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    Default A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Greetings gentle reader!

    Allow me to begin with a brief explanation. I, Mephibosheth, have just started DM'ing a new campaign for my IRL gaming group. I am something of a new DM, having only run about 7 or 8 sessions before this little effort. Additionally, I'm trying something a little bit different for my group. Instead of creating campaign with definite plot goals and a moderately clear objective, I've created a situation and plopped the characters down in the middle of it, letting them choose their direction and establish their own goals.

    With these two things in mind, I thought it might be a fun idea to keep a campaign journal here on Giantitp with the goal of soliciting input from the experts in the community and perhaps helping out other DM's by putting my successes and mistakes out in the open for the community to analyze. I'll probably make "DM notes" along the way of things I feel are important and I need to remember, and I would hope that others would contribute their input as well.

    Also, in case anyone's interested, one of my players is keeping an ObsidianPortal journal for his character. It'll be interesting to see how our perspectives on the campaign differ. That said, let's get started!

    Session 1: Character Creation

    This campaign is the first our group has played in a while. Our long-time DM has recently moved to a far away land and it kinda shook things up. But, we've all decided that we need to get some gaming back in our lives, so myself and one other potential DM came up with a few campaign ideas and we got together a few weeks ago to decide what we want to play. The idea that seemed most enjoyable to everyone was one of mine: a low-level, resource-tight campaign that would strain everyone's resourcefulness, adaptability, and creativity. I told everyone the campaign would have a adventure/horror feel similar to movies like The Mummy, Resident Evil, Underworld, and the like. They didn't know it, but I was planning on running a zombie apocalypse campaign. A little overdone, but we've never really done something like this and I thought it would be a nice change of pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM Note
    I didn't tell the players we'd be doing a zombie campaign before we started. I didn't want the players to all write-up anti-undead characters, since adapting sub-optimal resources to a dire situation is the point of the campaign. In retrospect, this has been good and bad. On the one hand, the characters are pretty well-rounded in their capabilities and have a number of tricks up their sleeves. On the other hand, I do have one character focusing on diplomacy and sneak attacks, which won't necessarily come in handy fighting hordes of zombies. For me, this is a challenge to include encounters that will interest this player and allow his character to shine within the broader zombie apocalypse context. More on that as the campaign progresses.
    Among the other campaign options was a proposed mid-level gestalt steampunk campaign and people seemed pretty interested in that as well. We decided to sort of merge the two and make my low-level campaign a gestalt campaign. This brings more resources to the table than I had originally planned for (all but one character have access to some spellcasting at 1st level, for example), but not an insurmountable problem.

    So, that's the campaign. A 1st level zombie apocalypse gestalt campaign focused on limited resources and fighting to survive.

    Other than making these decisions, we got a good start at character creation that first session. None of us had played gestalt before, so it was interesting to see how people dealt with the wider variety of character creation options the medium allows. The party ended up being as follows:
    • Orlčans de Lyon: A somewhat foppish halfling rogue//bard focused on diplomacy - His player is a new member of the group but an experienced gamer. It'll be interesting to see what he brings to the table.
    • Bracken: A dwarven cleric//barbarian of an as-yet-unknown deity. Somewhat gruff and combative so far, but RP has been a bit limited and his character hasn't been fleshed out yet.
    • Javāsa: A rustic halfling druid//fighter focused on mounted combat with his riding dog.
    • Malthenniel: A sun elf dragonborn archivist//wizard. Very squishy (and somewhat cowardly so far) but also has the potential to be extremely adaptable. We'll have to see how the impressive spellcasting works out.
    • Kilian: A human paladin//monk with the vow of poverty. The highest AC in the group but lower real damage capacity than most of the others. Also, his player is new to 3.5.

    Finally, I want to note that I've done a bit of homebrewing with the zombies I'm using as the main antagonists for the campaign. The details are spoiler'd below, just in case my players run across this journal.

