A Survival Horror RPG: I would like to tell ya'll about the time I first unleashed AFMBE upon my regular group of gamers (Deadlands, Rifts, DiskWars, etc.,) which will directly coincide with the AFMBE adventure I have scheduled for this years CONduit 10: Night of the Living CONduit... (aptly named). I am posting this here to help influence those posters who might be on the fence about purchasing AFMBE (just do it!) and to further spark any Hell-World ideas other Zombie Master are coming up with (letting the brain juices flow freely out of our heads and down onto our shoulders).
In addition to the customization mentioned below, I also created a custom game screen (I couldn't wait any longer for the official one) to hide my dice roles and have immediate access to some of the most commonly used charts and graphs from the AFMBE rule book. NOTE: This was for total personal use, in no way what so ever will I give out this personal compilation nor do I want to be perceived as challenging the Eden, Inc. copyright. I simply needed to create a personal gaming tool to run a better AFMBE game. I hope that's OK?
On with my report...
The Setting: I used *The Beginning*, by Pat Dixon and the pre-generated characters on the AFMBE webpage with minor changes to fit my location of choice (Cajun country in south/central Louisiana) and custom cast member background info and retrofitting for this campaign. Using a highway map of LA, I compiled a smaller road map for the "crash site" and graphed out the local Chevron, Spanky's and BJ's Farm Equipment buildings on either side of I 49. I also changed the time setting to the Friday before Mardi Gras and the subsequent Fat Tuesday. I don't know if any of you know the difference between a typical N.O./Burbon St. televised T&A Mardi Gras and a Cajun/Lafayette area Mardi Gras, but they are like night and day. Basically we Cajuns mix in a lot more voodoo and mysticism for the event with dead chicken foot prints in blood and raggedy costumes, basically. From this setting I incorporated a beginning version of the "Dawn of the Zombie Lords" with one backwards Cajun Voodoo Master raising the undead to reek havoc on the living. Or in this case those unlucky souls traveling south on I 49 past the Red Dirt National Refuge on Friday night.
The Cast Members: The party was made up of the "Alexandria Razor Backs" Roman Catholic football team and entourage returning from a loosing ball game in Bossier City, LA. Therefor everyone was bummed-out and asleep when the bus encountered the crash site except for the Cast Members. I picked and choosed the following 6 archetypes: The Cheerleader and Athlete were both a shoe-in; a retrofitted Goth Chick and Hacker as band members; and two adults, the Biker turned Bus Driver and Priest turned Coach. Only the Hacker had a gun. After the introduction to the game had begun and the setting was set, I let the players roll off to pick the cast member of their choice.
The Shambling: When the first Zombie/crash victim attacked his would be rescuers and engaged with the cast members-who were all subject to a Fear Test (the first of many)-those players who picked one of the two Inspired cast members with Vision or Divine Sight Miracles were treated to the picture of the screaming Cajun Voodoo Master on page 63 of the AFMBE rule book. I figure they needed to have some idea as to the means behind the rejuvenation of the undead and the basic player knowledge that magic/Metaphysics do existed in the game. From there the adventure continued on as planed in Pat Dixon's submission combined with graphed floor plans and some lead figs. to push around. Because there is a Zombie Lord in control of the Undead, I took full liberty to show the cast members that not all Zombies were Dumb as Dead Wood and Slow & Steady. Instead there were a few children with the Lunge (wow, that really caught them all off guard) and one with Detachable Parts, using the lower intestine as a whip after suffering a nonfatal shotgun wound to the torso (ya should have seen the looks on the players faces). Cast Member attrition was at an all time high.
All in all, the above scenario fits very nicely into the 4 hour time slot for prescheduled games at CONduit 10 and should be a major shock to those gamers who sign on for a Private Eye, Military, Supernatural type of game.
Zombie Master's Rant & Raves: AFMBE is the best RPG I have seen in a long time. My group was a little worried that it would only be a "one shot wonder" but after this first game, we've been playing a lot more of it that we though possible. Because I am dealing with a more experiences group of RPG'ers we decided to use dice system and additional detailed combat rules and targeting. I did notice that the optional rule of "Feinting" would be better served if the Skill of Intelligence and Dexterity were added together and then divided in half for the Resisted Task roll. It would also help if there was a blank Zombie template (similar to the character sheets in the back of the rule book). Or better yet make the Zombie templates with some cool art work like the archetypes in Chapter Two. After all, AFMBE is a very graphically oriented game, well, at least that's how I run it ... and I like the fatality rate, it reminds me of CyberPUNK.
The Dead have returned and they are eating the flesh of the living.