Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Zombie Lord Update

*Spoiler Alert* If you are playing in my home campaign right now - DON'T READ THIS.

Now that they've gone, we can get down to business. Last weekend I started to run Night of the Walking Dead for my home group. It is a small party, only 4 PCs, and two of the players are brand new to the hobby. I had a great time running this mod back in the day, and I thought it would be a good followup adventure to Into the Shadowhaunt, which I ran for the group the week before.

Updating most of the encounters was pretty easy... there are 4e versions for zombies, ghasts and ghouls, but the Big Bad of the mod is a Zombie Lord. I couldn't find a good 4e equivalent, and the 2e version's save or die aura is a big no-no these days. Unfortunately, the story of the mod hinges around villagers being killed and turned by the aura days before the PCs become aware of the Zombie Lord itself. Hmmmmm... How to update the aura?

I have two ideas for the aura, as follows:
Option 1:
Stench of Death • Aura 10 ; attacks living creatures who enter it for the first time each encounter
+10 vs Fort; target is dazed and has ongoing 5 necrotic (save ends); Aftereffect: ongoing 5 necrotic (save ends). Targets reduced to zero hit points by the aura die and rise as Tarascon Zombies in 1d4 rounds

Option 2:
Stench of Death • Aura 10 ; attacks living creatures who enter it for the first time each encounter
+10 vs Fort; target is weakened (save ends); first failed save: target is dazed (save ends); second failed save: target is stunned (save ends); third failed save: target is reduced to zero hit points and is dying and is subject to the zombie lord's curse (save ends). If the target dies while subject to the zombie lord's curse, it rises as a Tarascon Zombie in 1d4 rounds.

Other than the aura, the Zombie Lord is a typical level 2 Solo Brute, with a leader ability that lets him command his zombie minions to attack.

I'm not sure which version of the aura I'll run with. Both seem a little weak, requiring a long streak of bad rolls to actually die and rise as a zombie. Option 1 seems a little more dangerous, as the target could be damaged by other monsters and then be pushed over the edge by the aura, potentially without failing any of their saves.

The party is far from optimized, and have no powers that grant extra saves or bonuses to saves. That may change, since I expect them to level before they face the Zombie Lord. I'll post updates as events warrant.


  1. Wait, is that the bastard that turned Leland into a zombie as soon as he walked into the room? You better hope he doesn't find this blog...

  2. Well, that was A zombie lord, but it wasn't THIS particular zombie lord.

  3. I have found this blog. I shall make it fail it's saving throw, then turn it's undead corpse, then slay that, then nail it in a zombie-proof coffin and bury it.

  4. Yeah, I always thought that was a pretty harsh penalty. If you fail your save there is a 1 in 6 chance that you die instantly and become a zombie. Pretty nasty, and he's only got like 4 HD.