Why the zombie apocalypse?

In a fantasy world, the rise of the zombies would need to be, well, fantastic.  Given the literal "dead walking the earth" thing, an event of tremendous magical magnitude seems appropriate.  A super-necromancer might have finally succeded in his arcane ritual.  Maybe a party of adventurers failed in their attempts to prevent it and evil has (temporarily) won.  The players in this game wouldn't know about this, however.  This set up wouldn't necessarily radically alter any game mechancics.  It gives a BBEG to fight against, if the PC's make it that far.

Although this is beginning to remind me, a bit, of the Midnight setting for 3E, which I did not care for.

Another alternative is something more akin to the Cataclysm in the Dragonlance setting.  The gods up and left, creating all sorts of havoc.  The principal consequence of the abdication of the pantheon is the dead rise.  Another serious consequence is the lack of any divine or clerical power.  No cure spells!  No turning undead!  This really ramps up the survival horror aspect of such a game, as traditional means of overcoming environmental hazards, especially injury, are now gone.  The denial of turn undead seems pretty harsh in an undead-centric game, but it also makes sense.  This gampaign frame seems a bit more open than the one above.  The PC's can try to figure out why the gods left and what, if anything, can be done to resore clerical power.  Or they can loot the now vacant churches.  Either way, they have plenty to do.


  1. Cerics turning undead only works so well, there is a limit to how many undead can be turned at one time.

    There are twists and spins one can place on a zombie plague in a fantasy settign as well that make it pretty horrible. Did you know cursed based diseases are communicable with magical contact? Zombies avoid consecrated land until an act of violence is conducted there or an cursed person enter the property. Burning zombie corpses simply spreads the contagion as deadly smoke.

    Adding a few twists on the situation expands the challenge and keeps players from using the same old tools to solve problems without requiring the DM limit the established PC capabilities.

  2. Those are all good ideas! And the ones in your blog post are even better.

    I also thought of a way that keeps the cleric abilities while still running with the Cataclysm idea. It popped into my head while reading the Red Box Basic description of the cleric last night. I am going to write a full post about it soon, but it involves Law and Chaos.

  3. Forget the aerie faerie fantasy zombie apocalypse - peshaw. Give me manly slug throwers and good ol' Detroit iron to splat my way through this problem.

    1) Guilt-free Violence. 'nuff sed.

    2) Free Stuff, Without All That Damned Work

    3) Simplicity. Zombie Apocalypse 'to do' list: kill some f***ing zombies, and maybe forage for food.

    4)A Zombie Apocalypse provides the kind of freedom the antisocial youth of today could only dream of.

    5)Being the Alpha Dog.



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