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    First, I reduced the damage on the zombies' slam attack and added a low-damage bite attack that transmits a zombification disease. I also gave the zombies the Improved Grab special attack and have ruled that, in order to make a bite attack, the zombie must have successfully grappled the target. This fits within my mental picture of zombies grasping at you before biting, and makes it a bit harder for them to hit with their bite attack. More on that little problem later.

    Second, I've made them a bit faster than normal. They can still only take one standard or move action per round, but their base speed is higher making them a bit harder to simply outrun.

    Third, I've made some changes that allow them to get up after being knocked into negative hit points. They'll actually die after a critical hit or after they've been brought to -10 hp, but they will remain something of a latent threat if they're between 0 and -10 hp.

    And that's as far as we got in that first planning session. More on the first actual session, coming right up.

    I hope people enjoy this campaign journal and that it's helpful to some. I encourage people to comment and make suggestions.

    Mephibosheth
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2008-11-23 at 03:45 PM.
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    Session 2: Outbreak

    This session saw the characters, for various reasons, arriving in the city of Dekhi (map), a major trading center at the intersection between a river and a canal, both of which link the populous port cities of the continent's western coast with the breadbasket farmlands farther inland. The characters wake up noticing that there's a pall of yellow-ish dust hanging low over the city, but Dekhi is always dusty and its been a dry summer. Nothing to worry about, really.

    They begin the day going about their business, which takes all of them to a large square in the commercial district known as Khaat Bazaar (located in Takan Desh but near Nadi Desh and the docks). Kilian and Malthenniel, who already know each other, are out and about looking for new sources of knowledge for Malthenniel to study and wanted to check out a nearby shrine. Orlčans wanted to buy a pipe and some tobacco, and checked out some of the jewelry and statuary merchants in the area. Bracken just wanted to take a walk along the river and passed through the bazaar on his way. Javāsa has set up shop on the edge of the bazaar to sell some woven baskets, mats, and other wicker items. The first few minutes of roleplay see Orlčans notice that Malthenniel and Kilian look somewhat out of place and offering to guide them, mostly out of boredom.

    However, their exchange is interrupted by a piercing scream as a woman runs up and throws her arms around Kilian's neck, clinging briefly before falling in a heap on the ground, dead. Several other townspeople collapsed in the square similarly, all extremely bruised and bleeding from a number of serious wounds that Bracken and Javāsa were able to recognize as bite wounds from some sort of primate. The characters all spend a few moments checking the bodies to see if anything can be done, but their concern changes to shock as the corpse Bracken is examining turns over, eyes wide and rasping, and attempts to bite him.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM Note
    I had to think on the fly here, since the zombie actually hit Bracken and dealt damage with its bite attack. Since I didn't want to kill a character in the first session, I on-the-fly decided that his splint mail turned the bite but that he took damage from its clutching and bludgeoning hands. This is the moment that also inspired me to make a few changes to how the zombies operate, as described in the first post. Also, this was the only time the whole session I didn't use the dice roller on my computer, using actual dice instead. I think, at least for a while, I'm going to keep my rolls secret. I guess a good rule of thumb for homebrewing DM's is to avoid becoming too attached to your homebrew and be ready to make changes if they don't peform quite like you expected.
    The characters are of course shocked and terrified by this turn of events, but soon have bigger problems as two more zombies lurch up from the ground, attempting to grab and bite the nearest targets. Orlčans quickly stabs the still-dead corpse with his rapier (coup de grace). I almost overruled him, since no one had made any Knowledge checks and I didn't want the metagaming, but his player was able to justify it well enough that I allowed the coup de grace. The other zombies were fought off in a tough battle, considering their DR and their ability to get up after being brought to negative HP. Bracken's axes and Javāsa's scythe-thing (a halfing-specific weapon from Eberron)/animal companion combo are proving very effective, but the zombies are still able to soak up a few hits so it's not an easy battle by any means.

