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Archives of Nethys

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PFS StandardWithered

If a husk zombie survives for several years, their body continues to dry out, their flesh hardens, and their eyes turn into pale, glowing orbs set deep into otherwise empty sockets. Known as the withered, these zombies are cunning, capable of forming complex plans and even setting traps utilizing their less-intelligent brethren to lure the unsuspecting into deadly ambushes.

Recall Knowledge - Undead (Religion): DC 20
Unspecific Lore: DC 18
Specific Lore: DC 15

Elite | Normal | Weak
Proficiency without Level

WitheredCreature 5

NEMediumUndeadZombie
Source Book of the Dead pg. 172
Perception +11; darkvision
Skills Athletics +14, Deception +9, Intimidation +9, Stealth +13
Str +5, Dex +4, Con +4, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +0
Slow A withered is permanently slowed 1 and can't use reactions.
Items dagger (6), leather armor, shortsword
AC 22; Fort +11, Ref +13, Will +9
HP 80 (negative healing); Immunities death effects, disease, paralyzed, poison, unconscious; Weaknesses positive 5
Speed 35 feet
Melee shortsword +14 [+10/+6] (agile, versatile S), Damage 1d6+9 piercingMelee dagger +14 [+10/+6] (agile, versatile S), Damage 1d4+9 piercingMelee fist +14 [+9/+4], Damage 1d8+7 bludgeoningRanged dagger +13 [+9/+5] (agile, thrown 10 feet, versatile S), Damage 1d4+9 piercingSneak Attack The withered zombie deals an additional 2d6 precision damage to flat-footed creatures.Sudden Surge Trigger The withered zombie's turn begins; Effect The withered zombie has a sudden burst of speed. They are quickened this turn and can use the extra action only to Stride or Strike. If the withered zombie's first action this turn is a melee Strike, the target is flat-footed against the attack. The withered zombie can't use Sudden Surge again for 1d4 rounds.

All Monsters in "Zombie"

NameLevel
Husk Zombie2
Plague Zombie1
Shambler Troop4
Sulfur Zombie6
Withered5
Zombie Brute2
Zombie Dragon9
Zombie Hulk6
Zombie Lord4
Zombie Mammoth11
Zombie Owlbear3
Zombie Shambler-1
Zombie Snake0

Zombie

Source Bestiary pg. 340
A zombie's only desire is to consume the living. Unthinking and ever-shambling harbingers of death, zombies stop only when they're destroyed.

Zombie Abilities

You can modify zombies with the following zombie abilities. Most zombies have one of these abilities; If you give a zombie more, you might want to increase its level and adjust its statistics. The DCs use the zombie's level from the Spell DC and Spell Attack Bonus table.
Disgusting Pustules (disease, necromancy) The zombie is covered in pustules that rupture when it takes any piercing damage or any critical hit. In either case, adjacent creatures are hit with vile fluid, causing them to become sickened 1 unless they succeed at a Fortitude save.
Feast (manipulate) If the zombie is adjacent to a helpless or unconscious creature, or a deceased creature that died in the past hour, the zombie can feast upon its flesh to heal itself. This restores an amount of Hit Points equal to the zombie's level. If the creature is alive, the zombie deals damage equal to its jaws, flst, or claw damage.
Plague-Ridden (disease, necromancy) The zombie carries a plague that can create more of its own kind. This functions as the plague zombie's zombie rot, except at stage 5, the victim rises as another of the zombie's type, rather than a plague zombie.
Rotting Aura (aura, disease, necromancy) The zombie emits an aura of rot and disease that causes wounds to fester and turn sour. Any living creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of the zombie and is not at full Hit Points takes 1d6 damage as its wounds fester. This damage increases by 1d6 for every 6 levels the zombie has. Creatures that take a critical hit from the zombie also take this damage immediately.
Unkillable This zombie is nigh unkillable. The zombie loses its weakness to slashing and gains resistance against all damage equal to its level (minimum 3), and it gains weakness equal to twice its level (minimum 6) to critical hits. Increase the zombie's level by 1 if you give it this ability.

Additional Monster Abilities

Bestiary 3

You can modify zombies with the following zombie abilities, in addition to those found on page 340 of the Bestiary. Most zombies have one of these abilities; if you give a zombie more, you might want to increase its level and adjust its statistics.

Ankle Biter This zombie fights just as well on the ground as it does standing. While prone, the zombie isn't flat-footed, it ignores the status penalty to its attack rolls, and it gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Athletics checks to Trip. The zombie can also move up to half its Speed when it Crawls.

