OK, I have been remiss. I haven’t kept up on the last three weeks of Savage Worlds posts. This is because I have been working on a Judge Dredd campaign for GURPS. Well, I have been reading lots of Dredd stuff, reading GURPS rules, and working on compiling a player’s guide for Megacity 1 for the players.
I haven’t run a GURPS game since way back in the 1980’s, with 1st edition GURPS. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to remember details from game systems I haven’t played in 30 plus years. So I am skipping by the older 1st edition GURPS that I don’t remember well, if at all. I am reading the 4th Edition books. I have been working through NPC character generation, all that good stuff. I have played 4th Edition GURPS, but never run it. How hard can it be? Pretty darned hard.
GURPS is kind of like Rifts in complexity. Rifts is amazingly awesome, but is broken as a game, since you can OP it as a player so many ways. But Rifts and GURPS are both full of amazing ideas with large numbers of books. I played Palladium games way back in the 1980’s and liked playing it because I could be anything in any world. The rules allow for anything as long as you buy enough of the books to support what you want to do. GURPS is like that, but for the most part is designed better so you can’t OP the system as a player as easily. You can still OP the system in GURPS, but there is more balance.
The other main difference is that Palladium / Rifts still has most of their books in print, where Steve Jackson Games has only a few GURPS books in print, with many more available as PDF files. Lately, Steve Jackson Games is putting some of their out of print books on a print on demand via Amazon.com and Create Space.
Anyhow, I am spending my spare time working on a players guide for the Dredd campaign. I think I am the only truly hardcore Dredd fan in the group. Other people have heard of Dredd, or realize that Sylvester Stalone starred in one Judge Dredd movie about 20 years ago, and that there was a Carl Urban Dredd movie a few years ago. Maybe they have seen the movies. I may be the only one who was reading Dredd comics back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I am probably the only one in the group who can spew out details about why the Futsies are not executed by the Judges for murder, where other residents of MegaCity 1 would be executed. OK, I am a fanboy of Dredd. Major fanboy of Dredd.
The campaign will allow the players to be some form of non-judge in the Dredd world. I have played a Dredd game where everyone was a judge in the game (Savage Worlds system), it was OK, but being a judge and saying “STOP, Prepare to be judged”, then shooting the lawgiver at them after selecting the one of five types of bullets got old after the fifth or sixth time. This group of players will much more appreciate the goblinesque approach of mayhem, and trying to stay ahead of the law.
- Eric likes Post Apocalyptic game and enjoyed the GURPS games that Loren ran – Check
- Mike likes the Dredd movies, and GURPS – check
- Collin likes GURPS, rolls low regularly, and wild goblinish role play games – check
- Sue likes RPG’s that have no rails – check
- Shari likes playing RPG’s where she can role play a unique character – check
- Brian likes engineering characters and role playing them in any system – GURPS has a ridiculous amount of customization – check
Sounds like this could be a good thing. I just need to not give Dolnitzer dynamite.
So after all that blather, what did we do over the last three weeks?
I am going to make this simple, short and sweet, because I want to get back to the player’s guide for Dredd.
Long story short (too late), The party, Kirkman, the Colonel and the two remaining troops went back to the theater, and Ms. Harten was stirring up the other survivors in a Revelations based fury. The other survivors threw Forthington out to the cannibals as a sacrifice to God. The other survivors attacked the party, several other survivors were shot, and just as things got bad, a whole bunch of the sick died and rose as zombies. The party was overcome by the mass of other survivors, and clubbed into unconsciousness.
Later, the Colonel managed to cut his bonds with a knife he had hidden in his boot, and let his two troops and Kirkman free. He woke up Sue, and promised her a long lifetime at his home in northern Idaho, where he lives off the grid. They could grow potatoes together and live a simple life where the government only knew where to send his retirement check to a post office box.
Sue decided that as enticing as that may be, she wanted to get the rest of the party out. They cut the bonds of the rest of the party and snuck out of the theater while Ms. Harten was busy whipping the other survivors into a tent revival frenzy.
As the party left the theater, they saw the eviscerated remains of Forthington. It was grisly. I won’t post any pictures of this, as it was just too nasty.
So the party goes to the destroyed bridge. The colonel is still in charge, and he then informs the rest of the party that it was nice having them around, but his mission is over, and other than Sue, no one else is coming with them.
Collin sees of the port bow that a large well lit white ship with orange stripes on it (coast guard) is coming right for the ship. The party is saved. The colonel wants to boogie out of there before the authorities arrive. He has been paid for a job, and he is going to finish it. He intends to take Sue to his fast getaway boat which is just off the ship, and abandon the rest of the party.
