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Zombie 5E Monster [Its Traits, Statistics, And Strategies]

Zombie 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/21/2023
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

Welcome to all you zombie lore enthusiasts, fantasy fanatics, and Dungeon & Dragons dilettantes out there! So, you’ve sunk countless hours poring over character alignment charts and crafting campaign maps.

You’re no stranger to the thrilling world of D&D, but maybe you’ve got a bone to pick with the undead. With that said, let’s get your blood pumping by examining the captivating realm of Zombie 5E.

Zombie 5E is far from your average horror movie fodder. They are obstinate monsters that refuse to stay dead and are notorious for terrifying players with their relentless stalking and biting skills.

Unhindered by fear or exhaustion, they persist in their pursuit of flesh and brains, making them formidable foes in any Dungeons & Dragons setting.

whether you’re a brave knight brandishing your trusted longsword or a cunning wizard ready to strut your stuff, this guide will fill your quiver with knowledge on defeating Zombie 5E effectively.

Zombie 5E Attributes

AttributeValues
TypeMedium Undead
AlignmentNeutral Evil
Armor Class8
Hit Points22 (3d8 + 9)
Speed20 ft.
STR13 (+1)
DEX6 (-2)
CON16 (+3)
INT3 (-4)
WIS6 (-2)
CHA5 (-3)
Saving ThrowsWis +0
Damage ImmunitiesPoison
Condition ImmunitiesPoisoned
SensesDarkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 8
LanguagesUnderstands the languages it knew in life but can’t speak
Challenge1/4 (50 XP)
Special AbilityUndead Fortitude
SlamMelee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, Reach 5 ft., One target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage.

What is Zombie 5E in D&D?

In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Zombie 5E is a formidable foe, featured in the 5th Edition or ‘5E’.

What is Zombie 5E in D&D?

They are undead creatures returning from death due to necromancy or dark magic. Notorious for their relentless pursuit of living creatures for sustenance, they do not succumb to fear, exhaustion, or pain.

They’re resistant to physical damage unless it’s radiant or magical and persist until their bodies are wholly destroyed.

These traits make them potent adversaries in any D&D campaign, offering players a thrilling and challenging encounter.

The Zombie 5E

LevelProficiency BonusFeaturesSlam Damage
1st+2Zombie ability modifiers
Undead, Poison Immunity, Mrrrhh, Slam, Slow, Undead Fortitude, Darkvision
1d6
2nd+2Zombie Grab1d6
3rd+2Zombie Archetype1d6
4th+2Ability Score Improvement1d6
5th+3Causa Mortis1d8
6th+3Undead Body1d8
7th+3Hungry Bite (1d4)1d8
8th+3Ability Score Improvement, Weapon Proficiencies1d8
9th+4Zombie Archetype Feature1d8
10th+4Improved Grab1d8
11th+4Undead Body1d8
12th+4Ability Score Improvement, Recalled Personality1d8
13th+5Zombie Archetype Feature1d8
14th+5Undead Body1d8
15th+5Improved Undead Fortitude1d10
16th+5Ability Score Improvement1d10
17th+6Zombie Archetype Feature1d10
18th+6Hungry Bite (2d4)1d10
19th+6Ability Score Improvement, Recalled Personality1d10
20th+6Zombie Lord2d6

How does a Zombie behave in 5E?

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5E), zombies are typically depicted as slow-moving, mindless undead creatures. Here’s how they behave in the game:

  • Slow Movement: Zombies have a slow movement speed. In 5E, this is usually around 20 feet per round, which means they can’t move very quickly.
  • Mindless: Zombies are considered to be mindless creatures. They have no intelligence or personality of their own. They are typically under the control of a necromancer or some other evil force.
  • Undead Traits: Zombies possess the traits common to undead creatures, including immunity to poison damage, being resistance to necrotic damage, and immunity to effects that require them to make saving throws based on being frightened or charmed.
  • Undead Fortitude: One of the defining features of zombies in 5E is their ability called “Undead Fortitude.” When a zombie takes damage that would normally kill it, it can make a Constitution saving throw. If it succeeds, it instead drops to 1 hit point. This makes them particularly resilient and difficult to put down.
  • Attack: Zombies typically have a melee attack, such as a “Slam” attack. This attack is usually not very accurate but can deal decent damage if it hits.
  • No Special Abilities: Unlike more intelligent undead creatures like vampires or liches, zombies do not have special abilities or spells. They rely on their simple, brute strength and resilience to overwhelm their opponents.
  • Swarm Tactics: Zombies often appear in groups or hordes. They may surround and overwhelm their targets through sheer numbers rather than tactical finesse.
  • Lack of Strategy: Zombies don’t strategize or plan. They move toward the nearest living creature and attack it mindlessly.
  • Vulnerabilities: While zombies have high hit points and Undead Fortitude, they are still vulnerable to critical hits and effects that can hinder or turn undead.

