Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Movin' On Up

Swerving around dead cars and wrecks, Dawn hammered the engine of the yellow hatchback, driving towards the highway.  "We came in on the interstate, the bridge should still be open.  We'll cross there and head east as far and as fast as we can go."  Dawn jerked the car right as she clipped a zombie.  "It had better be open..."
Larry looked out the passenger side window.  "Is that a helicopter?"  he asked and turned on the cars radio.  "The military broadcasts warnings if they are flying in certain areas."  Larry said as Dawn looked at what Larry was doing.  The radio beeped and scanned through the channels, stopping after a few seconds.
"...civilians are advised to avoid the I-494 corridor.  Military maneuvers are ongoing and no warning shots will be fired.  Move away or stay indoors if you are near this area.  Once again, The US armed forces are active and civilians are advised to avoid the I-494 corridor..."  Static crackled in and out as the message repeated.  Larry turned off the radio as Dawn reached the on ramp for the interstate.
"We should stay away, the military will shoot up the car.  I heard about gangs trying to hit convoys with car bombs, the grunts shoot first and ask questions later now."  Larry said as Dawn stopped the car.
A dark mass of zombies filled the roadway a few miles away.  Stragglers were shuffling along the road, and dark plumes of smoke rose in the distance.  Both could see helicopters circling and firing into the horde, their shots not having any apparent effect.
Larry looked around, seeing zombies shuffling closer, and some of the helicopters coming near their car.  "I think we need to get off the street.  All we need is for the flyboys to decide to hit us with a rocket."
"I agree."  Dawn gunned the car across the overpass, leaving the highway behind.  "I have an idea, hang on!"  Dawn turned off the avenue, down a smaller side street with office buildings lining each side.
"Where are you going?'  Larry asked.  "This is just office buildings..."
"We need a place that had few people, and hopefully no zeds right now.  I doubt many people ran back to work after the first few days."  Dawn smiled and continued.  "Right there.  We'll head up stairs in that small office building.  Looks like some of it is empty even.  Perfect!"
Dawn swerved the car hard to the left, avoided a light post, drove up a small walkway and crashed through the glass doors to the lobby.  "We're here!"  she yelled as she shut off the car.  "Let's get out and see what we have to deal with."

Dawn has taken over for my star, she was already Rep 4, armed with a SMG and machete with 'Logical' as an attribute.  As a star I get to pick her second attribute, and I choose 'Tough as Nails' which allows her to ignore the first human inflicted OOF or dead result per game.  Larry is Rep 4, and I roll for an attribute for him (I didn't have one generated for him previously) and get 'Attractive'.  This gives him a +1 on people rolls with the opposite sex.  Larry is armed with a shotgun and BAP, plus a baseball bat.

This scenario is Dawn and Larry trying to find a place to hole up for a few days to let the zeds calm down in the area.  Dawn has crashed through the doors of a five story building, and the scenario is the two of them clearing the building.

There will be a few special rules for this game:
1.  Zombies spawn from gunfire, but not more than twice per floor.  I have three different sets of zombies, so I can keep this straight.  It is still an urban setting, so zombies will appear on a 4+
2.  Zombies will spawn at 6" not 12" away.  If the direction is outside the building, they will be just inside, in the direction indicated, even if closer than 6".  This applies to appearing in blocked in areas as well.
3.  Each floor will be considered a PEF, and when opening the door the floor's inhabitants will be determined.  I am going to draw the risks and rewards card for the number of zombies for the floor.  Some floors may have additional rooms which will have separate checks for zombies as well. The elevators are stuck on random floors.
4.  One floor will be a special floor, and will include a PEF, which may be a survivor, gangers, etc. per the standard rules for a PEF.  Which floor this is will be randomly determined by rolling a number equal to or less than the number of floors explored on a d6 when the floor is explored.
5.  Before opening the door for any floor, there is a 1 in 6 chance of d3 zombies attacking the group in the stairwell.  Shots will generate zombies from this encounter, but they will not count towards the max number of zombies for the floor.
6.  Searching for items will be using the risks and rewards deck, but two cards have to be drawn, if they match, then the item is found.  The Carolee card is a 'wild' card and counts ass a match for anything.  This is a test of an idea I had for more scarce resources.

