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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yegov Yevghenni Lvod

Yegov is Siberian, and proud of it. From his point of view, it was either Siberians alone, or perhaps his father in particular, that helped save Stalingrad, Moscow, and turn Kursk. He has made it a personal mission to defeat the impossible whenever possible to keep their memory alive.

Some people would make jokes about Siberians as country bumpkins -akin to how some people in the USA mock  Southerners as "rednecks". His enthusiastic and sometimes simple demeanor would seem to feed into that. However, few people in the group are willing to mock a man who earned respect by leading from the front, constantly carries a PPSh-41 submachinegun, and is often dosed on enough combat drugs to be able to run a marathon after having both legs amputated by a chainsaw.

Yegov Yevghenni Lvod (English: George, son of George Lvod)
Began as a lieutenant when first joining the group. By the groups shut-down, his rank was officially Major General - though more from the stance of organizing strategic assets than actual authority over a large number of people. 

  • Strength  (5) -- 5
  • Wits  (3) -- 4
  • Technique  (4) -- 4
  • Quick  (2) -- 3
  • Close Combat  (4) -- 4
  • Ranged Combat  (4) -- 5
  • Animus  (9) -- 10
  • Deadening  (8) -- 9
  • Lucidity  (5) -- 7
  • Pack  (7) -- 8
  • Up-Rise  (9) -- 9
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Negotiation
  • Ammo Conservation
  • (S3 Access (Free-Running)
  • (S4 Investigation)
  • (S5 Driving)
  • (SA 2 Martial Arts (+1 DR to Hand to Hand)
  • (SA 3 Clout: General Officer)
Numbers in parenthesis are at the beginning of his career. Over Thirty years in an elite unit has given him far more skills and ability than a usual person. (About extra 45 AP spent)

The Average person not familiar with the non-European Republics of the USSR would be rather taken back by his appearance - rather more akin to Inuit or northern Mongolian than Caucasian. Aside from that, he is far more average in height and build than one would expect of the take charge leader of a special forces unit. Dark hair, eyes, and a tendency towards fairly drab military style colors tends to mean he doesn't stand out in a crowd, unless cackling and firing an automatic weapon at undead. In combat, he wears a standard issue armored coat and gas mask, making him as anonymous as the rest of the troops. 

Common Equipment:  
Yegov has an almost unhealthy love for the PPSh-41 submachinegun, and and an enjoyment of all things shotgun - especially the massive 4 gauge KS-23 when it becomes available in the early 80s. He also has a combination trench-spike/knuckle-duster and a TT-33 pistol with his at all times. As the unit commander, he has access to anything in the units armory or vehicle park - even limited access to chemical weapon stocks (after-all, that is part of the unit's mission as well).

His soldiers affectionately call Yegov "the shotgun general" because he insists on leading from the front, and would never dream of calling in an airstrike when he could personally use buckshot. He is enthusiastic, but cares for his troops and would never order them to do something he wouldn't. He Yegov is not particularly prone to reflection or reading when he could be active and isn't dumb, just not always the first to find the least violent solution. Although enlisted men like him well enough, he tends to confound other officers since he has little patience for paper work and often delegates such to others, or simply ignores it - there is a reason why a "general" is in charge of a sub-battalion sized unit.

Use in a Game:  
Characters actually a part of 2552 will meet him on an almost daily basis - he has a habit of waking up soldiers by using firearms in their vicinity. However, he is encouraging, runs physical training with them, and is always there to brief them or even lead an operation.

Post fall of the Soviet Union, he preferred to split his general's salary amongst the others in the unit, and did his best to hide or clean up the unit.  Yegov has no regrets about the unit, and is more than willing to hunt down a creature if given the chance, but does not take kindly to investigations of his old unit.  He is not prone to talk to his daughter about the unit either, though she might be slightly more helpful to detectives.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sorting the 2552 Paperwork

Hey Alex,

I think I'm close to a breakthrough. Got this numbering system just about worked out - we can now tell what happened, how often, and an idea of where. Mostly. There are some gaps in the sequence, and some oddities. Doesn't match the usual government publications, but really - did we expect them to?

All the numbers are set up as AAA,BB19CC,ZYZ,(XX), AAAA.

So the first four and last four digits are part of a tracking serial number to find the warehouse and shelf the files should be located in - though I doubt that is there anymore. After the first four, is a second set - month/day/year. Kind of clever sticking them in the serial number - read just like any other filing system and you would be going off to the middle of nowhere.

