"Besides, you need to rest, and we have no idea where anything approaching 'safe' can be found." Mark said, rather grim. "With all the trees its hard to tell if those are people, or the creepers. We need to be careful as we approach."
"I don't like the idea of going in there." Horace said flatly. "If they are good people, why are they here?"
"Have you looked around?" Dawn asked incredulously "The safest places are away from cities. This could be perfect - they have a river and lake nearby, plenty of cover with the trees, and not an easy way to approach."
"I know, I just don't like it. Our luck hasn't been that good, not in a while." Horace replied. "Still, it would be nice to have some new people to talk to for a change."
"We'll be careful. Keep your eyes open, and if there is trouble we'll fight our way out." Mark said. "Horace, drive us in there."
The group is crossing the Wisconsin River, in central Wisconsin. They have avoided one voluntary encounter, but have an involuntary encounter at the river bridge. Rather than set up a standard encounter, I have set up a series of PEF markers, and as the group approaches each one (drawing line of sight within 12") they have a basic check to pass, which will help decide what the actual encounter is (good/neutral/bad). At each point I will also roll to spawn models, but they will not trigger any tests until the last marker is activated.
|They need some work...|
It is morning, in a rural area. No PEFs or zombies start on the board. Zombies will only appear after doubles have been rolled to start the turn, and then on a 6. That can change depending on what the final marker reveals for the scenario as well. Allen is active, but is only a rep 3 instead of rep 4 for this scenario.
|The group enters and sees the first marker|
"Just go through the cones." Mark said to Horace. "We will head to the house."
The group passes 1D, and discards one each of good and bad cards. They pass 2D and nothing spawns.
|Turning the corner, they see marker 2|
"The trees are getting thicker here, its hard to see anything." Mark replied.
Again the group passes 1D. They also pass 2D for the spawn check, and nothing appears.
|Marker number 3|
"I think I saw someone along the road when we turned!" Allen said, a bit shocked after not seeing anyone. "I didn't get a good look, but I think he was armed."
This is getting crazy, again the group passes 1D, and 1D for the spawn. This time 1 figure appears, an apparent ganger.
|Moving towards number 4|
"It's too late for that. Turning around isn't an option, and backing up will be tough too." Horace said, eying the road and parked trucks. "This looks like someone is ready to roll out of here in a hurry if needed."
Marker 4 comes up, and the group passes 1D yet again. They pass 1d for spawn, and another figure appears near the first ganger, this time a survivor.
|A survivor joins the ganger|
|The final marker|
|The Family Appears|
"I hope this isn't a trap." Mark said, checking his pistol.
Horace guided the SUV towards the end of the driveway. The wheels crunched to a stop on the broken pavement, and everyone got out, approaching warily.
"Hello! I am Greg Evens, this is my family retreat." Gesturing around to the large house and docks. "We've been trying to help folks who come by. Is there anything you need or want to trade?"
"Sorry if we don't just trust you folks right away." Mark said, resting one hand on his holstered pistol. "We have had some... unpleasant encounters recently."
|The group meets the family|
I used a standard meet and greet, and both sides scored 2 successes. As the scenario starts to unfold, each time someone is split off from the group, or if the group member enters a different area (building or room, some of the road sections) they run a meet and greet, if they score more than the family, they figure out something is wrong. How they react will depend on the situation.
"Oh my! You look like you've been shot!" The older woman said as she saw Allen. "Please, let Doctor James help you!"
"I'll be fine." Allen said through gritted teeth. "I've had worse, and at least its not a bite."
"Nonsense! Please, let the doctor treat you." Greg said as he pulled out a walkie-talkie. "Doc, you have a patient." Without waiting for a response, he continued "Sandy, why don't you and the boys take our guest to Doc James."
"Well, if you have a doctor..." Allen said, sounding exhausted.
"Allen, maybe we should stick together." Horace said.
"Nah, I'll be right back. He can patch me up and I'll be good to go." Allen said and walked with the group into the house.
The group scored zero successes to three for the family. Allen goes willingly with three family members into the house.
|Allen has left|
|Leading Allen through the house|
"I'm fine. The doc works in the back?" Allen asked as he looked around the dinning room.
"We try to keep him safe, not many doctors out there!" Sandy laughed. "Besides, I think likes being close to the kitchen!"
Aww, come on! Allen scored 1 success to 3 by the family with him. He lets them lead him through the house to the basement stairs and down. Meanwhile, outside things don't go any better...
"Say, its Dawn, right? Why don't we join the other girls?" Mrs Evans offered to Dawn. "I'd love to hear about where you have been and what has happened to you all." She began walking down the driveway.
"Sure, we can chat about our trip so far." Dawn said as she walked along with the older woman. As they walked away, another group of family members passed them, heading towards the house.
Mark and Horace stood chatting with Greg, discussing the food and fuel situation, not paying attention to the family members beginning to surround them.
|Dawn wanders off|
Continuing the theme, the group separates further, but they still can't get anything better than even rolls. Mark made 2 successes to 2 success for Greg (the Family leader.) Dawn made 1 success to 2 as she is led towards a small stone building.
|Dawn is led away|
|Still no idea|
Allen walked through the kitchen, following Sandy down the stairs into the basement. As they rounded the stairs into the dimly lit room, Allen sensed a problem. "You guys keep your doctor in the basement?"
"It can be the safest place." Sandy offered, turning to face Allen. "Its nice and quiet as well."
Allen paled. "So that's how it is..."
|Allen finally senses a problem|
|Allen rises to the occasion|
Sandy shook her head, pulled out her radio and broadcast one word. "Bulldog."
