The third act of Andy Slack's gaming blog

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” – Sir Edward Grey, 3 August 1914

Z+28: 28 Days Later. Almost the entire global population is infected. Rats take over human buildings and breed explosively. Any dry goods not already salvaged from supermarkets are consumed by mice, which also eat the labels off cans. This continues until they run out of food or predators such as foxes move into the buildings as well. Bodies in cryogenic suspension begin to decay as their liquid nitrogen coolant boils away.

Camberwick Green, Z+28

Reed’s abstract outing worked well, and I’m burned out on tabletops for the moment, so let’s try that approach againā€¦

Stoner worked out some time ago that while the average survivor was looting supermarkets, he was going to be looting the distribution centres that supplied the supermarkets. It would be good to get some wheels to carry everything he finds, and do so before lorries become conspicuous targets for gangers.

Challenge 1: Roll 35 vs Rep 4; pass 1d6. No event.

Challenge 2: Roll 32; pass 2d6. Find a Luxury Item.

Challenge 3: Roll 22; pass 2d6. Find Food. Recruit Loner no. 2 on the card. Using a new name generator I found which uses a weighted selection from actual records, I learn she is called Julie Barber.

Breaking in is a piece of cake, and he starts loading up bags with food and luxuries. He encounters another survivor with similar ideas; there’s enough here for dozens of people, maybe hundreds, never mind two; so they converse while loading their packs, hit it off over a shared taste in firearms, and decide to travel in company for now.

Challenge 4: Roll 12, pass 2d6. Find Luxury Items.

Challenge 5: Roll 13, pass 2d6. Find Food.

Challenge 6: Roll 12, pass 2d6. Find Meds.

They carry on ransacking the depot until they can carry no more, then head back to Stoner’s fortified basement, since he has been planning for this contingency for years, and Barber is simply reacting to events.

Bookkeeping

This is Stoner’s last outing before the end of the first month, so it’s convenient to resolve DRD, IRD and Food. He has no IRD or DRD, so that’s easy; each of the pair consumes a unit of Food, and we move on. They have 7 Items between them, so Stoner hands a couple to Barber to carry.

(Food consumption is actually happening day by day over the coming month, it’s a convenient abstraction to dock them each one Food at the end of this month and ensures I don’t forget.)

  • Stoner: Rep 4 Star, Loner. People 3, Savvy 4. Crack Shot. A-3, Food x1, Luxury x1, Meds x1. Lifetime Rep 0.
  • Julie Barber: Rep 4 Loner. People 3, Savvy 4. A-3, Food x1, Luxury x1.

GM Notes

In previous campaigns, Stoner was a loner before it was cool, but as the Norse used to say, “Bare is the back of the brotherless man.” In ATZ: EOD, you need at least two in your band so that gangers can’t outnumber you 3:1 and reap the benefits when interacting.

This session lasted 6 turns and took 15 minutes to play through; had it not been abstract, it would have used 2 human figures and 0 zombies. Stoner’s dice rolls were on fire throughout, so it was a cakewalk; that happens sometimes.

That takes all the PCs to the end of the first month, which is a convenient point to pause; let’s call it the end of Season 1. When 28 Months Later restarts, we’ll shift to the usual pace of one or two encounters per game month, and use the battle boards instead of a tabletop. My suspicion is that this will reduce the number of turns per game. I’ll also put ATZ: FFO back on the shelf and shift over entirely to ATZ: EOD and SWADE, which will reduce the amount of page flipping if nothing else.

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