Wednesday, June 19, 2013

England Abandoned - A 28 Days Later style system-free zombie adventure

Man, have I been busy! Since last I posted work, the PhD, job hunting and having a son (HOORAH!) really swamped me. Since I haven't been able to post on topics I had planned, I thought I'd dig through the vaults and offer up a 28 Days Later style infected adventure I wrote for a con awhile back (which I also missed due to being swamped by life!!).

The scenario is largely  system free, and ZMs can extrapolate stats and rules as they see fit. I originally intended to use AFMBE, but Kreg Mosier's 'The Dead' or 'Zombi' are both freely available on the web and would do in a pinch. It is written for me, so read through once and prepare your mental territory before running it. Sadly, there are no maps, but just scribble up some or spend some good time with Google maps.

If you like the adventure or (Zod forbid) actually run it, drop us a line!

England Abandoned          infected apocalypse scenario             Rated Mature.


England lays in ruins, overrun by psychoticinfected, chained with a blockade of ships, the Pound collapsed, government gone, Queen eaten, the people scattered. Dispossessed Britons like you are the new gypsies, impoverished pariahs unwelcome wherever they wander. You have one chance at a comfortable life sneak in to your homeland and recoverthe product for a French crimelord. Of course, it wont be easy. Guy Ritchie meets 28 Days Later. Requires a massive sense of humour, stomach for blood and gore, and outrageous British accent (real or fake). Rated R.
Ill be using tournament system fulfill your victory conditions to win the game and a cheesy prize.

Purpose: To test the system (combat, etc) and set up the story. Warn the players that it is a tad railroadey, but respect their decisions once shit starts going down.
Set Up: Each player takes a soldier sheet and rolls two d6. Results are as follows: Sex, 1-4 is male, 5-6 is female. Race, 1-3 is white, 4 is brown, 5 is black, 6 is asian. Players add a last or nick name then play begins. Each is fully armed and equipped. Try to go for an Aliens colonial marine feel.
An army helicopter flies inland away from a seaside town where we start the action. Your squad of soldiers guards the chainlink fence gate for a local wharf. Inside is the dock and, off to the side, a few small warehouses. Several yachts and fishing vessels loaded with civilians can be seen plying the Channel towards France, while one waits at the dock. Landside, the central collection of buildings forming a small village with pub stands nearby, while another clump of apartments and some rows of council houses further up the hillside sit darkened and devoid of people. The last few cars arrive on the main road through the town winding down the hillside and stop at the gate where the soldiers check the passengers for infection and pass them through.

Suddenly, a last vehicle appears over the ridge and comes driving down erratically. The soldiers can see people inside the bus fighting as they drive. They have the choice to ignore it or try and take it down.

Either way, it crashes into the town and explodes, catching buildings alight. Uninfected and infected pile out of the wreck burning, the former screaming for help, the latter making a beeline for the wharf. Seeing the conflagration, the last vessel guns its engine and takes off. The soldiers are cut off. They get a radio message from their CO: This is commander Curt. Procure transport and rendez-vous at the field HQ.

The cars left by the fleeing civilians are all locked and largely devoid of gas. Just as the soldiers are searching for keys or busting in windows, they hear a metal shutter going up and a truck engine start. A large delivery van rumbles out of one of the small warehouses and slowly trundles toward the gate.
The soldiers can see a straggly haired, Russell Brant type at the wheel, next to a wigger gangster-style cradling a shotgun.

The soldiers can stop them either by force or threats as the two are cowards, or the ZM can have the wigger fire at the soldiers to increase tension or give them some wounded and more of a reason to take the truck. The van looks large enough to transport the entire squad and their gear, and has a full tank of diesel. If they open the rear cargo door they see the product shining at them like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. End of Prologue.

Set Up Players each take a sheet from the random selection of dispossessed Britons. They get one + 1 in French, one Weapon Skill and one Secret Skill, giving a + 1 to each, which they may choose now or later in the adventure when they see fit. Next, they choose a Secret Mission and are ready to go. They start with nothing.

