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Some members have mentioned that standard skeletons and zombies are yesterday's news and would like them either removed or overhauled. Here's my suggestion:

 

Once the adventuring party reaches a certain level, consider making 1 in 10 (or 1 in 5) skeletons come with a built-in "Skull Trap" spell. You strike it once, and it detonates like the "Blast Skeletons" in IWD. But they look like regular skellies so you can't tell them apart.

 

And make zombies SPRINT, DayZ style.

 

Problem solved. :skull:

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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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:huh: how does that make them better? If you can't tell which ones are kamikazes it's just russian roulette. That sounds pretty unfun and unfair to me.

 

I also don't think sprinting enemies in general are great in this kind of game. Fights shouldn't be about reaction time in a rtwp rpg.

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It means that you occasionally have to adapt your combat strategy, that's all. I mean, regular skeletons are a little bit of a challenge at low levels, but to keep them from being simple graveyard fodder, why not introduce the Russian Roulette element? If anything, I think it will increase the fun-factor because you have to make a strategic evaluation, rather than click the attack button and wait for your party to win.

 

As for zombies, they've been fine in some earlier games, but their slow shuffling is just another reason to exploit that weakness. They're not really a threat unless you allow them to gang up on you.

 

They don't all have to be like that, but consider it an increased challenge when you do encounter the fast ones. If they suddenly swarm your spellcasters, it's a chance to do something about it. It probably feels uncomfortable because it's "different" to what you're used to. But to be fair, P:E will be different in so many ways, that behavioural changes in a few monsters shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Animated skeletons are somewhat overused in CRPGs. I remember when I first saw them (in the form of stop-motion animation) in the original "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963); at the time it was a very cool and striking moment because they were created by tossing dragon's teeth onto the ground. I suppose they supply a need for a low-level undead monster in CRPGs, but they have long since lost any appeal as a terrifying foe.

 

It may be more visually interesting (and creepy) if their structures contained a wispy green or scarlet glow that twisted and moved about, suggesting a source for their animation. Perhaps they could be given a special attack that takes effect on a critical hit, briefly sapping the life force (stamina) of the defender and causing disruptive pain?

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Alternate skeleton idea:

 

Skeletons are not reanimated from corpses, but must be carefully constructed from individual bones to create whatever shape the creator desires. For this reason, skeletons often have several arms and heads, long teeth and talons, extra bone plating to protect them and so on. When the spell is cast to animate the bones together, a 'core' of magical energy is created and bound within that provides the newly minted skeleton with energy to perform all its life functions, as well as the ability to regenerate any damage done to its bony exterior. This core of energy hovers in the center of the skeletons body and is volatile, producing a large explosion of magical energy if destroyed. The explosion shatters the skeleton into thousands of tiny, deadly bone shards that damages anyone in range. For this reason, cores are often protected by scraps of armour.

 

Skeletons are expensive to create and maintain as their energy cores do not last forever. They are also vulnerable to magic and skilled ranged attackers who can peirce their cores while out of range of the resulting explosion.

 

Some skeletons can have additional powers if they are created with enchanted gems fitted into their eyesockets. These gems are able to draw energy from the core and produce effects such as fire blasts from their eyesockets. This process is even more time consuming and expensive, and the special abilities drain the core much faster, so these types are generally only found safeguarding the private estates of wealthy mages.

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Sprinting zombies are visually cool in a movie and up the suspense factor. But my problem with them is that then they are just regular enemies with regular speed issues. May as well just be hungry cheetahs or something. I've never really understood the fascination for the "undead" in entertainment, outside of humorous value. The most interesting thing about them is how they become undead/how they can exist when undead, and outside of Liches in some games (especially if one can play a Lich), this is never explored (outside of "it's magic!")....zombies/skeletons are just fodder in most games, not much above rats. Same thing with skeletons.

 

I actually don't mind that they're in a game (that is, I have no burning hatred for them) ... something has to be a common, frequent enemy ... I just get bored of them being such a fixture in almost every single fantasy game I've ever played. Every cave and dungeon or swamp field, there they are. Yawn.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Alternate zombie idea:

 

A Zombie Curse is a magical disease that affects humans and other animals. Once contracted, the animal eventually dies and rises as one of the walking dead.

 

Each limb (arms, legs, head and torso) is capable of operating independently, detaching from the others and propelling itself through the air through some means of magical levitation.

 

In physical combat, attacks against a zombie can cause it to split into several pieces that will each attack individually. The peices will re-attach themselves when the danger has passed. If even one peice of a zombie remains, it will reattach to other peices (even if they were destroyed) and eventually regenerate fully. These creatures are very dangerous as they can last for years in total isolation and can spread the disease to other animals it encounters.

 

Animals under the zombie curse become very vulnerable to fire, which is the only method of permanently destroying a limb so that it can no longer regenerate.

