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Old 03-02-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
Anthony
 
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Default Zombies and Disease

Zombies are given immunity to disease, presumably on the logic that they aren't alive and thus can't get sick. However, there are a wide variety of disease-like things (bacteria, fungi, maggots, etc) that rationally would attack zombies just fine, but won't bother things like golems, which are inorganic. That includes most plant and slime-class monsters. How should that be represented? Just a trait that zombies are affected by diseases that affect corpses?
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Zombies and Disease

Given that DF Zombies don't need muscles or nervous systems to keep animate (when those things fall away they just become skeletons), I'd suspect that the diseases don't do damage of consequence to the Zombie.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #3
Kromm
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Default Re: Zombies and Disease

Some "diseases" might turn zombies into skeletons faster by causing the flesh to fall off (or by eating it). Per Monsters, p. 62: "Zombies will rot, eventually becoming skeletons." Rotting encompasses these sorts of diseases. Immunity to Disease just means zombies don't lose FP and HP in the process.

As Exploits, p. 77 says, "Fantasy diseases don't respect germ theory, however – in the Frozen North, getting cold could give you a cold! Strongholds of Evil are often pestilent." In hack 'n' slash fantasy, disease is essentially poison that uses "But this is a disease!" to get around poison resistance. I would hesitate to use words like "bacterium," "fungus," or "virus" to describe that.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Zombies and Disease

Also, rotting is the default state of a zombie. If a living creature rots, it's sick - but the zombie doesn't get sick no matter what you infest it with. Just like it doesn't get tired, or thirsty, or starved or anything else that living creatures do.
Likewise, a lot of diseases actually require a living host - once the metabolism stops, decay organisms take over.

And if some or all diseases are actually caused by "disease spirits" ... well, there's already an evil spirit in residence in a zombie. Move on, this one's taken ... unless, of course, they stay aboard as passengers and jump off onto people the zombie attacks. Which could explain why in many fRPGs zombies are one of the few things that causes infected wounds.
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