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A new campaign I'm about to start has the evil nation next door relying heavily on skeleton labour, both as menial labour and cannon fodder for the armies of darkness. I haven't really fleshed out the economics. (There's a skeleton/zombie gag in there somewhere.) So I thought I might do so here and get any feedback and suggestions people might have. Kemet (The Black Land) Why yes, I have decided to make the necromantic kingdom fantasy Egypt. Think a wide, terrible desert with one life-giving river flowing through it. There's still plenty of live subjects in the kingdom. They still carry out some of the menial work. But I see most of them as doing more complex work, including overseeing gangs of skellies as they work the fields, dig the mines, and drag huge blocks of sandstone to build pyramids, etc. Any sort of skilled labour still requires living people. I figure there's plenty of people who, wanting to advance themselves in society, study necromancy. I envisage whole schools set up for the study of it. Many of the graduates will never amount to much more than middle management roles, overseeing work gangs, and helping make wands of skeleton control. There's also embalmers and doctors for the undead. The large number of low level necromancers allows for economy of scale when it comes to these minor, yet crucial, necromantic industries. So (living) people make a vital contribution to the economy this way. Another crucial thing the living contribute to the realm is death. After all, the best source of dead people is live people. All citizens can look forward to being rewarded with some form of extended life after they die. Those who just did their job but no more can expect a few centuries as skeletons before shuffling off to their afterlives. Better service in life leads to better rewards in undeath. Up to a point Kemet is a meritocracy. There is still a royal family. One cannot become a member of the royal family unless one is born into it or marries into it. But any office lower than that is open to anyone qualified. The very best necromancers will go on to rise into the ranks of the nobility. Naturally the nobility are all necromancers and/or undead. As for the royal family, all members can expect to be mummified and get to live eternally within the many palaces (necropalaces?) that dot the hills overlooking the river valley. Obviously there's been attrition over the centuries but there's still thousands of undead making up this family. The royal family is headed by the Eternal Pharaoh, the many times ancestor to the current, living generation. He or she (no-one is sure any more) rules over the kingdom from deep within their Great Pyramid, handing out decrees that are enforced by the bureaucracy of liches, vampires, and mummies. Any suggestions or just random musings welcome. (I've cross-posted this from the GitP world building forums)
59 downloadsFor all of you Dark Fantasy fans out there I present the Animated Skeleton. The animated skeleton is a fairly simple undead creature suitable for encounters against standard heroic characters. This is the Animated Skeleton Summoned by the Human Necromancer's Animate Skeleton and Command Skeleton spells.
85 downloadsFor all of you horror fans out there I present the "Plague Zombie" for Fantasy Hero Complete. This terrifying enemy is the bane of the living (and your players), and the perfect adversary for a Zombie Survival horror campaign. The plague zombie's disease ridden bite is highly infectious, and lethal. A single bite from this enemy will kill any human with less than 16 BODY in 32 seconds. Any human that dies within 6 hours of being bitten by a Plague Zombie immediately rises as one themselves.
How can you possibly do something original with vampires? I decided to try. In my Turakian game, vampires are all deliberately created undead, brought into being by a particularly vile necromantic ritual. Vampires are created by an evil ritual in which the victim is deprived of food and water, repeatedly cursed, and then slowly bled by a combination of exposure to bloodsucking creatures such as leeches and mosquitoes which are force fed to the otherwise starved victim and of draining the victim's blood into a pottery vessel inscribed with curses, from which the victim must drink. When this ordeal finally ends in death, the victim will rise as an undead monster hating their tormentor but compelled to serve and obey. Every vampire has at least two forms; one resembling who they were when alive, and one obviously monstrous shape that is humanoid but reflects the form of one of the bloodsuckers used in their ordeal. Some vampiric powers can only manifest when in the latter form. The monstrous form will always include the head changing into a giant version of that of some parasite such as a mosquito, tick, leech, or spider (technically I know a spider isn't a bloodsucking parasite but it's close enough for necromancy ok?) Some examples of powers associated with specific bloodsuckers: Aspect of the Mosquito Swarm: vampire dissolves into a cloud of mosquitoes Aspect of the Leech Aquatic Ambush: Limited Invisibility if in water Aspect of the Spider Webs: An Entangle power There are ways a vampire thrall can win free, in particular, if the vampire's creator is destroyed. Free vampires can become powerful vampire lords- and once having undergone the hideous rite of transformation, any vampire knows how to inflict it on others.... Lucius Alexander I had more written up for these things but the palindromedary ate most of my work.
For all of you horror fans out there I present the "Plague Zombie" for Fantasy Hero Complete. This terrifying enemy is the bane of the living (and your players), and the perfect adversary for a Zombie Survival horror campaign. The plague zombie's disease ridden bite is highly infectious, and lethal. A single bite from this enemy will kill any human with less than 16 BODY in 32 seconds. Any human that dies within 6 hours of being bitten by a Plague Zombie immediately rises as one themselves. http://www.herogames.com/forums/files/file/354-plague-zombie-heroic-fantasy/ I was originally inspired to create this creature after watching the anime "High School of the Dead". A series in which the zombies are fairly unusual, highly lethal, and can very quickly spawn more of themselves.