Zombie Apocalypse [Z.A. Ruleset] I Once Believed . . .
Hey all! Today I've decided that I'm going to post up the Zombie Apocalypse rules that I've been working on. I've been trying and refining them for about the last two weeks, so they're still in a somewhat early beta, but I feel good enough with their basis that I can post them and get help with refining more ideas for them through the community.

Now as I currently have it, I only planned on using this for Z.A., so I don't know how well it'll work with other genres. If you'd care to test it, be my guest.

Now I'll just jump into the 'basic' parts one by one; starting with the skill system I'm using:

Quote:Skill Rundown:
When dealing with skill rolls, it is always on a d20.
Rolling on the d20 is a representation of which 'Get Answer' you will be clicking to see if you succeeded or not. The numbers pan out to:

1=AI --- 2-4=VU --- 5-6=U --- 7-9=SU --- 10-11=50/50 --- 12-14=SL --- 15-16=L --- 17-19=VL --- 20=ST

You get a bonus to your d20 roll equal to 1/10 of your skill level, rounded down. If a skill check is rolled at 12+, and it succeeds, then roll 1d6 and add that to your skill rank. If a 20 is rolled on a d20 for the skill check, and/or a "Yes, And..." is the Answer to if success was obtained, then increase the size of the dice by one (1d8, 1d10), and add the rolled number to your skill total.
Skills start at 0/20, and advancing them to the maximum resets them to 0 while also giving a permanent bonus of +1. The skill rank ups go as follows: 20, 40, 60, 80, 100. At maxing out 60 and 100, a type of feat relating to the skill can be obtained.
It takes a rest of at least 4 hours to rank up a skill after its maxed.
Some skills can be used untrained, some cannot.

When making a new character, after rolling archetype (Get NPC), roll two skills. The first skill is considered level 4, and the second is level 3 (Ex. Lockpicking 4 (0/80) +3, [Feat]; Blacksmithing 3 (0/60) +2

The idea behind this system was that the more you did a skill with those slightly higher rolls, the more bonuses you'd get over time to do consistently better, without destroying the possibility of failure. With a skill at 100, you get a +15 bonus to it, making you a master at it that doesn't fail over, but the chance is still a little prominent. After all, sometimes even the most skilled can have an off day.
The feats you can get for maxing level 3 and level 5 are pretty much anything you can think of that would be feasible for the skill you're using. So for Lockpicking, a good example would be:
Tricks of the Trade - Excellence in lockpicking means being able to sure you only have to ever pick a lock once, or that no one else will be able to at all. When lockpicking anything with a physical lock, if you roll above a 14, then you may cause the lock to either slip or jam. A slipped lock can never lock again. The mechanism acts as thought it was already tightly locked when it's tried and thus moves nowhere. A jammed lock has no more chance of opening, not even with keys native to the lock. You broke it. On purpose.

Paraphrase that if you would, and you have yourself a skill feature!

Next up, Item Rules.

Quote:Item Rules
Found items come with percentile structure. Average melee weapons, for example, will be a 1d100% roll to determine it's stability. This percentage is an overall measure of the item, including how well it was made, how long it'll last, how easily it cuts. Items that's drop below 35% lose part of the bonuses they give. In the case of things that only give one stat, like knives that simply give +1d (1 damage modifier), turn the +1d into +1a (1 accuracy bonus).

For common items like toothpaste, alarm clocks, and blankets, roll 1d100 to determine its quality and how long you may be able to use it (i currently have no real rules in place for using normal items like these, so do with this what you will at your logical leisure.)

Ranged weapons do not roll a quality, but instead have ammunition. When obtaining a weapon with ammo, mark it down as such:
Bolt-action rifle (.308 cal) 8-4/8
The first 8 after the weapon represents the weapon's maximum ammo load; the second number, the 4, represents the current ammo in the weapon; the third number, the second 8, shows how much ammo is still on your person for reloading.

If it's ammo you got, roll 1d100 and consult chart below:
1-5: 1d4 6-10: 1d6 11-15: 1d8 16-20: 2d4 21-25: 2d6, 26-30: 2d8 31-35: 3d4 36-40: 3d6 41-45: 3d8 46-50: 4d4 51-55: 4d6 56-60: 4d8 61-65: 5d4 66-70: 5d6 71-75: 5d8 76-80: 6d4 81-85: 6d6 86-90: 6d8 91-95: 7d4 96-99: 7d6 100: 7d8
Every use of a weapon reduces quality by 1d10%, use of armor reduces its quality by 1d10% per damage blocked.
AoE and explosive damage items deal their rolled damage to anything they feasibly hit, the instances of possibly damage are on the char below, based on the explosive's quality. [1-33% 2d3, 34-66% 4d2, 67-99% 8, 100% Insta-kill all hit targets.] Calculate resistances to damage based on the individuals being hit by subtracting their reduction of damage and applying the wounds based on that number.

