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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 08:19 PM
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Apocalypse Z - Chicago Edition

CLOSED

Summary
Game Name
Game SystemPathfinder
ThemeModern Zombie Survival Horror



Plot Hook TextCaptain Gordon Shepherd twisted the handle on the hatch to lock it and slapped it lightly with the oversized glove of his spacesuit. He breathed a sigh of relief which he had been holding back ever since he had managed to solder the coupling on the utility arm to get it back into working order. It was a fairly routine EVA and he had not doubted that he could fix the minor problem with the device, but he felt relieved nonetheless. He had held the sigh, however, until he had maneuvered his way along the cable and thrown back the safety breaker near the base of the turret.

"Control, this is Shepherd, over,," he said, keying his mute button so the microphone would activate at the sound of his voice.

"Shepherd, this is Control, go ahead Gordon."

"Job's done, Control! I'm heading back in, over."

"Record time, Captain! See you in five, over."

"Right on, control."

Captain Gordon grabbed the safety handle near the hatch, pulling himself closer while he coaxed the safety line away from himself so he wouldn't tangle in it. He grabbed the safety clip, freed it from the cable and clipped back in near the hatch. He reached for the handle which he would turn to unlock the hatch but stopped when a bright flash drew his attention from the ISS.

The earth loomed large and blue beneath him and although he had long grown used to the sight, that low sense of wonder had never left him. What had drawn his gaze, however, was the sun. It flashed once, twice, and a third time, growing visibly larger in his field of vision.

"What..."

That was the last thing Control heard from Captain Gordon Shepherd as the Electromagnetic pulse from the sun fried every electrical circuit in his suit as well as every single circuit in the International Space Station. Gordon's visor darkened as the electrical charges which had lightened it dispersed and the clear crystals became dark again. He keyed his manual send button over and over to call for help, but no one could hear him. He switched frequency to reach someone in Houston, but his radio was completely dead. His batteries had drained themselves completely when every circuit had fried. Air had stopped pumping into his helmet and the cooling system no longer circulated the fluid which would keep him comfortable in the hot light of the blazing sun inside the suit while simultaneously protecting him from the cold void of space.

Five minutes later, Captain Gordon Shepherd died. That was the longest he had ever held his breath for, a new personal record.

Meanwhile, on the earth below, every single electrical circuit on earth was frying. Planes crashed, cars stalled and crashed when the power steering stopped working and the grids of every nation on earth popped and fizzled out, possibly forever. Hundreds of thousands of people died around the globe in that initial surge.

If only they had stayed dead.




Corporal Dwayne Hicks kept his eyes on the road ahead but they kept darting from side to side to sweep the periphery as the truck roared down Clyborn avenue in North Chicago. He kept swerving to avoid wrecks and had to slow in certain places where the smoke got too thick to see through. So much of the city was still on fire. His mind kept reliving those horrific moments when the blockade he had been stationed at had been overrun. His platoon had been guarding a group of civvies and though they had held as long as they could, there were just too many of the zekes this time. The fence had first bulged and then squealed as they tore through it.

Hicks remembered the screams of terror as the civilians closest to the breach had started to run towards the bunker. The rat-tat-tat of automatic fire had filled the air but there just weren't enough bullets to take that many. Hicks had been manning the main bay door and he refused to leave his post. He climbed on top of the Nav 7K and began to snipe at the Zekes as they closed on the fleeing civvies. Too many. Eventually they had been forced to retreat. He'd started screaming at everyone near the truck to get in so they could get out. Quite a few had managed to pile in by the time he started the truck and peeled rubber to get away. He kept telling himself he wasn't going AWOL, that he had a duty to save these people. Maybe some of his platoon had made it in before he had to rip away from the grasping Zekes as they clung to the side of the truck and threatened to flip it right over.

He knew they could do it. He'd seen it often enough...

Hicks jerked from his memory and swore audibly.

"Hold on!" he yelled as he jerked the wheel hard to veer left onto N Racine Avenue to avoid the grasping arms of a huge horde which had stumbled onto the road in front of him.

