Rules and Guidelines

A group of strangers at a highway truck stop must cooperate to survive as the world becomes overwhelmed with legions of the living dead. But more terror awaits them as they race to prevent the end of mankind and the coming of the Zombie Apocalypse. (This is a Blood Brothers Campaign based on Call of Cthulhu Rules and the films of George Romero).

[This game accepts new players]

Moderator: Mr. Handy

Rules and Guidelines

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:54 am

This thread is where I'll post rules and guidelines to help players learn how the game is played. This first post will contain the basics you'll need to learn how to use Invisible Castle for dice rolling as well as point you to the Quick Start rules. Following that will be important information that was posted on the Rules and Guidelines thread on the old board. Each player should read the posts in this thread. This game does streamline the rules somwhat at least as far as the players are concerned. I'll be implementing a lot of the rules behind the scenes, but what players need to know is fairly straightforward and I'll help ease you into it.

Here you can find the Quick Start rules for Call of Cthulhu: http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=87

The rules are available in PDF format in black and white or in color from links on the above page. Of particular interest are the Resistance Table in the middle (I'll explain this when it's needed) and a blank character sheet at the end. You don't need to fill the sheet out or anything, but it does list the basic levels of skills. If a character doesn't have a skill listed, you will use the basic level instead. I'll usually tell you what these levels are when I call for a roll.

We do all of our dice rolling at Invisible Castle: http://invisiblecastle.com/

This site keeps a permanent record of all rolls and allows them to be searched easily. It's very easy to use, and it's also free and does not even require registration. However, you should definitely register in order to be able to put text in the Note field so I know what you're rolling against. Registration is free as well. Follow these steps to make a roll (once you've logged onto Invisible Castle):
  • Click on Roll Dice at the top left.
  • Enter your character's name in the Character Name box. For ease of searching, you should spell your character's name the same way every time. If your browser supports automatic completion, typing in the first part of the name will allow you to quickly fill in the rest. You should also type "[ZA]" (don't type the quotes, though) before your character's name to keep your rolls separate from those of any character in a different game who might have the same name. For instance, to make a roll for Bo Richards, you would type "[ZA]Bo Richards" in the Character Name box (again, without the quotes).
  • Make sure the proper number of rolls is selected in the Number of Rolls box. Usually this will be 1, and a 1 will be in the box to start with. If you need to make more than one of the same type of roll, you can change this number.
  • In the Dice box, enter the dice that you're going to roll. Most of the time you'll be rolling percentile dice against one of your skills, a multiple of one of your stats, or your Sanity. To do this, type "1d100" in the box, which will produce a random number from 1 to 100. Sometimes you'll need to make other types of rolls for things like Sanity loss and weapon damage. In this case, you'll type whatever is appropriate into the box (4d6 for shotgun damage at close range, 1d10+1d4+2 for .44 Magnum damage, and so on).
  • Put a comment in the Note box describing what you're rolling against and what the purpose of the roll is. Make sure you indicate the number you're rolling against to succeed if it's a skill roll, Sanity roll, Resistance roll, or the like. For example, Bo Richards has 61% skill in shotgun. If he's firing his shotgun at a zombie, you would enter something like "Shotgun roll (61% skill) shooting at a zombie" in the Note box after putting 1d100 in the Dice box.
  • Once all of the above information has been entered, click the Roll the Dice button. This will roll the dice and show you the result, and also give you a link to the roll that you can put in to your post. Just click on the text to the right of where it says "Link" to copy it to the clipboard, then paste it into your post on this board.
  • Use the following code to display the link in your post:
    Code: Select all
    [url=http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1007951/]Missed it by that much![/url]

    The link should go after the "url=" and you can put any text you like between the url tags to describe the results of your action. The link will appear like this:
    Missed it by that much!

    You can also click on the text to the right of "BBCode" and paste that in. It will put the text from the Note box in between the url tags, but you can replace that with whatever text you want.
  • To find all rolls for one of your characters, click on Search at the top center: http://invisiblecastle.com/search/

    You can enter your character's name in the Character Name box exactly as you typed it when rolling and then click the "search" button. You can also search for a particular roll by its ID number, or look up the latest rolls.

I'll handle all the bookkeeping in this game. When your character takes damage or loses Sanity points, I'll update the character sheet. When you expend ammo, reload your weapons, or acquire new ones, I'll update the weapons list to reflect this. When your character moves to a different location, I'll update the location list. When you succeed at a skill check, I'll make a note of it. You should refer to these lists frequently in the following thread if you want to know where you are and what you've got: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=1111

Almost all of my rolls are also made in public, using Invisible Castle in the same way, and I post the links to the rolls in the In Character threads. This also means that I don't fudge my dice rolls, and I let them fall where they may. If someone shoots your character and the damage roll is 15, then that's what you'll take. Combat in this system is extremely lethal, and characters will die. There are often ways to avoid combat, or at least to adjust the odds in your favor, if you use some ingenuity and common sense.
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
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Skills

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:40 am

Here's a link to the original Rules and guidelines thread: http://archive.nma-fallout.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=19252

In the early posts it describes the T-Bone. the motel, and the surrounding area where most of the characters start out. There's a lot of useful information there as well as several links that are good for background information. I won't reproduce all of that here, but you can go to the above link if you're interested. What I'll put in these posts are actual rules that we'll use to play the game.

As I explained above, to make a roll, look at your character's score in the relevant skill. Then roll 1d100. If you get less than or equal to that score, you succeed. If you roll higher, you fail.

There are also degrees of success or failure. Lower numbers are better, and higher numbers are worse. A roll of 1-5 is a critical success (provided it's a success at all), and means you succeded wildly. Maybe your hit in combat does extra damage, maybe your skill takes less time than normal to use, or perhaps you get some other benefit. A roll that's less than or equal to 1/5 of your skill score, is an exceptional success. Not as good as a critical, but still better than a normal success. If you have a skill of 50%, you get an exceptional success on a roll of 10 or less. If you roll 96-100, you have a critical failure (provided it's a failure at all, but 100 always fails). Something very bad happens, even worse than a regular failure.

