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  1. My group had a "bit" of confusion over the dice mechanic. It's pretty simple on paper but there's a few nuances to it that can cause a bit of head scratching. The important thing to remember is that negative dice do two things - they make tasks more difficult and less likely to succeed (by cancelling out some positive dice) and they also represent the implicit danger of the task in question (by causing some stress). However this still means that tasks can be performed with NO negative dice and still not succeed. The book mentions this in passing but its definitely worth remembering. If you're doing something hard but not dangerous then it's perfectly acceptable to just say "roll 1 positive dice" and that's it. If your character is picking a lock with no extra pressure and it kinda seems a bit silly that they get mental stress from doing this (heck even mental stress from succeeding in doing this) then just don't include any negative dice. This is especially worth mentioning for combat. The rules state no "base" difficulty for combat checks. What I mean by this is it doesn't say that zombies should automatically involve 2 negative dice when you attack them whereas for normal checks it mentions a base difficulty. You might include a few neg dice for other reasons (lots of zombies, it's dark, it's raining, you're scared etc) but remember that you can always just do positive dice. With all this messing around with negative dice and stress often you end up in situations where your players cant actually be hurt. When players build up enough stress in one track they gain resistances. You may end up with situations where, in your game you're rolling 2 positive dice for zombie attacks. and you're players have 2 resistance....even if both those dice are successes then you're players cannot be hurt. Try and avoid this cos it just ends up being kinda stupid.
  2. Remember that the negative dice aren't just a way to introduce difficulty they also introduce danger. In a lot of cases something might be hard to do but if you fail you wont actually get hurt in any way. The perception test above is a prime example of this. You might have low Willpower but if you fail to see anything getting mental stress would be a bit....random. Instead just rolling a die - and failing because you rolled above the attribute value is enough.
  3. Yeah the experience rules (like most of the rules) are relatively loose and narrative. Basically at the end of a session each player gains a new positive and a new negative feature based on what happened in play. So take my first session - one guy did a load of damage with a cricket bat, but also ran away from a really important fight that got someone killed. So we gave him Blunt weapon pro as a positive feature and Unreliable/Untrustworthy as a negative feature. If you would get that feature again e.g. that same player continues to excel at blunt weapons then they could instead increase that attribute (Dex) by 1. I think the same applies to negative features and reducing an attribute (but I might be wrong). Of course this could potentially mean that eventually your players have every attribute at 5 and a TONNE of features. I think it would take too long before this actually becomes an issue. Saying that though features are stacking up pretty quickly so it wont be long before we need to start writing them on additional bits of paper!
  4. Just to clarify players can go to zero duty if they want? With only 5 starting duty per player I'm worried everyone will opt for the extra stuff and end up with a starting group duty of 0!!
  5. Hi all - just a quick question with regards to duty during character creation. To be honest the whole dealing with Duty in the core rulebook has ticked me off something rotten and I've had to use the forums quite a lot already to figure out whats going on. Why oh why did they remove instructions for awarding duty that was in the Beta rulebook? Crazy!! Anyway my question is based on lowering Duty to gain benefits. I'm playing with 6 people so everyone has only 5 duty each which can be lowered for either 5 XP or 1000 credits. Can these things be used during character creation. I think my guys will more interested in the bonus credits - does this mean that when buying starting gear they now have 1500 to spend rather than just 500? Or does this starting money only apply to the amount of cash they have once gameplay begins? Cheers
  6. I actually played around with reverse empathy tests in my first session. The issue is, like you said that the higher your empathy is the more likely you are to have to help people in need. I know it's an abstraction but when it came to character creation my players were making themselves so they took all these stats rather literally. So the example we had in our game was one player meeting his zombified dad and having to kill him. Before starting I made them do all do an empathy test. Passing this test means they're too empathetic and can't attack this turn and failing this test means screw empathising with it and just kill it! Hence reverse empathy test. Rules for passing and failing are exactly RAW the players just wanted to fail rather than succeed. It worked quite well. Everyone got a little chunk of social stress from the test as the reality of seeing a friends parent die hits them and the friend in question was frozen and couldn't bring himself attack - because he passed the test.
