A crack of thunder rattled the old waterfront cottage down to the stilts holding it up. Under normal circumstances you couldn't pay Mitchell enough to set foot in a dump like this, but these weren't exactly normal circumstances. Besides, it was surrounded on one and a half sides by water and and had a dock for emergency gettin'-the-hell-out. If he didn't already have a place in mind this wouldn't be a half bad place to hole up, but he did. For the thousandth time Mitch found himself fantasizing about getting back to his family, seeing them safe again. White Pines was an army town, if anywhere was safe for his kids it was there...
"Mitch, come on man! What's the hold up?" His friend Pete's impatient voice shattered the dream, and Mitchell looked up. "Hey man, you gonna bet or what?" Pete asked. Lucy and Derrick had already folded. Nobody but Pete really enjoyed Poker.
Mitch looked down at his cards. two of spades, eight of clubs. He shrugged, "I fold," and got up, despite Pete's protests. The storm was letting up. He went out to the patio and took a sip from one of the coffee cans set out to collect rainwater. One good thing about the end of the world is that there's no smog, and the rain is crystal clear. One has to appreciate the little things.
Mitchell gathered up the cans and took them in, announcing, "Shoes on guys, we're leaving as soon as the rain stops."
"Hey guys, this one's still full!" Derrick already had the hose out and was running for the bucket. Cars with gas still in them were getting rarer every day. As he began to siphon, Mitch leaned on the hood, keeping a lookout for Zed and the Deadboys. Lucy was checking an old pickup truck, and Pete was flipping through an old Maxim on the ground.
Mitch's breath caught in his throat when he heard it. The low, haggard growl of a high-performance engine, straining with the weight of things that aren't supposed to be stuck onto cars. He called out, as quietly as he could, trying to hide the apprehension in his voice, "G-get behind the car! Move!" He grabbed Derrick by the collar and dragged him along as the source of the noise rounded a corner ahead of them.
Its original make was impossible to determine. What once must have been a car for racers and the wealthy was now a Frankenstein nightmare of bolted-on steel plates, spikes, and (plastic, Mitch prayed) skulls. It stopped and the occupants got out, clad in plated leather jackets and gas masks, carrying assault rifles and shotguns. The leader looked over at Mitch.
"Hey," he gave a slight nod.
"H-hey..." Mitch replied.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing, just uh, just getting gas."
"Oh! Hm..." The road warrior looked to his friends, then back to Mitch. "Sounds like we've got a conflict of interests then, don't we?"
Negotiations were immediately closed by a burst of gunfire from the gang, followed by Pete's spluttering gurgles as he fell, clutching his throat. The others frantically grabbed their guns from the car and returned fire.
Groans and howls wafted toward them from the distance. Party-crashers. Mitch ducked under the spray of bullets and indicated a nearby alley. Derrick and Lucy nodded as something small and round rolled under the car between them.
Mechanical reaction overtook thought and Mitchell broke cover, sprinting for the alleyway. The grenade detonated just as he reached the entrance, and he nearly fell down as bits of hot metal stung his back. He looked back just in time to catch a glimpse of the bloody ruin by the car before running directly into the waiting arms of Mister Z.
The first thing through his mind was how warm they were for dead people. Must be from all the decomposition. The second thing, of course, was zombie teeth.
All Things Zombie won. I won't repeat all the stuff I said before. It's a zombie apocalypse wargame where you'll control a hardened survivor, scavenge for supplies, make friends, and above all try to stay alive.
Character creation is very simple. I have a form here that you will fill out.
Names are self-explanatory, and I'm not going to have many rules about them. I'm going to ask you to keep things serious, though, and fit the setting. Nicknames are fine as long as they aren't ridiculous. Mike "Scarface" Jones is fine. Vengeance Hellgrind is pushing it. Killsmash Bloodbruiser is too much, as is Herp D. Derp. Forum names are probably not acceptable unless they really fit the setting.
Attributes will be detailed below. Pick whichever you want, with mind to what kind of character you want to play.
I'm going to let you pick whatever you like (within reason) and I'll fit it into the stats. Weapons easily obtainable by a civilian scavenger only, please. An AR15 is fine. An AK-47 is pushing it. A SAW or M60 is too much.
See ranged weapon. Unless it's something insane it's probably okay. Chainsaws are acceptable, but they have special rules that can easily get you killed if you roll 1s.
Agile: Does not suffer accuracy penalties for fast moving.
