Wandering Monsters: The Walking Dead

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Wandering Monsters
The Walking Dead

By James Wyatt


In honor of the month of Halloween, I figured I'd spend a few weeks talking about the undead. In our discussions, we often landed on a single word that encapsulates a given variety of undead, so you'll see those words in boldface throughout this article and the next couple.

Talk about this column here.

What Do You Think?

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Spot on ! Sounds good to me. 

RE: Ghoul victims become food.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

For ghouls.

If a ghoul kills you and for some reason doesn't eat you, you become a ghoul. But most victims are eaten.

If a ghoul scratches you, you get 3 saves, each an hour apart. Fail the first and you are paralyzed. Fail the second and you're sickened. Failed the third...... muuuust feeeeed ooon fleeeeesh.

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!

If a ghoul kills you and for some reason doesn't eat you, you become a ghoul. But most victims are eaten.


I agree. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

In my view of ghouls people killed by a ghoul do not become one, but the presence of ghouls (stronger up close, but also in the general area) sneak a desire to consume human flesh into the minds of evil, greedy, hungry or gluttonous people. It is if and when they actually succumb to this and eat flesh that they become ghouls. People that are good aligned and not strongly motivated by greed or hunger are unaffected by this presence.

It is also possible to become a ghoul without any involvement from previous ghouls, as long as the person in question is evil, hungry, greedy or gluttonous enough and eats human flesh. The process is not instant and it might be preventable at an early stage but once the change has taken hold, they become undead monsters. And most likely start a ghoul infestation in the area.

In my view ghouls can also retain a part of their previous memories and personality, although consumed by their hunger.
People that become ghouls on their own have a larger chance of retaining their personality, and generally become more powerful ghouls.
This because those people were strong willed evil creatures even in life, and they continue to be in death.

Those who succumb to the mental influence of ghouls are generally weak-willed and become near-mindless ghouls.
I see ghoul fever as more of an infection of hunger. Anyone who catches it becomes ravenously hungry even in death. The bodies of the infected crave flesh enough to raise themselves. Living infected become so hungry and compulsive that they are willing to eat dead humaniods which furthers the infection until the toxins located in rotting flesh kills them.

Of course, most ghouls never give the infected a chance to become ghouls as they are consumed.

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!

Everything in this article was spot on in my estimation.  I like the idea that becoming a ghoul is a curse, instead of the result of an infection.  It really helps differentiate them from other undead that do spread their kind through "infection."

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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I see ghoul fever as more of an infection of hunger. Anyone who catches it becomes ravenously hungry even in death. The bodies of the infected crave flesh enough to raise themselves. Living infected become so hungry and compulsive that they are willing to eat dead humaniods which furthers the infection until the toxins located in rotting flesh kills them. Of course, most ghouls never give the infected a chance to become ghouls as they are consumed.



Almost as if Ghoul isn't the creature, but the bacteria itself. You can't really kill ghouls, just limit the spread of infection.
Everything in this article was spot on in my estimation.  I like the idea that becoming a ghoul is a curse, instead of the result of an infection.  It really helps differentiate them from other undead that do spread their kind through "infection."



I pretty much agree, infection undead are way to common currently in previous editions (maybe not 4th).  Cursed individuals of different types we could use more of though.
What's with ghouls suddenly losing their above-average awareness and sense of purpose.  This description completely kills my chaotic good Healer NPC who would aid the noble PCs in exchange for the flesh of their enemies.
The metagame is not the game.
I am of a mixed opinion on ghouls. I want it to be spread somehow, but it doesn't have to feel like it is spread through infection. I like the idea of ghoulish presence acting as a curse that effects those who are already greedy/gluttonous and/or evil. 

I am also of a mixed opinion on vampires. I know that traditionally, in D&D, vampires suffered from all of the Stoker style vampiric limitations plus Nosfaratu's damage from sunlight. But, I 
really don't like vampire's taking damage from running water/being unable to cross running water. I am also not a huge fan of their fear of garlic. Perhaps some vampiric weaknesses could be optional, and could change from "family"/bloodline of vampires to bloodline of vampire? IE: perhaps one type of vampire comes from a bloodline that cannot cross running water for some reason that is tied to the backstory of the first vampire of that bloodline. Different vampire bloodlines would have different mixes of weaknesses/strengths, and the DM could choose how he builds a vampire from vampire to vampire?

That would also make it a lot easier to introduce vampire PCs into the mix. I know that a lot of people don't see the draw of monstrous PCs, but many of us really enjoy them. I would love to run a DDN game set in the city of Gloomwrought with vampire/undead PCs. 


