"...so Happosai gets to drink the magical water, the wedding is postponed until the engagements can be sorted out, and the series ends with Ranma and Akane going back to school together."
Chaz finished her story with a contented smile. Robb stared at her with puzzlement. "Wait, you mean he never gets married?"
"Nope," said the young woman sitting across from Robb in his small cottage. "But you know Akane is the best match for him."
"I can't believe I listened to that whole story and he never gets married," said Robb wearily. Chaz had turned out to be a welcome companion after his girlfriend had died several weeks ago. She was clearly glad for someone to talk to, and had been regaling him constantly with discussion about movies, comic books, and a host of other topics. Robb gazed distractly towards the drawn curtains, where vague shadows moved slowly.
"Are you thinking about going out?" Chaz asked.
"I'm thinking about a lot of things. First, I'm thinking about the helicopter that flew overhead the day we met, and where it might be going. There's really no way to tell how far off it could be, however. I'm also thinking about that car we found, and how we might gas it up in case we need to get out of here in a hurry. The zombies haven't been too bad, but it could get worse. Third, I'm still wondering about the other people out there. I've met a few others, but they didn't seem interested in sticking together. Maybe now they feel differently."
"If they are still alive," Chaz pointed out in a matter-of-fact way.
Robb grimaced slightly. Erin had left under bad circumstances, but for good reason. He hoped she had somehow managed to find her family, even if that seemed highly unlikely. "Well, the only real problem I can address is the gasoline situation. There's a filling station not too far from here, and I think we can scrounge a few containers. We'll get some gas, get to the car, and then drive it back here. Hopefully the noise won't be too big a problem."
Chaz thought for a moment. "Some food wouldn't hurt either."
After a very long hiatus, the All Things Zombie adventure of Robb & Co. continues! To kick things off, I thought I'd try my hand at creating my own scenario, in this case a two-part story.
In part one, the heroes must make their way to a gas station in the middle of the table. One hero must spend two activations pumping gas (while the other does whatever is necessary), and then make it off the table. Because they are hauling a heavy load by hand, they can not Fast Move after getting the gasoline. The table is ER 2 (suburbs), and the PEF's and starting zombies are handled normally.
In the beginning, there are three PEF's: Red (REP 4, zone 4), White (REP 3, Zone 4), Blue (REP 5, Zone 3). Starting zombies for Robb are 1, Chaz 6 (bummer). They are placed using my d12 home rule (where I roll a d12 rather than 2d6 for more variation).
Turn 1: Robb 4, Zombies 2
Robb and Chaz began to make their way towards the local gasoline station. They had not gotten far before they noticed they were attracting a lot of attention. Several zombies began closing in from different directions.
"So much for this going quietly," Robb sighed. He drew his Colt .45 ACP and fired off two shots in the direction of a pair of zombies. One shot went wide, while the other plowed through the skull. Chaz fired her assault rifle, and the shot caught the zombie in the thigh. It stumbled to the ground.
"Head shots, de-.." said Robb reflexively, but then caught himself.
Robb continues his steady average of 50% when it comes to killing zombies with two shots, one hit, and one Obviously Dead. Chaz fired once (I'm antsy about running out of ammo and the noise) but only got a Knocked Down result after hitting it. No zombies were summoned by the shots.
Turn 2: Robb 5, Zombies 1
"Damn, there's too many of them!" said Chaz as the zombies closed in. "Get behind me!" shouted Robb as he moved between the young woman and the two zombies that had managed to get close enough to start clawing at him. He swung up the black-bladed machete he called Belle, but he was clearly out of practice. He connected with one and it staggered back, but his strike hadn't done any damage to the creature's brain. The other one began grabbing at his right arm, trying to manage a bite.
As Robb wrestled the zombie off him and to the ground, the other zombie was getting back up. Chaz quickly ran over and battered it back to the ground with the butt of her rifle.
On the zombie's activation, two make it into close combat (the heroes have moved towards them, trying to tackle them piecemeal. I had deliberately moved Robb, who was REP 5 and had a decent hand weapon (albeit in his off hand), into close combat over Chaz, who was REP 4 and had only the improvised weapon of the assault rifle. In close combat with the first zombie, Robb had only two successes to the zombie's one, and didn't roll well enough on the result to get anything but a KD. Worse, the second zombie managed to tie Robb at 2 apiece, and he was locked in combat.
