Wednesday, March 21, 2018

No Escape

It was late at night, but Dawn still relished her chance at a hot shower.  Dropping her fresh clothes on one side of the vanity, she checked the bathroom door one last time, making sure it was locked before she set her machete and pistol down on the vanity in the master bathroom.  Looking in the mirror she hardly recognized herself; blood and grime matted her auburn hair, bruises spread along her arms and she sported a black left eye and ugly blue-green bruise from her hairline down to her left shoulder.  She had bruises and cuts all over, and scars from several bullet wounds that nearly ended her journey.
As she stepped into the steaming water, Dawn realized how long it had been since she was really clean.  It seemed like a lifetime ago that she was heading to work at the bank, only to have the zombie apocalypse throw the world into chaos.  She hurt in places she didn’t remember injuring, and felt the sting from open wounds when she washed.  After four repeats she felt her hair was as close to clean as she was going to get.
Stopping the water and climbing out into a towel, Dawn used a second towel to dry her hair.  She contemplated what to do about the prisoners they had.  One of them had nearly killed her yesterday; she still felt the open cut a piece of buckshot had left on her neck.  Using a found brush she untangled her hair before braiding it up.  Picking up the clean clothes she had found, Dawn dressed listening to the rain slowly dissipating outside.
“I hope we don’t have to kill them.” She muttered, picking up her weapons.

It is day 68, the group has sheltered for the night in the farmhouse.  They have managed to clean up, at least by post-apocalyptic standards, and really just want to rest and recover.  Everyone has been wounded and the team needs to recover.  The three prisoners taken yesterday may make that difficult.
To start, everyone is in the house.  The group is rotating through guarding and resting.  They will take a turn at interrogation to try and find out what they can about the gang.  Given the chance, the gang members will try and escape or attack the survivors, but they will need to work to get free.

For each day part, each character will get two actions – the survivors can recover, guard, interrogate or investigate.  The gangers can recover, struggle, agitate or escape.  While this is happening, each day part will resolve a PEF, starting at ER1.  Any result that increases ER does so.  If there is a ‘contact’ and it is any living result, then the gang has found the house and depending on the situation they may attack or negotiate with the group.  Otherwise it is ignored.

This is going to be a bunch of rolling of skill checks, and that may or may not lead us to some action.

Recover:  This represents rest to heal from wounds.  Everyone is wounded to some extent, and need to take a number of these actions equal to their rep to function at full rep.  Successful rest is passing 2d versus normal rep.
Guard:  The survivors need to have at least one person watching the gangers at all times.  While guarding, they roll a die equal to current rep, each success counts against the ganger actions during that action period.
Interrogate:  This is an opposed PEP check.  The results will work similar to Meet and Greet results, as fa as good/neutral/bad results.  If the survivors have more successes, they gain information on the gang, if the gang member scores more, they successfully give false information, if tied, no info is gained either way.  Each model involved rolls a die equal to their current rep, similar to a meet and greet. 
Investigate:  Any survivor can ‘use’ info gained by any interrogation to try a savvy check to figure out what the gang may be up to.  A success with this can be used to either cancel a PEF contact for the gang showing up, or to alert them to an escape attempt by the prisoners.
Struggle:  As prisoners, this represents getting free of the restraints.  In this case they are hasty and improvised, so any model that gets 2 success on a rep check (# dice =rep) can break free.  This check is opposed by any guard, and the guard’s successes count against all the prisoners.  For example, if a guard has one success, the prisoners would need to make 3 successes to break free.  A successful investigate by another model will allow them to react when the prisoners first break out.
Agitate:  The prisoners try and cause trouble for the survivors.  This can be needing bathrooms, food, water, issuing threats, complaints, trying to ingratiate with the survivors, etc.  This is a 2d check versus PEP or SAV, and successes can be used to cancel guard or investigate successes.
Escape:  When the time comes if the gangers can break free, they can elect to try and escape or attack the survivors.  Each model will roll 2d, 2 passes is attack, anything else is try to flee.  They will break a window and make a run for it, just like a fleeing model in a normal game.  If the gang has shown up (PEF has resolved to human contact) they will join back to the gang and d3 day parts later the gang will attack with strong numbers.  If the gang has not shown up yet, the escapee will make it back to the gang on a successful 1d roll versus current rep.  If successful, the gang attacks as above.  If not, the escapee is considered killed.