He managed to steady the truck but there was way more wreckage on this side street. He lurched past an overturned Toyota and splattered into a fat Zeke in a hawaian shirt who only had time to snarl once before being launched into the nearby building. More and more of the things were creeping from alleyways and parking lots as he struggled to avoid most of them while dodging wrecks. He swerved to miss one Zena who'd been dragging a disturbingly small arm and for the briefest moment Hicks couldn't pull his eyes away from the horrible sight.

He saw her then.

A little girl with a pink brimmed hat and a pretty pink dress. Hicks didn't notice she was missing an arm when he lurched the steering hard to the left to avoid hitting her. The truck smashed into a stalled school bus and exploded into a roar of squealing metal and tires.

Expected posting rate will be 1 per week.
Game conceptThe players are all members of small group who managed to survive the crash of the truck. Characters can come from pretty much any background, but their recent past would have left them at the same barricade manned by Hicks to ultimately embark upon his truck. The characters will have no serious injuries as the game begins and my opening game post will have more details regarding the starting situation, but the game willl start in media res as the survivors untangle themselves from the wreck of the truck.

There are Zombies everywhere. These zombies are fast, they are tough, and they are hungry. Most of the zombies will be Apocalypse Zombies, though there may be mutations and other surprises. Note that I have increased the deadliness of Zombie RotZombie rot: Bite or slam—injury;*save*Fort*DC 20;*onset*1d4 hours;*frequency*1/hour;*effect*1d2*Con, this damage cannot be healed while the creature is infected;*cure*2 consecutive saves.*. Five days have passed since the beginning of the apocalypse. Five days since the sun flashed three times in the daytime sky and unleashed a devastating EMP which took out most of the world's electronics and unleashed a Zombie plague upon the earth.

This game will take place in Chicago in the year 2027. Your character would have been in Chicago when the Event hit, though they need not be a resident of Chicago (for background purposes).

I will be accepting 2 or 3 replacement players since a few have dropped out, depending on level of interest and quality of the applications received.

The characters have now reached Lincoln Park Highschool after an unfortunate crash which rendered their truck inoperable.

Link to the game is here for those who would like a preview.

We lost our Tech Sphere specialist if anyone is interested, but it is not crucial that this role be filled at all.

Accepted SourcesAll Paizo material is allowed. Spheres of Might is allowed. Path of War is banned. Dreamscarred Press psionics are banned. Akashic Magic is banned. Magic of any kind is banned, including Divine Magic!

Banned Classes:Vigilante is banned. All casting classes are banned. All classes which can manifest supernatural effects are banned. Monks must trade away Wholeness of Body with an Archetype and avoid "magic-like" ki abilities.

Banned Feats: Leadership Feat, All Shikigami Style Feats.

Class caveats: Unchained versions of classes are ok but you can use basic versions as well (except for casters, of course).

Race: Race must be human.

ApplicationsApplications should follow a fairly standard format with, at minimum, the following info:

Name:
Race: Human
Class:
Intended Role: (Damage dealer? BSF? Skill monkey? Tank? Crafter? Debuffer? Buffer? Battlefield Controller?)
Alignment: Any

 

 

 


You can use the 10-minute Background to guide your character creation if you choose:

 

Please leave a post with a link to your application once you feel it is ready for review.
Character Creation
  • Characters will be built using a 25 point buy.
  • No dump stat allowed lower than 8.
  • Maximum starting stat with point buy is 18, before racial adjustments.
  • Characters will start with 3,300 XP, using Fast Advancement, so will be level 3.
  • Optimization level of the character can be high, but don't break the game. Use your judgement.
  • Characters can have 2 Traits, 1 Drawback and 2 Flaws. Flaws from other sources may be approved on a case-by-case basis. (Drawback grants a potential 3rd Trait as usual)
  • Starting Gold will be standard WBL for 3rd level characters (3,000 gp).
  • 1 Silver Piece will equal 1 US dollar, for the purposes of purchasing modern items not included on the PFSRD or AoN. If you want to buy an item not in the book, look up its approximate real-world price and convert it to copper pieces to purchase it. Weapons and other items listed in-book will be purchased at their normal cost in GP.
  • Firearms level: Guns Everywhere: Guns are commonplace. Early firearms are seen as antiques, and advanced firearms are widespread. Firearms are simple weapons, and early firearms, advanced guns, and their ammunition are bought or crafted for 10% of the cost listed in this chapter. The gunslinger loses the gunsmith class feature and instead gains the gun training class feature at 1st level.Guns Everywhere.
  • Most vehicles do not work. A few military vehicles, who were heavily shielded against EMP's still work. Vehicles can be repaired so that they work again if a character possesses the relevant skills.
  • Electronics do not work. If you choose to take the Tech Sphere or advance as a Technician from Spheres of Might, you will start the game with no devices or inventions. They were destroyed by the EMP and you have been busy surviving.
  • If you purchased property, you should designate a specific real-world location in Chicago.
  • Your character probably lived somewhere, even if only a hotel room. You can purchase items which may or may not still be available at that location, though the game will not start there.
  • Max HP for every HD, for PC's and minions, if any.