Each floor is a 12"x12" area, and is based on a piece of scrapbook paper.  Each floor has elevators and the stairwell in common locations.  Most of the office decorations are from Tommygun (excellent stuff if you haven't seen it!) and a few parts are my own creations.  Most appeared back at the start of my campaign in the office setting for the second report I had.

Glass still made tinkling, popping sounds as Dawn got out of the car.  She tossed the keys into a nearby potted plant.  "We'll leave the keys here, just remember that's where they are."
A low groan and shuffling sounds sounded in the empty lobby.  "We have company!"  Larry yelled as several zombies wandered towards the car.
Is this a legal parking space?
Dawn and Larry moved through the lobby firing at the zeds as they appeared.  Undead office workers shambled out of the shadows, reaching for the living intruders.  "They're all over!"  Larry yelled as he fired his shotgun.  "We need to move!"
The first three zeds are down
More zeds appear
Larry put his shotgun away and pulled out his pistol, running from the zombies rising from the lounge area.  "I'm out!  Those things are right here!"
"Just keep moving, we'll fight them near the stairs!"  Dawn yelled, blasting the nearest zombie in the face.  Once it's clear, we can head up."
Head for the stairs
Almost clear
Larry knocked down the last zombie, finishing it off with a stomp on its head.  "That was the last of them down here."
"Let's look around and finish clearing the building."  Dawn said, checking her ammo.
Quick search of the lobby
Finding nothing useful, Dawn led the way into the stairwell.  Stairs going up and down greeted her and Larry.  "We'll go down first, no sense going all the way upstairs just to come back down."
"It looks like it will be dark down there."  Larry said, reloading his shotgun, but putting it back in his pack.  "Do you have a plan for that?"
Dawn was already putting on her phone, putting it on an athletic armband.  "This should work as a flashlight well enough."  The light was pretty bright from the phone, and the pair walked down the stairs carefully.
Entering the basement
Two maintenance zombies
Opening the door to the maintenance area in the basement, Dawn and Larry could hear the zombies shuffling around before they saw them.  In the moving light from Dawn's phone, the pair lined up the zombies and shot.  The gunshots sounded like thunder in the dark basement.
"Got 'em!"  Larry yelled in victory.
A dark form rose behind Larry, a form the pair didn't see as they entered the room...
A zombie appears right between Larry and Dawn!
The zombie attacked Larry, who just managed hold off the biting jaws as it grabbed him from behind.  Larry turned around, struggling with the zombie.  Dawn heard the struggle, and turned to see Larry fighting to stay alive.  "Hang on!" She yelled and charged with her machete.
Dawn and Larry face the zombie
They finish off the zombie, and do a quick search, but find nothing.  There will be useful items, just not anything from the risks and rewards deck.  The pair start back up the stairs...

The second floor is a server room.  Only a lone zombie is present, some poor IT worker who got caught here during the apocalypse.
Nearly empty server floor
They move towards the zombie

Dawn charges the lone zed
Dawn chopped the zombie in the head with her machete, its lifeless form collapsing in a pile.  "It seems it was just this one."  Dawn said, looking around the room.  "Let's quick check for anything useful."
"Too bad there's no power, I wonder if we could get some sort of news from any of this."  Larry looked around the rather stark room.  "Do you suppose there is anything in these desks?"
Searching the desk they find some food
Time to check the bathroom
The bathroom turned out to be empty.  Dawn and Larry head upstairs to the third floor.

