Around these parts, we were taken by surprise by a massive winter storm that changed our climate from a nice temperate Autumn to deep Winter overnight. Record-setting snowfalls, low temperatures...the works.
I don't like winter. At all. While I would much rather be too cold than too hot, I generally dislike the snow, ice, and all that comes with it. How serendipitous it was, then, to stumble across Dicemonkey's proposed RPB Blog Carnival: Winter is Coming II. The premise of the carnival was simply stated in the title: Anything wintry and cold. I thought it was extremely fitting, considering my lousy mood with snow falling outside my window. Unfortunately, the deadline to participate was November 14, so I knew I had to work fast to get something in.
So, without further ado, my "generic" RPG description of a new critter: "The Frusenspöke." I'll be statting this one up for 3.x a bit later and posting it up for general consumption; I just wanted to get the general stats up for inclusion in the Carnival.
No one is quite sure of the original source of the frusenspöke. Some blame the usual suspects: evil wizards, foul sorcerers, necromancers, and other doers of dark deeds. There are those who blame the restless dead themselves, discontent to simply lie quietly among the never-ending cold and snow. Others blame it on divine retribution. Still others blame organisms within the snow and ice itself, organisms that come from “beyond the outer places” and are older than civilization itself. Whatever their source, however, all who know about the frusenspöke agree upon two things: they are evil and they are deadly. Note: the typical zombie as presented in the ruleset are modified as listed below.
Frusenspöke come in as many varied stages of decomposition as a regular zombie. However, these creatures have several consistent characteristics that set them apart. Their skin is a sky-blue in color and covered with a thin layer of frost and the occasional razor-sharp ice crystals. There are also thick razor-sharp ice crystals in whatever hair or fur the base creature normally has.
Frusenspöke have four separate forms of attacks: slam, bite, crystalline flesh, and a breath weapon.
Slam: as per the typical zombie, plus a slight amount of cold damage on a successful melee attack. (Note: the damage normally taken from flesh-to-flesh contact from the frusenspöke’s crystalline flesh [see below] does not occur with a frusenspöke’s slam attack)
Bite: as per the base creature (or a similarly-sized creature with a low damage bite attack), plus a medium amount of cold damage on a successful bite attack.
Crystalline flesh: any creature coming into flesh-to-flesh contact with a frusenspöke will take a minor amount of slashing damage from the razor-sharp ice crystals that cover the frusenspöke’s skin, hair, and fur. This damage is automatic upon contact regardless of who initiates the contact; it is not considered a separate attack.
Breath weapon: a frusenspöke can emit a cloud of noxious, freezing gas once every four rounds. The cloud is essentially a 10'-radius fog bank that deals a medium-high amount of cold damage to affected creatures who do not successfully avoid the cloud. It may also cause nausea to those enveloped by the cloud.
Those creatures who succumb to the frusenspöke’s bite or breath weapon and die as a result will rise themselves as a frusenspöke within 24 hours. Any high-level magic that cures a majority of damage and ills will prevent the creation of a new frusenspöke from such attacks.
Frusenspöke are able to move through ice and snow as if through air. While other creatures are slowed to at least one-half normal speed through snow drifts and across ice, frusenspöke retain their full movement rate.
Frusenspöke do not suffer any negative modifiers to perception rolls through snow or ice storms. Frusenspöke likewise do not suffer any negative modifiers to perception rolls due to fog banks. These creatures treat cold-related weather effects as other creatures would treat a beautiful, clear, sunny spring day.
Frusenspöke are immune to any type of cold- or water-related attacks and spells. They take double damage, however, from fire- and fire-related attacks and spells.