Please use Spoiler Tags for each section as above.

Please do not feel you have to create the character sheet immediately.
Regarding Rules and Homebrew

 

 

 

 

 

 
CLOSED
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And yet a third of life is passed in sleep."

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Last edited by LeoByron; Sep 16th, 2021 at 02:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 08:27 PM
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# Player Character Name Race Class Role Complete
01 Mundayknight Lt Erik Kilkenny Human Conscript Control Tank Complete!
02 OtherwiseApple Ruprect Human Barbarian BSF Complete?
03 justsujoy Professor (Dr.) Antonioius (Tony) Doo Human Technician Rigger Crafter/Skill Monkey/Medic Complete!
04 SelfAwareNPC John Baker Human Berserker / Invulnerable RagerBarbarian Tank/BSF Complete!
05 AximusLokar Kayanya Prabrah Human Armiger Stancemaster Ranged Archer / Tech / Skill Monkey Complete!
06 Grouchy Jorge "Dozer" Mendoza Human Trench Fighter 3 DPS, Tank Complete!
07 Jennifer Lady Jaye Human SniperRogue 1 / Mysterious StrangerGunslinger 1 / Scaled FistUMonk 1 Ranged Guns Complete?
08 Unforgiven Matsushima Kazuki Human Sword SaintSamurai 8 DPS/Tank Complete!
9 Nomadic Druid Ruprect Human Skilled Bruiser Munchkin Complete?
10 Bookworm Hanna Bail Human MinstrelBard Buffer / Skill Monkey Complete!
11 Drachenspirit Nairo Grant Human Ranger Support / DPS / Tracker Complete!
12 Greywolff Stanley MacGregor Human Conscript DPS Complete?
13 Player Character Name Race Class Role Complete?
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Last edited by LeoByron; Jul 3rd, 2021 at 10:11 AM.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:51 PM
WreckedAll WreckedAll is offline
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With Chicago gun laws...your players are hurtin'. Character concept: Death metal drummer and LSD addict named Predicament. No clue how to render this into a Paizo character

Last edited by WreckedAll; Jun 15th, 2021 at 09:51 PM.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WreckedAll View Post
With Chicago gun laws...your players are hurtin'. Character concept: Death metal drummer and LSD addict named Predicament. No clue how to render this into a Paizo character
Ha good point! However, military presence has left a lot of toys lying around... Probably more than a few zombies are running around with AR-15's... good thing they can't use em!

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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 12:57 AM
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Hey Folks!

I just want to vouch for Leo as a challenging, but fair DM whose focus seems to be on fun, and whose writing style sets the mood. And he encourages/knows how to work with high concept characters.

I've encouraged him to make a meatgrinder game, and to kill as many of us as possible, lol!

But I suspect he's got a softer heart than me. Either way, I am looking forward to what he rolls out, assuming I can compete with y'all.

Bring your low-level powerbuilds. This is going to get ugly
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 01:59 AM
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Superb intro, superb setting. Loved the concept.

A few questions:-

1. How open are you to helping players understand the game rules? PF is much-much more complicated than 5e (that's why I normally avoid it). I made a warder in PF once but that game died off within a few days and I didn't really get a chance to play him.

Quote:
Damage dealer? BSF? Skill monkey? Tank? Crafter? Debuffer? Buffer? Battlefield Controller?
2. Can you clarify these roles a bit more with examples? Or share a link for the same.

Last edited by justsujoy; Jun 16th, 2021 at 01:59 AM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsujoy View Post
Superb intro, superb setting. Loved the concept.