In the three months since the Infection began, life has been hell for you all. As luck would have it, you were either outside the country or were among the first to evacuate. Since then, the Pound was wiped out, and for the first time the EU is relieved you hadnt adopted the Euro. Nevertheless, the world has gone into a recession, and with all your savings destroyed, youve been forced into menial jobs to make ends meet while you learn the language and hope the Infection will burn itself out. But the flood of UK refugees has made finding honest work nigh impossible, and EU social support systems are strained to the limit. You are on the verge of committing a crime to survive when you hear about a job for Britons from the east coast, near Calais.

You are taken up the coast to Calais, the old port for ships to England, to an old yet stately mansion in the
woods. There you meet Mr. Lassad, a crime boss specializing in cross-border acquisitions.
Allo, and thank you for coming. As you know, the world is in a terrible state now. Not only your country, but all nations are affected. Cross-border traffic has slowed to a trickle, while security and customs are a thousand times stricter than before. This has affected my business.

In addition, the world economy is in a slump of historic proportions. France can hardly feed her own, much less care for you British. Since rumours abound of the infection coming from one of your labs, there isnt much sympathy for you. However, I know a way you can earn your keep.

I have a favour to ask. Just before the infection spread, I sent a shipment of my product to England. If you can get it back for me, I will reward your for your troubles.

I will equip you, train you, and when the opportunity comes, arrange for safe transport through the barricade to England, near Skegness. I have lost contact with my men in there. Find them, and what happened to my product, and I will give you a small reward. Get my entire shipment of product back to me, and my gratitude will know no bounds.

The PCs then spend a fortnight training at Lassads compound, learning one weapon (hence the bonus Weapon Skill) and being briefed on the last known position of the product.

One night they after supper they are told to make ready. They are driven to a boathouse by the ocean where they choose gear from a selection of soiled weapons and backpacks, board a sailing sloop, then set sail for England. They are told to keep quiet the whole voyage. 8 long hours later, as the sun rises into a fog, they hear the sounds of waves lapping the shore. The captain weighs anchor, and the PCs are put into a Zodiac and told to row. They have their weapons, a weeks worth food each, and two encrypted satellite phones between them. Make them decide who carries these latter.

1. The warehouse The first place to search for clues is the warehouse from the Prologue. If either the driver or guard were spared by the soldiers, they are here.

SYD Russel Brant lookalike, he has hold up eating sardine cans in the warehouse and snorting the bag of product left for him by the soldiers. He wears leather pants and Doc Martens only, and smells quite funky. He carries a Desert Eagle and may fire at the PC unless they can talk him down. He can give them information on the truck and the soldiers, and the direction they headed in.

Dizzy The wigger is dead, locked in the office. Unable to come to terms with the reality outside his doors, he has blown his head off and is rotting in here. Make appropriate Fright/Sanity checks. Syd in his delusion thinks Dizzy is still alive, but just refusing to talk.

2. The Duffer Unless or even if one of the players can hotwire a car (probably by using a Secret Skill), another may notice what looks like a light briefly visible from the council houses on the hill (appropriate Perception check). It is a good 15 minute walk to the houses, or just a few minutes in car. When they get there an old mans voice calls out Who goes there? This is The Duffer, the caretaker of the estates. He has survived hiding out in a root cellar, scavenging canned foods from peoples homes and vegetables from the gardens. He is a WWII veteran and still a crack shot with his double-barrel quail gun.

If attacked he will fire back then attempt to hide and make his way back to the cellar, knowing Infected have probably heard the gunfire and are on their way. He is, however, lonely, and will answer any attempts to parlay with an offer of tea and biscuits. If engaged in conversation, the Duffer explains he saw the soldiers take off in the van towards the west, and that their HQ is located on the outskirts of Pendleton. If the players dont have transportation, he will offer them his Land Rover.
All this reminds me of Dunkirk. The screaming, the panic, the madness, then the quiet. Except now I want to stay right here.