    After the zombies are finally dispatched, the characters look around and see the city devolving into chaos, with townsfolk running every-which-way in a panic and zombies lurching toward the square behind the crowd, feasting on any who fall into their clutches. Orlčans dashes to a cart he had parked on the side of the square and makes it back to the group just before more zombies start to arrive. They try picking the lock on the door of a 50-foot stone watchtower in the center of the square (a relic from the first settlement in this location), but give up after only one try and decide to make their way to an inn they know about a block or two away. This means moving down a zombie-infested street, but they decide to risk it rather than be overwhelmed by zombies while trying to get into the tower (they were close to meeting the Open Lock DC, but they don't know that).

    Orlčans and Malthenniel, having expended most of their spells/bardic music in the first combat, decide to ride the cart in an effort to remain out of reach while the rest of the party clears the way of zombies for the cart to advance. They're moving against the crowds so they can only move at half speed, but they fight a running battle against the zombies and make it to the inn. Orlčans and Malthenniel have the idea to run over the heads of any zombies they can with the cart, and this is exactly the kind of out-of-the-box thinking I want to encourage, so I rule that any prone zombies they run over die immediately. As the only prone zombies are already at negative HP anyway, I figure this isn't too much of a stretch. They make it to the inn, and by this time we've been gaming for 3-4 hours, so we decide to call it a night.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM Note
    There was one thing that kinda bugged me about this session. I wanted to make the zombie threat seem truly frightening without killing any of the PC's, but it was difficult to threaten the PC's when any damage would result in eventual death. I didn't want to have the zombies bite any of the PC's yet, but that's really their main attack mode. Like I said, I made some changes to how they operate that should make things a bit more intense and interesting (failing a grapple check with a zombie will be bad news from here on out, but you always get at least two chances to break/avoid/escape, creating a more survivable brush with death).

    One think I should have done is take more time to describe their surroundings. I think I really dropped the ball on this one. I should have described zombies swarming and consuming townspeople, but I was afraid to have the zombies too close to the PC's while not attacking, for fear of ruining the verisimilitude of the moment ("yes, that zombie is 10 feet away from you, but it doesn't move toward you or try to attack" seems unrealistic somehow). I tried to keep the zombies close enough to be threatening and give a sense of urgency but far enough away that they could reasonably not notice the PC's. In retrospect, I should have brought them much closer and had them otherwise occupied eating some hapless townsfolk. I'll try to remember to ramp up the vivid description in future sessions.
    And thus ended the first real session. Tune in next time (probably two weeks from now) for session 2!
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2008-11-23 at 01:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Mephibosheth's Musings: A Campaign Journal

    Sounds fun!
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    Why is it that the only cool campaigns are zombie campaigns?



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    Because zombies are awesome.


    Sounds pretty cool. I may do a zombie CoC campaign if/when we finish up our current one.
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    I love this. A great deal. Everybody loves Zompocalypse. Not to mention, the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks provides a metric crap-ton of Anti-Zombie defense, and actually advises the use of middle-age armor versus zombies - guess what, you're already there! I honestly think you should look into this book. Even if some of the things happen to be 20th century, there's still enough generally applicable material that you might want to include some of it into the campaign - or, better yet, let the players. If you allow them to research zombies and such, let them find accounts of towns being ransacked by zombies and how the survivors fought them off and...well, survived. Use sparingly though, as too much knowledge at once might make the PCs invincible: the ZSG didn't plan for magic, after all.
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    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    I love this. A great deal. Everybody loves Zompocalypse. Not to mention, the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks provides a metric crap-ton of Anti-Zombie defense, and actually advises the use of middle-age armor versus zombies - guess what, you're already there! I honestly think you should look into this book. Even if some of the things happen to be 20th century, there's still enough generally applicable material that you might want to include some of it into the campaign - or, better yet, let the players. If you allow them to research zombies and such, let them find accounts of towns being ransacked by zombies and how the survivors fought them off and...well, survived. Use sparingly though, as too much knowledge at once might make the PCs invincible: the ZSG didn't plan for magic, after all.
    That is a fantastic idea. I actually own a copy of the ZSG and have skimmed through it a few times, but I didn't think to let the PC's have information like it contains. I really like the idea of letting them see a journal or historical account of previous zombie attacks. Perhaps that'll be something I can throw into a future session. Perhaps...