A few questions:-

1. How open are you to helping players understand the game rules? PF is much-much more complicated than 5e (that's why I normally avoid it). I made a warder in PF once but that game died off within a few days and I didn't really get a chance to play him.



2. Can you clarify these roles a bit more with examples? Or share a link for the same.
1) I would be happy to help new players to PF1E learn the ropes! At level 3 and with all forms of magic banned the complexity is curtailed significantly so this is a good place to start. Spheres of Might cranks that back up somewhat but you don't have to go that route.

2) These roles are just a general idea of what kind of concept you want for your character, where you intend to put your focus in terms of choices you make. These are not official terms in any way but I can elaborate on what I consider each to represent.

A damage dealer is simple enough. It represents a character whose focus is to deal as much damage as possible, and is somewhat more broad. It could be a BSF or a two weapon wielder or a rogue who focuses on precision damage.

BSF = Big Stupid Fighter. A big lug with high strength who hits hard, usually with two handed weapons. This differs somewhat from damage dealer in that it implies high strength focus whereas you can have plenty of damage builds who have little or no strength.

Skill Monkey is any character with a high number of skills and skill ranks. This is usually a Rogue or thief type and usually includes stealth and disable device abilities.

Tank is a character focused on high AC and high Hit points who might focus on protecting others. They can be decent damage dealers but their choices tend towards making the character durable and protective, normally.

A Crafter is a character who intends to make stuff. This can be with craft skills to craft mundane stuff like tables and cabins or it can mean crafting technological items or perhaps repairing them.

A debuffer focuses on imposing penalties on foes to hinder them in some way, usually by inflicting penalties to their abilities in some way.

A buffer is a character whose abilities tend to increase their allies' ability to perform their own tasks. This could be a commander with the Warleader Sphere or perhaps a Bard whose inspiring speech rouses his friends to renewed vigor and effectiveness in battle.

A battlefield controller is a character whose focus in to manipulate the battlefield itself either by changing it directly or affecting how enemies can maneuver on it. This can be via magical means by creating walls and pits or via mundane means by dropping oil in areas to create slippery areas to hinder foes' movement. It can also mean controlling foes more directly by focusing on maneuvers like bull Rush or Reposition to manipulate opponents directly rather than the terrain itself.

Another concept I didn't mention in the list is a Face character who focuses on social interactions to affect how non player characters view the character and the group as a whole by association. They are often the leader though they may simply be a more able negotiator who does the talking for the true leader behind the scenes.

Note that a character could fit in more than one of these concepts and listing more than one is perfectly acceptable. Your character could be both a tank and a BSF, for example.y

I hope that cleared that up for you.
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Last edited by LeoByron; Jun 16th, 2021 at 02:44 AM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 03:42 AM
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Clears it up a lot thanks. So I was thinking

1. A cowardly genius - A scientist, mechanic or equivalent with a lot of skills and craft ability who's useless in a fight, but so usefull outside of combat that the rest of the party begrudgingly save him.

2. Struggling actor- Athletic, trained in fighting, guns, horse riding etc. who suddenly finds his pretend skills are useful in real life. Need to flesh this out more.

On second thought - I feel that 1. would be a cool to read but would be extremely annoying to other PCs. May also be boring to play under the condition that everyone is fighting an epic battle and my PC is cowering under the table.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 06:19 AM
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I'm certainly intrigued by the concept you've laid out here so I'm dropping by to drop a tentative interest. I need to brush up on how Pathfinder (and its character generation) works again so I may have a few questions if I can't muddle through everything.

Barebones if I do apply I'd be looking at a "barbarian" (or the modern equivalent) whose rage is more born out of a desire to protect but doesn't necessarily enjoy fighting. Think a great bear of a person who deals out damage and hugs in equal measure and you're about there.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 07:52 AM
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This looks quite cool: I was in a modern 5e game that switched between fantasy and modern world in each chapter. It was a blast but unfortunately did not last long at all. I've fallen in love with PF1e recently and even started DMing a game to help get the mechanics of it all in my head. Let's see what I can come up with here.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsujoy View Post
Clears it up a lot thanks. So I was thinking

1. A cowardly genius - A scientist, mechanic or equivalent with a lot of skills and craft ability who's useless in a fight, but so usefull outside of combat that the rest of the party begrudgingly save him.

