In the last article about the new I AM ZOMBIE: TOXICITY game we covered Book one of three, Toxic & Toetags. This week we’ll delve into book two of three, SKAGS & SHAMBLERS, which focuses on Narrator Axioms and is meant to give Narrators what they need to run a game. Let’s see what it offers them.
IAZ: TOXICITY is focused on dungeon-crawling, and the battles characters will inevitably have to fight while doing it. This book will give all the necessary tools to create great dungeons, which are called Hellholes in Toxicity.
Here Narrators will find rules and advice on how to handle their navigation, how to deal with common situations players might find themselves in, and also how to deal with less common events characters could trigger, like going Berzerk.
Level-up rules and advice will help the Narrator decide on the correct progression pace for the group, while Axioms on traps, ambushes, doors and wandering monsters will show you how to add that extra layer of depth to your maps.
No dungeon-delving game would be complete without gear and treasure, so Narrators will find lists of a special type of equipment called Tainted Items, the Toxic equivalent of the old magical items, with all their descriptions, costs, unique features, powers and what’s required to find them and learn to use them.
Some examples of Tainted Items featured are:
• Spider Gloves: You have tiny retractable hooks that let you climb most surfaces.
• FleshKey: This thin metal key has a parasitic organic growth along it’s surface that will expand to match indentations in any form of keyhole upon mental command, automatically opening any mundane (non-tainted) lock. The parasite bites into the owner’s hand while doing so, injecting a small amount of poison, making them weaker for a short while.
• Spy Eye: Replaces your real eye. Can be detached and placed at target locations. The Toxic bound to it can see through it remotely.
And finally, Narrators will find a Fiendz List, which provides around 50 unique monsters that will let Narrators set up truly bizarre, interesting and highly tactical combat scenarios, as well as giving plenty of inspiration to come up with their own. From BLEACH soldiers to fearsome Rashi beasts, mysterious Xenofactors, occult Null Foundation members, ancient monstrous Carrionfiends and even scourge-animated machines, each with unique traits and possibilities. With these things at hand, Narrators you will never have trouble surprising their groups with exciting tactical battles.
A few Fiendz examples:
• RattenKönig – Rat King is the lord of the rats and master of the dark places of the Undercity. This white alpha rat can call upon swarms of Rashi-Rats and mentally command them. If you stumble upon Rattenkönig be prepared to run or kill it quickly, or you’ll soon face the wrath of his countless subjects. Rat King: the Rattenkönig can use its action to summon 1 dice of Rashi-Rats, which add to its current guard. Moreover, 1 additional Rashi-Rat is summoned each time a player scores a Hazard against it.
• Roadheader – is a piece of animated machinery, but unlike others it’s not fueled by the abomination of its original driver or the passengers. Anything living caught by the giant metal sawed beak gets added to the seething pool of odium-infected decaying meat growing like flesh vines along its surface, packing hate and despair of every creature it ever killed. Road header exist for one reason only: to grind the world into dust. Assimilate: any Toxic that skags out against a Roadheader is immediately sucked inside it and torn to pieces. His allies will need to recover him and recompose him… somehow.
• Piertiki’Tkna – This loathsome creature is a huge roiling mass of insects, maggots and slugs. Flying insects shoot towards the target and disorient it while main mass can crawl near and envelop target. The insects will scatter if they sense heat, and reform later. Swarm Around: grapple a character and inflict 1 damage per turn.
• Mad Occultist – Roaming the lower reaches of the hellhole collecting rashi parts and Ichor to use in arcane rituals, these Null Foundation bastards are masters of disguise. They will surprise your party with their signature cocktail grenades. One moment you are all squatting in the dark tunnel, patching wounds and reloading weapons, and the next half your team is wriggling on the floor screeching with pain, and the other half is trying to eat you alive. Berzerk Grenade: A targeted Toxic which is damaged by this special Mad Occultist attack Skags out and starts attacking the nearest Toxic, unless he makes a Scourge roll (9).
• Mock – More myth than man, we presume Mocks to be nothing but the blackest ichor stuffed into flesh, though we have no chance in knowing for certain. They are usually jittering, stuttering, and absent, barely held together in this world, voices dissonant and seemingly manufactured. Their eyes are but pools of dark vapor, time and space reduced to lidless orbs transfixed to their sole expression. Memory Thief: if the mock manages to damage a character 3 times, the player must swap 2 cards with random ones from the deck. Killing the Mock and eating its brain restores cards to normality.
In our next update, we will disclose book three, UNDERCITY & HELLHOLES. Stay tuned for it!