All in all, the article was pretty great though!
I really liked the flavorful additives about the paralytic claws of ghouls not affecting elves. -- That was pretty cool.

Danny

Ghouls are still cursed beings. The curse is just contagious. Most victims are eaten.

But if you save your sister from the ghouls, she might eat you later.

This is unlike zombies and skeletons who must be made or vampires who are purposely created by other vampires. Ghouls reproduce when they fail to feed. The hunger is still there and it enters those who experience the ghouls. No stopping that craving, yo.

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!

Ghouls are still cursed beings. The curse is just contagious. Most victims are eaten. But if you save your sister from the ghouls, she might eat you later. This is unlike zombies and skeletons who must be made or vampires who are purposely created by other vampires. Ghouls reproduce when they fail to feed. The hunger is still there and it enters those who experience the ghouls. No stopping that craving, yo.

I wonder if a magical diet pill or appetite suppresant could solve the problem?

Danny

Ghouls are still cursed beings. The curse is just contagious. Most victims are eaten. But if you save your sister from the ghouls, she might eat you later.

I think it makes more sense for it be a kind of magical affliction, and it can hit anyone who decides to eat the flesh of a sapient creature.  That way, you don't need a source monster to start the whole thing, and it can just happen in times of great famine.  It's also a great way getting past the "it's not cannibalism if it's a different species" argument.

The metagame is not the game.
About ghouls.. the first part of body to be eaten...would be arms or legs, wouldn´t it?

Ghouls should a contagious curse/sickness but not too dangerous.


I like the idea of blood-slave ghouls, undead who drinks vampire´s blood (voluntary donation) to be more powerful and look living humanoid. 
 
Other type of ghoul should be a infected by a plague from Far Realm. It wouldn´t be undead but aberration humanoid, and it could mutate to other creatures like hags, trolls, formorian giants, harpyes, goblins.... and those things from Resident Evil or House of Dead franchises.  

I have got other crazy idea, a altenative zombie, mixture of yellow musk zombie and plant doppelgänger from Ravenloft. It would plant humanoid, not undead.



* Be careful, sooner or later somebody want playing vampires PCs, or a necromancer with a little army of undead pets and necromantic implants. (I would suggest a option, a flesh-molder by incarnum magic).

* Can a flesh golem be undead and contruct simultaenosly? I like the undead-like golems like bone and zombie from Ravenloft and the Chitine from Dark Sun.  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

For ghouls.

If a ghoul kills you and for some reason doesn't eat you, you become a ghoul. But most victims are eaten.

If a ghoul scratches you, you get 3 saves, each an hour apart. Fail the first and you are paralyzed. Fail the second and you're sickened. Failed the third...... muuuust feeeeed ooon fleeeeesh.




The skeleton and ghoul are both well done, though I strongly hope ghouls become hyper infectious, where if you've been paralyzed you'll have to test later to see if you become a ghoul yourself!


Zombies I like as the default, but as the bestiary mk1 mentioned, there are many a type of zombie, and the stats should reflect this. A more voodoo type zombie, for example, with damage resistance (making that last stand type ability a pain to break through), a fast zombie, an infectious zombie, and a "corpse creature" (sentient zombie).


Vampires, as presented, are the least exciting. I prefer the Warhammer system, where there are different bloodlines which each behave incredibly differently. I don't think all of them should have the myriad of classic vulnerabilities. It should require research on the players' part to figure out the trick to fighting them, though as a specific build of vampire the one listed is fine. Some people will want sparkle vamps, some will want Blade style ones, and others will want the classic.

'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
I really liked the flavorful additives about the paralytic claws of ghouls not affecting elves. -- That was pretty cool.



Pure old school.  That comes straight out of  AD&D.

As for whether or not ghouls create other ghouls - my 'reactionary old school side' wants them to be as they were, but my more moderate 'what really makes sense' side always found that to be a problematic bit of fluff.

My vote was to make the ghoul food, not ghouls.  But I can live with it either way. 

I'd even settle for them becoming zombies if they die (as in the current wight).   Perhaps that is the best compromise- being a ghoul is the result of a cursed existence, but those who are killed by a ghoul and are not slain may rise again as a zombie.

Actually - now that I think about it - I'd like it even more if they worked like movie zombies:  If you survive the ghoul attack you may end up becoming a zombie later anyway (barring a cure disease or remove curse - or maybe bathing in holy water).

The zombification isn't dependant upon being killed by the ghoul - just being scratched/ infected by them is enough.