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For those asking how undead would work with this lore, how about this?

 

Undead are created when a soul is forcibly bound into a corpse. The presence of the soul prevents further decay and allows movement, but the body is not alive. Undead with weak souls are only able to animate their body, and clumsily at that, while more powerful souls can attain unnatural strength and speed without their body's natural limits. Only the most powerful souls have enough strength to perform spells.

 

Because the soul is unable to pass on to the gods in such a state, it is considered a sin by all religions and a capital crime by most laws. The process can also cause permanent damage to the soul, which only grows worse the longer the corpse is animated. Those undead with the ability of speech have claimed it to be agonizing. As such a handful of ancient laws do exist allowing the souls of heinous criminals be bound to their own corpses after execution or if they die prior to completing their prison sentence.

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post-48060-0-85817300-1358210836_thumb.jpg

 

A few skeleton variations. Also, how about non-humanoid versions?

 

Skeletal Minotaurs, Bears, Ogres, Driders, Harpies, and Wolves etc.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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http://tvtropes.org/...iesAreDifferent

 

Do we really need to go through all the possibilities of this?

Off topic, but every time someone posts one of those trope links, I get lost forever. Thanks. :p;)

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I definitely think the source of their animation should be much more pertinent. Maybe a Priest could have the exclusive ability to consecrate remains so that they are shielded from the touch of necromancy. This way, you'd have the option of nulling the threat of the remains (so the source could never re-animate them again), OR find/kill the source so that there's nothing TO re-animate anything. Also, if you kill the necromancer (or disable the necromantic artifact, or whatever force is neromanticizing things), all the undead "powered" by it, so to speak, should be rendered inert.

 

This would make them a much more interesting foe, mechanically, than "Oh, look, things happen to be undead that are attacking me, so ice is useless and I should use blunt weaponry. Other than that, just another day at the office."

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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More variation in the animations would go a long way. And sound effects too for that matter.

 

In NWN2, zombies had DR 5/Slashing and could spread disease, and skeletons had DR 5/bludgeoning, which kinda made sense. So there are some tactics to consider when combating these enemies.

 

I think a few more interesting (and downright nasty) abilities could (and should) really set them apart from earlier games though.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Set them a-PARRRT! And YOU'RRRE tooo BLAME!!! YOU GIIIIVE SKELETONS-AND-ZOHHH-ohhhmm-bies... a GOOO-ood name!!! *drums and guitars*

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Some examples from 4E zombies.

  • The corruption corpse hurls a black glob of necrotic filth. Ranged attack, necrotic damage, and the target is weakened.
  • When reduced to 0 hit points, the chillborn zombie explodes. Close burst, cold damage, and the target is slowed.
  • The first time the zombie hulk drops to 0 hit points, make a new initiative check. On its next turn, the zombie hulk rises with X hit points.

These would liven things up a bit.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Sprinting zombies are visually cool in a movie and up the suspense factor. But my problem with them is that then they are just regular enemies with regular speed issues. May as well just be hungry cheetahs or something. I've never really understood the fascination for the "undead" in entertainment, outside of humorous value. The most interesting thing about them is how they become undead/how they can exist when undead, and outside of Liches in some games (especially if one can play a Lich), this is never explored (outside of "it's magic!")....zombies/skeletons are just fodder in most games, not much above rats. Same thing with skeletons.

 

I actually don't mind that they're in a game (that is, I have no burning hatred for them) ... something has to be a common, frequent enemy ... I just get bored of them being such a fixture in almost every single fantasy game I've ever played. Every cave and dungeon or swamp field, there they are. Yawn.

 

In general, the real appeal of zombies, especially in video games, is allowing the player/protagonist to engage in gratuitous, guilt-free violence.

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In general, the real appeal of zombies, especially in video games, is allowing the player/protagonist to engage in gratuitous, guilt-free violence.

 

...Then why aren't they in Grand Theft Auto? 8)

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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How about the occasional Berserker Zombie or Skeleton?

 

Identified by the fact they both move faster than their regular cousins, but instead of ranged or melee attacks, their function is to detonate near you? Maybe a close burst of cold-fire or electro-acid (reminds me of this party once...) or at higher levels, Fireball or Skull Trap? Actually Fireball would be more like Sunfire (i.e. centred on the individual).

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Or maybe that one, slightly larger, more intelligent undead thing that assimilates the corpses of the re-fallen (re-dead?) that you slay around it (more basic undead) into its own form as battle progresses? So, do you thin the numbers on the 15 undead in the room, or do you focus fire on the scary assimilating thingy at the cost of extra punishment from the 14 other undead so that it can't become ultra-frightening? Or maybe you kill things and make sure to specifically focus position-altering abilities on it? (Block it with the Fighter's defensive stance ability, knock it back with Monk/Barbarian stuff, root it, etc?)

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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