Crunchy Zombies


Mike Spera

Ok, these are new rules for making zombie characters. These guys are not Risen, nor are they the characters from Zombie: The Coil.

Let me say right away that being a zombie is not fun and not easy. I've devised these rules to depict the typical Romero/Fulci zombies that we all know and love.

(In other words, these rules are mostly for making hordes of undead antagonists, but if you want to actually PLAY one, be my guest.)

Name: Food: Reanimation:

Player: Age:


Strength 000 Dexterity 000 Stamina 000
Appearance 000 Perception 000 Intelligence 000


Brawl 000 Melee 000 Hunting 000
Stealth 000 Survival 000 Technology 000


Name: Your zombie's mortal name, or even a label such as "Failed Experiment 12-F."

Player: Your name.

Food: What does your zombie crave? Does it eat flesh, suck or drink blood, eat brains, or seek revenge?

Age: How old was your character when s/he died?

Reanimation: How was your zombie revived? Possibilities include voodoo, necromancy, radiation or a chemical that rots away the brain, then revives it, scientific experimentation, and even plain old revenge from beyond the grave.


Strength: This represents your zombie's raw physical power. This Attribute is used when lifting, pushing, grappling, holding, biting, hitting, breaking through barriers, or any other circumstances that would require the zombie to use its arms.

0 You have the strength of an elderly mortal. Your blows are laughable and your grip is easily shakable. You cannot bite, hold or lift any kind of object.

* You can bite, grab, and hold people. Your grip is solid but easily breakable. You may lift objects, but have you cannot hold them in the air for long. When hitting, your blows are felt but barely do any damage.

** You have considerable strength. Your bites hurt, and you may brandish and use weapons. You may push over or through light objects and barriers.

*** You are fearsome indeed. You may easily brandish any weapon, and your fists alone make good enough weapons. When scratching someone, your nails dig in deep and you can tear flesh off. You have a solid and almost unbreakable grip.


Dexterity: This represents the zombie's ability to move its feet. Since zombies have no dodging ability whatsoever, this trait indicates how fast the zombie can walk (or plod).

0 You are extremely slow. You mostly stand around until food arrives, then shuffle towards it at 6 inches per turn.

* You wander around in your spare time, which is all the time. You can move 1 foot per turn.

** You can shamble around at 2 feet per turn. You can even [slowly] chase people.

*** You take long strides for a zombie, wandering around and chasing prey at 4 feet per turn.


Stamina: This represents your character's ability to take hits and keep on coming.

0 If someone pushes you hard enough, you'll fall over.

* You can take violent shoves and light punches with no effect.

** Bullets do nothing, and you can shrug off punches but not heavier weapons.

*** Shotgun blasts cause you to only pause, and only weapons such as crowbars or chainsaws do any real damage to you.


Appearance: This Attribute dictates how human-looking your zombie is. While no zombie appears completely human, characters with a 3 in this trait may be taken for very strange or sickly looking human at a passing glance.

0 You are a walking skeleton with skin. You are probably a very old corpse that has rotted and withered away.

* You have some meat on you, but you look human only from very far away. Your flesh may be torn or missing in some areas.

** You can pass as a human as long as no one looks directly at you. Your body appears human except for the eyes, strange skin color, or perhaps an obvious death wound.

*** You appear to be a deathly pale and glaze-eyed human.


Perception: This combines sight and sound to represents how well the zombie notices what's going on around him or her.

0 You are oblivious to your surroundings. Something must either stand directly in front of you or hit you before you notice. As far as hearing, you are basically deaf.

* You have a faint grasp of your surroundings. You notice moving objects. You know when there's a noise, but cannot sense what direction it came from or what it is.

** You can see and hear your surroundings almost perfectly. You can see things and people clearly unless they are hiding, and can also hear most noises and identify the general direction they came from.

*** You have unnatural senses for an undead. You can notice small moving objects that even humans could pass over. You can even see people hiding sometimes, and you can hear all the noises around you as well as directly where they came from.


Intelligence: This indicates how much of the mortal mind is kept intact after reanimation. The higher this trait is, the better the zombie is at things like memory, comprehension, problem-solving skills, identifying objects, and rationalization.

0 Dumb as a rock. You can tell if something is food or not.

* You have a basic grasp of objects, mostly whether they are moving or inanimate.

** You can identify whether an object could be used as a weapon or not, and whether something is good, bad, or indifferent to you.

*** Your memory is so advanced that it's scary. You can tell what the basic function of a certain object was, and can identify prey like "man," "woman," "adult," "child," "dog," "cat," etc. If you stumble across an object or person that was important to you in life, you will pause and admire the object/person, struggling to remember why this object/person is (or was) important to you.