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Old 01-22-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
PTTG
 
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Default A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

I built this for a long-term zombie game. It assumes the disease spreads through air and has a multi-day incubation period. Feel free to replace "San Fransisco" and "President" with suitable terms for your locale. With minor change, this setting can be used for a conventional disease disaster, and it works well with GURPS Zombies.

Zombie Schedule

Day -60:
. Patient 0 infected.
. A natural mutation occurs to an Indonesian disease. The new strain has a very long incubation period, an extremely high transmission rate, attacks the immune system directly, and spreads virulently. A very, very small proportion of those exposed to the disease react immediately and severely. It will eventually be designated VN08.

Day -56:
. P0 becomes contagious.

Day -52:
. P0 starts feeling ill.
. 8 other villagers are infected.

Day -51:
. P0 dies and reanimates. The zombie attacks caretakers and is trapped in a room. . It escapes and disappears into the wilderness while caretakers search for assistance.

Day -48:
. P55 infected.
. P2, P3, P4 all start feeling ill and enter into fever and coma by nightfall.

Day -47:
. P49, a Buddhist monk, rapidly falls ill. Refuses medical treatment, consumes only green tea. By nightfall becomes intensely feverish and comatose; meditates while concious.
. P2, P3, P4 die.

Day -46:
. P2-P4's remains reanimate, attack villagers, and are destroyed.
. P6, P7 start to fall ill.
. P49 is unconscious. Other villagers consider killing him, believing him to be soon to die and reanimate. They decide not to kill a holy man in cold blood.

Day -45:
. P6, P7 die and reanimate.
. Village begins to see strife. Buddhist villagers protect ailing, unconscious P49. Others wish to kill him and other ailing villagers.

Day -44:
. P49 awakes, is very weak. Buddhist villagers tell him of the events of the past days.

Day -43:
. No new villagers fall ill, though two who were already sick die and reanimate in the morning.
. P49, now strong enough to walk with assistance, visits grieving families.
. Villagers believe that the sickness or madness has passed.

Day -42:
. Four villagers fall ill. P49 and a small number of followers bless ailing villagers (Most likely P47 and P48), while others that fall ill later in the day are bound.

Day -41:
. All four previously ill villagers die and reanimate.
. P49 retreats to a shrine to meditate.
. One bound zombie breaks free and is destroyed; the other is locked in a trunk.
. The village calls for help.

Day -37:
. Over 1000 individuals have been infected.
. Some villagers visit the shrine while fleeing; sickness has taken a dozen people a night from the village for the past three days. Each morning, more villagers suffer from madness or demonic possession.

Day -35:
. Almost 2400 individuals have been infected.
. Approximately 90 zombies are active in the village region.
. 50 villagers, most of them travelling or caring for others, enter feverish comas, die, and reanimate.

Day -34:
. Soldiers responding to reports of sickness, insanity, and banditry approach the village, finding it abandoned.
. 70 zombies approach the caravan in small groups.
. Only one soldier is killed, though six are wounded approaching a small group early on in the day.
. They find P49 and the zombie stored in the trunk; it is still as active as it was initially.
. The soldiers retreat.

Day -33:
. 4000 individuals have been infected, and of them only 500 have shown size of disease.
. P49 relates the history of the past month.
* Indonesian authorities cover up the event as a volcanic gas release.


Day -31:
. 8000 individuals have been infected, a large number of them in Budapest.
. Infected American technician P25-1 flies back to the united states. Becomes contagious en route. Similar situations occur with hundreds of others.

Day -26:
. P25-1 reanimates, having died overnight. Zombie is destroyed by a neighbour later in the day.
. 40,000 individuals infected, many scattered throughout the world.
. By this time, the second individual to have an immediate response to the disease most likely has occurred somewhere in Indonesia, but that person is unknown.

Day -19:
* Budapest releases news that they are experiencing a major civil uprising. Martial law is declared, and transport in and out of the country is banned.
. In private talks with the UN and specific international groups, Indonesia explains its situation with the absolute minimum use of the word "zombie". This information sticks to the highest level of secrecy.

