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Slow zombies versus fast zombies in gaming and fiction?


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I am a big fan of slow zombies both in my gaming as well as in the various mediums of fiction. Not that fast zombies (ghouls/feral vampires/whatever) do not have a place… I like them too just for different reasons, for a different atmosphere in a game or movie.

 

What do you think?

 

Which do you prefer?

 

Which game or rules best typifies relentless plodding doom rather than manic frenzy?

 

You can read more of my thoughts on this topic on my blog…

 

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/2022/01/07/walking-dead-world-beyond-really-irked-me-warning-rant-with-spoilers/

 

… but really here I am curious about your ideas on the gaming specifics of zombie post-apoc and how I might best get the gaming experience I want.

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Well I ran a Humans vs. Zombies student group in undergrad - we were fans of fast zombies because it was a campus wide game of tag. Fiction? I think it should be dependent upon freshness and method of reanimation. Necromancy = magic = figure out what is best in that magic system, but can be anything. Disease = body not connected to anything mystical for boosters. Then the question changes to "are zombies dead and reanimated, or are they low-sentience angry cannibals?" Because low-sentience angry cannibals could still move at people-speeds, but being dead means no natural healing or bodily upkeep.

 

Also just on topic - I never thought that skills I got from the Humans vs. Zombies game would apply to real life, but zombie avoidance strategies legit work in the current plague with only minor changes (protective gear is a mask instead of a toy gun, for example).

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I am a fan of the "classics" when it comes to zombies. While the slow shuffling hordes of undead probably couldn't cause the end of the world, they are more terrifying to me. Why? Because you can't bargain, change, convince, or otherwise do anything to effect them without killing them (again). To me, it's the inevitability of death, and undeath, of the slow ones that really gets to me. The fast ones, I can't even imagine trying to survive that scenario. I would self terminate in that situation. I can't run that fast and I'm not that strong, it's a hopeless situation for me. So, it doesn't appeal to me at all. It also doesn't feel realistic that there would be any survivors to something like that. Strong and fast, and they usually don't react to pain or are hard to kill? You have almost no chance of making it through that.

If you want rules, there's always All Flesh Must Be Eaten, which can do either type, as well as many others as well. For wargaming, I'm becoming a big fan of Last Days, as it's easy and fun. And is mini agnostic.

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It occurs to me that we should blame fungus for non-necromancy slow and dead-like zombies. 

 

Fungus can still be infectious. There are fungi that can take over ant brains already. No one expects a mushroom to move fast. Get just enough synapses firing to move a little bit, spread the spores, then fall down. These zombies probably would not be long lasting and they'd start to decay once they fall down. 

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2 hours ago, Cyradis said:

It occurs to me that we should blame fungus for non-necromancy slow and dead-like zombies. 

 

Fungus can still be infectious. There are fungi that can take over ant brains already. No one expects a mushroom to move fast. Get just enough synapses firing to move a little bit, spread the spores, then fall down. These zombies probably would not be long lasting and they'd start to decay once they fall down. 

Wasn't that the source of the zombies in The Last Of Us? That fungus stuff? I haven't played it but I've seen it pop up when talking about them.

I would also suggest that zombie fans pick up a book called "Zombie CSU" as it breaks down the responses from the various government agencies to them as well as how things would probably play out with the various "sources" of zombies.

Personally, I perfect mutagenic infections or viruses for the outbreak of zombies. I also can agree that zombies *can* start fast, when they're fresh, but slow down once rigor and the other changes hit and the body starts to decompose.

I may have put a lot of thought into this subject of the past 15 years. :ph34r:

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I agree with the assessment you made on your blog. 

 

I like my zombies to be in a horde and slow.  Fast zombies are amusing for about 5 minutes, then they become tiresome.

 

I haven't really had the chance to do any zombie wargaming, although I'd very much like to, so I can't help with any rules. I have heard good things about 'All Things Zombie', but don't have any actual experience.

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Thanks for an amusing topic.

 

My take on fast zombies is that they really don’t count as zombies.  They are essentially never-dead humans corrupted by disease a la I Am Legend and World War Z.  My understanding of the origin of Zombie relating to a person bewitched by voodoo fits this criteria.

 

The classic undead zombie should be slow and shuffling as it has two opposing forces at work:  a minimal sentience hungering for blood/flesh/brains having to overcome a rotten corpse’s inertia and damage and rigor mortise.  Sure, some powerful necromantic magic or alchemical wizardry or technological do dads could overcome this to create a fast undead zombie, but that would be the exception not the norm.

 

 

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So... I think it breaks down like this:

Zombies - Dead, slow, dumb

Ghouls - Living (to a degree), fast, can be smart

 

The causes don't really matter (demonic possession, viral agents, fungi, nercomancy, etc), it's how they act. Since I've run more than a few AFMBE games (and even gotten to play in one or two), I like it when zombies have some variety to them. One of my favorites was one a friend of mine ran, because the zombies were unique but still clearly dead. Sure, they were fast but it was magic, which I feel lets you bend or break what I said above.

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Heh. Slow zombies can still catch people.

 

Back in the zombie games one of our fast guys on zombie team wanted to try something absurd. He was painted blue at the time - tall bulky guy, head to toe blue except for black speedo around his bits. He went on his elbows and knees on the floor by a wall and went "I'm a bench!" and another zombie who had been stunned (took off his headband to note stunned status) sat on his back.

 

Human walked by. Waved at the stunned zombie.

 

The "bench" grabbed the human.

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On 1/8/2022 at 11:42 AM, Chaoswolf said:

 

I like my zombies to be in a horde and slow. 

Slow. 
They shuffle. 
Zombies hit last. 
 

 

If those things are not true then the creature described by some other name. 

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