One of the things that makes watching toddler entertainment tolerable is nostalgia. If I have to watch an animated show meant for little kids, then it should be something cool from the 80's, damn it!
Awhile back, I bought a DVD of The Smurfs for us to watch. For some reason, it wasn't until today that we got to "The Purple Smurfs" episode. Whoa, that brought back memories! As the episode unfolded, I could feel my helpless panic rise. Yeah, it still affected me. In a way, even more so than when I was a youth.
Even though the episode pulled many of its punches - we never got to see the actual infection-spreading bite and infected smurfs would always run off into the forest instead of hopping onto the nearest victim - it was still terrifying. Sort of. I mean, it's still The Smurfs.
If you've never seen it, I recommend a viewing. For those who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, here's a synopsis: the smurfs are out doing smurfy things. Lazy is sent into the forest to chop down some trees. A purple fly bites him on the tail. He turns purple, hops around, angrily gnashes his teeth, looks violent / evil, and yells "Gnap!" at every opportunity. The purple smurf is captured and taken to smurf village where he eventually escapes and infects other smurfs. Papa Smurf looks for an antidote but is having trouble. Eventually, smurf village is entirely overrun with this purple plague.
This scenario is essentially the smurf version of a zombie apocalypse. Interestingly, the original French comic book had the smurfs turning black. I can see why the cartoon went with purple.
I was thinking something like this could easily be done for The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence (on sale this week - Xmas in July). Those fighting with an infected individual of the purple plague must roll a d6 every round they're within melee range. On a result of 1, he's been bit and turns purple, aggressive, and single-minded in his pursuit to infect others.
The cure? Touching a blue crystal, of course. Each NPC encountered on the purple islands has a 1% chance of knowing how to cure the purple plague. Assuming the PCs don't guess (which they probably won't - if they've read this post, then change it to some other crystal hue) and don't get lucky with finding someone who knows what to do, an entire island could fall to the purple zombie outbreak in a matter of weeks!
How did it start? Probably not a fly so much as an oozing, Lovecraftian abomination from beyond time and space. The entity still needs to be slain, obviously. Those fighting it up close and personal have a 2 in 6 chance each round of becoming infected.
Authored by Venger Satanis