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Old 05-19-2015, 03:25 PM   #1
Onkl
 
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Default [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

Hi guys

I love GURPS Zombies and the supplement Day One for it. I am in the process of implementing an "Ultimate Zombie-Fighters" campaign.

In my game, Iceland is safe from Zombies, making it the HQ of human zombie resistance. The party will operate from Iceland. My UZF campaign will differ from the one suggested in the book by the availability of gear. As the party has Duty and will get specific missions from a superior they can also expect to get gear. Action 2 as well as Social Engineering: Pulling Rank has suggestions to handle this. My problem is with firearms in the game I envision:

How can I keep my players from all just going the gunslinger route?

The obvious answer is: make ammo scarce. This however, is at odds with the campaign premise - they are after all the Ultimate Zombie-Fighters, the last hope of humanity. So they should get all the ammo they need.

Never the less, I want to make firearms, especially rapid fire, usage unadvisable. So I have come up with the following:

At the end of every round a firearm or explosives have been used, the GM rolls against a base number of 8, modified by the following:

+1 from Assault Rifles, Rifles, LMGs; +2 from HMGs, Grenades; +3 from LAW, Explosives; any RoF Bonus the players got (Shotguns are special, they get +1 for every cartridge fired); any penalty to hearing a silencer gives

Example: The party has four members: PC_1 fires his silenced pistol RoF 3 (-1), PC_2 fires his shotgun three times (+3), PC_3 fires his assault rifle RoF 11 (+1 +2), PC_4 detonates an explosives trap (+3): 8 -1 +3 +1 +2 +3 = 16. The GM rolls a 10, MoS is 6.

The GM now looks up the effect on the following table, N equals the number of party members:

Code:
MoS	
0	N x 2 Walker
1	N x 2 Walker, N/2 Runner
2	N x 2 Walker, N/2 Jumper
3	N x 2 Walker, N/2 Runner, N/2 Jumper
4	N x 3 Walker, N/2 Runner, N/2 Jumper, N/4 Tank (Min. 1)
5	N x 3 Walker, N/2 Runner, N/2 Jumper, N/4 Stalker (Min. 1)
6	N x 3 Walker, N/2 Runner, N/2 Jumper, N/4 Tank (Min. 1), N/4 Stalker (Min. 1)
7	N x 3 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N/2 Tank (Min. 2)
8	N x 3 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N/2 Stalker (Min. 2)
9	N x 3 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N/2 Tank (Min. 2), N/2 Stalker (Min. 2)
10	N x 4 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N Tank
11	N x 4 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N Stalker
12	N x 4 Walker, N Runner, N Jumper, N Tank, N Stalker
13	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Tank
14	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Stalker
15	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Tank, N x 1.5 Stalker
16	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Tank
17	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Stalker
18	N x 6 Walker, N x 2 Runner, N x 2 Jumper, N x 1.5 Tank, N x 1.5 Stalker
19	N x 8 Walker, N x 4 Runner, N x 4 Jumper, N x 2 Tank
20	N x 8 Walker, N x 4 Runner, N x 4 Jumper, N x 2 Stalker
21	N x 8 Walker, N x 4 Runner, N x 4 Jumper, N x 2 Tank, N x 2 Stalker
22	N x 10 Walker, N x 6 Runner, N x 6 Jumper, N x 3 Tank
23	N x 10 Walker, N x 6 Runner, N x 6 Jumper, N x 3 Stalker
24	N x 10 Walker, N x 6 Runner, N x 6 Jumper, N x 3 Tank, N x 3 Stalker
These Zombies will then join the fight at the start of the next round.

So, what do you think?

Cheers

Onkl
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkl View Post
Never the less, I want to make firearms, especially rapid fire, usage unadvisable. So I have come up with the following...
So, making noise attracts more zombies? You might want to consider how other kinds of loud noise might affect this. Edit: And how the players may use this to attract lots of zombies to a bomb.

How do you want them to fight zombies? Melee weapons? Bows/crossbows? Fire?

Considering what you want to happen, as well as what you don't want, seems like a good idea.