Day -18:
* Russia announces it is restricting travel into and out of the country due to "serious allegations of western espionage."
* Rumours begin to circulate that some kind of nuclear disaster has occurred in Indonesia, or possibly a coup.
. It is believed that approximately 200 individuals have been infected and have survived.
. 623,000 people have been infected with VN08.

Day -10:
. 30,000 individuals scattered throughout the united states enter the disabled stage of VN08 infection. In even the largest city, this is no more than a few hundred, widely scattered.
* North Korea closes all foreign contact entirely, leading to public discussion of potential sabre-rattling.

Day -9:
& The Conspiracy period begins. This is marked by widespread rumours and misinformation as the disease rapidly spreads but is not yet symptomatic.
During the Conspiracy period, there are eventually hints of unrest, but the world is outwardly normal over the vast majority of the world.
* CDC and other infectious disease organizations, working with homeland security and others, attempt to contain the infectious and disabled before they die and reanimate. This is done under the guise of a new flu.

Day -5:
* Rumours begin to emerge of black ops gone wrong, or some kind of massive cover-up, possibly involving US forces within the US.
* Paranoid types have already begun stockpiling by this point, and even the occasional "sane" person might quietly gather extra food.
* No clear rumours exist, but between East Asian concerns and other apocalyptic grumbling, there is a general feeling of unease.

Day -4:
* The President boards Air Force One following an "undisclosed terrorist threat".
* Rumours abound that a nuclear meltdown in the southwest pacific is being kept under wraps.
* News reports state that a new drug has entered the market which is similar to "bath salts" or PCP (often confused with LSD, cocaine, and marijuana by newscasters), and that the use of this is on the rise and causes violent episodes.

Day -3:
. 57 days after the first infection, approximately ten million people have been infected, mostly in Indonesia.
. In US, transit workers, the homeless, and migrant workers begin being rounded up, tested, and often quarantined.
. Air Force One refuels at a remote Canadian facility.
. Major news story regarding what is possibly a domestic terrorism act in LA.
. Paranoid individuals state that New World Order has genetically engineered a new black death.

Day -2:
. Globally, over six million zombies are active. Only a few hundred of these are in San Francisco, and almost all of them in extremely secluded government hospitals.
. Rumours begin to circulate of deaths related to the new "flu".
. By the end of the day, more than a thousand individuals enter San Francisco hospitals.
. Air Force One makes a dangerous water landing to securely transfer president to a waiting nuclear submarine; crew aboard left afloat in life raft.

Day -1:
. Hospitals see influx of new patients. Many of these early-symptomatic patients are destined to be survivors, because immediate immune system response is key to immunity. Later, this will feed rumours of survivability.
* National guard mobilized to assist in disease-fighting efforts; a secret team of approximately ten thousand elite soldiers is mobilized. This group works with hospitals and disposes of new zombies.

Day 0:
# PCs become infected.
. In the US, 20,00,000 individuals enter the disabled stage.
* Rumours abound of government troops seizing hospitals and executing cancer patients.

Last edited by PTTG; 01-24-2016 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocolypse

Day 1:
# Awaken in a hospital ward.
# Apparently trapped, government forces say that they aren't allowed to leave.
# A hospital worker speaks to one PC secretly, telling them that there's a terrible pandemic spreading, and that the government is trying to control it by incinerating carriers. He knows that the PCs don't have the disease, though. Why? Because they're still alive, and appear to be recovering. He gives them a serving of pain pills and tells them he'll try to help them escape, because the government has started executing patients to save time. They have your information on file- watch out for soldiers.
# PCs flee hospital, severely incapacitated.
# They have the run of the city, but if they are identified by soldiers, they will be taken for "questioning".
* 8.6% of the population has been disabled by the disease.

