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    Mephibosheth's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Gaah! I had this whole long post written out, and the forum ate it. *sighs, starts re-typing*

    Quote Originally Posted by Salz - RE rebuilding
    I say, let them try. Give them the tools and stand back and see what they can do. Do not assume that the only option is simple subsistence followed by surrender to the night."
    As I've said before, whether they're able to rebuild or not is probably going to be a function of how long the players stay interested in the campaign. The city is surrounded by walls and water so it's entirely possible that the outbreak is contained and the PC's could simply escape the city and survive that way. On the other hand, I do have an overarching plot in mind that could provide them with options for re-taking the city and rebuilding.

    On a related note, I want to say that having an endgame in mind has been extremely helpful over the course of the campaign, especially in a campaign of this type. Having an idea about how and why the zombies exist can make certain decisions a lot easier and help everything hang together better when the PC's actually find out some of the information. It's not necessary to have everything figured out, but the basic details can be very helpful to keep in the back of your mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Question: Will that middle building full of stores catch on fire after the stairs does or is the rest of it stone?
    The buildings are almost all bult of mud brick with wooden roofs and stairs and some wooden framing. I told the PC's that there was a chance the building's structure would catch and the building would weaken, but it's by no means a foregone conclusion.

    I also like your ideas about lighting objects on fire with flint and steel. The equipment section of the PHB doesn't list a skill check for lighting a torch and I feel like this would be an everyday skill anyway, so I'm comfortable with it being automatically successful. However, in this case the PC's were just dropping flaming things onto the stairs and hoping the stairs would catch. In this more passive context I wanted to go with the percent chance rather than a skill check to reinforce that the PC's weren't really doing anything other than exposing the stairs to flame. If they had been actively trying to light the stairs, I would definitely go with something like yours.

    Thanks also for the info on burning objects. I've been using those rules so far, but it's always good to have a reminder, especially of those supplementary rules like smoke inhalation and damage to adjacent surfaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky S
    Hey I was reading it and loved the sound of your campaign. I was just wondering whether you have any templates for your zombies so that other (like me) could use them in campiagns. Also I was wondering whether you use figs or just imagination when gaming. Keep up the great DMing sounds epic fun! I will probably start my own zombpocalypse just because yours seems soo cool. (I am also obsessed with zombies, seen every zombie movie and play all zombie related games (Left 4 Dead anyone?)). Good work!
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm glad your enjoying the journal. I haven't written up a formal template for my zombies yet, but I'll PM you my stat block after this post. It's pretty easy to extrapolate from there.

    Also, as pjwaring mentioned, we use a wet-erase (not dry-erase) map grid and miniatures (mostly old Warhammer figures). I've been thinking about doing some OotS-style zombie drawings on cards for use in the campaign, but haven't gotten around to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVid
    Something I have to point out, now that I've thought of it: you've shown, for certain, that animals can be zombified. This makes the zombie plague 100 times more dangerous than if it only affected humanoids. I instantly got an image of zombie rats gnawing their way through the inside walls of the inn....
    Spoilered, just in case...
    Spoiler
    Show
    I mentioned before that I have an endgame in mind for this campaign. Part of that endgame is that the zombie "virus" was created to bring about an outbreak like this. Having the "virus be intentionally created and spread makes it easy to make distinctions like these for metagame reasons. For example, I want there to be non-human zombies as a way of injecting at least some variety into the campaign, but I definitely share your concerns about zombification of things like rats. To that end, I decided that whoever created the "virus" developed it in such a way that zombies would attack "dangerous" creatures (sentient beings, dogs, wolves, etc) while ignoring "harmless" creatures(rats, cows, goats, etc). Obviously, zombie rats would have been a fantastic idea, but the creators were more concerned about zombifying sentient beings and more overtly-dangerous creatures. Is the distinction ultimately arbitrary? Sure, but so is the distinction between sentient beings and all other creatures, at least so far as non-brain-eating zombies are concerned (these zombies haven't shown any propensity to eat brains). I hope that kinda addresses your concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsuuga
    If I was you, I would have Kata be found dead the next day at the base of the stairs - She wasn't zombified, she just survived the fall until the disease killed her; avoiding the issue.
    That would be a good idea, except Javāsa coup de grace'd her before tossing the body out the window. Ultimately, as I explained in the above spoiler, I have story reasons in place that explain what happened and,
    Spoiler
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    I think that having the group encounter zombie Kata in the future would make for an interesting session

    Quote Originally Posted by tsuuga
    The zombie apocalypse genre is actually about the people, not the zombies. The tiers of threat in a zompocalypse are zombies<Lots of zombies<party members<scads of zombies<other parties of survivors. So I would recommend against upgrading your zombies. Right now, they've got to face a few zombies on supply runs, scout out a better hidey-hole, and then move their 18ish survivors there. They'll have to start going farther afield for supplies as they loot the nearer targets, multiplying the chance of being caught by the zombie horde - and they still can't afford to waste ammo or get bitten. Eventually, preserved foods will start to run low, and the party will realize that they've got to farm - and the new challenge is to take and fortify several acres of open field. Once they're comfortable with that - cue the other group of survivors who want what you've got.
    I definitely agree that other survivors make excellent encounters for a zombie campaign. Not only do they add instant variety, but they give our party bard a chance to shine! I'm definitely looking forward to when the party gets a bit settled down and starts to make more methodical excursions. There are a number of possibilities for safe (ish) movement through the city that they haven't tried and I'm hoping that they'll start looking harder for alternatives to more conventional hack-n-slash.

    As I mentioned above, how the campaign shakes out will depend on what the players want. I don't want to commit them to a year's worth of zombie sessions if no one wants to keep at it that long. If it does go long, however, forting and farming will definitely be interesting challenges to overcome.

    I hope that addresses everything, and that my little journal remains interesting and useful. Thanks a lot for the comments.

    Mephibosheth
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2009-01-09 at 12:09 PM.
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