Ready to Roll:  If the survivors manage to get to fully recovered, they can choose to move on.  They will spend an action loading their car and then can just drive away.  In this case they will leave the prisoners with improvised melee weapons, but alive.  If they have 0-2 investigate successes they will approach the nearby town of Bloomer, where the gang is based.  If they have 3-5 investigate successes, they will drive away from Bloomer, starting a new scenario as they look for fuel to move to a new region.  If they have 6+ success, they will try to infiltrate the gang camp and steal supplies.  I’m hoping they have 3-5…
Gang Arrival:  If the PEF resolves as human contact, a patrol from the gang has shown up.  A group of 5 gangers, led by a deserter will make their way from the center of the board edge towards the house.  This will start a normal scenario with the gang approaching the house.  Each turn, there is a chance they are spotted, a survivor on guard needs to pass a 2d heck to see them.  Anyone else needs to pass a 2d check at rep-3.  If prisoners are not known, they will have a standard meet and greet when contact is made.   Escape attempts or agitation successes will alert the gang to the prisoners and they will immediately become hostile.  The gang will try to recover any escapee and escape, or will try to escape if they are alerted to the prisoners.  If any gang member escapes, they will proceed to Gang Attack, below. 
Gang Attack:  This is response to an escapee or alert to there being prisoners.  A major force of gangers, made up of mostly deserters, will attack the farm.  They will be in three groups of 5 models, all armed with AR, grenades and one model in each group armed with a SAW.  These groups will enter from the board edge opposite the house.  At the same time, a group of 6 gangers, armed with shotguns and melee weapons will enter along the road where the survivors first entered, they will attempt to enter the house and free prisoners.  This will be a very well-coordinated and deadly attack; these guys are trained soldiers and battle hardened.  They will pursue fleeing characters, attempting to kill rather than take prisoners.  Survivors can successfully surrender if they have more investigate successes than the prisoners have agitate successes.  Otherwise it will be combat to the end.

Survivor Conditions:
·         Dawn – Rep 3 (5), BAP, SMG, Machete, Protected
·         Jack – Rep 4 (5), SMG, BAP, Machete, Protected
·         Traci – Rep 3 (5), SMG, BAP, Bat, Protected
Jack has recovered the most, Traci is still in shock from losing Beckie, Dawn has been carrying the team for a couple of days and really needs a break.

Ganger Conditions:
·         ‘Shotgun’ Sam – Rep 2 (3) unarmed
·         ‘Runaway’ Carla – Rep 2 (3) unarmed
·         ‘Pistol’ Gary – Rep2 (3) unarmed
The prisoners were all OOF yesterday and need to recover.  They are unsure of what to make of Dawn and company, but they know the rest of the gang will be looking for them in the next couple of days so they will try and escape if they get the chance.
Not interesting scenery, but it will work
Dawn was restless, exhausted but unable to relax.  Every time there was a noise she didn't recognize, she was worried that Jack was in trouble with the gangers.  Traci snored from her bed, clearly not bothered by the situation.  Sleep eventually came, but Dawn's dreams were filled with feelings of running and loss.

I focus on getting Dawn rested, she and Traci will need the most rest to recover.  The gangers also take some time to try and recover, they need to get their reputation recovered if they want to have a real chance to escape.  After a couple of turns, Dawn has only made one recovery roll.  The gangers don't make any, so that helps.  It's fairly boring, everyone is just trying to recover...
The ER finally increases
Carla elbowed Gary, nodding at Jack who looked nearly half asleep.  Gary grunted and looked at her and Jack.  "I think I can get out and get that shotgun away from him."
Gary shook his head.  "I ain't all here and Sam is nearly dead asleep.  We need to wait some."
Carla harrumphed and sat looking daggers at Jack.  "I'll get a chance."  She muttered.

One of the gangers, Carla is nearly recovered.  The other two are malingering, not having any successes.  It's close to the end of the first day and the ER finally increases by 1.  The odds of the gang discovering the group have increased.
Later, Dawn has a discussion with Gary
"Look, I told ya.  We have all kinds of groups out lookin for stuff."  Gary said, rubbing his still wounded shoulder.  "Just let me lay down.  My arm is killn me!"
Dawn pointed at the map, trying to get Gary to reveal more about the gang.  "If you have that many groups, how are you still able to find anything?"

Dawn finally gets fully rested, and I have Traci and Jack trade places to have Dawn interrogate one of the gangers.  She manages to get one piece of info, but by the end of the day the ER increases again.  This is happening quicker than I figured!

