Friday, March 15, 2013

Savage Last Night on Earth, Part Three

For GenghisCon XXXIV, I made good on an age-old promise: to Savage the excellent zombie board game, Last Night on Earth (LNOE). I've run the simple scenario three times now, and by all accounts it's a hit. For my final post on this subject, I'll go over the tools I used for GMing and the setting rules I went by. I'll also give a quick explanation of my scenario.

I made a list of all the buildings on the LNOE boards I used. I should point out I used the additional boards that came in the Growing Hunger expansion, so I would have 20 buildings in all. I arranged the building names on a d20 table, but never used the list to roll up a random building. Instead, when the players mentioned a location they wanted to reach I'd pick that board and a random second board to make up the rectangle; then that combination of boards would stay together for the rest of the session.

I mentioned in a previous post that the squares on the boards were two inches. It's the conceit of the board game that adjacency means in the same square, and there is no limit to the number of miniatures that can be in a square. I saw no harm here and just went with that.  I also kept the board game rules regarding line of sight and that zombies can walk right through walls--not literally, of course, but in keeping with the source material, it's assumed they can bash through walls or dive through windows and such. This ramps up the tension in the board game, and it worked for the Savage Worlds sessions too.

I made a list of equipment you can find in game, based on what's in the board game. Most of it was standard fare, but the standouts are:
  • Fire Extinguisher: Roll Agility vs. zombie Smarts to push all zombies in a square back one space, two with a raise. Extinguisher is empty on snake eyes.
  • Torch: Zombies must make a Spirit roll to attack someone with a torch.
  • Signal Flare: One shot; successful hit destroys a zombie.
  • Chainsaw: Str+d12 damage; only requires Strength d6+ to wield for full damage benefit. Out of fuel on snake eyes.
  • Pump Shotgun: 1-3d6 damage; range 1-3 squares; damage in excess of destroying a zombie carries over to the next zombie in the same square.
  • Any weapon made of with mostly wood breaks on snake eyes, like a pitchfork or a baseball bat.
In any case, here's a copy of the cheat sheet I used at the table.

In terms of classic Savage Worlds setting rules, I had a few:
  • No ammo tracking; weapons with ammo simply run out on snake eyes; player takes an action to reload.
  • The No Mercy Edge was in effect for all characters.
  • Aces Wild from the Deluxe core rules.
  • Clint Black's classic deck shuffling rule, where the player with the fewest bennies gets a benny for shuffling the deck after a Joker was drawn.
The scenario I used for the game was simple. Based on the Burn 'Em Out scenario from the board game, the players had to destroy the pits from whence the zombies came. How many? Well I based it on how the timing of the game was going. In my initial playtest, it was four. At the convention it was three. I allowed Jake Cartwright and Sheriff Anderson to make Common Knowledge rolls to remember the first zombie attack, and therefore the spawning pits. I did tell the players to ignore the spawning pit art on the boards, and I used the extra spawning pit tokens from the board game to denote when there was a really spawning pit. Basically I started everyone in the diner and let them make their choices and had the occasional zombie attack. Super simple. Lots of fun.

Well that's it. I hope you can use this series to enjoy your own Savage Last Night on Earth!

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.

Last Night on Earth, the Zombie Game is Copyright 1999-2013, Flying Frog Productions, LLC. This is a fan work and no challenge to that copyright is intended.