Zombies , was Full Conversion in Species, Aliens, Xenoforms & Monsters
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 04:02 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Apr 20 2017, 18:47)
In order to make fair and reasonable stats for a reification, I might first see what a cyber-zombie looks like. That's mostly a Marginal robot CPU operating a reanimated body as if it was a collection of Dataware robot parts. Those shouldn't be difficult, either, looking at the Beyond Science example as a not particularly well-preserved specimen of some sort of typical human body. (This suggests that, other things being equal, stats for typical zombies might vary by Progress Level. Readers familiar with Van Damme movies or mid-level Pathfinder creatures might see some of the directions I could go with this.)

Beyond Science has a single stat block for a zombie (and another for a skeleton) but when I start to think about it, a number of different considerations could go into generating those numbers. There could be a wide range of in-setting explanations for such a creature, even for the principles that make it possible, when as I partly alluded to elsewhere, SF is not one setting or one genre even to the degree that a proportion of fantasy gaming is.

Musculo-skeletal potential and biomass

On some reasonable assumptions about how the next few steps will work, Beyond Science's zombie displays slightly better STR, CON and possibly even DEX than might be expected by starting with the statistics of Marginal Supporting Cast, who I could assume to be the largest number of available dead. Perhaps in life, these individuals didn't use their body's full potential due to less than optimal regimes of exercise, experience in physical pursuits or willpower to overcome tiredness and pain, imposing limits which the kinds of effects that reanimate a body can ignore.

Working scores for potential STR, potential DEX and potential CON, then, might actually be 10 each for an average human at PL 3 to 7.

For bodies of above average humans, I should in fairness apply the same logic to say that not all of the living character's heightened scores might be due to physical potential alone, but also elements of learned skill, mental fortitude and confidence.

Averaging the deceased person's statistics in life with 10, rounding up half values, might have the right effect.

Deterioration

Fresher bodies should provide better stock for the process:
  • Live zombification: Processes of change to a different state occur without the subject dying. Physical statistics as for a human, subject to any damage or alteration by the reanimation process itself.
  • Marginal: Body preserved by cryogenic or equivalent techniques, or reanimated, between brain death and 1 hour (or more in unusual conditions): Physical statistics as in life
  • Slight: Delay in starting the process between 1 hour and (depending on conditions) 1-2 days: DEX -2
  • Moderate: Commencement of decay has caused disfunction of some body parts. STR -2, DEX -2, CON -2, +2 penalty to any encounter skill checks that the zombie can make due to visible rot and difficulty speaking.
  • Extreme: Substantial breakdown of body parts. Reduce STR, DEX and CON each by d3+1. Horrific appearance may require a mental resolve check when seen and encounter penalty as for Moderate Deterioration.
  • Skeletonised: No base STR or DEX, base CON -4 reflects damage resistance of bones only.
  • Partial skeleton (though this might be a separate factor also applying to partial bodies that still have flesh)
Reanimation process

This factor varies most widely, determining all mental statistics and considerable differences in physical abilities. It might be simplest to say that each process defines a separate template.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Dec 3 2017, 05:17
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 04:33 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Spirit reanimation

This is an FX manifestation (magic) that infuses the body with some theorised life force providing non-biochemical operation of its muscles as well as a guiding intelligence.
  • Deterioration: Any. This process also typically works on skeletons. A head may be required. The animating force doesn't physically support unconnected body parts, so any major gaps in the skeleton limit the completeness of the undead.
  • Physical stats: Increased STR and CON as magic empowers the flesh as long as it is physically connected. A skeleton gains a STR score almost entirely due to the animating FX. Destruction of particular vital organs or added components may disrupt the animation.
  • Mental stats: Provided by the animating spirit, limited INT and PER for a common zombie
  • Motivation: As for the animating spirit, often closely bound to command of an FX user.
The nature and capacities of this animating spirit vary widely by different settings and different FX within a setting.
  • Common spell-created zombie or skeleton
  • Warrior zombie or skeleton: More effective statistics, considerable skills (in combat or other activities) by infusion of a stronger spirit
  • Haunting zombie or skeleton: Created by ambient energies, initially uncontrolled with a motivation imparted by their source, though an FX user may be able to gain control of them
  • Demon animated: By particular least or lesser demon types, may be slightly or greatly more powerful physically, mental stats and motivation provided by the animating demon
  • Cursed zombie: Animated by binding of some portion of a living soul, a particularly grim experience that provides partial INT, WIL and PER as in life
  • Stronger corporeal undead: Such as ghouls, greater ghouls, wights, vampires, mummies, liches etc. May be free-willed with various motivations or controlled by a FX user.