A few more turns go by, Carla is fully healed and manages to get free!  Fortunately neither of the other gangers manages to get free.  She rolls two success, and decides to fight her way out, charging Traci.
Traci is surprised as Carla charges!
Traci tightened up the improvised rope binding on Sam.  He had nearly wiggled free, but she saw him working on his hands and made sure he wasn't getting free.  Her thought turned again to Beckie, and she wished she could see her again.  Walking back to the chair she was using as a guard post, she heard a slam from the front room where Dawn was 'talking' with the other ganger.  She shook her head, glad she wasn't dealing with that.
A slight creak from a spring in the couch made Traci turn, just in time to see Carla charging her!

Carla wins the charge roll, and Traci is considered unarmed for the first round.  Carla is unarmed as well, so it becomes a pretty even match, as Traci still has not recovered and is operating at Rep 3.  I consider having some sort of contested roll as they struggle for the shotgun, but instead, I just run the melee as a straight fight.  I figure there is no in sight checks, as they start in sight of each other (never mind the flavor text!) so we just have the charge and fight rolls.
The fight results...
Carla held the barrel of the shotgun in an iron grip, keeping it pointed away as she punched at Traci's face with her right hand.  Traci twisted trying to wrench free, trying to avoid the wild punches.  The two women struggled for what seemed like minutes until Traci managed to plant a solid kick into Carla's stomach.  As Carla doubled over, Traci wrenched the shotgun free, and swung the shotgun down, clipping Carla in base of her skull with the butt of the shotgun.
With a sickening crack, Carla slumped to the floor like a rag doll.  Traci immediately swung the shotgun to ready, worried the woman would attack again.
"You bitch!  You killed her!"  Sam yelled, struggling to get free.  "I'll kill you!"  He screamed.

Traci gets lucky, winning the combat by 1 success, and rolls a 1 for damage, indicating an outright kill.  Ouch.  That could have just as easily gone the other way.  This makes me figure on trying to get the group ready to leave as soon as possible.
Another escape attempt soon?
I manage to turn the info from the interrogations into some useful info and everyone is fully rested.  I start trying to get ready to leave and Sam manages to break free.  He passes 2d and charges Jack on guard duty.  It doesn't go well for Sam, Jack wins the charge roll, takes one shot and Sam goes OOF.  Short escape attempt...
Just before the escape attempt
Dawn carried the SAW out to the car.  The back of the station wagon looked like an armory from some 80's action movie.  Dawn shook her head looking at it.  Traci dropped a cardboard box full of canned food in with the weapons, adding a gallon jug of water to the supplies.  "Looks like we're ready for a war!"  She rubbed her bruised jaw.  "I hope we don't see any more of this gang.  They are crazy."
"We're going to head north and east."  Dawn said, pointing down the nearby road.  "From what we've heard from them," Dawn thumbed over her shoulder at the house "they are scavenging north and west.  Once we get a little ways east, we should be able to find some gas and then get far away from here."
Traci looked towards the east, the midday sun washing out the fields in the distance.  Shrugging she hefted her SMG and tossed her backpack into the car.  "I'm ready.  What about the last two?"
Dawn looked at the house, hand on her pistol.  "We'll leave the tied up.  they've already shown they can get loose."  Dawn walked towards the house for a last check.  "We're not murders.  Not unless we have to."

Everyone is recovered, and the group is moving on.  They will need to find a unit of gas before they can change areas completely.  They manage to find a small gas/service station in the country.  We'll see what they find there...
Just a quick stop...


  1. Wow! How do you come up with this stuff - brilliant and tense.

    1. Thanks! I just wanted a way to try and play through the scenario. It seemed more interesting than just some dice rolls. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Love it! :-)
    This is the kind of campaign scenario I'd normally resolve "out of game", the mechanics you've come up with are just brilliant and an inspiration!!

    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed it! I considered just resolving it out of game, but I wanted to not 'just decide' how things went. It was fun to play through.

  3. Liking this story a great deal.Keep it up.

    1. I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'll try and keep it moving along...

  4. Very well thought through mini-game. I was fully prepared for the worst possible outcome, but I am thoroughly relieved that the heroes are rested and able to move on :-) .

    1. The mini-game was fun to play and build. It was more interesting than just rolling some dice. I didn't think it would work out as well as it did, but I'm happy with the results.