Sometimes your skill scores will be modified based on the situation. You may get a bonus to your score for a particular roll (+5, +10, etc.), or there may be a penalty (-5, -10, etc.). Sometimes you'll have to roll against half of your skill (rounded down). Sometimes your skill may be doubled. I'll explain when these situations come up. These modifiers only affect the current roll and do not change your actual skill score.

There are many skills on the character sheet. Usually what they do is fairly intuitive, but some skills are similar to each other and you should know what the differences are.

Social skills: Fast Talk vs. Persuade
Persuade- normally takes time to persuade someone. You have to talk them into it, but once they are convinced, they are on your side.

Fast Talk- is quick talk. You are trying to convince someone fast. They may change their mind in the future, but are momentarily convinced.

There is also the Credit Rating skill, which is basically a kind of status skill. It isn't how wealthy you are, but how wealthy you appear.

With the sudden collapse of civilization, wealth is no longer measured in dollars, but in resources that are important to survival. Water, food, bullets, guns, medicine - these are the new currencies. Negotiating trades becomes more important, and that's where the Bargain skill comes in. You would use this skill to barter with someone, or to make any kind of deal (even if nothing physical changes hands).

Psychology vs Psychoanalysis
Psychology is basically a human skill to get a read on a person. Is this person probably lying? Is this a person I can trust? Is this person concealing something from me or are they about to lose control of themselves?

Psychoanalysis involves actually working with someone who is suffering psychological damage- the ability to diagnose and treat mental disorders. This is normally a time consuming process but those characters that have lost significant sanity points (and have flipped out), might be brought back (at least a little) to their normal sane selves.

Note that Psychology will not tell you everything about someone, or even close. Psychoanalysis is a kind of mental first aid. It can immediate snap someone out of temporary insanity with a successful roll, but it won't restore any Sanity points in the short term. That process takes at least a month, and if successful restores 1d3 Sanity per month. It's only been a few hours of game time since Chapter 1 started, so don't expect to get any Sanity back any time soon.

Unarmed combat:
Sometimes you won't have any choice but to fight without a weapon, and it's possible to become very good at this. There are four skills used for personal attacks, and each has a base skill level and damage. Your damage bonus, if any, is added to this damage. Fist/Punch has a base skill of 50% and damage of 1d3, and it requires one hand free. Grapple has a base skill of 25% and has special results. Head Butt has a base skill of 10% and damage of 1d4, but you can use it with your hands full or even tied. Kick has a base skill of 25% and damage of 1d6, and also doesn't require the use of your hands.

If you have the Martial Arts skill, you may get to double your damage dice. This only applies to basic damage, not to your damage bonus. If your attack roll was less than equal to your skill in Martial Arts, you do double damage if you hit with an unarmed attack. If it's higher, you only do normal damage if you hit. For instance, if you have a Fist/Punch skill of 50%, Martial Arts skill of 25%, and a +1d4 damage bonus, you would make a Fist/Punch roll. If your roll is 1-25, you do 2d3+1d4 damage. If it's 26-50, you do 1d3+1d4 damage. If it's 51 or higher, you miss. Martial Arts has a base skill of 1%, so even if you don't have the skill you still get the damage increase if you're lucky enough to roll a 1.
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
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Spot Rules for Combat

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:47 am

Spot Rules for Combat-

A- General rules-

Armor-
-Some creatures have armored, representing toughness of hide, a thick layer of muscles and fat, or an ‘unusual’ body. Humans have worn a variety of body armors, from boiled leather to bullet stopping vests. How much and what sort of damage armor stops is for ingenious investigators to explore.
-Armor is not lost if one attack penetrates it. Armor has a lot of surface area and bullet holes and knife holes are generally rather small. The chance of penetrating armor in the same place twice is too small to consider.
-To account for armor in the game, subtract the listed hit point factor from the damage actually rolled.

Dodge-
- Every investigator has this skill. Along with the Luck role it can be the roll of last resort in a time of damage. Remember to call for it.

Impales-
- An impale results can be achieved by pointed hand-to-hand weapons and by all firearms. Blunt weapons and personal attacks cannot perform impales.
- If an attacker gets an D100 result equal to or less than one 1/5 of his skill maximum for the attack, then an impale occurs. This means that the thrusting weapon or bullet chanced to strike a vital area, drove deeply through arteries, or slashed crucial tendons or muscles.

Example- Luke has a handgun skill of 20%. Dividing 20% by 5 gets you a 4. A .22 bullet does 1d6 damage but an impaling .22 bullet does 2d6 points of damage. Theoretically a .22 automatic could impale three times in one round (as it has a rate of fire of 3) doing 6d6 damage.

- Note- Some creatures are immune to impales.
- If a hand-to-hand weapon impales, it sticks in the body of the foe. In the next combat round, the attacker must pull it free by means of a d100 roll equal to or less than his skill with the weapon. An impale does no extra damage when removed.

The Parry-
-A parry is the blocking of or the diversion of a hand-to-hand attack. It does not work against firearms. The parry skill always equals the skill percentage held by the defender in the weapon or object being used for the parry. A parry is always defensive. A parry does no damage to the attacker.
-One parry per participant can be attempted during a combat round. The player states which potential attacker will be parried. If the defender is knocked out or stunned before the attack occurs than the parry is foregone. If the attacked does not occur the parry is forgone.
- AN object used to parry absorb all damage from the parried blow. If the damage exceeds the objects hit points, the object breaks and the defender absorbs any damage exceeding the objects hit points.
Note-
- personal attacks can parry each other.
-an edged or impaling hand-to-hand weapon can be parried with most other hand-to-hand weapons and with rifles and shotguns. Personal attacks cannot parry weapon attacks with risking normal damage, but if the range is such and the person parrying has the higher DEX he or she could grapple for a weapon, yielding the effect of a parry.
- Foils, rapiers and most swords and sabers can attack and parry in the same round.
- Rifles, shotguns, and the largest submachine guns can parry, but cannot fire and parry in the same round. When a firearms hit points are exceeded in a parry, it no longer fires but does not break.
- Two successful Grapples can in effect parry an attack. One to establish contact and the next to grab the weapon or weapon hand.
- a character can both parry and dodge in the same round.
- Bullets cannot be parried. (But they can be shielded).

