So, second up in the 100% Crunch series are Zombies. Benefiting from the very idea that a zombie's physical requirements for being a dangerous creation are very similar to the skeleton's the lists within this book are going to see some familiar races from the last installment in this series. But in no way does that necessarily detract from the cool factor. Having just finished the Skeletons tome shortly before delving into this one, I was like a kid skipping straight to the CR list to see what goodies would catch my eye this time...and to my ultimate delight the T-Rex was there. Also a Pit Fiend, an Ice Linnorm and a freaking Whale....oh the sheer bizarreness for zombieness this collection brings to the table.
So, for those not yet familiar with the series, the 100% Crunch line seeks to tackle some of the classics we all know and love, and not only streamline them down for time beleaguered Gms everywhere, but expand upon the stock we have all been using. Let's face it, as far as zombies go for the most part we're all picturing a shuffling humanoid, doing its thing trying to eat...but why does it have to be humanoid? Why can't it be a Dragon Turtle? Or a Girallon? Why, because most of us don't have the time to delve into the math of applying the template for zombie to a mass amount of cool races, that's why. And that is where this series is really kicking in to high gear.
A CR list with the offerings broken down by their levels of badassed-ness, the full zombie template presented here for sake of ease and completion. A variety of alternate zombie templates that should be familiar to most anyone, again here for the sake of completion. A handy listing of creatures from the three bestiaries, broken down by which book they can be found within and their CR/HD ratings, that would be perfect for zombification...and then a mass avalanche of zombie statblocks. Yeah, this book handles your zombie needs as a GM.
And, while we're discussing what all this pdf includes, there is a small section of lines that ALMOST borders on the concept of fluff. And it is those lines that I want to thank Julian Neale for the most, as these lines discuss the concepts of how one might go about getting their hands on certain bodies to use for zombification...bodies not of the norm, like perhaps planetars and such. A few races are suggested for their talents in planar travel, and the idea of them “harvesting” battlefields of various planes and worlds sparked an entire organization within my campaign world that even now rolls around in the back of my head. The ultimate grave robbers, trafficking in rare and unusual bodies. I love when a book sparks a thought that wont go away.
Editing and format are as to be expected from an excellent publisher like Raging Swan, and the layout adheres to the dual column format, with bookmarks and linked TOC. I can find nothing to complain about in terms of this product other than that I want MORE!
The 100% Crunch series continues with a second excellent entry, and has again earned a 5 star rating. Well worth the price of admission folks, the sheer amount of time you'll save as a GM demands this product be a part of your arsenal. Combine this with the excellent So What's the Zombie Like Anyway and you have the recipe for one seriously memorable horde of flesh hungry undeath to unleash on your PCs.
[5 of 5 Stars!]