"Popular folklore would have us believe that there exists in the underworld ruthless men who fear nothing. This story should debunk that myth."
When it comes to rooting around the annals of the OSR my radar lately has been pointing back to the OSR library blog & especially the Carl Kolchak files that David Baymiller did. And this is the second episode of the Kolchak series 'The Zombie' & its especially good. Why?! Because it has a definitive almost but not quite 'X Files' feel to it. Making this a perfect encounter to kick off a modern B/X occult or horror OSR campaign. Everything about 'The Zombie' reeks of Seventies horror but its rip for a group of modern players to deal with it. " In the second episode of the series, reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) tangles with mobsters, a crooked police captain, a Voodoo priestess, and the walking dead."
But could the encounter support a game such as Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars rpg?! With a full on cast of supernatural PC characters involved & murders still happening?! The question has been on my mind for a New York minute.
With a full on Kickstarter for the Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Companion happening the following question came up over breakfast, 'Would a band of supernaturals make on bit of difference to the power of a rampaging zombie?!' My actual answer?! Not one bit!
The nice thing about Kolchak is the fact that even the authorities in 'Kolchak episode' have no idea of the occult powers that they get involved with. Now because
Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars rpg is B/X based all of the stats that OSR library blog deals with are easily convertable. There's also the fact that even an experienced team of OSR players are not going to be expecting the fierce nature of the monster. Given its nature & how it plays out the players are not going to be expecting to deal with the nature of the undead beast in question. They could be called in by the mobsters whose interests are threatened by the rogue supernatural. Which leaves the question of what happens to the zombie after the events of the encounter?!
Could the players actually be there to ferry him out of the city after his revenge is done?! And it also leaves another very good question.. If we are looking to use 'the Zombie' for RPG Pundit's Invisible College rpg Then this opens up alll kinds of questions.
The events of the Zombie' highlight two things happening within the city that the encounter is set. There's already a factional war happening. The undead featured in the classic TV episode is actually a revenge weapon & its definitively pointed at the way of several mobsters who may or may not have their own magicians on the mob's pay roll. The events are so minor that only a group of inexperience magus would be assigned to investigate the events surrounding 'the Zombie' . Is there room to use 'the Zombie' for RPG Pundit's Invisible College rpg? The answer here, 'oh yes' because of the fact that the events of the encounter could highlight an upcoming sweep of the ever increasing supernatural war in the Invisible College rpg. The bokor or practitioner of voodoo magic within the encounter could simply be another magus whose familial ties to create a very dangerous weapon. Carl Kolchak is another minor annoyance to the magus within the game. Wizard's don't kill without a reason.