It’s worth noting that Dungeon Masters (DMs) have some flexibility in how they portray zombies in their campaigns, so you may encounter variations on these behaviors depending on the specific campaign or adventure you are playing. The general theme of slow-moving, mindless undead is a staple of the zombie archetype in D&D 5E.

Also Read: Beholder 5E Monster [Strengths, Weaknesses, And Tactics]

How does Zombie 5E work in D&D?

Zombies are a type of undead creature commonly encountered by adventurers.

How does Zombie 5E work in D&D?

They are often animated corpses, brought back to a semblance of life through dark necromantic magic. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how zombies work in D&D 5E:

Zombie Statistics

  • Size: Zombies are typically of Medium size, although larger or smaller variants may exist depending on the DM’s campaign setting.
  • Alignment: Zombies are almost always Neutral Evil, reflecting their mindless and vicious nature.
  • Hit Points (HP): Zombies have a variable number of hit points, typically around 22-24 hit points in standard 5E rules. They may have more or fewer hit points depending on the DM’s discretion or the type of campaign.
  • Armor Class (AC): Zombies typically have a low AC, around 8-9, as they are slow-moving and relatively easy to hit.
  • Speed: Zombies have a slow movement speed, often around 20 feet per round. This reflects their sluggish and lumbering nature.
  • Undead Fortitude: This is a unique feature of zombies. When a zombie takes damage that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it can make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. If it succeeds, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead of being killed. This ability makes zombies particularly challenging to defeat, as they can keep getting back up.

Zombie Behavior and Traits

  1. Mindless: Zombies are utterly devoid of intelligence, personality, or free will. They are driven solely by their desire to feed on the flesh of the living.
  2. Undead Nature: As undead creatures, zombies are immune to poison damage and resistant to necrotic damage. They are also immune to being charmed or frightened.
  3. No Special Abilities: Unlike more intelligent undead creatures, zombies do not have spellcasting abilities or special attacks. They rely on basic melee attacks, usually referred to as “Slam” attacks.
  4. Swarm Tactics: Zombies often appear in groups or hordes, using sheer numbers to their advantage. They will converge on living creatures en masse, trying to overwhelm them with their attacks.
  5. Lack of Strategy: Zombies have no tactics or strategy. They don’t coordinate with each other or plan attacks. They mindlessly move toward the nearest living creatures and attack them.

How to Use Zombies in Your D&D Campaign

  • Encounters: Zombies are commonly used as low-level threats in D&D campaigns. They are often encountered in graveyards, crypts, or other spooky locations. They can also be found as part of larger undead armies or under the control of necromancers.
  • Challenges: Zombies are relatively easy to hit due to their low AC, but their Undead Fortitude ability makes them resilient. Players will need to use strategies like dealing radiant damage, using critical hits, or hindering them to overcome their regenerative capabilities.
  • Roleplaying Opportunities: While zombies themselves are mindless, encountering them can lead to interesting roleplaying opportunities. Players may need to investigate the source of the necromantic magic animating them or face moral dilemmas about destroying reanimated corpses.
  • Variations: DMs can introduce variations of zombies with different abilities or resistances to keep encounters interesting. For example, some zombies might have the ability to spread disease, move silently, or have unique weaknesses.

Zombies in D&D 5E are slow-moving, mindless, undead creatures with a unique ability called Undead Fortitude. They are used as common foes in lower-level encounters and can provide challenges for players due to their ability to withstand damage.

DMs have flexibility in how they incorporate zombies into their campaigns, making them a versatile and classic element of D&D adventures.

Also Read: Carrion Crawler 5E Monster [Abilities, Size, And Strength]

Abilities of a Zombie in 5E?

Zombies have two primary abilities that define their characteristics and make them challenging opponents:

Abilities of a Zombie in 5E?