Steps echoing on the concrete stairs, Dawn lead the way up to the third floor.  The door was still open a crack, and waning daylight filtered from the windows in the offices.  "The door is open, I hope the floor is empty."  Dawn said as she reached for the handle.
A sudden thump from the stairs up made her pause.  Zombies stumbled down the stairs, emerging from the darkness into the light on the stairwell.  Stretching out their rotting arms, the zombies crashed into Dawn and Larry.
Zombies on the stairs
Dawn shoots one while the other attacks Larry
Larry cracked the zombie in the head with the bat, gratified at the splattering of brains and bone as it hit the floor.  "HA!  Got 'em!"  Larry gave a victory yell.
"Yeah, but there are more out in the offices."  Shuffling and moaning sounds sounded from beyond the door.   "We're not done yet!"  Dawn said, readying her SMG.
Zombies in the offices
Trapped on the stairs?
The zombies activated and the survivors didn't get to act.  Pretty quickly the zombies closed in on the stairs, trapping Dawn and Larry in the stairwell.
Shoot through the doorway
Dawn fired and managed to down one zombie, and Larry and her moved past the shambling undead into the office.  After moving, the zombies closed in again...
Not the best shooting
Plenty more zeds...
Dawn fired, killing one zed with a spray of bullets.  She ran towards the stairs, trying to limit the way zombies could get to her.  "Over here Larry!  We can't spread out too much!"
Larry drilled the two zombies near him, but only knocked them down.  "Damn!  They're getting back up!"  he yelled as he ran towards Dawn.
Here come the zombies
Better shooting but still plenty of zombies
Shots rang out, and several zombies collapsed to the floor.  The last few zombies closed in on Dawn and Larry, desperate to get to the living.  "They're still coming!"  Larry yelled as the zombies surged forward.
The first zombie reaches Larry
Larry knocks the zombie back
The zombies strike first
But are no match for the survivors
After the last zombie slumped to the floor, Dawn leaned against the wall, catching her breath.  "It seems clear now."  She gasped slowly.
"We'll take a quick look around then."  Larry said, smiling.  "Hopefully the vending machines are full!"
Empty?  Rotten luck!
Searching the floor yields nothing useful, not even from the vending machines.  The next floor turns out to be the special encounter, and includes one PEF.
Three zeds and a 'hidden' PEF
As I start this floor, doubles come up for activation, and I get 'Slippery Road'.  I mark out an area 4"x4"just inside the door.  This will make things more interesting...

Hopefully the zombies fall also...
Dawn walked out the door, taking aim on a zombie.  She suddenly slipped on some ball bearings scattered on the floor.  She hit the floor, and fired a burst, just knocking down the zed.  "Watch out, the floor is covered in bearings!"  She yelled to Larry.
"Got it!"  Larry carefully walked out, standing next to Dawn.  He fired twice, knocking over a nearby zed.  "They're down, but not out!"
On target, but not killing the zeds
One zed stays on his feet and attacks Larry
 Larry manages to dispatch the zed in melee.  The six shots bring five more zeds.  Great, just great.
More zeds enter the fray
Dawn and Larry move closer to the barricade and manage to kill only one zombie.  Larry does knock two others down.  He is on fire with hitting, but just can't kill the zombies.
Plenty of targets..
The survivors are pushed back to the barricade
 Three more zeds appear from shooting...
Dawn fired at the zombie in front of her, splattering it to the floor.  "Move!  We need some space!  Go!"  She ran across the floor, nearly tripping over on a ball bearing.
Larry followed close behind, firing as he went.  "Right with you Dawn!"
The zombies follow close behind
Larry climbed up on a crate as Dawn braced herself on the floor next to him.  "Keep firing!  We can take them down!"
They shoot a few
Zombies crash into the survivors
Dawn knocks the first two down
 Dawn and Larry found themselves surrounded again, dead, grey hands grasped and tore at them.  For what seemed like hours, the two fought against the hungry dead.  Larry crunched skull after skull as the zombies tried to pull him down from the crate he was standing on.
A zombie managed to duck a swing from Dawn's machete and crash into her legs, knocking her down.  Without hesitating, Dawn kicked out at the second zombie, shattering its leg and knocking it down before it could attack.  "Larry, a little help!"
Dawn is knocked down
Larry finishes off the zombies
I fight a couple of rounds of melee, but the last round is the most interesting.  Dawn is knocked down, but passes 2d for her check, and being protected, gets to carry on.  She manages to win the melee against the second zombie and knock it over.  Larry gets two hits and kills, clearing the floor. 