Day 2:
* Rumors abound.
# HT+3 to be healthy. On a failure, tired and nauseated. On a critical failure, still barely conscious.
* The city is active and nearly normal, but gunshots might be heard.
* 11.8% disabled.
* VP Speech
15:00 GMT (7:00 AM SF): The Vice President broadcasts an address informing the world of a major biological attack on the US that has caused "catatonia"; he says that "people have been practically turned into zombies by the disease, putting them into a comatose state." His broadcast warns people to follow all sanitary standards when caring for the sick and states that the US military is being mobilized to help. He says that, "given the short life-cycle of the disease," it will be possible to contain it entirely within a few days- but to do so, "we must prevent further spread of it from our urban centres". He pauses here, sighs deeply, and says that he is authorizing the continuation of military law for the purpose of keeping people within cities, but adds that within the next 24 hours, people will be able to travel out of cities to return home or reach relatives in rural areas. A cure has been found, and medical facilities are mass-producing it as we speak; as batches become available, it will be shipped to hospitals around the country for distribution. The broadcast is repeated throughout the day on all news channels.

Day 3:
# All PCs fully healthy
* A Riot, followed by a crackdown.
* 16% disabled
* Business is curtailed, people start hoarding but police and military forces work to prevent this.

Day 4:
* Uneasy calm
* Mounting, un-concealable "flu" deaths.
* Clear rumors of active zombies
* 21.6% disabled, most of them after nightfall. 132,000 zombies have been created in San Francisco, but 80% of these have been destroyed or contained.

Day 5:
* Panic.
* Looting, rioting, and harsh reprisals widespread.
* Hidden in the chaos, zombies begin to break from control.
* "Flu" dead collect in unmanageable numbers.
* 28.8% disabled.

Day 6:
* Near-Total civil collapse
* Blackouts and brownouts common. From now on, any city powered by fossil fuels (most cities) will have a 50% chance of permanent blackout every hour.
* Zombies are now widespread
* Military forces attempt to control zombies with shoot-on-sight tactics.
* Infectees dying extremely rapidly.
* 37.7% disabled. In San Francisco, more that 230,000 people have died and become zombies. Perhaps 50% of these were destroyed by military.

Day 7:
* Enclaves of survivors and military forces have begun to form, but are very weak.
* No naval or air forces available; military and police shoot any zombies seen.
* Tanks and APCs attempt to clear paths through the streets, but often get bogged down. The noise of the operation attracts zombies.
* Helicopters are present and active, ferrying supplies to troops, but are ordered not to land.
* 50% chance every hour after noon that the power will go out permanently. Localized areas of the grid might stay up longer.
* Panicking survivors may fire on anything they see, are often holed up in homes.
* Zombies wander the streets freely and in large groups.
* 48% disabled.

Day 8:
* 60.34%
* Pure civil chaos reigns. Military and police forces are not controlled and anyway are too badly weakened by disease themselves to function.
* Looters and scroungers are rampant.

Day 9:
* 72.59%
* From this point on, most encounters will be with zombies.
* Looters, Ex-soldiers, and others are practically indistinguishable now. Military gear gets used in traps a lot.

Day 10:
* 83.72%
* Note that by this point regular corpses are chocking some streets.
* Large fires spotted from individual structures. Water pressure still running. They burn out over several days.

Day 11:
* 92.22%
* Only a small number of uninfected survivors are active, and it's only a matter of time before they enter the Disabled stage of the disease.

Day 12:
* 97.29%
* Water pressure fails.
* Radio signals available:
- Looping government messages.
- Technical Difficulties
- Looping music from a few automated stations.
- Numbers stations
- Looping distress calls
- A handful of totally isolated HAM and other radio operators.
- Military broadcasts from a "Pacific Fleet", a collection of naval and civilian vessels that have been at sea for months.
> Ships may not come within visible range unless they have been at sea since (Day -9).
> Before they may come within 5 KM, they must wait at the edge of visibility for 7 days and have no visible disease at all.
> The Pacific Fleet is built up of two US aircraft carriers and a small number of associated ships, plus 35 varied other vessels.
> Intends to maintain the structure of the United States and rebuild.
> Declares "Naval Law" and total obedience to the "Emergency Council", made up of the command staff of the Aircraft Carriers and one commanding officer from each other vessel.
> Anyone on land should remain in place and await resupply from Pacific Fleet forces.

