Monday, February 4, 2013

The Split Level, and some Pre-Endgame thoughts

First, sharp-eyed observers may have noticed that there was a new house on the block during the episode "The Neighborhood Watch," namely the "Split Level" house by Stoelzel's Structures.

Not as easy a build as the "Raised Ranch House," and I'd suggest doing the Ranch House first if you are a beginner like I am.  The house has three levels: the ground level, a small second level off to the side, and a third level above the ground level.  It's a interesting layout, but challenging to build.  In particular, there is a cardstock stairwell that has to fit precisely in a gap that has three separate sides: the vertical wall, the floor of the second level, and the floor of the third level.  Do a better job pre-fitting these pieces than I did.

Also the instructions suggest just making the roof out of cardstock.  No way.  I used a piece of taskboard, which is a sort of matte board that is easy to cut and sand but it still very thin, as the foundation for the roof, then cut two foamcore braces using the cardstock braces as a template.  It's a lot more sturdy than just a cardstock room, and you can barely see the edge.

Now onto some thoughts about the last session.  Looking back, I realized that I made a deliberate choice near the end to forego some shooting in fear of summoning more zombies, something that had happened all that day with remarkable frequency.  I had really hoped I could have Robb (and then later Irene) handle a single zombie, but that guy turned out to be one tough cuss.  I should have had Erin shoot him.

I have to say, despite losing both Erin (who I knew was a flight risk after she got a higher Rep than Robb) and Irene in a single encounter, I loved the dramatic feel to the whole thing.  It felt like a season finale of a zombie-themed television show.  I like how groups don't have stable membership, but instead constantly suffer at least the threat of people leaving either by death or departure, and how if the leader doesn't stay "large and in charge" the group will react accordingly.

As a side note, the real life Irene is glad she died trying to rescue me, and feels that the real life Erin would not only grow in ability quickly, being a very intelligent and resourceful woman, but would also have left me at that point to find her family.  Nice to see art imitating life.

But all this got me thinking about what the endgame of this campaign would look like.  There was a discussion about Rep 7 Stars over at Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion, and I've thought that hitting Rep 7 would probably influence game play a great deal, to the point where maybe it would get to be too easy.

So basically, I told myself I'd run the ATZ campaign until either Robb or Irene hit Rep 7, or both of them were dead.  We're halfway there now on the latter.  I have no idea if it is more likely Robb will find his untimely end or if he can scrabble through to epic hero-dom.  He seems almost incapable of getting a Rep increase, so I could end up throwing zombies at him for a long time.


  1. That looks like a very neatly-executed model. Congratulations!

    As for REP7 characters, I agree that you could end the campaign at that point (just head off into the sunset!). But I think that might be a bit abrupt since it would be determined solely by rolling a '6' after a successful game, whether there was more story to be told or not.

    1. I'm going to be watching your ATZ game with interest, since you seem to have more people than I do, and people with guns are a lot more deadly than zombies are in ATZ. A sustained gunfight seems to be just as serious a threat to a Rep 7 person as a Rep 4, since Rep doesn't effect shooting in a defensive manner, if you get my drift.

      I did think that, should Robb get to a point where he is pretty well established that I might do an "After the Horsemen" campaign as a sort of "next generation" story.

  2. Great looking house.
    Rep 7's are a bit of a dilemma and could easily ruin a game. The chances of a zombie beating an unarmed Rep 7 is close to 1%, but still doable (just), As for a Rep 7 STAR, they can only be killed outright by another Rep7 and the chances of having another Rep 7 ? - I don't know. I used to think that even Rep 6's were OTT but Rep 7's are certainly game changers.