Zombie (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: This race seems overpowered compared to similar first-party races, and would benefit from having less powerful traits. For example, having a +4 ASI as well as several powerful abilities that are not offset but the races detriments, resistance to physical damage, animated dead(3rd level) casting at first level, damage immunity, condition immunity, universal advantages/disadvantages, DC's that scale off twice your proficiency bonus. Overall requires more work from a mechanical perspective to better compare and integrate with the first party content. Consult the 5e Race Design Guide for help and consider checking out some of the comparable Featured Articles.

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You once lived until someone ended that for you. They then raised you as their servant.

Physical Description[edit]

Zombies appear as they did in life, showing the wounds that killed then. However, the magic that creates them often takes time to run its course. Dead warriors might rise from a battlefield, eviscerated and bloated after days in the sun. The muddy cadaver of a peasant could claw its way from the ground, riddled with maggots and worms. A zombie might was ashore or rise from a marsh, swollen and reeking after weeks in the water.


Zombies have no particular history of their own, they were not born, they were created.


Zombies have no society of their own. They usually try to avoid large, civilised areas, as people usually attack them on sight. Instead, they prefer solitude, or a party of non-judgmental individuals.

Zombie Names[edit]

Zombies have the same names as they did when they were alive, although some take a new name that's easier to remember or somehow symbolic of their nature.

Zombie Traits[edit]

You were alive. Then you weren't... Everything's a little foggy and nothing seems to function right. What happened? You remember a field, and people fighting... What's the captain's name again?! Why are you still in the field? Then you look down all to quickly you remember the spear. Its still there poking out of your ribcage with rotting bits of your heart attached. A skinny lad in black robes stands nearby. "Welcome back to the land of the living!" he announces grandly. "Maybe unliving in your case" he mutters to himself.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Zombies do not 'age', however their bodies usually decay beyond use towards the end of their former race's lifespan.
Alignment. Zombies tend towards the neutral evil alignment of their masters. However, if the will of the deceased person is strong enough, they can retain their previous alignment and strike down the one who raised them.
Size. Your size is Small or Medium, depending on your former race.
Speed. Your base walking speed is the same as the base walking speed of your former race.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Slam. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage.
Deathly Visage. Your undead appearance is unnerving. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks, however, you have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks and you gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
Undead Nature. You are undead, not a humanoid. You don't have to eat, drink, or breathe. Furthermore, you are immune to poison damage and to the poisoned conditions. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.
Undead Toughness. Non-magical bludgeoning and piercing damage that you take is reduced by 3.
Languages. You can understand the languages you knew in life, but due to your rotting nature you have difficulty forming the syllables necessary for coherent speech.
Subrace. Cyberzombie, Magical Experiment, Raised for Battle, Zombie Overlord

Cyberzombie (modern/futuristic campaigns only)[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Armored. Your AC can't be less than 16, regardless of what kind of armor you're wearing.
Cybernetic Weaponry. You have a weapon mount installed in your body on which you can mount a firearm. A mounted firearm doesn't count towards your carrying capacity, and you do not need to use your hands to carry it or attack with it. A mounted firearm can't be disarmed or otherwise removed from your body unless you are incapacitated.

Magical Experiment[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Innate Spellcasting. You know the Thaumaturgy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast chromatic orb once per day, without using a spell slot or any components. Once you reach 5th level, you can cast dimension door once per day, without using a spell slot or any components. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Volatility. When you die, you explode, and each creature within 10 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus), taking 2d6 force damage per hit die you possess on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success.

Raised for Battle[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Improved Slam. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage, rather than 1d4.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Toughened. Your maximum hit points score increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.

Zombie Overlord[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Natural Leader. Unlike other zombies, you do not have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks.
Zombie Overlord. You can cast the animate dead spell once per day, without using a spell slot or any components. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

3′ 8″ +4d10 50 lb. lb. × (1d10) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a zombie character, you can use the following table) of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Moody, because what's the point anymore...
2 Morbid, because let's be honest it only gets worse... For everyone else at least...
3 Stoic, you've probably been through worse. Finally dying is probably a good thing, so nothings gonna phase you.
4 Angry, it shouldn't have been you, and you resent the living for it.
5 Afraid, your whole second life people have been trying to hurt you, and you're convinced it won't change.
d6 Ideal
d6 Bond
1 Brains...
2 You are seeking revenge against the one who killed you.
3 You have foggy memories of a person or people who are or were your family, and you're trying to seek them out.
4 You mindlessly obey your master.
d6 Flaw
1 While you aren't typically a mindless monster, some people seem to smell rather appetizing, and you sometimes lose control and try to take a bite.

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