Zombie: The Coil
Zombie: The Coil is a fan made game part of the Classic (Old) World of Darkness. You get to play as a "Born" zombie, not the mindless slow walking version, but more like an undead human with sentience (Eric Draven in The Crow). Rulebook and Character Sheets
- 1 Background
- 2 Categories of Zombies
- 3 History
- 4 Culture
Story is centered around different zombies and their struggle to fight against The Coil, aka mortality. For some strange reason there is enough of these fuckers going around that they have an organization system set up with different groups with varying beliefs, the standard WoD thing of taking monsters and giving them normal organization methods.
Becoming a "Born" Zombie
So let's say you die and hopefully you stayed almost entire intact otherwise revival is impossible, you get brought back to become a zombie by an Augur. An Augur can be anything from Mages trying to resurrect people, a scientist trying to make a cure to death, etc. It's a catch all term for the person(s) or being resurrecting dead people. OR you can be resurrected by an event called a Hounfar, they're somewhat random (possibly tied to important events such as the Black Plague) and can happen to such severity from one or two people being brought back to a massive zombie army. In either case, when brought back you're a Féos, the classic dumbfuck zombie that wants to eat people. Can't remember anything, but now you have an insane hunger for flesh. After this, something important happens and you're now "Born". You get a couple memories back and you can talk, think, and have full sensory ability. The event that causes this is unknown and there is only a rough 25% that Féos are "Born", but you got a new undead life to live.
The only thing that reminds them of who they were are Whispers, things from the zombie's past life from voices or sights that haunt them. As they progress longer in their new life, that memory haze starts to lessen and they will remember more parts of their past life. In the meantime, the zombie will suffer Compulsions related to their previous life as well as what might have gotten them killed. In order to keep going, the zombie are going to have to eat Viscera, any meat from a person (the two types of zombies distinguish on whether you have to eat living or dead flesh). This Viscera keeps the spiritual energy called Meridians going to keep the skeletal structure and avoid decomposing further. Eating Viscera also keeps off the Feast,a cannibalistic frenzy. The Fever is the hunger for Viscera and if left unchecked can hurt the zombie.
In addition to all this, when a zombie is created there is also a spiritual being called a Lich, not the awesome kind. This Lich can't be permanently destroyed and can possess any dead thing near the zombie (this includes plants). The Lich's job is to hunt down the Zombie at their weakest moment and attack them. If they make physical contact with the zombie and latch on to them, then the Zombie is going to have a mindfuck battle called an Ordeal. The Lich will fuck with their head, bringing back memories trying to convince them that The Coil is much better than their Zombie life and will manipulate memories to accomplish that, like having a family member saying that The Coil is better than being a zombie and they miss them, all that shit. After the Ordeal, the Lich's possessed form will rapidly decompose and the Lich will disappear to recover from the experience. If the zombie won, then an extra point of Meridian is given. If it was a draw, then nothing happens, but if the Lich won, then the zombie is scarred and part of their memory is gone and they lose a point of Whisper.
One powerful weakness of zombies is the damaging effects of non iodized salt. You read that correctly. Fucking salt can cause massive damage against zombies. Other than that, zombies are actually pretty tough. They can soak everything else for damage, but fuck do they take forever to recover health levels. Unless you eat the brains apparently, this grants you 7 health levels and 7 levels of Viscera. Another power of zombies is The Pulse, it allows Zombies to speak to each other even if their vocal cords are gone. As well this power allows zombies the ability to see, hear, feel, smell, etc.
Categories of Zombies
Living Flesh or Dead Flesh
The determination of whether a zombie will prefer living or dead flesh is at random and there is no ability to switch.
Grandes have to eat living flesh in order to replenish Viscera and satiate their Fever. Dead flesh won't help. Viscera for them can be used for powers, but nothing too crazy until later levels.
Technically enemies of the Grandes, the Jackals have to eat dead flesh in order to replenish Viscera, so they're looking at Grandes like a next meal. And they view themselves as better than Grandes because they aren't required to kill their prey, but that doesn't stop many of them. When consuming Viscera, it doesn't stop their Fever, it instead lessens the resistance, and can turn them into horrific monsters of pulsing organs and decay. This constantly changing forms limits their Meridians. Jackals will try to pass themselves off in a sophisticated manner to dissuade prejudices.
Age of Decomposition
When a zombie (Grande or Jackal) is awakened to be a Féos is random, but when they become zombies can affect their abilities and appearance.