Carl
Big big fan of all of this. I also like Orzel's idea for ghouls. I really like the thought that's going into what each monster's specific defining features are beyond "Skeleton, HP, AC, yup. Zombie, HP, AC, yup." The notion that skeletons are purposeful and zombies are not really fits with how I feel they're typically presented. You order skeletons, but you just kind of unleash zombies.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
They are three subtypes of undead:

- Reanimated by necromancy -> For example skeletons and D&D zombies.

- Cursed or infected -> Vampires and ghouls

- Retorned from beyond -> Ghosts and wraiths.

---

About ghoul infection there is a option, the ghoul´s bite can be contagious only by a added template. (I have got the idea the poisons, supernatural curses, some fatal injuries and sickness should be designed like a separete challenge with exclusive XP value and be added like template to monsters).

---

Skeletons always has been the classic canon fodder of undead armys, but the D&D zombie should be like slaves by necromancy. They shouldn´t be like Romero´s movies but tortured souls.

All "infected" undeads should be enclosed by templates.. but I suposse that template aren´t right for clever humanoid like psionic or spellcasters characters. 


* Almost off-topic. why not like the undead equivalente of warforged? My idea is a living undead PC race, the reanimated or reborn, a mixture or mummies, vrylokas and revenant. The background would infected undeads who were mummified by special rituals to try cure their curse, and it was archieved... almost totally. They wouldn´t be true undeads but deahtlees (a monster type from Book of Exalted Deeds)

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Oh look, arbitrary Elven immunity to Ghoul paralysis.
Rhyme or reason?
Nope.

So, will Halflings be immune to Vampire drain attacks?

How about Dwarves immune to the a Displacer Beast's displacement? 

 I'm glad we can worship the sacred cow for it's own sake.

However, even beyound that bit of pointlessness, Ghouls are still contentious. People have seen too many versions for them to all fall under the same umbrella. This version isn't any better or worse than any others in the past.

Vampires, on the other hand, seem to have missed the mark.
D&D Vampires have only recently been about drinking blood, they were about level drain via slam attacks before. Oh, I don't mind a shout out for sanguivores, but it is also a divergence.

Skeletons and Zombies are pretty hard to mess up, so everything seems in it's propper crypt there. 
Still haven't addressed what moves the Skeleton around tho. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Vampires, on the other hand, seem to have missed the mark.
D&D Vampires have only recently been about drinking blood, they were about level drain via slam attacks before. Oh, I don't mind a shout out for sanguivores, but it is also a divergence.



As a fan of AD&D 1e I was never a fan of the energy drain vampires.  Felt like fitting a square peg into a round hole.  Vampires should avoid combat, their strengths are using their intellect to isolate lone prey and charm them.  That doesn't mean that a vampire can't be an unholy terror in combat, but they should just hit hard and move fast, ultimately trying to get away and get back to their strength.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

About vampire draining I suggest forgeting about losing levels and using a system of level of healths, something like a pool of "points of blood". It would the pool to be used when there are penaltys by fatal injuries, sickness, poisons..). The idead isn´t like a second pool of hitpoints but somethink more similar to heath levels of Storytelling System by White Wolf publishg. I suposse it would simpler that losing levels or abilities scores.

But the special attacks about draining levels or abilities scores should be "modular", optional, like templates added to monsters.  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Oh look, arbitrary Elven immunity to Ghoul paralysis.
Rhyme or reason?
Nope.

So, will Halflings be immune to Vampire drain attacks?

How about Dwarves immune to the a Displacer Beast's displacement? 

 I'm glad we can worship the sacred cow for it's own sake.



Just say that the paralysis is a magical sleep effect.
Or an echantment effect (letting elves get a save bonus)

Hold Person is an enchantment effect after all.
Just say that the paralysis is a magical sleep effect.
Or an echantment effect (letting elves get a save bonus)

Hold Person is an enchantment effect after all.


Or just ditch the arbitrary immunity.
I mean, trying to fit the ghoul paralysis under Elven resistances, while keeping poison immunity impotent against inTOXICation shows a level of internal inconsitency that is almost insulting. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I really enjoyed the article.  

I have a suggestion when dealing with Zombies and Ghouls and the concept of being turned.
I understand the idea of Zombies as described in the article and I also understand plenty of people's ideas of a  zombie in the broader pop culture sense.

I offer to the community the idea of Zombies creating Ghouls.  Ghouls themselves wouldn't be undead technically, but infected creatures from claws and bites from Zombies.  If a creature dies without being cured of its Ghoul disease, it becomes a Zombie.  This requires Ghoul bodies to be burned or destroyed in some other fashion to prevent them rising.  Necromancers and Liches could control Zombies, but not Ghouls since Ghouls aren't undead (under this proposed suggestion.)

