All day Robb had stood by the window, peering out at the empty streets of his neighborhood. Empty, like his house now that his girlfriend Irene had perished at the hands of a zombie who had nearly killed him and Erin, one of the few people they had met still alive in River City, had left him then to go find her missing family. For hours he had stood, motionless and silent, looking out the window.
Robb glanced down at the black-bladed machete he held in his hand. It's dull blade reflected the evening light.
"What's that Belle? You want to go for a walk?" he said to the long knife. "Okay."
It's day 44 of the zombie apocalypse, and Robb desperately needs some good luck or else this might be the end. Basically I'm going to have him go out and explore in hopes of getting some potential teammates either through the PEF's or by getting a "Defining Moment" in a building. The chances of that are so low, however, that I'm more concerned that Robb will be overwhelmed by zombies in buildings instead.
Starting off, the Red PEF is Rep 4 and in zone 4, the White PEF is Rep 4 and in zone 4, and the Blue PEF is Rep 2 and in Zone 5. River City is a suburb, so it's ER 2.
Starting off, I roll 1d6 for initial zombies and get a lowly one! It's off to Robb's right, behind a building. We are off to a very, very good start.
Turn 1: Robb 3, Zombies 6
The streets seemed eerily quiet as Robb made his way down towards the small shops at the end of the street. He was hoping to find something to drink. He needed a drink.
The Blue PEF is immediately in sight, but a 0d6 on the result means it is nothing.
Turn 2: Robb 2, Zombies 6
Robb continued down the street, glancing around the corner. He could have sworn he heard some noise, but there was nothing there.
Robb moved into LOS with both the Red and White PEF's, but both passed 1d6, meaning the ER of the encounter was now 4.
Turn 3: Robb 4, Zombies 3
Robb slowly entered the store, but not cautiously enough to keep the bell mounted to the door from tinkling. Within the small market, two zombies wheeled towards him. Robb fired a shot in each of their general directions. The first shot went through a zombie's chest and it fell to the ground, but the second clanged off a metal shelf. The drooling figure lurched towards Robb, but Robb was there with the machete. Robb's swing was too soon, and it barely scratched the zombie's chest.
Entering the building, I rolled 6d6 and got 2 zombies. Not the zero I was hoping for, and now Robb's in for a fight. The zombie surprise total was 6, Robb's was 9, so he'd get off a shot. I thought I'd go ahead and split my shot between the two and hope to get two Obviously Dead's, but only one shot hit. Despite the Easy to Kill Rule, I rolled too high and the zombie was just knocked down.
Melee began with Robb getting 2 successes to the zombie's 2, and the melee was locked in place.
Turn 4: Robb 1, Zombies 6
Robb kicked out at the zombie, knocking it backwards over his fallen compatriot.
In melee, Robb got 3 to the zombie's 2, and of course didn't roll a 1, so now both zombies are knocked down.
Turn 5: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 6: Robb 6, Zombies 1
Both zombies got back to their feet and rushed at Robb. Robb held one back with the hand holding the pistol, and managed to get the machete in his left hand up under the chin of the second. It's face went slack and it fell to the ground.
On the zombie's activation, they recover from Knock Down and re-engage in melee. Robb got 3 successes to 3 on the first, but 4 successes to 0 on the second, getting an Out of Fight that becomes an Obviously Dead in the case of a zombie.
Turn 7: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 8: Robb 6, Zombies 3
Robb shoved the zombie backwards with the butt of his pistol. It fell backwards again to the ground.
Robb beat the zombie 3:2, and once again got a Knocked Down result. Can he capitalize on it?
Turn 9: Robb 5, Zombies 5
The Colt .45 ACP in Robb's right hand barked out with a loud shot, and the zombie's head exploded in a gush of gore and bone.
Robb turned away from the still figure on the ground, walked behind the counter of the store, and grabbed a large bottle of brown liquid. He moved back towards the store's entrance.
If there is one benefit to Robb's situation, it is that he as the "Initiative" attribute, meaning he reacts as if his Rep was one higher, IF HE'S ALONE. Since the zombie is down, Robb can finally "pop the weasel." What's more, no zombies are summoned.
Searching the building (now at ER 4), Robb passes 2d6 and finds a luxury item.
Turn 10: Robb 2, Zombies 1
Robb opened the door. A zombie, dressed in the tattered remnants of some hospital gown roared at him with ghastly teeth. Robb looked blankly at it, fired two shots, and then stepped over the slightly twitching body.
Robb opened the door to discover the one zombie at the beginning of the game had finally made its way to the building's entrance. He fired twice, hit once, and got the OD. No zombies were summoned.