On the heroes' activation, Robb was locked in combat and got 4 successes to 3, knocking that one down. I moved Chaz into melee with the zombie that had been knocked down (hoping the one die advantage would help) but only she only got a 2:1 and another KD result. I should have popped the weasel this turn, but I thought Chaz might have a chance. Close combat was not going as well as I had hoped.
Turn 3: Robb 1, Zombies 6
Turn 4: Robb 1, Zombies 5
"Enough of this!" said Robb angrily as he fired a quick shot into the head of the zombie on the ground. Chaz followed suit with the second zombie. "We need to keep moving before we are completely surrounded," she said.
"Then let's warm up the band," said Robb, walking briskly towards the gas station, firing as he went. One of his shots caught a zombie in the shoulder and it tumbled down. Chaz's aim was better, catching another in the head.
The two heroes were moved closer to the zombies up the road, again trying to catch them in small groups rather than all at once. Robb fired twice, hit once, but got a KD. Chaz fired once and got the OD instead with the Easy to Kill rule. Unfortunately, all three shots ended up summoning zombies to the area.
Turn 5: Robb 2, Zombies 3
Robb took a deep breath and began to focus on what he was doing. He fired two shots at two zombies closing in on his side and both their heads splintered with the impact of the bullets. Behind him, Chaz was having less luck. Her shot at an approaching zombie had missed, and now the zombie had drawn up to her. It's mouth opened with a horrible moan, but then caught the stock end of her rifle. It tumbled backwards onto the ground, but the blow hadn't much strength behind it.
Robb's two shots were good, but Chaz's miss summoned yet another zombie. The neighborhood was a lot more crowded than Robb had hoped! The sole zombie in range fought with Chaz, but lost 2:3 to the costumed heroine. It only suffered a KD, though.
Turn 6: Robb 3, Zombies 4
Robb pivoted in place and fired two more shots. Two more zombies went down and were still. I could do this all day, Robb thought with a grim smile. Chaz fired her rifle from the hip, putting down the zombie she had shrugged off.
"I knew there was a reason I picked you to be my sidekick," Chaz said with a grin.
Chaz again popped the weasel, and thankfully no zombies were summoned by any of the shots.
Turn 7: Robb 5, Zombies 3
"Kid, I'm pretty sure the middle-aged guy with the big gun is the mentor figure!" said Robb as he continued firing at the approaching zombies. Two were hit, but only one went down. "Not the chippie in the spandex!"
Chaz flipped the switch on her assault rifle. "I'll show you whose got the bigger gun, Inspector Gadget!"
She fired off a burst of shots at a nearby zombie, and it flew apart.
Three more zombies were summoned by the shots. At the rate is was going, the heroes were failing to kill more than they brought to the fight.
Turn 8: Robb 4, Zombies 6
"Okay, 'Penny' let's get what we are here for," said Robb as they ducked into the gas station's main building. Inside, two former customers and a woman in a polo shirt with the station's logo wandered inside, their dead eyes turning towards them as the small bell on the door jingled.
"I need twenty dollars on pump number three," said Robb as he fired at the two closest customers. Both their heads snapped backwards, but the slide on the gun stayed in the back position. "Guess you're done for now," Robb said to the empty pistol.
The decaying attendant lurched with unexpected speed towards Chaz. She brought up the rifle across her chest to try to push back the zombie, but the dead woman kept coming at her.
Rolling 6d6, I got three zombies for the interior of the building. Robb rolled a 5, added his REP of 5 for his reaction result of 10. Chaz rolled a 1 for a total of 5, and the zombies rolled a 6, which was added to three (the number of them in the building) for a total of 9. So the order is Robb, zombies, then Chaz.
Robb fired and hit twice, but rolled two ones on the "Easy to Kill" rule, meaning he was out of ammo and needed to reload. The lone remaining zombie attacked Chaz and the two tied at 2 each. The zombies continued to do well in hand-to-hand combat this game, and they were locked in combat.