Collin notices that the Coast Guard ship isn’t slowing down. Then the Coast Guard ship rams the Pinnacle full speed, with dozens of cannibal coasties falling from the front of the Coast Guard ship onto the Pinnacle, simultaneously, the explosives that the paramilitary team explodes, rocking the Pinnacle.
Private Snuffy, one of the surviving paramilitary guys has his finger on the trigger, and (following the rails of the adventure) shoots Kirkman, the Colonel, the other paramilitary guy and himself, killing all the bad guys.
In a miracle of bad editing, the authors of the railroad adventure didn’t explain where Private Snuffy or the other military guys got their MP5 submachine guns, several grenades after being subdued, knocked unconscious, tied up, stripped of the weapons, let alone how Snuffy shot himself. But that doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t. Deas Ex Machina happens all the time.
The colonel is sad that he is dying before he has the opportunity to consummate his love with Sue’s character. He regrets that he won’t be with her to manage the system of solar charged 12 volt car batteries he has rigged up to provide for the power in his single wide of love.
Sue is appreciative of the Colonel’s getaway boat, but that is just about all. As the Colonel dies, he tells Sue to get to the back of the boat to get out There are ropes tied off, and they can rappell down from the Pinnacle down to the escape boat. Private Shifty is manning the escape boat. he is a good man.
So the party strips the deas ex machina weapons off of the dead men and run like hell for the rear of the boat. When they arrive, the escape boat is there, backed up against the ship, and the ropes are in place.
Everyone successfully rapells (as opposed to repel) down to the fast boat. Things are quiet. There is no private Shifty.
Things go from bad to worse. No one knows how to drive a fast boat. No one has boating skill at all. And it has been too long since anyone has watched Miami Vice to remember how Sonny and Crocket did it on TV. The cannibals reach the deck of the ship right above them and start pouring off the ship, onto the area around the fast boat. Now the adventure said that the party was supposed to get X new cannibals on the ship each turn until they could get away. Meh, I decided that I would drop 8 tokens per round onto the mat that represented the boat. I dropped them from about a foot above the escape boat, and if they landed on the boat, then they were an adversary, otherwise they bounced into the water. In come cases, the tokens knocked other zombies into the water also.
Also, Private Shifty showed himself, he was down in the hold of the fast boat with four other friends, all hungry for human flesh. Eric tried epic things. Mike tried epic things. Shari tried to survive. Collin tried to help. Sue eventually saved the day by figuring out how to pilot the boat away from the Pinnacle and then they fought off the other bad guys.
Eric prayed and sprayed the zombies in the hold. It didn’t work so well. He shot a bunch of bullet sized holes into the hull of the ship. Mike then killed a zombie with so many extra damage, I figured that the splatter from the zombie head exploding then filled each of the bullet holes that Eric caused.
Things went well for a while, the party argued about what would be on a boat, and what wasn’t. Eric was convinced that every boat in the world had a canopy over the pilot area.
He is of course, correct, There are no boats in the world which have no canopy over the pilot area. These images are alternate facts from the Internet, which we all know is flawed and full of lies. FAKE NEWS!
As you can see, the DM was incorrect in this, and all of the zombies should have ricochet off the canopy that must exist on all boats in the world rather than falling into the open crew area of the boat.
But that is why it is a fantasy role playing game, not a reality based role playing game.
So the party decided that the boat had to have a compass, since every boat in the world has a compass. and they would take off in the direction of land. Now, how a compass points you to land without the party looking for charts, or some way to georeference themselves against something else, I don’t know. If you just “head north”, you will go north. If there is no land north, or the nearest land is Iceland.
As it turned out, it didn’t really matter. The gunfire from someone, could have been Private Shifty firing on the first ghouls that converted him to the church of the temporary mortal condition, or someone in the party, damaged the fuel lines and the fuel tank. After about 4 hours of motoring, the engines stopped, and the party was adrift. The boat was then caught in a hurricane, which blew them way the hell out of the way.
The boat eventually magically arrives at a marina. The marina only has a couple of sailboats. The “fast” boat docks itself and the party goes off to see what is in the marina. The parking lot is empty. There is a marina office nearby. The office looks like it has a store, the store door is open and it is dark inside.
One of the party members (I won’t say who, but the name rhymes with “Derek”, or more correctly “Deric” with a silent D wants to know if any of the sailboats have motors. I tell that (to be unnamed party member) that none of the boats have engines. That player informs me that all sailboats have motors.