Time to check the PEF.  Larry switches back to the shotgun, and he and Dawn climb onto the barricade...
Checking the PEF
It's a survivor!
Dawn and Larry heard the safety click off of the assault rifle, as the young woman stood up from the barricade.  "That's far enough.  I don't have anything you want, just leave me alone."  The woman said threateningly.
"We're not looking for trouble.  We're looking for help."  Dawn lowered her SMG.  "The zombies are really active, and the military is shooting everyone.  We need a place to wait for things to calm down so we can get out of the city."
"You're leaving the city?"  The woman asked, lowering her rifle a touch.  "I didn't think there was anywhere to go."
"Let's talk about that..."  Dawn offered.

The meet and greet goes well, Anna joins Dawn and Larry.  She is a survivor, Rep 3, armed with an assault rifle and has the brawler attribute.

With their new friend, the group heads up stairs to the fourth floor.  It is another set of offices.
One zombie awaits the survivors
Dawn opened the door to the offices, and could see a lone zombie wandering the cubicles.  "I'll take care of it."  She said and walked over to the corner of the cubicles.  A single shot rang out and the rotting mass crashed to the floor.  Everyone else gathered with Dawn, watching for more undead to appear.
"Seems quiet." Anna said.  "Maybe that was the only one here."
"Well, let's look around."  Larry said, looking at the desks.
No more zeds appear
The floor turns out to be empty.  The top floor is another set of offices, with no zeds or other inhabitants.  The group checks the roof, and finds nothing of note there as well.  The group retires to an office on the top floor, making themselves as comfortable as possible, watching the horde a few blocks away on the highway.

It's a successful mission, but no one advances.  For the keeping it together roll, Dawn gets 2 successes to Larry's one and Anna's zero.  No need to check after the next scenario.

The newest survivor is Anna, a pretty straight Wargames Factory build.  Hopefully she is the first of many new friends for Dawn.
Dawn and crew
I am going to have the group stay in Minneapolis for a few scenarios.  There is too much happening there to just run away (although that is what they should do!)


  1. Great and intersting story so far.
    And im glad that you are back posting on your blog again :)

    1. Glad you liked it! The holidays and work have taken a chunk of time from me this year. Hopefully I can stay on the horse, and keep the campaign moving...

  2. Go Dawn! Go Larry! Mind you, it seems that clearing this "nearly empty" building was a bit more effort than they thought it might be...

    1. It did get a bit more "zesty" than I expected. Still, once they limited their shots it wasn't too bad...

  3. Nice report. Office building full of zombie workers... It likely was a former Call Center.

    1. LOL I should have had some zombies tethered to the desks with the headsets!

  4. Good to have you back, Steve. Another very exciting batrep and a successful outcome for the survivors. I'm so pleased you're continuing the campaign with Dawn in charge.

    1. Glad to be back!

      I decided I wanted to continue this apocalypse, and Dawn was a fun character anyway. I can always do some side stories, or pick up back at the farm if I need a change of pace.

  5. Great stuff Steve. Boy was that claustrophobic, great idea for an interior "clear out". Nice to have you back dude.
    It's awesome to see you carrying on with Dawn as the star, it's only "logical".

    1. The idea of fighting inside the building and getting that claustrophobic feel was what I was going for. It felt a bit more like horror and less combat centered.

      I see what you did there. Logical. Hmmmm.

  6. Great to see the campaign continuing with such an interesting scenario; you continue to surprise me with such good game idea, I'd love to know where you get your inspiration from.
    I've been looking at floor plans too to game in building I have no interiors for, "Dramascape" has some very good ones (some free, but all very cheap).

    1. I visited Minneapolis around xmas, and looking at the various office buildings made me think about what would be going on inside them after the apocalypse broke out. I considered starting a day 1 scenario again in an office setting, but figured this would be a fun test of it as a location.

      I like the idea of the dramascape products. I have seen them online, but not in person. I would consider looking at an online ad for office space or building space, there may be a floorplan that could be stolen and printed...

  7. Cool story again. I love the idea of discovering the different floors of the building.

    1. Thanks! I enjoyed the 'discovery' of each floor, it made it more exciting as they climbed the stairs.