Zombie Apocalypse [FAE - Resident Evil meets Paranoia
Well. Here's my first playthrough, both on this site and with the FAE system. My only comment so far is this site is fantastic. I was kept engaged in the developing story and found rpgsolo (and FAE) to be intuitive enough that it felt like it was running in the background.

I have tried other solo rpg type stuff in the past, but this one is exactly what I was looking for...

I am sure I bungled some of the FAE rules here and there, but it didn't affect the immersion, so that works for me.

Anyway, here it is:

So let's start with a setting. I have been wanting to play a sort of zombie apocalypse game, but not your standard fare. I will be using elements of Resident Evil, Priest (the movie), and notions from Paranoia (the RPG).

A corporation, name of BlackVault, developed a virus to be used as a weapon in regions of the world that will never be stable (in their opinion). The virus attacks a person's nervous system and brain, reducing them to their baser instincts and driving them mad.

When the weapon was used, it caused a chain reaction that the WHO was unable to contain. From the Middle East, the plague spread -- the virus spreads through bites. Africa and Europe were the first to fall. And then cases sprung up on the American east coast. It was then that BlackVault (as well as the US Government) decided to pull behind their walls and wait out the inevitable storm. Using continuity of government shelters and other similarly 'safe' facilities, the country's leaders and BlackVault's employees and their families retreated.

In the outside world, the plagues continued to spread unabated. Groups of survivors engaged their own crude defensive measures, forming enclaves for protection and many self-sufficient societies survived in the ruins of civilization.

Years later (could be decades, could be centuries -- we just don't know yet)...

My Character: Rickard 4 (The number indicates the 4th incarnation, he has died three times and the cloning vats have brought him back).

High Concept: Psionically-gifted Administrative Worker
Trouble: Curiosity Killed the Cat
Aspect: A Thirst for Adventure
Aspect: Unexplained Telekinetic Phenomena
Aspect: (Undefined)

Clever +3
Careful +2
Sneaky +2
Flashy +1
Quick +1
Forceful +0

Because I have a "Mind for Minds", I get +2 whenever I carefully try to read another's surface thoughts when using ESP.

I will leave the other free stunts undefined for now. That leaves me with...

Refresh: 3

I also have Stress: 3

Let's get started...

I wake up in...

Andromeda battleground.

Well that's weird. Ok, so CONTROL has left my new incarnation at the site of a battle between Andromeda Security forces and enclave rebels. There are bodies all around, being collected by aging janitor droids. Do they mistake me for one of the dead and try to recycle me?


This is a problem for me. I'm bleary and confused, but I know enough about how things work in my CORE (knowledge shared by all clones, a sort of baseline brain because experiences are not uploaded into the new clones). I scramble to my feat (quickly) hoping it will trigger the droids to stop trying to recycle me. I suppose now we should define these droids:

Janitor Droid
Good At (+2): Recycling Things, Cleaning Things
Bad At (-2): Maneuvering
0 Stress Boxes (these guys are mooks and not exactly armed for war)

There are three of them, forming a three stress box mob.

We'll say, for the sake of this being my first time at playing a FATE game, the task at hand (convincing the droids I am alive and not to be collected) is a mediocre, +0, difficulty. I am rolling Quick (+1).

-3 = -1 -1 +0 -1

For a total of -2. That is ... terrible. Am I about to become Rickard 5? Not a chance. I am going to risk blowing a fate point early on, hoping I can self-compel to make up for it soon. And let's get chancy: we'll do it as a reroll instead of a +2. I know I can succeed with just the +2, but I want to succeed with style. Why? There're *sidearms laying about, yet to be collected*. And. I wants one.

0 = -1 +0 +1 +0

And that will hit Average. That's a success with style on an Overcome, so I get a boost. I will use that boost to grab one of those sidearms. I will inspect the weapon later. Chances are, I am not even cleared to own it, so if I am caught with it, Rickard 5 will get his chance.

Saying nothing, I make enough movement to convince the janitor droids I am, in fact, still alive. I also pocket the pistol in my courier bag (I am an admin guy, after all). The droids go about their business as I back out of the chamber and into a corridor with flickering lights and a sterile smell.

I need to get home. This is a BlackVault enclave. These places all have terminals interspersed throughout with maps one can pull up. Finding a terminal is easy. There's one right over there. I approach it. The difficult part is ... is the damn thing online?

No, and...

...and there is evidence of rebel tampering. Fortunately, the droids haven't made it this far. There is a small wafer still plugged into the terminal. I don't know what it does yet, but it looks very similar to those I use in my own job to store data. Perhaps I have made a major find! I tuck it away into my bag for further investigation once I find my way back to my apartment.

