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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Zombie Dungeons & Dragons Adventure

I am Batroc! Zee Lee-pair!
My Dungeon Crawl Classics group got halfway through The One Who Watches From Below last week (There's a very good review of this adventure here). I posted about the latest DCC session here.

The author of the adventure was nice enough to give me some advice on possibly using the villain as a patron, which one of the party wizards wants to do. The wizard will have to cut out her eyes...!

Tonight I will be running my D&D Next game. Our heroes should finish up the Dungeon of the Bear. I had a bunch of choices about what dungeon to use next - maybe the Barrowmaze, or maybe The Many Gates of the Gann.

I've decided, instead, to run a home-brewed scenario. If you've been reading this blog in the last week, you know that I have been watching a lot of zombie movies. I've decided to go ahead and run a zombie adventure.

Coolest looking zombie ever!
Our heroes will go to a town in search of one of the villains of my campaign. The heroes will sleep in the inn or wherever in the town. During the night, our villain casts a ritual that begins a zombie plague. When our heroes awaken, boom, it is zombie time.

I'm still working out the details, but I'll probably set it up where our heroes will need to get to three locations in the town as the outbreak gets worse and worse. I'll try to have them make some tough choices on who to save, like in the Walking Dead video game.

I like the idea of the town being totally wiped out. And the heroes can have a showdown with the evil wizard at the climax. All of this in one tight session! I think it could be really awesome.

Chris Perkins advises that when you have an outside inspiration, you should try to incorporate it into what you are doing in your campaign currently. I'm going to give it a serious try. I am pretty excited.

I'm going to need to sit down and cook up some zombie tropes that should be included. I'd like there to be some barricading, definitely. There should be rain, and a cemetery with zombies digging themselves out of their graves. I am thinking that our evil villain raises the zombies from the cemetery and sicks them on the town.

I'd like to include a couple of memorable zombies if at all possible, like the Tarman and the half-lady from Return of the Living Dead. Not sure if I can come up with something suitably clever. Please feel free to email me ideas or examples from your own games.

I want the zombies to be slow-moving. While I find the ones who run fast scary, I think as a player I'd enjoy the slow ones more. It feels less dangerous, and the game becomes more about choosing your path, and to a degree, choosing when you engage the enemy. Although, of course, eventually the zombies will bear down on you in great numbers. But the PCs will have time to plan. Our heroes' fate is somewhat in their own hands.

While writing this I realized that I have been spelling "cemetery" wrong for my entire life. I tried to watch a zombie movie called Cemetery Man the other day, but it bothered me. I was offended by the "hero" hitting on a woman whose husband had just died. I can't root for a schmuck like that!

I'll let you know how the game goes.

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