Any books that are come across are rolled a random skill to determine what they're about. Books start with 100%, and you may spend an hour reading one to reduce its quality by 10d10. Roll 1d10 and add it to the skill the book is about.

I'm sure to have more specific item rules as time advances, but for now, these were the things that came up most often, so I made rules for them in specific.

Next, Damage calculations:
Quote:Negligible +0 DmgTkn -0 DmgDlt&Acc
Minor  +1 DmgTkn -0 DmgDlt&Acc
Moderate  +2 DmgTkn -1 DmgDlt&Acc
Severe  +3 DmgTkn -2 DmgDlt&Acc
Critical  +4 DmgTkn -3 DmgDlt&Acc
Damage Rundown:
In the above chart, taking these injuries reduces your ability to hit, your roll to damage, and adds to enemy damage against you. Weapons and situations can add extra damage or to hit chances, varying from weapon to weapon. Most bonuses will be between +1 and +4. Things such as knives may not add any accuracy to hit, but they'll add 1 more damage. A high quality knife may add 1 to both, or even 2 to damage.

Aiming for a turn adds +5 to your accuracy, and +2 to your damage.
Called shots can subtract anywhere from -1 to -5, can add up to +3 damage based on where your hitting, and have effects against the target based on where you hit. Use logic to dictate the negative a called shot is, and the bonuses it gives you for hitting.

Zombies never suffer from negatives to hit, as they cannot feel pain. They will always roll a d20 for accuracy to attack, no bonuses or negatives unless the situation would apply them.

Infection is a 50/50 chance if a survivor ever takes a Severe or worse wound. Once infected, the virus begins an incubation period. Every 4 hours, the player will ask the question "Do symptoms of infection begin showing?" and they will start with an 'Almost Impossible' roll. Every four hours, take it one step closer to 'Sure Thing' until your symptoms begin showing, and then consult the chart below:
Yes on 'Almost Impossible' = 1d100% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Very Unlikely' = 1d20% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Unlikely' = 1d12% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Slightly Unlikely' = 1d10% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on '50/50' = 1d8% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Slightly Likely' = 1d6% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Likely' = 1d4% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Very Likely' = 1d2% zombification every 4 hours.
Yes on 'Sure Thing' = .5% zombification every 4 hours.
No on 'Sure Thing' = Congratz. You are Immune to zombification. Forever.

The damage system was somewhat reminiscent of the Mutants and Masterminds combat system, that uses degrees of 5 to determine how much you won or lost by. Here, the more damage you take, the less likely you'll hit, and when you do hit, you don't hit quite as hard. You also start taking more damage the more grievous your wounds are.

On to the next, we have random encounter rules:
Quote:Traveling from one location to another is normally a distance that's abstract. How far away do you think this location is? Couple blocks? Several miles? This does kind of matter, because the closer you think it is, the more/higher percentile you'll be rolling. When I think a building is 12 miles away, and that we can walk 3 miles in a hour, then i start with a base of 1d100, and apply that same level of division. 3 goes into 12 four times, so 3 is 1/4th of 12. 25 is 1/4th of 100. Thus my percentile becomes 1d25.
I will roll the 1d25 and advance that percentage towards my goal, have an hour pass, and have an encounter. Rinse repeat. It could take several hours to get to a location only a few miles away, simply because the encounters that happen along the way are just that frequent and terrible.

When Traveling, for each encounter ask at base 50/50:
IS it a zombie?
Is it a survivor?
Is it a looting opportunity?
Is it a Mutated?
What location are we at?
Zombie Encounter = Items 1 step likely, reset survivors, lower zombie
Survivor Encounter = Zombies 1 step likely, reset items, lower survivor
Items Encounter = Survivors 1 step likely, reset zombies, lower item
Mutated Encounter = Items 3 steps likely, survivors don't reset items until item encounter is found, lower zombie
Location Encounter = Ask Questions
"No, and" applies the next question in line automatically.
"No, but" skips the next question and applies the one after it automatically.
"Yes, and" applies the asked question and the next one together.
"Yes, but" applies the one asked and the one after the next question.

This is the first part in all of this that I mention the 'Mutated' at all. I will go into some detail with that, but in my next post. Anyway, when the encounters say 'reset' it's just returning the encounter chance for that particular thing back to 50/50. For example, if I ask "Is this a zombie?" at 50/50, and it tells me no, then I'd ask if it was a survivor. If it said yes, then the chance for zombies NEXT encounter goes up to slightly likely instead, survivors drop to slightly unlikely, and the items reset to base 50/50 chance. There will be plenty more added to this as time goes on.

