Among the undead, a lone zombie ranks far from the most menacing. The horror of the shambling dead lies not in their individual menace, though, but their numbers, their persistence, and their disregard for their own well-being. A throng of zombies will douse a forest fire with their own ashes or march into a dragon’s maw until the monster chokes.
In the course of their relentless marches, zombies might suffer all manner of trauma, potentially reducing them to masses of crawling limbs (see swarm of zombie limbs), infecting them with terrible diseases (see zombie plague spreader), or crushing an entire horde into a single, rotting titan.
Among the types of horror adventures detailed in chapter 2, tales of uncontrolled zombie outbreaks orbit the dark fantasy and disaster horror genres. The horror of these adventures focuses not on the terror of a single zombie, but of countless individual threats overwhelming society. When creating your own undead calamities, consider the plots presented on the Zombie Apocalypses table.
|1||A twisted wish causes those affected by healing magic and potions of healing to rise as zombies.|
|2||Overwhelming magic reanimates zombies again and again as swarms of zombie limbs.|
|3||The githyanki unleash zombie plague spreaders to scour mind flayers from a world.|
|4||The seals containing an underground zombie horde fail, releasing ancient zombie clots.|