It is the next three that are the most interesting four our purposes though. This seems to be an internal check that declares what type of operation it was, possibly where, and how many ops were in a given year. Once again, the number is oddly split - its the first and third that give the time stamp. 2X4 comes before 2X6, even if the middle digit is different so 284 comes just before 226. I haven't see an operation 0_0, so we are in theory limited to 81 possibilities.

Now the middle number seems to be linked to the type of operation. The number six comes up the most often - it seems to refer to tests or training exercises held in that Azerbaijani base we learned about previously.  Seven and eight come up less often, but seem also linked to internal operations or training exercises, but farther from the base. Nine might be as well - but the place names seem to indicate these were tests conducted outside the Soviet Union - a rather bold step.

One through three seem to be actual deployments - fortunately rare. I'm rather concerned about number two "Clean Up Only" - its the most common of the deployment types. I would hazard that escapes were common, but a few reports I looked out mention places in South America or Africa - could they counter a competitor's program as well? If so, how many people were doing this?

Five doesn't appear anywhere, but its occasionally referred to in notes, with comments like "Production is insufficient for a five scenario" or "Please coordinate a type five to support 25th Guards Tank Regiment for 1991 war games". That last request was in 1988 by the way - and all reporting stops abruptly about 1992. World War Three full deployment scenario?

In 1983, 84, 85, and 90 we see an extra two numbers. At least in 84, I also found number 979 so those may be overflow to handle operations in excess of 81.

We know there we're a hell of a lot of tests, and they have at least one base down south, albeit no longer on Russian Territory. That isn't going to make this easy. We don't have much proof that many or any of the disturbances we're looking at are dealing with them, and well, the whole idea seems impossible on the face of it. But you and I both know that criminal wasn't human, and there was no reason for an APC and guys in hazmat suits showing up at the precinct morgue after we shot him during the drug bust, unless something really odd happened.

How are things proceeding on your end?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Alternate Setting: Necrotic Narcotics

A fan turned overhead, but its failing motor added only a squeal, rather than comfort, to the stale air. Serious men with automatic weapons and fancy suits did their best to ignore both the noise and heat. Their boss was sitting in a worn chair towards the center of the room, looking somewhat more comfortable in a open shirt and stylish khakis. Reflected in his silvered sunglasses was a magician wearing a top hat, white body paint, and little else.
   "What you ask, is knowledge I have already granted another."
   "I can pay you double whatever he is offering."
   "No slave am I, I bare not the chains of money. What other offerings can you provide."
   "Women, wine, protection."
   "Sure you don't think this shack is a good place to stay when making enemies in the cartels you don't support? That hill outside would let a half-decent sharp shooter put a bullet in every head with hardly a thought.
   "And what good would that do them? My servants are well beyond needing their head, and the fetish is stored nowhere near here - without me, nothing keeps them at bay.
   "So what do you want?"
   "To Help."


Dead men tell no tales. They don't take a cut of the product, steal from the boss, or engage in side-business either. For that mater, what legal consequences can you levy at a walking corpse?
   Drug runners the world over are turning to dark magic to augment their operations. Gangs are literally killing each other to get the secret - and produce more soldiers in the process.

Police departments are only beginning to get rumors of this action, and most dismiss it as just a new type of combat oriented designer drug or horror stories to scare enemies into submission.A select few special agents and renegade cops have figured out that it might be more, but for now, their support is limited. Even those who know its real have far to many questions left to effectively stop it. How did the cartels find this, how come magic is working at all?

What if the necromances themselves have an alternative motive?  They already control death itself, and could have used these creatures for profit in many other ways - why this, and why now?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Encounter Suit vsPower Suit

A fight between an Ekaide and and Eisenhower? Interesting question. Probably a bigger can of worms than you want to open though. Bigger than anyone wants to deal with really. But if you're certain...

First of all, they're both adaptable with fully functional hands. So we have to ask - what are they bringing to the party? An Anti-Tank Guided Missile will flat out vaporize the alien suit, if it locks on and tracks. Fifty-cal rifle - you might, might put holes in it - up close. A standard infantry level machine gun, and you're just scuffing the paint job. Flipping this around - ceramics in the Ike's armor give it some measure of damage reduction against lasers, but radiation cannons - hiding behind a wall won't help.

How about terrain? Ekaide are larger, faster, and yet still surprisingly nimble. The Ike is less than half its size so it can hide and ambush better. I can't say much about the alien's sensor package, but I'd guess they would hold the field in open terrain, and the human rules the city. Of course, that spoils it a bit since Humans always have the home-field advantage if we make it an urban fight.

