Astral Zombie
New Monster

Str n/a (1) Dex n/a (1) Con n/a
Int 2 Per 7 Wil 4
DPs n/a (30)
EPs n/a
Spd 18
Essence 150 max

Attack: Soul Smite; Ecto Smack; Leech (see Special Astral Zombie Aspects below).

Weak Spot: Religious Items and Powers (see Destruction below).

Getting Around: Special.  The astral zombie's movement is very unique.  It exists only half way between this world and the astral world, which gives it special advantages and disadvantages.  When incorporeal, the zombie more or less flies at will and can pass through any substance.  However, it may not come into contact with any physical object.  When corporeal, it is able to come into contact with physical objects but only on a limited basis through the use of ectoplasm.  Its effective Strength and Dexterity when manipulating objects are 1.  It may pass through non-dense substances, such as wood or glass, but it leaves a sticky mess everywhere when it does so. This special Aspect is worth +5 Power.

Strength: Special (see Getting Around above).

Senses: Like Nothing You've Ever Seen; X-Ray Vision

Sustenance: Special; Soul Sucker. The astral zombie does not feed on flesh.  It feeds on the essences of human beings.  The zombie has a maximum of 150 Essence Points, and it loses Essence Points at a rate of one per day.  Generally, they must feed at least monthly to survive.  Unlike other zombies, the astral zombie tends not eat everything in sight.  In fact, they often times choose their prey in very complicated and deliberate manners, establishing a strict pattern for hunting and feeding.  The only time they feed excessively is when they are planning to spawn (see Spreading the Love below).

Intelligence: Problem Solving; Teamwork; Long-Term Memory

Spreading the Love: Spawning. When an astral zombie wishes to create another like itself, it must spawn.  Doing so is rather simple.  It must consume and store no less than 120 Essence Points.  The zombie then spends these 120 points to create another zombie by spawning it directly from itself.  The new zombie is a unique creature unto itself and is fully matured within twenty minutes of being born (or spawned rather . . .).  Generally, astral zombies don't spawn unless their Essence Pools are full, so as not to fully weaken themselves.  Contrary to the practice of most zombies, astral zombies rarely spawn. This special Aspect decreases Power by 5.

Power: 89

Optional Rule: Fleshing It
This is an optional rule for those who prefer their zombies with meat.  The astral zombie gains an additional Aspect to drain the flesh off of human beings and compose a temporary body for itself.  To do this, the zombie simply uses its Soul Sucker ability, except instead of draining Essence Points, it drains Life Points.  These points are set aside and called Flesh Points.  Once the zombie has acquired its full number of Dead Points in Flesh Points, its got enough flesh to constitute a full body.  Generally, the body takes the same general shape as the zombie's ghostly visage, except that it is *really* slimy.  Note that in order to have normal features the zombie must actually consume these features.  So, if it wants eyes and hair, then it must eat the eyes and hair off of a body (or corpse, though they do prefer the warm bodies).  This special Aspect is worth +10 Power.

This fleshy body does not really change anything as far as game mechanics go; it just makes the zombies gorier and meatier.  The only real exception is that the zombie may not pass through hard substances while "fleshed."  If it attempts to do so, all flesh is lost and is left clinging to the wall (or whatever) along with a bunch of slime.  Otherwise, their Flesh Points are tallied right alongside their Dead Points, and all damage is done as normal.  Once it reaches zero Flesh Points, the body is wasted.

They disappeared slowly, one by one.  It ain't like in the movies, where all the sudden there's zombies everywhere, eatin' everything in sight.  We didn't even see 'em till it was too late.  Heck, we don't even know how many there are.  Could only be a couple; could be an entire army.  You only ever see one at a time, but they look different.  So you can sorta tell 'em apart.

Me, I seen two at least.  It was the most God-awful sight I've ever seen.  Not scary because it was all covered with gore and screemin' like a dyin' banshee.  No, it was terrifying because a how horribly silent it was.  I was just walkin' down the hall, and there it was, comin' outta Jainie's room.  It just looked at me, real slow, then turned away.  By the time I got in there, it was too late.  The monster had sucked the soul right outta her.

Folks try to say they're just ghosts, but ghosts don't suck the flesh off of people's faces before they kill 'em.  And these ones ain't stupid neither, not like them movie zombies.  So, in some ways maybe they are like ghosts.  These bastards don't kill, they hunt.  But there is one thing that sets them apart from any ghost or anything else.  A ghost would have to be the restless spirit of the dead, one of our own, and by God I tell you these beasts ain't like anything, living or dead, from this world or the next.

Indeed, the astral zombie is a strange and alien beast that no one would want to mess with.  This creature borrows many of its features from its fellow undead, the ghost, but carries with it the appetite and mindlessness of the insatiable zombie.  It possesses the unique ability to exist simultaneously in both the astral and physical worlds, and it uses this ability to do what zombies do best -- hunt down human beings for consumption.

