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Dungeons & Zombies
$24.00 $12.00
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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Dungeons & Zombies
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Dungeons & Zombies
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/29/2017 08:46:29

Opening with fiction detailing a typical fantasy dungeon delve encounter with zombies (and its aftermath), Chapter 1: Delving Down talks about how everybody - not just players of role-playing games - indulges in fantasy from time to time, but of course gamers do so more intensely than most. Here however, 'fantasy' is defined more precisely, it's the swords and sorcery sort, the kind where you go dungeon delving... only in this book there are, of course, plenty of zombies added to the mix.

These opening remarks are followed by Chapter 2: Swords, Sorcery and Shambling which explores character creation for heroic fantasy All Flesh Must Be Eaten games, as well as new rules and game mechanics necessary to make the game work in this genre. This is followed by no less than four settings taking you on a wild trip through 'classic' role-playing fantasy, literary fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien-style, the world of King Arthur, and an Asian-influenced one, as well as a complete dungeon delve ready to run. As you can imagine, apart from Chapter 2, this material is intended for the Zombie Master rather than the players.

In Chapter 2, we meet two new character types: the Adept and the Talented Hero. The Survivor and Inspired character types are also appropriate for this style of play. The Adept is the wizard or mage, leaving Inspired for clerics. As it's fantasy, you can also play a non-human, and there's a system of Profession Qualities to enable you to set up the classic 'character classes' if you want - or just build a character normally with the skills you want him to have. There are some new Skills appropriate to the genre, and the timely reminder that zombies can, like player-characters, be of any race available in your setting, not just humans. Some new combat rules are here too, dealing with the use of the mediaeval-style weapons and fighting styles common to fantasy. There is a basic magic system here as well, but those after more detail are referred to two other Unisystem games - Armageddon and WitchCraft - although there is quite a lot to be found here, including some excellent Necromancy spells that will let the practitioner raise and control zombies...

The chapter rounds out with some thoughts on creating fantasy settings and a few archetypes, then we move on to the provided settings, beginning with Chapter 3: Dead Gods and Demon Lands. This is a grim pulp fantasy setting where heroes go adventuring primarily because that's their way of having a good time. Think Conan the Barbarian here. Plenty of background to aid you in bringing it all to life... and three different kinds of zombies to harass honest adventurers as they go about their business. Several story ideas finish this chapter, along with a few more Archetypes.

Next is Chapter 4: Dawn of a Dead Age. This is an epic fantasy setting, where the deeds of a small band has great effect within the vast sweep of the struggle between good and evil, determining the very fate of the land. This setting is all about an ancient and terrible power reawakened, how it threatens the land and how it is stopped... by the party, of course. A vast sweep of background underpins the rise of a Dread Lord and provides the means to defeat him once more, assuming the party can find said means, that is. His rise is what has caused the zombies, hopefully his defeat will eliminate them. Rather than story ideas, there's a campaign outline that lays out the epic tale you'll tell in this setting.

In Chapter 5: Death of the Round Table, zombies are introduced into the world of King Arthur. There's a discussion of what that world really is, from the historical possibility to the romantic fantasy it became - you pick what kind of setting you want. There's a code of chivalry to which every knight ought to subscribe, and a fair bit of background to help you set the scene. As for the way this setting's zombies are created... shall we say that the chalice from the palace has the pellet with the poison? The Round Table has been perverted under the leadership of Mordred, and the party must embark on a quest to put things right.

Then Chapter 6: The Eastern Dead puts an Asian spin on things. This could be with profit read alongside Enter the Zombie, and it brings the flavour of the far east to a mediaeval style fantasy world - with samurai and ninjas and warrior monks mixing it with each other and any zombie unwise enough to raise its head... even if the poor mindless thing is just hungry! A rich and exotic setting is laid out, with background and story ideas aplenty to enable you to make the most of it.