I explain to him that when I was in high school, the priest of the church that we attended had a sailboat, and we went out several times on the water. His sailboat had no motor. I was informed that this was not correct.
So, “Deric”, I will turn to the lies of the Interwebs to demonstrate that not all sailboats have motors, engines etc. They may have an outboard motor, but if any of the sailboats had outboard motors, they have been stripped. Here are a couple of sailboats that have no motors, and surprisingly enough do not have a canopy over the tiller area…
Now, we all know that the scientific method never “proves” anything, so the examples that I found on the Interweb may actually not support my contention that not all sailboats have motors, or that some boats don’t have canopies over the pilot area, but it seems that maybe somewhere out there, some people are bucking the trend.
So the party moves across the parking lot and into the marina office. The store is ransacked. There isn’t even a bottle of water left. They hear sounds coming from downstairs. They find a door that appears to go downstairs.
Now this is where Sue decided she had enough of these shenanigans. She tells me that no one ever has a basement in the Florida or the Caribbean. She is adamant that this never happens, never, with a double finger wag.
I try to explain that this building has a basement, and she silences me with a stern look and a quick wag of the finger. I tell her that the railroad of the adventure says the building has a basement, and she tells me I am wrong. You see, she is from Florida, and she knows that basements are crazy talk, and nobody would have a basement there, ever. EVER.
Now, I have been to Florida. I haven’t lived there, but I have been there. And when I go to Realtor.com, you can search for homes in Florida with basements. And results come up.
This may all be the cray-cray reality of the Internet. You know, the same Internet that regularly makes Donald Trump look like a fool. We all know that we can’t ever trust what the Internet says, after all, the people listing houses on Realtor.com may actually just think that the crawl space under the floor is a “basement”, to and follow their realtor’s advice to include a basement in their house listing to fool people who come from Ohio.
But the real point here is that nobody asked where they were. They assumed that the hurricane just blew them into Florida. Nobody asked what the fauna looked like. Were the trees in the woods pine trees, oak trees or palm trees?
Once Sue figured out that they were not in Florida, and they were actually in North Carolina, she acquiesced and said that it was possible that some people in North Carolina might have basements, maybe.
The next session (yesterday) was equally productive.
The session started out with the party hearing gunshots from the woods (you know, the pine woods). The party investigates and finds that there is a person inside a nearby house that is shooting at a bunch of cannibals who are approaching the house. The shooter is a crack shot, and kills all of the cannibals, one shot per kill.
The party approaches, and they are warned off by the man in the house. Shortly afterwards, a woman comes out and invites them in for some food and company. Not sure whether to trust this NPC or not, the party comes in. She offers to cook up some Dinty Moore stew for everyone.
For some reason, Shari isn’t so sure about this, and she wants to watch the lady open up the cans, to make sure that there isn’t some special ingredient to the dinner.
Long story short, the old man warms up to the party. They eat delicious stew. The old man fires up his generator and shows a couple of VCR tapes of what the official government tools said on the news. It doesn’t look good. Nobody knows nuthin. Things gone to shit. We are all on our own. The president is clueless. General Emerick tried to tell everyone to go to specific centers to keep the healthy alive, and things got bad.
The old man also give the party some of his moonshine. It is like unrefined turpentine, but when mixed with blueberry Schnapps, it isn’t too bad.
Everyone beds down, and about 2 AM, they hear a bunch of motorcycles rumble into the marina. The old man gets everyone up and they go check out what is going on. There is a motorcycle gang, with 24 motorcycles, and 36 people hooting and hollering in the marina. The gang has set fire to the three boats in the marina, and are trashing the place. They kill the zombies that were in the faux basement, then they hear the leader say “I wanna check out the house we passed on the way into here. Mount Up!”
Henry, the old man is worried, he knows that they won’t get back to the house before the gang. He hightails it back to his wife.
Things got bad. Mike and Shari are caught by the bikers, and thrown into the basement after they are stripped of all of their belongings. The rest of the party sneaks in, following Henry into the basement through a narrow window. Now Sue wasn’t there to argue about whether or not a house would ever have a basement anywhere. No one else wanted to take up the flag and complain about the house having a basement.
Once in the basement, everyone tries to figure out what to do. There were 36 bikers roaming around, trashing the house. At some point, one of the bikers decides he is going down into the basement. He opens the door, and Henry shots him in the shin, shattering his shin bone, and the biker collapses into the basement. Then another runs down the stairs, and Henry shoots him, killing him too.
