"Golden Hills" is a residential complex for the elderly, mentioned a few times previously in my ATZ campaign. Indeed, recently I described the building of a model for this area (here), so it cannot be a surprise to any followers of my blog that the action has now moved there.
This is the first game I'll have played since receiving my finished deck of random events back from the printers. I'm hoping that there will be interesting opportunities to see them in action.
I'm extremely fortunate to have a preview copy of the yet-to-be-published ATZ-Final Fade Out rules (ATZ-FFO from now on) from Two Hour Wargames, so this game will be a playtest for them. I'll try to point out the differences from the current edition (ATZ-BDTZ) as we go.
The Story so farAfter the disastrous attempt by the authorities to impose quarantine on the early stages of the zombie outbreak (here), the plague is spreading. A number of people are staying at Golden Hills in addition to the official residents. In some cases this is to help protect a relative; in others it's because their own homes are overrun, destroyed or quarantined. Present today are:
- Albert and Gertrude, REP 2 residents. Gertrude has a chainsaw, but Albert is a little confused.
- Edna (the crazy cat lady), REP 2 resident. She is always surrounded by a number of cats.
- Abe, REP 3 resident. He has a hunting rifle, but is in an invalid carriage.
- Captain Salty, REP 4 resident with a BA pistol.
- John (the photographer), REP 5 grandson of Albert and Gertrude. John has a camera with a powerful flashgun and a pistol that he took from a ganger (here). He is followed everywhere by "Laddie", a REP 2 collie dog that he rescued from zombies (here).
- Bomber, REP 5. He is the brother of Chad, who was the concierge/janitor for Golden Hills until he was killed by gangers (here). Bomber has baseball bat and also a shotgun, obtained from an abandoned police station (here). Additionally, he's now looking after Clancy, the REP 6 wolfhound who was nearly killed here.
- Darcy and Lizzie, REP 4 friends of John. It was their wedding that was interrupted when John first heard of the zombie outbreak and had to rescue Albert and Gertrude (here). Both have pistols, but haven't yet found a change from their wedding clothes. Or they've decided to stay dressed up until they can find a minister to finish the ceremony for them - I haven't really decided!
Note that in FFO, characters are defined by REP (as before) but also have 2 skills: PEOPLE and SAVVY. These are used respectively for social interactions or knowledge-based problems. Since none of my character cards have these skills on them, I'll make up the values if/when I need them for a specific character.
This game will be treated as rural and encounter level 1, mainly because it's a quiet part of the town and lawlessness (and the zombie plague!) haven't yet touched it. Rural determines the chances of generating zombies with gunfire or other noises as well as being a modifier on the "how many" table when resolving a PEF. Encounter Level is used to decide whether a PEF is real or imaginary and also the chances of a random event.
Rather than have players entering a table that is occupied by zombies as is common in scenarios such as "search", I've reversed the sides so that zombies and PEFs will enter from random edges whilst the players occupy the centre. House rule: any player characters who start in a building will have their REP halved (rounded down) for purposes of activation until they are alerted by a friend, gunshots or seeing an enemy.
It was a calm, clear morning at Golden Hills, just like many before. John had just taken Laddie out to do what dogs do in the mornings when he bumped into Darcy and Lizzie coming out of one of the other houses. Everyone else was getting up, washing and preparing breakfast...
Lizzie replied "No! It can't be!" They could all clearly hear a low moaning sound coming from the north by now.
"Right!" said John. "We have to warn everyone. Lizzie, you go to Abe's. Darcy, you take Edna. I'll tell Gertrude and Albert".
To be continued...Part 2 is here