Surprise-
-The first round of a surprise, attack, halve the Dex score of the defenders. Those with unready guns would get at most one shot. For extreme surprise, allow no defender’s attacks in the first round. Defenders can still parry or Dodge attacks coming from the front or sides-
-Note to players- A surprise attack means the defenders get no chance to defend for that round. Thus it is better to surprise than be surprised.

Dimness, Darkness and Invisibility-
- If something cannot be seen, there’s little chance to hit it, to find it or to notice it. IF the interest of the game situation demands that the investigators nevertheless act, then the keeper lowers relevant skills by at least half in moonlight, or makes their successful use a function of some low multiplier of Pow. If the intention of the darkness is that the investigators will find it difficult to act in it, then the keeper lowers skill thresholds to 01. Some tasks, such as reading a map, are plainly impossible without sight.

Hand-to-Hand combat-
- Most hand-to-hand weapons can perform one attack and one parry per combat round, while personal attacks have limited parries.

Martial Arts-
- With a successful martial Arts kill roll, double the roll damage done by a successful personal attack.

Knockout attacks-
- Use this rule to render a target unconscious rather than to do physical harm., The player or keeper should state the intention before making the attack. Perform knockout attacks only with fist/punch, kick, grapple, head-butt, clubs or other blunt instruments.
Roll the damage as in an ordinary attack, but match the result against the targets hit points on the resistance table. A success knocks the target unconscious for several minutes, and the target takes one third of the damage originally rolled (round down any fraction), If the attack succeeds but resistance Table roll does not then there is no knockout and the target takes full rolled damage.
- Knock out attacks work against humans, but not against most creatures.
- At the keepers’ option, knockouts may work against certain nasties.
- A successful First Aid or medicine immediately wakes a victim of a knockout attack

Partial Concealment-

- A target partially concealed should not normally reduce the attacker’s chance to hit or the observer’s chance to notice the target. If the target does seem difficult to notice, allow a Spot Hidden roll or an Idea roll to locate it.

Thrown Objects-
-If a character thr4ows an object, add half of his or her damage bonus to the damage done.

Two weapons-
-In a combat round a hand-to-hand weapon might be held in each hand, but only one attack and one parry could be make in the round.


Firearms-


Telescopic and Laser sights-
-For rifles equipped with telescopic sights, double the base range. If both telescopic sights and precision aim apply, quadruple the rifles’ base range. Laser sites quadruple the base range without requiring the precision aim modifier.
(it pays to have laser sights).

Suppressors (Silencers)-
-A silencer is a long, thick tube filled with baffles. It can be machined to attach to the muzzle of a firearm in order to muffle the sound of its shots. In doing so it slows each bullet’s velocity and halves the weapons’ range. A silencer is made to order. It wears out completely after d100+10 bullets have been fired through it. The more powerful the cartridge, the more quickly the silencer wears out. A silencer cannot be attached to a shotgun or to a heavy machinegun, but a small automatic gun such as an Uzi can be silenced.
-Silencers are illegal almost everywhere by the 1920s and up to the present.

Automatic weapons- bursts-
-Fully automatic weapons, such as a Thompson SMG, may fire a burst (multiple shots_ on the shooters Dex rank. For each shot fired in a busrt, raise the attackers chance to hit by 5%. No matter how many shots are fired the shooters chance cannot more than double.

(note- I find this a weird rule as I would image the kick of an automatic weapon would throw off the aim).

- Roll d100 once for all the shots fired against a single target. IF the attack roll is a success, roll an appropriate die to determine the number of hits. Thus if eight shots are fired, roll 1d8 to determine the number of hits. Per target only the first bullet impales if an impale hit is rolled. Some keepers ask that burst occure only quantities easy to rull, such as 6, 8 10 and so on.
- if multiple targets are spread across a field of fire, the shooters chance to hit does not change- the opportunity exists to hit each target at normal chance, and each target is rolled for separately. The shooter allots ho many bullets head towards each target.
- if a single target or multiple targets are within a narrow cone of fire, sucha a group coming down a hallway or a tunnel, increase the shooters chances to hit, but never more than double the chance to hit.
- in either situation, the keepers description should include the information necessary to allow a player the best tactic.

Big Targets-
- Big things are easier to hit. For monsters of a Siz of 30 or more, every 10 Siz above Siz 30 adds 5% to the attackers base chance to hit with bullet, thrown objects or shotgun round. Point blank and extended range modifiers apply.

Choosing a Shotgun-
- Commonly shotguns come in multiple single-shot barrels with one barrel fed by a pump action and with one barrel fed by semi-automatic, and a few are double barreled. A double barreled shotgun may fire both barrels simultaneously at DEX in one round, one barrel at Dex and a half Dex in the same round, or one barrel each in different rounds, Depending on the gauge, a pump action shotgun fires once or twice in a round. Any semiautomatic fires once or twice in a round.

Extended range-
- A character may fire up to double a weapons base range at half normal chance to hit. He or she may fire at up to triple the weapons base range at ¼ the chance to hit, 1/8 a chance to hit a quadruple the base range. At extreme ranges the damage done lessens as the bullet slows.

Examples- (some of this is drawn from Delta Green stats)
Pistols have a base range of 3 yards (derringer) 10 yards (for a .22) 15 yards for most other guns. Rates of fire can be 1, 2, or 3 depending on the weapon. 9 mm have a rate of 3.45s have a rate of 1, .38 has 2.

