One of our magi is an aspiring necromancer, and it would please his player greatly to have some ground rules for combat statistics for zombies. Have such guidelines been published? Any house rulings?
Oh, come on! It's a zombie, not William the Conqueror. How tough can it be? You know your saga, and your Characters capabilities, better than anyone else - Fake it! Tell a good story!
You're probably talking slow, lurching, "Mrhh?" undead-type zombies, not fast, predatory "Send more brains!", infected-victims-type zombies, right? Just don't get the two confused.
What's more, I'd sincerely doubt if one zombie was identical to another, given different casters. Quite possible to work that magic differently, and players should be kept on their toes.
Thanks for the advice, but I was hoping to find something official.
I agree, some somewhat useful "guidelines" might be useful. Do the bodies being decayed matter for purpose of the zombie's base stats? Or does the ReCo magic animate all the same? If 10 zombies are attacking your grogs, what sort of quick attack stats should we use? Make them up as grogs and adjust the stats or keep them the same? How does the fact that they dont feel pain affect things? What does it take to take one down?
A belly of beer and a broadaxe should do the trick!
Useful guidelines that are useful? Balderdash, I say!
Well, my unwritten subtext was - nope, there is none in canon, not in 5th ed, anyway. Were in 3rd, iirc, but that's apples n' orangutans. If you want someone to do your work for you, I'm sure "opinions" will be forthcoming.
Just give em a flat -3 for everything except strength and stamina if you want the dawn of the dead old style zombies which we all know and love. They are after all mindless automatons.
IIRC there are stats for mindless animated corpses in Calebais, page 77, if that helps.
And a +3 to soak
Apart from Calebais, I am not aware of any official stats in print (i.e., for ArM5).
To solve your immediate problem -- a PC who wants to animate dead bodies -- I would suggest you give the animate corpse the same stats as a living person (a normal man has +/- 0 in all Characteristics). For the zombie's combat skill, I suggest either A) the caster's Finesse or B) the caster's Corpus Form bonus. I kind of like B) better because in my own Troupe we're trying to minimize the importance of Finesse.
Then, as has been suggested previously, add a bonus to Soak.
Using the Corpus bonus of the casting magus sounds good to me True Bruce Lee Zombies (Combat of 6+) are only available to the true masters of the Corpus art:)
I would apply this same criteria to the zombies MR.
I'm not sure if it's still free online, but 4th ed had stats for them. The only difference I can see is they would have a might of 0 without req. Vim. Meta creator if you have it will do the combat adjustments for you. If you don't you can figure them out by hand.
It was still free last Wednesday night when I downloaded a copy to my work PC.