Author Topic: Up to the GMing challenge  (Read 7479 times)

klaatu

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Up to the GMing challenge
« on: April 14, 2009, 09:36:01 PM »
I have this notion for a GURPS Black Ops campaign (cinematic action with obscenely capable characters), but I'm not entirely sure how to make it sufficiently challenging.

The outline is, the zombie apocalypse is breaking out with some help, and only the Ops and the Company stand between humanity and ...not.  What I'm not sure of, is how to make such a campaign believably challenging; each character is worth more in character points than Superman, and the worst of them are crack shots.  (No superpowers/magic, limited or no psychic powers, but cinematic gadgeteering is possible.)

Obviously, hopelessly outnumbered civilians and a race against the machinations of the being using the zombies as tools are major conflicts, especially for Ops from the two (of five) departments who have a responsibility to save civilian lives.  I'm also planning to use new-Dawn of the Dead style fast zombies to up the danger level.

My current plan is also to develop things slowly, with anti-outbreak missions, investigations, suppression-of-evidence missions, some internal Company politics, and maybe even side missions against rogue psychics/giant cockroaches/the Greys.  If the players don't get it fast enough, things would go downhill from there.

How do you challenge ultimate cinematic badasses with zombies?  Or should this be recast as a military game instead?

Setherick

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Re: Up to the GMing challenge
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 09:43:48 PM »
Fast, head-shot only zombies will be challenging enough for your players. Especially when they start getting hordes of them thrown at them. Remember the difficulty of a zombie game is that zombies never tire, they don't have morale, they just keep coming.

You should pick up WWZ and (re)read the chapters about how badly shock and awe works against zombies.
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clockworkjoe

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Re: Up to the GMing challenge
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 10:33:44 PM »
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is a pre-emptive war. The players are sent into a city easily isolated where zombies are breaking out. But this is the only city infected so far but new cases are springing up faster and farther. It's only a matter of time before the military can no longer contain the horde. The military is quarantining the city so no one can get out. The players must find the source of the zombies and shut it down before it spreads to the rest of the world. The key here is to make the zombies different enough from the usual so that the players can't make any assumption. So bites don't infect, but some other vector does. The zombies are not only fast but may possess other abilities. Maybe headshots can't even kill them reliably.

The intro starts with the players learning the basic rules of the zombies and entering the city. Then structure it like an onion - every session reveals a new layer of information and challenges. Eventually reverse the rules and have a big twist towards the finale.

Some random ideas:

The city's survivors banding into a weird violent clan/tribe structure with a black market. Everyone is paranoid and armed.
Profiteers exploiting the situation for profit.
New Age healers promising immunity from infection...for the faithful
Corporate mercenaries (think blackwater) competing with the players for info on the zombies
Scientists capturing zombies and experimenting on them
Gangsters trying to smuggle an infected rich guy out

Maze

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Re: Up to the GMing challenge
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 01:45:26 PM »
Don't forget the opportunity to fuck with the players by forcing them to either shoot at civilians or risk a new outbreak.

Mason

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Re: Up to the GMing challenge
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 03:46:24 PM »
feel free to take it up a notch zombiewise. use stuff like the licker(resident evil) or the blood corpse(book of unremitting horrors), or even a forsaken shell(open grave D&D4e). lets see them try and shoot something that has there buddies wrapped up. it would force them to use their combat knives...if they can get to them.
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Setherick

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Re: Up to the GMing challenge
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 03:53:26 PM »
feel free to take it up a notch zombiewise. use stuff like the licker(resident evil) or the blood corpse(book of unremitting horrors), or even a forsaken shell(open grave D&D4e). lets see them try and shoot something that has there buddies wrapped up. it would force them to use their combat knives...if they can get to them.

You might also consider getting a hold of a copy of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, if you don't already have it, it has a pretty extensive zombie creation guide in the back of it.
"Something smart so that I can impress people I don't know." - Some Author I've Not Read