GAMING NEWS: "Wide, Wide World of Savage Zombies" (Savage Worlds Zombie Game 7-15-2007)
So, there we were about two weeks ago... E-mailing each other back and forth and wanting to get a new game together. John the "Reapersaurus" wanted to play board games, Anne wanted to be creative with a role-playing game (RPG), Kelley also wanted an RPG, Rob wanted to bring the family, Pat was indifferent, and I just wanted to visit with some of my friends and share a few choice games with them. So, finally we all agreed that most of the adults would play an RPG and the rest would play board games with the kids... So, which RPG do you choose for a group that goes by the name "Cannibal Pygmy Discussion Group?" A zombie game, of course! We talked about playing "All Flesh Must Be Eaten," but eventually "Savage Worlds" won out.
TOP: I brought some 28mm zombie minis, but we didn't need them after all.
So, eventually, Patrick, the creator of Monster Island and head honcho of Firefly Games (link on right sidebar), and our gamemaster (GM), sent us this teaser, a radio short:
It's just another weekday morning. You are on your way to St. Mary's Medical Center in downtown San Francisco, across from Golden Gate Park. You might work or volunteer at the hospital, or you might be visiting a patient. Or perhaps you're meeting a friend who's an employee for coffee, or you have a business appointment of some kind. Or possibly you're scheduled for outpatient testing or rehab therapy.
In any case, at some point in the course of your morning routine - whether it's hitting the snooze button on your clock radio, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or driving, walking, or riding the bus to the hospital - you hear the following news report:
"... latest casualties from Iraq. On a lighter note, no one was injured early this morning when a malfunctioning satellite crashed to Earth in the parking lot of a downtown San Francisco bowling alley during an all-night bowl-a-thon. Guess you'd call that a lucky strike!"
"Coming up after the break, today's weather and traffic together..."
And what gaming group doesn't come up with a few house rules:
Cool! I think the one change I will make is to allow bennies to be spent also to gain a 'lucky break,' basically a minor plot twist a la Faery's Tale.
"Hey, that zombie janitor we just killed has the key-card to this door!"
And the cool thing about Savage Worlds is that they offer a free 'Test Drive' PDF if folks want to take a gander at it before playing:
http://www.peginc. com/Games/ Savage%20Worlds/ Downloads/ SW%20Rev/ TestDrive4. pdf
TOP: What else were you expecting to find in the house of a guy nicknamed "Reapersaurus?"
So, next thing I know, we're discussing character creation like crazy, everyone coming with ideas of what kind of character they wanted to play.
Anne's character ideas were particularly "fertile" as is her norm:
And the funny thing is that anyone who's been to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco has walked by the "Art Institute" that inspired Anne. I'd say "you can't make that stuff up," BUT Anne did! ...and it is San Francisco we're talking about.
I think my character will be an art student attending the Art Institute in SF. She lives with a roommate in those homes that are embedded on a side of hill (only healthy people and mountain goats can get to these places). This roommate recently completed his--uh her transgender
surgery and so she's visiting her roommate who is recuperating from said surgery. In order to make ends meet, she works a few jobs: one at Stacey's Books on Market, and then another as a clerk of the concession counter at the Power Exchange, a club for the "adults only." Her senior project is nearly complete, and was inspired by her second job. Entitled "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Evening," her project is a series of abstract mixed-media pieces that are constructed on canvas with spackle, leather, PVC pipe, licorice and "found" fast food packaging.
She is also interested in performance art that involves physical exertion (...inspired by artists like Matthew Barney), so she will have some strength and agility. One of her pieces involving this medium was purchased for $10,000 USD. It was entitled "Untitled" and involved her mounting a trampoline in front of a wall covered with canvas. She proceeded to paint her hindquarters different colors, bounced backwards, and stamped her colorful cheeks onto the canvas. She broke two ribs in the process. Therefore, her payment for the piece went towards medical care costs. So there ya have it.
Since children are present, we won't go into detail about her second job during game play, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to develop a colorful San Francisco resident, in addition to lampooning modern art.
TOP: Anne, Rob, Kelley and Pat playing the zombie RPG.
And if you don't think San Francisco is a CRAZY place, please check out this link, appropriately called "Zombie Time" ("The Hall of Shame" is particularly disturbing):
While Rob's ideas came in the form of a cool little short story:
"Oh damn! Another one? Hit the sirens Sara."
"You got it Trevor."
The ambulance's sirens and lights came to life as Trevor romped on the gas pedal and sped off to the scene of the accident just another day in the life of a paramedic.
Arriving at the scene the found two vehicles badly damaged, one wrapped around a tree the other inserted into its passenger door. The emergency personnel were all on scene already trying to get the bodies out. To the right a man in a nice business suit was bent over the body of a woman giving CPR.
"1... 2... 3..." He blew into her mouth. He obviously knew what he was doing, but wasn't a member of the emergency personnel present.