This offers a symbiotic relationship between Zombies and Ghouls, while allowing the two of them to stand out on their own as well.  This also shows the inherent double edge sword that the undead masters must deal with when attempting to use Zombies to their beckoning.  This also explains how certain Ghouls could be very intelligent based on the infected individual, albiet consumed with disease and madness.

This idea also offers a plot hook of a player being infected.  Others could try to find items to cure the player or maybe the player needs to do a favor to be cured?  Or perhaps divine intervention could step in? 

This also perserves the idea of a plague or outbreak being written into the fabric of D&D without specifically giving too much to one or the other.  Thus, making one obsolete or redundant.  As it stands and has stood for awhile, I never really saw a clear distinction between a Zombie or a Ghoul from a theme sense.  This idea I believe accomplishes that.
 
Just say that the paralysis is a magical sleep effect.
Or an echantment effect (letting elves get a save bonus)

Hold Person is an enchantment effect after all.


Or just ditch the arbitrary immunity.
I mean, trying to fit the ghoul paralysis under Elven resistances, while keeping poison immunity impotent against inTOXICation shows a level of internal inconsitency that is almost insulting. 



It's got to be some type of effect...   it might be necromancy or just fear, it might be paralytic poison.. but apparently it is enchantment of some kind..  which actually makes sense since hold person is and enchantment effect.
Elves happen to be extra resistant to enchantment... it all fits quite well.

Poison resistance should without doubt work against intoxication.
I have always thought that Skeletons move because the magic that has animated them acts as muscles and cartilage to allow for the bones to move around and for them to have strength.

I like to think of ghouls as being like the wendigo of Canada. It is a curse bestowed by the gods for engaging in cannibalism. It wouldn't be contagious. However, the attacks of ghouls would be highly poisonous. Maybe death by ghoul should result in a chance to be reanimated as a ghost or banshee or some other similiar restless undead?
About vampire draining I suggest forgeting about losing levels and using a system of level of healths, something like a pool of "points of blood". It would the pool to be used when there are penaltys by fatal injuries, sickness, poisons..). The idead isn´t like a second pool of hitpoints but somethink more similar to heath levels of Storytelling System by White Wolf publishg. I suposse it would simpler that losing levels or abilities scores.

But the special attacks about draining levels or abilities scores should be "modular", optional, like templates added to monsters.  




oh no the draining will work just like the Wraith does with max hit point drain.  


Drain really needs a more mechanically simple in-combat resolution.

Nothing was more infuriating than trying to essentially rewrite my character sheet after my wizard took a swing from a wraith.

Now, out of combat?  Sure, make all the changes you want.  Level, hitpoints, spell availability, combat dice quantity or size, whatever.  But in combat it has to be simple, and easy to adjust on the fly.

I'm a fan of the "stacking penalty to everything" concept.  Attacks, damage, defenses, saving throws, skill checks, whatever, that gets worse the more times you're hit.  But keep that separate from actual character changes that may also occur, and let us deal with those when we're not tracking initiative.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Point 1: The undeads from Romero´s movies are D&D ghouls. (living deads who can transmist the curse by bite). 

---

Skeletons warrior always have seen very popular, even fantasy for children..(do you rebember the TV cartoon show "skeletons warriors"? I suposse it was the soft version of "army of darknes"). Always they have been created and animated by necromancy magic. I am sure skeleton has been the first undead killed by PC lots of times. 

---

I would like draining life only it was a almost permanent penalty, without those headaches about losing level and abilities scores (hit points, spells, save bonus, feat prequesites..). Healing some special attacks (poisons, curses, fatal injuries...) could be a challenge like monsters and traps, with exclusive XP reward. For example a level 1 petryfying gaze by medusa statue magic trap would be only a hour, level 2 would longer time effect and harder to be eliminated...
 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

It's got to be some type of effect...   it might be necromancy or just fear, it might be paralytic poison.. but apparently it is enchantment of some kind..  which actually makes sense since hold person is and enchantment effect.
Elves happen to be extra resistant to enchantment... it all fits quite well.

Poison resistance should without doubt work against intoxication.


Does it have to be some type of effect?
I was under the impression that DDN was trying to move away from 4E style keywords and other such umbrellas.
I personally prefer keywords for ease of book keeping, but it seems inconsitent with current design philosophy, or it is a shift in that philosophy.
that said, if this isn't a unique case, and they note the potential Vampire Charm Gaze as an enchantment, move intoxicated under poison effects, and otherwise shoot for organizations of that nature across the board, then good.
If it's just for the Ghoul, then it... is discordant and internally inconsistent.

