Part One: Birth of a Corpse

When I started thinking about zombies, I stripped all preconceptions until I saw that they were just ghosts that had Health Levels. From there I devised all sorts of methods of how to customize your zombies until a Storyteller had the zombie he wanted to use.

Despite the separateness of the attributes, all zombies have certain common elements. Zombies use both mortal attributes and ghost attributes. This is for ease of implementation. A zombie can be Ghost- or Mortal-based or converted from on to the other.

Zombies with Mortal Attributes

Create Zombies as you would a mortal or apply a zombie attributes over a pre-generated character, such as an antagonist from The World of Darkness Rulebook.

The advantage to using mortal-based zombies is the detail for each zombie helps make it unique, and as such, should be tailored for each game. These zombies are best used for single zombies created by mystical means such as a vampire's Disciplines.


Zombies with Ghost Attributes

Zombies with Ghost Attributes are primarily corpses animated by the will of ghosts and thus only possess Power, Finesse and Resistance. Besides this, Ghost Attribute-based zombies are easier to handle in hordes with three simplified Attributes.


Converting from Mortal to Ghost Attributes

For Ghost-attributes take the three corresponding Mortal, drop the highest and lowest values (ties included) and keep the remaining average value Attribute.


Converting from Ghost to Mortal Attributes

Take the Ghost Attribute and add one and subtract one. Assign to the three Attributes


Ghost to Mortal Correspondences

Power corresponds to Intelligence, Strength and Presence

Finesse corresponds to Wits, Dexterity and Manipulation

Resistance corresponds to Resolve, Stamina, and Composure.

Example of Mortal to ghost Conversion:

Intelligence 3 Strength 5 Presence 2: Power 3

Wits 4 Dexterity 3 Manipulation 1: Finesse 3

Resolve 2 Stamina 1 Composure 3: Resistance 2

Example of Converting Ghost Attributes to Mortal Attributes (and vice versa)

Power 3 to Intelligence 3 Strength 4 Presence 2

Finesse 3 to Wits 3 Dexterity 4 Manipulation 2

Resistance 2 to Resolve 3 Stamina 1 Composure 2


Basic Zombie Miscellany:

Sight and Sound

Zombies are still able to pick up stimuli with their eyes in a mystical, extra-normal and unexplained process. An easy-to-digest idea would be to assume that zombies can see in an aura-vision and can see objects because of the flicker of bacteria that cover everything highlighting the silhouettes of solids and the surface of liquids.

Zombies can feel and hear in similar distant and basic, rounded-down versions of their senses.

Although the mystical aspect is technically not "true" for science zombies, but hey, they're just zombies; what do you want? Brain surgery?


Decay and the Living Impaired

All zombies animate at least at that just-dead freshness and do not suffer any penalties unless it is severe.


Exertion and Fatigue

Zombies do not suffer fatigue.



Zombies have zero Defense ratings.



Zombies create Essence from the adding their Presence and Resolve or their Power and Resistance together. Essence is a pool of by which the zombie can buy abilities or activate Zombie Merits.



The shock of death impacts on complex motor control Initiative is equal to Dexterity or Composure, which ever is higher.



Zombies cannot move faster than a walk.



All zombies are unable to spend Willpower points and do not bother acting out their Vices and Virtues.


Corpus and Health

Essentially zombies are ghosts with Health Levels instead of Corpus. Health Levels for zombies are a matter of personal effort.

A Zombies Health Levels are either Stamina + 10 {Size + Size}, or Resistance + 10 {Size + Size}.

Although zombies have a higher Health Levels and do not suffer wound penalties, they tend to not heal. Instead of wound Penalties zombies have intactness.


Health Levels and Intactness

Even though they are relatively safe from decay, corruption has ways of bringing decay to the dead. Intactness measures every zombie's dice pool is limited by the amount of its Health Levels. A zombie with only five Health Levels can only have a maximum of five dice in any pool.

Zombies cannot be poisoned or suffer bleeding damage or anything like that.



Zombies only suffer Morality loss if they are aware of what they do and what they are. Brain dead zombies have their morality scratched off.


The Ambulatory Deceased

If a player wants to create a Revenant, a playable zombie he must first get the permission of the Storyteller and then consult the Appendix.


Animating Ghosts

Animating The full rules for ghosts animating corpses will be explained in the Appendix section of Part 3: Shamblin' Man.