    I'm glad a few people have read my journal, and hope that everyone is enjoying it. I really appreciate the comments. And yes, zombies are awesome!

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    Nice read. Look forward to hearing more.

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    It looks like the mortality rate for your PC's is going to be very high, given that the first attack in the game would have killed someone if you didn't fudge.
    Last edited by ChaosDefender24; 2008-11-23 at 08:53 PM.

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    Sounds awesome. I like the way you re-worked zombies.
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Question: How do the Heal skill and the spell Remove Disease (and related spells) function here? Does a Heal check stop the bleeding from a wound and delay activation of the T-Virus (or whichever name you're using in this world)? Does Remove Disease instantly cure someone of Zombification? What happens if you Remove Disease a zombie who's lost a limb? Do they regain life and start bleeding profusely? Just some things to consider.

    Personally, I would only have Remove Disease apply to people who have just been infected (and thus, not died from the virus/probably haven't lost any appendages due to being dead), and have Heal prevent the activation of the disease for a number of rounds = to the number the DC was beaten by (probably like DC20 or so?). Delay Poison should function the same way it always has.

    And please, don't take this as me trying to...I dunno, attack your campaign or anything. These are just practical problems that occurred to me as I was thinking about your campaign.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosDefender24 View Post
    It looks like the mortality rate for your PC's is going to be very high, given that the first attack in the game would have killed someone if you didn't fudge.
    Hopefully they'll be able to be more circumspect in future sessions and there'll be fewer conventional zombie encounters and more forting, ranged combat, and other more evasive tactics. And like I said, I've also altered the way the zombies fight and the way their abilities work to hopefully reduce the chances of fatality. But yes, there is a real chance of PC death, though I'm hopeful that the changes I've made will reduce it to a more reasonable level. I'm definitely open to suggestions for how to deal with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    Question: How do the Heal skill and the spell Remove Disease (and related spells) function here? Does a Heal check stop the bleeding from a wound and delay activation of the T-Virus (or whichever name you're using in this world)? Does Remove Disease instantly cure someone of Zombification? What happens if you Remove Disease a zombie who's lost a limb? Do they regain life and start bleeding profusely? Just some things to consider.

    Personally, I would only have Remove Disease apply to people who have just been infected (and thus, not died from the virus/probably haven't lost any appendages due to being dead), and have Heal prevent the activation of the disease for a number of rounds = to the number the DC was beaten by (probably like DC20 or so?). Delay Poison should function the same way it always has.

    And please, don't take this as me trying to...I dunno, attack your campaign or anything. These are just practical problems that occurred to me as I was thinking about your campaign.
    But, they die from zombification.
    RD would make it so that someone effected would not turn into a zombie, but it wouldn't return them to life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frigs View Post
    Sounds awesome. I like the way you re-worked zombies.
    Thanks, though I can't take all the credit. I based my zombies heavily on the zombies described in this thread (a great read in and of itself), though I did make some changes from the zombies as described there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher
    Question: How do the Heal skill and the spell Remove Disease (and related spells) function here? Does a Heal check stop the bleeding from a wound and delay activation of the T-Virus (or whichever name you're using in this world)? Does Remove Disease instantly cure someone of Zombification? What happens if you Remove Disease a zombie who's lost a limb? Do they regain life and start bleeding profusely? Just some things to consider.

    Personally, I would only have Remove Disease apply to people who have just been infected (and thus, not died from the virus/probably haven't lost any appendages due to being dead), and have Heal prevent the activation of the disease for a number of rounds = to the number the DC was beaten by (probably like DC20 or so?). Delay Poison should function the same way it always has.

