Friday, May 27, 2011

X-plorers Aliens: Moon Zombies!

I had so much fun attending drive-in-movie throwback, Attack of the Moon Zombies, that I thought I'd write up a an alien for X-plorers based on the flick. Moon Zombies are a creation of Christopher Mihm, so  this content is free to use in your home games only (not to be republished in this form). This is basically my interpretation of the aliens as they appeared in the film. Following are stats and write up that assumes familiarity with X-plorers (but can be easily adapted for use in other games). If you're looking for good BEM, this is a good place to start!

Moon zombies are the re-animated dead, infected with the spores of the Luna Mortis space pod or other infected zombies. Spores infect and kill their prey and resuscitate the corpse of their host body. They seem to exist solely to procreate and convert more living beings into moon zombies. Though slow moving, they are difficult to destroy and are adept at overtaking victims with large numbers. They come in two stages: pod and infected. This entry covers humanoids as the infected. Other varieties may exist but are unknown to galactic scientists at this time.

Pod Form:
Pods are found in caves and shaded areas. Dormant pods will revive in an oxygen-rich (breathable by humans) environment. Once in a atmospheric environment, pods spray deadly spores from a single, extendable stalk.
AC 3
HD 1d8
THB +1
ATT (see below)
ST 0
MV 0
XP 15

Psi-ren lure: Pods attract prey by way of psionic attack (think charm spell) that affects pleasure and intellectual brain function. Essentially it makes the victim curious so as to lower defenses and disarm self-preservation, compelling them to draw closer. Once prey is within range, the pod will disperse its spore spray in an effort to infect its target.

Spore spray: Moon zombie pods attack by releasing their deadly spore gas when victims are within range them. Data indicates they can release their spores in a cone up to 1 meter away or in a radius of 1 meter. The white powder will kill prey and turn them into moon zombies within 1d6 turns, at which point the victim will operate in a hive mentality with other moon zombies. Spore spray should be considered lethal even in miniscule doses. Spores are airborne for 1d6 rounds, after which time they will settle and become sterile.

Humanoid Form:
Fully mutated moon zombies take on a grotesquely disfigured visage--that of an entirely vegetative humanoid, complete with brussle-sprout-like head and enlarged, saucer-like eyes. They may not be speedy foes, but they strike paralyzing fear in their prey as they move in for the kill!

AC 15
HD 2d6+1
THB +2
ATT (see below)
ST 17
MV 4
XP 40

Spore spray: same as above, but the cone extends to 2 meters away as they release spores orally.

Paralyzing Gaze: Once they've infected a host body, the psionic call the pod once possessed mutates into a much more sinister agent that induces paralyzing fear in prey. The adult humanoid's eyes will have enlarged to nearly three-times their size allowing them to emit a directed psionic "ray" of fear. The zombie's unblinking eyes will reach victims as far as 15 meters away. (Note: this is a psionic attack, victims cannot escape the ray by closing their eyes.)

The reach of the ray can be extended further when the zombies travel in groups (an extra meter for each additional zombie). Victims must make a Presence (PRE) save in order to avoid being paralyzed with fear or be immobilized for 1d4+1 rounds.

GM tips:
  • Moon zombies typically outnumber, corner, and overwhelm their prey.
  • Infected humanoids can be especially dangerous as they retain the knowledge of their victims but nothing of their personalities.
  • Only humanoid (formerly human) varieties have been encountered, when in doubt, treat as a xenomorph
  • Don't tell players, but shooting moon zombies is a bad idea, especially since they're filled with infectious spores
  • Wanna be a mean GM? Factor airspeed and atmospheric conditions into consideration when victims are exposed to the spores--things should pick up quickly! :)
  • Zombie pods and infected adult stages are susceptible to high doses of radiation (levels usually fatal for humans); radiation won't destroy the zombies, but it will induce hibernation in 1d4 rounds
  • Pods may live for thousands of years (life expectancy unknown) in dormancy
  • Presence (PRE) is akin to Wisdom and/or Charisma in D&D 
  • It's not movie-accurate, but you may want to give players a fighting chance and let them make a Physique (PHY) / Constitution (CON) save to resist the spores initially. This would extend their chances to no more than 1d8 rounds, allowing the possibility of finding an antidote should samples be obtained safely by scientists. 
  • Feel free to hack off ideas, tack on new ones, and enjoy!

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