from other zombies are three things. First, for some reason they have literally lost their arms. It is speculated that the mutant virus infects a regular zombie and accelerates the decay in the shoulder joints and within 1d3 days of a regular zombie becoming infected with the virus, the arms fall off. No one knows why this happens.

The second thing is that the jaw becomes unhinged and hangs loose from the skull. It never completely detaches. Wasteland scholars speculate that this happened because of the changes that take place in the creature’s vocal cords and is the result of the scream that they can emit.

Lastly and this is how the creatures got their name is the horrific scream that they can emit. They can use this scream once every second round. It has an area effect of 100 feet and anyone caught in this area of effect must save versus energy or suffer 3d6 points of damage. If the saving throw succeeds, they take half damage. A second save is required as well, and if it fails, the target is stunned for 1d3 rounds and deafened for 1d6 turns. It should be noted that anyone with increased senses (hearing) will suffer triple damage as well as a -5 to the saving throws. The duration of the stun and deafness is likewise tripled.

All items carried by the victim must also make a saving throw versus energy or suffer 1d2 condition levels of damage. If the Mutant Lord has Wisdom from the Wasteland issue 1: Artifacts, the items must instead save versus sonic damage.

This scream has another effect, other than causing significant damage and potential loss of hearing. It will attract any type of zombie within a five mile radius. The creatures will move at their maximum movement rate towards the location of this creature. Even if this undead monster is killed, any zombies that were within the range of the scream will home in on the location.

In a ruin infested by the undead, this can turn an already bad situation into something far, far worse.

Like several other types of zombies – such as the rotter zombies these creatures can infect and cause regular zombies to mutate. They accomplish this by biting a regular zombie. The creature does not get a saving throw, instead it will begin to mutate (as mentioned above) into a new screamer in 1d3 days’ time. During this period, the zombie can still attack, but any claw or punch damage inflicted is reduced by half as the arms begin to atrophy and eventually fall off. If they bite and un-infected individual, the usual rules apply, but the victim will turn into a regular zombie 50% of the time, and a screamer the other 50% of the time.

Also, these zombies seem to comprehend that they are quite vulnerable, typically more so than other undead. As such they always stay together with a pack of regular zombies, typically 3d6, although they have been found in massive hoards of zombies.

Mutations: Shriek (modified), toxic weapon.

Source: State of Decay video game (2013)