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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post
    The main problem a zombies-only campaign presents is boredom on the part of the PC's. It's hard to get excited or stressed or scared in combat when you know you're going to be fighting the same thing you've been fighting for the past 10 sessions. The challenge for the DM becomes providing the players with interesting and unique challenges within the context of the broader campaign. In this circumstance, the DM can do this by framing encounters in non-traditional ways. Sure, the players are still confronted with zombies, but the goal isn't to simply kill the zombies and move on. The goal is to avoid fighting the zombies at all or to find a way to eliminate the zombies as quickly as possible. The focus becomes creatively using whatever resources you have to find unique solutions to these problems. In most cases, the zombies can almost be seen as difficult terrain in the sense that they restrict what the PC's feel capable of accomplishing and they provide obstacles for the PC's to overcome. If the DM views the campaign in this light, it's easier to make encounters fresh and interesting while still using the same opponents.
    Well, you could always run with the "Man is the Real Monster" theme. In a lot of zombie movies, the zombies are just a device to bring about the sorts of horribleness in people. So, you could just have human or demi-human antagonists who are very much alive and well.

    Also, since I've been playing Fallout 3, you could always deal in Post-Apocalyptic survival themes. In that case, they'd have more leeway to fight something other than zombies.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2009-01-10 at 03:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    1. How big in terms of population size is Dekhi? Have the PC unknowingly TPK their crew by holding up in the city during the first outbreak? Being penned in due to city walls with 50,000 zombies is a pretty dire place to be at level 1.
    To be perfectly honest, I don't have an exact population count. It is a major city with a substantial population. 50,000 would definitely not be out of the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    2. What kind of ruling class existed within to city before the outbreak? Was this a military state? Is there hope of an kings army returning to save the city or a castle which has been cleared of zombies?
    The city as nominally ruled by a hereditary monarch, but the actual power was in the hands of a group of merchants, businessmen, and other major economic players who ran everything from behind the scenes, pretty much disregarding the official ruler and using a number of levers to influence his or her decisions. So far, we don't know whether there's a hope of rescue by outside forces. I suppose it's possible, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    3. In your game zombies occur through changes in their biology, not like normal D&D zombies which are magically created, so how long can the zombies remain active, does rotting affect them so they are no longer functional after two weeks? or is it part of the virus that slows the rotting down allowing them to remain a threat?
    We haven't had a chance to deal with issues like this yet in the campaign, so I can't really say. Sorry I don't have anything more helpful. The outbreak only started two in-character days ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    4. Have you seen 28 days later? If so I was wondering how your virus work? Is the bite the only way to become infected? or is it in the blood? If so how fast would a change occur if it was just blood contact, IE a drop of blood in the eye like in 28 days?
    I have seen 28 Days Later and enjoyed it thoroughly. How the "virus" (note, it may not actually be a virus) works is likely to be relevant to the long-term plot so I don't really want to get into it here. If you're really curious, send me a PM with your questions and I'll do my best to answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    5. Lastly I was wondering about your port? Did the virus spread out of the town on ships, bitten people boarding ships? Entire crews becoming infected drifting the sea only to become shipwrecked on some unknowing nations shores? How long until other nation act to protect their kingdoms? Or is thing global and they are fighting it on their own turf?
    No one knows that at this point. Like I've said before, the real extent of the outbreak will probably be dependent in part on how long the players want the campaign to last.

    Note too that Dekhi is on a river, not the ocean. There's a lot of land between Dekhi and the nearest deep-water port. It is entirely possible for riverboats to carry the outbreak, but that hasn't become an issue yet in the campaign, given that we're still in the very early stages and the PC's have almost know knowledge of the scale of the outbreak.

    Quote Originally Posted by BendakStarkiler View Post
    I am really into your story here and hope you don't mind all the questions. I love zombie stuff so hopefully I can be of some use if you need brain storming. I wish I could have a DM to run a game like this! Great work!

    Bendak Starkiller
    I'm really glad you're enjoying these write-ups and I really appreciate the questions. I hope I've answered everything, at least as well as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerInPlayground
    Well, you could always run with the "Man is the Real Monster" theme. In a lot of zombie movies, the zombies are just a device to bring about the sorts of horribleness in people. So, you could just have human or demi-human antagonists who are very much alive and well.

    Also, since I've been playing Fallout 3, you could always deal in Post-Apocalyptic survival themes. In that case, they'd have more leeway to fight something other than zombies.
    That's definitely an option, and zombie apocalypse campaigns inevitably have some of the "man is the real monster" built into them. The PC's have already had to make some difficult choices and the interactions between the party and other survivors (especially the people downstairs) will probably come more to the forefront in the next few sessions. However, you can only have so many encounters with groups of survivors before the verisimilitude of the campaign is ruined. If this outbreak is so deadly, why are we running into different groups of survivors every session? Ultimately, in order to preserve the believability of the scenario, zombies have to make up the great majority of the encounter, otherwise the zombie threat isn't as credible.

    At this point, we're still very early in the outbreak. Issues of survival (acquiring enough food/water, shelter from the elements, disease, etc) will probably become more important goals in the future as time passes and resources available dwindle. Right now, the PC's still have a bit of food and a lot of casters available, so food and water aren't a problem. The will likely be running out in a day or two, though.

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    A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal!

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

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    I recommend making a minor adjustment to your original zombie model. For example, you have it that grappling is the only way to bite, but what if a character is denied their dex modifier for some reason? This seems to fit with the theme of a zombie suddenly lurching out to surprise someone and a person gets bitten.

    The victims don't immediately turn into zombies? Maybe as the generations continue along, the 'incubation' duration increases. This allows contamination to other areas instead of just roving mobs of easily dispatched zombies. Also, they wouldn't stop feasting on their prey, right? So at least a few people would be completely devoured, and large areas of people trapped (like in barricaded homes) would be just littered with bones and remains.

    Secondly, you can add a third faction. For example, you can make people who've lost their minds for some reason--such as they're actually plague carriers and it's twisted them into psychoes until they lapse into full zombification. This allows you to get some rather difficult opponents in the form of people still being able to wield weapons and armor effectively.

    The most common weapon of peasant mobs are fire, and most types of D&D cities are built incredibly close together. A fire is normally a major threat--without townsfolk or guards to stymy the blaze, it becomes immediately destructive. I noticed it's already in your campaign, but you could play that angle up enough (add some urgency).

    You can also make the PCs watch some rather horrific scenes. Like a band of clerics from the local temple attempting to purify/destroy the undead (with holy water flasks, or something), only for them to be dragged down and eaten as well.

    In Max Brooks' books, a zombie swarm usually happens when a zombie spots you/hears something, then lets out a loud moan. Another zombie hears this, lets out a moan, and converges from the direction of the first. Another zombie hears the second, lets out a moan, then converges as well. This happens on and on. Using this effect could cause your PCs to be slightly more careful, especially when screaming over ale.

    Then, of course, there's the aforementioned animal zombies. Large tribes of demi-humans (such as goblins) would be quickly infected and turned. Dwarves in tunnels would be in trouble...

    There's really so much you can do, especially if the last sight your PCs see while they escape from the city is several ships sailing from the city--most likely carrying infected.

    Last edited by Altima; 2009-01-10 at 09:11 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: A Zombiemageddon Campaign Journal - Please read and comment!

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