Time is also a factor. Sure, the Eisenhower can sustain combat operations for between two and three days, and the batteries last longer yet in low-power mode. The Pilot? Less so. An Incubus is more of a robot, so the alien inside is sitting comfortably and pushing buttons. Would it like being cooped up for a few days? Doubt it, but they've probably got an autopilot and air-conditioning that actually works.

Training is going to be the biggest factor, and also the one I can say the least about. I can't say much about how a Citizen drills, or if they have the resources to train much. Most human groups probably don't. If you've got a former user from the war, and give them some time to refresh, its good. The average scavenger teaching them-self to use a suit - more luck than anything.

My money would be on the alien, if that means anything.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

If Not 104.3

"...And that concludes our broadcast day. Remember to be good to yourself, selflessly joyful, and aim for the head!"

Diego flipped the last few switches, and the equipment gave an audible hum as it powered down. Hobbes pulled the headphones down to his neck, and pushed his glasses up, rubbing his eyes. "So, that marks another hundred episodes, doesn't it?" he remarked.
   "Yes. We have a nice racket going here."
   "Ever wonder what we would be doing if we hadn't found this place."
   "I don't really know. You would probably have a fairly good life as a village doctor though."
   "No, no I wouldn't. I could go anywhere right now and be a doctor rather than a DJ. Kind of odd really. I went into obstetrics to be a real doctor - not a programmer for tiny robots. But right now, I don't find myself really missing it. Maybe it was because I was often on call for emergencies, or I was dealing with multiple hard to deal with patients at once - pained mother and a child that can't speak. But I think I would've retired early and just done this sort of thing anyway."
   "At least you had a retirement plan. I was somewhat on the run because I refused to be part of a militia, didn't often hold jobs long, was in the military subject to call up. Yeah, if they had been able to reach me, I'd either be stuck in Vegas, dead from one of the actions against the reanimates or Citizens, or wandering around on my own refusing to join former platoon mates in becoming raiders."
   "Well, if you could've stopped running, what would you have done?"
   "Probably would've kept running anyway. Just to more places that I wanted to see. I liked doing TV voice-work, I kinda like working with my hands. Probably should've learned more about the SPHERE, hosted a show, done charity work. Not quite what you would expect from my history."
   "Yeah, you're an anti-social curmudgeon that likes to make people happy."
   "Says the doctor that hates people."
   "People are fine, its just patients I can't stand. Five minutes or less 'till they bleed out, yes, demanding service is reasonable. But nano doesn't eliminate pain, and they're either demanding wonder drugs that are rationed, or asking for strange unproven panaceas, and acting like I'm the idiot when I refuse an herbal remedy in deference to actual medicine. Which one of use had years of medical school thank you very much?"
   "They think that SPHERE makes everyone an expert, and that even a novice can be guided through surgery with some diagrams and augmented reality. Never mind it only gives answers if you know what questions to ask."
   "Exactly, Diego, exactly."
   "So boss, what are we going to do tonight then?"
   "Want to try that board-game sing-sing brought last time she stopped by?"
   "The colors give me a headache, and I still don't quite understand the rules. What's wrong with the human ones anyway?"
   "Just looking for some variety."
   "If we wanted variety, we'd hire a team of salvageers to get us some new music"
  "We really should look into that."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Watch the Quite Ones

Some days, you can forget that reanimates are out there.

Everyone else - everything else - has a voice. Raiders demand tribute or string up people as examples. Government types drop by to see what we're doing and see if we're ready to reunify the USA, or at least drop off the mail. Traders are hawking wares, New Birmingham types are proselyting. All types from other G-zones are passing through, and praising their own way of life, asking you to join or do some sort of favor.

Reanimates say nothing.

The so-called citizens - they broadcast warnings to stay out of their territory and away from their laser towers. Sometimes they stop by and tell us another area is going to be annexed. Then a group of people gets mad, stages an attack, and makes the aliens rethink.

Reanimates don't plan, reanimates don't get mad.

Kids are calling for freedom, farmers for elections, and leaders for order. Half the town says we need more guns, and the other half says more butter. For every person who says its time to take another ride to the cities and recover old technology, there is another who says we shouldn't rely on such things and accept a simpler life.

There is no debating with reanimates.

Radiation clicks the Geiger counter, chemicals turn the test paper blood red and asphyxiated blue. Crude painted symbols reveal raiders, orchid like towers mark citizen territory.

Reanimates do little to claim the place.

Never forget that they are there. Some will drag a person down and beat them to death. Others shred flesh and armor like a cornered wildcat. A few will pound bones to dust with the finesse of raining bricks. Rarely, one will be capable of all of the above and then some. All of them are waiting for you, silently, ready to destroy those who forget.