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Author Topic: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline FoxfyrTopic starter

Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« on: January 10, 2012, 05:40:39 PM »
I am new to the GMing aspect of pen & paper RPGs and have started a slightly modified D20 Modern campaign with my friends a few months ago.  We are five sessions in and I have material ready for another two sessions, but have found that I am having a little trouble coming up with quests and puzzles.  The world space of this campaign is based upon Max Brooks' novel World War Z taking place just after the fall of Yonkers.  In other words, the world has just realized that the governments of the world are helpless to stop the zombie epidemic and everything falls into anarchy.  Unlike the book, however, I am incorporating a wider array of undead that is not limited to the simple mindless walkers.  Some are pulled in from the Left 4 Dead game series as well as a few of my own creations.  Not to mention the likelihood of coming across groups of raiders and other humans ranging from the friendly competent survivor to the greedy or psychopathic raider.

So right now I'm interested in hearing from other people and otherwise just spit balling ideas around to see what we can come up with.  With any luck, we'll devise all sorts of exciting missions that will keep my friends interested and excited in this game.  Thank you all upfront for your help and let the spit balling commence!  ;D

Offline Driskoll

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 08:36:22 PM »
One of my favorite parts of the book is when the journalist is interviewing Ajay Shah in India about what it was like evacuating people onto boats to escape the infection. Of course many of the people that were evacuated were in fact already infected, so by the time the ships were out to sea those that were bitten began to turn. The infection would slowly spread from one end of the ship to the other as nearby vessels could hear the screams for help over the radio. I think a great quest line would be to put all the characters onto a boat that was out at sea and had about 20% of it's occupants infected. The goal could be to reach a liferaft, signal another ship for help, or even to seal off the undead areas of the ship before too many more passangers become infected. Have you done anything like that already?

       



Offline Inkidu

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 08:45:17 PM »
Or a crashing plane because the pilot's infected (but no one knew at the time). Basically, and scenario that Max Brooks said not to indulge in his other famous books is good story fodder.

I have a question though? How do you deal with the one hit-kill that zombie's basically present?

I mean it's one bite and it's over, it's one bad scratch and it's over. It could easily be a very frustrating game both from the ease of death or lack of verisimilitude?

Offline FoxfyrTopic starter

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 08:57:13 PM »
Thus far they managed to clear out a nuclear power plant facility, or at least in the process of doing so. I do like the sound of placing them on a boat of some kind, though they're in western Pennsylvania thus far heading west. A larger cruise ship wouldn't work, but there are some larger rivers along the way that I might be able to work with or if they intend on going north to Canada...

Definitely will keep it in mind.

As far as the one bite infection, I curved it a bit by making a zombie's bite rather inaccurate unless the individual is being grappled. This encourages them to stay organized and work as a team since they'd be in trouble if they allow themselves to get surrounded. Furthermore, it is a percentile roll to determine where the zombie grapples/bites and if that portion of the body is armored then I treat it like a sunder attack to bypass the material or at least damage it.

Though other zombies that are more combat capable like runners and the like I treat as being non-infectious in order to balance them out and allow for more fast paced combat.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 09:00:17 PM »
Thus far they managed to clear out a nuclear power plant facility, or at least in the process of doing so. I do like the sound of placing them on a boat of some kind, though they're in western Pennsylvania thus far heading west. A larger cruise ship wouldn't work, but there are some larger rivers along the way that I might be able to work with or if they intend on going north to Canada...

Definitely will keep it in mind.

As far as the one bite infection, I curved it a bit by making a zombie's bite rather inaccurate unless the individual is being grappled. This encourages them to stay organized and work as a team since they'd be in trouble if they allow themselves to get surrounded. Furthermore, it is a percentile roll to determine where the zombie grapples/bites and if that portion of the body is armored then I treat it like a sunder attack to bypass the material or at least damage it.

