MORALITY! Elderly and infant zombies :)

C’mon… :wink: Zombie child inclusion broke this barrier down, so lets go all the way… Any apocalyptic cataclysm isn’t pretty, and the hard realities make it so. I cannot say “make it so” without thinking about Picard, but that’s beside the point!

I feel like the inclusion of the elderly and infants would enrich the (creatively implied) storytelling… Elderly of course would be easier to kill and fairly slow. Infant zombies wouldn’t even be able to crawl, but would bite anything in its range and cause a worse morality penalty than child zombs… (I also keep thinking about a 10% chance for an infant zombie to tumble out of any blanket you pick up…) I even thought so far as dead non-zombified infants, and how simply laying eyes on them would cause a sadness penalty… It’d also allow some new buildings, like daycare and retirement home (two creepy settings in any zombie plague…).

BUT! I’m sure some people would balk at the idea… I can think of numerous stories and movies and games that have crossed this boundary to great effect, and I can’t see why it’d be any different in Cataclysm… So lets hear it! Balk, agree, disagree, do things!

There’s gonna be a lot of people coming in to say that they don’t understand feeling depressed after killing a monster, whatever their age is.

Part of me wants to agree, though another part of me suspects that if I was actually in that situation it would affect me more than I think it would.

Unimportant. I’d actually be in favor of something like this. As long as there is either a ‘Hard-Hearted’ Perk or ‘Soft-Hearted’ Flaw that negates or enacts it.

In reality laying eyes on a dead/undead infant would have an effect, but in-game I myself could go either way on that point :slight_smile: Someone else should come in and say “HEY IF WE NEED ALL THOSE THEN WE NEED TEEN ZOMBIE TOO.” :wink: Either way, elderly/infant seems like a couple new mobs that wouldn’t take anything away from the game and would be easy to create based on available code/functions, minimal work involved…

"name": "zombie infant",
"description":"Even the very young were not spared from the cataclysm. Despite its fragile human appearance its vicious growling and milky eyes leave no doubt that this is an enemy, all the same.",

Though maybe its symbol should be changed from green ‘z’ to ‘o’… Also not sure if it should even have that 10 speed… 0!

"name": "elderly zombie",
"description":"An aged human body, shambling along slowly, an unstoppable rage twists its sagging, wrinkled face.",

Or maybe the description should be, “An aged human body, shambling along slowly. The only thing that could make it smell worse than it did in life is, apparently, unlife.”. :wink:

For zombie elders, I think it would be sensible if we have some kind of a traits mechanic for zombies similar to character traits right now, a zombie will have a chance to be assigned a random trait, in this case an “elder” trait would make that zombie slower and weaker. Other traits for example: large build (more hp), athletic ( slightly faster) . This can unecessary complicates thing though. Oh and zombie infants sounds horrible… I like it! :slight_smile:

Edit: typo

10% chance for a morale-sucking ZI in every blanket seems a bit much. The fact that I don’t know whether there’s a simple way to check whether you’ve already rolled for a ZI in this particular blanket–or (since you crafted it) there can’t possibly be a ZI in it–doesn’t help. :wink: Now, if Hospitals could have a maternity/post-birth ward…oof, that’d be a serious issue.

And as with all morale issues, once the system to allow acclimation lands, penalties for commonplace issues (such as random morale-hurting zeds) will make hella more sense. After going through the entire maternity ward, another infant or three probably shouldn’t have much impact.

(Likewise the adrenaline issue. If the kids are actively attacking you, defending yourself should defeat the morale hit: “poor kids…AAH WTF GET OFF ME …damn, a whole ward, and nobody was there to properly finish them…verdammt. VERDAMMT. D:”

Once you’re safe for the moment…THEN it might hit, whether full-force or partial. This matters because extremely low morale inflicts stat & speed penalties, starting at -100. Not sure how hard you want these to hit.)

Morale penalty for simply seeing something seems overkill to say the least. Are those random and (based on present info) unavoidable morale-sucks just there to eat up the (limited) candy supply?

Just a random thought since it might be appropriate here;

What about if you don’t get a morale hit for killing child zombies (et al), but you do get the penalty for butchering their corpses?

There you’d have a bit of a dilemma where you don’t really want to chop the child’s body into pieces - that is just too grisly to bear… but if you don’t, it will rise again later.

Sounds correct to me… Killing an angry growling charging child zomb would be pure self defense… Going the extra not-totally-necessary step to chop them into small non-threatening pieces definitely seems much more gruesome and taxing on the old soul… :stuck_out_tongue: As it stands now I usually kill all child zombies by walking them through fires, and completely avoid the whole penalty thing…

And yeah, a blanket giving birth to repetitive infant zombies definitely sounds unfriendly :smiley: The only reason I had the thought at all was for the shock value it’d have on new players :>

Well, chalk it up as a distinction between pulping and butchering. Pulping is “Gotta do what’s necessary: quick and painless, though” whilst butchering is “I’m gonna take this thing apart in detail, with an eye toward usable meat, sinew, and so on.”

