Z Is For Zombie
So I had this brilliant idea that daily stuff would be easier if I had a weekly theme. The hard part then, is finding a theme. As I staggered out of bed this morning, the answer was quite literally staring me in the mirror — zombies.
Zombies have become a recent trend, much like pirates, and, of course, pirate zombies. It’s interesting in that pirates and zombies symbolize opposite concepts. In modern lore, pirates represent maximum freedom and independance, the same role the cowboy or the knight errant represented in earlier decades, but without the baggage of being something our parents liked. Zombies, meanwhile, represent the ultimate end of individualism, all identity lost as one becomes a ravening member of a mindless horde, whose only desire is to destroy anyone who is not one of them. Cue Ayn Rand.
At the moment, Zombie: The Shuffling is unlikely to come out from White Wolf anytime soon. Almost any RPG dealing with zombies assumes the players will be stopping them, as it’s pretty hard to have an RPG about doing nothing but mindlessly eating. (Supplements about halflings and weresharks aside.) So for purposes of this theme week, I’ll be assuming that the sole purpose for which the living dead rise from their graves is to be put back in them again.
Traditional Dungeon and Dragons zombies are mostly shuffling grave guardians, found only in the kind of places adventurers tend to go. Most modern horror, however, has zombies as invaders, and worse yet, plaguebearers. Once the dead rise from their graves, they turn all others into creatures like themselves! Thus, this series of Breakfast Crunch will mostly provide bits and pieces which can be used to that end.
Read on, then, for the Infected Brain Eating Zombie!
Infected Brain Eating Zombie
The "modern" zombie began, as far as my limited research (meaning, stuff I vaguely remember and am not going to bother to look up) with Carpenter’s original "Night Of The Living Dead", where zombies turned others into creatures like themselves. (Basically combining the myths of zombies and vampires.) The not-quite-official sequel, "Return Of The Living Dead", took the idea into the realm of darkly hilarious and gory slapstick and added the concept that zombies want to eat your brains. (But they’re not unreasonable. I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes.) Somehow, all of this gelled together into the current zombie zeitgeist, two words that are killer in either Scrabble or Bookworm Adventures. But I digress. In any event, the traditional D&D zombie is unlikely to mutter "Braaaainnss…" and more likely to just stand there waiting to die. This must be corrected, and I am here to do so! Presenting, for your edification, enjoyment, and amusement, the Infected Brain Eating Zombie, or, to use a name more in keeping with the Racename Nounverber style favored in Fourth Edition, the Zombie Braingnawer!
(Personally, I like the Aspergers/Quartermaster naming style of old-school. Then we’d have Zombie, Brain-Eating. But one must change with the times…)
Anyway, the Zombie Braingnawer! (More typically Lizardian design ramblings in the monster article proper.)