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So What's The Zombie Like, Anyway? $1.99
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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So What\'s The Zombie Like, Anyway?
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So What's The Zombie Like, Anyway?
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Nearly e. D. P. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2013 07:55:43
Sometimes zombies are boring... ok most of the time zombies are boring. Usually there is no love given to them. So wouldn't it be nice to give them a refreshing makeover to seemingly bring them to life in your campaign? Well, as much as zombies can be brought to life...

Enter Raging Swan Press with the supplement "So What's The Zombie Like Anyway?" which is a fifteen page supplement with 7 pages of zombie building content. This neat little book serves the purpose of helping you give your zombies something a little bit different as to take it all a bit more interesting. All the tables use percentile dice (D100) to help you choose what you want to happen here.

The book has a selection of tables to add interesting, and in some cases disturbing, characteristics to your little zombie chums. The first table is called "what's the zombie look like?" and have a rather excellent selection of description you can give your zombie. from "Faceless; the zombie's face is blank, smooth skin through either magic or birth defect" (number 32 for those who are interested) or to much more simple things like "Covered in flour, the zombie wears a miller's overalls and has calloused hands." (Number 15).

The next table is called "What's the zombie carrying?" after all - your zombies all don't have to be boring shuffling empty-handed monstrosities! They could have a "Riding crop made of worn black leather" (number 66, the question is where is the horse then...?) or an "iron key, unadorned and with no obvious matching log. The key is covered in dried blood" (number 43 for those still following along). Of course, if you are doing a horde of zombies you will use this table sparingly. What I really enjoyed what how many of these can be a plot hook in some cases, or can be used to add a personality to the zombie. Why does this zombie seem to be carrying a deck of well-used playing cards? Maybe he works at the local tavern dealing cards? Maybe there was a poker game going on and the betting money is still there! You have options with these little things to just be nice personal touches, or something the players can explore further.

The next part is where it gets a little be frightening though. This section is for when you don't want just silly looking zombies but some that make your players suddenly panic as their standard zombie killing techniques stop working! Why not throw in some Fast zombies? Or increase the difficulty by having a frozen, Screaming zombie running towards them? Oh, and the screaming? Now that caught the attention of the Zombie Limb Swarm. Oh dear... Make your players have to think on their feet with suddenly zombies of a rather different nature than the standard lumbering beasts. The templates are all rather interesting and while they can increase the difficulty somewhat, none of them make them completely out of the realms of a young adventuring party.

The final table presents us with Hooks. Sadly there is only twenty ideas to help get your ideas brewing and help come up with some interesting extras you can include with your zombie horde. All the ideas are really quite intriguing and full of awesome ways to go with your plot.

Overall I am really rather impressed with this little book. There is plenty for you to spice up your zombie encounters without having to put in a huge pile of work from your side. With simple tables you can of course just roll to see what you randomly get or scan the tables and templates for something you really want to use.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for this review. I'm delighted you enjoyed this book so much and I appreciate the time you spent doing this!
So What's The Zombie Like, Anyway?
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2012 05:51:06
This installment of the "So what's..."-series sis 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page advice on how to read statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The very first table deals with the appearance of zombies and provides us with 100 peculiarities to bring unique identity to your shambling hordes of flesh-eating dead: From rotting jaw-lines to nooses, bloody nubs for fingers, flayed exposed skin, glowing runes etc., the characteristics are cool, my favorite being a semi-ivy overgrown one that might be mistaken for yellow musk zombies. Of course, most zombies are not naked and there are 100 different things they may be wearing/carrying - where applicable, with GP-values for their items: From black helmets, jars of alcohol with eyeballs floating inside, wolf-fang amulets up to grisly trophies like gnawed on human bones to warm mittens, the second table is just as detailed and neat.

