Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zombie Fungi == Zombie Shriekers

(Inspired by joethelawyer's post and the Huffington Post article/BBC video here.)

Zombie Shrieker
Armor Class: 7
Move: 6" (60')
Hit Dice: 3
No. of attacks: 1 slam (Dmg. 1-8)
Special: Nil,  Frequency: Rare,  No. Appearing: 3-24,  
% in lair: Nil,  
Treasure Type: Nil,  Magical Resistance: Standard,  Intelligence: None,  Alignment: Neutral,  Size: Medium,  Psionic Ability: Campaign dependent, usually nil.)

The zombie shrieker is a horrid combination of a fungus and it's dead host. The zombie shrieker is not undead in the normal sense, rather it is an animated corpse controlled by the fungus in order to reproduce. The fungus spreads by releasing it's spores, infecting those who breathe the spores. Those infected will die a slow, painful death and then sprout stalks and tendrils, while still "moving" and even attacking other creatures near it in an attempt to be hit to cause the spores to release. It will periodically release a deafening shriek (1 round) in order to attract attackers, especially in response to light (within 30') or movement (within 10'). This shriek has a 50% chance of attracting wandering monsters in the round after.

Anyone attacking the zombie shrieker in anyway has a 50% chance per attack of causing the spores to release in a 1"x1"x1" cubic area. Any creature/person within that area must make a save vs. poison or be infected by the fungus. Infection will take 1d4+2 days to complete, at which time the creature is dead, but still animated for up to 2-24 days after by the fungus. Each day of infection causes the carrier to lose 1-3 points of each attribute, a zero score means the carrier is dead. In the latter half of the infection, the carrier will have an uncontrollable desire to be within as populated an area as possible or to stay around people.

A cure disease can remove the fungus from the carrier.

(On the XP side, you might want to give them the equivalent of 4HD XP, considering the special attack with the lethal spores and shriek.)

(This monster and its description is designated as Open Game Content.)


Alexander said...

Brutal! I like it =)

Jim said...

Awesome. I will be unveiling this on my unsuspecting players very soon. May I put it in the Monster Book I'm working on?

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Sure, it's Open Content. What book?

Bighara said...

Not to get too spoileriffic, but we used something very similar in Wheel of Evil to great effect. :-)

Jim said...

@ChiWiz -- It's this I'm updating/adding to the OGL version of Matt Finch's book. I've got some co-editors/authors and some artists too... It'll be a free PDF and cost perfectbound when we're done.

Joethelawyer said...

Awesome. Glad someone made us of it. It was too cool a story NOT to have a DnD monster created from it. :)

Word verification: bashm :)

Timeshadows said...

Don't know how I missed this one.
--Very cool. :D