Turn 11: Robb 6, Zombies 4
Turn 12: Robb 1, Zombies 5
With nothing else in sight, Robb moved across the street towards another small restaurant.
Turn 13: Robb 2, Zombies 5
Turn 14: Robb 4, Zombies 2
Robb pushed his way into the building. The place looked empty, and Robb began to move towards the back where he hoped to find some food. Suddenly from the coat room two zombies surged at him. Robb swung out with his machete, knocking one of them back but the other enveloped him in its arms.
Again, the 6d6 showed two zombies in this building. I guess it will be harder to find people than I had hoped. The zombies surprise total came up 7, while Robb's came up 7 as well, meaning he wouldn't get off a shot. In melee, Robb beat the first 3:1, getting a Knock Down, but tied the second at 3:3.
Turn 15: Robb 1, Zombies 1
The random event, generated here, was meaningless in this context. I moved on.
Turn 16: Robb 5, Zombies 5
With a wordless growl, Robb heaved the zombie off of him. It fell back against a table.
Robb beat the zombie he was locked in melee with 5:3, getting a Knock Down result. It is very tough to actually kill a zombie in close combat, especially when you are Rep 4 and using a one-handed weapon in your off hand.
Turn 17: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Both zombies rushed Robb together. The first managed to get himself tangled in Robb's left arm while the second fell heavily against him, driving him to the floor. The back of Robb's head slammed against the floor of the restaurant. His vision began to blur. In the back of his mind, he could hear a voice calling to him...a woman's voice...
Robb remained in melee with both zombies. He tied the first 2:2, locking him into combat. The second one, however, defeated him, with Robb only getting 1 success and the zombie getting three! The result was a Knock Down, which against zombies meant that Robb must now roll to see if he is infected (again)! I took a deep breath, realized this could be the end, and rolled...
A five! Robb would avoid being infected! But now he had bigger problems!
By my understanding of the rules, Robb was now stunned and needed a full turn's activation before he could move again. I ruled, somewhat on the spot, that if the zombies activated either on the turn he recovered being stunned or before he activated a second time, they would kill him and it would be over. I began to think about a possible "After the Horsemen" campaign, and started rolling.
Turn 18: Robb 3, Zombies3
Okay, a random event. Rolling no less than three 1's, the result would be that no more zombies would be summoned in this encounter. That was great, but first I needed to have Robb survive the next few seconds.
Turn 19: Robb 1 Zombies 6
Robb's eyes fluttered open. Above him, staring at him inches from his face, was the yellowed eyes of a decaying zombie. His eyes widened in awareness of what was happening.
Robb's recovered from being stunned. Now, will he get an activation, or will he meet his final end? For the sole purpose of creating drama, you'll have to follow after the break.
Turn 20: Robb 1, Zombies 4
To fully appreciate this moment, it requires a soundtrack. Go to this Youtube link. Advance it to 10:34, and play it forward to 10:37.
Robb slammed the blade of his machete point first into the temple of the zombie lying on top of him. With a roar, he rolled the now motionless zombie off of his chest and into the second zombie poised to pounce. The second zombie scrambled over his compatriot and came at him. Robb locked his right hand across the zombie's throat. It clawed at his face, trying to get at him.
Robb activated, and activated first. He went into melee, getting no less than five successes against zero from the zombie, and then followed up with an easy Obviously Dead! He then beat the second zombie 3:1, but only got the Knockdown.
On the remaining zombie's activation, it got up and attacked, but tied Robb 3:3. They were locked again in combat.
Best. ATZ. Moment. Ever.
Turn 21: Robb 3, Zombies 5
Robb released the zombie's throat and took a step back, swinging his machete down in a diagonal path across the brow of the ghoul. It fell to the ground, the front of its head exposed.
Robb staggered uneasily over to the kitchen, where he crammed a few canned goods into his bag. Blood and gore covered his shirt and the front of his trenchcoat.
"Last time I listen to a fucking machete," he said, and walked back outside.
Robb won his melee 4:1, and I rolled a 2 for a result, making the last zombie Obviously Dead.
Robb then searched the building, passed 1d6, and found a food parcel.
We'll take a break here, but don't worry, this is just the first part of Robb's long walk by himself.
Now, I've got a rules question. The Random Event (what you get when you roll a total of 3 on the chart) says "no more zombies are summoned this game," which seems to be a reference to shooting. But does it also apply to entering buildings? Because that makes a big difference. Entering buildings gets my 6d6 on the zombies despite the group size, while starting zombies and PEF resolution has group size factored into it.
So if it doesn't affect buildings, I might as well have Robb go home and try again with PEF's or come up with another scenario. If it does, then I should go nuts and check every house on the block.
So what do you think?