Players will be facing several different problems at each round/day.
Each threat will have a point total attached to it.
- If the players fail to beat the threat level, they suffer the consequences. i.e. a permanent -1 to a certain roll until they remedy the situation.
So how do players overcome threats?
You pick one (and only one) trait from their character sheet, and describe how you actually attempt to use that trait to do what you are trying to achieve, and roll dice to go along with it.
You may also pick one tool (you can pick multiple) to give that roll a bonus.
All players add their rolls/bonuses together and try to overcome the threats value. If they do overcome it, the threat is gone, and they get through the day without suffering any consequences.
The character sheet:
Name is self-explanatory.
Status; Such as "wounded", "infected" or "supply shortage".
When you're wounded, every die you roll suffers a -1. (So, if you're rolling 3d6 for a roll, and you roll a 4, 5, 3, your effective roll is actually 3, 4, 2) If you take ANOTHER wound afterward, your character dies.
Taking a wound from a zombie confrontation has other nastier consequences though. Whenever a player takes a wound, there is a 1/6 chance that they will have been infected, but don't know it yet.
NOTE: I roll this and will inform the player about the change after a few rounds or so.
Once informed, I start the clock on them. Every round there is a 1/6 chance that they will succumb to infection and become a zombie. When that happens it becomes an additional threat for the players to overcome.
Traits; are basically words/adjectives that describe the character.
The players decide their own and each player gets 4 different traits slots.
The format above shows a 4, 3, 3, 2. Next to each number goes one of the traits. The number denotes how many dice the player gets to roll when overcoming a threat. Each trait, once tagged, cannot be used again until the player rests. Once the player rests, all traits are refreshed. (However, resting completely puts the player out of commission for one day). I.e.
4d6 or 3d6
Or if the dice roller doesn't work:
Online Dice Roller.
Tools are things that players have to help them through their survival. This is limited to three to begin with and I hold the right to veto the tools throughout the game.
Tools always give a standard 2d6 bonus to the roll, no matter what. However, tools disappear after one tag. This represents the tool in question running out of fuel, or just plain breaking down from overuse.
Players can, however, gain MORE tools over the course of play, there are two ways of doing that:
1] By overcoming a milestone challenge, at which point each player can write down a new tool.
2] A recovery mission. However, recovery missions are incredibly dangerous, and generally means that the player must neglect his other duties to do so.
Whenever a player must overcome a threat, they must first pick a trait, and a tool if they so wish, then they must narrate exactly what it is they are attempt to do with the trait and the tool to overcome the threat. **Make sure that they describe an attempt not the results, as you don't know the results yet.
Note: If I feel that the narration is too farfetched (i.e. throwing rations at zombies to kill zombies), I can veto that and ask you to go again. You DO NOT have to re-roll the dice.
There are a certain number of threat types the main types and some examples are:
** The exact details are for me to decide and write up.
Physical threat challenge: a horde of zombies.
A material challenge: to get a car running.
A science challenge: complete a vaccination that will allow you to be immune to the zombie virus (at least temporarily)
A psychological challenge: basically, to not go crazy.
**Each day, the players as a group needs to attempt to take care of one threat from each threat stack or else they will suffer the consequences. As long as someone at least ATTEMPTS it, the whole party will not suffer the consequences, even if the person failed at overcoming it. (The person attempting it, however, will suffer a consequence for failing).
The exact consequence for not attempting or failing depends upon the threat type.
Physical threat challenge: everybody takes a wound. If attempted but failed, only the person attempting takes a wound
A material challenge: everybody has the supply shortage status, and suffers a -1 to each die roll. Removing the supply shortage requires you overcome the threat that caused it. Multiple supply shortages stack. If attempted but failed, only the person attempting it will have the status supply shortage.
A science challenge: If attempted but failed, nothing happens. However another threat is added.
A psychological challenge: nobody can recover traits through resting until the threat is overcome. If attempted but failed, the person who attempted it loses the use one additional trait of the highest number as if they have already used it. - So essentially you'd have to rest to regain it, but you can't until you overcome the threat.
When a threat stack is completed, all players gain certain benefits from it.
Physical threat challenge: Less one threat.
A material challenge: All players gain one tool.
A science challenge: All players were infected with zombie infection but were not yet turned into a zombie are cured of their ailments.
A psychological challenge: All players immediately regain uses of all their traits as if they had all rested the night.
Milestone Threats - I'll tell you when it's one of them.
Physical threat challenge: A onetime +4 bonus to the result of a roll.
A material challenge: One extra tool for just the player attempting it.
A science challenge: The player attempting it picks one other player, that player is healed of their wounds.
A psychological challenge: Trait recovery for the player who succeeds at the threat.
If nobody attempts to overcome a threat within a day, the threat is left going until they at least attempt it. This means that physical challenges pretty much HAVE to be dealt with as two days, as not dealing with the zombies means EVERYBODY dies.
Whenever a player chooses to do nothing that round, he may choose to rest, which allows him to recover the use of all of his traits
A player that is not attempting a threat that round may choose to help another player. He does this by tagging his traits and tools as if he is attempting the threat himself, and adds the results of his roll to another player's roll. (Of course, he has to narrate HOW he does so). However, if the challenge still fails, the player does NOT suffer the consequences as the leading player does.
An Exploration Run is when a player attempts to initiate a high level threat on their own. If they complete the challenge, the players attempting this and ONLY the players attempting the challenge will receive the rewards as if they had just completed the threat stack.
Finishing the game
When the players have completed at least 2 of the threat stacks, the players will have effectively done enough to secure their position and ensure their safety. It is at this point you may declare the game over and each player may narrate what happens to their character.
Seeing as so many of you want to join, I'm implementing a team system:
* I'll decide the teams based on who signs up.
HOWEVER it’ll only be a team mission, when I state it to be, otherwise, follow the aforementioned rules.
Both teams do a roll and these are the possible outcomes:
Team A scores high enough to pass threat, but Team B doesn't. = Whole of TB gets negative. TA, gets positive. - Both teams move on.
Both TA and TB roll but neither passes the threat. = TB got higher and is exempt from negative effects, TA isn't. - Repeat until at least one passes it.
Both TA and TB get high enough to pass the threat. = TA got higher and gets the positives. TB, doesn't get any effects. - Both teams move on.
If both teams attempt it and one succeeds, the one that fails get team consequences. – Both teams move on.
Attacking another player
Attacking the other team is a standard 2d6 roll between players.
When attacking another player, both players roll off as if they were both attempting a physical threat, using each other's roll results as the threat level. (This means that the losing side takes a wound)
Doing so uses up the attacker's action only, and does not use up the defending player's turn. However, traits used in this fashion are still tapped out.
Note: Helping rules are a different thing all together. multiple players can come together to add their bonuses together, but that's under the help rules.
I know I know, wall of text; deal with it!