Zombie Template questions (Warning: Possible RotRL Spoiler)

Rules Questions

Got some questions for whomever is strong in monster rules... This is regarding the zombie template.

1.) A normal (Large) Hill Giant has 10 HD and is CR 7. The (Large) Hill Giant Zombie has 13 HD and is CR 6. The Zombie template says this regarding HD:

Hit Dice: Drop HD gained from class levels (minimum of 1) and change racial HD to d8s. Zombies gain a number of additional HD as noted on the following table.

Zombie Size Bonus Hit Dice
Large +2 HD

So, shouldn't the Hill Giant Zombie have 12 HD not 13? The Zombie size (Large) indicates +2 HD. Why does it have 13 HD?

2. A normal Hill Giant has speed 40. The Zombie template does not appear to indicate a zombies base speed decreases. However, the Hill Giant Zombie has speed 30 listed. I'm guessing this is an artifact left behind from the previous Hill Giant Zombie in Rise of the Runelords that had speed 30 because it was wearing armor. Can anyone tell me if they agree or disagree?

Speed: Winged zombies can still fly, but maneuverability drops to clumsy. If the base creature flew magically, so can the zombie. Retain all other movement types."

3. Does anyone else think these two line items in the Zombie template conflict with each other?

"Attacks: A zombie retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. It also gains a slam attack that deals damage based on the zombie's size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size (see Natural Attacks)."

"Feats: A zombie loses all feats possessed by the base creature, and does not gain feats as its Hit Dice increase, but it does gain Toughness as a bonus feat."
For example, a normal Hill Giant has Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatclub) as a feat. Does it lose this feat because it loses all feats? Or does it retain it because it is a "manufactured weapon attack"?


Possible Spoiler Alert:

"The four figures around the Headless Lord were hill giants whom Mokmurian set against the lord one at a time to see how it fared in battle-when these giants perished by the lord's wrath, they rose as zombies under his control."

So then you look at the Headless Lords special abilities we find:

"Create Spawn (Su) A creature slain by the Headless Lord rises in 1d4 minutes as a fast zombie under the Headless Lord's control."

So then we turn the page to see the four zombies under his control and what do we find? NOT Fast zombies but regular zombies???

Linkified for your convenience:

Liberty's Edge

Regarding the headless lord, I did ask JJ about this question, and I recall him saying that they are supposed to be fast zombies. Unfortunately, I can't find the link.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

1. You are right. I'd say it was a typo.

2. A normal hill giant wears hide armour that reduces its speed to 30 ft. I guess the designer forgot to change its speed back to 40 ft.

3. They don't, but they are very badly worded. When we worked on 100% Crunch: Zombies we ran into this problem. Basically, it all comes down to where in the creature's stat block the relevant attack appears. If it appears in "Attack Options" like grab, rake etc., the zombie loses it. If it appears as a secial ability (an SQ in old 3.5 language - like an ettin's superior two-weapon fighting.

Hope that helps!


Not really a answer but, I noticed many of those small mistakes in monster statistics. Biggest one that keeps popping up everywhere is the difference in hp calculations.

The Exchange

Ok, I've updated the zombie hill giant with some editors notes indicating the believed mistakes. Thanks to everyone who responded here and on Facebook with your comments.

As the 3 says you get to keep weapon proficiencies, So that feat stays. All other feats are lost.

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