The following details the beginning of an All Flesh Must Be Eaten scenario. The exact mode of rejuvination is unimportant to the characters at this point, so it is not addressed. This is intended as an intro to a larger campaign, and to take a single gaming session.
The characters are friends, and are traveling together back to their homes. If they are in law-enforcement, it is unlikely that they have anything other than the most basic gear (maybe a concealed gun or knife), considering they are off duty. To get to their real weapon stashes, they are going to have to make it all the way back to town.
It is around 6:00 p.m. on a Sunday in mid-October. The sky is gloomy, heralding a return to the rain that has been falling fairly steadily for the last few days. The characters are on a two-lane freeway, heading home, and come upon a nasty traffic jam, possibly the worst in decades. There are cars spread across the entire roadway, even onto the fairly wide shoulders. It has obviously happened quite recently, scant minutes before, and people ahead are getting out of their cars and running up to help if they can.
At least a dozen cars were involved in the accident. Anyone getting out and getting close will note that at least six of the vehicles have been smashed in such a way as to nearly insure fatalities. One car may have exploded. Under one small car, flipped onto its roof, a puddle of blood and oil mingle. A huge truck has overturned, blocking all lanes. The traffic in the north-bound lanes are slowing down to rubberneck. The characters see at least two people talking excitedly into their cellphones, and can report the accident if they have one among themselves.
The traffic behind them has begun to pile-up, and the blaring of horns can be heard from frustrated drivers. An occasional distant thump-crash indicates that not all drivers are keeping their eyes on the road.
The characters are just in time to see two helpful young men run toward a heavy-set man who is struggling to pull himself out of his truck's broken window. Covered in blood, he is groaning in obvious agony. As soon as one of the men reaches him, he lashes out with a mangled arm. The men shout encouragement, thinking he wants to be pulled out of his vehicle's cab. The are of course surprised when the man takes a huge bite out of one their biceps! Screaming, the young man struggles, but the maniac has latched on like a snake, chewing the poor man's arm. His friend grabs at the assailant, only to have the man strike out with his bloody teeth, sinking them into his exposed throat!
In shock, the characters see this scene repeated all around them as mutilated victims crawl from their wrecked vehicles and fall upon their would-be saviors. It becomes obvious in seconds that they are going to soon be surrounded by in excess of 20 should-be-dead crazy people. How they react to this is their call.
Of course, being players in a zombie game, they now know what is happening, but their characters, logically should not.
Luckily for them, the accident took place very close to an exit (also blocked by a destroyed vehicle) and overpass. If they think that they can make it across the median into the other line of traffic, they have another thing coming. The median, at this point in the road, is blocked by a 3' high cement barrier. The shoulder is also blocked by traffic, and beyond that is a fairly steep drop into a sodden blackberry patch which straddles a well-maintained fence. Without a particularly macho 4-wheeler or hum-vee, vehicle access that way is not an option. They will have to make their escape on foot.
Soon the northbound lane is also blocked as staggering undead venture across and are hit. Cars skid out of control, slamming into each other. Many flip over. The place has turned into a war zone in mere minutes.
There are a couple of places to hole up. To the East is a Chevron and a medium-sized restaurant, "Spanky's." To the West is an abandoned gas station and a large, fenced business. A sign as the business reads "BJ's Farm Equipment: Sales and Service."
There is a tow-truck parked on one side, and another car (a '76 Chevy station wagon) in the shop. There is a pay-phone, the station phone, and lots of good mechanical stuff. The gas guys keep a sawed-off shotgun behind the counter (it is loaded, with a box of 20 shells in the manager's desk in the office).
This place is pretty quiet right now. There is a pay phone and two normal phones in the restaurant (one behind the counter and one in the manager's office). One of the customers has a concealed weapon (snub-nosed .38 with a full clip) in her purse. It is possible that, if they are attacked in the restaurant, that the woman with the gun will begin firing about in a panic (she is untrained), perhaps injuring or killing a living person.
BJ's Farm Equipment
This place is huge, surrounded by an 8' fence topped with three strands of barbed wire. In the enclosure is a large building with customer service/display area, offices, supplies, and a large garage with enough room to work on two huge tractors at once (with requisite supplies). One of the stalls holds a gutted tractor. On display outside are a number of tractors, flatbed trucks, and other farm equipment. There are two cars parked in the lot. All keys to the vehicles are contained in a safe in the back office area. The safe is closed but not locked. As long as no one spins the dial, the safe can be easily opened. There are many hundreds of gallons of deisel and regular gas in locked tanks in the back.
This place is totally empty. A back door is easily bumped open and can be relocked. There is no phone or power. All of the windows are boarded up. There are a few handtools laying around (a screwdriver, a wrench, etc).
Option A: The characters run over to the populated side of the freeway. No one believes them (until they see their first undead -- which, of course, they will not believe are undead at all). People may even try to help the "walking wounded," and will pointedly ignore characters' pleas to do otherwise. Someone is on the phone instantly to report the accident (cops are already on their way, as a couple folks have cell-phones in the traffic jam).
If characters are armed and fire upon/kill a zombie, the people around them will be shocked and horrified. They will likely attack the characters. Remember also, that the guys in the gas station are armed.
If characters try to steal a car they have another thing comin', especially after everyone discovers that they're in a hazardous situation.Of course, by then the place may well be surrounded. People will protect their own with deadly force when the situation itself becomes deadly. At this point it will become every man/woman/child for him/herself. Families will stick together, but no-one will attempt to help a stranger.
