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  1. I'm going to disagree with Amroth. I think It Ends With a Whisper is the most story-driven and has the most stuff going on in the background and thus works better for a continuing campaign: After they get out of the city, you can send them on a mission to get gris gris or to hunt the priest in the area or defend their base from a directed zombie attack. I think for one-shots you should go short and brutal and end with death and crushing defeat. To that end, I suggest Under the Skin. EDIT: I completely misread the original post. I guess I missed the "not" in "We plan on this not being a one shot adventure." Armed with my new-found literacy, I totally agree with Amroth (who has much better reading comprehension than me)! I think It Ends With a Whisper is a great choice for all the reasons that both he and I stated.
  2. Zombies only roll one attack die (in most situations). If the PC has even one level of resistance, that means that they can stand in the middle of a zombie swarm, laughing, while twenty undead flail ineffectually against them. How have you all dealt with this issue? I've tried to solve it by letting them do a sort of 'horde attack' where they will buff each other if enough are around. This is, however, an indelicate solution and I would like to hear how others have handled it.
  3. I completely agree with Eyeless and Merc, but the other thing to bear in mind is that you WANT the fights to be very dangerous. You shouldn't be encouraging your players to dive into combat if there is any alternative. This is survival/horror, not tactical combat.As to the concern of a PC getting bitten early on. I definitely get wanting to protect your PCs from that, at least for a while. That's no fun for the player: bit in the first session, booted from the game. My solution for that is to make the "Bite of the Living Dead" rolls behind the screen. That way I can cheat for them until they get their feet under them and have seen an NPC turn from a zombie bite.
  4. No, I'm disagreeing because my way makes more sense to me. I conceed that the rules do it differently than me (that's why it's a 'house rule'), I just like my way and think it works better.
  5. Pretty much. That's the thing about life, sometimes you make your immediate goals but things go sideways.
  6. Eyeless, If they succeed AND roll a critical fail at the same time, that just means I have to get creative. They successfully ram the gate but doing so blows out one of the tires. They successfully make the headshot but the round over-penetrates and damages the loot they were going for. They successfully jump between buildings but they drop their cellphone when they land.
  7. Just realized the the thread title sounds like I'm saying that my house RULES. I mean, it DOES, but that wasn't what I meant.
  8. I get what you're saying about running willpower tests. That makes sense, but I remain unconvinced. At the end of the day, they failed a test and/or have negative dice sitting around; they're GOING to take stress, who really cares that it's in another category. Hell, there's a 50% chance that it'll work out in their favor, anyway.
  9. After running two campaigns of EoTW with different groups, here some of the changes that I've found work for me, and why. CRITICAL SUCCESSES AND FAILURES: Matching successes count as a critical success, not just in "Destroy The Brain" attacks, but in all skill tests - they may score a head-shot, find rare loot, talk an NPC into joining their group, etc. On the flip side, Matching negative dice count as a critical fail - they may fall on their ass, accidentally hit a nearby ally, have a weapon jam or break, drop something loudly, etc. The fact is that sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you hit a patch of ice and fall on your ass while trying to run from flesh-hungry ghouls. Currently the game doesn't have a way to reflect this and leaves it up to the GM to simply inform the player that their gun jammed randomly; this can make it feel arbitrary and punishing for the player. This way makes it feel more fair. FLEXIBLE CHARACTER CREATION: I let people take an extra point or two if they can make a good faith argument why they should be allowed to. I also tell them that they have to take at least one positive and negative feature in each category, but that they should take as many as are required to make an accurate in-game reflection of themselves. I get the the game wants to make all the PCs balanced by starting everyone with 10 points and requiring one negative and one positive feature in each category, but I don't think that works, for two reasons: - One, not every person IS exactly as skilled as everyone else, some people are just less likely to survive. It's a bit cold, I guess, but I would rather lean towards realism at the expense of perfect group balance. - Two, not all features are equal anyway. The physical feature "Asthma" is going to trigger all the time, whereas "Peanut Allergy" will barely come up (short