  7. In that case saying you can't use a negative dice for the "unrelenting" feature because it's against the rules isn't a true statement. The feature is there to be interpretted as the Gm sees fit.
  8. Also as mentioned in many other topics there really aren't any rules for unrelenting or horrifying features. I love the game but the npc features given are very vague and essentially not explained A few examples of what tests they should be used with would have been nice.
  9. Time is a strange concept is role playing games and, for a new player probably the hardest thing to come to grips with. 90% of the time, time will flow as the narrative allows for it. If the players are camped up in a house with enough food, water and other stuff to last them 3 days then by all means jump through those 3 days. Of course, as the GM you might want to add in a few surprises on the way but you don't need to a strict hour by hour or minute by minute schedule if it doesn't make sense. Time only becomes important in combat basically and then each round is a certain number of seconds....10 I think. In terms of healing a character needs 5 minutes of downtime to convert stress to a trauma. So they can't do this in the middle of combat really or in other stressful situations. Removing a trauma is a bit different but again comes down to time. You don't have to spend 1 week doing literally nothing whilst you cure a large cut for example you just need to make some effort to cure it and then allow that time to pass. This really is down to GM discretion. You might be nice and start the 1 week clock the moment they stick a bandage on it. You could tell your players to keep track of medical supplies and remind them to change bandages and use disinfectant every day or you'll "restart the clock". That's another thing that is weird when you're new to RPGs is how, as the GM you have the final decision when it comes to rules and really depends on the game you want to play. For me I've been quite nice and just let players wait out the time before healing. Of course this depends on the severity of the trauma. If one of my players was to get a broken leg then simply adding a cast and acting as normal will not allow the thing to heal but that has yet to happen yet!
  10. Yeah planning for this game is really tough compared to other RPGs. For example in the FFG Star Wars rpgs I can dump my player on some made up planet in a made up jungle and the only info they have about the area is what I tell them. They can go off piste of course but it's easy to sign post things and push them in the desired direction. In this we're playing in our own home town. If i want my players to go left they might know that road better than me and go right. I want them to run away and they decide to hide in a building or something I forgot was there. In the first and only session I played I started in somewhere confined - the London Underground system and planned a few encounters there. It became very obvious that after a short while my players would just leave the train and get above ground. Once they do that I literally had no idea what they'd do. Of course I had some ideas but it really was me making it up on the fly. Basically you do have to do what OP says. Link NPCs and events to lose ideas or locations. So don't link this amazing NPC you've invented to a specific restaurant just link it to any random building your PCs find. One thing I also found in the first game is that killing off players loved ones works when you have little else to do. My players fled to one of their houses much quicker than I anticipated so, to give them something to do I just killed off one of their dads. I'm sure I can't just keep doing this forever and will have think of more interesting things on the fly but for now, in the early zombie carnage, it worked quite well.
  11. Also another point that hasn't been mentioned that applies more to non zombie npcs. Just because an npc has 9 health doesn't mean it will fight until it dies. A hunan might back down at 6 or 7 stress for example
  12. Yeah I agree with all. This topic has actually made me realise my own mistakes with rules - specifically that combat rolls have no base negative dice.
  13. Heh I can see a lot of the stuff in the original post might be aimed at me. I think the game is awesome. Check out my play report Just....discussing the price of a product doesn't necessarily mean we hate it. As consumers we have the right to discuss whether we do or don't think we're getting our monies worth. Personally - I love the game. the book is great quality and the art work is fantastic. A lot of work has been put into make 5 very good and very different scenarios - which is frankly probably hardest with zombies than the other books. Will I buy the others in hardback....not sure. First of all that depends which ones my players are keen on playing but also I think I'd probably go for the PDFs. Although.....a shelf containing all four books would look **** pretty.
  14. I think my issue is all the books will be at this price tag and....realistically what will you be getting new in each book? New scenarios of course but the system will remain largely unchanged. Would be good if the scenarios could be bought at a lower price tag rather than ending up with 4 books detailing the exact same system.
  15. It's a tad over priced everywhere I think although for you it sounds particularly bad. In the uk it was about £28 which i think is about $42. For a book of this size it should really be cheaper. It's a great game but still I see your point
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