Ok, so I decide to get out of here before trouble finds me again. I make some distance between the scene of the fight (no doubt CONTROL will be making an holographic appearance soon enough with a fresh Andromeda team -- for a full investigation, you see). With no particular destination in mind (other than home, of course), I find myself in...

Massive stronghold.

The Andromeda Armory and HQ. My luck continues to be terrible! Maybe I can remain unnoticed while I use the terminal here (it is sure to be in working order). With the recent action, we'll call them noticing my presence a 50/50.

Yes, and...

...and they want to chat. I'm a dead man...

"You there," one of them calls out, drawing his sidearm. He doesn't wave it about, but it does get my attention. You see, I have just entered from a section of the enclave that was recently embattled. They probably think I am a rebel. And since I have a sidearm on me, they are going to have harsh words for me. Harsh words punctuated by bullets, no doubt.

Speaking of that sidearm I grabbed, was it an Andromeda weapon?



Double ****.

I know I am not cleared to carry it.

I also gain a FATE point for it because this automated solo GM just compelled me.

I also know I am not good at thinking on my feet. I prefer to take my time to devise any plans. But there's no time to cry about it now. I decide to hand over the bag and say, "Please take this! I found it just down the corridor! I didn't want the rebels to get their filthy hands on it!" That is a Quick overcome. So let's define us some Andromeda guys before I roll...

Andromeda Security Officers
Good At (+2): Shooting things, Sniffing Out Traitors
Bad At (-2): Being nice
Stress: 1

And there are ...

4 = 4[d4]

...4 of them.

Ok. So. They are good at sniffing out traitors. I am going to change my Quick action from an Overcome to a Create and Advantage, hoping to tag it at some point in the exchange. Straight roll at +1.

-1 = -1 +0 +1 -1

That's a success, setting the scene aspect *Got the goods!* for a free tag.

The Andromeda sergeant takes the bag while the others train weapons on me. I can almost smell the gunpowder. He starts digging through the bag. It's time for the sergeant to roll his Sniffing Out Traitors against a Mediocre difficulty...

-2 = -1 -1 +1 -1

He gets a 0. That would be a success. But since I "Got the goods!" and handed them over without argument, there's my free tag to drop him to -2 again.

Sergeant Argo 19 sifts through the bag and withdraws the pistol. "Good. You kept this away from children and other unauthorized users." He looks at the nametag on my shirt, then adds, "I will recommend you to CONTROL for a commendation." It's never good to be noticed by CONTROL. And this guy knows it. He's not very nice, is he?

Does he find the data wafer?

Yes, but...

"What's this?" he inquires, carefully flipping the wafer over in his fingers.

"My um..." Think fast again, Rickard 4! "It's my access wafer. I use it to get into my computer at work."

(Yes, but...) The sergeant nods again, replacing the wafer in my bag. He hands the bag over, sans sidearm, and says, "Have a nice day, citizen. Be on your way." The patrol then moves in the direction I had just come from.

I breathe a sigh of relief as the Exchange comes to a close. After a moment of gathering my wits, I decide to engage the working terminal that is most definitely here. I stroll over, slinging the strap to my courier bag over my shoulder, and allow the terminal to scan my ID pin.

After a brief moment, the terminal chatters and chitters and green text pops up onto the screen.

>> How can CONTROL assist you, citizen?

I type... >> I need to get to Sector 2 from this location. Do you have a map?

Yes, but...

The terminal prints out the map, complete with a marked path through the corridors. And then it spits more text across the monitor...

>> Be aware, citizen, that there has been ... an incident in Sector 2.

>> Thank you, CONTROL. Be well.

>> Have a nice day, citizen.

I wonder what the incident was... I suppose I'll find out soon.

I start through the corridors marked on the map. Do I get home uneventfully?

Yes, but...

...never a dull moment. When I get there, I stumble into ... myself!

I read his nametag and he reads mine. His reads Rickard 3. I never died ... and my clone was activated by accident ... but CONTROL never makes mistakes!

Worse, that Andromeda sergeant will be telling CONTROL that I exist. And CONTROL already knows 3 exists. This is the proverbial pickle!

Multiple clones of an individual is a death offense for all existing clones.

"I am going to create a diversion," explains 3. He's grabbing things and stuffing them into my courier bag. "You use the time to get out of the complex. Get to the world above. I will meet you there when I escape." Famous last words? "Find a diner named...

Gas station.

...Taco Bell. And don't let them catch you!"

More of this quick action garbage. Clearly I wasn't supposed to be the hero in this little story. He snaps the courier bag shut and pulls out a pistol. "Go," he orders.

I go.