Rifles- have a range of 90 yards for a .30 lever action carbine. An M1 Garand has a range of 110 yards. A .30-06 has a range of 110 if bolt action, 130 if semi-automatic.

Assault Rifles- Normally have a range of 100 yards, (AK-47), 110 yards FAL or M16

Submachine guns- Have a range of usually 20 yards, though some- like the HK MP5 has a range of 45 and the Uzi has a range of 40, while the Mac-10 has a range of 10. .

Shotguns-
depend on the type of shell which determines range and damage. For example a 12 gauge shotgun normally has a range of 10, 20 or 50, depending on the kind of shot you use. (don’t use birdshot!)

Loaded revolvers
- when revolvers were more common it was a common safety practice to leave empty a chamber under the hammer, on the theory that if five bullets didn’t stop some malefactor, the sixth was unlikely to do so. A fully loaded revolver may go off accidentally. Resolve the situation with a luck roll.

Malfunction Numbers and Jams
- If a fire arm skill is equal to or higher than the weapon’s malfunction number, the weapon cannot fire.
-If the weapon is a revolver, bolt-action rifle or double barreled shotgun, the problem is probably a dud round
- if the weapon is automatic, semi-automatic, pump action or lever action- than the malfunction is probably a jam.
- Fixing a jam takes 1d6 combat rounds plus a successful mechanical repair roll or skill roll for the jammed firearm. If the owner can keep trying until succeeding or until ruining the gun on a 1d100 of 96-100.

Point Blank-
-Point Blank Fire is that distance equal to or less than the shooter’s dexterity in feet. The shooters chance to hit is double at point blank range. The damage done is unchanged.

Precision Aim, Laser and telescopic sights-
-The shooter traces the weapon or takes other care in bringing the weapon to bear, shooting just once a round at half their normal Dex rank. The effect is to double the point back and base ranges for the firearm.

Note- say Luke has a base range 130 yards with a 30-06 at 60%. He decides to take careful aim- he can now hit at 260 yards. Add that he uses a telescopic site- he gets 520 yards at 60% or 1040 at 30%. But note that his rate of fire is reduced for careful aiming.

Reloading –
-Allow one combat round to load two shells into any handgun, rifle or shotgun. Allow one round to exchange a clip. Allow two rounds to change a machinegun belt. In a round it is possible to put one round in the chamber and get off that shot at half the Dex.

Two handguns-
- One person can hold and fire two handguns during a combat round. However, the shots will be un-aimed.

Un-aimed shots -
The shots per round entries for firearms assumes that the shooter has an earnest desire to hit a target and thus aims with care. As a generally guide, unaimed fire allows twice the number of attacks per round listed for the weapon on the Weapon Table. Reduce the shooters’ chance to hit to one fifth of normal. If there is more than one target, determine randomly who gets hit. Impales occur normally. But given laser sights and training, and a Handgun 60% and above, increase the chance to hit to normal.
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
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More on Combat

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:18 am

Zombies in this game are best killed by shooting or hitting them in the head. At this point all characters know this. 10 or more damage to the head will kill a zombie (or a human for that matter) by rendering the brain non-functional. It will also prevent a human from rising up as a zombie. Any head wound that doesn't kill a zombie will still slow it down if it's one of the faster varieties, and severe head wounds may also have an effect on slow zombies.

Doing damage to other parts of a zombie is less effective. It takes 40 damage in general to neutralize a slow zombie, and 50 damage for a fast one. High damage to a limb may disable it. Crippling a zombie's leg can force it to limp or crawl and slow it down. Crippling a zombie's arm reduces its ability to Grapple.

Unless you're making a called shot, hit locations are random. Roll 1d20 on the appropriate table below for each hit to see where it hits:

Missile weapons:
Roll 1d20:
01-03: R. Leg
04-06: L. Leg
07-09: Abdomen
10-14: Chest
15-16: R. Arm
17-18: L. Arm
19-20: Head

Melee weapons:
Roll 1d20:
01-04: R. Leg
05-08: L. Leg
09-11: Abdomen
12: Chest
13-15: R. Arm
16-18: L. Arm
19-20: Head

If you're going to shoot at a zombie's (or a human's) head, you'll need to use precision aim. This means you can only act in the last part of the round, almost always after the zombie gets to attack. You get a -5% penalty to your skill as well. If you are in close combat with a zombie, you probably won't be able to aim at the head with a gun. You can run away to a safe distance and then take a shot at its head - provided the zombie isn't too fast. You cannot make a called shot with a burst, and each individual bullet in a burst that hits will be rolled for separately on the random hit location table. If your gun can fire multiple shots per round, you may fire multiple times with a called shot - but at the same target and location only.

Body Armor:
Lt. Vest (cl. I, I+): -5%*, 6 AP
Hvy. Vest (cl. II, II+): -10%, 8 AP
Lt. Body Armour (cl. III, III+): -20%, 10 AP
Hvy. Body Armour (cl. IV): -30%, 12 AP
Riot/Nylon Helmet: -5%** 5AP

* Skills affected: Climb, Dodge, Jump, Swim, Throw, all Melee/Parry
** Skills Affected: Spot Hidden, Listen

Armor reduces each hit by the listed amount for the areas it protects. Kevlar vests protect the chest and abdomen, and helmets protect the head. Kevlar protects for full damage against firearms, but only for half (rounded down) against other kinds of combat damage. Armor also causes penalties to certain skills while it is worn.

