Wrath of Zombie Beta- Addressing Changes and Additions! More Artwork!!

These have been updated as of 07/20/11. Here is the update notes.
Wrath of Zombie Survival Horror RPG v3

Enemy Sheets v3

Wrath of Zombie Character Sheet v3

Wrath of Zombie Character Sheet Merc v3

Wrath of Zombie Character Sheet Psychic v3

Wrath of Zombie Character Sheet Scavanger v3

Wrath of Zombie Character Sheet Scum Bag v3

Side Note 1: (Added 1/6/11)- I’ve noticed quite a bit of people downloading this, which is great! Please feel free to leave feedback on this so I can make it a better setting! 🙂

Side Note 2: (Added 1/6/11)- I’ve updated Wrath of Zombie and it is now located here. I know that the link will be changed soon on Savage Heroes as well!

I’ve gotten some really good feedback lately on my Wrath of Zombie campaign setting. I would like to give a big thank you to J Gregory who gave some really well thought out criticism.

So first, I have a new Wrath of Zombie Beta Test Book and Enemy Sheet that is complete with artwork. Thanks again to my girlfriend Angie, and my friend Anonymous who agreed to do artwork for this project!

I’ve also added a new Zombies archetype with three variant flavors to the Enemy Sheet!

I’ve done the layout myself, and would like feedback on the location of the pictures and etc, but be gentle because this is the first time I’ve really done anything like this.

I will be doing a printer friendly version soon as well!

All Wrath of Zombie files have been moved to here.

Now J Gregory’s critique was damned fine and I figured the best way to explain this was to break his thoughts down and explain stuff.

So here we go:

Character creation:
6 Attribute Pts – I like the mechanic, but find the justification far fetched (ie affected by radiation). Why not just say “only the fittest have survived this long”?

I never considered this. A good point and something I will consider. I guess I just went to the normal “comic book ideology” of radiation makes up stronger humans, etc.

Heroic End – this is a cool concept, but I think you need to flesh it out a little bit. How do you have a heroic end when you die from a failed Infection roll in a public restroom? Maybe this could be a (Background?) Edge: you were just destined to go down fighting (if you have the Edge and die from infection, the PC is allowed to play on until the next zombie encounter).

Originally Heroic End was an edge, but after discussion on the Pinnacle Forums there was debate on who would take heroic end as an edge, and also the fact that Wrath of Zombie© is a tad more dangerous and brutal than a normal Savage Worlds game and as such, the players deserved one last action to be a bad ass.

I feel that this is a way to make up for the player never really getting to hold on to a character. This mechanic lets every player have a cinematic moment before biting it big.

While I think J Gregory’s example is valid, I think that would be a minority of happenstance. I also think that the GM would be more than willing to work with the player to allow them a proper Heroic End in this example.

Dead Weight – This seems like a pretty unattractive Hindrance to me (maybe it’s the name – it feels hard to care about someone if they’re just a dead weight). You could soften this to ‘Dependent’ (ie wife, child) and allow them to have some useful non-combat skills, just not quite useful enough to offset the strain of looking after them day-to-day.
*Note – I’ve just read that this actually was Dependant, and was changed. Oh well, to each their own…*

Ahh.. Sigh.. This hindrance does need some reworking and I haven’t gotten to that yet. As noted it originally called Dependant, however I was notified by Pinnacle that it was too close to the Dependant Hindrance from another of their licensed products, so it needed to be altered.

This was a suggestion that was given to me as an alternative. I liked the feel of the Hindrance, but it may be a little too brutal. As far as the name, I think that it was chosen more for humor than anything, much like calling a spouse a ball and chain.

Chits – I don’t really see the need for this: in a post apoc world where most are reduced to foraging, would we really revert to using currency? I’d be more inclined to stick to a dollar value for items, but make all transactions either traded or worked for.
It’s hard to imagine ordinary metals being that scarce that they would become a currency unit.

Or, you could make the bullets themselves the currency. This could create some interesting choices for PCs: do I barter away the resource that I need to protect my life? Likewise, petrol: maybe a gallon of fuel = 10 bullets.

I honestly thought about doing the bullet route when I was creating Wrath of Zombie© or haggling. I think I would be more inclined to go the haggling route rather than bullets. I can see many players getting frustrated (beyond what is necessary) by having to give up bullets for something.
Haggling and missions and favors would add quite a bit of flavor.

Invisibility/Obscure – these are just too Arcane/Fantastic for use in this setting, IMO. Psychic powers like Telekinesis and Telepathy are okay, but making things invisible? You’d have to come up with a fairly solid technological rationale for this, and even then, you risk losing a lot of ‘grit’…

Invisibility was one that I was tossing around in my head for a bit and just decided to add it. I do think that it may go the way of the Dodo. Obscure however could be redone to be more of like a blinding spell. Won’t work on undead, but for critters, varmints, and bandits. I don’t think that would be too bad. A Weird Science could create a flash bulb or grenade, and a Psychic could “WILL” you not to see, force you to close your eyes, etc.

You started off by saying that a zombie bite is as good as a death sentence, but the infection rules mean that you can take several and keep on going

Example – Vig d6, bitten (and failed the Vig roll) 5 times = 5 infection points – but at what in-game penalty?
And if you can heal from the infection and lose the Infection points, why is the world in such a dire state?