Getting out of the complex is easy enough. It's getting in that's tough. But with the 'incidents' that have recently occurred, perhaps I should roll this one. We'll do it at 50/50. Is it easy to escape the complex?


Finally. A shift in my luck. I slink through the corridors of Sector 2, making my way to Sector 1. I know this area well enough, since my job is in 1. I get to a hatch and open it. CONTROL's soothing voice pipes up behind me, through a crackling speaker, "Be safe, citizen. Keep your water canister full and your sidearm handy."

Pretty sure 3 didn't stuff a sidearm into my bag. And I hope he thought to include a water canister. My luck, however, will probably claim otherwise.

I close the door behind me and it automatically seals itself.


Chapter Two: Freedom...

I won't bother rolling, here, because I already know where I want the entrance to the complex to be. I have emerged into an ancient subway tunnel. It is pitch black. I can hear water dripping slowly as well as echoes of something shifting or moving somewhere down the tunnel. I am hoping it's just wind. Maybe even rodents once classified as rats.

CONTROL's Survival Manual claims rats are a plentiful supply of food in the Overworld. (That's where I am now. The Overworld.)
Session 2. Same day playing. Had to take a food break, you see.

Anyway. Where were we?

Rickard 4 has just 'escaped' the complex and is standing in a subway tunnel. It is very dark and he can hear noises down the tunnel, like something is moving or perhaps wind.

First thing's first. Let's see what 3 gave me before he bravely provided a distraction so I could escape.

6 = 6[d6]

Six items in the bag. They are:


Sawed-off shotgun (12 gauge).

Excellent canned food.


Buck knife.

Hazard suit.

Oh good. A gun. I leave that in the bag, instead opting for the knife. Firing a gun will draw attention to me and I do not want that right now. Matches? You'd think I was smart enough to include a flashlight instead? Maybe not. Maybe I (he) just didn't have one handy. Starting a fire will draw attention, too, but it might be cold at night up there.

I re-sling the bag and keep the knife handy for my upcoming trek through the darkness.

Is there any light at all, down here?


In the distance, I spy the golden nimbus of light bathing the subway tunnel. It is probably connected to the complex's power grid because I just can't see a rationale for the city grid to still be online. I head for the light, slowly. Maybe there will be a ladder nearby I can use to get up into Overworld proper.

Does the light ahead reveal anything interesting?

Yes, but... +Event: Decrease / Anger

Yes, but...I don't want any part of it. Ahead, a hunched form eats something. It's shadow stretches out toward me and I can hear the thing slurping away. (I don't know it in character, yet, but this is a rage zombie feeding on a rat.) What kind of zombie is it?

Once beautiful zombie.

Has it noticed me? Seems unlikely since it is feeding, but we'll roll anyway:


Damn. Ok. While it is still occupied, can I find a ladderwell on the wall near me? (Again, seems unlikely...)


The dice like me, now. I'll pay for it later, I'm sure. Anyway. I stow my knife in my belt and start climbing up the ladder. Maybe this thing won't be able to follow me? I am going to Cleverly Create an Aspect *Getting to High Ground* here. My Clever is +3, so I should have a distinct advantage on the roll.

-1 = +1 +0 -1 -1

Total result of +2. That's a Success With Style. *Getting to High Ground* is now a scene aspect and the *Manhole Cover is easy to move* making my escape nearly a sure thing. The only question that remains is once I get topside, is the nearby area safe? We'll go 50/50 here. Zombies and other survivors can't be everywhere. After that roll, we'll check to see if living dead girl manages to climb up to me...


It is not safe. Complex question time. What is the danger, once I get up there?

Punish / Bureaucracy.

Oh crap. CONTROL has drones up there! And they are looking for me! The automated GM has just compelled me again by making a bad situation worse. Next, does zombie girl get up the ladder? We'll stat her out as follows:

Living Dead Girl
Good At (+2): Scavenging Food, Looking Good for a Corpse
Bad At (-2): Social Graces
Stress: 0

Coming after me up the ladder seems like scavenging for food to me, so she gets a +2 to her roll:

-2 = -1 -1 -1 +1

Total is zero. Good. I will use my free tag of *Getting to High Ground* to dump her back down the ladder by hitting her with a -2 penalty. And down she goes with a meaty thud when she hits the floor of the subway tunnel!

But now the drones are closing in! So we should state them out, too:

First: How many drones...

2 = 2[d3]

Good At (+2): Finding Their Target, Killing Their Target
Bad At (-2): Thinking for Themselves
Stress Boxes: 1 each (2 for a mob)

As they close in, I immediately go for my shotgun, forcing another quick roll to attack them. My Quick is +1.