After that, we get simple zombie templates: Frozen Zombies may be nice, but if you're like me and a fan of the Lynch-like cult-game Deadly Premonition, it is the Grinning Zombie with its insane rictus grin and its bite that will have you cackle with glee. (Also, of course, if you have a Joker-style villain and want to add insult to his poison-gases injury...) There also is a template for zombie pets and screaming zombies that emit a deafening, damaging scream, much like Silent hill Downpour's Shriekers. Again: Neat! And then there are the two simple templates that go beyond and are more awesome: The first being the zombie limb swarm and the second being something I would have wanted to see for a long time now: The Legless zombie template, which is plain awesome: If you're like me and a sadistic S-o-b-DM, give your zombies a one-time regeneration that fills their HP up to max when downed first by the players and add the legless zombie template to the respective undead - unless they're blasted by e.g. a fireball, in which case the former swarm might be the better.

Finally, a total of 20 hooks are included that may all lead into a zombie-themed adventure or at least encounter.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen use and one to be printed out.
Hell yeah! This pdf is plain awesome, oozing iconicity, cool imagery and not only providing ample details to flesh out undead, but providing simply stellar, awesome templates that I'm honestly surprised no one has done before. Let me spell it out for you: Either the tables or templates alone are worth every cent of this pdf and combined they make for a deal you can't and shouldn't say no to - especially with all crunchy statblock needs soon to be covered as well by Raging Swan's "100% Crunch: Zombies"! I look forward to seeing synergy effects between both and hope the upcoming crunch-book will be up to this offering's excellent quality. Author Greg Marks has created an excellent supplement that practically forces me to rate this the full 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
So What's The Zombie Like, Anyway?
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/28/2012 03:02:33
If you are not aware of the “So Whats The...Like Anyway?” series then to put it bluntly, you are working to hard as a GM. Seeking to aid in combating the all to common habit of overworked Gms everywhere of glazing over details this series offers up easy to use random charts filled with nuggets of awesomeness, all centered on one theme per collection. This time out, we're looking at zombies. Yeah, zombies...those shuffling ever hungry reminders that you never really liked your neighbors anyway, lol.

Greg Marks gives us not only three highly detailed and varied D100 lists to flesh out the zombie hordes of our nightmares, but a few templates to slap on the random flesh-eater as well, with such treats as frozen, screaming, legless...or...wait for it....pet zombie. Yeah, a template for turning Fido into a zombie...because come on, you know you want a freaking poodle zombie in the middle of a night of flesh eating mayhem just to screw with your Pcs...OK, maybe that's just me...but now you do.

Best part of these lists that Marks has put together, personally, is not that we have a list of potential visual descriptions...I mean that's really cool and all. Because let's face it here, not every zombie looks the same, nor originally died the same way. No, the best list of the three is the “What are they still carrying?” list. Think about it folks, every zombie used to be someone...and not every zombie crawled its way out of a grave all laid out proper. No, some of them entered the world of undeath with a lot less preparation, making for not only a widely different baseline of looks and races, but an eclectic collection of goodies walking around with them. Jewelry, items in pockets, clothing, things of that nature. Granted, your average zombie won't be carrying around a guitar looking to play a gig, but what if that bard never got a chance to get it unsheathed from the harness he had it strapped into across his back before he fell to a pack of zombies? And, let's assume he found himself animated then as a zombie himself, you think his tiny brain even knows there's a guitar on his back? 100 various things of this nature that would really flesh out the idea that a shuffling horde of these things would be equipped with a lot of interesting items.

Now, fifteen pages total (with about half of that going to covers, intro, OGL and the Raging Swan checklist) is just big enough in my opinion to require bookmarks and such. Luckily Creighton agrees, as this book comes fully bookmarked, as well as having the Table of Contents linked as well. Editing and format live up to the usual high standards I have come to expect from this company, with a dual column approach to the layout.

Now, before I give an opinion on a rating, there is one final thing I feel must be mentioned here...something that just might be in and of itself the main reason to purchase this PDF. Tucked into the template options, of which there are six by the way, is a treat that literally made me chuckle evilly. A new swarm, the Zombie Limb Swarm. Now, seriously, that's just freaking evil as crap, and so damn cool it had me looking through my bits box to see if I had enough various limbs to craft a miniature for this...I mean come on, a swarm of heads, legs, arms and hands all clawing and biting...ohhhh the sweet sweet evil behind this idea alone...excellent!

So...a final rating of a well deserved 5 stars, and more than well worth the price of admission folks!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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