Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gregor Eisenhorn

[Desolation of the Dead Spoilers] Question on enemies

Recommended Posts

Eventually my group will be arriving in Gantry and as those of you who have run Desolation of the dead know, they will soon face hordes of the living dead.

 

My group is fairly combat capable and looking at the stats given for the animated corpses at the back of the GM kit...I'm not massively impressed. These guys are not going to be an issue for my group. 3 of my 4 players will perhaps take a point or two of damage if a corpse rolls the maximum it can for damage (which is fine, I can just throw a tonne of undead at them), however, the guy with carapace armour and a TB of 4 won't actually suffer any injuries from the undead, even if they roll max damage.

 

I was wondering what your suggestions were. The easiest thing to do would be just to increase the damage done from 1d5+3 to 1d10+3. I'm willing to do this, but some how having zombies being able to hit as hard as autoguns doesn't seem right. What do you guys suggest?

 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Numbers, called shots (which get better when you have bonuses from numbers) and grapple checks.  Also, I gave the horde Righteous Fury as a whole, because they're ZOMBIES.  Everyone knows zombies can get through anything given enough time or drama.  Turned out pretty funny when they literally knocked the helmet off of the one guy in carapace armor.  He wasn't so protected after that.  This is also if they manage to make the Fear check, it is never guaranteed.  

 

If those don't work, start adding more body-horror with some kind of weapon-handed zombies the Faynes were making for just such tough targets.  A rusty old pick jammed into what is left of their wrist or a lump of verdigrised bronze welded over their hands could do wonders.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Gregor,

 

I for one did not „run“ Gantry with zombies, since my „imperial-hardline“ PC where not talking with Gantry (but, in fact, blew the place up, but that is a different story).  So, I confronted them with dozens of the undead later and my approach was the following:

 

Swarming & Hasting: Instead of the Romero-Undead, I use the “Left 4 Dead” (PC-Game) undead: staggering about with a regular “full move” until they come into charging distance of a living target, which will send them into a screaming frenzy. Further, I increased the unnatural strength bonus and the wounds (“mook rules”, three solid blows where needed). Last but not least, I gave them “team Up” (the talent that provides a bonus on Ganging up) and ruled that as soon as two or three would be grabbling with a PC and being in CONTROL of the grapple, that they would not only bite them (automatic attack during a grabble) but would instead have a “tear apart” maneuver. As a result, their Strength (just rolling for one of them) is pitted into a contested roll against the victims Toughness. Net success are turned into DAMAGE (no TB, no Armour) and a victim would gain one level of Fatigue from this (reflecting stretched limbs), critical damage would go to limbs first (joints get misplaced, and later whole limbs can be torn out of their sockets).

 

For me and my players (who perceive me as somebody who knows everything about zombies that cinema could teach, and expect MEAN S**T when I have undead) this turned into a battle where they did their best to keep distance between themselves and zombies and blasting away with at them with Flamers, Bolters and high-powered Las shots. In addition, I asked for Awareness tests in situations where more than a DOZEN where coming at them, as I saw a chance that they would simply “miss” the fact that zombie x was actually closer to them than zombie y (or miss him all together if he would not come in from the front).

 

Take note, that this was a different kind of battle than usual, as their wasn´t much hand to hand combat and me as the GM was more busy managing zombies getting closer than zombies actual fighting the characters. But, as the “final” will have enough regular combat, I suggest running it that. way.

 

Since you will play INSIDE of Gantry, make some simple maps of surrounding (walk space around huts, huts clustered on make-shift platforms, with gantries and sections in-between). Make it a running battle, pressing the characters into moving around by enmassing waves on them. Ask for Agility checks, THREATEN them with falling and perhaps falling down, have rusty metal plates GIVE under them so their legs get stuck like in a rabbit hole. Have citizens of Gantry get into the line of fire or running towards them, pushing them away as they try to run past.

 

..in short: avoid having them and the zombies trade BLOWS. In my books, that is the one thing a zombie should not do. A zombie should try to grabble and have his mates come in swarming, while a PC should try to kill him before he gets into reach and try to get the HELL out of a spot where threaten to just overrun them.

