[ Models | Lore | Sources | Inspiration ]
The Outlanders boxed set expands the first edition of Necromunda with a wide range of background details and new rules. Amongst the rest of its content, this rulebook was the first publication to introduce Plague Zombies into the Warhammer 40,000 setting.
Cost to recruit: 10 credits for D6 Plague Zombies
Long ago Necromunda was swept by a mysterious neurone plague which boiled up from the Underhive and touched even the highest peaks of the Spire. Victims of the plague fell ill for weeks, days or hours depending on their strength. If they succumbed to the fever their brains were rotted by the terrible disease, all higher reasoning was lost and the victims became little more than beasts.
Unfortunately beasts still need to eat and soon thousands of brainless, half-dead plague victims roamed the boulevards and thoroughfares of the great hives seeking flesh to feast on. Each time they pulled down some luckless citizen and tore into his flesh with teeth and nails another victim was infected and another Plague Zombie was added to their ranks. Anarchy and chaos swept through the hives as Necromundans struggled to fight off the hordes of Plague Zombies and drive the surviving ones down into the Underhive.
Zombie plague still breaks out from time to time in the Underhive and packs of Plague Zombies are yet another of the many dangers in the dark underbelly of the hive. The Zombies live in wild packs like dogs, fighting each other and living off what carrion they can find or anything that's stupid enough to let itself be caught. Scavvies often round up packs of Zombies and send them against outposts, settlements and rival gangs that they are attacking. In sufficiently large numbers these creatures can be fearsome opponents.
Plague Zombies have forgotten the meaning of fear and do not experience pain so they are hard to stop. Also, any wound inflicted by a Plague Zombie carries the dreaded plague and may turn its victim into another Plague Zombie.
A Scavvy gang can 'buy' Plague Zombies for a game, the cost representing bits of food which are used to lure the Zombies to the right place. Every 10 credits' worth of food will bring D6 Plague Zombies along to fight. The Plague Zombies are under the control of the Scavvy player for the duration of the game but they do not join the gang and will go back to their wandering existence when the game is over.
Weapons. Plague Zombies do not have any wargear; they are armed with a variety of spikes, sharpened bones, claws and teeth.
Zombie Shuffle. Plague Zombies usually stagger around with broken, faltering steps. Occasionally when they get the scent of blood in their decaying nostrils, they will break into a loping, shambling run. To represent their unpredictable gait Plague Zombies move 2D6" in the movement phase. Each Plague Zombie is rolled for individually and the controlling player may move them as he wishes up to the distance rolled on the dice.
Plague Zombies may not run or charge, they always move 2D6". However, Plague Zombies always count as charging into hand-to-hand combat if they manage to move into base-to-base contact with an enemy model.
No Pain. Plague Zombies feel no pain whatsoever: you can burn them, shoot them or cut them and they'll just keep trying to bite you until you manage to inflict crippling damage on them. Because of this Plague Zombies ignore being pinned and are not affected by flesh wounds.
No Fear. As the reasoning parts of their brains are long gone Plague Zombies lack the intellect to be afraid of anything. This means that Plague Zombies ignore all Psychology rules and never have to roll Leadership tests to see whether they lose their nerve. If the gang controlling the Plague Zombies bottles out the Zombie pack loses its motivation and scatters as well.
Plague! Naturally, Plague Zombies carry the zombie plague, if you see what I mean. If another model is wounded by a Plague Zombie in hand-to-hand combat he may contract the disease and (ulp) turn into a Plague Zombie. Note which gang members are wounded by Zombies on the gang roster and at the end of the game roll a D6 on the table below to see whether they are infected. Note that this is in addition to the Serious Injury roll if the fighter goes out of action.
|4-6||Zombie Time! The gang member is infected and suffers brain death within hours. Roll a D6: on a roll of 4-6 the new Zombie wanders off into the wastes to join his fellows. On a roll of 1-3 the Zombie attacks a randomly determined gang member, fight out the close combat immediately. In either event all of the model's equipment is infected and counts as destroyed.|
|2-3||Sickness. The victim feels weak and ill for days and must miss the gang's next fight while he recovers.|
|1||Clear. After a few tense days no symptoms of zombie plague have emerged and the gang member is in the clear.|
|Only suffered flesh wound||-2|
|Not reduced to 0 wounds||-2|
|Friendly Doc is part of gang's territory||-2|
|Member of gang has Medic skill||-1|
|Gang owns a medi-pack||-1|
Karloth Valois is one of the many who fled into the Underhive to conceal some dark and terrible secret. In Karloth's case it was that he was a Wyrd, a human with latent psychic talents. Flashes of precognition gave him constant nightmares, the thoughts and feelings of others pounded against his consciousness like surf against the shore. Unable to endure the cacophony of Hive City, he fled into the dark fastness of the hive bottom and headed into the wastes, as far from others as he could get.
