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Old 11-02-2017, 08:15 PM   #1
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Default Mercs versus Ultra-Techno-Zombies

Some background –
I’m preparing a Cyberpunk/Horror game for a convention, where the PCs are high end mercenaries (former SAS, SBS, and SEALS) sent to a remote bioweapons lab, and the initial adversaries are ultra-techno-zombies. Inspiration is the Transhuman Space Orbital Decay adventure.
The zombies are normal humans that have been converted by means of a synergetic hybrid combination of proteus viruses and nanosymbionts, which was created and released during a lab accident (infected cut), and subsequently spread via fluid transfer (e.g, bites). The combination of proteus viruses and nanosymbionts makes humans (and probably parahumans and bioroids), inhuman (Bestial, Hidebound, Low Empathy, No Sense of Humor), mindless (-6 IQ, Cannot Learn), enraged (Berserk(Vicious)), insatiable (Gluttony), killing (Bloodlust) cannibals (Odious Racial Habit (Eats Humans/Sentients) that are strong (+10 Striking ST), focused (indomitable/unfazable), and tough (+3 HT, +3 HP, DR 2, Hard to Kill 3, Hard to Subdue 3, High Pain Threshold). But I’m not sure this is enough.
The PC will have decent, but light flexible armor (sealed helmets giving DR40 to the head and the rest of body protected with DR30/12: the 30 versus all but crushing) and be well armed (4mm PDW, 4mm Pistol, knife/shortsword, and flashbang grenades) with plenty of ammo (450 rounds each: 150 APS, 150, HP, and 150 scabs (super cavitating for underwater)) and with good combat skills (levels 14-16).
I need the zombies, enmass at least, to represent a credible threat/challenge to the PC. So I was considering how to stack the deck.

Questions –
The first idea was to make the zombies more than simple target practice. So I had the idea to use the example of poor Edmund Zhang on page B380, and give the ultra-techno-zombies Injury Tolerance(Unliving), representing some sort of internal support structure built by the nanosymbionts (inspired by Girl with All the Gifts). The 4mm PDW’s APS rounds do 3d6+2 pi- (2), so would normally do 2-9 vs DR2 protected targets, but for the IT zombies would only do 0-1. The 4mm PDW’s HP rounds do 3d6+2 pi- (0.5), so would normally do 2-32 vs DR 2 protected targets, but for the IT zombies would only do 0-6. The 4mm PDW’s scab rounds do 3d6+2, so would normally do 3-18 vs DR 2 protected targets, but for the IT zombies would only do 0-3. So each 15 HP zombie could take a dozen+ hits to drop them. This may pose its own problem as combat becomes a long slog. Any thoughts?
The second idea was to make the zombies a threat to the PC through their armor. The DR 12 will be good proof against standard punches and bites, even with the increased striking strength. So clubs (sw+1 crush, for 3d6+2 – 4d6+1) and grappling are the choice attacks. I haven’t used Technical Grappling before, is it something I should try, or should I just go with simple grapple attack to hit, next round ST-10 roll to pull off a helmet / damage an armor piece enough to leave a gap unless DX roll to escape, repeat… ? Are two successful grapples a death sentence? Any thoughts or ideas?

Here are the draft stats I have so far, comments and suggestions welcome:
Ultra-Techno-Zombie
Appear as skinny, albino, humans wearing ripped clothes, face/month cover in blood, eyes reflecting light strangely.
ST: 19 -22
DX: 12-13
IQ: 5-8
HT: 12-13
HP: 15
Will: 6-7
Per: 10-11
FP: 15
Speed: 7.00
Move: 8
SM: 0
Dodge: 11
Parry: 11 (Unarmed)
DR: 2
Grapple (12-14): Reach C. (All Out Attack for +4)
Punch (12-14): 2d-1 – 2d crushing. Reach C.
Club (12-14): 3d+3 – 4d crushing. Reach C, 1.
Plague Bite (12-14): 1d crushing + HT-4 roll or 1d FP repeating every 5 minutes for an hour. Reach C.
After losing consciousness at 0 FP, start gaining ultra-techno-zombie template.
Traits:
Acute Hearing 2 (Hearing 12);
Affected as Living;
Albino;
Bad Smell;
Berserk (Vicious) (9);
Bloodlust;
Discriminating Smell;
Extra Attack;
High Pain Threshold;
Indominable;
Inhuman (Bestial, Hidebound, Low Empathy, No Sense of Humor);
Injury Tolerance (Unliving);
Cannot Learn;
Disturbing Voice;
X Glimpses of Clarity;
Gluttony;
Hard to Kill 3;
Hard to Subdue 3;
High Pain Threshold;
Infectious;
Night Vision 9;
Odious Racial Habit (Eats Humans);
Overconfidence (9);
Penetrating Voice;
Skinny;
Social Stigma (Monster);
Terminally Ill (1 month);
Unfazable;
Unnatural Features 5.
Notes: Mindless, ravenous eating machines.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:34 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Mercs versus Ultra-Techno-Zombies

Even though you have armed the PCs with pretty much the least effective v. zombie guns possible they will always do at least 1 pt. Even when halving you don't round down to zero for P-type damage. It still might take 75 shots per zombie.

On the other hand you've armored the PCs to the point that they will take little damage from the zombies. The result might be very long combats.

If there are enough zombies they will probably win when they get close enough to mob-grapple and start peeling off that armor.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:03 PM   #3
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Default Re: Mercs versus Ultra-Techno-Zombies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Even though you have armed the PCs with pretty much the least effective v. zombie guns possible they will always do at least 1 pt. Even when halving you don't round down to zero for P-type damage. It still might take 75 shots per zombie.
Good point. So 1/1-6/1-3 damage per hit depending on ammo type. But I could still have the zombies drop after 15/5/8 or 30/10/16 hits to keep things moving. Or I could drop HP to 8 maybe, so that 16/6/8 are needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
On the other hand you've armored the PCs to the point that they will take little damage from the zombies. The result might be very long combats.
This is a worry. Clubs have a chance of doing some damage, but grappling is the equalizer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
If there are enough zombies they will probably win when they get close enough to mob-grapple and start peeling off that armor.
I need the threat of this to become apparent to the PCs, before 1/2 of them are grappled and bitten.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:12 AM   #4
Daigoro
 
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Meifumado
Default Re: Mercs versus Ultra-Techno-Zombies

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
I need the threat of this to become apparent to the PCs, before 1/2 of them are grappled and bitten.
Have a couple of extra NPC team mates who succumb to the zombies early on to demonstrate this tactic, or they come across previous victims where it's apparent.

Also, the zombie genre is about how people react when things start to go wrong. Let the PCs easily win the first few encounters, but then start laying on complications- some sort of goo is eating through their armour, or the zombie plague fluids are seeping in through unsealed joints.
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