Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yawn of the Dead - no more

I, too, am glad to see that zombies are getting a re-working, and will be something that is added to an adventure as a challenge instead of just as expected flavor -- no one ever stopped delving into the Lost City of Somedarkplace because a few zombies were shambling around...

Until now. The last two Des&Dev articles have been about the zombie and their reawakening. But the second post has me wondering how they're making these variant versions.

I've mentioned before that I like the mathematics and the formulaic approach to creating monsters, "computational monstrionics" (a horrible phrase I just made up from my Computer Science and Linguistics backgrounds -- sorry Disciplines). Templates were the best addition to monsters, allowing all sorts of combinations that still followed a set of rules.

So are these variant zombies -- the chillborn zombie, the corruption zombie and the gravehound zombie -- created from templates, or are the developers actually regressing and making these three separate, distinct types of monsters? I've griped before that they're not making the production of monsters an accurate calculation -- that there will be a bit of fudging, which I don't like. But does this preclude the use of templates for their hand-waving and wishy-washiness?

I see myself taking the new 4th edition Monster Manual (June!) and going through it, finding all of the "errors" in the monsters, and reverse-engineering the template out of things like these zombies. Am I just thinking 3rd edition? Perhaps... but the Monster Manual, more than the PHB or DMG, will have its work cut out for it, to convince me that 4th edition is an improvement.

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