The bikers' leather jackets are short-sleeved, so they only protect the chest and abdomen. They reduce all types of combat damage by 1 point, and come with no skill penalties.
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
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Sanity and Insanity

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:59 pm

When you encounter a monster (such as a zombie) or a traumatic or horrific situation, you'll need to make a Sanity roll. Making a Sanity roll is a lot like making a skill roll. Just roll 1d100 and hope you get less than or equal to your current Sanity score to succeed. Each Sanity roll will have two numbers and/or dice to roll separated by a slash. For instance, whenever you see a zombie you must make a 0/1d10 Sanity roll. If you succeed, then you lose the amount of Sanity on the left of the slash. Often this is 0, so you lose nothing, but some things will cause you to lose 1 or even a few points of Sanity even if you succeed. If you fail the roll, you lose the amount of Sanity on the right of the slash. Thus, if you see a zombie and fail your Sanity roll, you lose 1d10 Sanity points. If you succeed, you lose nothing. The more Sanity you lose, the harder Sanity rolls will be to pass in the future, beginning a downward spiral into madness.

If you lose 5 or more Sanity points from a single Sanity loss, you may go temporarily insane. To find out, make an Idea roll - but this is one roll you want to fail. Your character's Idea score is listed on the character sheet, and it's equal to INT x 5. If your roll fails, you do not realize the full significance of what has happened and are able to trick your mind into functioning relatively normally. If you succeed at your Idea roll, though, your mind is exposed to the horrible truth and you go temporarily insane. This will usually last 1d10+4 combat rounds. I'll tell you the kind of insanity you suffer (either determined randomly or based on what caused you to lose the Sanity points). You may faint, flee in terror, go catatonic, scream, go berserk, or various other fun possibilities. You may continue to roleplay your madness during the temporary insanity, and I'll let you know when you come to your senses. If someone succeeds with a Psychoanalysis roll on you, that will end your temporary insanity immediately. The Sanity points you lost are still gone, however.

There is also indefinite insanity. This results when you lose 20% of your current Sanity or more within the space of one game hour (even from a combination of losses). For instance, if you start with 60 Sanity and lose 12 or more within an hour, you will go indefinitely insane. I'll keep track of this and let you know when this happens and what the nature of your madness is. This is a long-term mental illness that can greatly debilitate a character, though sometimes the onset is delayed. This takes months for a character to recover from, and most people are never the same again even then.

Finally, there is permanent insanity. This happens when your Sanity score drops to 0. At this point your character goes completely mad and becomes an NPC. While it is remotely possible to come back from permanent insanity and begin regaining Sanity points, this process takes a minimum of one year, usually a lot longer, and for most people permanent insanity lasts a lifetime. Don't count on recovering from this.

Frequent exposure to horrific things will desensitize you to them. Chances are you're going to see a lot of zombies during this game, for instance, and after a certain point they will cease to shock you the way they used to. During each chapter you can lose no more than the maximum amount of Sanity from a particular type of Sanity loss source. For instance, you can lose a maximum of 10 Sanity from seeing a zombie (or group of zombies). If you lose 6 Sanity from seeing zombies early in the chapter, you can lose at most 4 more Sanity for seeing them throughout the rest of the chapter. Any Sanity loss roll of more than 4 on 1d10 counts as 4. Once you have lost 10 points, you no longer need to roll Sanity at all for seeing zombies for the rest of the chapter. Once a new chapter (such as this one) begins, enough time has passed that they will shock you again and you can once more lose Sanity from them.
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Stat Rolls

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:13 pm

Stat rolls work a lot like skill rolls. They are also rolled on 1d100, and you are trying to get less than or equal to a certain number.

Your character has three special scores based on stats. Idea is equal to INT x 5, and may be rolled fairly frequently to see if you think of something or, as mentioned above, to see if you go temporarily insane. You also have a Know score, which is equal to your EDU x 5 (with a maximum of 99 for those who spent an awful lot of time learning). This is your chance to know a simple fact or recognize something you've seen or read about before, in general. This can apply to basic scientific knowledge too - not everything requires a Biology, Chemistry, or other skill roll. Then there is your Luck score, which is equal to POW x 5. This is a general catch-all type of roll to see if things go your way or not. It could be for something minor, but it could also be your last chance to survive when all else fails. I'll let you know when these rolls are needed. Sometimes I might roll Luck for your character, possibly without even telling you. There may be things going on behind the scenes that you're unaware of.

Other stats can be rolled against similarly. You may have to roll Dex x 5 to see if you keep your balance, or Con x 5 to see if you stay conscious after taking a lot of damage. Again, I'll tell you when this is needed. The difficulty of these rolls can be adjusted by changing the number your stat is multiplied by. Increasing the multiplier makes the roll easier, and lowering it makes the roll harder. If you're drowning, for example, you'll roll Con x 10 the first round to avoid choking on water. If you succeed, then you'll have to roll Con x 9 the next round, and so on until you either get rescued, rescue yourself, or fail a roll. To recall an obscure fact might require an Edu x 3 roll. The base level for your Dodge skill is Dex x 2.
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Injuries and Healing

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:08 am

Your character's Hit Point total determines how much damage he or she can take. Maximum HP is equal to (CON+SIZ) divided by 2 (rounded up). As you take damage from combat or other sources, you will lose HP. When your current HP drops to 2 or less, you immediately fall unconscious. When your current HP drops to 0 or less, you are dying. Unless your current HP total is raised to 1 or more by the end of the following combat round, you will die at that time.

Injuries may also impair a character if they are severe enough, sometimes resulting in sprained or broken limbs. I'll let you know when this happens.

A character can be stunned by certain types of attacks and other hazards (such as tasers, pepper spray, electric shocks, knockout attacks, or somtimes when receiving a critical hit). A typical stun lasts for 1d6 combat rounds. While stunned, you cannot attack. You may parry and Dodge to defend yourself, but you cannot act in any other way.

Taking a lot of damage from a single source can cause shock, which could render you unconscious. If you lose half or more of your current HP from one source, you must roll Con x 5. If you fail, you go unconscious, just as you would from dropping to 2 or less HP.