Finally, Chapter 7: The Tomb of Doom provides a ready-made dungeon to explore. There's a bit of background which explains, amongst other things, why zombies have started to appear and provides for the party to get involved very quickly in the action as the zombies raid the town the party is in (for whatever reason they or you come up with). It's not long before they are traced back to an ancient tomb, then it's time to grab your ten foot pole and delve...

If you like fantasy games but want to bring zombies into them, or you like zombies and fancy a fantasy setting for them, this could be the supplement for you. With well-developed ideas that bring the zombies into the very fabric of the settings and scope for epic adventures, it takes zombies firmly out of the classic movie settings they are normally encountered in and empowers a fantasy twist to your game.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeons & Zombies
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Aaron W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2017 20:01:49

Dungeons & Zombies is probably the closest thing we'll get to a generic fantasy Unisystem book. This book, along with Witchcraft or (preferrably) Armageddon and the AFMBE corebook (which add up to either $12, $27 or $42 depending on which ones you buy), are all you need to run and play a fantasy game far greater than D&D.

Dungeons & Zombies adds 2 character types, the Adept Hero and ther Talented Hero. Talented Heroes are nonmagical fantasy heroes such as rogues, fighters and rangers, while Adept Heroes are mages, psychics and necromancers. For cleric-type characters, it would be best to use the Inspired stats in the AFMBE corebook.

There are quite a few great Qualities and Drawbacks for both magical and nonmagical characters, but the best Qualities in D&Z (in my opinion) are the Racial and Profession Qualities. They are Quality, Drawback and Power packages that reflect the strengths and weaknesses of various fantasy races and classes such as elves, dwarves, rangers and paladins. Some even allow characters to exceed Attribute maximums or maximum ranks of Hard to Kill.

D&Z adds a Skill for shields (and stats for a few different types of shields), alchemy, rune carving (for magic item creation), and taunting. It also includes Armageddon's Magic Bolt Skill, allowing mages to progress faster with single-target spells than with other types of magic.

D&Z comes with some Invocations, Necromancy powers, and magic item creation rules. There are a few new uses for currently existing Invocations (Induce Sleep for Affect the Psyche, Sheet Lightning for Elemental Air, and Soulfire Burst for Soulfire. I may have forgotten a few). For necromancy, there is the Death Raising power, which allows you to raise zombies and give them extra powers. Magic item creation is based on the Rune Carving Skill, and requires Inspired powers. Magic items can be given bonuses to Armor Value, damage and accuracy. Some items can also be "charged" with Invocations or Necromancy powers.

I won't go into detail on the book's Deadworlds, but they are all great. The book also provides the stats for various fantasy monsters such as a dragon, goblins, orcs, minotaurs, and a griffon. It ends with a dungeon crawl adventure: The Tomb of Doom. Unlike the dungeon from which it got its name, you will find no save-or-die traps (or no-save deathtraps) but it can still be quite deadly, especially with the lethality of Unisystem combat.

This book is great on its own, but much better when supplemented by other Unisystem books. My first suggestion is Armageddon for both Lesser and Greater Invocations, as well as Primal Powers (which work well as powers for Clerics or Paladins of different gods), and Psychic and Necromancy powers. My second suggestion is Terra Primate, which has what amounts to a monster manual in the Appendix. The stats for monsters in Terra Primate are variable and most of them use a different formula for speed Endurance Points and Life Points, so there will be a bit of math for the ZM, but it is well worth the money.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeons & Zombies
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2012 11:31:53

Dungeons and Zombies brings D&D to the Classic Unisystem fold. There are rules for using more WitchCraft like magic in your AFMBE game. This book covers all the tropes including many new races such as elves, dwarves, halflings and orcs. High Fantast, Low Fantasy. King Arthur and Lord of the Rings-style play. Combine it with WitchCraft to get a full range of magical abilities. Combine with Terra Primate for tons of new adventure ideas and races. Combine with Enter the Zombie for more Far East fantasy. And of course use the AFMBE-Revised appendix to converst any d20 information you need. Far more flexible than most d20 based fantasy games. Really well written and one of my favorite Dead World books from Eden. I'd give this one 6 stars if I could.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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