[Top 10] D&D Best Zombies

Remember these m*******fk***rs in Dying Light?

Do you know how to use a simple zombie and give a horrific experience to your players?

Rotten, reanimated, and ravenous, zombies have made their name in modern culture as popular as the vampire and the werewolf. Whereas the vampire and werewolf’s horror are in their mystery and cunning, the zombie is in their mindless but relentless pursuit to eat you.

In Dungeons and Dragons, even though zombies are mindless monsters a hero can “safely” hack with a sword, what makes them truly terrifying in the hands of a good Dungeon Master is their ability to rise again over and over again until they take a critical hit. Now, imagine if you’re a cocky player who later realizes the folly of your confidence.

Down below are the 10 best zombies and zombie-like creatures that you can use to bring horror into your tabletop.

10. Beholder Zombie

Frankly, I've never fought this monster in my adventures. I also don't want to.

If Beholders aren’t scary enough, then I don’t know what’s scarier than a Beholder Zombie.

Beholders are already crazy out-of-this-world monsters that only survive to dominate the world, so a zombie version of one probably still has its desires for domination somewhat intact but the hunger for human flesh might be more overpowering.

What makes Beholder Zombie great:

  • It’s a much easier beholder to run as a DM compared to the original one
  • It can still use its signature eye lasers.
  • A floating head with one big eye that’s also a zombie

Beholder Zombie details:

  • It is a large monster with high health that can fly
  • Despite it being dead and its immunity to poison, it has a surprisingly strong Wisdom save
  • Can rise up again and again if not struck with a critical hit
  • Eye Rays (Paralyzing Ray, Fear Ray, Enervation Ray, Disintegration Ray)

9. Ogre Zombie

This one looks like the T-virus from Resident Evil 2.

Ogres are already mindless brutes and making it into a zombie is somewhat overkill.

Do you know how to use one in your adventures? Remember the game Left 4 Dead? Yes, the Tank. Use the ogre zombie as a Tank for your adventures. Scare the bejeezus out of your players by chasing them with a near-indestructible flesh-eating ogre.

What makes the Ogre Zombie great:

  • When you need a much larger zombie as part of a hoard
  • It can rise again over and over again if your players can’t do a critical hit on it

Ogre Zombie details:

  • A large monster with very high health
  • It is very, very strong
  • It is immune to poison and can rise up again and again if not struck with a critical blow

8. Skeleton

The skeleton forgot why he's standing there.

It may not be a zombie, but it behaves like one.

Skeletons usually go hand-in-hand with zombies in a fantasy adventure. When adventurers enter a cemetery or a crypt, expect not just zombies rising from their graves but also skeletons.

What makes Skeletons great:

  • They can be used as an alternative to a zombie
  • You could rule it that they are immune to piercing attacks
  • You could also rule that they rise again if you don’t deliver a critical hit.

Skeleton details:

  • A medium creature with low health
  • Vulnerable to bludgeoning but immune to poison
  • Surprisingly agile

7. Wight

Yeah. If that red glow suddenly appears while we're traveling in the dark, I'd be scared.

Have any of you seen Will Smith’s “I Am Legend”? Remember how intelligent and strong the zombies were and how they hated the light of day? Pretty much just like the Wight.

When you use a Wight, remember to let them behave like the zombies in I Am Legend. Be aggressive and let your players see their hatred for the living through their aggression. You can emphasize this hatred by the heavy use of their Life Drain ability. Pressure your players to be careful around a Wight instead of letting them think that they’re the brave adventurers they think they are.

What makes Wights great:

  • They are far stronger and far more intelligent than an ordinary zombie
  • Their Life Drain attack can threaten a player’s life by turning him into a zombie if he dies while under its effect

Wight details:

  • A medium creature with higher than average health
  • Resistant to non-magical weapon attacks, necrotic and poison attacks
  • Sunlight sensitivity
  • A Life Drain attack that can turn players into zombies if they die

6. Ghoul

It's just a good thing zombires aren't real, right? RIGHT?

How do you play a ghoul? You play them like the zombies in 28 Days Later: fast, feral, and brutal. And as a DM, be sure to make guttural noises to increase the feel of horror.

Unlike real zombies, ghouls behave more like vultures or hyenas. They prefer to eat the already dead. But if they can’t find dead things to eat, they hunt in packs and create more dead things by killing them. What makes them truly terrifying to fight against is that they have a paralyzing touch. And as a DM, this is your opportunity to describe in horrific details about the feeling of paralysis while surrounded by growling ghouls.