Recently awakened from being a corpse. They can reasonably be passed off as being a little sick, but can easily talk to people without worry about revealing themselves. The problem with them is that Péle's don't remember much outside of some basic skills and very few memories of themselves, so they struggle with surviving.
Half and Half on the decomposition/intact flesh appearance, but with some long sleeved hooded clothes, most people can't tell the difference. Some convincing might be needed about their wounds and their voices might sound a little raspy. Carnes start with more memories than Péle's, they remember who they are, why they are there when Born, where their location is. This is the most common type of Zombie.
This is the fucked in the appearance category type. Decayed bodies, sometimes can be near skeletons and this hinders their ability to move around and Meridians. This type starts with the most memories of their past and start with the highest Willpower. Additionally they are the most respected amongst zombies.
Long ago when apparently the dead and the living weren't so separated, then something (the Umbra) came up and divided the world. Cut to a shaman named Zemi whose wife died and he started to hear voices about past lives. He asked other people in his village if they also heard the voices, but no one else did. So he pondered on life and death for awhile, estranging anyone else from his life. But one day some other weird fuckers who thought similar to him showed up. And they talked about mortality for 3 days until they all decided a way to break away from mortality and give life and death the middle finger. This group would call themselves Zombies since they were disciples of Zemi (fucking dumb).Their plan was to let their body die, but by sheer willpower overcome death and still live on thus fooling The Coil. So Zemi leads a funeral for his disciples and himself and after 3 days and nights it somehow actually fucking worked because they start rising up out of their coffins. Except that Zemi's disciples started wandering brainlessly towards the village and started attacking and eating people, Zemi, being the pussy that he is, just watched from afar. Some of them eventually snapped out of it and then left with Zemi feeling remorseful about what they had done, except not remorseful enough to stop the others who were still (Féos) walking around wanting to kill and eat living flesh, but fuck those guys no one gives a shit about them. Then the Zombies and Zemi chilled in a mountain for a century, presumably eating other people from other villages. Then shit started happening in Europe and they left their mountain to go find out, however some of them got hungry on the way and devoured the previous Féos from before and they became the jackals.
This shit gets dumber. Time jump to 1860's because there aren't many tales of other things going on apparently inbetween(fuck everywhere war and plague that could have had an Hounfar possibility). By the game's storyline, after the deaths from the American Civil War there were many Hounfars and new zombies being created, that previous zombies decided to devise a way to protect the newborn and shelter them into safer areas, combining with the movements of escaped slaves aka the Underground Railroad. Shit continues happen, especially with the two World Wars, and Hounfars growing, making these sheltering operations struggle. Jackals start showing up and killing Grandes in mass, but the Grandes organized and used the communication between groups to get to safety.
As mentioned before, for some reason these guys have their own culture even if they are 1/3 the population of Vampires in the universe (Rulebook, pg. 32). This shit kinda makes sense considering the other games have a fuckton of split factions and groups, but still odd.
- Cadre-A group of zombies who work together. A loose group, but sticking together for survival is helpful especially when fighting Liches.
- Safehouses-Places of shelter for zombies, and used by Cadres as bases of operation. These can be shitty apartments or secure, tricked out places.
- Underground Railroad-holdover from the Civil War days, term used for Cadres who actively help new Born Zombies (and sometimes Féos) get to shelter. Some more passionate groups will sometimes attack an Augur to free zombies or try to sneak them out.
- Cells- Large groups of Zombies who have similar beliefs. The two biggest are the Circle and the Echelon.
- Crats-Zombies successful with wealth, most commonly by taking fake identities and investing in the normal world markets even so far as owning company's by controlling a living human as the figurehead of the company. Much of their wealth is hidden away in their property to avoid prying eyes. Some Crats got together and helped the Circle establish a flesh market. Crats tend to be arrogant and stick together.
- Penitent-more of a term for zombies with a personality quirk for redemption. Since Zombies can have survivors guilt, these people take it a step further and try to atone for their previous life, even if they don't know what that was.
- Yuyas-Zombies with multiple Whispers that drive them mad. Some even think they hear the Whispers of others. Overall, even if they are insane, they seem to find some clarity among the voices.
