Living zombies are living creatures reduced to a mindless state by a potent combination of enchantment and necromantic magic.
Living zombies have no free will and obey only the exact commands of their master.
Creating a Living Zombie
"Living zombie" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than undead) that has a skeletal structure (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
Living zombies appear as they did in life, except their eyes turn solid black.
Living zombies can be created by a ritual that involves the casting of command undead, dominate animal, person, or monster (depending on type), false life, and feeblemind spells. The process involves embedding a piece of the caster (usually a single strand of hair) in the subject. If this piece of the caster is ever separated from the living zombie, the template is removed. Creating a living zombie costs 1,000 gp in materials and takes at least six hours to complete. A spellcaster can concurrently control at most one living zombie per ability point bonus in his primary spellcasting ability.
Size and Type: The creature's type changes to magical beast if it is an animal, and it gains the augmented subtype. Otherwise the type remains unchanged. It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Armor Class: Natural armor bonus increases by a number based on the living zombie's size.
Attacks: A living zombie retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature. A zombie also gains a slam attack.
Damage: Natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. A slam attack deals damage depending on the living zombie's size. (Use the base creature's slam damage if it's better.)
Special Attacks: A living zombie is unable to cast spells, employ spell-like or supernatural abilities-, understand language, or communicate coherently.
Special Qualities: A living zombie gains the following special quality:
Life Leech (Su): Living zombies retain a magical bond to their creator that diminishes the former and sustains the latter. For every full day that passes while the bond exists, the creator of a living zombie ages only half that amount. This effect is cumulative, so a creator of three living zombies would age only 3 hours (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 x 24 hours). This also means that living zombies heal naturally at only half the normal rate.
Abilities: A living zombie's Intelligence and Charisma changes to 1.
Skills: A living zombie is unable to use Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills.
Feats: A living zombie gains the Toughness feat.
Environment: Any land or underground.
Challenge Rating: +0.
Alignment: A living zombie's alignment is always neutral. It is unable to act contrary to its creator's wishes.
Advancement: As base creature, or - if the base creature advances by character class.
Level Adjustment: -.
In the Realms
Living zombies are the creation of Aumvor the Undying, a Netherese lich rumored to lair amid the mountain ranges of the North. Only his descendants (e.g., his great-grandniece Morasha) and his former apprentices (e.g., the wrisings of Briel) know the secret of their creation, although it is possible others have stolen the formula as well. Although Briel never created any such creatures, small armies of living zombie servitors serve both Aumyor and Morasha. Both particularly prize elf living zombies because of their long life spans.
Sample Living Zombie Living Zombie, Moon Elf