Edited by Gregorius21778

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Numbers, called shots (which get better when you have bonuses from numbers) and grapple checks.  Also, I gave the horde Righteous Fury as a whole, because they're ZOMBIES.  Everyone knows zombies can get through anything given enough time or drama.  Turned out pretty funny when they literally knocked the helmet off of the one guy in carapace armor.  He wasn't so protected after that.  This is also if they manage to make the Fear check, it is never guaranteed.  

 

If those don't work, start adding more body-horror with some kind of weapon-handed zombies the Faynes were making for just such tough targets.  A rusty old pick jammed into what is left of their wrist or a lump of verdigrised bronze welded over their hands could do wonders.  

 

Okay that's a really good idea. Giving righteous fury to mook NPCs is something I've already considered doing but I hadn't thought of it in regards to the zombies. Also, I had not taken into account the idea of the zombies actually grappling the characters, that's perfect zombie behaviour. In my mind's eye that's what they would so but I know had I not put this post up, I would not have actually thought of using the grapple rules. Done and done, although I'll need to look at the grapple rules again, I always sigh when i read and try to understand them. Thank you.

 

Hello Gregor,

 

I for one did not „run“ Gantry with zombies, since my „imperial-hardline“ PC where not talking with Gantry (but, in fact, blew the place up, but that is a different story).  So, I confronted them with dozens of the undead later and my approach was the following:

 

Swarming & Hasting: Instead of the Romero-Undead, I use the “Left 4 Dead” (PC-Game) undead: staggering about with a regular “full move” until they come into charging distance of a living target, which will send them into a screaming frenzy. Further, I increased the unnatural strength bonus and the wounds (“mook rules”, three solid blows where needed). Last but not least, I gave them “team Up” (the talent that provides a bonus on Ganging up) and ruled that as soon as two or three would be grabbling with a PC and being in CONTROLL of the grapple, that they would not only bite them (automatic attack during a grabble) but would instead have a “tear apart” maneuver. As a result, their Strength (just rolling for one of them) is pitted into a contested roll against the victims Toughness. Net success are turned into DAMAGE (no TB, no Armour) and a victim would gain one level of Fatigue from this (reflecting stretched limbs), critical damage would go to limbs first (joints get misplaced, and later whole limbs can be torn out of their sockets).

 

For me and my players (who perceive me as somebody who knows everything about zombies that cinema could teach, and expect MEAN S**T when I have undead) this turned into a battle where they did their best to keep distance between themselves and zombies and blasting away with at them with Flamers, Bolters and high-powered Las shots. In addition, I asked for Awareness tests in situations where more than a DOZEN where coming at them, as I saw a chance that they would simply “miss” the fact that zombie x was actually closer to them than zombie y (or miss him all together if he would not come in from the front).

 

Take note, that this was a different kind of battle than usual, as their wasn´t much hand to hand combat and me as the GM was more busy managing zombies getting closer than zombies actual fighting the characters. But, as the “final” will show enough regular combat, I suggest running it that. way.

 

Since you will play INSIDE of Gantry, make some simple maps of surrounding (walk space around huts, huts clustered on make-shift platforms, with Gantries and sessions in-between). Make it a running battle, pressing the characters into moving around by enmassing waves on them. Ask for Agility cheeks, THREATEN them with falling and perhaps falling down, have rusty metal plates GIVE under them so their legs get stuck like in a rabbit hole. Have citizens of Gantry get into the fire line or running at them, pushing them away as they try to run past.

 

..in short: avoid having them and the zombies trade BLOWS. In my books, that is the one thing a zombie should not do. A zombie should try to grabble and have his mates come in swarming, while a PC should try to kill him before he gets into reach and try to get the HELL out of a spot where threaten to just overrun them.

 

Some excellent advice here, thanks Gregorious! Avoiding the players and zombies simply trading blows is definitely going to be my focus. I've recently made an effort to make combat a lot more exciting and it pays off. Dark Heresy combat can be made exciting but it's far too easy for it to simply turn into an exchange of attacks and modifiers...the endless modifiers!