Last edited by johndallman; 05-19-2015 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Brain became slightly engaged.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
So, making noise attracts more zombies? You might want to consider how other kinds of loud noise might affect this.
That would not be to difficult to emulate, as you can look up the noise a gunshot makes and go from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
How do you want them to fight zombies? Melee weapons? Bows/crossbows? Fire?

Considering what you want to happen, as well as what you don't want, seems like a good idea.
Yes, I would like them to use melee weapons, slings, bows... but still have a backup firearm. Also, I do not want to invalidate a gunslinger. I just don't see how I can balance it when ammo is - besides weight - not a problem.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

When I want to make guns less awesome I apply a maximum damage rule.
If the target has injury tolerance unliving or homogeneous and no blood then the maximum damage they can take from a single attack/bullet is equal to the wounding modifier times the targets hit points.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkl View Post
Yes, I would like them to use melee weapons, slings, bows... but still have a backup firearm. Also, I do not want to invalidate a gunslinger. I just don't see how I can balance it when ammo is - besides weight - not a problem.
You need to have a careful look at p110 of Zombies, which deals with wounding modifiers. If your zombies are Unliving, then firearms have greatly reduced effects on them, except for their Skull and Vitals locations, and Cutting attacks are fully effective. If your zombies also lack Vitals, then firearms are only effective on skull shots, which are at large penalties.

To make your players somewhat happy about this idea, some kind of immunity to being infected by the zombies would explain why they have the job.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
You need to have a careful look at p110 of Zombies, which deals with wounding modifiers. If your zombies are Unliving, then firearms have greatly reduced effects on them, except for their Skull and Vitals locations, and Cutting attacks are fully effective. If your zombies also lack Vitals, then firearms are only effective on skull shots, which are at large penalties.

To make your players somewhat happy about this idea, some kind of immunity to being infected by the zombies would explain why they have the job.
It is a campaign premise that everyone must take Immunity to Zombie Plague [5]. Also, they will be very powerful characters, I expect them to start out with targeted attack / head. Day One suggests that the PC start out with 250-400 points, the template - as I have it now - is at 350 points.

Firearms are just so much more powerful than any muscle powered weapon. I guess that's my main problem. I think Day One hints at making ammo scarce to balance that.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

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Originally Posted by Onkl View Post
Firearms are just so much more powerful than any muscle powered weapon.
And magnitudes louder than any muscle-powered weapon.

The notion that the PCs should face repercussions for reckless employment of firearms is a good and correct one, but I'm pretty "meh" on what basically amounts to an "Apparating Zombie" mechanic. It results in a weird outcome of "We cleared all of the rooms except this one, shot the occupant, and one second later zombies came pouring out of the cleared rooms."

Which isn't to say zombies shouldn't come to the shootin' party. But it should take them some time to get there, depending on what kind of environment the party is in. If you're in a popular commercial or residential district, there are probably more zombies and it'll probably take them less time to arrive. If you're on Bubba Johnson's Ranch, there should be fewer zombies and they're likely to be rather far away.

I don't know what the particular numbers should be, but I'd probably say something like this: The first time a firearm is discharged in an area, make a roll to figure out what "spawns." (Base the roll on where they are at least as much as what they're shooting, but louder shots carry further and therefore attract more zombies.) Then use the Hearing Distance table to estimate approximately how far away they are, based on firearm volume and with adjustments based on former-population density. Maybe add a random element to distance as well, particularly on a per-zombie (or something) basis. That gives you a distance for "Okay, the zombie result spawns X yards away, off-screen." Each zombie in the "Spawn" moves towards the sound of the gunshot at its usual move.

Continued shooting results in additional rolls, but rather than adding the result to the original result, simply take whatever the difference is and add that (so whatever the worst result is is always the one that's in effect). So if in one round you get MoS 0, and the next round (continued shooting) gets MoS 1, then you end up with 2×N Walkers (who have already had one round of moving towards the shooting) and N/2 Runners (who have not), rather than 2×N Walkers (with one round of movement), 2×N Walkers (with no movement), and N/2 Runners (with no movement).