1. Raccoon girl As they drive through the deserted country roads, they may spot the Raccoon Girl. She is a tween (13 years old) who has gone feral and survived by hiding out and scavenging or foraging for food. She carries a wrench as a weapon, has blacked out her eyes with soot and is in filthy clothes. She lives in a nearby abandoned animal den. If cornered, she will fight.

2. Tyger tiger Another encounter may be the tiger, which has escaped from a nearby private collection. It will follow the PCs for a while (Perception check), and will wait until one or two pair off before attacking. If they fire at it they will drive it off. This will also alert any Infected in the vicinity.

3. The Green Berets At some point, a PCs may notice camouflaged, ghilie suited commandos watching them (Perception check). These are a US reconnaissance team, and will refuse to communicate or cooperate, attempting to slip away. If PCs approach too close, they will receive a verbal warning in an obvious US accent, then if they continue a warning shot will be fired. Finally, the PC leader or the nearest one will be targeted by a sniper.

4. The checkpoint and the Tardis Finally, as the PCs reach the town below the city, they see a military checkpoint, with a tanktrap and sandbags blocking the road.
Off to the side is a chainlink area with tents inside. A spray-painted sign reads FOR RESCUE USE PHONE INSIDE TENTS. Inside the tent is a phonebooth that has been sloppily painted blue.

If they lift the receiver, after 3 rings a voice on the other end will introduce itself as a soldier and give directions for the Pleasuredome.

1. In the foxholes Whether the PCs follow the directions received at the checkpoint or arrive on their own, they arrive at the closed wrought iron gates of a large estate surrounded by stone walls with trees waving behind them. A sign tells them the servants door to the left of the gate is unlocked, that they should enter, close the door behind them, and FOR SAFETYS SAKE stay on the stone path and make their way to the manor house.

Entering the servants door, they see an immense lawn, with roughly placed stone slabs leading up to a 3 storey manor house. To their right from the gate a narrow road winds up to a large oval in front of the manor house where a camouflaged Hummer is parked. The lawn is mined, so anyone straying from the stone path should make a hard Luck roll every turn or take landmine damage.
As they enter the foyer, they see there is a security cage barring entry, with a table on one side underneath a pullbox for goods, and a desk on the inner side. A half-dressed soldier named Hash tells them they must leave their weapons in the pullbox. If they do, they enter the foyer before the stairwell. Off to the side, one bare-chested soldier smokes a spliff while another, on his knees, fellates him. He gives a peace sign and a wink as they pass. From somewhere Babybirds Youre Gorgeous plays. The smell of marijuana smoke is heavy in the air. A female soldier, topless in panties, looks down at them from the top of the stairs, eyes bleary and bloodshot. She croaks out Welcome to the Pleasuredome! as the PCs enter.

The Pleasuredome is done up with murals based on album covers or fantasy scenes. Beanbags, throw rugs, and pillows are everywhere. There are a pair of pet foxes in a cage on the ground floor, as well as a peacock in another. Groundfloor has pantry and kitchen.

Armed If PCs scout about the Pleasuredome, the find the following: The second floor has pleasure rooms (where PCs will be allowed to sleep), and dining. Third is barracks, Curts office, and armory, and is always guarded by an armed soldier who will warn off snoopers and shoot if disobeyed. The roof has a small vegetable garden. Landscaping tools are locked in the shed next to the garage, which is likewise locked. Inside the garage is the truck from the Prologue with the remaining product.

The soldiers include the PCs who survived the Prologue, plus the following:
Maureen, a Scottish Doc (If the PCs converse with her, she is the only one against Curt)
Singh, a cook,
Donnie, a muscled Orkney grease monkey
Finn and Billie, a pair of London-Irish snipers
Sandra, Yorkshire stoner
Anne, London career soldier
Tyrese, black London demolition expert
Reg, Brummey career soldier

There are four crosses in the backyard. These mark the graves of Father Phil (shot by Curt), Meg and Tommy (lover, ODed on the product), and Smith (infected and shot).
PCs are stripped of weapons and taken to see commander Curt.

