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So What's The Zombie Like, Anyway? (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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From out of the darkness shuffle the living undead - poor creatures animated with a semblance of life and sent forth to do their dark master’s sinister bidding. Sadly, often zombie are normally nothing more than faceless carbon copies of one another hacked apart in the search for gold and glory.

So What’s the Zombie Like, Anyway? banishes this problem by providing scores of detailed zombie descriptions, characteristics, minor carried treasure and more for the busy GM to immediately use in his campaign.

For free samples head over to ragingswan.com/zombie

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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3.7 Stars - Good Product

****( )

Content: 4/5
Nine pages of content and pages with other stuff.

The foreword is well written and is resplendent with a few bad jokes.

The first chart has 100 interesting physical details for a zombie. Pickled zombie (#97) anyone?

The second chart lists objects found on or carried by a zombie. I felt a bunch of the items were inappropriate or just silly. Take for example the "potato; overgrown with eyes all over" (#59). I placed it on a zombie during a PFS scenario. After 15 minutes of trying to figure out what the deal with the zombie was, the players were pissed that it was just a plain potato. "Why did the f---ing zombie have a potato?" was yelled by one upset player.

Table C (which wasn't really a table) has 6 zombie templates and stats for a human and fast human zombie. I had a "D'oh" moment when I saw the legless zombie and wondered why I had never seen it before.

Table D has 20 adventure hooks to transform a zombie encounter into something more interesting during a campaign. My favorite is the zombie cat lady!

The last page is a "Understanding Statblocks for Dummies." Good introduction for new GMs.

Crunchitude: 3/5
I don't think enough effort went into the zombie templates. The frozen template listed a base speed rather than a modifier, the grinning template seems underpowered, and the zombie swarm needs alot more work in my opinion. It seems to assume a Medium sized creature, no speed change, and a few other quibbles.

The zombie stat blocks were not done in the standard fashion, which I believe detracts from their usefulness. I am used seeing a statblock in a certain way and varying from that is distracting. Also there are a few minor mistakes, but the stat blocks are still useable.

The zombie pet template is kind of a stretch and would make more sense for an archetype or a variant Improved Familiar styled feat.

Flavourocity: 4/5
I disliked the chart for what the zombie is carrying. Hauling around a dead baby is pushing the line for some people. Quite a few items make no sense for a mindless creature to carry with them.

Also, a head is not a limb (zombie swarm template)...

Last Words: This was a well done product. I will be using a few of the templates in my home game and definitely the zombie descriptions.

I feel the author missed a chance with the zombie stat blocks. The human zombie is already presented in the Bestiary and providing a different zombie would have been more useful. And instead of a fast zombie, apply one of the new templates to the standard human zombie.


A definite must-buy!

*****

This installment of the "So what's..."-series sis 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page advice on how to read statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The very first table deals with the appearance of zombies and provides us with 100 peculiarities to bring unique identity to your shambling hordes of flesh-eating dead: From rotting jaw-lines to nooses, bloody nubs for fingers, flayed exposed skin, glowing runes etc., the characteristics are cool, my favorite being a semi-ivy overgrown one that might be mistaken for yellow musk zombies. Of course, most zombies are not naked and there are 100 different things they may be wearing/carrying - where applicable, with GP-values for their items: From black helmets, jars of alcohol with eyeballs floating inside, wolf-fang amulets up to grisly trophies like gnawed on human bones to warm mittens, the second table is just as detailed and neat.

After that, we get simple zombie templates: Frozen Zombies may be nice, but if you're like me and a fan of the Lynch-like cult-game Deadly Premonition, it is the Grinning Zombie with its insane rictus grin and its bite that will have you cackle with glee. (Also, of course, if you have a Joker-style villain and want to add insult to his poison-gases injury...) There also is a template for zombie pets and screaming zombies that emit a deafening, damaging scream, much like Silent hill Downpour's Shriekers. Again: Neat! And then there are the two simple templates that go beyond and are more awesome: The first being the zombie limb swarm and the second being something I would have wanted to see for a long time now: The Legless zombie template, which is plain awesome: If you're like me and a sadistic S-o-b-DM, give your zombies a one-time regeneration that fills their HP up to max when downed first by the players and add the legless zombie template to the respective undead - unless they're blasted by e.g. a fireball, in which case the former swarm might be the better.