Alone amidst the crawling horror of the badzones he soon weakened and almost died many times. At the last, as Karloth foraged for a few miserable morsels of food, he was pursued by relentless Plague Zombies, a pack of shambolic cadavers hungry for his flesh. Karloth ran until his feeble body could carry him no further and the foul creatures set upon him, worrying at his flesh like dogs. Karloth could sense the dim, sluggish minds of his devourers, their thoughts made jagged by instinct but still simpler than a child's.
Fired by the strength of desperation Karloth drove the monsters back with an effort of will, quelling their murderous instincts so that they stood passively by. He lay there, crippled and helpless with the Zombies all about him as the dreaded zombie plague they carried ate into his brain. Hours passed but somehow Karloth clung to the slender thread of his life force by draining what little will remained to the Zombies so that he could maintain his own existence. In time the plague abated and Karloth found that he still lived, after a fashion.
Somehow Karloth's powers were strangely affected by the neurone plague. He was able to bend the Plague Zombies to his will within a limited distance, firing their hunger or sharpening their wariness as he desired. He could drain the life energy of others and absorb it into himself, and he knew that this was his only useful means of sustenance. Most of all Karloth had sensed the fate death would bring; endless ennui, horrible torments and incessant terror. He vowed that death would never take him.
Karloth took to a wandering existence in the wastes, preying on the living where he could and using the Plague Zombies to protect himself from his enemies or to get what he wanted. His reputation grew and he became feared throughout the Underhive as a soul-thief and life taker. Gangs made unholy pacts with him to gain his help and his Zombie hordes became a real threat. It was whispered that the Gods of Darkness favoured Valois and people became afraid of his very name. But the brethren of the Redemption flocked to the Underhive to test their faith against such an arch-devil in human form, and their flamers drove him deeper into the pit.
The hunt for Karloth Valois forms an epic in its own right. Everywhere he turned he was betrayed or driven away, such was the fear others felt of him or the Redemption, or both. For a time he escaped into the poison pools and refuse of the Scavvies but the fanatics of the Redemption found him even there. The red-robed priests pursued Karloth to the very edge of the Abyss before he turned at bay and fought for his life. The Zombies and brethren fought a great battle over the spider-haunted depths, the flames lighting the darkness as they cut through rank upon rank of the rotting dead. Karloth feasted on their lives and left them as shrivelled husks, but the priests came on with the zeal of madmen and no Zombie could stop them. To evade them and avoid a heretic's fate Karloth cast himself over the brink into the mile-deep abyss below, shrieking his defiance of death.
Though the Redemption searched for weeks no trace was ever found of Karloth Valois' body. Underhivers knew they were mad to try, for nothing can ever be found in the Abyss unless it wants to be.
Wyrd Power: Zombie Master. Karloth can influence Plague Zombies with his powers, both by summoning them and motivating them. If Karloth is present, add +1 to each dice roll for the number of Zombies summoned.
All Zombies within 9" of Karloth may roll an extra dice for their movement, for a total of 3D6, and then pick two dice for their move distance. Zombies in hand-to-hand combat within 9" of Valois also gain +1 to their Weapon Skill and +2 to their Initiative. This power works all of the time and doesn't need a Leadership test.
Wyrd Power: Sense Thoughts. Karloth can spot any hidden models within 18" if he can roll equal to or under his Leadership on 2D6. Karloth will be unaffected by the Perils of the Warp even if he rolls a 2 or a 12.
No Pain. Since the plague Karloth feels no pain whatsoever. Because of this Karloth is never pinned and ignores the effects of flesh wounds.
No Fear. Karloth ignores all Psychology rules and never has to make Leadership tests to see whether he loses their nerve. If the gang with Karloth in it bottles out he heaves a long-suffering sigh, mutters about mortal frailties and goes with them.
Black Crown. Karloth made the Black Crown himself to augment his vampiric powers. Draining life essence could be a slow and delicate process for Karloth, but with the Black Crown he could drain the life force from a man in moments with a blast of dark energy.
Karloth can use the Black Crown instead of firing his pistol in the shooting phase. It works like firing a shot so Karloth may not use it if he has run, charged or is in close combat and he must have a line of sight to the target in order to attack. The Crown will affect one model within 9". Both players roll 2D6 and add their respective Leadership characteristics to the scores. If the scores are drawn or Karloth loses the attack has no effect, the victim is not even pinned.
If Karloth beats the victim's score he can drain 1 point from one of the victim's characteristics and add it to his own characteristic. Any characteristic can be chosen, but Karloth may not increase his characteristics by more than a single point each. This power may be used to restore lost wounds. A victim reduced to 0 wounds by the Black Crown is automatically 'down', do not make a separate Injury roll.
Once the battle is over any characteristic points stolen are recovered by the victim through resting and Karloth's characteristics return to normal. Victims who go out of action must still roll on the Serious Injuries Table. The Black Crown will affect models that are already down, but it will not work on Plague Zombies.
