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Red Zombie

by Jamie Baty

Red zombies are usually formed when a wicked mage or cleric uses the spell animate dead to enchant the corpse of an Afflicted person. A red zombie will sometimes spontaneously form when somebody dies from the "red blight", a form of illness that causes non-Legacy using creatures, or those beyond the limits of the Haze, who wear cinnabryl to lose 1 point of Constitution per day until dead. A person who dies from the red blight and is not blessed during the burial has a 10% of rising one day later as a red zombie.
Red zombies ceaselessly pursue cinnabryl-using creatures. Because the malady that killed them was caused by wearing cinnabryl, they are obsessed with destroying as much of the magical metal as they can. Regardless of the creature's alignment in life, the desire for destruction warps the red zombie into an evil creature. Their dim intelligence and ability to follow complex orders makes them slightly more useful than normal zombies to the evil mages and clerics who animate these creatures. Still, their obsession with cinnabryl makes red zombies difficult to control. While under the control of a cleric or mage, a red zombie is allowed a saving throw vs. spell once every four weeks. If the saving throw succeeds, it escapes control and turns on its master.
A red zombie looks much as it did at the moment of its death, except for its dull red skin. It also emanates a bright red glow from the eyes and mouth. Red zombies have terrible mutations as a result of their Afflictions. Even if they do not have Legacies, the curse still warps them horribly.
Red zombies behave much like standard zombies in combat. They are slow and unsteady, so they strike last in the combat round. They claw and gouge the flesh from their victims, eating it as they go. Red zombies prefer to attack creatures carrying cinnabryl. A red zombie will keep attacking relentlessly, stopping only when all of its potential victims are dead.
Red zombies congregate near sources of cinnabryl and pursue creatures that use cinnabryl. They have the ability to automatically detect this magical metal.
Each red zombie is an individual creature; they rarely act as a group unless controlled by some outside force. They can be controlled by evil mages and clerics.

The Red Curse
A red zombie that was a non-Legacy-using creature in life never acquires any Legacies. However, a red zombie that did have Legacies in life retains them in undeath. A red zombie that was an Inheritor in life will have at least two Legacies, and may have more (DM's option).

Creating a Red Zombie
"Red Zombie" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that was Afflicted or died from "red blight".

Size and Type: The creature's type changes to undead. It retains any subtypes except alignment subtypes and subtypes that indicate kind. It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Drop any Hit Dice from class levels (to a minimum of 1), double the number of Hit Dice left, and raise them to d12s. If the base creature has more than 10 Hit Dice (not counting those gained with experience), it can't be made into a red zombie with the animate dead spell.

Speed: If the base creature can fly, its manoeuvrability rating drops to clumsy.

Armour Class: Natural armour bonus increases by a number based on the red zombie's size:
Tiny or smaller +1
Small +2
Medium +3
Large +4
Huge +5
Gargantuan +8
Colossal +12

Base Attack: A red zombie has a base attack bonus equal to 1/2 its Hit Dice.

Attacks: A red zombie retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A red zombie also gains a slam attack.

Damage: Natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. A slam attack deals damage depending on the zombie's size. (Use the base creature's slam damage if it's better.)
Fine 1d2
Diminutive 1d3
Tiny 1d4
Small 1d6
Medium 1d8
Large 2d6
Huge 2d8
Gargantuan 4d6
Colossal 4d8

Special Attacks: A red zombie retains none of the base creature's special attacks, except for legacies if possessed. It gains the following special attack:
Cinnabryl Depletion (Ex): Whenever a red zombie hits a target with a slam attack or natural attack, each point of damage inflicted depletes one day's worth of cinnabryl from its victim. A victim struck for 7 points of damage would immediately lose 7 day's worth (1 ounce) of cinnabryl.
In addition, the red zombie gains 1 hit point for each full ounce of cinnabryl that it depletes from its victims. These extra hit points are temporary and vanish when the sun rises the next morning.

Special Qualities: A red zombie loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks, as well as any Legacies. A red zombie gains the following special qualities:

Damage Reduction: 5/Slashing or red steel.

Red Steel Vulnerability (Ex): Red zombies automatically take double damage from any weapon made of red steel.

Single Actions Only (Ex): Red zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A frost zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Abilities: A red zombie's Strength increases by +2, its Dexterity decreases by 2; it has no Constitution score, its Intelligence changes to 3, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma changes to 3.

Skills: A red zombie has skill points equal to 1 per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.

Feats: A red zombie loses all feats of the base creature and gains Toughness.

Environment: Any

Organisation: Any

Challenge Rating: Depends on Hit Dice, as follows:
Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1/2 1/4
1 1/2
2 1
4 2
6 3
8-10 4
12-14 5
15-16 6
18-20 7

Treasure: None.

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Advancement: As base creature, but double Hit Dice (maximum 20), or
if the base creature advances by character class.

Level Adjustment: -