Unconsciousness will eventually wear off. A victim of a knockout attack usually wakes up after several minutes. If your HP have fallen to 2 or less, you will awaken when your HP rise to 3 naturally. An unconscious person will also be revived from a successful First Aid or Medicine roll.

First Aid and Medicine skills can be used to heal injured people both in the short and the long term. In the short term, each successful roll will restore 1d3 HP once per injury, up to the total damage sustained by that injury. The rules aren't clear on this, but in Zombie Apocalypse we allow each injury to be treated by both First Aid and Medicine.

Long term healing is very slow. Everyone recovers 1d3 HP naturally per week, but if a successful Medicine roll has been applied, you get back 2d3 HP instead. This healing will be spread out over the course of the week, but as we are still on the first day, it will be a while before anyone sees this. Medicine must be applied again each week to speed up natural healing.

Some injuries are so severe that they will actually permanently reduce a characters stats, such as CON or APP. Enough damage or an impale with a chainsaw can also sever a limb completely, thus maiming a character.

Acids deal damage per round after exposure. Weak acids cost 1d3-1 HP per round, strong acids cost 1d4 HP per round, and very strong acids cost 1d6 HP per round. Significant contact (such as immersion) is required to deal this damage, not just touching the acid.

If you are drowning (such as after failing a Swim roll) or suffocating, you must roll CON x 10 in the first round. If you succeed, you must roll CON x 9 the next round, then CON x 8, and so on until you get to CON x 1, where it stays. If you fail one of these rolls, you've inhaled something you cannot breathe or have begun to asphyxiate. You lose 1d6 HP immediately, and another 1d6 HP per round after that. You will keep rolling (or taking damage) until you are rescued, you escape, or you die. If you are caught by surprise, you will start rolling on a lower multiplier determined by the Keeper (often Con x 6).

Explosions do damage to everyone and eveything within their area of effect. For instance, a hand grenade does 4d6/4y damage. This means it does 4d6 damage to everything within 4 yards. For each interval of equal length, reduce the dice of damage rolled by 1. Thus, if you're more than 4 yards away but within 8, you take 3d6 damage. You take 2d6 if you're more than 8 yards away but within 12, and 1d6 if you're over 12 yards away but within 16. Beyond 16 yards, there is no damage.

Falling causes 1d6 damage for the first ten feet, and an additional 1d6 for every ten feet (or fraction thereof) beyond that. If you fall, roll Jump (the base skill level is 25%). On a success, you reduce the damage you take by 1d6 to a minimum of 0. Thus, if you fall ten feet and pass your Jump roll, you take 1d6-1d6 damage. If you fall twelve feet and pass your Jump roll, you take 2d6-1d6 damage. If you fall 25 feet and fail your Jump roll, you take 3d6 damage.

Fire can cause severe damage. If you lose half or more of your HP from fire, you may lose CON or APP points. A flaming torch causes 1d6 damage, and the target must roll Luck or his or her hair and clothes catch fire. This causes an additional 1d6 damage per round until the fire is extinguished (with another Luck roll, or perhaps a First Aid roll). A large bonfire causes 1d6+2 damage per round, and clothes and hair automatically ignite. A flaming room causes 1d6+2 damage per round to each person trapped inside it, and they must make Luck rolls each round or begin to suffocate from smoke inhalation as described above.

Many substances are poisonous, and each poison has a POT (Potency) rating. When exposed, I'll make a roll on the Resistance Table comparing the poison's POT rating to your CON. If they are equal, this has a 50% chance. Each point of difference adjusts the odds by 5% in the relevant direction, so a poison with a POT of 18 versus a CON of 13 has a 75% chance of succeeding. Even if the Resistance roll is failed, you may still suffer damage or ill effects. Some poisons take a while before their effects are felt and the roll is made. Poisons can cause HP damage, unconsciousness, and/or other symptoms (possibly even death). Typical poisons do their POT in damage if they succeed, and possibly 1/2 POT if they fail.
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Resistance Rolls

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:35 am

Resistance rolls are rolled on 1d100 just like skill and stat rolls. However, in this case you are generally rolling in opposition to someone or something rather than just testing your own abilities. A Resistance roll has an Active Characteristic and a Passive Characteristic. For instance, if a zombie has Grappled you and you are trying to break free, the Active Characteristic is your STR and the Passive Characteristic is the zombie's STR (which is often something like 20). You would look these numbers up on the Resistance Table to see what number you need to roll equal to or less than in order to succeed. You can find it on Page 10 of the Quick Start rules (the link is near the top of the first post in this thread). Find the Active Characterstic on the top row to get the column, and find the Passive Characteristic on the left to get the row, then find the number where they meet. If your STR is 14 in the above example, the appropriate number is 20. This means that you'll only succeed on a 20 or less on 1d100, which isn't likely. If the Active Characteristic exceeds the Passive one by 10 or more, success is automatic without rolling. If the Passive Characteristic is at least 10 higher, failure is automatic without rolling. If your STR is 10 or less in the above example, you cannot break free of the zombie's grip.

You can also find the number you need to roll against without looking it up in the table. Just take the Active Characteristic minus the Passive Characteristic, add 10, and then multiply the total by 5. If both characteristics are equal, this gives you a 50% chance.

Resistance rolls can be used for many other things. If you're chasing someone (or you are being chased), this may call for a DEX vs. DEX Resistance roll, with the character or monster doing the chasing making the roll and having its DEX as the Active Characterstic. The two things compared don't need to be the same, either. If you're trying to move an unconscious person out of harm's way, you may need to roll your STR against his/her SIZ. Resistance rolls can also use things other than stats. If you're trying to knock someone unconscious with an attack of the sort that allows knockout blows, for instance, you would compare the damage you inflicted to the victim's current HP. The damage is the Active Characterisitc and the remaining HP would be the Passive Characteristic.
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Spoiler and Spoiler Button Tags

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:30 pm

First, a notice to new and old players alike: Invisible Castle now requires registration and logging in in order to put anything in the Note field. Since I want all players to put the skills and numbers they're rolling against in that field, I'd like everyone to please register at Invisible Castle so you can do that. Registration is still free and doesn't take very long.