I think these rules are far too lenient. You want players to always take fighting zombies seriously? Make Infection a single Vigour roll – they’ve got Cleansing Pot, and if they fail they can always spend a benny and reroll…

While I can agree and see the validity of this idea, I worry about it making the game TOO deadly. If players and GM want something like this, I’ll be more than happy to make it a variant rule.

The way I justify this is by separating Wild Cards and everyone one else. Only Wild Cards get the Infection Rating. When you think of a settlement that has 45 people living in it and it begins to be infected and only 4 of those people are wild cards, it’s still looking pretty bad for them.

The Infected Rating acts as a slight buffer to give the players a little more umph than normal. The odds are already stacked against them, they are squishy, and a good zombie bite can end their day, the rating, while shows the spread of infection and the harshness of the world, allows the players to survive a bit longer.

Wilds – This could be confusing (i.e. is it a contraction of Wild Cards?). Easier (and more evocative) to just call them ‘Ferals’.

This was something I already changed on the Enemy Sheet, but forgot to get in the Campaign Setting. Thanks for catching that!

Brutes – why an exo-skeletal shell? Here’s the place to use your ‘radiation-affected’ idea – they are mutants, thickly layered in coarse muscle: strong and tough.

The exoskeleton shell was what I envisioned as a reaction to the radiation. The description above was my first thought when I was designing Brutes, however I thought it was too close to Tanks in Left 4 Dead.

Again thanks to J Gregory for taking the time to give me some awesome feedback! I really am looking forward to more feedback from others!

Author: Mike Evans

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

3 thoughts

  1. Thanks for the kind words – I’m glad you found the feedback helpful.

    I’ve only had a chance to skim the Beta, but it’s looking great so far.

    Some more thoughts on Infection rules…

    I really dig the way that Reality Blurs’ Realms of Cthulhu handles Sanity by adding a system that closely parallels the existing 3-level Wound-then-Incapacitation system. It’s easy for players to understand (both the concept and the mechanic) because they’re already familiar with it; it minimizes book-keeping; and the addition doesn’t feel like a tack-on, because it’s very much like the other “vitality” systems already present. It all winds up feeling very unified and seamless. It got me wondering if Infection could be handled in a similar way…

    So, maybe…

    Whenever you are wounded by a zombie bite (or any other infectious medium), make a Vigor roll (modified by Wounds/Fatiuge). If you fail, take a level of Exposure. There are 3 levels of Exposure (each level applies a -1 modifier to later Vigor rolls, as per Wounds), then you are Infected (this parallels the 3 Wounds/Incapacitated system). When you become Infected, you make a Vigor roll (modified by Exposure/Wounds/Fatigue) and consult the Incubation Table (like the wound-modified Vigor roll against the Incapacitation Table).

    Incubation Table (modified Vigor Roll)
    Raise – You have 3d6 days left before death.
    Success – You have 3d6 hours left before death.
    Fail – You have 3d6 minutes left before death.
    Critical Failure – Instant collapse and death, followed by reanimation.

    (The idea of a Vigor roll quality determining how aggressively the virus attacks you [and your remaining life-span] is cribbed from War of the Dead)

    Exposure penalties would apply to Healing rolls to remove Exposure levels (but could be offset with Cleansing Pot).

    Unlike Incapacitation, once you’re Infected, there’s no coming back – it’s just a matter of time…

    As with a single Wound and then Incapacitation, Extras would only need one level of Exposure to get Infected; then it’s off to the Incubation Table for them…

    Conveniently, by using an incubation period, you allow the GM time to work in an opportunity for a Heroic Ending (unless you roll a Critical Failure, but then again, CFs are supposed to be just that…)

    For an in-game Exposure effect, you could apply a -1 penalty to Charisma for every level of Exposure: all that sweating from your waxy complexion as your body fights off the infection tends to make the people around you very nervous…

    High Vigor is still very important in this system – note that Exposure, Wound and Fatigue modifiers could stack up and potentially leave you with a -8 modifier to Vigor (but then again, with the Beta version you could wind up with -17 to your final Infection roll if you have Vig d12…). I think it’s tougher in general than the Beta version – you only have three levels of exposure rather that dVig, and the ongoing Exposure penalties start to stack from the first level – but it’s still not as deadly as the Infection rules in War of the Dead or Zombie Run (got bitten? you’re a goner).

    If it seems too brutal, you could soften it by making the Exposure and Wound penalties mutually exclusive (ie Exposure penalties only apply to Exposure Vigor rolls, and Wound penalties only apply to Soak/Incap etc. rolls – this would also simplify the maths).

    Maybe add in a Resistant Edge – lower Exposure penalties by 1 (like Nerves of Steel for Infection)

    Or another way to avoid too much stacking could be to tie Infection to the Spirit die rather than Vigor (ala Realms of Cthulhu’s Sanity). This isn’t really toooo much of a stretch – do you have the will to survive? – and it would help prevent overloading Vigor.

    Anyhow, some food for thought. I hope to leave some more comments after a closer look.

    J Gregory

    1. Sorry for the very very very late reply. I decided to take a break from Wrath for a bit so I would be able to look at it with fresh eyes. I’m stepping back into it and I am gonna attempt to add a few more baddies (mostly critters I think), a new town, and I want to do 1 or 2 One Page adventures.

      I’ll be definitely using some of your suggestions! Thanks again J!!

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