Ambidextrous: Does not suffer accuracy penalties for wielding two weapons
Boss: Nearby grunts (see below) roll extra dice for reactions to charging and being fired upon, but will flee if the boss flees.
Brawler: Rolls extra dice for melee
Clumsy: May fall down when fast moving.
Crack Shot: Rolls one extra die (regardless of number of shots) to hit with gunfire.
Drunkard: May begin missions with a random extra attribute, good or bad
Dumbass: May behave erratically
Hard as Nails: First fatal blow (ever, not per mission) is treated as knock down.
Knifeman: Rolls extra dice for melee combat with a knife, and may throw knives
Medic: Improves likelihood of injured characters surviving.
Nerves of Steel: Never ducks back when under fire. Not subject to fear.
Poser: More likely to flee or duck back when fired upon.
Psycho: Must run toward enemies, firing every turn, if possible. Also has hard as nails and nerves of steel.
Runt: Less effective in melee
Sidewalk demon: Wider field of fire. Not penalized for fighting two-on-one in melee. Not subject to fear.
Slow: Moves slower.
Stone Cold: Extra dice for reactions.
Transporter: Less likely to kill everyone if he wrecks while driving
Terrifying: Other units fear him
Wuss: More likely to buckle when fired upon, charged, or ordered to charge.
On Stars and Grunts. All player characters are stars. All non-player characters are grunts. This includes recruits, although if a PC dies and someone else takes his place, I'll let them take over a grunt of their choice, upgrading him to a star. Stars have three additional rules that Grunts don't have. The first two are optional and I'll turn them off if people don't like them. Remember though, that without them you can be killed just as easily as anyone else.
Larger than Life: Stars cannot be killed by characters of a lower rep (Rep will be explained below). If an Obviously Dead result is rolled, the Star will instead be incapacitated. This wipes the Star's experience points and he will be captured if no one carries him off the board.
Cheat Death: If legitimately killed, the star can (And will be assumed to, if the player doesn't specifically say he doesn't want to) somehow miraculously survive. He is immediately removed from the board for the rest of the mission and loses 1 point of Rep, but otherwise suffers no ill effects. If we use Cheat Death I'm adding a house rule to it. You can't cheat death if your Rep is 3. You just die. Otherwise it's too easy to get killed over and over.
Note that neither of these rules apply to zombies. A zombie can kill you regardless of your rep, and you can't cheat death if a zombie kills you.
Free Will: This rule isn't optional. A Star can do what he wants. When under fire, a Star does not have to roll a reaction test, and can choose to duck back, run away, or stand his ground instead of being forced to do one. Grunts do not have free will and act of their own (read: my) accord unless told what to do by a star, and even then the dice may dictate they act differently.
You and your team of grunts crosses a street and comes under fire from bandits. No one dies, and you choose to keep going. One grunt succeeds and follows you, one gets a Duck Back result and takes cover behind a car, and one gets Runaway and flees the table. Your presence as Group Leader (I'll explain groups later) gives them a better chance of succeeding those reaction tests, but if they fail anyway you can't make them do what you want.
So that's how that works. If you meet characters on an excursion you'll converse with them, and depending on how things go they might join you, they might fight you, or you might just chat and part ways. If they join you they become part of your survivor group and can be taken on future missions, as well as working with you on the current mission.
Rep: Reputation is the basic unit of ability in 2HW games. Every character has a rep ranging normally from 2 to 5. You can technically get up to 7 but I don't even know how that would work. A star's reputation is normally 5. A grunt's rep (And everything else about him) is generated randomly. Rep makes you braver, more accurate, and better in melee. The only drawback is that a high-rep grunt is slightly more likely to get killed in a firefight because he stands his ground more often. That's not enough to justify keeping rep low though (And you can't anyway, rep increases naturally). Just remember that the series of rolls to shoot and kill someone is not affected by the victim's rep. A lucky shot from a Rep 2 wimp with a pea-shooter can kill your Rep 5 survivalist as easily as it kills anyone else (But see Larger than Life and Cheat Death). If it doesn't kill him though, his rep does affect whether he'll be knocked down or incapacitated.
This is how things will work. I'll take five players at the start, and might change that number depending on how things go. Other players will be put on a waiting list. If a player dies, the next on the waiting list takes his place and can either "possess" a grunt or make a new character if none of the grunts are star material.