Persistent Limbs The first time the zombie is critically hit with a melee or ranged Strike, a limb falls off its body and continues to attack. The limb acts on the zombie's initiative; each round it can Stride up to half the zombie's Speed and make a Strike. The limb uses and contributes to the zombie's multiple attack penalty.

Putrid Stench (aura, olfactory) 15 feet. The zombie's rotting flesh is particularly malodorous. A creature that enters the area must attempt a Fortitude save. On a failure, the creature is sickened 1, and on a critical failure, the creature also takes a –5-foot status penalty to its Speeds for 1 round. While within the aura, the creature takes a –2 circumstance penalty to saves to recover from the sickened condition. A creature that succeeds at its save is temporarily immune to all zombies' putrid stenches for 1 minute.

Unholy Speed The zombie gains a +10 status bonus to all its Speeds

Book of the Dead

Infested The zombie's flesh is infested with swarming vermin. When the zombie is hit with a critical hit or destroyed, the swarm is set free. Its initiative is immediately after the zombie's. If the swarm is 4 or more levels lower than the zombie, it isn't worth XP (and doesn't add its XP to the encounter budget).

Spitting Zombie The zombie spits acid as a ranged Strike with a range of 30 feet. This uses the highest attack bonus among the zombie's Strikes and deals 1d12 acid damage per 3 levels of the zombie (or 1d6 acid damage below level 3). On a critical hit, the target also takes 1d4 persistent acid damage per 3 levels of the zombie. Once used, the zombie must spend 1 action to cough up enough acid to use this ability again.

Tearing Grapple The zombies work in groups to rip foes to pieces. Whenever a zombie with this ability successfully Grapples a foe that's already grabbed or restrained by another zombie with this ability, they violently struggle over the poor victim, dealing fist damage (or a similar Strike's damage if the zombie doesn't have a fist Strike). If the grapple is a critical success, the target takes double damage and ceases being grabbed or restrained by any other creatures. If the zombie has the Grab ability, using Grab deals half its fist Strike damage to the target.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Creating Zombies

To create a zombie creature, start with a zombie of the appropriate size. Then add any Strikes, Speeds, or other abilities it would gain from its shape. To create a Gargantuan zombie, begin with the zombie hulk, apply the elite adjustments, change its size to Gargantuan, and increase its reach by 5 feet.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Disposable Legions

With the ancient lich Tar-Baphon now released from his ages-long imprisonment, the undead within his legions have been specifically repurposed. Zombies like the ones seen here fulfill particular roles, and evil necromancers deploy them much like living or intelligent undead troops. Necromancer experiments seek to produce various abilities and mix energies, with horrifying results that doesn't deter their creators.

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Hoarding Instincts

Though zombies have no use for wealth—indeed, most don't understand the concept in the first place—zombie dragons retain a hint of their innate tendency to hoard. A fresher corpse might guard the hoard it gathered in life (or what remains of it), while a zombie further from life might instead hoard bones, rocks, corpses, or other unusual objects. Understandably, the monetary value of these hoards varies widely

Sidebar - Additional Lore Mindless Mix-Ups

Zombies try to obey orders, but understanding the words spoken doesn't always mean interpreting them correctly. Examples of misunderstood orders have included the following.
  • “Fetch my hat,” leading the zombie to spend hours throwing a hat across a room and retrieving it.
  • “Prune these bushes,” resulting in bushes “pruned” entirely, cut off at the root.
  • “Let me know if anyone comes to the door,” causing the zombie to go to the door and return to its master.
  • “Kill the intruders!” turning zombies raised from a local graveyard against their master, who was not from the area.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Risen from the Grave

Zombies are often created using unwholesome necromantic rituals. Among the living dead, zombies are most often used as fodder, wearing down defenses and consuming resources before more powerful undead arrive to deal the killing blow. Zombies cannot speak or really even think for themselves, but they can be commanded by other allied undead and powerful necromancers.

Sidebar - Geb Symphony of Flesh

Life creates flesh to fulfill its needs, growing it to hunt, consume, and survive. In undeath, the tools of survival can be made into a medium for art. The zombie is the first note in a symphony of dead flesh. Along with skeletons, they are the sturdy, reliable base of any masterpiece and an artist who fails to master these simple tools is not worth notice. One can hear the joyous sounds of the symphony in the low moans and creaking bones of a zombie legion.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Zombie Animals

Animals, like the snake, owlbear, and mammoth found here, can easily turn into zombies. They commonly rise from areas cursed by necromancy rather than being deliberately created. Risen pets sometimes develop a fondness for zombies, especially zombies of their former owners. An ordinary zombie can be a suitable companion, capable of petting the risen pet endlessly without the capacity to grow bored.