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Max_Writer

BRP Zombie Apocalypse - Deadworld

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Max_Writer

I've started a game I named "Deadworld" (not realizing there is a comic by that same name) dealing with a zombie apocalypse (along with triffids and, soon, feral ghouls) using BRP. My players are heading across North Carolina from the mountains to the ocean in the hopes of hiding out on the outer banks. What I need are some casual encounters along the way to give the feel for the quickly degrading society of the United States circa June 2015 as the infrastructure of the country falls apart.

 

The basic premise of the game was a meteor shower that dropped tens of thousands of infected meteorites on the planet. Each one dispersed, in a three-mile radius, an alien airborne pathogen that immediately killed everyone who breathed it in. The airborne disease died very shortly afterwards due to the toxins in the atmosphere, but the bugs in the dead bodies then mutated, bringing them, essentially, back to life. This bloodborne pathogen now tries to spread itself by biting living humans to create more hosts for itself. The thousands of meteors that fell also caused physical damage (knocking out buildings and electricity and the like) further leading to the collapse of ... well just about everything.

 

Any ideas for short encounters - even something that could just be narrated as the players pass by - would be helpful. I'm looking for things to creep them out as they make their way cross country.

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MrHandy

I ran a Zombie Apocalypse game using BRP rules (modified Call of Cthulhu 6th edition) as a play-by-post for nearly a decade, which you might find helpful to mine for ideas. The premise is similar to yours, with a meteorite shower, but the meteorites released giant mosquito-like creatures with lethal stings rather than a pathogen. You can find it here: http://www.callofcthulhu.org.uk/pbp/viewforum.php?f=90

 

It's a lot of reading, but you may enjoy it. I may be bringing it back soon too, if I can find some players. There are numerous travel segments of the game as survivors journey from one place to another. I don't remember most of the encounters, but they're all in there. There was one late in Chapter 3 (Over section; you can start reading here: http://www.callofcthulhu.org.uk/pbp/viewtopic.php?f=127&t=1289&start=560) when some of the survivors stopped at a farmhouse, where they met a farmer and his learning-disabled but very strong son. The farmer was paranoid and pointed his shotgun at them from cover until they gained his trust, at which point he welcomed them inside. Unbeknownst to them, the farmer's wife was locked in the cellar because she had been infected. He couldn't bring himself to kill her. At an appropriately dramatic time, when only a few of the survivors were around, she turned and broke out of the cellar and into the farmhouse through the barricaded back door. The farmer was present and brandished his shotgun, saying that nobody was going to shoot her,. A one-legged survivor (who had lost his leg in an earlier encounter) shot at the zombie and hit it, but not in the head. The farmer then fired at him. The shotgun blast destroyed his other leg and killed him outright. Then the farmer's wife grabbed the farmer and chewed on him, quickly killing him. One zombie had swiftly become three zombies, with two fewer survivors. Granted, one of those zombies had no legs, but it still managed to kill someone else.

 

There was also a short scene where a bridge over a river had been deliberately set fire to and destroyed, and the ruins were still visible. Someone had done it earlier to keep zombies in the town on the other side of the river from crossing. It didn't work, as zombies can just wade and don't need to breathe underwater. There was also another town that had been destroyed by fire during the initial outbreak.

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Max_Writer

Cool. Thanks!

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MrHandy

You're welcome! If you'd like to play, or know someone else who does, let me know. I could either start over from the beginning or pick up where we left off, early on the second day. A lot happened during that time to the characters involved, but you could still catch up without too much difficulty.

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Max_Writer

Thanks. I might eventually take you up on it.

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yronimoswhateley

The campaign sounds like a neat idea.

 

It always seemed to me that in a world where the dead were to rise and walk, a lot of people would react the way they seem to have reacted during the great plagues of history, only more so:  it would be an environment ripe for all sorts of strange cults to appear, popular because so many survivors would be driven to try to make sense of it all, and so many others would be driven to profit from it in the form of power and all the goods and services needed for survival.

 

So, some low-key weirdness if you are looking for stuff to describe on a cross-country journey:

 

 

 

  • Marching lines of strangely-dressed and otherwise weird-looking people on the side of the road.
  • The bodies of looters hanging from light posts, revived and now twitching.
  • Bodies hanging from crosses, the signs around their necks read "HERETIC".
  • A death-cult which sacrifices children to the undead by leaving the kids chained in a field.
  • Ghoul-traps, baited with human beings.
  • An ascetic survivor on a platform on top of a pillar, high above a horde of ghouls attracted to his rambling, incoherent daily sermons and prayers to them.
  • The occasional ghoul wandering the streets with its hands chopped off and its mouth smashed in, trailing a string of tin cans tied to its ankle; the signs hanging around their necks usually say "REPENT"... but the sign around the neck of one says instead "GOD IS DEAD"; it wears a yellow smiling "have a nice day" mask....
  • Children standing on an apartment rooftop, with apparently no adults anywhere in sight, holding toy guns, and staring as you pass; one growls like a wild animal at you, another is gnawing sullenly on what appears to be a severed human hand, they all vanish from sight when you get near.
  • Chanting voices coming from somewhere in the storm-drains and sewers beneath the streets.
  • The large balcony of a gated mansion is covered in shambling ghouls dressed in elaborate blood-stained costumes and masks, while dance music plays from somewhere inside the house; a man dressed in a red cloak and hood and wearing a blood-spattered white mask crouches on the rooftop just out of reach of the ghouls, laughing hysterically....
  • In one house, you find heaps of clothing and shoes in one room, the next room is ankle-deep in a strange material that on closer examination is human hair.  In the next room is a table with a bowl partly full of pills on a table among pictures that appear to have contained drugged grape Froot-Ade.  Upstairs, laid out in neat rows on the floor, are dozens of smiling corpses of men, women, and children, shaved bald, dressed in white track suits and jogging shoes, with neat holes drilled in their foreheads; the walls are decorated with posters depicting flying saucers, labeled with slogans like "I WANT TO BELIEVE" and "TAKE ME AWAY", and a few battery-powered, gore-splattered power drills are laying among the bodies.
  • An empty church surrounded by a graveyard full of open graves contains a ghoul nailed to a large wooden propped over the alter, moaning and squirming, beneath a banner with the slogan, "BEHOLD:  I AM RISEN"; the altar is stacked with guns and skulls, and the pews contain lit candles and evidence that the church was occupied only moments before.
  • A raving madman wandering down a road away from a small town, weeping, laughing, and waving a syringe while raving "Sugar-water... it was just sugar-water...."  In the town square, at the fountain, is a small heap of tiny arms, bleeding dismembered children, their traumatized parents, and machete-wielding cultists, whose leader is currently preaching against the evil of trying to immunize children from "God's judgment"....

 

 

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Max_Writer

These are awesome! Yes, I'll be using a lot of them.

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