Sometimes zombies are boring... ok most of the time zombies are boring. Usually there is no love given to them. So wouldn't it be nice to give them a refreshing makeover to seemingly bring them to life in your campaign? Well, as much as zombies can be brought to life...
Enter Raging Swan Press with the supplement "So What's The Zombie Like Anyway?" which is a fifteen page supplement with 7 pages of zombie building content. This neat little book serves the purpose of helping you give your zombies something a little bit different as to take it all a bit more interesting. All the tables use percentile dice (D100) to help you choose what you want to happen here.
The book has a selection of tables to add interesting, and in some cases disturbing, characteristics to your little zombie chums. The first table is called "what's the zombie look like?" and have a rather excellent selection of description you can give your zombie. from "Faceless; the zombie's face is blank, smooth skin through either magic or birth defect" (number 32 for those who are interested) or to much more simple things like "Covered in flour, the zombie wears a miller's overalls and has calloused hands." (Number 15).
The next table is called "What's the zombie carrying?" after all - your zombies all don't have to be boring shuffling empty-handed monstrosities! They could have a "Riding crop made of worn black leather" (number 66, the question is where is the horse then...?) or an "iron key, unadorned and with no obvious matching log. The key is covered in dried blood" (number 43 for those still following along). Of course, if you are doing a horde of zombies you will use this table sparingly. What I really enjoyed what how many of these can be a plot hook in some cases, or can be used to add a personality to the zombie. Why does this zombie seem to be carrying a deck of well-used playing cards? Maybe he works at the local tavern dealing cards? Maybe there was a poker game going on and the betting money is still there! You have options with these little things to just be nice personal touches, or something the players can explore further.
The next part is where it gets a little be frightening though. This section is for when you don't want just silly looking zombies but some that make your players suddenly panic as their standard zombie killing techniques stop working! Why not throw in some Fast zombies? Or increase the difficulty by having a frozen, Screaming zombie running towards them? Oh, and the screaming? Now that caught the attention of the Zombie Limb Swarm. Oh dear... Make your players have to think on their feet with suddenly zombies of a rather different nature than the standard lumbering beasts. The templates are all rather interesting and while they can increase the difficulty somewhat, none of them make them completely out of the realms of a young adventuring party.
The final table presents us with Hooks. Sadly there is only twenty ideas to help get your ideas brewing and help come up with some interesting extras you can include with your zombie horde. All the ideas are really quite intriguing and full of awesome ways to go with your plot.
Overall I am really rather impressed with this little book. There is plenty for you to spice up your zombie encounters without having to put in a huge pile of work from your side. With simple tables you can of course just roll to see what you randomly get or scan the tables and templates for something you really want to use.
[5 of 5 Stars!]