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Shambler

Medium undead (rotter), neutral evil

Armor Class 9
Hit Points 53 (7d8+21)
Speed 25 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 3 (-4) 8 (-1) 6 (-2)

Saving Throws Wisdom +1
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages understands the languages it knew in life but cannot speak
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Dismemberment. A shambler suffers dismemberment from any physical attack that deals 9 or more points of damage.
  • Woeful. When a shambler causes damage to a living target with an attack, that target must make a DC 10 Woe saving throw. The target takes 1d4 spiritual damage on a failed save, or half as much (minimum 1) on a successful saving throw. Once a specific target has taken spiritual damage due to this trait, it is immune to further spiritual damage from this particular shambler for 24 hours.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The shambler makes two unarmed strikes.
  • Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) bludgeoning damage.

About

Relentless Killers. Shamblers are the simplest of the Dead. They instinctively form packs, joining with others of their kind. But they aren’t cunning hunters; they rely on brute force and numbers to overwhelm their enemies.

A shambler generally attacks the nearest living target, though they prioritize victims grappled by clinging shamblers.

Lost Lives. A shambler is a deadly threat that must be destroyed before it kills others. But it is also the corpse of an innocent person, someone who had a life and a story brought to a sudden end. A clinger might be a child seen playing in the street days before. A pack of shamblers might have been the denizens of a favorite tavern. Battling shamblers is visceral and personal. These aren’t faceless beasts the defenders of Redoubt are hacking apart; just days or hours ago, they were innocent people living normal lives.

Dismemberment. Shamblers feel no pain. They fight until their bodies are shattered or torn apart. Much of the time, “damage” is metaphorical; hit points reflect a creature’s ability to evade an attack. Not so for shamblers. Every hit is palpable. Bones are shattered. Organs are punctured.

Defeating a shambler is a brutal, ugly business. In addition, if an attack deals a significant amount of physical damage it can sever a limb. The threshold varies based on the type of shambler (see individual stat blocks), but if a single attack inflicts the dismemberment value, roll on the following table to see what has been lost.

d20 Effect
1–9 Leg. Reduce the shambler’s speed by 10 ft.
10–18 Arm. The shambler has disadvantage on attacks.
19–20 Head. Double the damage inflicted by this attack.

Dismemberment isn’t clean or absolute. A shambler loses enough of the affected limb to make it useless. When an arm is dismembered by slashing damage, it could be neatly severed at the shoulder. But if it’s dismembered by bludgeoning damage, perhaps the forearm has been completely shattered. If a shambler survives the dismemberment of its head, then some part of it is still intact; it’s just an especially gruesome sight.

Undead Nature. A shambler doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Lost Citadel Ropleplaying, Copyright 2020, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Authors Keith Baker, Natania Barron, Jaym Gates, Jesse Heinig, Rhiannon Louve, Ari Marmell, Malcolm Sheppard, and C.A. Suleiman.