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Zombies at Dusk

Encounter Level 3 (800xp)

In this encounter the characters arrive at a  large village to find a ghost town, and soon they encounter a shambling horde of zombies and their cultist controller.

As the PCs approach the settlement:

The sun is setting all to quickly tonight, hidden behind heavy clouds that rumble ominously with thunder. Flashes of lightning make you all the more eager to reach the village up ahead, but as you approach something seems wrong. Then you see animals wandering in fields that should be safely in barns, and reaching the first buildings you at first see no one.

Allow the Players time to state what they are going to do, and then once they start exploring give them a few descriptions suggesting deserted homes and the strange silence broken only by the rumble and flash of the storm. Then read or paraphrase:

Rounding a corner you come across a gathering of villagers at last, it seems they are in some sort of meeting, then a scream cuts through the night interrupted only by the roll and flash of another bolt of lightning in the sky, and in that moment of brightness you see the villagers that stand before you are dead…then they see you and together move forward…

Setup

This encounter includes the following creatures:
1 Vile Cultist (C)
2 Dread Zombie (Level 3) (D)
1 Zombie Throng (Level 5) (T)
2 Skulk Zombie (Z)

  • For four PCs: Remove a Zombie Skulk
  • For six PCs: Add a Zombie Skulk.

Features of the Area:

Illumination: It is dusk, with deep shadows in the streets, causing the encounter to take place in dim light. Characters with low-light vision see normally, to others, creatures in the area have concealment – causing -2 to melee and ranged attack rolls.

Stairs: The stairs are difficult terrain for characters moving up them.

Ladders: Ladders can be climbed at half speed with a DC 10 climb check.

Building Roof: The rooves are difficult terrain to creatures without Spider Walk.

Crates:Crates can be picked up and thrown +6 vs Ref: Target is knocked prone and crate is broken. Crates can also provide cover to creatures behind them.

Tactics:

The Dread Zombie will attempt to grab PCs so that the Skulks can move in and flank them to take advantage of their extra damage with Combat Advantage. If the Skulks are dead the Dread Zombie will attempt to hold PCs against the Throng.

If the PCs lack Area attacks the Vile Cultist will remain inside the Throng to use his powers, otherwise he will move out of the Throng to minimize the effectiveness of such area attacks. He will use his ability to restore an undead ally on the Skulks or the Dread Zombie if it is killed by Fire or Radiant damage.
The Throng will move over characters if possible so as to have maximum opportunity to affect them.

Ending the Encounter:

The encounter is finished once all the monsters are defeated. The characters should now be aware that there is something strange happening in this town, and perhaps it is more of a “ghost town” than they were led to believe. No other dangers immediately present themselves however and they are free to move through the town, either looking for a friendly face, or to leave without investigating – but what sort of heroes would do that?

New Monsters

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