Game Name:The Plagues
Game Type:PNP ZG
Group Dynamics: [ Individual players ]
So this is the first concept Ill be writing so feel free to ask me about anything I miss or leave a little fuzzy.
So the game will take place in the Windy city of Chicago. The outbreak has occurred 96 years before (cause will be found by players) and swept over the world at an alarming pace. The plague was realized to be fungal based only when the deaths began, far to late to hope for containment. The dead becoming quickly overgrown by a coat of clinging green moss before pulling itself upright and falling upon the closest living thing with wild abandon. The trashed bodies of the freshly fallen left mostly in one piece, the plague spread to them in their dying breaths. The morgues and the cemeterys quickly become a breeding ground for the new hosts, the spores exhumed from the moss growing from their flesh. A bite or a scratch from one of these “zombies” will rarely prove fatal unless left untreated. The plague isnt spread from open wounds or spittle from the infected but rather in a much more concealed way. The spores nestling in the lungs of those who inhaled the air around these infected. Small doses of these spores will never kill the host. Rather waiting for it to die of natural causes then growing rampant over its now defenseless host. This change can take anywhere from several days (if the host dies indoors) or mere hours (if they died in the sun or in a damp area). The longer the fungus takes to overgrow its host the hardier the fungus tends to be. Ones developed in pitch black dry places ending up covered in a proverbial suit of armor as the moss grows tightly packed to maximize its effectiveness (variations will apply). And ones who are grown in the sun happen to become light, capable of clumsy acts of agility such as climbing up walls and swinging from tree branches, occasionally even being capable or leaping from roof to roof in search of prey. All husks function using sight, sound and hearing during the hunt, utilizing the sensory organs left behind by their host, often replacing less than suitable parts with complex sets of fungus of its own. Although these are sub-par they still function to aid the husk in its hunt.
Dispatching the Plagued
The heads of these husks is used only for sensory purposes, to the point where even if a husk finds the back of its skull caved in or even being decapitated it has the assurance of surviving. The missing sensory organs growing back in time (dependent on the type of fungus that overgrows the host). The only sure way to end the lives of these wretches is to ether burn them badly enough to destroy the core of the infection or to damage the core directly. This “core” is located in the center of the lungs, the origin of the fungus. Piercing or rupturing this center of the infected will often kill the creature outright, however this is isnt guaranteed as the core must be damaged beyond repair, a small puncture or cut will rarely fell one of these beasts.
A healthy (well fed and strong) beasts constantly produce a small cloud of spores around them, this functions as a way for the fungus to reproduce. While a sickly one or a weak one will produce a faint mist of spores that hardly cause the smallest of coughs. The spores themselves weak and dying. To approach one of the weak husks is still a danger to the living as they are still capable of killing an unarmed, weakened, unaware or frail person. The spores capable of taking over the dead host with ease despite being near death themselves. To engage a healthy and strong husk alone is to court death itself. Their empowered limbs giving them strength over the average man and their spores gripping the lungs of their prey in moments. Fortunately these healthy beasts are rare as the husks are territorial and will often fight for the best sunning locations and hunting grounds. One will often see a healthy husk surrounded by a group of slightly sickly ones thus making it a sort of Alpha pack member. This sort of occurrence serves only to empower the alpha and guarantee its continued growth.
The fungus spores tend to be more concentrated in enclosed buildings and areas with little wind, the effect of the mass amounts of dead spores gathered in these areas coupled with the sudden loss of human population caused a dramatic change in big cities around the world. Plants growing fat off the nutrient rich pockets of spores erupted in these areas. Something in the virus gifting the seeds growing in their remains with incredible vigor causing trees and other verdant life to grow at an impossible pace. People coming into their hometown after a few short years find streets overgrown by massive fields of tall grass and enormous flowering plants. Trees grow from houses and creeping vines engulfed whole skyscrapers. The plants themselves are not effected by the virus thus it has become popular for tribes of people to go and “raid” these cities in search of food grown to massive size. These raids are not without their dangers as the husks thrive in these areas.
Most humans now try and carve out their lives on the open plains, avoiding the cities unless in absolute dire need. Living in tribes these people now often find themselves nomadic my necessity, traveling by whatever means they can. Automobiles have long sense run their tanks dry and are now sometimes seen being pulled by a pair of mules or oxen. Some tribes have settles down around watering holes or steams, starting crude farms and building small open-walled settlements. These tend to be wealthy trading posts for the roving nomads, often trading interesting trinkets, inner city artifacts such as tools , raw materials or the occasional slave for food and fresh clean water. These strongholds are rarely raided as they carry a lot of power with the nomad tribes, capable of bringing to bear a small army when the need arises.
Inner city raider
As a city raider you are part of a group who often scavenge from the remains of the cities with the hopes of finding the riches within. This is dangerous work and many raiders are claimed by the many dangers of the cities every year. This causes little stir in the daily life of these determined souls, launching daring, well organized runs into the city, often targeting main buildings like hospitals and police stations.
Perks: Survival: Inner City +1, combat ability of player choice +2, Toughness free of charge.
Nomads make up the vast population of the surviving humans, these groups are often forced to war with other tribes over hunting rights and land. Nomads are often a poor people, forced to live off the land and scrounging what little they can from smaller towns devoured by the plague. However Nomads are sometimes paid large sums of food and supplies by farmers to protect them against bandits or an outbreak of husks.
Perks: Survival: Plains +1, Skill of players choice +1 Absolute direction, Acute hearing and vision +1 lvl.
Farmers make up a kind of nobility amongst the remains of the human race, coffers fat from the toil of slaves and a lucrative trade with nomads and raiders have bloated the populations of farmer settlements. Rarely will a farmer be forced to lift a finger when confronted as the Nomads and Raiders will jump at the opportunity to defend these trade partners. This is due in part to the fact that farmers alone know how to grow crops, irrigate land and raise small herds of cattle, horses and other livestock. Although if forced into direct conflict the armories of these Noble houses can bring to bear incredibly powerful weapons and on the rare occasion even an armored truck. Fortunately these noble houses are small by comparison to the roaming Nomads and Raiders allowing a sort of balance to remain amongst the tribes.
Perks: Wealth, Charisma +1, crafting skill of player choice +1.
Some people find the company of others not to their liking, or choose to go about attempting to strike it rich on their own. These few individuals travel the lands alone or in small, tightly knit groups in search of riches, fame or sometimes just a place to call home. These small pockets of people are often the targets of bandits and some of the more aggressive (or down on their luck) Nomad tribes, being captured and sold as slaves to Farmers or killed for possible loot. Wanderers are forced to lay low constantly, made possible by their small groups and talented members.
Perks: Alertness +2, Spy skill of player choice +1, Outdoor skill of player choice +1.
Desperate victims of the plague these sad individuals form together in massive caravans, unfortunate enough not to die from the spores in their lungs. This faction stands apart from the rest of the houses, large enough to pose a threat to any attacker desperate enough to assault these poor vagabonds. These masses can be heard from miles away, massive bells hung from atop crude wagons ring their sorrowful song across the land, warning others of their approach. These huge groups are often kept alive by the pity of the other houses, left offering by the roadside to dissuade them from approaching their settlements or caravans. At times these desperates are forced to raid the Inner Cities, being under geared and untrained these incursions often end up costing many lives.
Perks: Immune to the plague, Rapid healing, Skill of player choice +1.
(I am taking suggestions for more)