If you wanted, you could even say that each round of continued shooting adds a minimum of +1 (cumulative) to the "effective skill" for that round's Zombie Appearance Roll (ZAR).

------------------

I realize that was a lot of rambling and not a lot of meat, for which I apologize and blame having just finished exercising, but hopefully my overall point got across.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

There's also the direct "modify your zombies" route. Maybe the zombies are the result of a super-soldier experiment gone wrong.

"These nanomachines will adapt the living skin of our soldiers into an organic ballistic armor, allowing our boys to resist bullets! Don't worry, we have a plan for reversing it when they leave the service – and of course we intend to develop special IVs and other medical gear."

"Uh, Colonel Smith, the test subjects are eating Corporal Rogers."

There's nothing wrong with saying the zombie plague gives something like DR 14 (Limited, Piercing, -40%) [42] or Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction 3; Limited, Piercing, -40%) [45].
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
And magnitudes louder than any muscle-powered weapon.

The notion that the PCs should face repercussions for reckless employment of firearms is a good and correct one, but I'm pretty "meh" on what basically amounts to an "Apparating Zombie" mechanic. It results in a weird outcome of "We cleared all of the rooms except this one, shot the occupant, and one second later zombies came pouring out of the cleared rooms."

Which isn't to say zombies shouldn't come to the shootin' party. But it should take them some time to get there, depending on what kind of environment the party is in. If you're in a popular commercial or residential district, there are probably more zombies and it'll probably take them less time to arrive. If you're on Bubba Johnson's Ranch, there should be fewer zombies and they're likely to be rather far away.
Instead of having just a basevalue of 8, there are now several base values:

4 - very low zombie density (Bubba Johnson's Ranch)
6 - low zombie density
8 - medium zombie density
10 - high zombie density
12 - very high zombie density (Hong Kong)

Also, when clearing a house/area of Zombies, you just lower the basevalue to reflect the new density after a battle. Or if clearing the last room, don't roll at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
I don't know what the particular numbers should be, but I'd probably say something like this: The first time a firearm is discharged in an area, make a roll to figure out what "spawns." (Base the roll on where they are at least as much as what they're shooting, but louder shots carry further and therefore attract more zombies.) Then use the Hearing Distance table to estimate approximately how far away they are, based on firearm volume and with adjustments based on former-population density. Maybe add a random element to distance as well, particularly on a per-zombie (or something) basis. That gives you a distance for "Okay, the zombie result spawns X yards away, off-screen." Each zombie in the "Spawn" moves towards the sound of the gunshot at its usual move.

Continued shooting results in additional rolls, but rather than adding the result to the original result, simply take whatever the difference is and add that (so whatever the worst result is is always the one that's in effect). So if in one round you get MoS 0, and the next round (continued shooting) gets MoS 1, then you end up with 2×N Walkers (who have already had one round of moving towards the shooting) and N/2 Runners (who have not), rather than 2×N Walkers (with one round of movement), 2×N Walkers (with no movement), and N/2 Runners (with no movement).

If you wanted, you could even say that each round of continued shooting adds a minimum of +1 (cumulative) to the "effective skill" for that round's Zombie Appearance Roll (ZAR).

------------------

I realize that was a lot of rambling and not a lot of meat, for which I apologize and blame having just finished exercising, but hopefully my overall point got across.
Lot's of good ideas. I'll have to see what I can make of it and get back to you.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Zombies] my Ultimate Zombie-Fighters game

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There's also the direct "modify your zombies" route. Maybe the zombies are the result of a super-soldier experiment gone wrong.

"These nanomachines will adapt the living skin of our soldiers into an organic ballistic armor, allowing our boys to resist bullets! Don't worry, we have a plan for reversing it when they leave the service – and of course we intend to develop special IVs and other medical gear."

"Uh, Colonel Smith, the test subjects are eating Corporal Rogers."

There's nothing wrong with saying the zombie plague gives something like DR 14 (Limited, Piercing, -40%) [42] or Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction 3; Limited, Piercing, -40%) [45].
The simplest solutions are the best solutions. And I usually don't come up with those.

I'll have to play around with the numbers and see what DR I give my baseline walker. Thanks Kromm!
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