Sunday, March 2, 2014

Zombie One-Shot Planning

The Mistborn Campaign I play in Tuesday nights will likely be on hiatus for a single week so the GM can plot, plan and machinate as he pleases, This frees me up to make use of GURPS Zombies, which I picked up for my birthday.

[9:40:20 PM] Virgil's Player: Oh god, once a week classes. Half the time those are night classes that are creepy as fuck even without zombies.
[9:40:37 PM] Me: It totally should be college night classes
[9:40:41 PM] Me: just for the vision penalties

 I'm probably going to run things with a heavy modification of the Whisperer template (pg 103, GURPS Zombies):
  •  Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Basic Move +1 [5]
  • Advantages: Acute Hearing 2 [4]; Doesn't Sleep [20]; Indomitable [15]; Single-Minded [5];
  • Perks: Penetrating Voice
  • Disadvantages: Asocial [-56]; Hidebound [-5]; Zombie Motivation (Spread the Mind Virus) [-15];
  • Quirks: Involuntary Utterance [-1]; Doesn't Raise Voice/Yell [-1]
Whisperers are fun because the zombie virus is spread by zombies infecting you with a mind virus.
The behavior of the zombies is simple- they gang up on those who are not affected by the virus and beat them up until they can be held down and whispered to. They are more or less as functional as a human being when it comes to intelligence, although all social capability seems to have been removed.  The zombies are capable of running, manipulating simple objects (door knobs), climbing (ladders too) and avoiding obvious hazards (fire).

The zombies only attack with hands and fists, in an attempt to prevent killing potential hosts for the virus. When among only their own kind, they act much like robotic automatons attempting to act human- albeit constantly chattering in the unique language of the virus.
I'm ditching the Memetic Zombification listed for the template in favor of trying to cobble together a Zombie Radiation scale (zRads) to reflect the mind virus' effect on my victims.
  • Instead of HT checks, all checks will be done using Will.
  • Radiation effect A is replaced with acquiring the disadvantage Chummy, Chummy turning to Gregarious for characters that already have it, and Loners losing the Loner disadvantage. This is representing the initial exposure of the Mind Virus prepping victims to more easily finish spreading to them.
  • Radiation effect B is replaced with gaining Light Sleeper and suffering -1 to IQ for at least a day. They get one Will check per day to see if they ditch the penalty.
  • Radiation effect C is replaced with gain the Chronic Depression disadvantage (Control Rating 12), and also gain the Involuntary Utterance quirk. At this point the person is now actively spreading the mind virus, although if they are isolated from other sources of the mind virus they will eventually recover and stop spreading it. Of course, they're not going to be very proactive about getting clear of the zombies... This stage represents the continuing rewiring done by the virus.
  • Radiation effect D is the first point where I take over PC control and rule that they've become a zombie. Upon reaching this stage, the character gains Neurological Disorder (Cripling) for fifteen minutes, turning Severe for another ten minutes, and then being Mild for five minutes after which it disappears and the Zombie is fully functional.
  • Radiation effect E represents an immediate snap into a Zombie without the delaying effects of D.

Action zRads Inflicted
Listening to someone at Radiation Exposure C for 1 Hour 10 zRads
Listening to a turned Zombie for 1 Second 1 zRads
Zombie grapples a character and whispers directly into their ear 100 zRads/second

There's a lot of various protection factors to take into account:
  • Deafness: You're immune
  • Hard of Hearing: PF 5
  • Headphones, Loud Music, Earplugs, stuffing cotton into ears, pillow over the head, etc: PF 2
  • White noise, falling rain, water trickling and other 'random' noise: PF 3
  • Sleeping: PF 2
  • Chanting/Singing/Shouting Cadences: PF 2
  • Distance: PF 2 at distances of more than 5 yards from small groups (5 or less individuals) of zombies.
  • Complete sound Muffling: Complete negation of zRads. (IE: Locking a zombie in a walk-in freezer)
zRads Effects Table:


Dose Effects Will Penalty
40-79 zRads -/-/A/B 0
80-159 zRads -/A/B/C 0
160-320 zRads A/B/C/D 0
321-640 zRadsB/C/D/E -1
641-1281 zRadsB/C/D/E -3
1282-2563 zRadsC/D/E/E -4
Some scenarios:
  • Dave's roommate, Jake, has progressed to Stage C. They share a bunk bed, and thus, Dave can hear Jake mumbling. Assuming Dave sleeps for 8 hours, he would take 80 zRads, modified by the protection afforded by being asleep, reducing it by half to 40. If Dave succeeded his Will check he'd suffer no bad effects- if he failed he would find himself becoming Chummy or operating at reduced IQ.
  • Anita is grabbed by a zombie, who spends two seconds muttering in her ear before she escapes. Anita has taken in 200 zRads and much immediately make a Will check to see if she starts spreading the virus herself!

I'd really appreciate feedback on this one guys- this is my first real foray into attempting to tinker with the GURPS system on a mechanical level.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. As a game designer I can't see anything weirdly off and though modified from a existing system it has a very "original" feel. Very cool.