What makes Ghouls great:

  • They are a more animalistic zombie you can use to scare your players
  • Unlike zombies, they are smarter and hunt in packs
  • Their attacks are paralyzing

Ghoul details:

  • A medium creature with average health
  • Immunity to charm and poison
  • Paralyzing attacks
  • Rarely do you see them alone

5. Boneless

Look closely, the monster has a beard. Or, HAD a beard.

If Skeletons are zombies without their flesh, then I don’t know if you’ll like the Boneless.

The Boneless, as what its name suggests, is an undead creature that’s literally just skin without the bones. When you DM this creature, the goal here is not to give them a body full of hit points; your goal here is to build tension by, probably, introducing them into a scene with lots of skeletons so that they’ll be expecting to fight skeletons. Then, as they travel along, let them feel that they’ve been stalked. Until you strike. Wrapping around the face of a player, choking them. Letting the other players realize that their ally is being choked by a mound of human flesh.

What makes the Boneless great:

  • A new kind of monster to use against your players
  • Being a piece of flesh is scarier than just being a skinless skeleton
  • If you’ve read enough DND rules, you know how dangerous suffocation is

Boneless details:

  • A medium creature with average health
  • Stealthy and can fit in thin openings like a crack on the wall
  • Chokes the life out of your players

4. Zombie Plague Spreader

He's just fat.

Let’s go back to Left 4 Dead. Remember the bloated zombie that explodes in your face and impairs your vision? This monster functions like that.

In every zombie hoard, there should probably be one or two plague spreaders. They can probably be distinguished by their unique green fumes coming out from their bodies. They are probably the dead bodies of an obese person. Or a once sickly old lady.

What makes the Zombie Plague Spreader great:

  • It’s a much deadlier version of a zombie
  • This is probably the zombie version we see in films compared to D&D that can’t infect
  • The thought of players being infected after inhaling its fumes

Zombie Plague Spreader details:

  • A medium creature with high health
  • Undead Fortitude that can make them rise up again and again if not struck with a critical hit
  • Poison aura
  • Virulent Miasma that can infect players

3. Swarm of Zombie Limbs

These monsters can always give you a 'hand'

Remember the Boneless? Which is much scarier? Being choked by a literal skin monster or being choked by a bodiless rotting hand? You decide.

In movies, when you cut off the head, zombies stay dead. But in D&D, magic exists. And you don’t have to explain why literal dismembered limbs move and still attack.

What makes Swarm of Zombie Limbs great:

  • If a swarm of bugs are scary, then this should be much creepier
  • Swarms are harder to kill
  • This can cause a sense of claustrophobia to your players

Swarm of Zombie Limbs details:

  • Swarm creatures take half damage from non-area of effect attacks
  • Restraining attacks

2. Zombie Clot

Look at that. They're just disgusting.

If you don’t know what a zombie clot looks like, then you should watch the anime Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. There was a scene where they tried to open another route of train tracks in a train station. The zombies there gathered into a heap of mass and formed into a gigantic monster. That’s a zombie clot.

Zombie Clots should be used sparingly in your adventures, but when you do, be sure it creeps the living nightmare out of your players. Zombie clots are perfect in metropolis settings where thousands of zombies can logically gather. They should be used to create a sense of impending doom for the players.

What makes a Zombie Clot great:

  • If you think ogre zombies are not gigantic enough
  • If you need a giant zombie that can smash buildings

Zombie Clot details:

  • A huge creature with huge health
  • Damaging poison aura
  • Throws clumps of zombies

1. Zombie


The archetypal zombie might be the simplest of all zombies, but in the hands of a great DM, the zombie is best played when it messes with your players’ emotions. You can do this perfectly by attaching the zombie to a person the players loved before, like a wife, child, or friend.

What makes the zombie truly terrifying is not its stat block, but by its herd mentality. Just like in the American series, The Walking Dead, zombies become a hoard when they hear a source of noise, and they start shambling towards it. It might not be immediate, but the players will suddenly realize that what they think is a good night’s sleep in their camp is actually a nightmare raid surrounded by flesh-eating zombies.

What makes Zombies great:

  • They are the epitome of a Resident Evil campaign
  • Strongly make a rule that their bite is infectious to make them more terrifying
  • Use them more to play on your players’ emotions

Zombie details:

  • A medium creature with average health
  • Undead Fortitude


Remember, the secret to D&D is to roleplay. When you don’t do this, you miss the opportunity to scare and terrify your players on an emotional level.


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Silvin had always wished that life was a fantasy. He does not want to be a lawyer protecting the innocent, he wants to be a paladin protecting the innocent. But alas, lawyers are the closest thing.
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