- Crying Skull Posse-Typically Zombies who were criminals in their past life and hear the Whispers of their past. Sometimes victims themselves. In either case, they're Zombies who are passionate enough to involve themselves in the problems of the inner city and try to impart justice. However, judgment and punishment is left up to the individual, and for bigger tasks, they will seek the ruling of their cadre.
- Dalinari-Led by a Zombie called Charlie Rayburn, a harsh Cell of Zombies who have banded together against the injustices of the world by viewing all beings as guilty before innocent. Even going so far as to fake evidence to ruin their target's life before eating them.
- Lanmora-Zombies looking to corral the Féos for their own purposes. Hated by many Zombies who disdain Augurs, the Lanmora decide to create and lead Zombies for protection to raise allies from the Born from their flock . They study the power of augury with the goal of a peaceful life by ridding themselves of Fever, Whispers, and Compulsions.
- Mercies-Zombies who eat the dying rather than eat the living or the dead. They typically haunt war zones, elderly homes, etc. Highly selective of their targets for they want to eat people who are on the verge of death or who want their existence to end. Somewhat polite to their prey, they will be kind, but don't like being declined, trying to convince their prey to accept, and don't explain that they're going to eat them.
A Cell composed of Grandes and Jackals, they are the most controlling Cell in North America and Europe. Although their leadership is composed of Grandes, they still have Jackals allied with them and work together. While a supposed democratic group, the Grandes bicker amongst themselves and accomplish very little. The Circle has made a successful flesh market to try to avoid revealing themselves. Additionally, they oppose the practice of augury, valuing freedom for Zombies.
Allied groups of the Circle:
- Cell of Eyes-Zombies whose purpose is to learn as much about the supernatural world as possible, thinking that if they study others, they will understand themselves. Their cell is one of the oldest still operating and most of them are scholars and researchers who document any information they can get.
- Mortum Templum-A cell of Zombies that go for a more aggressive approach against Augurs. They try to destroy Augurs, fighting to destroy augury operations to free Zombies. They operate under a code, 1st rule is to protect each member of the Mortum Templum, called a Templar. 2nd is to kill Augurs to prevent others from becoming Zombies. This code is viewed from a narrow minded zeal.
- Pulse Wave- fucking hipsters and intellectual wannabes who listen to their Whispers to progress further.
- Seraphim-They view the Zombie form as a sign of true divinity and try to convert others to their side. They don't like their humanely visage, "manipulating" their bodies to a theme. Somehow historically linked to helping Zombies hide from the Inquisition.
- Zahn-Splinter group from the Cell of Eyes, these guys are the conspiracy theorists. Ranging from plausible in the World of Darkness to downright insane, they are renegade journalists, and anarchist computer hackers trying to find the "truth" even at the cost of ethics or any formal protocol. While initially crazy theorists, they are valued for their technological ability and information gathering.
All Jackal Cell that doesn't care about survival like the Circle does. They have a more formal structure with the only way to achieve power is to progress in their religious organization called the Synod. 1st step is the Choir Member, 2nd Preacher, 3rd Minister, 4th Cardinal who controls the Echelon of an entire city. They don't like to kill their prey unless they have to, but would rather wait for food to ripen for consumption. So they like to stalk areas of low medical care, or they can accelerate the process by worsening the lives of others. Or they can eat Zombies as a means to satiate themselves. The Echelon is currently at peace with the Circle to avoid destruction for both parties.
Groups allied to the Echelon:
- The Holy Order- a dogmatic group of Jackals who view themselves as leaders of the Zombies, particularly their goal is to have the Echelon become apart of the Holy Order to truly reach their version of "enlightenment". They like to meddle with mortal religions and cause chaos and destruction to show that the living's view of mortality is the flaw.
- Morlocks-Jackals who despise the world and hide in the sewers of cities. They view their Beast form as the truest appearance, looking at other appearances as fake to their nature. They feed off the dead of the underworld from junkies to the murdered of gang violence. The Echelon asked them for alliance when a book describing the underground community, called "the Mole People", was published and wanted to gain a foothold in the underbelly of cities.
- Prima-Named after their supposed founder, the Prima were Jackals hunting Grandes but eventually settled peace with the Circle for the sake of their kind. Many fear them for their abilities in deception and power, using rumors to build dissent among the ranks of other groups.
- Sisterhood of Sharqata-All female sect with connections into the criminal world, viewed as assassins who target certain members in gangs at the whim of their leader Sharqata. The leader takes on the name of the original founder who apparently lied and killed her way to the top.