This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Dec 3 2017, 05:15
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 05:05 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Chemical reanimation

Unknown biochemical agents restart the body's operations, at least in part.
  • Deterioration: Marginal to Slight only.
  • Physical stats: Unchanged except by Deterioration. Specific agents may add to physical vitality, or may not restore all bodily processes, requiring periodic technological support.
  • Mental stats: As in life or reduced. If mostly erased, compare Viral Reanimation.
  • Motivation: As in life, or may be more amenable to command if memories mostly lost.
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 05:14 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Viral reanimation

An infectious agent returns the body's tissues to operation to serve its own dispersal.
  • Deterioration: Living, Marginal or Slight only
  • Physical stats: As modified by Deterioration. The virus's control may seriously reduce DEX due to a lack of skill, and may increase apparent STR and CON as the zombie ignores non-disabling damage. Some virus strains may force more dramatic physical performance while reducing viable time before the body collapses.
  • Mental stats: Low, insect-like to low mammalian if the virus gains access to some brain functions
  • Motivation: Infection of others, physical spread, feeding to a lesser degree


This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Dec 3 2017, 05:16
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 05:24 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Infested reanimation

A lifeform grows throughout the body, controlling behaviour and potentially contributing to physical operation of damaged limbs.
  • Deterioration: Varies by agent from Living to Moderate. Some infestations may control skeletons.
  • Physical stats: Typically reduced but may not react to non-disabling damage.
  • Mental stats: As for the animating lifeform, often low to very primitive. For Living zombification, the host's intelligence may partly remain with compulsion of specific behaviours.
  • Motivation: Migration, feeding and/or infection of new sites


This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Dec 3 2017, 05:27
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 05:34 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
And relevant to my interests:

Servo reanimation

Mechanical joints and motors impel movement of the dead body.
  • Deterioration: Marginal to Moderate or skeletonised. Likely to be treated with preservative, if required, for practical reasons
  • Physical stats: STR as robot actuator (Dataware), DEX as robot actuator with maximum reduced by Deterioration, CON as base. May have extensive systems and tools built in.
  • Mental stats: As robot processor (Dataware) or equivalent controller
  • Motivation: As for processor
uncle_jimbo Dec 3 2017, 06:01 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Dec 3 2017, 15:33)
Stronger corporeal undead: Such as ghouls, greater ghouls, wights, vampires, mummies, liches etc.

Some of these imply that the animating process may mutate the body, which could also apply to viral reanimation.

Nanite reanimation

Combining some aspects of viral, infested and cybernetic reanimation, as well as possibly repairing damage to the body, the animated creature may have some specific intention rather than a general rampage, though that hardly guarantees it's friendly.
uncle_jimbo Dec 4 2017, 08:23 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Dec 3 2017, 16:34)
And relevant to my interests:

Servo reanimation

Mechanical joints and motors impel movement of the dead body.
  • Deterioration: Marginal to Moderate or skeletonised. Likely to be treated with preservative, if required, for practical reasons
  • Physical stats: STR as robot actuator (Dataware), DEX as robot actuator with maximum reduced by Deterioration, CON as base. May have extensive systems and tools built in.
  • Mental stats: As robot processor (Dataware) or equivalent controller
  • Motivation: As for processor

Bri's treatment in Last Resort #3 (PDF) also suggests that cyber-zombies might reasonably have cyber-gear and gives a value of cyber tolerance + 5 (base CON + 5, in my terms).

A creator might remove penalties due to Deterioration by partial replacement with mechanical components where needed.
uncle_jimbo Dec 5 2017, 08:41 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Dec 4 2017, 19:23)
A creator might remove penalties due to Deterioration by partial replacement with mechanical components where needed.

Thinking about popular 26th century holo-toon character Captain Perky, most processes that support repair of damaged bodies, such as involvement of an intelligent contructor, can also produce composites of parts of more than one body.

I'd like to give an example link - maybe before too long.

Mingling of parts to create an undead form much larger (and maybe much different in body plan) than its constituents probably counts as a different kind of creature.


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