0 = -1 +1 +0 +0

I hit them, but cause no damage. That does, however, set up a new aspect *Scattered!* on the drones. They get a shot at me. They really want me dead, so they don't do anything but open fire. They get +2 for "Killing Their Target".

0 = +0 +0 +1 -1

That's a total of +3 for them (succeed with style) but I use my free tag on *Scattered!* and reduce it to a simple 1 stress hit. I mark off my first stress box and start to run for cover. I fire off a round behind me in the escape attempt. That's a Quick attack.

-2 = -1 -1 -1 +1

That would be a miss, but I am going to invoke my *Thirst for Adventure* aspect. While the fight is terrifying, it is also just what a bored soul needs. That brings the attack to a success (causing 1 damage). The short barrel explodes again, blasting one of the drones out of the sky. The smoldering ruin slams into the ground. One left. Since I didn't get a boost, I have yet to find any cover. The remaining drone zooms closer and returns fire...

-3 = -1 -1 +0 -1

An absolutely astonishing miss... I thought I was dead meat, there! With one drone remaining, I am going to open fire one last time. I Carefully line up my shot, eschewing my earlier escape attempt as fruitless. I have Careful at +2 and the way I have been rolling, I will need it.

2 = +1 +1 +0 +0

A total of +4 and the drone explodes. A relieved sigh has me rushing away from the scene before reinforcements (of any kind) can arrive. There has to be a Taco Bell nearby or 3 wouldn't have sent me there. So I now have two questions. Is the Taco Bell nearby? And how many shotgun shells does my weapon have left? First:


No Taco Bell in sight. That's bad. Second:

3 = 3[d6]

Three shells left. I stow the weapon in the bag and look for some kind of shelter while I plan where next to go...

Dilapidated nightclub.

Slamming the door behind me, nearly rocking it right off its rusty hinges, I drop to my haunches just inside. There is a bar at the back wall. The place is dusty. Has it been recently disturbed?


Good. That means I am probably alone. Of course, what I don't know is that sometimes zombies will remain dormant, possibly for years at a time, until food shows up. Is this the case now?


That will be unfortunate when I run across the dead thing...

Meanwhile, I sneak a peak outside. Did anything come running for the recent sounds of a fight?

No, but...

...Living Dead Girl made it out of the subway. Damn. If it weren't for those drones, I would have had time to cover the hole. Nothing can be done about it now. I decide not to engage the zombie because she has probably lost my trail. If I can manage to keep quiet, she will lose interest and wander off.

Is it daytime?


I would like to search this nightclub, but I need to cover myself. I jam a chair up under the club's entrance door handle. This is a Clever Create an Aspect.

2 = +1 +0 +0 +1

Total of 5. Not only is the *Door Secured* but it is also *Tough Enough to Hold*.

I start my search. Am I ambushed by a zombie?


Unusually strong zombie.

The zombie lying dormant comes through the bar, ripping it apart and scattering wood and stone. He's strong. I'm scared. I draw my knife and look for something I can put between us. Cleverly, I will try to prop a table to use to slow the zombie down while I run for the back room.

-2 = -1 +0 +0 -1

That's a success for one free tag on *Table in the Way*. I run for the back room and the zombie attempts to catch me. Let's see what this zombie is good at (I am going to trust the random engine for this to see if it's funny...)

Information gathering.


Yes. It's funny. I am mostly ignoring both results and going with:

Bartender Zombie
Good At (+2) Breaking Things, Lifting Heavy Things
Bad At (-2) Information Gathering.
Being incredibly strong, I will give him 1 health box. He's still a mook.

He is going to chase me to the back room and will be using Breaking Things to do it, since there's stuff in the way.

-2 = -1 -1 +1 -1

He scores a success. I tag the *Table in the Way* for free and reach safety. When I get in there, I am going to barricade the door, like I did to the front door. Is there anything (a chair) I can use?


I will Cleverly barricade again...

-3 = -1 -1 +0 -1

Tie. I get a boost. That's good enough. Now I am looking for an exit. I had thought to hole up in here for a bit, but that's clearly not an option. Is there a back door?


Can I open it?

No, but...

...I can get upstairs and lock the office door. I do so. Safe. Finally. I need a breather. Is there a window looking outside?

Yes, but...

...it's not a very good view. I can see the alleyway and nothing more. Oh well. So much for seeing trouble before it gets here. If I can get out of the window and down to the ground safely, I won't have to deal with that zombie downstairs. Let's try Carefully getting out of the nightclub through the window...

2 = +0 +1 +1 +0

Huge success. And my search for Taco Bell continues...

I'll stop here for now. Total of three hours gaming solo and it was a great intro to this site...

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