    And please, don't take this as me trying to...I dunno, attack your campaign or anything. These are just practical problems that occurred to me as I was thinking about your campaign.
    Not at all. This is exactly why I'm posting this journal. I'm happy to get any comments or suggestions, positive or negative. I know there's always going to be something I'll miss or forget to consider, and there's nothing like running it by the braintrust .

    I've already worked out how characters can use Remove Disease and Heal to delay zombification for a while, but I wanted actually curing it (if it comes to that) to be more quest-oriented than simply casting the spell. I haven't worked out exactly how to do it yet, but I have a couple of options I'm considering. I do know that I want zombification to be more than just a disease. It needs to maintain some mystery and magic in a D&D setting, imho.
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2008-11-23 at 09:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post
    Not at all. This is exactly why I'm posting this journal. I'm happy to get any comments or suggestions, positive or negative. I know there's always going to be something I'll miss or forget to consider, and there's nothing like running it by the braintrust .

    I've already worked out how characters can use Remove Disease and Heal to delay zombification for a while, but I wanted actually curing it (if it comes to that) to be more quest-oriented than simply casting the spell. I haven't worked out exactly how to do it yet, but I have a couple of options I'm considering. I do know that I want zombification to be more than just a disease. It needs to maintain some mystery and magic in a D&D setting, imho.
    Quite so, quite so! It was just funny, the thought that popped into my mind was something like:
    PCs: Okay, we go to the nearest temple.
    DM: Why? Praying to be spared from the zompocalypse?
    PCs: No, we're going to get the clerics so we can spam Mass Remove Disease for the next few days.
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    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
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    Just don't pull the old "PC gets bitten by zombie and meets a sentient zombie who started the curse and transfers his ability to retain sentience when PC kills him" trick. I've seen that done twice already, and it reeks of deus ex machina (pity, too; both of those campaign journals were very well-done).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    Just don't pull the old "PC gets bitten by zombie and meets a sentient zombie who started the curse and transfers his ability to retain sentience when PC kills him" trick. I've seen that done twice already, and it reeks of deus ex machina (pity, too; both of those campaign journals were very well-done).
    Don't worry. I may have shamelessly stolen some zombie tweaks from Oakspar's thread (the first instance I've read of that plot device, linked above), but I'm definitely not stealing his plot twists !
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Oooh, campaign idea stolen! I'm definitely going to try and implement this for 4.0.

    My two cents on how to instill fear: talk to a player beforehand and tell him to make two characters, one main and one expendable. Have the expendable character be with the party initially without the rest of the group's knowledge, then have a zombie bite that character and turn him into a zombie. The other players will be freaked out, thinking that anyone that is bitten will immediately turn into a zombie, and now has to confront someone that was previously their friend.

    The player who's character is now a zombie can then just use his main, and the DM reintegrate him into the story.

    What I want to happen:

    Players: Damn, Bob's character just got bit. How much damage does he take?
    DM: Not so fast. Bob, you're going to have to tell me your Fort defense.
    Bob: Okay, it's X.
    DM: Yeah, you're a zombie now. Give me your character sheet and reroll.
    Players: What?!
    DM: Oh, and Bob's character is now trying to eat your brains. Actions, guys?
    Players:... Run away!
    Last edited by Natural20; 2008-11-24 at 05:26 AM.


    D&D is all about that 5%. Everything else is just filler.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Quote Originally Posted by Natural20 View Post
    Oooh, campaign idea stolen! I'm definitely going to try and implement this for 4.0.

    My two cents on how to instill fear: talk to a player beforehand and tell him to make two characters, one main and one expendable. Have the expendable character be with the party initially without the rest of the group's knowledge, then have a zombie bite that character and turn him into a zombie. The other players will be freaked out, thinking that anyone that is bitten will immediately turn into a zombie, and now has to confront someone that was previously their friend.