Finally, a total of 20 hooks are included that may all lead into a zombie-themed adventure or at least encounter.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen use and one to be printed out.
Hell yeah! This pdf is plain awesome, oozing iconicity, cool imagery and not only providing ample details to flesh out undead, but providing simply stellar, awesome templates that I'm honestly surprised no one has done before. Let me spell it out for you: Either the tables or templates alone are worth every cent of this pdf and combined they make for a deal you can't and shouldn't say no to - especially with all crunchy statblock needs soon to be covered as well by Raging Swan's "100% Crunch: Zombies"! I look forward to seeing synergy effects between both and hope the upcoming crunch-book will be up to this offering's excellent quality. Author Greg Marks has created an excellent supplement that practically forces me to rate this the full 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


A feast of options for our favorite flesh-eaters

*****

If you are not aware of the “So Whats The...Like Anyway?” series then to put it bluntly, you are working to hard as a GM. Seeking to aid in combating the all to common habit of overworked GMs everywhere of glazing over details this series offers up easy to use random charts filled with nuggets of awesomeness, all centered on one theme per collection. This time out, we're looking at zombies. Yeah, zombies...those shuffling ever hungry reminders that you never really liked your neighbors anyway, lol.

Greg Marks gives us not only three highly detailed and varied D100 lists to flesh out the zombie hordes of our nightmares, but a few templates to slap on the random flesh-eater as well, with such treats as frozen, screaming, legless...or...wait for it....pet zombie. Yeah, a template for turning Fido into a zombie...because come on, you know you want a freaking poodle zombie in the middle of a night of flesh eating mayhem just to screw with your Pcs...OK, maybe that's just me...but now you do.

Best part of these lists that Marks has put together, personally, is not that we have a list of potential visual descriptions...I mean that's really cool and all. Because let's face it here, not every zombie looks the same, nor originally died the same way. No, the best list of the three is the “What are they still carrying?” list. Think about it folks, every zombie used to be someone...and not every zombie crawled its way out of a grave all laid out proper. No, some of them entered the world of undeath with a lot less preparation, making for not only a widely different baseline of looks and races, but an eclectic collection of goodies walking around with them. Jewelry, items in pockets, clothing, things of that nature. Granted, your average zombie won't be carrying around a guitar looking to play a gig, but what if that bard never got a chance to get it unsheathed from the harness he had it strapped into across his back before he fell to a pack of zombies? And, let's assume he found himself animated then as a zombie himself, you think his tiny brain even knows there's a guitar on his back? 100 various things of this nature that would really flesh out the idea that a shuffling horde of these things would be equipped with a lot of interesting items.

Now, fifteen pages total (with about half of that going to covers, intro, OGL and the Raging Swan checklist) is just big enough in my opinion to require bookmarks and such. Luckily Creighton agrees, as this book comes fully bookmarked, as well as having the Table of Contents linked as well. Editing and format live up to the usual high standards I have come to expect from this company, with a dual column approach to the layout.

Now, before I give an opinion on a rating, there is one final thing I feel must be mentioned here...something that just might be in and of itself the main reason to purchase this PDF. Tucked into the template options, of which there are six by the way, is a treat that literally made me chuckle evilly. A new swarm, the Zombie Limb Swarm. Now, seriously, that's just freaking evil as crap, and so damn cool it had me looking through my bits box to see if I had enough various limbs to craft a miniature for this...I mean come on, a swarm of heads, legs, arms and hands all clawing and biting...ohhhh the sweet sweet evil behind this idea alone...excellent!

So...a final rating of a well deserved 5 stars, and more than well worth the price of admission folks!




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