Turn 9: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 10: Robb 2, Zombies 6
Robb pulled the zombie away from Chaz. The two of them grappled each other, trying to get the upper hand. Chaz charged into the zombie, knocking it to the ground.
Robb entered melee to assist Chaz, but only managed a 3:3 tie himself. Chaz squeaked out a 4:3 win, but only got the KD result. It is hard to kill zombies in melee combat.
Turn 11: Robb 3, Zombies 6
Chaz reared back, leveled her rifle, and fired a quick shot into the zombie's head. "Did you actually make a pop culture reference a minute ago?" she gasped at Robb.
A zombie was summoned, naturally.
Turn 12: Robb 2, Zombies 5
"I didn't grow up under a rock, you know. I watched the cartoon, you know. Not that Matthew Broderick crap." said Robb. Chaz grabbed a gas can. "I'll fuel up, you hold them off," she said as she headed back out.
Robb reloaded his pistol and followed her outside.
This turned counted as one of the two for the purposes of pumping gas, since Chaz didn't do anything while Robb reloaded.
Turn 13: Robb 1, Zombies 6
"Fresh bullets. Get your fresh bullets here!" said Robb as he stepped outside and fired a shot into the head of a nearby zombie. Chaz moved to the pump and began filling the red plastic container.
I noticed that the zombies had actually failed to activate for five straight turns. That more than makes up for the dodgy luck in close combat. By the way, no zombies were summoned with the single shot.
Turn 14: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Turn 15: Robb 4, Zombies 4
Turn 16: Robb 4, Zombies 5
"I got the gas. Let's get out of here," said Chaz as the zombies on the street drew closer. Robb charged towards one of them, swinging the machete. He landed a hit that would have killed a living man, but only stunned the ghoul. Chaz swung the rifle around at the second and crushed the side of its head.
I was getting a little worried about the number of zombies that were closing in from the south, so I decided to risk melee combat again. Robb won 4:3 for a KD result. Chaz got an impressive 5:2 win and on Obviously Dead result.
Turn 17: Robb 1, Zombies 3
Robb and Chaz ducked into the space between two houses across the street from the gas station. There was a faint noise, and Robb turned quickly to face a man wielding a samurai sword. Robb quickly took in the man's clean and intelligent appearance and stepped back. "We're alive," he said calmly.
"I can tell," said the man, who was bald and wearing a gray hoodie. "You're making more noise than a demolition derby."
Robb winced slightly at the word "derby" but pressed on. "I'm Robb, and this is Chaz. We're trying to make our way to a car. You're welcome to come with us, if you want."
The man looked at the two of them and frowned. "No thanks. The two of you are way to careless. You'll attract every zombie in the city with the racket you're making. I'm better off on my own."
Robb started to try to argue with the man, but Chaz tugged at his coat. "They are still right behind us. If he doesn't want to come with us, that's his problem. Let's go."
Robb relented and followed her towards the red VW beetle.
The remaining zombies were too far away to catch Robb and Chaz before they moved off the table, but there were two PEF's that had made their way to the far edge, and were now in sight. The first one just passed 1d6 and raised the ER of the session, but that allowed the second to become an encounter. I lucked out and rolled a single Survivor and brought out Peter, whom I had just painted. A random die roll on the Survivor chart showed him to be REP 5, which wasn't a good thing because it would make it harder for him to be recruited.
And sure enough, Robb failed to beat Peter by 1 success, meaning they would just exchange pleasantries and move on. Given Peter's preference for quiet weapons and the number of zombies I had summoned with gunfire, I figured Peter wouldn't care for Robb's loud tactics. Hopefully he would change his mind later. But Robb's success with recruiting other people hadn't been that great throughout the campaign.
I didn't need to roll to see if Chaz stuck around, since I had the guarantee from the game last March. Rolling for REP increases, Robb failed to increase his REP, but Chaz rolled a 5, raising her to Robb's equal. Perhaps our Star might end up eventually a sidekick after all!
Well, Robb and Chaz made it through the first half of the two-part scenario. Now to see if they can make it to the car, and if all of their trouble will be worth it in the end.
Comments always welcome, and it is good to be back!