Allen won the first combat 1 success to 0. He then scored an obviously dead. Apparently he has been saving his good rolls! The second combat was evenly matched at 1 success each. Sandy chose to alert the family that there is a problem in the basement.
With a crackle, the radio on Greg's belt came on and a woman's voice said "Bulldog." Horace looked Greg in the eyes, and saw them change from friendly to cold. For a brief moment, their eyes locked. Horace knew everything had just changed.
"Mark, Take the left!" Horace racked his shotgun and spun around.
The radio launches the groups into a showdown, and we do in sight tests.
|Mark gets the drop on everyone|
Mark wheeled around pulling out his pistol. He saw one of the men raising his own pistol. Without thinking, mark fired twice, watching his target drop to ground, yelling from two gut shots.
|Mark shoots one|
|Horace evens the odds|
Dawn goes through an in sight test as well. She is tied with one family member, and two of the three remaining will go after her. They are spread out, so she will not be able to shoot at more than one at a time.
With an electronic crackle from the radio Dawn heard "Bulldog." Everyone stopped moving, and she heard weapons being drawn. "Just take it easy, dear." Mrs Evans said, trying to sound calm. "You don't need to worry over those nasty men any longer. We will love to have you join us!"
"I don't think so." Dawn said and raised her SMG.
|Dawn is in a bad place|
|This can only be trouble|
|Shots from Mrs. Evans miss|
|Dawn's luck doesn't hold|
The next turn Mark gets initiative, and he and Horace go on the offensive.
|Mark confronts their attacker|
Mark's gun barked twice and Greg's head snapped back, spraying blood into the trees. "Mine too."
|Mark kills the leader of the family|
|Horace starts his run|
|Horace shows no mercy|
|Horace has Mrs Evans in his sights|
"Horace! Wait!" Mark yelled as he watched Horace run towards the other group.
Horace paused in the road, and fired his shotgun. Mrs. Evans dropped to the ground, blood pooling around her crumpled form.
|Horace kills Mrs. Evans|
|The remaining family members move up and attack|
The pop-zing of pistol shots rang out around Horace and he realized the last two family members were moving forward and shooting at him. Looking ahead, he saw a woman sling a chainsaw and pull out a shotgun. The barrel looked like a tunnel as he watched her take aim.
"Mark, there's still two here!" Horace shouted just before the shotgun fired.
|Allen holds on in the basement|
The next turn, Team Mark gets initiative, and Mark moves up, triggering an in sight test.
|Mark wins the test|
|Mark kills one family member|
|Close range shoot out|
|The outside is clear!|
|Mark doesn't bother knocking|
Allen struggled with the young man trying to knock him out. As they twisted the bit in each others hands, Allen felt a sharp pain in he right shoulder. His gunshot wound blossomed out blood, giving Allens attacker an opening. Darkness swam across Allen and he was knocked out, falling to the floor.
|Allen is knocked out|
Allen finally looses combat, and goes Out of the Fight. This leaves one active family member and Mark to settle the issue.
Mark moves through the house (I rolled to see which way he would go) slowly clearing rooms as he moves.
|Mark explores the house|
In the basement, the last family member drags Allen to a cell. The creaking door gives Mark a chance to figure out they are in the basement (which he does with a pass 2D check).
|Allen goes into a cell|
Mark moved through the silent house, expecting someone to jump out at any time. He couldn't hear any movement from above, and he moved cautiously through the living room and kitchen. Suddenly a loud metallic screech sounded out, clearly from the basement. Mark rand to the nearby stairs, pistol at the ready,
As he rounded the bottom of the stairs, he could see one of the family members turning from an old rusty metal cage door. Without hesitating, Mark fired twice, killing the man where he stood.
|Mark surprises the last family member...|
|...and finishes him off quickly.|
"Hey...can you help me?" A weak voice called out from a cage. "I need to get out of here."
Mark first checked on Allen, he was unconscious, but alive. Mark walked past the cage, checking the final room. It was clearly a slaughterhouse, with dried blood poorly cleaned up, and...parts... still scattered about the room. Mark stood for a moment, expression hardening, before turning back. He stopped at the cell door.
"If you turn out to be one of them, I will make you suffer." Mark said coldly.
"No way! Let me out and I'll be your man!" He coughed a bit. "I've been here for days, these monsters kill and eat people!"
"I'll get you out." The lock was simple enough for Mark to break open. "I'm Mark."
"Issac. I'm going to grab some stuff, you got a car?"
|Mark meets Issac|
Mark runs a meet and greet with Issac (survivor, Rep 4, Initiative) and gets an offer to join. I would consider looting, but Mark is just going to gather up Allen and Dawn and get them in the SUV. With the creepiness of the family, Mark is not going to take any food. There are a few vehicles, so I rule he can gather d6 fuel (I roll a 5!) and of course, any weapons that were used.
Issac grabs a BA pistol and a melee weapon (an axe) and joins the group. Overall, the group gains 2 sets of body armor, a shotgun and another chainsaw, plus 2 BAP and 4 pistols. No food, but the 5 units of fuel will help.
I never rolled doubles for activation, so no zombies have spawned. With the gunfire, I figure zombies are on their way. The group is hurt, and are going to have to find someplace to recover. At least they can cross the river, removing one obstacle to their journey. Rather than stick around, Mark torches the house and they drive off.
After the battle both Dawn and Allen recover, and stay with the group. Horace was lost, but at least they met Issac, and made some progress. The next scenario will be a take and hold of a small building they can stay in for a bit.
Sorry for the delay in this batrep, work has been keeping me extra busy the past couple of weeks...