In honour of Zombtober, and bearing in mind the continued lack of Garstrewt and Athienne, this weekend the guest game was All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out. In about 90 minutes we created characters, ran through some rules examples – a firefight, for example – and played the Day One scenario (a free web supplement from the 2HW site).
The Warforged’s player generated a character with Rage and Brawler, which he declared was a doomsday-prepping survivalist kendo teacher who had been praying for this day for years; Nessime’s player created a Greedy Medic; Gutz’ player had a Runt/Born Leader car mechanic armed with a nailgun; and I had a character with very little background beyond having Poser and Rage, because I spent most of my time interpreting the rules for the others, who have never played ATZ before. All the characters were Rep 4 Citizens.
This session didn’t flow as smoothly as I’d hoped – I really should have played a couple of games solo first to get the hang of the rules, but I thought I could get away with it because I’ve been playing so much 5150: NB. (One of the advantages of solo play is I can stop and puzzle over a rule I don’t understand for as long as I want; that’s much more stressful for me when I’m introducing new players to a game I want them to like and don’t understand how to do something.)
Still, by the end of Day One we were holed up in the nuclear bunker underneath the kendo teacher’s combination house and dojo, and the mechanic and the doctor had both seen and killed a zombie (the doctor took its head off with a spade, while the mechanic was still coming to terms with it being a former friend).
The players took this badly-prepared session in good heart, and decided to think of it as the cut scene introducing the game (they are all keen videogame players). We agreed to finish off the outstanding Savage Worlds scenario (Vengeance of the Branded Devils) next time we meet, then try another ATZ game, and then I’ll hand over the reins to the Shadowrun GM for a session. Meanwhile, I’ll shift my solo focus to ATZ for a while to get the hang of it, and GM the game until everyone is comfortable enough with the rules not to require explanations.
Their plan for the next encounter, incidentally, is to raid a military base for guns and explosives. On Day Two of the zombie outbreak. I do not think this will go well.