Hey everyone! Running a slightly modified ICRPG game today and thought I’d post it here.
I recently developed this philosophy that my group oftentimes never finishes campaigns and often loses investment in the original goal and it just takes so long for anything to happen. I think switching from 5e to ICRPG helped with this a lot but I think the route cause are the long campaigns people envision.
The philosophy: The longer you spend in a world, the less special it is.
Solution: Design a short campaign (no more than 3 sessions).
First trial is today.
So I wanted to set a campaign in a Zombie Apocalypse that was Walking Dead-esque but a bit more adventuring and badass.
Crack Team Go!
Stars 3 players who are part of New Pittsburgh’s get-shit-done crew, Crack Team Go. The recent shortage of food and the food lotteries that followed are creating massive tension within the barbed wire, perforated metal walls. Their mission is to get out of the city to a waiting Junker (cars modified for ramming, speed, and combat) and trailer, drive to Brookhaven (a well fortified encampment) and meet-up with a New Pittsburgher who has infiltrated Brookhaven.
Escape New Pittsburgh - DC 12
The combat begins on the crowded ruins of Interstate 79, an elevated highway leading out of the city. Filled with ruined cars, toppled electric poles, and unstable concrete, the players have to fight a group of zombies through and among the wreckage as a giant horde approaches them from behind.
Timer - 1d4 rounds until horde approaches and number of zombies double each round
Treat - Cars are FILLED with loot, but every turn spent searching it one not spent fighting zombies
Threat - Zombies
Junker Management - DC 12
The scene cuts to them in a forest along I-79 where, hidden amongst the trees, they find a trailer attached to a Junker. The Junker starts out with 4 hearts and effort must be made to reduce it. Basic effort for anyone without the wrench, weapon effort with it. The check to get the Junker started is its remaining health. All the while they are being harassed by bandits who set up a trap and damaged the Junker. Bandits do a lot of damage to the Junker and if the Junker reaches 5 hearts, its BROKEN broken.
Timer - Bandits get reinforcements in 1d4 rounds
Treat - Junker has supplies locked inside it. Walkie-Talkie, Riot Gear, Shells, Bullets, Adrenaline shot (brings a character up from 0 HP)
Threat - Bandits, beartrap
Junker Race - DC Special/15
After they get the Junker started they are in a race to Brookhaven with Bandits hot on their tail. Each round someone has to be driving the Junker and must succeed a Dex or Kno check against the Junker’s remaining health. (Kno is a modified skill in my system. Essentially, the saving throws for Wisdom were put on Constitution and renamed “Willpower” while the checks for Wisdom were put on intelligence and renamed “Knowledge”). On a failed check, the Junker takes 1d4 damage.
- Driving can be done along with another action but if all the driver does is drive, then it makes it HARD for the enemies to hit.
- The Driver can “Try to Lose 'em!” by making a hard roll against the Junker’s remaining health. If successful, it deals 1d6 + 1d12 effort to the enemy Junker.
- Players can make attacks against the enemy Junker and once it reaches 0 hearts it is defeated.
The scenery changes every couple rounds to keep things interesting. A crowded bridge where the driver has to avoid cars, a rock-laden mountain pass, winding country roads.
Brookhaven - DC 15
The players must plant two bombs, each on different sides of Brookhaven. If successful, one bomb will open up the food storage warehouse while the other will create a hole that will attract zombies and guards. The players plant the distraction bomb while fighting a zombie horde. Similar to the Junker mechanic, the bomb starts out with 3 hearts of effort and any effort done setting it up (Kno roles) will reduce its DC.
Timer - Guards will notice noise in 1d4 rounds
Treat - Bomb will be easier to set off
Threat - Zombies coming out of woods.
The players then must go to the other side of Brookhaven and plant a second bomb. They talk to their woman-on-the-inside using the Walkie-Talkie who tells them where to plant the bomb. If both bombs go off then the number of guards will be halved but if first one they planted fails to go off then it won’t be. The players can try each turn to set it off again, still working with the bomb’s remaining health as the DC.
Timer - Zombies and Guards are trying to destroy the Junker
Treat - WINNING!
Threat - Zombies, Guards
To Win, the players must fill the Junker with food and successfully drive away. Each turn they can use their action to put food in the Junker. They must get 6 bundles of food to save New Pittsburgh. The check to drive away is Kno or Dex against the Junkers health.
How are you going to fit this all into one session?
I’m not! The players will play as much as they want and if they feel invested then the story will continue in another session. This week we took a break from our normal campaign (an open world set in 1444 europe but with magic and dragons and gnomes and all that good stuff) so if they don’t want to finish then its fine. It shouldn’t take more than 3 sessions tho and I’m shooting for 2.
1 HP +1 to all rolls, +1 weapon effort
Scratch and Grab - weapon effort
Player scratched must succeed an easy strength check or be grabbed.
Grabbed - Strength check to escape or be bitten
Bitten - take 1d6 each turn. Turn into a zombie once dead. No cure.\
4 Hearts +2 all rolls
2 Attacks each round
Shoot - weapon effort
Repair - basic effort and heals Junker
if below 2 hearts, heal to 3
If player car below 10, shoot car
else, shoot players.
1 Heart +2 all rolls, +2 weapon effort
Shoot/Machete - weapon effort
if zombie is attacking players, don’t shoot Junker
if zombie is attacking Ranger, shoot zombie
Else: shoot Junker
Adrenaline Shot - brings a player back from 0HP.
Shotgun - weapon effort, can hit 2 enemies within range, range = 15 feet
Pistol - weapon effort, ammo will be more common
Machete - weapon effort
Wrench - weapon effort on mechanical checks, weapon effort to attack
Riot Gear - +2 AC
Safety Goggles - +1 to Str or Dex attacks
Twinkies, Canned Beans, Jerky - heal 5 HP