2. The Art of Darkness - Commander Curt
Newly arrived PCs are taken to meet commander Curt in the dining room when they are fed.
Commander Kurt is shaven headed and wiry. He stands to shake the PCs hands and offer them seats. He asks about their reasons for coming, then explains his mission.

We are here to maintain an official presence, to stop thieves, and to lay the claim to our land in case the Yanks or French or whoever attempt to land.

If asked about the drug use or hedonism, Curt replies as follows:
Do you know where the word assassin comes from? It comes from Persia and Syria, before the Crusades. A sect of Nizari Ismailis created a Pleasuredome and training temple in the mountains. Their leader, the Old Man of the Mountain, would take young men, give them all the hashish, wine, women, and sumptuous food they wanted. Then, one day, he would throw them out and tell them not to come back until they had killed a certain person. Addicted to the drugs, sex, and delicacies, they either went mad or began training and completed their mission. Or died trying.

If the Old Man told a hashasheen to jump from a cliff, he would. Sir Conrad of Monferrat was killed strolling in his garden by two hashasheen who were in turn hacked down by the knights that surrounded them.

My soldiers are pure killers. They have seen heaven on earth, and so have no fear of death. This is the only kind of soldier that I can depend on here

3. Getting the Goods
There are a few ways the PCs could get the product. First, they could try to steal it. The soldiers have kept it in the delivery truck in case they need to get rid of it quickly, except for the bag they are currently working on. Commander Curt has the keys, and the truck needs diesel fuel, which will have to be siphoned from the generators or procured from some source in town.

Second, they could reason with the commander. Especially if they tell him they encountered US commandos, he might be convinced to get the product out of the Pleasuredome and clean up his act. However, his followers may not be happy at that and could start an armed resistance. They will still need to procure diesel.

Last, they could fight their way out. Since half the soldiers are armed at any time, they would have to make a diversion or choose a moment of weakness. The soldiers are true hashasheen now, and are sloppy taking cover but fearless in battle and dont feel much pain.

However the PCs manage to obtain the product and transport, their journey isnt over yet.

1. Getting Gas As noted earlier, the truck is on fumes, but a jerry can of fuel is hidden locked inside the armory. Otherwise, PCs will have to track down to the bus terminal or truck depot and siphon gas. Either of these places could be filled with Infected.

2. Bandits/Soldiers The PCs may have a run in either with bandits or the soldiers if they have crossed them. Bandits would be largely armed with melee or improvised weapons with a leader who may carry a pistol. They should not be a threat, just a challenge. The soldiers would be a greater threat, trying to get the product back.

3. The Infected Of course, driving a large, noise delivery truck back to the seaside is bound to attract attention. Especially since they have to call for pickup and wait for it to arrive, and one can of fuel will only get them half way.

4. Get to the Chopper (Optional) If the ZM thinks it feasible, he could have the chopper from the Prologue parked in the back garden of the Pleasuredome. It is under a tarp and has low fuel. It could get to or near the coastal village. A PC who hasnt selected his or her secret skill could select Pilot Chopper.

If all goes according to plan, they can call Mr. Lassad on the satellite phones and arrange a rendez vous. It will take a day for a ship to get in, the safest place to hide being probably the warehouse from the prologue, but one that would also be known to any of Curts vengeful soldiers.

After the journey to France, Mr. Lassad will pay the PCs upon receipt of his product and the adventure ends. If they return without the product or it is destroyed, he will be a fearsome enemy and will send killers to exact vengeance.

England Abandoned Secret Missions
25 / 75 points
For loot taken and sold in France up to/over 5000 EU
100 points
For delivering product to them in Paris
10 / 50 points
For getting stoned / overdosing
10 points
For every human killed, double if unnoticed
10 points
For every close up of Infected taken
20 points
For every member killed while delivering product
25+50 points
For sibling found + brought outside England
15/75 points
For Infected blood sample / prisoner brought back
25 points
For every rare animal brought back to France
60 points
For family heirloom brought back to France
15 / 50 points
For stopping sin / destroying the product
75 points
For getting Lassad arrested on return to France

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