some creative GMing). So seeing as starting everyone with exactly one of each feature isn't balanced anyway, I might as well just say **** it and go for accuracy. CROSS-CATEGORY STRESS: I will sometimes tell a player to take stress in a different category than they one that they rolled the test in. Real Example From One of My Games: Players had secured a zombie in their car trunk and was driving it to the hospital (early game, they didn't know it was a zombie yet). The zombie broke out through the back seats and the player had to roll to exit the car in a hurry. One player failed the DEX roll to bail from the stationary car, freaked out, and succeeded on her next roll with one negative dice before the zombie got to her. I didn't think it made sense for her to take physical damage: she was exiting a car parked car, not the most dangerous thing. But it DID make sense for her to take mental damaged: feeling trapped in a little metal box as a psyco/zombie crawls toward, your hands shaking too much to work the buttons that will save you. That's stressful! I have heard people suggest that it's not fair to have to take damage in another category because the player knows their strengths and weaknesses and has tailored their play-style to avoid taking damage where their defensive stat is weak: "If I knew that I would be taking mental damages I would have buffed my willpower." To that hypothetical player, I say "Stop being a meta-gaming min/maxer and play the game." This is a story driven game, not a tactical combat RPG. I am comfortable bending the rules for the sake of realism and narrative integrate. -EDIT- Sydonis reminded me of another one in his post below. NO VOTING ON CHARACTER CREATION: Everyone knows themselves. Certainly better than I or the other players know them. I'm not interested in policing their self-conception. If they tell me that they think they deserve an extra point in logic, I'm fine with that. Especially as they already have multiple negative (and/or positive) traits to balance it out. Voting is just going to take extra time and make people feel self-conscious and judged. I haven't had any problems with just letting my players play as themselves, whatever that looks like.
  10. Seconded. No reason to make this more complicated than it needs to be.
  11. What I don't get is when people want to add whole new game mechanics, not just make small rule tweaks. I actually allow (or mandate) that stress be taken in other categories in my game too, but I'm not referring to simple balance or house-rules like that. Taking cross-category stress works better from a storytelling perspective, it's a simple change that is doing work for you, not a new rule-set, designed from the ground up.
  12. I would probably just assign the player stress because it works with the story. But then again, I'm lazy and shy away from added complication. Also, my players would be fine with that and yours might feel chafed at being forced to take stress without a chance to avoid it.
  13. I'm noticing a large trend in these threads of people wanting to add new and complicated mechanics to the existing system. Why? I mean, don't get me wrong, some of you have come up with detailed and well thought out (and surprisingly well produced) new rule sets, but what do they add to the game? How does a system that lets you take one of thee bonus action when doubles are rolled in a pre-set category, or books that level up, or complicated possession tables, make the game more balanced or more fun or more intuitive or more realistic or more atmospheric? I get making changes to tweak balance (like only counting negatives that roll over your base stat) or making changes to the scenarios so that you can play the game that appeals to you most (like doing werewolves instead of zombies), but what's with adding more rules for the sake of having more rules? What problem are you trying to solve? ...I don't know that I'm really posing a question here, which isn't really fair of me. I'm just baffled by the trend. Maybe the answer is, "I just enjoy the game development side of things. Rules are fun, yo." That's a fine answer I guess, but I feel like I must be missing something here.
  14. See, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I would reverse the emphasis: Negitive dice definitely reflect the potential for stress, but are also closely linked with task difficulty.
  15. He might not be recalled if he was running Ends With a Whisper. A whole plot-point in that scenario is that the Voodoo Priests are destroying lines of communication and making sure that the authorities aren't able to effectively mobilize against them by possessing officers. Alternatively, A quick-spreading scenario like Infection or Under The Skin might overrun the base by the time they report back to in. Hell, it might even start there (they were secretly doing biological weapons testing at the base). The starting conflict could be to have to ESCAPE the base after they are recalled to it.
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