Saturday 14 April 2018

ATZ: The Lost Sheep


It's been quite a while since I played All Things Zombie.  Fortunately, there were four willing victims players last Thursday at the HAHA club, so I put together a quick scenario and let rip...

The Setting

It's day 5 of the zombie apocalypse.  Most civilians don't really know what is happening; a few are still trying to go about their normal lives; others have heeded the authorities' advice to stay off the streets.

In St. Mary's church (just off High Street), Reverend Green has gathered together a few of his parishioners - the ones who live really close together.  He's concerned about another of his flock: Laura hasn't responded to any phone calls and no-one can remember seeing her for a few days.

The Christian thing to do would be to check that she's safe and unhurt, wouldn't it?  Including the reverend, there are four members of the group, all young(-ish) and reasonably fit.  They should be safe enough, right?

The Searchers

  • Reverend Green. REP 4, Brawler, unarmed.  We reckon that this priest must have had an interesting past; perhaps he worked the mean streets of an inner city parish before this, or maybe he was an amateur boxer?  Anyway, he's better than average in a fight.
  • Kimberley.  REP 4, Poser.  At least she's got a tennis racket; it counts as an improvised melee weapon.  Not a very good one, though: I gave it a 1 in 6 chance of breaking each time it was used in a fight.
  • Ricky.  REP 4, Greedy.  The cricket bat is a useful improvised weapon (the group as a whole is short of clout), but Ricky's greed could be a problem.
  • George, REP 5, Free Spirit.  Now here's an enigma!  On the face of it, George looks like a sober, respectable businessman.  However, it seems that this is just a front.  Perhaps he secretly longs to hike round the world or to party all night long?  Maybe he spends his weekends at nudist colonies, or creating performance art?  None of his friends know...
All of these characters are Citizens and have not encountered a zombie before (therefore they are eligible to take the Zed or no Zed and Brown Pants tests when appropriate).

The Game

Initial Moves

The players decided that they would search each building in the area for Laura as they went.  After all, the woman might have taken shelter with neighbours or in a local business, if people were frightened enough to band together for safety.  Mind you, the district seemed quiet enough; only a few people were shuffling about [suburbs setting, encounter rating: 3].

They started by moving up to the garage.  Kimberley kept watch whilst the three men tried to open the door - but it was locked.

The party decided to split up (yes, I know!) so as to search more area.  Rev. Green and Kimberley ran to the back of one of the houses.  The young woman was somewhat surprised when the minister broke a window and prepared to climb in, but she held her tongue.  After all, she was distinctly nervous about the whole mission, despite having agreed to come along.  Perhaps it was better not to show themselves out front...

Before Reverend Green could enter the building, a disheveled, blood-splattered woman lurched round the corner.  Her clothing was torn, half of one arm was missing and she stank of putrefaction.  "My goodness, it's Mrs. Hibbert!" exclaimed the priest - as he recognised one of his less-fervent parishioners.

The creature snarled and reached for Rev. Green with bared teeth, but the shocked man knocked her down and leaped through the window.

As he untangled himself from the curtains, the priest heard a voice exclaim "You nearly got yourself shot, mister!  The wife and I don't take kindly to strangers busting into our bedroom like that.  If you weren't a man of the cloth then we might not have been so forgiving.  Now, out you go, back the way you came..."

This was all too much for Kimberley.  As the reverend climbed back out of the window, she ran away, heaving with dry sobs of pent-up fear.

The zombies were rather slower to react and hadn't moved much since the window was broken; surely their lassitude couldn't continue for long?

Kimberley paused for breath around the next corner.  Rev. Green followed her, calling out in an attempt to calm her down and reassure her.  While he did this, he was oblivious to the two zombies that were now tailing him, growling softly in anticipation of the warm flesh they might tear and chew...

At the Garage

What of the other two?  Having failed to open the garage from the front, Ricky and George crept round to the back door and tried to smash it down.  They spent several turns kicking the door and hitting it with fists and bat, without making any obvious difference.  The garage owner obviously believed in making his place burglar-proof.

Their attempts to break in were noisy.  Although this didn't spawn any new zombies, the sound attracted the attention of several that were nearby.  It was only their persistent sluggishness that prevented the intrepid heroes from being overrun and attacked [in other words, I couldn't roll a successful activation for the zombies, despite trying for turn after turn].

Eventually, a strange, lurching man came round the far corner of the garage.  The pair ran, afraid that they might have been seen.  Seeing the Reverend and Kimberley in the distance, they sped up to try to rejoin them - but the other members of their party weren't alone!

To be continued... Part 2 is now here ==>


    1. Excellent a good start to the mission, nobody dead yet. :D

      I do like to see the World Works paper buildings and the garage is one of my favourites and I think the paper cars always remind me of Vampifan's early games.

      You've done a good job with the interior of the first house which makes a lot of difference to the feel of things in my opinion, although I never seem to get too far with it myself.

      Looking forward to the continuation of the tale.

      1. Thanks, Vagabond. Some of my earlier WorldWorks buildings & vehicles are looking a bit tatty now, but the later Stoelzels Structures ones are better built and hold up fine.

      2. It's just my personal view but I find most paper buildings a bit cartoony whereas the WW's ones are much darker and grittier and more believable. Having said that I've not seen either in the flesh, I'm just going on photos. The ones i have are Germy and some other free ones that are very like the grimness of WW.

    2. Split up, make plenty of noise - this can only go well...

      1. Well, no-one has died yet :-) . Wait and see what happens net...

    3. Nail biting start already. They really haven't been watching many horror movies have they!

      1. I think I'll be generous and say that it's hard to judge the situation from outside. Everything the players did seemed like a good idea at the time :-) .

    4. A split party ? I reckon this isn't going to end well.
      The Rev seems to have lost a bit of his humanity too, breaking into houses! I reckon he's got a bit of a past best forgotten.
      Great simple scenario with a believable objective for the players.

      1. I think we were generally agreed that the reverend was going a bit loopy here :-) ! Whether that reflects a reversion to a shady past or just a failure to cope with the new situation is not something I know...

    5. Excellent start to what I am sure is going to be a deadly adventure...though I am sure the pugilistic priest will survive!

      1. Thanks, Terry. You can find out if you are correct now, as I've just published the second & final part of this story :-) .