Over the past several days, we’ve been posting the entries we received for the Seize the Tin Crown contest. These will each be only lightly proofread so that you, our voting public, have a chance to judge them based on your own criteria. After we post the last of the entries, we’ll be calling for you all to vote. The winner will seize the tin crown! Oh, the power!
Adventurers need to know the dangers that surround them. Zombie blight might just be one of them at some point. Take a look.
Zombie Blight (CR 4)
Zombie blight is an exotic and dangerous black fungus originally found only in the dark recesses of the realm of the darakhul deep beneath the Principalities of Morgau and Doresh. Because zombie blight does not affect undead, it is sometimes spread intentionally or unintentionally by undead carriers. Ghoul spies recently brought zombie blight into the Cartways beneath Zobeck where it has begun to take hold.
Zombie blight grows in small clumps usually on walls or ceilings where its dark coloring makes it especially hard to spot, requiring a DC 18 Perception check. However, unless a creature is already familiar with the fungus or makes a DC 20 Survival or Knowledge (nature) check, the check only reveals a clump of stringy black fungus. When a creature approaches within 5 feet of a clump of zombie blight, it releases a cloud of spores in a 5-foot radius burst. All living creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or take 1d3 points of Wisdom damage. Another DC 15 Fortitude save is required once per round for the next 5 rounds, to avoid taking an additional 1d3 points of Wisdom damage. At Wisdom 1, a victim enters into a semi-conscious state, much like sleepwalking, from which it cannot awake. The victim’s skin becomes pale, its eyes become glassy and bloodshot and it begins to stagger about, occasionally gurgling incoherently. Once a day from this point forward, the victim is allowed to make a Fortitude save (DC 15 + 1 per additional day) to fight off the effects of the fungus. If successful, the victim falls into a deep sleep and usually awakens after 24 hours. If the victim does not successfully save, or receive a remove disease spell (or similar effect), it will eventually die of starvation, assuming it does not suffer some other mishap first. A victim that dies while infected by zombie blight sprouts a new patch of fungus within 24 hours.
Victims of zombie blight are vaguely aware they are sick and need help, and this causes them to approach other humanoids if they are encountered. This is the great tragedy and danger of zombie blight as its innocent yet ragged and incoherent victims are often mistaken for dangerous undead with predictable consequences. A DC 20 Heal check is required to identify the victims of zombie blight as suffering from a curable infection rather than the curse of living death.
A clump of zombie blight is not particularly hardy and can be destroyed by scrapping it from wherever it is attached or by applying fire or acid.