Though other zombies that are more combat capable like runners and the like I treat as being non-infectious in order to balance them out and allow for more fast paced combat.
Also look to your team's chosen profession. I'm kind of assuming that you wanted to keep it away from everyone being a military trained can-o-badass, so you probably have a mechanic, cop, medical person etc. Bandits need medicine, fixers, and typically hate cops.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 09:13:01 PM »
What about modern vampires they could be allies and enemies after all they are losing their food sources to the zombies, more like the classic bestial ones though like in 30 Days of Night.

Offline FoxfyrTopic starter

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 10:07:58 PM »
Also look to your team's chosen profession. I'm kind of assuming that you wanted to keep it away from everyone being a military trained can-o-badass, so you probably have a mechanic, cop, medical person etc. Bandits need medicine, fixers, and typically hate cops.

Actually, as a fun twist that they've fallen in love with, they're all playing as theirselves starting at level one. That gives the group two engineers, two general retail, one career student, and one ex-army field medic backgrounds. Also, their starting gear was limited to whatever they could find around their houses within 30 minutes and they initially needed to build their characters and stat lines around a best fit for what they are in real life.

I think incorporating vampires would be mixing opposing genres and will likely invoke displeasure from my friend who is a zombie fanatic. Though I do appreciate the idea and actually have a class that may be somewhat similar. They're not vampires, but they're humans that have reached a point of insanity that makes them a very terrifying and formidable opponent or unreliable ally.

Offline Shjade

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 11:58:58 PM »
Actually, as a fun twist that they've fallen in love with, they're all playing as theirselves starting at level one. That gives the group two engineers, two general retail, one career student, and one ex-army field medic backgrounds. Also, their starting gear was limited to whatever they could find around their houses within 30 minutes and they initially needed to build their characters and stat lines around a best fit for what they are in real life.
This may be the single most intriguing notion I've ever heard related to tabletop RPGs. Making a character sheet would be so much simpler if I could just make it myself with my stuff. xD

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 09:36:29 AM »
You said you are going to use different types of zombies.  Will any of them be intelligent enough to make deals with?

Offline Ryven

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 04:33:41 PM »
Or a crashing plane because the pilot's infected (but no one knew at the time). Basically, and scenario that Max Brooks said not to indulge in his other famous books is good story fodder.

I have a question though? How do you deal with the one hit-kill that zombie's basically present?

I mean it's one bite and it's over, it's one bad scratch and it's over. It could easily be a very frustrating game both from the ease of death or lack of verisimilitude?

You're assuming it actually is a one-hit kill scenario.  I tend to agree that a bite from a zombie is pretty much a death sentence, but less intense wounds like a simple scratch may not necessarily be a death sentence.  There is always the chance they can be infected, but I'm not one to believe in the super-virus scenario where no one is immune or can overcome it.  The gene pool is so wide spread that at least a few people have to overcome being infected.  You could even use something like a saving throw.  Maybe make enough saving throws successfully and the character can become immune.  That still doesn't save them from being eaten alive by the zombies.

Offline Shjade

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 07:20:17 PM »
And of course there's always amputation as an option. ;p

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 08:08:14 PM »
Outbreak: Undead uses a d% roll for bite resistances and applies them to different parts of the body.

While your bare arms may only have a 5% resist chance, if you wrap them up in layers of cloth it might jump to 35% resist. If you got SWAT arm shields and kevlar gloves it'd be near 90% resist.  It doesnt stop the trauma of the attack from crushing/breaking bones or bruising, but by having something in the way to prevent the infected mouth from slobbering all over the exposed wound increases your survivability against such a lethal virus.

Offline FoxfyrTopic starter

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 03:23:34 PM »
You said you are going to use different types of zombies.  Will any of them be intelligent enough to make deals with?

I've never been a fan of the intelligent zombie; at most a variant may have the cognitive capacity of a wild animal. When it comes to having intelligent foes, I'll fall back on other survivors.

As far as having the players play themselves, it's been a huge hit with very entertaining results.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 03:25:04 PM by Loki Aesir »

Offline Driskoll

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 04:46:45 PM »
Having your friends play as themselves and start with whatever they had in their house is such an awesome idea. If the world they are in is based on World War Z, maybe at some point they could come across the celebrity mansion/fortress on Long Island. I'm not sure when that story takes place in relation to the fall of Yonkers, but maybe they could come across it after it has been ransacked or even decide if they want to participate in the initial attack.   

