Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Options to Consider

A few more ideas for rules have come up - a new way to handle creature damage, handling items, and some alternate ways to use altruism points.

Necrotic Threshold (NT)
A compromise between NP acting as straight hit-points, and  the current exponential difficulty. It determines the minimum number of successful dice needed to inflict a point of damage. At the most basic, a rating of one means any hits will remove NP, while each additional level of NT means more damage must be done - ie 2:1, 3:1 etc. Thus something can be hard to hurt, but easy to kill, or easy to injure, yet surprisingly resilient.

Thus a game master could use a NT 1 - NP15 monster in a situation where the players could use hit and run tactics against a creature, wearing it down while moving through a built-up area. Meanwhile something NT 4 -NP 4 would need a skilled person or a heavy burst firing weapon (like an Anti-Aircraft gun) to have chance of damaging it consistently - which in turn limits the game to a set piece combat location..

Useful Life - UL (Alternately: Durability [DUR])
Much like how guns don't count individual bullets - using the ammo roll mechanic instead - potentially expendable items might have a rating as well. This could be applied to battery powered items, the integrity of body armor, or the strength of a door.
  • A few Min/1-5 uses 1d4
  • A few Hours/10-20 1d6
  • 12-24 hours / 20-40 uses 1d8
  • Two or Three Days// 40-80 1d10
  • A week or more / 80+1d12
Anything more durable is resilient enough that its unlikely to break unless deliberately attacked, and should be assigned a DR and NP/Animus - depending on if it is instantly ruined or breaks down in stages. For example, cars effectively have animus as they degrade in stages - from pristine, to trouble prone, to spare parts, to unidentifiable scrap. while a length of fence either prevents intrusion or doesn't - so its NP.

Old Kevlar body armor is not designed for constant punishment, in fact its often meant to only be used once. Long term storage hasn't helped either. Thus old body armor would be either 1d6 or 1d4. Newer armor types include other materials, or even nanorheological fluids that react to impact and can last longer, though long term storage or environmental exposure still isn't OK, and it requires a power source to stiffen the fibers. Thus these suits might be rated as 1d8 or 1d4.

Altruism Points:
No real guidelines are given in the main text for how many AP to give out each session. I don't mean to give a non-answer, but this really depends on how you want the game to run. More AP means better survivability, however, it also means becoming rather more attached to the characters - so the players may become less happy with high body count games. Fewer AP means more hoarding, but easier replacement.

Generally speaking, the advancement options of AP are usually best served at the end of a session or during a long period of downtime. However, one might allow characters to find hidden depths or come to an epiphany at a crucial moment for a few points extra.

Healing, on the other hand, can take place during a session. Once again, however, it may help set the tone by including a surcharge for spur of the moment healing compared to waiting until the end.

AP Equipment Boosts:
Another possible use for AP would be to get around rolls for ammunition, useful life, or add bonus dice to a roll. AP spent this way allow extra dice to be rolled - either added straight to an attack, or the best result being used in a test of durability/ammo consumption.

AP Group Resources:
To help encourage group activities further, or to reward overall success, a pool of AP for the entire party. Points in this pool can be used to improve group resources. For example - everyone pitches in with the work, and these AP could level up a vehicle as a van is turned into an armored truck. Or it could be used to work towards GM set break points, which in turn would get the group something nice. So perhaps the group creates a small camp - and the more points they put in the collective, the greater number of adherents to their cause, and thus they can create their own outpost or even city state. Of course, this could also just be a sign the GM should give them a break and let the players find something good in the ruins, or an easy mission.

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