I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
The categorisation of 4E was on a functional and powersource level, to type magic into the different schools of magic that already exist in 5E is not really the same thing.

The base components of the 4E system are spimle realtively lore-less functional components like "Fire", "Implement", "Shadow", "Mind Affecting".
To break everything down to such components impose that lore-lessness and functionality on everything.

The schools of magic are vague lore-constructs. To connect all magic to them enhances both the effects so bound and the schools themselves as thematic-constructs.

At least that's my point of view.
Drain really needs a more mechanically simple in-combat resolution.

Nothing was more infuriating than trying to essentially rewrite my character sheet after my wizard took a swing from a wraith.

Now, out of combat?  Sure, make all the changes you want.  Level, hitpoints, spell availability, combat dice quantity or size, whatever.  But in combat it has to be simple, and easy to adjust on the fly.

I'm a fan of the "stacking penalty to everything" concept.  Attacks, damage, defenses, saving throws, skill checks, whatever, that gets worse the more times you're hit.  But keep that separate from actual character changes that may also occur, and let us deal with those when we're not tracking initiative.



What about something simpler, where they drain your hit die, and once those are depleted start doing extra damage= hit die that would have been drained.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
That's just damage though.  Slightly indirect, but damage nonetheless.

Pre-4e drainers actually decreased your combat effectiveness, and that's something that I think should return.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The keywords were useful for powers. 


About undead special attack of draining levels or abilities scores. It is too powerful, because they are penalty can´t be eliminated after the encounter and the rest of scene or rooms of dungeon become more dangerous.

A option could be only the number of hit points falls. For example Rojan the barbarian has got 50 hit points, and he was been bitten by a ghoul.... 6 hitpoints drained. After of combat Rojan is healed, but now he only has got a maxim number of 44 hitpoints. Those six hitpoints are lost until the end of effect by ghoul bite. It would be like the "evil damage", a idea from "Book of vile darkness", a special type of damage only could be healed where the spell "sacred zone" were.

---

I like the ghoul like cursed infected, but I would wish a second type of ghoul, a living mutant  (aberration humanoid, no undead) who has been infected by... for a example a alien parasite from a meteorite, like the 2006 horror movie "slither", or like the Ganado from Resident Evil 4 or the majinis from Resident Evil 5. Do you rebember the thoon infiltrator and thoon thrall from Monster Manual V? (is there any relation between incarnum and thoon?). If those ghouls could muntant to other type (Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead, House of Dead, or Necromorphes from Dead Space)

The "zombie-li" Ganado could be a special type of zombie-like infected. They are living humanoids, controled by psionic "necrotouched" parasite that a lord vampire implated them to can "milk" their blood, the parasite mades a sustance like the henoydew secreted by aphids (a insect) and it is collected by ants, the aphids protectors.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

About undead special attack of draining levels or abilities scores. It is too powerful, because they are penalty can´t be eliminated after the encounter and the rest of scene or rooms of dungeon become more dangerous.

That is the whole point of long-term afflictions.  It seems to be a conscious design decision to move away from balancing every encounter with the assumption that everyone will be at full strength going into it.

Maybe they should go back to the old ghost ability of taking years from your life.  It doesn't affect your power between encounters, but it does have a long-lasting negative effect.  [sarcasm]Plus, you can never go wrong with rolling system shock to avoid instant death [/sarcasm].

The metagame is not the game.
I'm pretty much happy with anything, as long as it isn't permanent. Long term (months or so) is fine by me, but campaign long rubs me the wrong way.

Level drain, penalties on attack or damage, whatever they decide is fair game. 
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
I'm pretty much happy with anything, as long as it isn't permanent. Long term (months or so) is fine by me, but campaign long rubs me the wrong way.

Level drain, penalties on attack or damage, whatever they decide is fair game. 



I'd rather it not last more than a day or two. Maybe making saving throws each hour or something.

Also I liked the negative level effects. Maybe you get a -2 to everything for each negative level including max hit points...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.
About undead special attack of draining levels or abilities scores. It is too powerful, because they are penalty can´t be eliminated after the encounter and the rest of scene or rooms of dungeon become more dangerous.

That is the whole point of long-term afflictions.  It seems to be a conscious design decision to move away from balancing every encounter with the assumption that everyone will be at full strength going into it.

Maybe they should go back to the old ghost ability of taking years from your life.  It doesn't affect your power between encounters, but it does have a long-lasting negative effect.  [sarcasm]Plus, you can never go wrong with rolling system shock to avoid instant death [/sarcasm].



My suggestion is all those powers should be modular, optional, they could be added like a template to monsters. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius