Playing a Zombie
To play a zombie, you must first pick a "base race", a flesh and blood race that your character lives as before their death. You gain the stats and proficiencies afforded to that race, but none of it's spells. For example, you could have been a dragon born, in life, and would gain the strength and charisma increases of making such a character, but your breath weapon was tied to your life, and would would be lost in undeath.
Ability score increase
Those of your base race.
Who knows when the necromantic energies holding your husk together will dissipate. Zombies can be any age and could live well into their hundreds before falling apart.
A zombie's age is directly related to their appearance. A freshly risen corpse may look almost no different to how they appeared in life, if a little paler, their straw-like dead hair becoming bleached. An ancient cadaver on the other hand may start to loose body parts, facial features and reek of putrefaction.
Most undead lean toward Evil, as they have no connection to the gods of the world, and cannot re-enter lawful society without risk of being destroyed as a monster. When a soul is stripped from a body, the ability to feel joy, excitement or anything is immensely diminished. Were they alive, many would call these creatures psychopaths.
Perhaps they still serve their malevolent creator, or their twisted minds make them enraged at the world. Some however, still cling to the personality that they had in life, continuing to fight for what they died for in the first place.
Your size is that of your base race. Your size is medium.
Unlike your body in life, you haw adopt a shambling gait, which prevents you from moving as quickly. Your base movement speed is 5 feet fewer than those of your base race.
You are resistant to necrotic damage, and vulnerable to radiant damage.
Your un-life was not granted by any god, and they have forsaken you for it. If you are healed through any divine means, i.e. through a paladin or cleric's healing spells, you instead take the spell as a damaging one; it's light burning your unholy frame. Undead also cannot be resurrected except by means of a wish spell.
Those of your base race.
As a walking corpse, you no longer require conventional food, water, to breathe or sleep. You are a tireless killing machine, and may only need to stop occasionally to sew parts that have fallen off, back on. You "stabalise" your damage sustained in battle, allowing you to stay semi-aware of your surroundings while resting, and a long rest for your is 4 hours.
In addition, you have no blood in your veins and need never breathe, which means that you function perfectly under water and are immune to poisons.
You also do not feel pain. if someone were to pluck out your eye or cut a limb off, you would feel, at worst, highly annoyed and inconvenienced. You may choose to remove your body parts if you so desire, and use them remotely (provided that they are within 120 feet of you) to squeeze through tight holes or to use as bludgeoning weapons. These limbs can then be attached provided that a medicine check of DC 17 is passed during a rest period to re-attach them.
As a desiccated corpse you are more likely than others to have your limbs removed. If a creature rolls a critical hit when attacking you, roll a D10 and the following will occur:
1- Your head is knocked off. Your body still functions, but you count as blind unless your head can see your body, or is in physical contact with your body , 2- Your jaw is knocked off. You cannot speak or cast verbal spells, 3- Your eyes are knocked out. You cannot see , 4- Your nose is knocked off. You cannot smell, 5- Your abdomen is bisected. Your torso and legs are in a different place. if unarmed, you may crawl as your movement action, 5 feet per round. You count as prone , 6- Your right leg falls off. You must hop as your movement, reducing your movement action by half, 7- Your left leg falls off. You must hop as your movement, reducing your movement action by half, 8- Your right arm is knocked off. It can crawl 5 feet per turn as part of you movement action, but cannot attack except to grapple, 9- Your left arm is knocked off. It can crawl 5 feet per turn as part of you movement action, but cannot attack except to grapple, 10- Your chest is caved in , ribs smashed. You have a gaping hole in your body, that can be used as storage.
You are drawn towards dining on the living or recently deceased. All other food turns to ash on your lifeless tongue, denying you any pleasure. This insatiable hunger is the reason that many zombies seek the life of an adventurer or sell-sword; so many people to kill just means more meals.
Once you have killed any creature, you may spend an action eating it's flesh. When you do this, you gain one free hit dice of health. Creatures of Small size can be consumed once, medium can be be consumed twice, and so on per creature size above small.
You must consume flesh once per day or Zombie madness (detailed below) will set in.
If you choose to perform this action on a sleeping or otherwise incapacitated creature, it will deal 1D10 piercing damage and will cause the creature to become infected. If the creature dies any time after this they will also become a zombie unless a cure disease spell is used upon the creature. It must pass a Charisma saving throw of DC19 to maintain it's sentience after it's death.
If you choose to eat a humanoid's brain, you gain their memories, personality and skills for D10 hours. This takes the form of a shift in alignment to the alignment of the creature, your gaining of their proficiencies and class skills including spells that that creature would have known. Although their brain cannot alter your physical toughness, you also gain their dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma stats whether they are higher or lower than yours.
You constantly crave to eat the flesh of the living. If you spend 24 hours without consuming fresh flesh, you must roll a Wisdom saving throw of DC 15. If you pass, you may survive another 24 hours without giving in to temptation, if you fail however, you become a mindless "walker", intent on trying to eat the nearest thing to you. You will continue to attack the nearest person or thing until you have consumed them completely, as detailed in Cannibalize.
While suffering from Zombie madness, you cannot speak, cast spells or wield weapons. Instead you gain +2 strength to a maximum of 19 and your unarmed attacks deal 1D4 damage.