    The player who's character is now a zombie can then just use his main, and the DM reintegrate him into the story.
    Interesting idea. I can already think of a few variations on this that might work nicely in some future session...

    Quote Originally Posted by Natural20 View Post
    What I want to happen:

    Players: Damn, Bob's character just got bit. How much damage does he take?
    DM: Not so fast. Bob, you're going to have to tell me your Fort defense.
    Bob: Okay, it's X.
    DM: Yeah, you're a zombie now. Give me your character sheet and reroll.
    Players: What?!
    DM: Oh, and Bob's character is now trying to eat your brains. Actions, guys?
    Players:... Run away!
    *chuckles* Nice.

    Mephibosheth
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2008-11-24 at 02:10 PM.
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Perhaps you should look into the DR version of armour found in the UA? That way, bites wouldn´t to too dangerous for armoured PCs. Unless the zombies get a crit. And remember that all zombies likes to hug. Use grapple rules.

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

    For a good mindscrew, how's about it's possible for someone to be a carrier for the disease, but not affected by it themselves? Like, this guy might be safe himself, but anyone he kisses or bleeds on is screwed unless they, too, are carriers? 28 Weeks Later had a pretty nifty idea there.
    Out of curiousity, what's the incubation period on this disease? You might've said it, but I missed it.
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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

    This reminds me of the campaign section I just finished for my 4th ed group.

    They were all level 12-13 and I still managed to threaten them with the horribleness of disease! At one point the barbarian had over 70 bites. They then wasted all their cure disease scrolls on fixing him. They didn't wonder ontot the streets again after that! It made it very tense as they tried to find resources and save the city folk!

    Keep up the good work though, It sounds like your having fun, which is the important bit!

    Regards
    Check out the battle of the beacon, it was a massive 40k apocalypse game involving my space marine chapter!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zid
    Perhaps you should look into the DR version of armour found in the UA? That way, bites wouldn´t to too dangerous for armoured PCs. Unless the zombies get a crit. And remember that all zombies likes to hug. Use grapple rules.
    This is a good idea too! I've looked at the "armor as DR" variant a few times and was heavily involved with the Avatar d20 project, which used that variant extensively. I can't believe I forgot. I knew posting this journal was going to pay off.

    Also, I've already decided to use grapple more extensively for zombies. See the spoilered description of my zombie tweaks in the first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris
    For a good mindscrew, how's about it's possible for someone to be a carrier for the disease, but not affected by it themselves? Like, this guy might be safe himself, but anyone he kisses or bleeds on is screwed unless they, too, are carriers? 28 Weeks Later had a pretty nifty idea there.
    Out of curiousity, what's the incubation period on this disease? You might've said it, but I missed it.
    An interesting idea, but doesn't really jive with my ideas for how the curse/disease/whatever operates in this campaign. I did enjoy 28 Days Later and their take on zombies, but I think that having the possibility of a disease carrier won't really work for this campaign.

    Incidentally, I didn't mention any specifics about the disease, just in case my PC's read this journal. I don't think anything I've said so far would ruin the campaign, but I want to be careful. I will, however, PM you shortly.

    Quote Originally Posted by lostintransit
    This reminds me of the campaign section I just finished for my 4th ed group.

    They were all level 12-13 and I still managed to threaten them with the horribleness of disease! At one point the barbarian had over 70 bites. They then wasted all their cure disease scrolls on fixing him. They didn't wonder ontot the streets again after that! It made it very tense as they tried to find resources and save the city folk!

