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First Game Play Report

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Okay so I finally managed to this to the table on Friday and it was fantastic! I actually went in with reasonably low expectations. I'm relatively new to role playing. DM'ed a bit with the Age of Rebellion beginner box and currently playing some 5th Edition D&D with some friends.


As I was reading through the EOTW book I found it almost too loose. I felt like I needed more structure and more rules and that it would all just fall apart at the table. I did a bit of planning before my first session but found that there was little I could actually do. I had so little idea of what my players would suggest when it all hits the fan that I knew I'd basically just have to wing it. This was either going to work amazingly or fall flat on its face. Luckily it was the former.




With me and the three players we made four characters in total. I made my own sheet as the book suggests with the intention of getting myself killed off asap. Initially one of my friends just wanted to ignore the rules and make characters collectively. No voting just sitting around discussing what makes sense. I was already worried the rules were a little too thin so wanted to at least abide by them for now. We voted, a few things went up and a few things went down and then sorted out features. 


It was actually really quite cool but also weirdly personal. One of my friends said, "you've basically just invited us over to your house you can highlight the worst things about our personalities". When all was said and done then I feel we had 4 very good character sheets that really reflected our skills and failures. All in all....it worked.




Bit of back story. We all  have parents who live in London, UK and were all back for the weekend. My friends Dad has a shotgun licence for clay pigeon shooting which is very rare in the UK. This means though, that when the zombie apocalypse comes we have a gun. For the start of the campaign I wanted to keep my friends as far away from the gun as I could testing them a bit first basically unarmed. 


We started on the tube at about 6am after a very very drunken night out. I was running Night of the Meteor but I immediately removed the meteor from the equation. It might come back later on and it might even be the cause of it all but mentioning it too early seemed like obvious sign posting. Also....my friends wouldn't stay up late to watch some shooting stars fly by and it also wouldn't make the national news. I chose this scenario because I liked the zombies. Bites don't kill you but all dead things come back to life. Very cool.


Starting on the tube I had my players first get attacked by a horde of zombie rats. They tore apart a fellow commuter. I started with a willpower test to get my players rolling dice early and get used to the system. There was a teeny bit of confusion first with some players not realising how the pool was created. This was a failing on my part in explaining the rules well enough. Some players thought you got positive dice equal to the number in that characteristic but we soon got past that confusion. 


After a little bit of mental stress and a fair about of vomiting my players fled the train to find carnage on the platform. They helped a few commutes stamp out the remaining rats and then talk to the remaining commuters. One of the NPCs eventually died of blood loss and of course before long reanimated and bit another NPC - this one holding a cricket bat which he drops and one of my players immediately picked up. This was the first real combat of the game and it went really well. My players were all RPG virgins and I was worried how they'd deal with a purely narrative combat system. I rewarded them for anything they said that sounded like it would help the situation. One player suggested tacking the zombie to the ground so I gave all other players positive dice because they were attacking a zombie that was prone. They took to it like a fish to water rolling dice, receiving a little bit of stress and finishing the zombie off nice and quickly. The final blow was actually from an NPC who smashed the zombies face in with his briefcase getting a critical hit in the process (2 uncancelled positives) 


At this point....I was out of everything I'd prepared. My PCs were somewhere in London about a 30-40 minute cab ride from home and I just played off what they said. Everything beyond this point was on the fly and.....my god it was fun. Luckily with zombies making stuff up is surprisingly easy - just kill people! Seeing as it was still only about 6.30am things outside the station were kinda okay. There was obviously going to be a lot of carnage in the tube with all the zombie rats probably killing a lot of humans but outside at the crack of dawn the rest of the city hadn't really been effected yet. The PCs called home alerting loved ones to the threat and getting them awake. A friends family live in the country and he heard news of similar animal attacks in Local farms. They then proceeded to get a cab back to one of their houses  - the house with the shotguns.

Thinking on the fly I described their journey. As the proceeded through east London more and more stuff got weirder. Crashed vehicles, people aimlessly wondering the streets, animals running across the road. We finally get to my friends house and I know what needs to be done. The front door is open, the shotgun is on the floor with an empty shell casing nearby and my friends father is a zombie. Queue awesome combat with my friends failing a willpower test and unable to attack, lots of physical and mental stress with another friend grabbing the cricket bat off him and killing the zombie. To quote a friend "this got really really dark really fast"


Meanwhile I sent myself to my house (which is actually directly opposite that house) and then had myself get bitten by my sister. I return showing the bite with the aim that my friends would have to discuss killing me before I turned not knowing that the bites do nothing. Unfortunately my stupid friends are too clever and/or too nice and refused to kill me eventually realising that bites do nothing at all.


The rest of the session contained a few little bits that were cool. My friends began preparations of really hunkering down in the house. They went to a local grocery store before it opened (still only around 8am) killing a few more zombies. They watched lots of news and even downloaded and printed survival guides from the internet. They tried escaping the town only to be stopped by a huge horde of long deceased coming out of a local graveyard. We ended the session about 24 hours after we started with my character being torn apart trying to get stuff from my own house - finally fulfilling my own goal of getting myself killed off and can now be a full time DM




All in all.....it was amazing. All the next day my friends were messaging me about how creepy they felt walking around where we live - especially at the tube station where the whole thing began. We're all very excited about playing again and I'm very interested in what my friends will do next. It could be anything.....and that is amazing. 

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I'm hopefully running two in the near future, one online and one face to face. The face to face group is unlikely to play themselves, however I will get them to play gamer geeks. We're all going to IndieCon on the South Coast this year so I plan to set it there, with initial goal being to get back home. Similar concept for the online game, although as they'll be international players I'll set it at UK Games Expo, at the NEC.

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