2. Struggling actor- Athletic, trained in fighting, guns, horse riding etc. who suddenly finds his pretend skills are useful in real life. Need to flesh this out more.

On second thought - I feel that 1. would be a cool to read but would be extremely annoying to other PCs. May also be boring to play under the condition that everyone is fighting an epic battle and my PC is cowering under the table.
The first concept could actually work extremely well if the scientist in question is a tech genius with the Tech Sphere or Technician class which includes robot minions who do the fighting for him while he cowers. This does present a significant spike in complexity in the mechanics, however, since this path is rather complex and requires some finessing the rules quite a bit to be effective. Not impossible, however.

I like the second idea! This could present a fascinating arc as the character embarks on the journey of realization as he finds all his thespian skills adapt themselves to real world survival situations. I could see this being very fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherwiseApple
I'm certainly intrigued by the concept you've laid out here so I'm dropping by to drop a tentative interest. I need to brush up on how Pathfinder (and its character generation) works again so I may have a few questions if I can't muddle through everything.

Barebones if I do apply I'd be looking at a "barbarian" (or the modern equivalent) whose rage is more born out of a desire to protect but doesn't necessarily enjoy fighting. Think a great bear of a person who deals out damage and hugs in equal measure and you're about there.
A modern bear-hugger! Sounds fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Begon Ugo
This looks quite cool: I was in a modern 5e game that switched between fantasy and modern world in each chapter. It was a blast but unfortunately did not last long at all. I've fallen in love with PF1e recently and even started DMing a game to help get the mechanics of it all in my head. Let's see what I can come up with here.
Interest from a Callhill veteran? I am honored! I look forward to reading your work!
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Last edited by LeoByron; Jun 16th, 2021 at 11:00 AM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
The first concept could actually work extremely well if the scientist in question is a tech genius with the Tech Sphere or Technician class which includes robot minions who do the fighting for him while he cowers. This does present a significant spike in complexity in the mechanics, however, since this path is rather complex and requires some finessing the rules quite a bit to be effective. Not impossible, however.

I like the second idea! This could present a fascinating arc as the character embarks on the journey of realization as he finds all his thespian skills adapt themselves to real world survival situations. I could see this being very fun!
I'll wait to see how the other characters are fleshed out, other characters usually end up inspiring me. If it doesn't annoy the others, I'd love to play the first one - a kind of Scooby-doo type of guy.
More like Tony Stark meets Scooby doo - Tony Doo.

Also regarding tech, I understand that all electronics are dead and we are down to World War 2 technology. Though, I guess some military equipment may have survived the EMP.

Last edited by justsujoy; Jun 16th, 2021 at 11:40 AM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsujoy View Post
I'll wait to see how the other characters are fleshed out, other characters usually end up inspiring me. If it doesn't annoy the others, I'd love to play the first one - a kind of Scooby-doo type of guy.
More like Tony Stark meets Scooby doo - Tony Doo.

Also regarding tech, I understand that all electronics are dead and we are down to World War 2 technology. Though, I guess some military equipment may have survived the EMP.
Tony Doo!



Most existing tech is dead, but components are everywhere. Tech Sphere practitioners and Technicians tend to pick up scraps and materials from the world around them and jury rig them into crude functional devices rather quickly. They would absolutely work and taking a bunch of broken components and getting them to function is right up their alley.

EMP wreck electronics because they cause short circuits as vast amounts of current are forced through every component at once melting wires and popping capacitors. Not all components will have broken in the same place so it becomes interesting for a jury rigger to piece those pieces who aren't fried together into something new and functional. You wouldn't even need military tech for this.

On the other side, you may of course find some military gear that actually works whether they be vehicles or other useful devices. You'll likely find some stuff stored in faraday cages which have been completely unaffected, if you're lucky or know where to look.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 11:49 AM
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I have the bare-bones of an idea for a character in this game. He is essentially "Del Boy" from the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, a wheeler-dealer with a whole raft of connections that could be used in this turbulent "New World".

Mechanically, he would be borrowing heavily from the Spheres of Might, specifically the Conscript Class and the Leadership Sphere.

Maybe he could be the Death Metal character's dealer.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 12:01 PM
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Quick question for you Leo. Would spell-less variants of magic classes be allowed? I.E. Trapper Ranger or Tempered Champion Paladin.q
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