The instructions that follow aren't related to the game rules, but describe a new feature that was recently added to the boards that we'll be using: the spoiler and spoiler-button tags. While a spoiler tag existed before, it did not allow BBCode to be placed within the tag, nor did it allow certain important characters such as the apostrophe. This is no longer a problem with the new tags, and there are buttons to add them into your posts on the toolbar above the text box when you make a post. I used to put OOC comments in the IC threads in parentheses and italics, but from now on I'll be using the spoiler-button tag to do this, and I'd like players to do the same. The tags are simple to use. Here's an example of the spoiler tag:

Spoiler:
Comments go here


And the code that makes it work:

Code: Select all
[spoiler]Comments go here[/spoiler]


The spoiler-button tag is even better, as it can do everything the other can do and more, so that's the one I'll be using. While the spoiler tag puts "Show" in the button text when the spoiler text is hidden, the spoiler-button tag lets you put whatever you want. For OOC comments that everyone can read, I'll put "OOC" as the button text. In order to do that, I'll type the text "OOC" (without the quotes) after the spoiler-button tag, then a comma, then a carriage return, and finally the spoiler text itself. If you see a spoiler button that says "OOC" in an IC thread, you may read it provided you have permission to read the thread in the first place, and in fact you should read it. It often has important game information describing what you need to roll against. Here's an example:

Spoiler:
OOC comments go here.


And the code:
Code: Select all
[Spoiler-Button]OOC,
OOC comments go here.[/Spoiler-Button]


Some spoilers will be directed to one or more specific characters. Rather than bog everything down in PMs, sometimes I will use the spoiler-button tags to give bits of information just to those characters' players. Other players are on their honor not to read spoilers not meant for their characters, and non-players just reading along can still get the information. To indicate one of these spoilers, I'll put the characters' names in the button text like so:

Spoiler:
You're not playing Dale Owens! You shouldn't be reading this!


And the code:

Code: Select all
[Spoiler-Button]Dr. Dale Owens,
You're not playing Dale Owens! You shouldn't be reading this![/Spoiler-Button]
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Character Creation

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:07 am

You are now allowed to create your own characters for Zombie Apocalypse. You may create one character in the Gold section (at Warren Air Force Base) and/or one in the Omaha section (in Omaha, Nebraska). The Gold characters will most likely be U.S. Air Force personnel, though it is possible to play a civilian Air Force employee or a relative of someone working on the base. Families of USAF personnel who were living in nearby off-base housing were evacuated into the base this morning. There are all sorts of possible careers in the USAF which will determine your occupational skills. More on that later. Omaha characters can be from pretty much any walk of life. They don't necessarily have to live in Omaha, but they had to be there on the day of the zombie outbreak. You can create characters during the break between Chapters 4 and 5, in which case I'll introduce them at the start of Chapter 5, or you can create them during the chapter, in which case I'll fit them in. You are free to develop your characters' backgrounds, but I'll tell you additional secrets for your characters. Characters with low stats are more likely to have advantageous special abilities as their secrets, while characters with high stats are liable to have disadvantageous ones. I'll also tell you where your characters start and what their current duties (if any) are.

Use the Character Selection, Creation, and Discussion thread to post your characters and any questions you have about character creation. When they're completed, I'll add them to the Character Sheets thread.

We'll use standard character creation from the book. Start by choosing a name and gender for your character. Then make the following rolls:
  • Roll 3d6 each for STR, CON, POW, DEX, and APP.
  • Roll 2d6+6 each for SIZ and INT.
  • Roll 3d6+3 for EDU.
  • There is no need to roll 1d10 for personal wealth. Under the circumstances, it doesn't matter in this game.
You can use Invisible Castle to make your rolls, both for character creation and in the game. You'll need to register and log in there in order to make entries in the Note section describing what you're rolling, but it's free. In the Character Name box, put the game's initials in brackets followed immediately by the character's name, and be sure to use the same spelling consistently to make it easier to look up old rolls. For example: [ZA]John Doe

Those are the only rolls you need to make for character creation. You are free to distribute the 3d6 rolls amongst the five stats that are rolled on 3d6, as well as to choose which 2d6+6 roll goes to SIZ and which to INT. EDU can be raised by making your character older. If you're still not satisfied with your rolls, let me know and we'll work something out. If your rolls are abnormally low, I may permit a reroll of the entire set.

You'll also need to decide on your character's age. The minimum age allowed is EDU+6, but you can always choose to make your character older. For every 10 full years above the minimum, you get +1 to your EDU (which also gets you an extra 20 occupational skill points). However, for every full 10 years above 40 (i.e., starting at age 50), you must reduce one of the following stats by 1: STR, CON, DEX, or APP.

Your character has the following derived stats:
Idea: INT x 5
Luck: POW x 5
Know: EDU x 5 (maximum of 99)
Damage Bonus: Calculate STR+SIZ and consult the following table
  • 12 or less: -1d6
  • 13-16: -1d4
  • 17-24: +0
  • 25-32: +1d4
  • 33 or more: +1d6
Maximum Hit Points: (CON+SIZ)/2 (round fractions up)
Maximum Magic Points: POW
Starting Sanity: POW x 5 (probably minus a penalty)

Characters will have suffered some Sanity loss already during the course of the day, depending on what they've encountered. A communications officer working in Warren AFB's operations room is unlikely to have lost any Sanity, but a member of a helicopter crew or SF trooper guarding the base perimeter would have lost some. Survivors in Omaha will have certainly lost some, but emergency responders (police, firefighters, paramedics, National Guard) would have lost more than others. Also, characters with high starting Sanity will have lost less than those with lower starting Sanity. I'll tell you how much Sanity your character has lost by the time Chapter 5 begins.

