In a true homage to the genre, our story takes place in the foothills of the rolling landscape of the Allegheny Mountains. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, fourteen months since patient zero was discovered in an area hospital.
The apocalypse is here to stay. When the undead horde swept over the city it left few standing, but mankind is stubborn. Small settlements of living humans are springing up, and with those settlements, comes safety - it's a hot commodity these days. The settlements are like organisms dotting the ruined landscape. Some thrive. Others fizzle out and die.
You have heard rumors of a settlement that has been set up on what used to be Brunots Island in the ruins of the old power station. The handful of residents are currently working on restoring the 315 megawatt generating station in their midst. It would be no secret if they'd been successful, but they must have at least a small output to power their town and the beacons.
When the world was whole, a small ferry used to run, but now the only dry method of reaching the island is a train trestle that connects to either side of the river. In the time since the world ended, heavy gates have been constructed at either side.
The undead have a hard time swimming there. Those that aren't bloated enough to get carried away by the surface current sink and tumble along the bottom of the river. Most of the island's banks consist of a ten foot rocky cliff straight up from the water. On its northern banks, barricades achieve much of the same effect. Even if an undead was incredibly lucky and wasn't swept downstream, it wouldn't make it ashore.
If Brunot and other 'towns' like it are organisms, then runners are their lifeblood. Runners are those brave individuals that risk their lives in a deadly race against the undead. A runner must be cunning, resourceful and above all else, fast. The undead take to shambling just like many movies predicted, but every once in a while, their tenacity for assimilation pushes them into a full on run. What their rotting bodies lack in straight speed they make up for in endurance. Runners leave the safety of the town to collect resources needed for the town's well being. Just like blood cells bringing oxygen to major organs.
You are alone. You may be the product of living in a basement for the past year or so. Maybe you had friends with you... Not now. You might have been in a town as it fell - the structure still there, but watching in horror as pink flesh gave way to gray rot. It might be the first time you've been lost and alone, or it may have been one of many towns you've witnessed die. Yet here you are. Alone, Afraid, but Alive. Having traveled anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, you spot your salvation: What's that in the distance? A beacon? Yes. Lights on the water. Night is falling and you can see the literal light at the end of the tunnel.
This game is mostly based on the Alternate Reality Game "Zombies! Run!" that I've been playing. I'm also weaving elements of "The Colony" and pretty much the entire Zombie genre as well. This game will be free-form with not much of a system. What it will have in place is a mutual respect for fellow players. This will be less about combat than the story of your survival and the relationships you build along the way.
Characters should be based in reality. No one in this game will have abilities that a real human would not have. OP Characters are not realistic. If you are really super good at one thing, it must comes as a sacrifice to something else. Equivalent exchange and all that. As such you will be asked to designate what your profession was before the apocalypse. Your skills and abilities will be based on that. Hobbies will be accounted for as well within reason.
Basically if you don't have a good enough reason for why you character is able to do something, they probably can't do it. If you have your character do something overpowered, or disrespectful, then as GM I'll make sure that something overpowered, disrespectful, or maybe downright stupid will happen to them in game.
This being Democratic Southwestern Pennsylvania, guns are reasonably available. It's the ammunition that is becoming a precious commodity. In the first days of the outbreak, this wasn't a concern, but as civilization fell, ammo was freely dispensed upon the hordes to the point of endangerment.
Those wishing to conserve their precious bullets for the most dire of circumstances have taken to using improvised weaponry. Clubs, Axes, Frying pans, Knives, even traps are common. Eschewing firearms has other advantages as well. The undead are drawn to loud noises like moths to a flame. Thus not only the effectiveness but the acoustics of a weapon must be taken into consideration when choosing one.
In a world where even gasoline to power engines is growing scarce, runners are among the elite. They are vital to the new world order where damn near everything is a scarcity. Runners are gatherers of supplies and intel, hunters prowling what is left of the concrete jungle, messengers of happenings beyond the protective bubble that surrounds each settlement. They the tether that holds a settlement together, and a settlement that tries to thrive without runners is destined for failure. Runners are the heroes of a new age. There's no doubt that what they do everyday is danger incarnate.
A runner learns to spend down time wisely. They are given separate quarters that can be locked from the outside in case a quarantine is necessary, but they are often afforded a bit more comfort than the average citizen. Returning runners must submit to an examination for bite wounds each time they enter the settlement, and if any open wounds are found, (even if they're not particularly teeth-shaped) they are locked down for a full twelve hour quarantine.
Each Runner is issued a radio headset, a courier bag, and a numerical designation. The designation is meant to keep the operators from getting too attached, but it's relatively ineffective. Like sports jersey numbers, runners with spectacular careers will have their number retired in the event of their death. Weapons are generally not provided except in extreme cases. Runners are considered to have a natural weapon - their speed. As such they prefer their ability to remove themselves from the situation rather than to engage in a head on fight.
1.) No Playable Characters will be under age 18. As Sam Yao says: "Aww, kids?! Zom kids are the worst!"
2.) Please specify if you want your character to be a runner or not. Characters whose chosen profession allows them to contribute other skills to the community will likely be the ones who get to choose not to be a runner. By the same token, the runners are the most important to the survival of the town.
3.) Be realistic. I want this to be about human interaction, not superhuman awesome stunts. I want this to be more 'Walking Dead' than 'Evil Dead'. These should be real and believable characters stuck in an extraordinary circumstance.
4.) Being realistic does not need to apply to character portraits - I have a penchant for using animated characters myself. However, if you do want to use a portrait of an anime style character, no chibis or super deformed characters. Go for something in realistic proportions. They must appear at least 18.
[floatright][img]Insert Picture Here[/img][/floatright]
[b]Personal Hobbies of Note:[/b]
[b]Runner?:[/b] YES or NO
Submit your characters here for approval, and I'll take a look. You are also welcome to submit them to me via PM if you prefer not to hash out your details out in the open.
As this is my first time actually GMing on Elliquiy, please understand that I intend to do my best and everyone should feel free to bring issues to my attention.
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!