Zombie Fortitude or Why Won't It Die!?!?!

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While there aren't a lot of good improvements in the bestiary, still can't hit, still die to easy, I like some of the rewordings and the one that really amused me is the Zombie Fortitude. "When a zombie takes damage that would reduce it to 0 hit points or fewer, it makes a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to the damage. On a successful save, the zombie is instead reduced to 1 hit point."
This may not be a statistically great trait, but it amuses me to no end. I feel it does a lot to give the feeling the relentless zombie without having to throw a crap-ton of hit points into it, (which would be boring). One lucky zombie that won't go down even as the thing is reduced to a crawling, attacking arm. Seems like a little thing that would make a simple encounter memorable.

Other traits I like are the Orc's Relentless trait, the Ogre's Bruiser, Hobgoblin Leader's Commander, Formless, and the Gnoll Leader's Incite Blood Frenzy (and Blood Frenzy itself). These are definate improvements in the monsters. There is still a ton of work left to do, but they are on the right side of the road.

While there aren't a lot of good improvements in the bestiary, still can't hit, still die to easy, I like some of the rewordings and the one that really amused me is the Zombie Fortitude. "When a zombie takes damage that would reduce it to 0 hit points or fewer, it makes a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to the damage. On a successful save, the zombie is instead reduced to 1 hit point."
This may not be a statistically great trait, but it amuses me to no end. I feel it does a lot to give the feeling the relentless zombie without having to throw a crap-ton of hit points into it, (which would be boring). One lucky zombie that won't go down even as the thing is reduced to a crawling, attacking arm. Seems like a little thing that would make a simple encounter memorable.

Other traits I like are the Orc's Relentless trait, the Ogre's Bruiser, Hobgoblin Leader's Commander, Formless, and the Gnoll Leader's Incite Blood Frenzy (and Blood Frenzy itself). These are definite improvements in the monsters. There is still a ton of work left to do, but they are on the right side of the road.




The Zombie has about a 40% to 60% chance of not dying, I'm not seeing how that is an 'oddity'...

Bruiser needs to be based on missing by 5 or less instead of rolling 5 or higher...

Most of them have flaws that will break the game like Rage being worthless unless they gain +8 to damage or more...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I was a huge fan of Zombie Weakness in 4E (if you crit a zombie with the trait, it immediately dies, no matter how many hit points it had).  Then there was Deathless Hunger (if the zombie isn't killed by a crit, roll d20.  On 15+, the zombies instead has 1 hp).

I love traits like these that makes monsters more than just sacks of hit points.  Zombies were especially boring in 3E. 
A single zombie could take out mabye a dozen commoners now.

Zombies, the new housecats.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The Zombie has about a 40% to 60% chance of not dying


I am curious, how do you come to those statistic result with an undetermined variable DC save ?

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

A single zombie could take out mabye a dozen commoners now.

Zombies, the new housecats.


Zombie Housecat?

Its such a little trait that could be ignored or played up to great effect and affect.
Want the PCs to mow through the zombie hordes, no problem ignore it.
Want to drive the PCs nuts with a few seemingly unkillable zombies, play the rule up and fudge the rolls. They'll never know. 
This trait amuses me so much. Zombies could actually be a frightening threat now. That zombie you cut in half in the last room wasn't defeated just slowed down and here it comes dragging itself up behind the Wizard or Cleric. 
A single zombie could take out mabye a dozen commoners now.

Zombies, the new housecats.


At least it makes sense that a zombie can kill a dozen commoners.
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
The Zombie has about a 40% to 60% chance of not dying


I am curious, how do you come to those statistic result with an undetermined variable DC save ?




Average damage for most characters is around 1d6 to 1d8 + 2d6 at 1st level which is at most 11.5 which means around 45.25% chance to save. At higher levels the Rogue can deal 1d8 + 6d6 average is 25.5 which means no chance to save. The clerics damage only goes up a bit at each level mostly its spell based damage which means the first time if it don't knock the thing out of the fight, it is going to be a 40%-60% chance for clerics except for spell use no matter what level they are.

Basically its a guesstimate based on the math...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

This may not be a statistically great trait, but it amuses me to no end. I feel it does a lot to give the feeling the relentless zombie without having to throw a crap-ton of hit points into it, (which would be boring). One lucky zombie that won't go down even as the thing is reduced to a crawling, attacking arm. Seems like a little thing that would make a simple encounter memorable.




I agree.  How do you stop those things?  Shoot 'em in the head.   (A throwback to Night of the Living Dead)

A Brave Knight of WTF


This may not be a statistically great trait, but it amuses me to no end. I feel it does a lot to give the feeling the relentless zombie without having to throw a crap-ton of hit points into it, (which would be boring). One lucky zombie that won't go down even as the thing is reduced to a crawling, attacking arm. Seems like a little thing that would make a simple encounter memorable.




I agree.  How do you stop those things?  Shoot 'em in the head.   (A throwback to Night of the Living Dead)


Nope(save made), headless body still coming at you.
There is still something screwy with some of the stats.  Ogre strength needs to start at 20 and giant strength needs to build from there.  In previous editions ogres were as strong as the strongest humans, now they aren't even as strong as the strongest halfling.  The wierdest one is zombies - they're mindless and yet they are more intelligent than most of the humanoids and one of the most charismatic monsters in the packet.  I think mybe their stats might have been ineligently merged with the more intelligent, more self-aware ju-ju zombies (who are based more on resident evil and 28-day later zombies rather than the ambling Dawn of the Dead zombies.  I don't really like it...
There is still something screwy with some of the stats.  Ogre strength needs to start at 20 and giant strength needs to build from there.  In previous editions ogres were as strong as the strongest humans, now they aren't even as strong as the strongest halfling.  The weirdest one is zombies - they're mindless and yet they are more intelligent than most of the humanoids and one of the most charismatic monsters in the packet.  I think maybe their stats might have been ineligently merged with the more intelligent, more self-aware ju-ju zombies (who are based more on resident evil and 28-day later zombies rather than the ambling Dawn of the Dead zombies.  I don't really like it...



