Monday, 6 February 2023

Some Undead Variants One

Zombie types for my post apoc games

Petty Undead

Zombie Jobs Pre Modern & Modern

Common Undead Varients
I might Update These as entries in my monster book. I will start assigning extra HD to undead-like levels just like you do with humanoid elites. A Boss skeleton and his bodyguards sound cool. Wizard skeletons should have been in D&D always and not just in Bone Hill as a throwaway monster in the dungeon they didn't even give a proper stat block and missed being in later monster books.

So I did a SF/Modern era zombie type table and notes on my necrovirus. I thought recently for my fantasy could be more common types. I did eventually find my above d100 variant zombies and undead but I need quick and common variants. Sometimes d12 range for common variants works better and paints a picture of stuff happening.

Possibly when creating undead you could sacrifice total HD to gain some of these

d12 Skeletal Variations
1 Scatter Bones c
an assemble or disassemble themselves and form a pile. Fake destruction or ambush well. Pretending to recover from destruction can be intimidating
2 Warrior Bones Functional scraps of armour and or shield +d3 AC
3 Ammo Bones Uses missile weapon possibly d3 javelins or bow or sling
4 Clamber Bones climbing ability half move up any stone or non-polished surface, don't take falling damage and may ambush by dropping or entering upper story windows
5 Bone Brothers are created by the same spell or source all minds linked within 12, enough to come to each other's aid and work in a highly coordinated manner
6 Witch Bones intelligent and malicious skeleton of a cultist bound to an evil otherworldly power. The skeleton acts as a spy and agent of the power and is resistant to normal undead control. It will pretend to obey without taking unnecessary risks. Its master may take an interest and send agents, cultists, or lesser demons to investigate. It requires magic weapons to hit. Mostly you find one among other skeletons and do not know it. The longer they exist the more HD they gain and develop additional spell-like powers
7 Iron Bones take minimum damage from piercing or cutting weapons, axes half, full for blunt
Burning bones inflict 1hp to anyone within sword reach per round from heat, skeletons are immune to fire (could be alternate elemental types). Long weapons are safe if you have room but if it can hit you in melee you also get burned 
9 Undying Bones recovers 1HP per day lost in moonlight or unholy places, reanimate if defeated but not destroyed by fire or treated with drops of holy water or other destruction
10 Bone Scavenger - After a battle may scavenge bones from the battlefield as first aid to heal a d3, sometimes skeletons will kill and strip the weakest one if they need it. Using bones from fresh corpse looks revolting and bones may have varying ages and condition
11 Broken One -If destroyed a part of the skeleton is now a petty undead body part AC3 HDd4 Mov6 Att d3, creates one per HD of original
12  Magi Skeleton has eyeballs and intelligence and is a spell caster, some have hair, may wear robes and weird hats, and use staff or dagger in melee. Some cast one cantrip with as many uses as they require instead of knowing proper spell casting or many have a spell per HD

d12 Zombified
1 Fresh can still pass as a human but body language is limited and has normal initiative rolls. This is a temporary condition as body decays for only a d4 days
2 Spore first time hit per day all in 10 foot area save or take d4 from toxic fungus
3 Withered +2 AC from dried skin, normal initiative and move, if hit with flame must save or ignited for d4 damage per round until ash
4 Spirit has part of the original person's soul that can see what happens and can do nothing about it, some try to speak and beg for destruction or warn opponents. Its spirit if spoken to will be grateful and as informative as can be
5 Brine can swim and see in water as on land, smell like pickled fish within the same room
6 Putrid has a vile stench, if within 10 feet save each round or vomit and helpless prone for  d3 rounds, this effect can only affect any person once per day 
7 Flystruck has a cloud of confusing flies 10 feet around that causes enemies to -2 save and can trigger morale checks with animals or followers
8 Moaner enemies in 30 foot have -1 Hit and Save rolls from eldrich utterances
Warrior Bones Functional scraps of armour and or shield +d3 AC
10 Cannibal Corpse if eats a freshly dead creature recover a d6 HP once per day
11 Gorebag if killed it bursts with putrid gas and fragments, all in 10-foot area take d4 (even zombies) and save vs poison. If failed they have a disease that stops natural healing requiring magic to recover from
12 Plague Carrier if anyone they hit is killed they arise as a zombie. Anyone injured who fails a save and dies in the next d4 days arises as a zombie