Day 13:
* Practically every human being, outside of environmentally-sealed enclaves and the immune, has died and become a zombie. As much as 20% of this number have been destroyed over the past few weeks, leaving at least 5.7 billion zombies world-wide.
* It's quiet.
* Unless you go on the streets.
* If you get spotted by one, they all come after you.

Day 19:
* Fire sweeps through a large area of residential SF.

Day 20:
* For months, fire will be an omnipresent danger in built-up areas. Eventually, anything susceptible to fires will either burn down or else have all normal ignition sources fail and won't burn unless started.

Day 37:
* Any grid section powered by a nuclear power plant has a 10% chance, every day, of shutting down. Solar, wind, and hydro powered sections may survive for months more.

Day 80:
* By this time, automated systems in some nuclear power plants have already shut them down safely, but several have failed in more problematic ways. Around this time, anyone with a giger counter may note that open areas have substantially higher radiation than closed areas; this seems to be higher in areas under circulating wind patterns, weaker in areas with frequent rain. It's not enough to be serious, but in GURPS terms, add one rad for each day spent largely outdoors in a normal area, one for every week spent mainly indoors, and double or halve that number for higher or lower rad environments. Working exclusively or near-exclusively indoors should be fine.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

So....

It's a more virilant form of the 1918 Spanish flu ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic ) coupled with governments refusing to seem weak or actually inform their people about the impending problems, and with a bonus of 'even after they die victims will still be mobile and spread the disease'?

I think some of your collapse of society items are a bit pessimistic, a big one that comes to mind is that outside of the US and Japan there are very few 'super-critical' reactors (IE reactors that will melt down if no one is there to operate them). Canada, India, China, Iran, France, and England all use 'sub-critical' reactors; IE something must be done to maintain the reaction, and if that something stops you end up fusing the reactor chamber, but no out of control meltdown takes place.

As well, with most people dead (and therefore not around to use power) the hydro, solar, geothermal, and wind power contributions will happily operate without human intervention likely for years (my own solar install kept power available for my neighbors and myself after a lightning strike took out a supply line and I have literally done no maintenance on the system in 5 years). Though that could provide some eerie effects. Go into a rest stop on the highway to scavenge food, and when the sun comes up the lights all turn on and the muzak starts playing over the PA system.

Similarly unless someone is going out of there way to actually break things I would expect the cellphone system, telephone system, street lighting/traffic lighting, and many internet backbones to happily work away for years after all human intervention stops (though it may be spotty due to power constraints).

Similarly, depending on source, running water will continue for some time (how good that water is for drinking would be a different story), at least until unchecked growth on aquifers clogs the pumps.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

I figure that even one super-critical reactor that fails badly with no human supervision will be pretty bad, even if it's just a conventional fire ignited by corium. A long, lingering radioactive fire just is not good.

As for the other plants, grids are pretty fragile, and most plants will enter alarm states soon even if they are still technically functioning. In one interview of a hoover dam tech, he said that the dam would shut down within a day or two just because of deadman's switches.

I assumed that there was a period where technicians shorted out some sensors just too keep the generators working as long as possible without maintenance.

Last edited by PTTG; 01-24-2016 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Budapest? Why are Indonesian soldiers flying to Hungary?

Apart from that, I like it.

But I agree with Starslayer: meltdowns are not that likely. Technicians aren't likely to sabotage nuclear power stations' safety features just to keep the lights on for a while. They are more likely to safely shut down the super-critical reactor as soon as it becomes clear that the number of technicians affected by the mystery disease will make it possible that there aren't enough to control it later. These people are protecting their own homes and families, remember, and know the consequences of a meltdown better than anyone else.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
Similarly unless someone is going out of there way to actually break things I would expect the cellphone system, telephone system, street lighting/traffic lighting, and many internet backbones to happily work away for years after all human intervention stops (though it may be spotty due to power constraints).
Most phone systems will go down in the panic. Is it automated enough to come back up on its own? I don't know. It probably is automated enough that no phones will be operating after a few months, for failure to pay bills. Same with Internet. Didn't receive your bill? Try calling customer service.

