Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Double Helping of BRAINS

Hey! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the blogosphere. Now that I'm back from my short vacation, here are some more rules and things to get you through the zombie apocalypse.


Heroes in zombie apocalypse stories are largely motivated by the need to replenish their supplies and stay one step ahead of the walking dead. Because of this, heroes are required to keep careful track of food, medicine, repair parts, and ammunition; to keep the hassle to a minimum, all such consumables are broken into abstract units.

Ammunition: While it is important for heroes to keep track of their ammo, the process of holding on to it is abstracted for a Dead Reign campaign. Ammunition is found in “units”; one unit of ammo is equal to 10 small bullets, 5 medium bullets, or 1 large bullet, decided by the survivor when he receives the ammo unit. The GM can instead give specific kinds of ammunition to heroes, but when found as units, the player characters get to choose.

Components: Weapons and gear break down all the time, but under normal conditions a character could just go to the store and buy parts or even a new gadget. In the harsh landscape of the zombie apocalypse, such objects are few and far between. Repair components are needed for every use of the Repair skill, such as fixing a damaged or broken weapon, building a new weapon out of spare parts, or cobbling together a useful item. Components are divided up into mechanical components, electronic components, and chemical components. See the scavenging rules for more about what a survivor can do with various kinds of components.

Food: Each character consumes 1 unit of food per day to operate as normal. A survivor can go on short rations, requiring only half a unit of food each day. A character on short rations must make a Vigor roll each day. Failure means the character gains a Fatigue level. Not eating at all forces a character to make a Vigor roll at –2 for every 12 hours without food after the first day (see the core book rules on Hunger). Survival rolls made to find food and water require a card draw (see below, under Scavenging).

Medicine: Each use of the Healing skill requires 1 unit of medicine. Not using any medicine units imposes a –2 penalty on the Healing roll. A character that is undergoing natural healing also uses 1 unit of medicine each week while recovering. Not being given any medicine during this time imposes a –2 penalty on the natural healing roll. Being given 2 units of medicine counts as +1 medical attention, while 3 units counts as +2 medical attention.

Now I know what you're thinking. Units? Consumables? How do I get some of those? Well, in the next installment I'll give you the skinny on scavenging through the ruins of the post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland. Stay tuned!

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