GM Workshop

A community-created and maintained place for Game Masters of all systems to bounce ideas around. It's a place for inspiration and sharing tips.


New type of zombie game

   
I thought of the Triffids when I read the post about zombie plants.

Have you ever read the book "Monster Island" by David Wellington? It starts off with your basic zombie setting, world going down, and this one guy gets an idea that the reason zombie's are "mindless" is because of the braindamage they experience during the period following death before reanimation. So, since he is a fatalist, he decides to hook himself up to an incubator to maintain oxygen flow to his brain, and then induces death to himself through lethal injection. Sure enough a few hours later he wakes back up as a zombie, but his mind is still fully intact with no brain damage.

That all happens in the beginning of the book so no spoilers there, the rest of the book is him struggling to overcome the desire to eat human flesh while trying to integrate himself back with the remaining human population, or instead choosing to succumb and rule the zombies instead...an interesting read, but also might produce a little different setting than the normal zombie wasteland.

Another "different" type of zombie is "The Rising" by Brian Keene. This one is horrific though as the zombies are actually spirits from another dimension that are replacing human souls. Picture a world full of zombies with completely intact minds, hunting down the remaining living, as every human that dies makes way for another of their kind.

Just some ideas beyond the run-of-the-mill zombie setting.

The hell is a triffid?

And hmm. The zombie as evil transdimensional souls thing... sounds like a more modern variant of the "alien pod people" concept.

I like the mobile hive mind as it adds a new element and creates a whole new kind of adventure, a zombie mystery! (who would have thought?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
The hell is a triffid?
Quick search on wikipedia will pull it up but since i'm still a newb to mythweavers and can't post links yet:

"The triffid is a tall, mobile, carnivorous, prolific and highly venomous fictional plant species—the titular antagonist in John Wyndham's 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids and Simon Clark's 2001 sequel The Night of the Triffids."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
And hmm. The zombie as evil transdimensional souls thing... sounds like a more modern variant of the "alien pod people" concept.
Forgot to emphasis that they were still very much decaying bodies running around hunting and eating the living. They could just plot traps and curse at you before eating. ; )

I like the movable controlling presence. Although it's not so much a zombie theme unless they are consuming, not just destroying.

There's a flash game entitled "Sonny" which makes the main characters the zombies. It's got all kinds of fascinating zombie things going on. Also, a fun quick little RPG well worth playing for both difficulty and story.

I always liked the idea of 'defend your vehicle' in a post apocalyptic world, where your car is your fortress and you have to find gasoline and maintain and/or upgrade it along the way. Players can fight on foot (usually to collect resources; immobile bases are more likely to be overtaken by hordes of undead if players linger), but their best chance is their car. They can also get smaller vehicles like bicycles to scout ahead, but they won't have a chance at 'night time' or whatever time is when the players get their arses handed to them if they don't head 'back to base'. Some areas are safer than others and/or easier to defend and/or with many escape routes, but every one of them eventually gets invaded by countless undead after a period. Sound good?

Post apocalyptic doesn't have to just involve zombies - it can be thieves, raiders and gangs too. Or zombies with guns (smart zombies; all zombies generally like to pretend to be human by acting out common activities they did in their former lives - when you get close, nomnom).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
Has anyone done plant zombies yet?


Here's one for you- plant brain drug zombies. They're not *really* zombies. But a fascinating new form of plant (from SPACE!!!) has started growing on earth. And it produces an airborn pollen drug that, essentially, impacts the dopamine and adrenaline receptors of the brain. Doing to the human brain a chemical coctail not entirely unlike PCP.

Except for certain people. Who are immune. Because they're allergic to pollen.
I've done this before; it breaks down when the party discovers that they can just walk around with torches and create pathways of flame to protect themselves.

I solved it by pumping up the zombies with hp and having them grapple while on fire.

Also, there is a template for this in one of the planar monster books (can't remember the name of the book, I'll look it up later) in DnD 3.5e, if that's the system you're running it in.

Defend your vehicle is a good idea imo, because it provides the illusion of an open world for players to explore when in reality players won't want to take much risk and the GM saying 'are you sure? You don't think your car can run for more than 100 miles before your out of gas' and also the fact that stocking up on too much gas creates a serious fire hazard. Also, the safest area from zombies is always the open wilderness, right? So, there'll be nomadic civilizations. If you want to stage it right when the apocalypse is happening (rather than post apocalypse), then there's the possibility for even more hostile humans (especially the military), and the players can just coincidentally be on a road trip. Or something more humorous. There's no way that any group of players should be able to survive an extended stay in a city (the zombies will knock down any barricades, good forts are likely well defended by evil humans, there's probably zombies already inside unclaimed forts, etc.).

Breaking into a decent fort that can be defended forever (at least until zombies evolve the ability to digest metal and/or spit acid), could be a misadventure - eventually, the players will die when they run out of food. There's no way to sneak out of a city without a car, and if you get a car, you'll probably die when the zombies hear and swarm you (and if they fail to do so, they'll swarm you at the next intersection).

So yeah, if the GM wants to pit the players in a certain direction (and they're in the wilderness, where it's technically possible to travel anywhere; especially if you've given them a map), have them purchase reports from rangers (convenient npcs that scout out certain areas and then sell what they see in the form of reports which could be videos, audio or just written word if possible... the 'rangers' are the most trusted company of these npcs - yeah, it's straight from fall out 3). The reports will simply say that the best chance of getting gas is in 'X region'. If the GM doesn't want the players to have much gas, they can just say that a lot of it might have been stolen since the report was scribed (scribes are rangers that compose reports). If the GM wants to deny players some information, make certain reports more expensive than others so that players can't afford X right away, or that X report is new information waiting to test the market, or that it hasn't even been scribed yet until a certain point in the campaign.

If the GM wants to stop the players from stealing reports - they could make the rangers tricky (a stolen audio tape that demonstrates itself is actually a blank copy). Also, rangers are often heavily armed and alert. Players aren't the hot shot heros - they're just trying to survive and (if they're good aligned or good-ish) help npcs that are weaker. If they're evil, players will obviously make more enemies (some groups note every person, and some ranger reports contain social contact and personality/biographical info; note that all reports are pretty much biased in some way since each is written by a different scribe - only the most valuable reports are edited by other scribes). A reputation system helps too. Also, the world is virtually unknown, so if the players are stronger than every npc they know, they'll eventually find an npc that's stronger than them and that's never heard of the players.

There's also accessibility - one ranger group or camp will have different reports to sell than another group or camp. Every now and then, players might reach a caravan, which sells reports in addition to other stuff. Reports aren't always correct though - players need to gather information in order to confirm reliability (or check it out themselves). Some reports aren't adventures at all - just copies of lost written word/audio/video that rangers have discovered or the equivalent of newspapers. If players feel like they need to revisit a ranger camp or re-find a ranger group, the GM can always kill off that camp/group or pretend that they've moved without a trace and skillfully concealed their tracks (as all rangers are capable of doing); in the name of preventing redundant sessions of play - reports about the rangers are generally free too (made for delivery to other rangers; rangers don't really share information otherwise, because it devalues their own reports), so players will most likely hear bad news about the ranger group or camp that they were going to re-visit before they go to the trouble of traveling too far.

Another fun possibility is the players making their own maps. The GM simply describes stuff. The GM can also have maps available, but he won't show them to the players until they purchase them from a carto-ranger.




 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Myth-Weavers Status       Advertise with us