Risus Zombie Apocalypse
This will be a central clearinghouse, for the three pbp Dawn of the Dead games, in three different forums; running one, co-running another, and just a grunt in the third, I'm in.
I'm trying to coalesces the rules, ideas, and links from the three groups.
To start the setting will be based on Dawn/Day of the Dead.
I might have found a way around a group chock a block with ex-special forces cliches for Highway to Hell. The setting is Dawn of the Dead, average citizens dealing with a plague of zombies. Average Joes and Janes don't have combat skills. I was thinking of allowing a sort of Generic Zombie Killing Aptitude (2) cliche for full on undead tussling.
The thing is, WSCP is two free dice dice lent to the PC for one task. Should I have the players use two dice at creation or have them buy a zombie killing cliche as per normal advancement?
Characters start based on 6 dice, plus one die each for Hook and Tale. Cliche advance will be slower, but Risus Points should compensate for that.
Sarah Polley's Nurse (Ana)
Petite ER Nurse (3)
Feisty Army Reservist Medic (3)
Hillbilly Farm Girl (2)
Ana joined the Army at 17 to get off the farm. She settled into a nice whitebread suburban life.
Hook: Lost her husband and daughter up close personal.
Staying with Dawn of the Dead
The Ving Rhames cop (Kenneth) could be:
One Tough Cop (3)
Kid from a Rough Neighborhood (3)
Sports Scholarship Engineer (2)
His Hook is: Devoted Family Man. In fact, family duties is why he became a cop instead of an engineer.
I could switch the last two cliches; jock skills and cop skills overlap in this setting and while engineering skills will prove useful, the streetwise/thief skills will most likely be more useful sooner.
Not to complicate things too much, I'd like to include two optional rules. (aside from Hook and Tale)
Sanity Checks, for all you CoC fans out there. When the character sees or does something unnerving they have to 'save versus' sanity. A failed roll temporarily reduces the cliche by one for however long the GM deems necessary.
Sanity TNs for various events
Seeing a zombie feast: 8
Seeing your parents 'do it': 10
Fighting hand to hand with a zombie: 12
Being forced to watch Sex and the City: 15
Finding a zombie feast site: 17
Being forced to watch Sex and the City - the movie: 20
Trapped in a car by a zombie horde: 25
Being forced to watch Sex and the City - the movie 2: 28
Seeing your best friend eaten by a zombie horde: 30
Risus Points. A direct lift from Fudge and D6. Because advancement will be slow, Risus Points can be handed out to give players an edge. The Points have various uses.
Clearing the Fog: Get a recap or tip from the GM
Digging Down Deep: Adds a bonus die.
My Heart is Pure: One re-roll
Second Wind: Restores all the dice to a cliche for a task/combat
Tale-spinning: Dictate a new fact: 1 RP per minor detail, 2 RP per
significant detail; subject to GM veto.
That's Handy: Trades dice for Gear; 1 RP for handy gear, 2 or more for really useful gear.
Even with Assumed Gear, resources are limited. You ARE going to run out of stuff based on game needs and the GM's sadistic nature.
How to Run Killer Zombie Campaigns
Zombie Survival Flowchart.
5 Popular Zombie Survival Tactics (That Will Get You Killed)
Anatomy of the Perfect (Undead) Headshot
Rules Clarification: Default Rolls
In Basic Risus, if a character doesn't have an appropriate cliche, they can use 2 dice as a 'crap-shoot' default roll.
Yes, players can use RPs to boost the default roll.
No, using a Crap-Shoot roll does not count toward cliche advancement.
If Ana picks up a pistol, she can use it point blank without a roll. If she wants to use it farther back, neither Feisty Army Reservist Medic (3) or Hillbilly Farm Girl (2) would let her use a side arm; machine gun, grenade launcher, shotgun, or hunting rifle, yes.
Rules Clarification: Making and Using Stuff
Booby-traps, barricades, and the like can be used at the same level of the cliche used to build it, providing that the player has a solid idea, and the character make 'time and effort' rolls. The Stuff cliche is added to individual combats or to the Team Up leader's cliche.
If a booby-trap are used in concert with the characters the cliche is added to the group. If left to its own devices the cliche uses its own cliche alone. And yes RPs can boost a traps cliche.
Vehicles add their own cliches to the group in specific ways.
Ana doesn't have a driver cliche, she defaults to Driver (2) she chooses a Gas Guzzling SUV (4) to plow through a Shambling Zombie Horde (7), The SUV cliche will not help her maneuver the SUV, it will only help crush the horde.
Personal Gear can be made or improved with Advancement Die or Risus Points.
An Army rifle Ana is trained on can be fitted with a scope, making Ana's .Feisty Army Reservist Medic (3) a (4) when sniping at 75 yards or more.
Zombies form a Grunt Squad when the zombie to human hits 3 or 4 to 1; roughly one zombie for each die of the group's primary cliches. Hordes start at (5),
For the first few hours after they turn, zombies can run, and jump surprising well.
This will be a Limber Zombie (3), rare but useful when I feel like messing with the players.
Most zombies will be Shambling Zombie (1) or Hefty Zombie (2).
Car Looting Rule
A 6 on 1D6 means the PC finds something useful: food, water, smokes, tools...
A 1 on 1D6 is a Surprise Zombie. Roll a Reaction Contest.
Optional random loot table:
1 = food and water
2 = clothing
3 = tools or road flares or rope, etc...
4 - maps and other reading materials
5 = electronic gizmos or radios or flash lights, etc...
6 = the meaningless trappings of the rapidly fading civilization: gold, jewels. cash (although cash would be useful as kindling or toilet paper)
Building Things update
Been running three handed zombie apocalypse set on a traffic clogged highway. Had luck with a simplified version of the "Making Things" rule.
If time and material allows, in this case, characters can build a zombie resistant strong points by using a variant the Sidekick and Shield Mates rule.
Badass Biker (3) temporarily drops to Badass Biker (2) and with abandon cars builds Zombie Resistant Barrier (3) equaling a new cliche Zombie Smashing Strong Point (5).
Do not let the characters combine dice on this. However, the other characters can benefit from the barrier or build their own to fight the same, or another, grunt squad of zombies.
Once the Biker moves away from the barrier his cliche reverts. If he wins the contest, no harm no foul. If he loses the contest he loses the die as per regular damage rules.. This can be done as often as gameplay allows, the law of averages will catch up with them.
Limit the rule best you can. And no, the characters can not build Bonus Gear using this rule unless they burn a cliche die or advancement die,.
But that is another rule.
Any level up has to be balanced with restriction.
I’ve hammered away at it long enough; finally have players who are interested in it, so I get ring time with the rule.
It’s a great tool to draw them more into role playing, give them a feel for the setting. We sometimes put the game on hold while we figure stuff out.
In honor of Fear the Walking Dead we’re going from Highway from Hell to Hot Child in the City. The blighted urban cityscape should expand the looting, burning, the not undead mooks to fight, and Military Police to avoid.
I’m still not happy with the fright checks rule I use.