Then things get bad. The bikers shoot down the steps and some of the players are wounded. Chipping the wounds, they miraculously recover, except Henry who is incapacitated.
The bikers demand that everyone come out. Collin takes a grenade, and pulls the pin, drops the pin on the floor, and walks up the stairs calmly holding the spoon in place. He gets to the top of the stairs, and announces what he has done. The bikers shoot at him. He drops the grenade and runs back down the stairs.
This is where we got into some house rules. I dealt one card to Collin, and one to myself. If Collin has the better card, the grenade goes off before the bikers can react. If the bikers have a better card, they react first. Guess what, the bikers had a better chard.
Then, I say to Collin, OK, not everyone may know what is going on. How about if we even / odd. I will roll three d6’s, one for each biker. On an even they stay, on an odd, they run away. He agrees. I roll three odds. They all run away. Then I say, how about structural damage. If I roll a 1d6, on a 1, the area where the grenade went off is structurally damaged, and anyone walking on that square may collapse the floor. He agrees. I tell Collin to roll that one. He rolls a six.
It was a big damn hero moment, but not big enough. The dice gods did not agree.
So the bikers above started shooting through the floor randomly. With 17 bikers in the floor above, I figured that each player had a one in six chance of possibly being hit. Only the old lady got hit.
Eric found the window and snuck out of the basement He rolled a huge roll, the best roll, on multiple d4’s, and got something like a 23 on an unskilled sneak roll, by critting a d4 a gazillion times in a row. He found three bikers with M-16’s standing outside the house within 15 feet of his window.
Shari was shaken from the shooting, and was trying to roll to lose the shaken, it took like four rounds to do this. She was jealously guarding her sole, lonely poker chip.
Sue was nowhere to be found. This is likely because the action was taking place in a basement, and since nobody has basements, there was no way that this could be happening at all.
Mike was playing big damn hero in the stairwell, waiting for a biker to come down so he could mucha lucha his ass.
Brian was looking for a way to get out other than the window that Eric went out.
Collin decided that a prepper in North Carolina, who was so edgy that he had a basement in his house would have kerosene drums for whatever a prepper does with kerosene. He found six five gallon plastic containers full of some liquid, but in the dark, he couldn’t tell if it was fuel or Kikkoman soy sauce.
Just to keep any arguments from happening, yes, you can purchase 5-gallon buckets of soy sauce. It costs just under $30 online.
The package says “over 300 years of excellence”. I think that 5-gallon bucket would take 300 years to consume in this house.
Anyhow, Collin grabbed one of the six 5-gallon buckets, assuming that it was kerosene or some other flammable liquid. I had Collin roll a d6. on a 6, it would be soy sauce, or maybe the chemical used in chemical toilets. He rolled a 1, which is pretty much par for the course for Collin. He will do great at GURPS.
Then Collin pours the flammable liquid all along one outer wall of the basement. I was not sure of what the heck he was doing.
Mike rips off his mucha lucha mask, and yells to the bikers to “stop this madness” He is able to make about a half dozen bikers stop. One doesn’t listen. The party hears a person running on the floor above, and Mike, midway up the stairs, sees a biker throw a Molotov cocktail down into the basement. Mike tries to catch it, and misses, tipping it and it crashes, spreading fire all around the basement, and catching the kerosene that Collin poured on the floor.
Things got bad at that point. Collin and Shari followed Eric out the window. They were surrounded by bikers and beaten into submission. A wave of zombies slowly moved in on them, very slowly. Painfully slowly… You see what happens, “Deric” or should I say “dEric” when you argue with the GM? Mike goes into the kitchen and tries to shoot bikers, who in turn shoot him to the point where he takes a permanent wound.
Brian snuck off to the RV, and found a double barrel shotgun with 20 shells on a harness. When he broke into the RV, the dome light turned on, and it took an eternity for the damn dome light to turn off, after he closed the door. The bikers knew that he was there. Brian hid, and prepared to shoot anyone coming into the RV. He got one shot off, and shot so well that he was able to see that the biker had fish sticks for lunch. There is now a greasy smear of guts all over the inside of the RV.
The bad guys responded by opening up on the RV, shooting out the tires, engine, glass, and everything else. The RV isn’t going far now.
Everyone except Brian was captured. The old man and woman were killed. This is a problem since “everyone” was supposed to be captured, and the old man and woman were supposed to live.
I need to figure out how to get this train back on the tracks.