The material below is designated as Open Game Content
Hit Dice: 3d12 (19 hp)
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armour Class: 12 (–2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+4
Attack: Slam +4 melee (1d6+4)
Full Attack: Slam +4 melee (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Moisture drain
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/slashing, single actions only, trackless step, undead traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref –1, Will +3
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 6, Con — , Int 1, Wis 11, Cha 3
Skills: Survival +5
Feats: Power Attack, Track
Environment: Warm deserts
Organisation: Solitary or troupe (5–10)
Challenge Rating: 1
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Level Adjustment: —
This creature is a hideously wrinkled corpse slowly staggering over the dunes. With every movement, little puffs of dust or sand rise up from its dry joints.
Parched zombies arise from the remains those who die of thirst in the desert. They wander in circles for days on end, searching desperately for water or a way out of the endlessly shifting sands. At some point in their hopeless peregrinations, between one dragging footfall and the next, the lost traveller dies and keeps going as a parched zombie.
They follow tracks through the desert, slowly marching after other wanderers crossing the parched landscape. Sometimes, whole gangs of parched zombies can be found following each other, all thirsting for precious moisture. The desert tribes know to stay clear of such regions and keep the zombies contained by dragging water-sacks (or, in some cases, captured prisoners) across the zombies’ trail. The zombies follow the smell of water and so are tricked into staying in the hottest parts of the desert.
The zombies make poor servants; attempts to bribe them with water generally fail, as the creatures are too dumb to comprehend the idea of exchanging labour for a reward. When a parched zombie makes it out of the desert, they soon pass into a final death, gorging themselves on moisture squeezed out of plants or animals. Whole troupes of parched zombies can sometimes be seen hurling themselves into waves during flash floods.
Parched zombies have the same restrictions as normal zombies and so can only take single actions. They are marginally more intelligent and have a certain animal cunning, so their normal tactic is to trail their water-laden prey at a distance. The zombies are tireless, so they wait until the prey is exhausted or sleeping before stumbling in to drain moisture. They also use their trackless step ability to lead other creatures astray.
Drain Moisture (Su): Anyone struck by a parched zombie’s slam attack must make a Fortitude save (DC 11) or suffer 1d3 points of Constitution damage. The zombie is healed for an equal number of hit points. If the parched zombie manages to inflict an amount of Constitution damage equal to its starting hit points, it is destroyed.
Single Actions Only (Ex): Parched zombies have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A parched zombie can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.
Trackless Step (Su): A parched zombie can choose not to leave a trail when walking over sand or other desert terrain and so cannot be tracked.