Zombie (Dungeons & Dragons)
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The zombie, as depicted in the original Monster Manual (1977).
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- 1 Publication history
- 1.1 Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)
- 1.2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
- 1.3 Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)
- 1.4 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
- 1.5 Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
- 1.6 Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
- 1.7 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)
- 2 Variant zombies
- 3 Animal zombies
- 4 Other publishers
- 5 References
The zombie was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.
Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)
The zombie was one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game, in the Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974), where they were described as acting under the instructions of their motivator, usually a magic-user or cleric of chaotic alignment.
The ollam-onga, a zombie variant, appeared in Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
The zombie appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), where it is described as a magically animated corpse, an undead creature under the command of the evil magic-user or cleric who animated it.
The ju-ju zombie, a more intelligent zombie, and the monster zombie first appeared in Monster Manual II (1983).
Several zombie variants appear in Dragon #138, in Tom Moldvay's article "The Ungrateful Dead" (October 1988), including the greater colossus and lesser colossus, the hungry dead, the le grand zombi, and the walking dead.
Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)
This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the zombie, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983). The zombie was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991), the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
The Strahd zombie for the Ravenloft setting appeared in the Ravenloft: Realm of Terror boxed set (1990), and later appeared in Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994). The zombie lord is introduced in Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix (1991), and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual. The zombie wolf appeared in Castles Forlorn and Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994). Several new zombie variants appeared in Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994), including the cannibal zombie, and the desert zombie. The mud zombie appears in Death Ascendant (1996) and is reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Appendix Four (1998).
The thinking zombie was introduced in the Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1995).
The lesser lightning zombie and greater lightning zombie appear in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).
The zombie undead dragon appears in Dragon #234 (October 1996), which later appeared in Cult of the Dragon (1998). In the same issue of Dragon, the "Dragon's Bestiary column features the absorbing zombie, the acid zombie, and the quick zombie.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
The zombie appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000). Described are zombies of several size categories, including tiny, small, medium-size, large, huge, gargantuan, huge, and colossal.
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
The zombie appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), as a template. This book also featured a number of sample zombies, including the bugbear zombie, the gray render zombie, the human commoner zombie, the kobold zombie, the minotaur zombie, the ogre zombie, the troglodyte zombie, the umber hulk zombie, and the wyvern zombie.
The bloodthirsty zombie, the diseased zombie, the fast zombie, the hunting zombie, and the unkillable zombie appeared in Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (2004). This book also featured a number of sample zombies, including the behir zombie, the black bear zombie, the centaur zombie, the dire ape zombie, the dire rat zombie, the five-headed hydra zombie, the gnoll warrior zombie, the gnome warrior zombie, the goblin warrior zombie, the hound archon zombie, the megaraptor zombie, the skum zombie, the vrock zombie, the werewolf zombie, and the wolf zombie.
The necrocarnum zombie template appeared in Magic of Incarnum (2005).
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)
- Bloodthirsty zombie - drains blood with its bite.
- Corpse ceature - a zombie that retains knowledge and skills it possessed in life.
- Death Tyrant - Zombie beholders which possess some of their deadly abilities.
- Diseased zombie - carries a disease known as filth fever.
- Fast zombie - moves much faster and can act more quickly than a standard zombie.
- Hunting zombie - tracks prey by scent.
- Juju zombie - free-willed, sentient zombies often created from powerful curses or other fell magics.
- Necrocarnum zombie - animated with the warped form of soul energy known as necrocarnum. They physically resemble a traditional zombie, but are cruel, cunning, and quick.
- Tyrantfog zombie - Priests of evil deities slain by rival deities or their servants. They spread disease and are surrounded by a sickening fog cloud. Originated in the Forgotten Realms.
- Unkillable zombie - tougher zombies that rapidly repair injuries.
- Zombie dragon - created from dragons and retains some of their deadly abilities.
Animals as well as humanoids can be turned into undead, most commonly a zombie. Zombie animals look like the animal they were in life only with rotting, falling off flesh (some are completely skeletal), and are completely feral and mindless creatures which stalk around, searching for flesh. Zombified horses are sometimes employed by humanoid zombies to act as mounts. They cannot speak, and are neutral evil in alignment.
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. Dungeons & Dragons (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974)
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Moldvay, Tom. "The Ungrateful Dead." Dragon #138 (TSR, 1988)
- Greenwood, Ed, Deborah Christian, Michael Stackpole, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin, Vince Garcia, and Jean Rabe. Lords of Darkness (TSR, 1988)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Tom Moldvay. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1981)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules (TSR, 1983)
- Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
- Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
- Allston, Aaron. Wrath of the Immortals (TSR, 1992)
- Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Breault, Mike, ed, et al. Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1990)
- McCready, Anne Gray. Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors Beyond Tyr (TSR, Inc., 1995)
- Nephew, John, Teeuwynn Woodruff, John Terra, and Skip Williams. Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
- Donovan, Dale. Cult of the Dragon (Wizards of the Coast, 1998)
- Thauberger, Rudy. "The Dragon's Bestiary: The Necromancer's Armory." Dragon #234 (TSR, 1996)
- Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Collins, Andy, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams. Draconomicon (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Collins, Andy and Bruce R. Cordell. Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
- Boyd, Eric L, Jeff Crook, and Wil Upchurch. Champions of Ruin (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
- Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
- Jacobs, James, Rob McCreary, and F. Wesley Schneider. Classic Horrors Revisited (Paizo, 2009)