    Keep up the good work though, It sounds like your having fun, which is the important bit!
    That's exactly the atitude I'm hoping my PC's will have once they make their way to a safe hideout. Half the fun of a zombie apocalypse is trying to find your way around without actually fighting the zombies, since there will always be more zombies than you can fight off. This first session was strange since the PC's started out in an open space away from safe forts, meaning they had to fight the zombies. In retrospect this probably wasn't the best idea on my part, but I wanted to give them options and do something a little different with my campaign. The other examples I've seen have the PC's starting in a building, lending themselves to quick forting and more defensive sessions than ours turned out to be.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

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    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2008-11-25 at 10:11 AM.
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    Something I always figured I do if I made a zombie campaign is feature good all zombie-evolution. So while right now your characters might have a tough time with their zombies, eventually they will get to be powerful enough or fortified enough that zombies cease to be scary. Therefore, there are rarer more powerful versions of zombies that occasionally emerge. Here's some examples. Zombies with magic, zombies that climb or leap, zombies that spit acid or poison etc. You could introduce these zombies from afar (so the PCs have time to kill it), but the real fear comes when this difficult to defeat zombie comes in multiples, or at night, or in an even more dangerous variety.
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    Ahh, this campaign sounds like real gold i might have to steal some of it .

    I'm just wondering, you say this will be at least partially sandbox, but will the players be limited to the city or surrounding area? also, how far is the zombie infection affecting, and is it spreading? if so, how?

    wow... that was an annoying, know it all mouthfull .

    Sorry, sounds a bit aggressive. But i really like the campagin idea
    Awesome avatar by Shades Of Gray!

    I really need to find some new quotes to put here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    Something I always figured I do if I made a zombie campaign is feature good all zombie-evolution. So while right now your characters might have a tough time with their zombies, eventually they will get to be powerful enough or fortified enough that zombies cease to be scary. Therefore, there are rarer more powerful versions of zombies that occasionally emerge. Here's some examples. Zombies with magic, zombies that climb or leap, zombies that spit acid or poison etc. You could introduce these zombies from afar (so the PCs have time to kill it), but the real fear comes when this difficult to defeat zombie comes in multiples, or at night, or in an even more dangerous variety.
    Ooh. Meph, I'll hit you up in PM about that. Don't wanna give anything away!
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    Something I always figured I do if I made a zombie campaign is feature good all zombie-evolution. So while right now your characters might have a tough time with their zombies, eventually they will get to be powerful enough or fortified enough that zombies cease to be scary. Therefore, there are rarer more powerful versions of zombies that occasionally emerge. Here's some examples. Zombies with magic, zombies that climb or leap, zombies that spit acid or poison etc. You could introduce these zombies from afar (so the PCs have time to kill it), but the real fear comes when this difficult to defeat zombie comes in multiples, or at night, or in an even more dangerous variety.
    I had thought about this and haven't completely made up my mind. On the one hand, it's always good to inject some variety into the campaign so that the players don't get bored. I definitely don't want to hear, "oh no another zombie *sigh* I'm so scared" in a deadpan that belies the words, so I'll definitely mix things up a little bit. On the other hand, "elite" or "evolved" zombies have always struck me as somewhat arbitrary. If some zombies can be this way, why aren't all the zombies more powerful? What causes the mutation? So, I guess my jury's still out on this one, though it's definitely something I'm considering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elm11
    Ahh, this campaign sounds like real gold i might have to steal some of it .

    I'm just wondering, you say this will be at least partially sandbox, but will the players be limited to the city or surrounding area? also, how far is the zombie infection affecting, and is it spreading? if so, how?

    wow... that was an annoying, know it all mouthfull .

    Sorry, sounds a bit aggressive. But i really like the campagin idea
    I'm really glad you think this is an interesting idea. Feel free to steal anything you want and use it for your own group. If you want specific stat blocks or maps or anything, just send me a PM.

