Moderator: mr toad
This is an actual play report for the play test of Left 4:16 Dead.
Toad – Shelly McLean, Down trodden single mum
Oreso – Doc Hutton, Ruthless scientist
Indy Pete – Joe, ex-boxer and Vietnam veteran
Ian – Johnny, a whinny jock & Ged Glover, car mechanic
Details of the system can be found here: Left 4:16 Dead.
The way we ran it was a round robin GM style with each player (with the exception of Ian) at the table introducing and running through different missions. This worked well enough and it meant everyone at the table had the feel of the system and how intense the action was.
Mission 1 (Ran by Pete):
The story opens at midnight, we see a large mall with the horde milling around sluggishly at the bottom. On the roof are 3 survivors, Shelly, Johnny and Doc Hutton. Shelly and Johnny brace a door which is being pounded on from the other side all the while the Doc stands back barking orders.
No body is watching the rear as scores of zombies clamber up and on to the roof. The trio (there attention taken for the moment) turn to face the oncoming horde. A bloated hand bursts through the door grabbing at the nearest survivor.
And we go into our first conflict.
Mechanically Pete introduced us to 1 horde of zombies and a boss in the form of a Boomer. And down mainly to some good dice from Pete and bad dice from the rest of us we all saw first hand how good the Boomer can be. Pete managed to spew (the Boomers special ability) on all of us a couple of times. So his 1 zombie horde became 6! And we were in trouble from the word go. Intense? Hell Yeah!
As the Doc and Shelly tumbled from the building Johnny shimmied down the side of the mall on a window cleaning platform. The single mum and the scientist’s falls were broken by soft bodies of the countless zombies that had collected around the bottom of the building. Moans escaped their infected lips and the group of survivors found themselves surrounded as two of them lay helpless and the third, Johnny began taking pot-shots from his Uzi.
At this point we were getting ripped a new a-hole from the zombie horde and in particular the Boomer which was still at large. Rich had to bail and use his first weakness.
The horde began to rip lumps of flesh from the Doc and Shelly. The scientist thrashed in pain and rolling onto his side he felt something dig into his ribs. Reaching into his lab coat he remembered he still had a device that would save him. After all it had saved him once before at the research facility when the infection first hit. The device emitted a high pitched noise that drove the horde away from him and he alone could escape to safety leaving Shelly and Johnny to fend for themselves.
It wasn't long before I also had to use my first weakness!!
Shelly hardly noticed the Doc duck into the mall as countless bodies began hitting and punching her, screaming in pain she spotted a nearby Police car with just enough space to crawl under. Remembering a time in her past when she often hid from her husbands friend who used to take liberties on her when her husband away. It spurred her on; she didn’t even give a second thought to the Jock she was leaving behind just like she never gave a second thought to her daughter when this man used to turn his attentions on her when he couldn’t find Shelly. Not a proud moment for the single mum but at least it had saved her life – For now!
This left just Ian in the fight, as you can guess he didn’t last long. He also felt at this point he wanted to narrate Johnny's death rather than use a weakness. All others agreed it was fair game so die he did.
Shelly lay shaking under the car; time seemed to drag to a stop. When THUD! Next to the car laid the twisted body of Johnny. His cold dead eyes stared at the single mum and all she could do was block the image out and wait for the horde to move on.
Ok, so our first encounter and we had used up all our first aid kits 2 characters had invoked one of their weaknesses and one was out right dead. Tough going?….yes!!!
Shelly crawled out from under the police car; fighting off a couple of infected she used the butt of her shotgun to smash the window of the vehicle and dive in. At this point the Doc burst from the mall brandishing a new weapon he had chucked together…..a Flamethrower! Beeping the horn Shelly managed to get his attention and he dived into the passenger seat. That’s when the ground started to move, thud, thud, thud! Looking into the rear-view mirror Shelly saw the parts of the horde thrown into the air and a hulking beast came charging into view! Bulging muscles and numerous gaping mouths covered the hideous monstrosity. “Floor it!” Shouted the Doc. And Shelly was seconds away from doing just that when she spotted another figure burst from a building somewhere between them and the tank.
At this point Ian introduced his second character, Ged Glover a mechanic.