 

I was trying to avoid making maps for this campaign (except for the huge battle at the end) because whilst I really, really want to get back to tactical maps (we play on roll20 although when I play in the flesh at some point in the future, I really want to include miniatures), my players currently fall into the habit of turning the battle into a tactical exercise/game, separate from the story telling. However, I think I might make some maps for personal use and then use to those to better describe the surroundings to my players. I'll definitely take your advice on making use of Gantry as a setting. The idea of players getting their legs trapped as the horde approaches or being pushed up against a railing sounds awesome!

 

For now, I've got to finish planning the show down in the Mortuarius, but I'll check in on this again soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a grapple + unarmed attacks.

 

In grapple, the character gets rather helpless and easy to hit, especially in large numbers.

 

The damage of the unarmed attacks is near to nothing, but the big problem for the player character is fatigue.

Every attack that creates at least TB damage (before soak), creates 1 fatigue.

YOu also could use stun-attacks.

 

ANd if you fall asleep...well...they start eating you alive...

 

So thats my hint with large Groups of weaker enemies in General: go for fatigue instead of wounds. Thats what this mechanic is for (and often neglected).

Edited by GauntZero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gaunt - you can opt to attack in the game as strictly Fatigue? (not sure if this is vanilla option or a house rule - I just looked at the stats for the Animated Corpses Page 23 and didn't see anything pertaining to that)

 

Point is - I'd like to do this "if" its not a house rule...

 

Advise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's under both unarmed combat and grappling in the rulebook. I had overlooked the significance that these kinds of attacks caused fatigued, but the rules are definitely there. You don't attack strictly as fatigue, but if you do enough damage to equal the targets TB (before reductions from armor and toughness), it causes fatigue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually do suggest doing one stand-up fight with the zombies towards the beginning.  The trick is to not make it fair.  Make it a wall of flesh, where no matter what they pump into it, they'll only slow it down. Have it drag down some local defenders and make them do Willpower tests after seeing that.  Use it to reinforce the 'holy **** avoid that' mentality you want.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Page 228 - Got It!

 

Unarmed attacks are treated just like those from any
other melee weapon, and successful hits inflict 1d5–3+SB Impact
damage with no penetration. If this inflicts damage equal to or
greater than the target’s Toughness bonus, it also inflicts one level
of Fatigue. Whenever an unarmed character attempts to strike an
armed foe (one currently wielding a Melee or Pistol weapon),
or Parry an armed foe’s attacks, he suffers a –20 penalty on his
Weapon Skill tests..

 

Thanks!

 

Stay GAMING

Morbid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah - now hordes of weak creatures still pose a certain threat.

 

And remember, already if the fatigue is larger than a characteristic bonus, the value ist halved :o

 

So, already 4 fatigue can have a huge impact...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wish I had read this thread before playing the "maggotmen" encounter in gantry, was kind of anticlimactic :-(

The pyromancer using firy form made it very easy for the warband. Maybe it just was too late in the night, then I unfortunately tend to rush combats, because everybody is already yawning ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every attack that creates at least TB damage (before soak), creates 1 fatigue.

Where did you get this "before soak" from? The rules on page 228 say "If this inflicts damage equal to or greater than the target's Toughness bonus, it also inflicts one level of Fatigue." Sounds to me as if meant after soak, don't you think. Even though I like your interpretation more  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, after having read through the grappling rules once more, I have to say: I don't like them. After the initial WS test to hit EVERY following grapple action of the grapple controller ONLY depends on Strength. So no matter how good your WS if you have a low Strength you have no chance in a grapple. Isn't that strange? What about a fast and agile character (low to middle Strength but high WS and Agility)? Shouldn't she/he also be good at grappling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget that Contortionist and Acrobatics can be used to escape grapples. So your fast and agile characters do have a chance, though yes I must agree that Grappling is one of the less well-written of the combat actions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...