CR16 thoroughly broken artifact of a bygone edition
Tired of throwing the party up against weak, lifeless undead? Feel like you wasted ten levels taking the Doomguide prestige-class, only to find one undead that’s even a decent challenge by that level? Try Vaelen’s Fiendish SuperZombieâ„¢ – your newest rotting friend!
This creature is the result of taking the standard Colossal Zombie and advancing a standard 3.0 zombie it as far as the Monster Manual will allow – 96HD – then fudging things to add the Fiendish template. If your party’s also found that powerful undead foes are almost impossible to locate – barring high-level liches and vampires – this might be an interesting change. Time to break out the Undead band weapons again.
Author’s note: Unlike most of the creatures on this site, this monster hasn’t been updated to the new v3.5 rules. The new rules do not allow for 96HD Colossal zombies, and while a fiendish 20HD Huge zombie could be created, it would be balanced, and what fun would that be?
Hit Dice: 96d12+3 (627 hp)
Initiative: -2 (Dex)
Speed: 40 ft.
AC: 11 (-8 size, -2 Dex, +11 natural), flat 11, touch 0
Base Attack/Grapple: +48/+73
Attack: Slam +50 melee
Full Attack: Slam +50 melee
Damage: Slam 4d6+13
Face/Reach: 40 ft./25 ft.
Special Attacks: Smite Good
Special Qualities: Cold and fire resistance 20, damage reduction 10/+3, darkvision 60ft, partial actions only, spell resistance 25, Undead
Saves: Fort +32, Ref +30, Will +50
Abilities: Str 29, Dex 6, Con &en;, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 3
Feats: Armor Proficiency (light, medium and heavy), Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (slam), Leadership, Power Attack, Toughness, Shield proficiency, Weapon Focus (slam), and any one other feat
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, gang (2-5), squad, (6-10) or mob (11-20)
Challenge Rating: 16
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Smite Good (Su): Once per day the fiendish zombie can make a normal attack to deal +20 additional damage against a good-aligned foe.
Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Partial Actions Only (Ex): Zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only partial actions. Thus they can move or attack, but can only do both if they charge (a partial charge).
Points to note about this particular fiendish zombie
- With the inclusion of the Fiendish template, the superzombie here gains the minimum intelligence score of 3. This puts him in the interesting position of being an intelligent undead, even allowing him to take character levels! However, the ECL of a ninety-six hit dice creature would be unbelievably high, making this is an unlikely career path for the zombie.
- It has a leadership score of 89, despite being composed mostly of rotting flesh. This means that it most likely has its “owner” as a cohort, as opposed to the traditional concept of the undead being slaves to their human masters. The superzombie would make an excellent addition to an undead army, especially since many of his 163 followers can be used to fight alongside undead hordes and simply raised as undead if killed. The zombie’s “owner” can also use Leadership in this way.
- It’s almost impossible to turn or rebuke this creature. Ninety-six hit dice is hard to beat, even if you’re a cleric with the Sun domain, a charisma score of 30 and the Empower Turning feat.
- For optimum results, you can simply have the zombie sit on his foes until they’re dead. A creature that size weighs a lot, and his ass attack (I’m not kidding!) can penetrate damage reduction of up to +3, dealing fistfuls of d6 in crushing damage.
- Don’t forget that the zombie can wear and use armor and magic items. An Amulet of Mighty Fists (from splatbook Sword and Fist) can give the zombie +5 attack and damage with his slam. Full plate armor, though unbelievably costly for a creature of this size, would definately be useful – Tarrasque armor, perhaps?