Trevor and Sara jumped out of the ambulance and seeing no other bodies present rushed to the man's side.
"Move out of the way, we'll take it from here." Trevor told the man as he put his hand on his shoulder.
"Do you have a crash kit with you?" The man in the suit asked."Of course," Trevor answered.
"This woman has gone into cardiac arrest and has two broken ribs, and I think her spleen is ruptured. She's barely holding on.""Who are you?" Sara asked.
"1... 2... 3..." He blew into her mouth again before saying, "The name is Doctor Henry Strats. I'm a doctor at St. Mary's Medical Center.""Ok, doctor we've got it from here." Sara responded as she opened the crash kit and moved in to take over.
Dr. Strats stood up and watched as the paramedics went to work, and then looked around if there was anything else that he could do, but there was little for him that wouldn't require him getting in the way.
Soon additional ambulances arrived and the put the woman on a gurney as two others were pulled from the wreckage of the vehicles.
Jogging over to one of the paramedics he asked, "Can I follow you in? St. Mary's is only a half mile from here. I assume that is where you are going?"
"Sorry, you'll need to stay back and drive a safe speed. Don't worry we'll take good care of her." They hit their sirens and lights and sped off leaving the doctor to decide what he wanted to do.
He jumped in his car, put it in drive and sped off toward the hospital.
My character is Dr. Henry Strats. A forty-year-old doctor at St. Mary's.
Our final characters ended up a bit different though:
- Dr. J.C. Valmont, medical resident at St. Mary's played by Kelley W.
- Mr. Kevin Harding, fisherman of the Gorton's Fishsticks type, played by Robert.
- Mz. Fawn Schmichaels, grad student, "performance artist," and "Hippie chick" played by Anne F.
- Captain Maxwell S. Black, U.S. Army helicopter pilot played by Maksim S.
- Pat, the ALMIGHTY GM!
TOP: Alexa was the good-natured dog mascot... and seeker of dropped treats.
And we had a few NPCs connected to the backgrounds of our characters:
- Chief Resident (zombie) at St. Mary's, Doctor Herman Proctor.
- Mechanic "Skippy," formerly of the US Army before zombie-dom hit.
- Sandra, the transgender friend of Fawn, and the first "Zomb-IT" in history.
- Nurse Ginger, a friend of Dr. Valmont.
TOP : Zombie nurses are HOT!
And Pat read us the beginning blurb and away we went:
Zombies! starts out at a hospital in downtown San Francisco. Your PCs are employees, medical staff, public safety workers, or just ordinary people visiting patients or at the hospital for some other reason. The theme, as before, is you are everyday people caught at 'ground zero' of the zombie outbreak, and must struggle to survive and reach a place of (relative) safety. If your PC gets killed, you'll just pull another pre-gen from the pile and be another survivor encountered by the party as soon as it's possible to fit you back in.We started out in an elevator that stopped somewhere in between the fourth and fifth floors of the hospital. Out first action was to crawl out of the elevator onto the fifth floor where we encountered our first zombie, who took quite a beating from the crew... the zombie was whacked with some broomsticks, pushed around, and eventually succumbed to a few bullets from Captain Black's .45 ACP pistol. At that point, the party raided a nurse's station and custodian's closet for supplies... and discovered that the "guts" skill was particularly valuable as half the party was scared witless by some more zombies. After defeating the zombies and nearly having two of the characters bitten, the party decided to make their way to the roof rather than the first floor and dangerous Emergency Room (...which we believed was chocked full of zombies from a local bowling alley).
The party made their way to the stairwell and proceeded upwards... rescuing Nurse Ginger along the way and being viciously attacked (...and slowly attacked, they're zombies after all) by some NPC zombies, Chief Resident Zombie Dr. Proctor, Skippy the ex-mechanic zombie, and the "zomb-IT." I could have taken anything but being bitten by the transgender zombie! That would have been awful... eventually we made it to the roof, defeated a few more zombies miraculously and took an emergency services helicopter to the nearby naval air station... hoping that it was not too infested... YET!
The End. Finis!
"Tastes just like brains! Jingle, jingle. Buy them NOW!"
It was a good time and we all enjoyed it. The kids and adults who didn't play the RPG, played board games all day and we all munched on a variety of cool appetizers as well as some freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.
TOP: Jennifer, Michael, John, Jacob & Bethany enjoyed board games.
The board games that were played were:
- Apples to Apples, Jr. Edition
- There's a Moose In the House
- Tumblin Dice
We also discussed the upcoming "Weird Al" Yankovic concert coming on September 3rd, which reminded me of "Weird Al's" parody of Thriller: "Nature Trail From Hell."
And many many bad zombie jokes were made:
- Zombie Speed Dating:
- "Nothing like eating and running..."
- "He's so tender and full of brains..."
- "Is that performance art?"
- And the infamous transgender "zomb-IT!"
You can see all of the photos I took from that weekend here:
Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).