d12 Ghoulified
1 Screamer howl that causes fear within 30 feet once per day
2 Hooved feet can leap 20 feet once per round and are covered in thick black shiny hair, very gleeful and dance on graves and blood makes them drunk
3 Marine move and see in water as on land and can leap 10 feet out of the water, often dressed in mariner clothing
4 Monk wear monk robes and as long as they are chanting they get +1 to hit and save and resist turning. They don't talk and may try and pass as humans from a distance. Some even carry scythes and spades and picks and tools instead of unarmed attacks to keep up the illusion briefly. Seem to act in a coordinated group mind. Often travel in processions and may even have a corpse wagon or cart
5 Crawling can leap 10 feet once per round and can spider climb at will
6 Cannibalis heals a d6 damage after eating a large meat meal and an hour's rest
Graveyard ghouls follow a master ghoul who can make areas unholy with a ritual per night and can undo the holy protections over the dead. Only one master can occupy the same area so multiple will fight while their minions watch and will serve the winner
8 Nightkin these are not evil, look human mostly and just want to live with their undead friends and eat carrion as the cycle of life and strife demands. They are tight nit groups like a cult or family. Will try and talk their -way out of fights but may fight over wanting to eat some corpses. May even trade grave goods for corpses. Occasionally some want to follow adventurers to clean up after them. Some have even married and hidden their monstrous true form. Sometimes humans help them or even hope to join them
9 Skinless these have no skin but know how to remove human skin they can wear for d4 days and hide among humans
10 Glowing phosphorescent from subterranean minerals and alchemical waste, produce light as a lamp and all living in the light must save once per round or lose 1HP (multiple fields don't have cumulative effects they just extend the overall area
11 Holy can cast a priest spell per HD and will create unholy zones or remove holy zones to create ghoul nests. Eating human flesh is part of rest requirement to use spalls daily
12 Shadow can turn invisible in darkness and be exposed in any good light source and have jet black skin. Have spent time in the dark nightmare realm and can cast sleep once per day

d12 Mummified
1 Bog preserved in a peat bog, immune to natural fire and non-flammable
Beast has an animal head and is more alert to sound, small and can track
3 Swarn vomit up a swarm once per day from the body usually bugs or rats
4 Salt fire resistant and surrounded by a 20-foot cloud of desiccating salts causing 1hp damage to living beings
5 Ice fire resistant and can three times a day breathe a 30-degree cone of icy mist 20 foot long
6 Tendril can make two bonus grappling attacks within 30 feet per round with bandages, will snatch victims then drag towards mummy touch requiring spending an action to make a strength roll to escape. If both strands grab one person they can't attack until they break free from at least one
7 Snake each blow with a cutting or piercing weapon releases a venomous 1HD snake from inside AV+3 HD1 Mov9 A d3+poison save or lose 1hp per round for a 2d4 rounds. Mummy often fills its home with them and leaves as traps.It may control one snake and use its eyes with concentration to employ it as a scout. Other evil beast cults might have similar animal powers
8 Changeling has a human form for one hour per HD of life force they drain from a dying creature. Some try and spend time among humans or get stolen treasure or look for lovers
9 Arcane was a wizard and has HD in spells memorised in some fragments in its soul, can teleport once per ten minutes to anywhere in its tomb and may have a sealed chamber
10 Holy was a priest and has HD in spells memorised in some fragments in its soul, is immune to turning or magic to command undead, and can command lesser undead with under half mummy HD or less. Will stock home with undead minions
11 Spirit glowing bandages and can become ethereal at will to pass walls or make escapes or hide its sarcophagus behind a wall with no normal entrance 
12 Jade immune to fire and magic but encrusted in 2d6 x 1000gp worth of jade pieces

d12 Dumb Undead Oddballs & Quirks
1 Distracted by food wants to eat bodies or vermin 
2 Dislikes fire and tries to avoid it or magical fire
3 Dislikes light and moans and limps and carries on
Occasionally resists bondage and returns to its burial place or home
5 Twitchy and its a bit annoying and creepy and can't stay still like most undead
6 Moans or screeches can stay silent once enemies detected
7 Mutters prayers and makes religious gestures and reverent before masters religious paraphernalia and will bow and prey on knees
8 Keeps trying to sleep preferably in their own resting place, another undead stand in line but this one takes a nap and takes a bit of noise to wake up maybe after a battle
9 Self-conscious about appearance and tries to improve clothing and tries to groom its decaying face and comb it's falling out hair. Will take clothes from other undead or corpses, may attack the best-dressed foes
10 Has a pet rat or beetle or another small critter, it may preen and feed its pet and try to speak
11 Chatty and won't shut up, some gibberish, some witty, some make bad jokes or puns or ask questions. Others have singular topics they bring up like herbal remedies, polearm classification, demonology or other trivia. Annoying to adventurers, evil high priests and necromancers 
12 Become self-aware through an evil spirit, has own desires and ambition though often just revenge. Will seek out dark powers 

Next Time Non-Corporeal and heaps more smarterer undead


  1. Niiiice! These will add some interesting variations for my ancient necropolis adventures.

    By the way, it seems that #6 in the skeleton variations is blank. Was that intentional?

    1. i will fix
      thankyou for comment and the editorial assistance - always apreciated


I love and welcome feedback but not spambots
Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more