Hitting reverse the police car shot backwards toward the man and the beast. “Hey y’all thanks for the ride!” Ged exclaimed as he leaped into the back of the car. His enthusiasm was short lived however. In the panic Shelly had managed to stall the car and the hulking shape was now on them.
So into our second encounter we went. 1 horde combined with a tank. Much like the Boomer we were about to find out just how nasty the special infected (bosses) could be.
Shouting in disgust the Doc forced Shelly out of the car and onto the cold hard tarmac. But before he could escape with Ged a massive hand grabbed the bumper of the already beaten up patrol car. Lifting it with ease the tank launched the vehicle into the air. Lucky enough the two survivors present were not strapped in and they tumbled from the car before in was thrown half a block away. Doc landing hard onto the floor and Ged landing on the beasts wide shoulders. Unlucky for them they now lay at the mercy of the massive tank.
At this point I would like to point out the Tank targets one survivor in its round, if its HA roll is successful it deals them 1 kill. Nothing too special about that, but I should go on to say the Tank has to take 30 kills before it falls and when it does hit the survivor misses their next turn….ouch!
This little beastie caused me to ditch my personal mission (as I needed the weakness) and once again narrate myself out of the fight.
As the tank and the horde boar down on the Doc, Shelly managed to escape unnoticed down a side alley. Just in time as the hulking beast slammed (complete with Ged) into the nearby building. Destroying the foundations the building groaned menacingly and would topple at any time. Flame from the Docs weapon flowed over the muscled body of the tank and Ged’s Uzi taw flesh from its neck as it roared in pain. The mechanic managed to leap clear just as the building finally gave up and came tumbling down crushing not only the tank but a fair number of the horde too. Without looking back both survivors dived into a nearby safe house.
So the survivors had split…bad news if you’re left on your own. Lucky for me Pete only had 1 horde token left which I dispatched with a successful ambush. Phew!
Shelly sat slumped in a first aid point within the underground system. A man, one of the train workers lay at her feet bleeding from a shotgun wound she has caused him by accident. Her eyes stayed focussed on the door the whole time. She sat and waited for the other survivors she knew would be coming this way.
And so concluded our first mission. We were on the way to Fort Brak and rescue, the quickest way there was along the underground tracks.
At this point Pete handed the GM reigns to Rich for the second mission.
- Location: Portsmouth
- Thanks: 1110 given/768 received
mr toad wrote:Shelly sat slumped in a first aid point within the underground system. A man, one of the train workers lay at her feet bleeding from a shotgun wound she has caused him by accident. Her eyes stayed focussed on the door the whole time. She sat and waited for the other survivors she knew would be coming this way.
How easily you gloss over the fact that you as good as murdered an innocent train guard. He was just opening the door to his office, no doubt seeking shelter inside in an attempt to get away from the Hunter prowling around the station. But no, instead of shelter, he finds himself gunned down, blasted straight across the platform by a trigger happy housewife!
I ask you Toad, whatever happened to the milk of human kindness? Of asking questions before shooting?
Good write up. The game itself was very boomboomboom pacy with few moments of respite. We did have a stroll down a bucolic-looking country lane... oreso so loves his Zola-like asides. Taking a cue from Dread, which in turn takes its cues from the horror tradition, some quieter moments to leaven the relentless pace would be good and fitting. For what is a playtest of a mashup I think it played well. Nice one Toad... I almost had a lump in my throat when you narrated the dead eyes of young Johnny staring glassily and accusingly at Shelly as she cowered under the paddy wagon.
- Location: Oxford
- Thanks: 2301 given/1008 received
- Playing: The Witcher II
- Running: Mouse Guard
- Planning: Pig, War Stories For Boys
I had the idea first! 3:16 + zombies works fine, but I think this actually felt different to 3:16. It was pretty scary. Not spooky at all, but in a "How the hell are we meant to survive this?" kinda way.Marsten wrote:Well there goes my idea for a game right into the crapper then
With the round-robin GMing we can all have a go if you're interested? The rules are freely available for all to peruse here (providing you have a copy of 3:16 handy).
- Location: Torun, Poland
- Thanks: 854 given/589 received
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