You get 20 x EDU occupational skill points that can only be used to increase skills for your chosen profession. You also get 10 x INT hobby skill points that can be spent to increase any skills (even the ones for your occupation if you really want). The only skill that cannot be raised is Cthulhu Mythos, which always starts at 0% and is not used in this game. The other skills have base levels of 1% or higher, and the points you spend add to those base levels. All characters use the modern skill lists. To see the list of skills and their starting levels (as well as other useful info), see the Quick Start rules for Call of Cthulhu: http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=87

I would prefer that you don't have starting skills higher than 75 (other than Own Language) without a very good reason. Older, more experienced characters are more likely to have exceptionally high skills, so they'll get more leeway in this area than youngsters. In any event, you shouldn't have any skill higher than 90 to begin. Spend all your skill points during character creation, as they're of no use once the game is underway.

The occupational skills for many professions are listed in the rulebook. If you're unsure what they should be, tell me your character's occupation and I'll give you a list of skills you can spend your EDU skill points on. Some of these lists allow you to choose one or two of your occupational skills. Just make sure it's within reason for your chosen occupation. You may choose your rank freely up to a maximum of Captain for USAF characters (with a couple of exceptions listed below), but remember that with rank comes responsibility. See this link for a list of ranks and insignia, and links to descriptions of them. The ranks are as follows, from lowest to highest:
  • Airman Basic (a raw recruit who has served for only a few months)
  • Airman (equivalent to Private)
  • Airman First Class
  • Senior AIrman
  • Staff Sergeant
  • Technical Sergeant
  • Master Sergeant
  • Senior Master Sergeant
  • Chief Master Sergeant
  • Command Chief Master Sergeant (not available)
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (not available)
  • 2nd Lieutenant
  • 1st Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Major
  • Lt. Colonel
  • Colonel
  • Brigadier General
  • Major General
  • Lt. General
  • General
  • General of the Air Force

For USAF characters, there are a number of occupational skill lists that could apply. Here are some examples:
  • USAF Security Forces (SF) - Soldier (Dodge, First Aid, Hide, Listen, Mechanical Repair, Rifle, Sneak, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Aircraft crew - Pilot (Astronomy, Electrical Repair, Mechanical Repair, Navigate, Operate Heavy Machine, Physics, Pilot, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Ground crew - Engineer (Chemistry, Electrical Repair, Geology, Library Use, Mechanical Repair, Operate Heavy Machine, Physics, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Officer (2nd Lieutenant or higher in rank) - Military Officer (Accounting, Bargain, Credit Rating, Law, Navigate, Persuade, Psychology, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Medical staff (Doctors are always at least Captain, nurses are 2nd or 1st Lieutenant) - Doctor of Medicine (Biology, Credit Rating, First Aid, Other Language: Latin, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Computer technician - Hacker/Consultant (Computer Use, Electrical Repair, Electronics, Fast Talk, Library Use, Other Language, Physics, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty)
  • Military Police (MP) - Policeman (Dodge, Fast Talk, First Aid, Grapple, Law, Psychology, and any two of the following as a personal specialty: Bargain, Drive Automobile, Martial Arts, Ride, or Spot Hidden)

Starting equipment will vary. At Warren AFB, civilians will not be armed - period. USAF personnel will be armed, but I'll tell you what weapons and how much ammo you've been issued (which will depend upon your duties and what your character is good at). Keep in mind that you may have used some of your ammo earlier in the day if your character has a combat assignment. In Omaha, the same thing about weapons and ammo applies if you play a military or police character. Civilians in Omaha may be armed, within reason. Ammo will be limited, as you will have used some throughout the day. I'll let you know how much you have. The way we'll work it is that you give me a wish list with your character describing what you'd like to have. I'll approve it if it's reasonable, and if it's not I'll suggest alternatives and we'll work something out. Don't forget to specify what else you'd be carrying on your person besides weapons.

Note for new characters (both pregenerated and created): You do not yet know that the dead have risen. As far as you're aware, the outbreak seems to be have been caused by a strange sort of infection. It is unknown how it spreads, but being bitten is a sure way to become one of them. You are aware that the best way to kill them is to shoot or hit them in the head.
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Reading and Posting in IC Threads

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:19 am

You are only allowed to read IC threads where you have one or more characters present, though Chapters 1 and 2 (links are in The Story So Far...) are free for all to read. If your character was only present for part of a thread, you are only allowed to read that part of the thread during which your character was present. There will be links in each thread when a character leaves, pointing the player to the first post he or she may read in the character's new thread. Additionally, the Current Locations thread will list every IC thread that your character has passed through, in order. This list includes hyperlinks that will take you to the exact post in which your character enters that thread, to make it easier for you to catch up on a character's story. Also be aware that even within an IC thread where your character is present, you may not read spoiler buttons that have a name or list of names for characters that do not include one of yours. This is private information just for the players of those characters listed. If you want to post something just for your own eyes and those of the Keeper, place your own character's name in the spoiler button to keep other players from reading it. Spoiler buttons that say "OOC" are free for all to read. Anyone reading along who is not playing is of course free to read everything.

I intend to update each IC thread at least twice a week. Every player is expected to post at least once for each character in his or her IC thread between major updates. Minor updates, such as when holding a dialogue with a Keeper-controlled NPC, do not count. Even if your character is doing nothing, you should at least make a post describing your character's inactivity. If you do not post, I will assume your character is doing nothing and move events forward. This may place inactive characters at a disadvantage, and in extreme cases could be fatal. It is also better for everyone if you do post. That way I will not waste time waiting for players who don't post, which slows the game down for everyone. If you do not post for an extended period of time, I will declare you MIA and your characters will be up for grabs (if they aren't killed in the meantime, that is)! If for any reason you are unable to post or will be absent for more than a few days, please let me know in the OOC thread. If possible, give me instructions for what you would like your characters to do and how they should act until you return.
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