Slam Attack

  • Attack Type: Melee weapon attack.
  • Attack Bonus: Zombies typically have a low bonus to hit, reflecting their lack of combat skill.
  • Damage: Zombies deal damage with their slam attack. The exact damage dice may vary depending on the specific campaign or zombie variant but is often in the range of 1d6 or 2d6 bludgeoning damage.
  • Effect: When a zombie hits a target with its slam attack, it inflicts bludgeoning damage. This attack represents the zombie’s attempt to strike and harm its victim physically.

Undead Fortitude

  • Description: Undead Fortitude is a unique ability possessed by zombies in D&D 5E.
  • Effect: When a zombie takes damage that would normally reduce it to 0 hit points, it can make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken. Unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit (a natural 20 on the attack roll), if the saving throw is successful, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead of being killed.
  • Significance: Undead Fortitude makes zombies particularly challenging to defeat since they have a chance to keep getting back up, even after suffering what would be a mortal blow. Players often need to deal radiant damage, which is more effective against undead, or score critical hits to bypass this ability and ensure a zombie’s permanent defeat.

A zombie in D&D 5E relies primarily on its Slam Attack for offense and possesses the unique Undead Fortitude ability, which allows it to withstand fatal blows potentially.

This combination of abilities makes zombies formidable opponents, especially for lower-level characters who may not have easy access to radiant damage or critical hits.

Interaction with other creatures by Zombie 5E in D&D?

Zombies are typically low-level threats that interact with other creatures in the following ways:

  • Aggressive Behavior: Zombies are relentless and aggressive toward any living creature they detect. They have no capacity for reasoning, communication, or negotiation. Their instinct is to attack and attempt to feed on the flesh of the living.
  • Mindless Assault: When a zombie detects a living creature, it will move directly toward it, ignoring other potential threats or obstacles in its path. This single-mindedness can make zombies predictable but challenging to deal with in large numbers.
  • Swarming: Zombies often appear in groups or hordes, and they tend to swarm their targets. In combat encounters, this can lead to tactical challenges for the players as they face multiple zombies at once. The sheer number of zombies can overwhelm lower-level characters.
  • No Cooperation: Zombies do not cooperate with other creatures, even other undead unless explicitly controlled by a higher-level necromancer or a similar entity. They do not form strategies or work together in a coordinated manner. Each zombie acts independently.
  • Attraction to Noise and Movement: Zombies are attracted to noise and movement. If characters make a lot of noise or movement, they might draw the attention of nearby zombies, leading to additional encounters.
  • Environmental Interaction: Zombies are not typically known for their problem-solving abilities so that they may struggle with obstacles or traps. However, they can still be dangerous in confined spaces or when they have a clear path to their target.
  • Reaction to Radiant Damage: Radiant damage is particularly effective against undead creatures, including zombies. If a character uses radiant spells or abilities, zombies will be more vulnerable and easier to defeat.
  • Avoidance: Some creatures or beings may actively avoid areas infested with zombies due to the danger they pose. This can lead to interesting roleplaying situations where characters must navigate zombie-infested territory to achieve their goals.

Zombies in D&D 5E are straightforward, mindless creatures that aggressively pursue living targets. They often appear in groups and rely on their sheer numbers to overwhelm their prey.

Their lack of cooperation and reasoning abilities makes them relatively predictable in their behavior, but their Undead Fortitude ability can make them resilient opponents for low-level characters. Players often need to use tactics, radiant damage, or critical hits to overcome these undead threats.

Also Read: Monk 5E In D&D [Class Features, Subclasses, And Strategies]

FAQs About Zombie 5E

How can I defeat a Zombie 5E in D&D effectively?

Target it with radiant or magical damage, aim for devastating hits to potentially bypass its Undead Fortitude, or significantly wear it down over time.

What is the Undead Fortitude that Zombie 5E possesses?

It is a special trait that allows zombies to resist being reduced to 0 hit points unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit.

How fast can a Zombie 5E move in D&D?

A Zombie 5E has a regular movement speed of 20 feet per turn.

What sorts of attacks can I expect from a Zombie 5E?

Primarily, the Zombie 5E will use its Slam attack, which includes both the swing and resulting blunt force trauma.

Are there different types of Zombies in D&D other than the generic undead?

Yes! The game includes variations like the Ogre Zombie and Beholder Zombie, each with unique characteristics.

Author

  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!

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