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2012, 09:26:30 PM »
Having your friends play as themselves and start with whatever they had in their house is such an awesome idea. If the world they are in is based on World War Z, maybe at some point they could come across the celebrity mansion/fortress on Long Island. I'm not sure when that story takes place in relation to the fall of Yonkers, but maybe they could come across it after it has been ransacked or even decide if they want to participate in the initial attack.   
I would break the game. In my home I have plenty of clothes, lightweight sports padding that could be used as armor, several guns from shotguns to rifles to revolvers, even a little .22. I have a katana and a wakazashi, and a garage with crowbars. Plus a car, a motorcycle, and several bags to carry a ton of stuff in. XD

Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2012, 10:21:00 PM »
I would break the game. In my home I have plenty of clothes, lightweight sports padding that could be used as armor, several guns from shotguns to rifles to revolvers, even a little .22. I have a katana and a wakazashi, and a garage with crowbars. Plus a car, a motorcycle, and several bags to carry a ton of stuff in. XD

Same for me, but I'd all but a handgun.  I have swords, polypropylene swords which can act like bats, tons of clothing, first aid kits, knives of all variety and tons of duct tape and a crow bar... All I need is some hockey or foot ball gear and I'm good to go.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2012, 03:38:28 PM »
but how quickly can you pack all that in 30 minutes?

You definitely have a wider range of options, but it doesnt help you when your perfectly packing the car and the horde swarms you.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2012, 03:49:14 PM »
I can do it in fifteen minutes. With fifteen left over to get food and water. A half hour is a long freaking time when you're grabbing stuff. I can literally one shot it down from my room out to the garage. :) We literally have things like flashlights just sitting out on the counter.

Offline FoxfyrTopic starter

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2012, 04:20:53 PM »
The main issue with having all those nice weapons is that it'll make you stand out quite a bit. If you have more guns than hands, fellow survivors will insist you share in the wealth while others will simply try to take them by force. It would certainly be nice having such an arsenal, but as with much in life, it comes at a price.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2012, 09:25:17 PM »
The main issue with having all those nice weapons is that it'll make you stand out quite a bit. If you have more guns than hands, fellow survivors will insist you share in the wealth while others will simply try to take them by force. It would certainly be nice having such an arsenal, but as with much in life, it comes at a price.
I have a couple of duffels that could easily hold the long guns, inconspicuously, and no doubt it would be quite the load. :) I just thought it was funny. If I had to pick I would take the mini-14, and one of my .22s, the little .22 Luger, and the .357 double action for human intimidation. I'd probably take the .44 too. I think we gave the shotgun away. Transport's always the sticky part.

Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2012, 09:37:40 PM »
but how quickly can you pack all that in 30 minutes?

You definitely have a wider range of options, but it doesnt help you when your perfectly packing the car and the horde swarms you.

Sad thing is all that can be packed in 15 minutes... I actually tried.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2012, 04:45:44 PM »
I live in a one-room rented apartment, and have nothing that would help in any way with a zombie outbreak besides a whole bunch of pre-wrapped granola bars...I'm zombie chow.

If I was back home, I'd be able to raid my father's arsenal in the basement, though I'd probably spend a good chunk of time breaking into the safe since I don't know where the key is.

Offline roleplayinggrl18

Re: Zombie Survival RPG Brainstorming.
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2012, 01:28:10 PM »
Outbreak: Undead uses a d% roll for bite resistances and applies them to different parts of the body.

While your bare arms may only have a 5% resist chance, if you wrap them up in layers of cloth it might jump to 35% resist. If you got SWAT arm shields and kevlar gloves it'd be near 90% resist.  It doesnt stop the trauma of the attack from crushing/breaking bones or bruising, but by having something in the way to prevent the infected mouth from slobbering all over the exposed wound increases your survivability against such a lethal virus.

I was just going to recommend that, also on their website there is a test you can take to get your basic character stats.