Witch Staff. The Witch Staff was a curious weapon used by Karloth, who claimed to have discovered it in a deep labyrinth. The staff is used in two hands and allows Karloth to make a parry. If Karloth wins in close combat with the staff he rolls to wound adding +2 to his Strength.
In addition to its function as a weapon the staff is a potent protection against the Wyrd powers of others. If a Wyrd power affects a model within 18" of Karloth he can nullify its effect by rolling equal to or under his Leadership on 3D6.
These large bats live in the tunnels of the Underhive, where they hand upside down in seething colonies. If disturbed they flutter down the tunnels in a huge squealing swarm. Carrion bats have ferocious Piranha-like jaws but they live by scavenging meat from the kills made by larger creatures. The bats are drawn by the scent of fresh blood and will flutter down to steal a few mouthfuls of flesh before the rats arrive to pick a carcass clean. Underhivers are afraid of carrion bats because their bite carries diseases caught from their scrofulous diet, including the dreaded zombie plague.
Fly. Carrion bats can fly. This allows them to move up or down levels without having to use ladders. Each 1" of vertical movement up or down use up 1" of the carrion bat's horizontal movement across the battlefield.
Plague! Any fighters taken out of action by carrion bats must roll a D6 in addition to rolling for serious injuries at the end of the game. On a roll of 1, 2 or 3 the bats were carrying the zombie plague, make a roll for them on the Plague Zombie Infection Table just as if they had been injured by a Zombie.
Carrion Bats in Games. Carrion bats will not usually attack groups of fighters but may attempt to overwhelm lone individuals. Carrion bats pose the biggest threat to models that have gone down, as they will move into hand-to-hand combat with them and take them out of action.
|Warhammer Fantasy||Third Citadel Compendium; WFRP (1st ed); RoC: Slaves to Darkness; RoC: The Lost and the Damned; Beasts of Chaos; Blightwar; Malign Portents website|
|Man O' War||Plague Fleet|
|Mordheim||Empire in Flames|
|Warhammer 40,000||Warhammer 40,000 (1993); Codex: Chaos (1996); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999); Chapter Approved 2001; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002); Codex: Eye of Terror; Chapter Approved 2004; Imperial Armour 5; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007); Imperial Armour: Apocalypse (2007); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008); Imperial Armour 6; Imperial Armour 7; Imperial Armour: Aeronautica; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012); Codex: Dark Angels (2013); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013); Stronghold Assault; Codex: Imperial Knights (2014); Codex: Militarum Tempestus (2014); Imperial Armour 13; Codex: Imperial Knights (2015); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2016); Codex: Traitor Legions; Warhammer 40,000 (2017); Dark Imperium; Index: Chaos; First Strike; Codex: Space Marines (2017); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2017); Codex: Grey Knights (2017); Plague Brethren; Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (2017); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018); Tales from Vigilus webpages|
|Epic||Adeptus Titanicus; Space Marine (1st ed); Codex Titanicus; Renegades; Titan Legions; Epic 40,000|
|White Dwarf||Oct 1988 (#106); Dec 1988 (#108); Jan 1989 (#109); May 1989 (#113); Jun 1989 (#114); Nov 1989 (#119); Jan 1990 (#121); Feb 1990 (#122); Apr 1990 (#124); May 1990 (#125); Dec 1990 (#132); Jan 2002 (#265)|
|Citadel Journal||Jul 1994 (#4); Mar 1995 (#8); May 1995 (#9); Dec 1995 (#12); Sep 1996 (#17); Nov 1996 (#18); Aug 1997 (#21); Apr 1998 (#25); Jun 1998 (#26); Aug 1998 (#27); Oct 1998 (#28); May 1999 (#32); Jan 2002 (#48)|
|Battlefleet Gothic Magazine||Nov 2002 (#12); Aug 2003 (#16)|
|Black Library Novels|
|Warhammer 40,000||Ravenor Returned|
|Fantasy Flight Games|
|Dark Heresy||Shattered Hope; Dark Heresy (1st ed); Disciples of the Dark Gods; Creatures Anathema; Radical's Handbook; Daemon Hunter; Dark Heresy (2nd ed); Game Master's Kit (2nd ed); Forgotten Gods; Enemies Within; Enemies Beyond|
|Rogue Trader||Rogue Trader; Citadel of Skulls; Battlefleet Koronus; Koronus Bestiary; Navis Primer; Stars of Inequity|
|Deathwatch||Mark of the Xenos; Achilus Assault; First Founding; Jericho Reach; Rising Tempest|
|Black Crusade||Black Crusade; Game Master's Kit; Hand of Corruption; Tome of Fate; Tome of Blood; Tome of Excess; Tome of Decay|
|Only War||Enemies of the Imperium|