Power will pretty much be off in the US. Coal plants shut down within a day of the silos not being refilled. Nuclear within a week of nobody pushing "maintenance finished" buttons. Natural gas could work longer, but is limited to not only the gas production, but whatever power plants power each pump and valve on the pipe. And once power plants start going down, they drag the whole system down due to load imbalances. Hydro, solar and wind might continue operating for some time, but they are about 8% of the US power production, and there won't be much of a grid left to power.
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Most phone systems will go down in the panic. Is it automated enough to come back up on its own? I don't know. It probably is automated enough that no phones will be operating after a few months, for failure to pay bills. Same with Internet. Didn't receive your bill? Try calling customer service.

Power will pretty much be off in the US. Coal plants shut down within a day of the silos not being refilled. Nuclear within a week of nobody pushing "maintenance finished" buttons. Natural gas could work longer, but is limited to not only the gas production, but whatever power plants power each pump and valve on the pipe. And once power plants start going down, they drag the whole system down due to load imbalances. Hydro, solar and wind might continue operating for some time, but they are about 8% of the US power production, and there won't be much of a grid left to power.
1. The US does not represent the entire world, but I am actually suprised to hear that only 8% of US power is renewable (I thought you guys had a lot more hydro-power) <reference: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3 says 12% which is close enough to what Ryan Said >

2. However that is locally based. Power in say, the Niagara region gets 80+% of its power from the dam, which will happily keep chugging away for decades after all human intervention stops.

As far as requirements, that's kind of the point

If consumption is only 8% of peak, then renewables will be able to cover 100% of useage even if they only provide 8% of the grid total capacity, because only 8% of the grid is actually being utilized.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
1. The US does not represent the entire world, but I am actually suprised to hear that only 8% of US power is renewable (I thought you guys had a lot more hydro-power) <reference: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3 says 12% which is close enough to what Ryan Said >

2. However that is locally based. Power in say, the Niagara region gets 80+% of its power from the dam, which will happily keep chugging away for decades after all human intervention stops.

As far as requirements, that's kind of the point

If consumption is only 8% of peak, then renewables will be able to cover 100% of useage even if they only provide 8% of the grid total capacity, because only 8% of the grid is actually being utilized.
Yeah, but it won't be a soft landing. Considering the chaos, most urban areas will have at least localized fires, and some of those fires will take down lines, and some of those lines will short, and that means that sections of the grid will cut out. That, in turn will cause cascading failures that will cut the continental grids apart.

So the gift shop at Hoover will have power. Houses that have solar panels will work. Maybe a neighborhood right next to the nuclear plant will have power for a few days. But unless there's a good reason the power's still on, it'll be out everywhere.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Cool timeline. I think an infectious disease with long latency like this is a more realistic way for Z-day to come than a zombie plague spread purely by zombie bite.

I notice you have a lot of detail about what's going on in San Francisco. I'd be prepared for your PC's to get out of the city as soon as they can.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: A suitable timeline for a Zombie Apocalypse

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
1. The US does not represent the entire world, but I am actually suprised to hear that only 8% of US power is renewable (I thought you guys had a lot more hydro-power) <reference: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3 says 12% which is close enough to what Ryan Said >
I was talking specifically about the US, since the OP put the game setting in the US. I think I saw the same page, but I must have added it up wrong. I think I read the 4.4 for wind as 0.4. Call it 11-12%.

Whatever it is, the panic will leave a lot of power consumers on until power producers start failing. That's toxic to grid stability. In 2003, a software error that prevented an alarm from a single failure in a power line in Ohio knocked out power to 55 million people across the Northeast US and Ontario.
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