I think that everybody has a favorite monster, for me, it is the Zombie Lord. Originally published in the Ravenloft Monsterous Compendium Vol. I, it is not without its problems. Last Sunday I posted a spell which attempted to fix this problem, but I'm not all that happy with it, and instead of creating some bizarre spell which nobody needs, why not fix the problem which led to it in the first place?
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Night
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Neutral Evil
# APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: 6
HIT DICE: 6
# OF ATTACKS: 2
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (6' tall)
MORALE: Average (8-10)
XP VALUE: 650
Zombie lords are living creaturs that have taken on the foul powers and abilities of the undead. They are formed on rare occasions as the result of a raise dead spell cast.
Zombie lords look as they did in life, save that their skin has turned the pale gray of death, and their flesh has begun to rot and decay. The odor of vile corruption and rotting meat hangs about them, and carrion-feeding insects often buzz about them to dine on the bits of flesh and beads of ichor that drop from their bodies.
Zombie lords can speak those languages that they knew in life and seem to have a telepathic or mystical ability to converse freely with the living dead. Further, they can speak with dead mearly by touching a corpse. Thus, for them at least, dead men tell many tales.
Combat: Whe the zombie lord is forced into physical combat, he relies on the great strength of his crushing fists. Striking twice per combat round, the monster inflicts 2d4 points of damage from each blow that finds its mark.
The odor of death that surrounds the zombie lord is so potent that it can cause horrible effects in those who breath it. On the first round that a character comes within 30 yards of the monster, he must successfully save vs. poison or be affected in some way. The following results are possible:
d6 Roll - Effect
1 - STR score reduced to 3 until Dispell Magic is cast upon victim
2 - Cause disease (as the spell)
3 - -1 point of Constitution (permanent)
4 - Contagion (as the spell)
5 - Character unable to act for 1d4 rounds doe to nausea & vomiting
6- Character dies instantly and becomes a zombie under control of the zombie lord
All zombies within sight of the zombie lord will be subject to its mental instructions. This includes monster and ju-ju zombies, but not yellow musk creeper zombies.
Further, the creature can use the senses of any zombie that is within one mile of it and, thuse, know all that is happening within a very large area.
Once per day, the zombie lord can use an animate dead spell to transform dead creatures into zombies. This works just as described in the Player's Handbook, except that it can also be used on the living. Any single living creature with fewer Hit Dice than the zombie lord can be attacked in this manner in lieu of the casting of this spell in its normal fashion. A target who fails a saving throw vs. death magic is instantly slain. In 1d4 combat rounds, the slain creature rises again as a zombie under the foul zombie lord's command.
Zombie lords have the same immunities to spells (sleep, charm, hold, and the like) that normal zombies do. In addition, they suffer the same 2d4 points of damage from contact with holy water or holy symbols. They are turned as vampires, however.
Habitat/Society: Zombie lords seek out places of death as lairs. Often, they choose to live in old graveyards or on the sites of tremendous battles—any place that contains many bodies to animate and feast upon.
The mind of a zombie lord tends to focus on death and the creation of more undead. The regions around their lairs are littered with the decaying bodies, often half-eaten, of those who have tried to confront the foul creature. They seldom have grandiose schemes like those undertaken by vampires or liches, but will frequently plan to take over a small town and turn its entire populace into living corpses.
Ecology: The zombie lord comes into being by chance, and only under certain conditions. First, an evil human being (the soon-to-be zombie lord) must die at the hands of an undead creature. Second, an attempt to raise the slain individual must be made. Third, and last, the individual must fail his resurrection survival roll.
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