In appearance, astral zombies are much like ghosts.  They look like restless spirits, but it's their horribly alien nature and hungry appetite that set them apart.  The astral zombie is also not trapped fully in the astral world as a ghost might be.  It can step into our world to wreak its havoc in entirely new ways.  Its astral powers and cunning intelligence make it one of the most deadly form of zombies ever known.

Fortunately, these creatures are quite rare and do not swarm in mass numbers as other zombies do.  They hunt their prey in small numbers or as solitary killers.  Yet, this doesn't make them any less terrifying.  A single astral zombie is capable of devouring the population of an entire town all by itself before moving on to hunt further.  Of course, along the way it just might decide to spawn a small legion of buddies to join in on the feast.

Editor's Note: The Astral Zombie presented here varies from that included in the Abominations Codex, part of the WitchCraft line. That volume, p. 147, may be consulted for a different take on this subject.

Special Astral Zombie Aspects
Invulnerability: When incorporeal, the astral zombies has no Str, Con or Dex, and is immune to physical attacks.  When corporeal it has a Str of 1, a Dex of 1, and 30 Dead Points.  During this time, blunt and piercing weapons do one-third damage, while explosives, fire, and electricity do half damage.  Enchanted weapons and miracles do full damage at all times (even when incorporeal). Power: +10

Soul Sucker: This Aspect is essentially the same as the one described at AFMBE, p. 155. The ability may only be used while in corporeal state.  To use it, the zombie must simply score a successful attack.  The attack must be a grab, but a firm grasp need not be made.  The zombie then latches on with its mouth and begins to suck.  It drains twice its Willpower in Essence Points from the victim, but only draws half of those into its own Essence Pool.  The other half is lost.  The process takes about twenty seconds, and the victim is left paralyzed during the attack.  Any damage done during the process with enchanted weapons or miracles breaks the zombie's grasp and stops the attack.  Victims are only killed if reduced to zero Essence Points. Power: +5

Soul Smite: This is a powerful attack that the zombie uses to paralyze its opponents.  With it, the zombie lashes out with its willpower and literally smites a por tion of the victim's soul.  The task is resolved using the zombie's Willpower as the appropriate stat.  Furthermore, the zombie must spend 6 Essence Points to use the ability.  Success means that the victim loses D4 x 2 Essence Points and must make a Constitution check or fall unconscious for D6 x 2 minutes.  Victims reduced to zero Essence by this ability are merely knocked unconscious.  The attack may be used in any physical state, but is generally used to subdue victims before feeding.  No Essence Points are gained by the zombie in this attack. Power: +5

Ecto Smack: This is a simple physical attack with an ectoplasmic limb.  It does D4 x 2 regular damage and leaves a sticky mess everywhere. Power: +1

Leech: This is the zombie's only means of feeding while noncorporeal.  With it, the zombie may drain one Essence Point per hour from an unconscious victim.  The task is resolved using the zombie's Willpower.  Because it's so slow, it is seldom used, and when it is, it's usually done on sleeping or unconscious victims. Power: +2

Solidity: While the astral zombie is trapped between the material world and the astral world, it is capable of varying the degree to which it exists in these two worlds.  At will, the zombie may either solidify itself and exist closer to this world, or it may de-solidify and exist primarily in the astral world.  This transformation takes about thirty seconds and is revolting to witness.  When incorporeal, the astral zombie looks more or less like the ghost of a mutilated corpse.  When corporeal, it looks similar, except that it is surrounded by a thin film of ectoplasm.  See Optional Rule: Fleshing It for more on the creature's body. Power: +3

Killing an astral zombie is a difficult task.  They only exist partially in this world, and they can only truly be harmed by enchanted weapons or miracles.  There are two ways to kill an astral zombie.  The first is to reduce it to -10 dead points.  This is easier said than done, since the last ten points of damage can ONLY be done by an enchanted weapon or a miracle (the init ial damage, down to zero, may be done normally).  The second way to kill an astral zombie is to reduce it to zero Dead Points while it is on holy ground (any kind of holy ground will do).  This damage can be done by any normal means. This special Weak Spot Aspect is worth +10 Power.

An astral zombie that is reduced to zero hit points, but not killed, is rendered completely incorporeal.  While in this state, the zombie is absolutely incapable of affecting the material world.  It will remain in this state until it consumes 10 Essence Points (which it can only do through Leech).  At this point, it regains 10 Dead Points.  The zombie may regenerate further Dead Points by spending an equal amount of Essence Points.

However, it must be noted that many astral zombies do not seek to return immediately to the physical world.  Many choose to remain in a state of slumber, which they may do for quite some time.  Some astral zombies will even enter this state of slumber willingly.  It is unknown when and why they finally choose to wake up.

Submitted by Jon Thompson

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