Within fifteen minutes after the characters have made their way across, perhaps with a zombie or twelve on their tail, a car comes screaming across the overpass. A zombie is clinging to its driver's side door, reaching in, with another zombie hanging onto the windshield wipers. It swerves about madly, finally careening into the gas station and into the pump island. BOOM!!
If they are at the Chevron:
Post-explosion, characters running away from the road will find themselves face-to-mangled-face (within 20') with a few of the newly-risen undead who are happy to make their acquaintance . . .
If they are at Spanky's:
The characters have probably been arguing with the people therein, possibly even having pointed out some staggering undead to the disbelieving onlookers, when the car crashes into the Chevron. The resultant explosion blows out two windows with flaming debris, strikes one of the customers, breaking her neck and killing her instantly. The lights go out. Panic erupts. The dead woman's boyfriend is cradling her in his arms. It is unlikely that the characters will be able to get close to the woman, and her strapping male companion will rip them all new assholes if they come anywhere near her.
Instantly after the explosion, the only light in the diner comes from the nearby conflagration. The manager was still on the phone, and he yells that he has been cut off. Now the fun really starts.
Unfortunately for everyone, a good two dozen undead from the wreck on the freeway are within minutes of arrival. Many people will try to run away, and the first few actually succeed if they drive around the back of the restaurant to avoid the heat of the burning gas station. These people are in a panic, and aren't too careful about where they drive. Anyone in their way will be hurt. A few of the cars sustained damage in the blast, but as long as the driver doesn't mind riding on rims they can make some speed for a while.
It is likely that a number of survivors from the freeway accident will begin running across the field to safety. The characters and customers of Spanky's will be treated to the picture of many of them bei ng pulled down by unknown figures in the gloom. Some may make it to the diner at about the same time as the first wave of undead.
The choice: Let them in or lock the doors (the manager has the only set of keys). It will be difficult to let people in and remain safe from the zombies. Many people in the restaurant will not want to let them in, the manager among them. It is assumed that the characters are good guys and will want to let them in. There could be some conflict here, especially if any undead manage to get in. If they do let anyone in, a few of them will probably have already been bitten . . .
At this point, flashing lights are seen coming from the south. A cop is on his way! Poor guys. An ambulance follows within five minutes. Poor guys. Cops coming from the north arrive a few minutes later. Poor guys.
Five minutes after the explosion, hideous screams are heard in the diner!! The woman who was killed and being held by her boyfriend, is burrowing her face into his bleeding neck!! Ripping flesh away from him, she is feeding on him as he noisily expires from shock and blood loss. Unless someone reacts quickly, she will be on her feet in sec onds, looking for new flesh! Her male companion will join her in just a few minutes.
A. Two windows are blown out in Spanky's. Doh.
B. One of the dishwashers left the back door blocked open after he recently dumped some garbage and mooched a smoke. In the recent excitement, he has since forgotten about this.
C. A good ol' boy in a souped-up 4-wheeler will make his escape across he fields, tearing down fences, and running over the living and undead like. His bu ddy is firing a hunting rifle out of the truck's window. Some bullets may spray into Spanky's. Other vehicles may try to follow this guy, but only 4-wheelers will make it. One or more of the vehicles may try to help the people in the diner, depending on how surrounded it is. Non-4-wheelers will get mired down in the grass and mud and be rapidly overtaken by undead.
D. The woman with the .38 in her purse may pull it out and start shooting wildly, especially after the woman reanimates. She could easily hurt or kill someone. No kidding.
E. If the characters can discern which car belonged to the now-undead couple, they can run to it and hotwire it if they know how (it's unlocked). Or, if they have somehow dispatched the two unfortunates, they can take the keys from the dead man and make good an escape. They will have to fight their way past a LOT of undead to do so.
Option B: The characters run to the unpopulated side of the freeway. Local characters know that they are about 1 mile from the town of Coburg. The nearest farmhouse is around a 1/4 mile away.
They can hole up in either BJ's or the abandoned gas station, but will have to successfully pick the brand-new Yale padlock (-4 to Task) into BJ's without tearing the fence down. A Climbing roll (-2 to Task) would allow them to safely climb the fence, with an unsuccessful roll making them fall (on the wrong side) after sustaining D4(2) damage from the barbed wire (tetanus?) and consequent fall. It takes at least three minutes to safely climb the fence, with extraordinarily high successes allowing them to cut time off.
After 15 minutes, the characters hear and see the explosion across the highway. The car just passed them, and will ignore any flailing or attempt to stop it on their part, getting into trouble itself on the overpass. If they are in BJ's they do not loose power or phone. They can actually call a friend for help if they think about it. They could also hot-wire one of the cars (one is basically empty of gas and will only make it a few miles, while the other is fine). There is gas to be found behind the garage, but they will have to pick the lock (-2 to Task) or cut it off to get access.
The first undead will come exploring about five minutes after they arrive. It will only be a matter of time before they are surrounded.
After only a little while, a few people will try to escape across field, undead snapping at their heels. They will try to get in whether or not the characters show themselves. Again, the characters have to choose to let them in and risk letting undead into "their" safe enclosure. One of the survivors will attempt to blow the lock off of the gate with a handgun if they do not help them (if the characters have found the safe with all of the keys [-4 to Task if locked], then they can open the lock with a key marked "gate"). The undead will get in soon thereafter if the lock has been destroyed.
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