The game will be played in month-long turns, with one or more missions per month. There's no limit to the number of missions per month, but a star can only do one mission a month. Grunts can't go on missions without a star. Essentially this means that each month the players divide up (Or stick together), and go on missions like that. At first you'll probably have to all go as a group, but once there's a good number of grunts in the mix, you may be able to split up into multiple squads and do more missions per month. Keep in mind though that this just means more bookkeeping for me and if there's five different missions going on at the same time things might get misplaced or my head might explode.
The game world (Unmapped at first, I might map it if it seems prudent) is divided into three sectors. The city, the suburbs, and the country. If it seems prudent, I may divide them further. Each month I'll give a forecast (Which may or may not be fully accurate. The forecasts will be determined by dice) that'll give you an idea of the survivor, zombie, bandit, etc. activity in the various sectors. At first going into the city will probably be suicide. There'll be a lot of loot, sure, but also overwhelming numbers of zombies. The suburbs will be safer but still rough, and the country will be relatively free of zombies but have higher survivor activity. If you manage to survive a year or so the zombies will slowly spread out of the city and into the suburbs and country. If you last even longer, they may start dying out. Then again, so might the humans...
To start a mission, just tell me who all's going, where you're going, and what you intend. Occasionally there will be special events that preclude normal excursions.
In case it wasn't obvious, I will be doing a rules-light approach to the game, at least on your side. If you know how to play, you'll know all the stuff I've been talking about (Aside from forecasts and special events. Those are houserules and I have a few more houserules to make the campaign more interesting). If you don't, that's okay too. I won't be giving much details about the rules, to keep things simple and accessible and to make it harder to minmax. In-game, I'll post a map and prompt the stars to give orders. You tell me what your guy wants to do and who's in his group (Each turn you can form grunts into "groups" with a Leader. If there's a star in the group, he's the leader. Otherwise designate a grunt to be the leader. The group moves and acts mostly as a single unit and group members get improved Reaction test results.). I'll follow those orders to the best of my and the rules' ability, and update the map every few turns. In combat, or if the situation drastically changes, I'll update more frequently, number-of-turns-wise.
Missions don't have predefined goals. You do what you came to do (Or fail to do it) and then you leave.
Now then, on the non-mission metagame. Your safehouse is an abandoned military outpost in the country. It's heavily fortified and mostly safe from attack. You'll still need food and stuff, though. At the end of each month one unit of food will be consumed for every five characters, rounded up. You'll start with a surplus of three or four units. Ammo will be considered effectively unlimited, but you can only carry three reloads per gun, per mission (Unless you find more in the field). Ammo isn't tracked because that would be a huge bitch to deal with. Instead, if you roll two or more 1s to hit, you run out of ammo and have to reload. All shots fired are still fired (If you roll 1, 1, 6, that 6 will still probably be a hit) but you can't fire your gun next turn. Finding ammo in the field gives you one Ammo Point. These points can be stockpiled, and using one before a mission allows you to bring a fourth reload. If you don't use it, it's wasted.
I think that's about it for now, and thank fucking goodness. That was a long-ass post. Like I said, five players at a time, first come first served, rest get put on a waiting list. If you suddenly go AWOL and I can't get a hold of you, I'll give your character to the next guy on the list. Deal with it.
Currently February 2014 - Two years after the apocalypse.
Name: John Kirkmont(Choobakka)
Ranged weapon: Longbow
Melee weapon: Scottish claymore
Name: Jorn Aswit (Criptfeind)
Ranged Weapon: Two pistols
Melee Weapon: Combat knife
Name: Graham "Anger Man" Bronkitt (Burnt Pies)
Ranged Weapon: .50 AE Desert Eagle (Because sometimes you have to carry a fucking stupid gun)
Melee Weapon: Long Sword (Stolen from a Museum)
Ranged Weapon:Tactical Shotgun
Melee Weapon:Metal Long Staff
Name: John Torvold(Strife26)
Attribute: Stone Cold
Ranged Weapon: 12 Gauge Shotgun
Melee Weapon: Entrenching Tool
Ranged weapon: Uzi
Melee Weapon: Baseball bat
Surplus Ammo: 1
Zombie presence: Relatively high in the city, relatively high in the suburbs, minimal in the country.
Human presence: Low in the city, moderate in the suburbs, moderate in the country.
Events: A large area of the city is being regularly bombed. Zombie and human presence in the area will likely be minimal, and it may be a good opportunity for looting if you can get through the infested parts in one piece and avoid potential bombing runs.