By that measure, butchering any zed could be a morale issue for non-Cannibals, leastwise if they didn’t know how to make Mutagen. But pulping ought to be OK. :wink:

Gristly and awful, love it.
For the infant, instead of a super-low speed, it should have an immobile flag. Probably a low speed anyway, but a 10 is going to mean they’ll almost never even try to bite you. Something like 50 probably.

Applying the guilt bonus on pulping/butchering instead of on “killing” is an interesting concept. It addresses the “but I should be able to defend myself” argument, but leaves you with a dilemma of what to do about dealing with the problem permanently at the cost of lowering morale versus risking being attacked again. Also it leaves the option of e.g. piling up the corpses and cremating them.
Not sure what I think about it, there’s also an option of splitting the guilt penalty between killing and disposing of the body, leaving it at the same level if you kill and smash them, but less if you “merely defend yourself”.

Variable traits are good to a certain point, and arguably the elderly zombie might fall into that area, but I think the infant would be best represented as its own monster. As it is though, we don’t have a trait system for monsters, and we can allways roll variations into such a system if it does happen.

Just remember to make a trait that turns the morale penalty into a bonus. Some people find that killing little zeds is very cathartic. Some people have been waiting a very, very long time for this.

Baby zombies? But doesn’t revivification process need certain mass of victims body to turn them into zombies? Seems alright to me.

So, is this a thread I could post my sick ideas about zombies? Either way, brace yourself:

In vein of the OP’s suggestion - pregnant zombie. Use cutting weapons (or butcher the corpse) against it and little bundle of joy may pop out. Purely moral impact, upon witnessing it, but sometimes may spawn a baby zombie alongside.

And the goo causes instant gigantism then exposed to (relatively) primitive lifeforms. So what if the person before it was infected with internal parasite like… tapeworm? Result, zombie expy for Resident Evil 4 and 5.

I don’t understand why it affects the morale to kill a undead child (or an infant for that matter). In the cataclysm, It’s kill or be killed.

And regarding this, I don’t see why a little undead diversity could be so bad. Killing an undead infant or an undead elder doesn’t sound so strange in the cataclysm.
Hell, I’ve butcherd kittens and feed them to my whole fortress!

And YES, I think we need those “hard-hearted” and “soft-hearted” perks.

And yes, I’m a heartless bastard…

Edit: Some typos

I like the idea of splitting the morale penalty between killing and butchering zombie children/infants, leads to some interesting scenarios where players have to make hard decision between taking morale hit or permanent riddance of monsters.

Can particularly disturbing zombies give you nausea instead? Weak stomach could be a 2 point point trait, gourmand expanded a bit…

Neat-O how everyone just sorta lumps butchering and pulping together.

I’d distinguished them for a reason: pulping is quicker and should be easier–one or two more swings, if you’re using a decent weapon. It should be fairly easy to accomplish in the same “combat” morale-stabilization as the actual defense.

Butchering takes time, thought, and attention to detail. Those seem conducive to taking morale hits, especially when you’re talking about something that used to be human.

As for the pregnant-zed thing: L4D scrapped some of its zed-designs rather than go there. I’m not sold on it and also not sold on expressly excluding it. Thinking this could be decent if done well, but backfire if done poorly, and not sure whether it’s worth taking the risk.

(And for me, at least, pregnancy happens to someone else. So I’m not the best one to judge the implementation.)

I’m gonna vote no for that. Infant and elderly zombies are fine, but I feel that if we want to go there we will be stirring up more trouble then we would gain adding them.

Concur, truth be told. Pregnancy ususally Doesn’t Exist in most game-worlds (if it does, it’s as a Pot Device, and I’ve seen people get torqued about both), but I’m thinking that this isn’t the best ppace to start fixiing that.

You have a small point there, but I question how truthful that statement really is. Just because the world ends doesn’t mean you go “Whelp, my whole family has been turned into undead rotting corpses. What ev.” You would be horrified. You would probably be sad for months, maybe even your whole life if that happened. Essentialy what I am trying to say here is just because the world has ended, you don’t become this emotionless super-surviver. I don’t care what happened or who you are, you can’t kill 30 kindergardeners and feel fine after it.

You have a small point there, but I question how truthful that statement really is. Just because the world ends doesn’t mean you go “Whelp, my whole family has been turned into undead rotting corpses. What ev.” You would be horrified. You would probably be sad for months, maybe even your whole life if that happened. Essentialy what I am trying to say here is just because the world has ended, you don’t become this emotionless super-surviver. I don’t care what happened or who you are, you can’t kill 30 kindergardeners and feel fine after it.[/quote]True, but what I’m trying to say is that we need something that makes the player more immune to that.
Let’s say, I’ve survived for a few years, and killing those have become something regular. And with that, I’ve become immune to those morale shocks.

I agree that the character should become desensitized over time, killing lots of zombie children/elders/infants will eventually leads to a reduction in morale penalty. But stop encountering them for a while and when you kill them again, that morale shock will kick in. Since killing these is not something a person could get used to IMO.