Thursday, October 30, 2014

Warmed Over Zombies

With Halloween just ahead I stopped my Traveller designs to work on something more spooky: a classification system for zombies! Zombies in Traveller? Why not? You can have all manner of alien viruses, bacteria, nano-tech, and parasites out there as well as well as bio weapons, drugs and weird psi powers.

As a side note zombies make great opponents for barbarians in spacesuits. Anyway I present my Universal Zombie Profile (UZP) newly revised and expanded.

Origin
1) Parasite
2) Virus
3) Radiation
4) Nano-tech
5) Drug induced
6) Really bad case of jump sickness

Smarts
 1) Bugs are smarter. Zombies react solely by instinct. Will walk off cliffs or into fire.
 2) Animal cunning. Very dumb animals.
 3) Feral human. Will throw rocks, particularly to break lights.
 4) Semi-intelligent. Will throw rocks, use clubs and can learn rudiments of machinery. Could fire a rifle but not load it. Can open doors. Limited learning.
 5) Near human. Often retains habits and knowledge of past life. Can learn by observing how to operate simple machinery.
 6) Hive mind (individual zombies are stupid but they communicate mentally and boss zombies rate human level intelligence.)

Quickness
 1) Can plod slowly along. Forever.
 2) Can stumble or shamble along at normal walking speed.
 3) Can break into a shambling jog.
 4) Can run but may fall.
 5) Can run as fast as a human.
 6) Any of the speeds above. Individuals vary by freshness.

Muscle
 1) Half human strength
 2) Below average human strength
 3) Average human strength
 4) Athletic human strength
 5) Twice as strong as an average human
 6) As strong as a normal human but can bite through a steel bar

Toughness
 1)Brittle. While destroying the head is the only way the skull is fragile and can be broken with a kick or penetrated by a jackknife.
 2)Normal human durability. A headshot is not necessary.
 3) Only a headshot will do it though other wounds will slow it down.
 4) Only a headshot will do it. Other wounds are ignored.
 5) Even a headshot is iffy. Only massive firepower will kill this.
 6) The zombie's circulatory system resembles tar making it nearly bulletproof. Guns do 1/3 damage. Blade weapons do normal damage.

Infection
 1) Not infectious.
 2) Infection can be fought with antibiotics.
 3) Only amputating a wounded limb has any chance of working. A bite on the torso, head or neck is hopeless.
 4) Infection is immediate within seconds
 5) Highly infectious...
 6) ... and goes out of its way to infect (spitter, spewers etc.)

Some examples:
28 Days Later Origin -2, Smarts-2, Quickness -5, Muscle-4, Toughness-2, Infection-4
Night of the Living Dead Origin-3, Smarts -3, Quickness -2, Muscle-2, Toughness-4, Infection-1
The Walking Dead (new zombie) Origin-2, Smarts-1, Quickness-4, Muscle-3, Toughness-4, Infection-3
The Walking Dead (old zombie) Origin-2, Smarts-1, Quickness-3, Muscle-3, Toughness-1, Infection-3
Warm Bodies Origin-2, Smarts-5, Quickness-3, Muscle-3, Toughness-3, Infection-3
Skeleton in a Spacesuit Origin-6, Smarts-5, Quickness-5, Muscle-5, Toughness-3,  Infection-1