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Vairau

Group splitting to reach loved ones

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Hey guys,

 

I'm about to host my first game this coming weekend and I'm curious to see how you guys dealt with group members wanting to go their own way to reach their loved ones.

 

I'm hesitating between either letting the players play their family as NPCs, or blocking them from reaching / contacting them, or even killing them right off the bat.

 

What do you think?

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Have them play themselves without significant others/kids/etc.

Have their loved ones be on holiday.

Make it impossible to reach them.

Make it the plot.

Have them be in contact stating they are safe.

Many possibilities... A friend of mine said "I have a kid." And I told him, "not in my game."

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Yeah...I havent quite figured this one out yet. We wont start till next week. It just so happens that most of my group's families (parents and young siblings) live in the same subdivision, so keeping them together wont be a problem. But what do I do with their families? This is a great question. I would like something more than "they were ripped apart by zombies." I have two mothers in my play group (yes, I even got my wife to commit to playing with us! woohoo! She is going to carry our 3 mo old in her backpack during the rpg. Im going to make her roll to see if the baby cries at the most inconvenient of times...) and I dont think that they, the mothers, would like to see their kids get eaten by zombies. 

 

So, to answer this, Im going to say that the wife(not playing with us) and kids of player A are going to be visiting his parents on the night of the apocalypse while we are gathered at his house to play MTG(which is what we do). My wife will be at home, and Ill go rescue her once we see the initial murder out in street in front of player A's house. We will then go to where Player A's parents live, which is also in the same area as my mother's house and players B and C's (they are brothers) house. 

But once we get here, i dont know what to do. Maybe most of the community (we are a tight knit religious community, so everyone knows everyone in a few block radius) up and left all together really quick, maybe they some how evacuated to somewhere....I dont know...

 

I also have player players E and F (who are married and have a kid) who live about 15 miles away....I'm thinking they will be a on a date with the baby at his parent's house, also in the same neighborhood, and they witness a zombie attacking somebody while at dinner in a restaurant, and end up going to the same neighborhood in search of their kid. But I dont know what to do with everyone's families....

 

Any ideas?

Edited by Eyeless1

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I am planning on running my games with players not having loved ones/loved ones being far away and unreachable. But, this is because I am not comfortable describing the deaths of my friends loved ones over any desire to keep them from splitting.

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Helping loves ones is a great player drive - have the path to succeeding impossible alone, to promote the group working together and have the party decide how to prioritise - Have the delay kill the last family or 2 for 5h1ts and Giggles 

Edited by Psychosis

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Just to further clarify. In the genre, unless the story is specifically centered around a family, most characters are survivors who have lost their family in one way or another. Certainly you could build stories about everyone trying to make it back to their families, but ultimately it would be to diminishing returns. And unless you want to deal with your characters and their various npc families, I would kill em all. Mind you, if you like the npc family idea, you could use them as various targets in further adventures, whittling the family down for effect. So still kill em all, but slower. Heh heh.

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A bunch of friends and I just finished a work trip in Dubai...I'm going to run us being there as a "twist" in the scenario, so that it's virtually impossible for them to get back to loved ones (except on a grand scale, which makes the plot much easier to run, and keeps the together getting across the planet). 

Edited by opsnafu

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I'm hesitating between either letting the players play their family as NPCs, or blocking them from reaching / contacting them, or even killing them right off the bat.

 

What do you think?

Discuss the issue with your group and figure out the best solution. Just because you're the GM doesn't mean you have to make all decisions alone, after all. You're all working together to tell a compelling story, so it is in your own best interests to decide what kind of story you all want to tell.

Explain that you don't want the group to split up right off the bat, because that effectively makes one game into four or five separate games.  Ask them how they would prefer to solve the problem of loved ones without splitting up, and suggest all the ideas given here.  Whatever the group is most happy with, do that.

 

I can understand why some players might be uncomfortable with killing off extraneous loved ones, but seriously - you're playing a zombie apocalypse game, you have to expect a certain amount of gorey dismemberment. =P

Edited by Steve-O

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Yeah the obvious but rather horrifying way to deal with this is to just kill them all off. If you're playing in a big city like myself this is quite easy to do. Come home to find zombies basically everywhere and loved ones either gone or already dead. 

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