I'm sorry but ju-ju zombies were around before D&D and they were certainly around before resident evil and 28-days later.

Ju-Ju Zombies showed up as early as 2E...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
There is still something screwy with some of the stats.  Ogre strength needs to start at 20 and giant strength needs to build from there.  In previous editions ogres were as strong as the strongest humans, now they aren't even as strong as the strongest halfling.  The weirdest one is zombies - they're mindless and yet they are more intelligent than most of the humanoids and one of the most charismatic monsters in the packet.  I think maybe their stats might have been ineligently merged with the more intelligent, more self-aware ju-ju zombies (who are based more on resident evil and 28-day later zombies rather than the ambling Dawn of the Dead zombies.  I don't really like it...



I'm sorry but ju-ju zombies were around before D&D and they were certainly around before resident evil and 28-days later.

Ju-Ju Zombies showed up as early as 2E...



Ju-ju Zombies were in 1e.  I like them but I don't want the standard zombie to be merged with them.  I want my dumb, barely conscious shambling zombie and my scarily fast, scarily intelligent zombie to be clear and separate.
There is still something screwy with some of the stats.  Ogre strength needs to start at 20 and giant strength needs to build from there.  In previous editions ogres were as strong as the strongest humans, now they aren't even as strong as the strongest halfling.  The weirdest one is zombies - they're mindless and yet they are more intelligent than most of the humanoids and one of the most charismatic monsters in the packet.  I think maybe their stats might have been ineligently merged with the more intelligent, more self-aware ju-ju zombies (who are based more on resident evil and 28-day later zombies rather than the ambling Dawn of the Dead zombies.  I don't really like it...



I'm sorry but ju-ju zombies were around before D&D and they were certainly around before resident evil and 28-days later.

Ju-Ju Zombies showed up as early as 2E...



Ju-ju Zombies were in 1e.  I like them but I don't want the standard zombie to be merged with them.  I want my dumb, barely conscious shambling zombie and my scarily fast, scarily intelligent zombie to be clear and separate.



Actually they took them from Voodoo and Hoodoo which is at least 100 years old...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.


Actually they took them from Voodoo and Hoodoo which is at least 100 years old...



True but 4e definitely took a fair bit of inspiration from computer games like resident evil when updating its monsters - the zombie dogs spring quite literally to mind.  I realise that lots of contradictory sources make up the bestiary but the difference between 'normal' and juju zombies is clear enough that they should be kept separate.  I've never thought of standard animated zombies as being more intelligent than skeletons.  In fact, I've thought of them as being slightly less aware than skeletons because they are so slow to take in their surroundings.


Actually they took them from Voodoo and Hoodoo which is at least 100 years old...



True but 4e definitely took a fair bit of inspiration from computer games like resident evil when updating its monsters - the zombie dogs spring quite literally to mind.  I realise that lots of contradictory sources make up the bestiary but the difference between 'normal' and juju zombies is clear enough that they should be kept separate.  I've never thought of standard animated zombies as being more intelligent than skeletons.  In fact, I've thought of them as being slightly less aware than skeletons because they are so slow to take in their surroundings.


Despite that most skeletons are just zombies that completely rotted away?


Actually they took them from Voodoo and Hoodoo which is at least 100 years old...



True but 4e definitely took a fair bit of inspiration from computer games like resident evil when updating its monsters - the zombie dogs spring quite literally to mind.



The concept of zombie dogs is way older than RE. I know some people like to try to pin stuff they dislike onto "THEY COPIED VIDEO GAMES!", but come on.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
FYI I sent 20 zombies against my group of 4 players in a dungeon. It took them 18 rounds to kill them all. Players go first in every combat vs zombies so I don't know why you even give them the silly inishative roll just say players go first and save the DM some needless rolls. My party is a fighter archer, thief thug, and two mages all level 2. they popped every spell as a burning hands even adding 6 flasks of oil to the mix and there were still zombies alive.

With 10 zombies left one of the Mage crits with burning hands 21 pts of damage with a spell save of 16. 7 of the zombies save vs spell out of that 6 make their save vs damage and are left at 1hp.

second mage firse off burning hands with only 13 damage all 6 fail their save vs spell then all but 1 fails the save vs death needing a 13.

Basicly the zombies are eithor nearly undying or fall over in a stiff breeze depending on the dice gods.     
FYI I sent 20 zombies against my group of 4 players in a dungeon. It took them 18 rounds to kill them all. Players go first in every combat vs zombies so I don't know why you even give them the silly inishative roll just say players go first and save the DM some needless rolls. My party is a fighter archer, thief thug, and two mages all level 2. they popped every spell as a burning hands even adding 6 flasks of oil to the mix and there were still zombies alive.

With 10 zombies left one of the Mage crits with burning hands 21 pts of damage with a spell save of 16. 7 of the zombies save vs spell out of that 6 make their save vs damage and are left at 1hp.

second mage firse off burning hands with only 13 damage all 6 fail their save vs spell then all but 1 fails the save vs death needing a 13.

Basicly the zombies are eithor nearly undying or fall over in a stiff breeze depending on the dice gods.     



Maybe automatically killing them on a crit is a good thing tonadd then?
I don't think so. They are not that hard for players to kill. They have a slow movement rate crapy inishative and don't hit that hard individually. They do make a good denial monster for keeping players from wandering into areas that you don't want them in and make a good tension based fight. If they were able to hit harder or had a normal inishative value or movement then they would be broken, but as is they are not that bad.