    At this point in the campaign, all the PC's know is that their neighborhood is overwhelmed by zombies. They haven't yet had a chance to travel more than a few blocks (and that travel was a desperate mad dash for an inn that might provide a modicum of safety), so they don't really know anything about the broader world at this point. Ultimately, the extent of the outbreak and the options available kinda depends on the players and what they want to do. If I find that there's enough interest in the campaign to take it into higher levels, the outbreak may very well become global. On the other hand, it will probably take a while to level, so interest might fizzle when/if the players manage to escape the city, and the outbrake may end up being contained in Dekhi. I don't want to railroad the players or make them commit to a year's worth of zombie sessions, so I'm leaving that question open at the moment. I have a good enough idea of the continent to be able to adapt relatively well.

    And don't worry, you don't sound aggressive. Just interested and inquisitive . Thanks a lot for posting.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post
    I had thought about this and haven't completely made up my mind. On the one hand, it's always good to inject some variety into the campaign so that the players don't get bored. I definitely don't want to hear, "oh no another zombie *sigh* I'm so scared" in a deadpan that belies the words, so I'll definitely mix things up a little bit. On the other hand, "elite" or "evolved" zombies have always struck me as somewhat arbitrary. If some zombies can be this way, why aren't all the zombies more powerful? What causes the mutation? So, I guess my jury's still out on this one, though it's definitely something I'm considering.
    I guess it really depends on how you want to run the game. If it turns out that zombies come in dangerous varieties or are steadily growing in power, than it would eventually prod characters to quest outside of their immediate surroundings to investigate the cause or put an end to it. This is where the arbitrariness comes in, but it could just as easily be a plot device and an inconsistency in the world. Plot devices include things like: zombies have a slight chance of mutation and powerful mutations spread themselves (evolution), evil necromancer is playing with the undead trying to create a super-weapon (intelligent design), surplus of death and negative energy cause undead to be infused with negative energy (natural disaster), or certain individuals or creatures react differently (human nature).
    However, if day-to-day struggles are high enough and power-levels rise slow enough there is no reason the campaign can't be about the simple gritty struggle to survive (which, come to think of it, is probably more thematically appropriate for Zombiemageddons).
    Now that I think about it, if you allow non-humanoid zombies than you are in effect creating varieties of zombies, it would just be a question of what, how and why. Like you said, something to think about for the future. In the meantime this is shaping out to be a pretty interesting campaign.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post


    I'm really glad you think this is an interesting idea. Feel free to steal anything you want and use it for your own group. If you want specific stat blocks or maps or anything, just send me a PM.

    At this point in the campaign, all the PC's know is that their neighborhood is overwhelmed by zombies. They haven't yet had a chance to travel more than a few blocks (and that travel was a desperate mad dash for an inn that might provide a modicum of safety), so they don't really know anything about the broader world at this point. Ultimately, the extent of the outbreak and the options available kinda depends on the players and what they want to do. If I find that there's enough interest in the campaign to take it into higher levels, the outbreak may very well become global. On the other hand, it will probably take a while to level, so interest might fizzle when/if the players manage to escape the city, and the outbrake may end up being contained in Dekhi. I don't want to railroad the players or make them commit to a year's worth of zombie sessions, so I'm leaving that question open at the moment. I have a good enough idea of the continent to be able to adapt relatively well.


    Mephibosheth
    Great, i guess it leaves me open for my players if i run something like this too if i remember (i'm doing this before school) i'll send you a pm this afternoon for a couple of stats Also, if you're otherwise looking at evolved zombies, make another path. I agree entirely, they just don't make enough *sense*

    EDIT: mind you, if you needed to, or wanted a boss, you could work the zombies as a template. That way you could have a zombie dragon or zombie commoner. what do you think?
    Last edited by Elm11; 2008-11-25 at 03:48 PM.
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    I really need to find some new quotes to put here.

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    RedWizardGuy

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

    I have some ideas.

    why not let the zombies have a slash attack that just deals damage, and are the zombies going to be just human what about a ogre zombie or maybe even a dragon zombie?

    how about a zombie that some crazy insane wizard/sorcerer decided to graft a wand of fireball on a zombie that used to be a super smart person in life and knows enough how to adtivate it. any of these doing anything for ya?


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