Lastly, for now, Looting rules, which is very simple so far:
Quote:Looting Rules
Looting an area takes 1d5 minutes, does not proc another encounter, and provides a possible number of items based on a 1d100 roll and the chart below:
1-10: 1 11-20: 1d3 21-30: 1d4 31-40: 1d5 41-50: 1d6 51-60: 2d3 61-70: 1d8 71-80: 3d3 81-90: 4d3 91-100: 3d5

If you go to loot a body after a zombie or survivor encounter, you can take any item you know they had, and may roll a Scavenging skill check to see if you can find anything on their person. A 'Yes' and 'Yes, but...' yields 1 item, a 'Yes, and...' yields 2. 'No', 'No, and...' and 'No, but...' simply mean you did not find anything you could use. Unless you feel like adding something particularly interesting or horrific to these, that's up to you.

Alright all! That's all I've got right now for a few hours. Have to get home from work, then I'll get into Mutations, Gifts, and roll up an example character!
Alright! Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. Life can be a pain, especially around Christmas.

So! Where we last left off was me saying I'd talk about gifts and mutations. They're...more or less what's on the tin. Zombies can be grotesquely mutated to have special properties beyond the average zombie. They are a human base, and we are one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet. However, these mutations can still rarely pop up in non-zombie people. Same thing kind of applies to gifts. When meeting a survivor, roll either an almost impossible or a very unlikely chance that they have a gift (it's very unlikely if they're a type of npc that realistically wouldn't have made it far without some sort of benefit, such as middle school kids, heavier-set people, the mentally insane. Anyone else is an Almost Impossible roll to see.)

When you think or know that you've run into a mutated zombie, there are two things to remember:
Getting a 'Yes, but...' confirmation on a mutated zombie means that while the zombie is mutated, something is either hindering it, or it can be avoided completely with a stealth roll. I highly recommend this from situation to situation. Mutations can have some horrifying stacking effects with some of the base Opposition zombies (Such as Infection+ Highly Contagious Zombie. Not dealing with that ever.)
Getting a 'Yes, and...' roll to confirm a mutated zombie means that it may have other normal zombies with it, another mutated zombie, or that the only way to continue forward is to pass it. A lot of situational things can happen concerning 'Yes, and...' rolls.

Now, let's actually get onto the Mutations, and what they do:

Quote:Acid-Claws - This mutation causes the claw attacks of the mutated to deal another damage roll at -5, or to deal 3d10% equipment damage to any armor or weapon used to block them. Try blocking them with a gun, and your gun will probably break. +1 Damage bonus

Anemic - This mutation causes the mutated to be constantly bleeding from any wounds. Tracking it down is easy, but it makes the area around it an environmental 'wet floor' kind of hazard. Don't slip up.

Armed - This 'mutation' lets the mutated carry around some sort of weapon that it can use. Melee or ranged, it will attack with it. At least you can loot it if you don't die.

Clever - This mutation causes the mutated to have slightly more developed mental capabilities. They can use door knobs and handles, open windows without breaking them, turn on and off light switches, etc. They will do everything they can to gain as many advantages as possible before attacking.

Disproportionate - Think Chargers from Left 4 Dead 2. One large arm, charge-happy, and will slam you into the scenery relentlessly. +1 Damage, and +5 to rushing down survivors.

Echo-Location - Think Clickers from The Last of Us. Use noise to distract it, and make your footsteps light. Sneaking is your best friend here, especially since this modifies their damage and damage resistance to +1.

Elongated Tongue - Think Smokers from Left 4 Dead 2. Ranged attack with long, tough tongues that constrict and try to suffocate the target, or pull them back into masses of zombies. Can make grapple checks from range with a +5 bonus to maintaining.

Evolutionism - This mutation is truly horrifying. Any zombie with this mutation will gain a new mutation upon eating a survivor, without giving up an old one. The longer these ones go on, the more mutations they'll gain. Should you leave one of these behind, remember to mark down where you saw it, because when you come back and if you see it again, roll a 50/50 chance to see if it got its hands on a survivor while you were away.

Frigid - These zombies are ice cold. They move terribly slow, but they seem to drain heat around them. You'll sooner die of hypothermia before their claws or bites while encountering them. Don't be within about 5 feet unless you loved that field trip to Antarctica. +2 Damage resistance

Gremlin - Think Jockeys from Left 4 Dead 2. They'll jump on your head and attempt to steer you into trouble while clawing at your eyes. -1 damage resistance

Infection - These zombies are a bit more viral than your run of the mill zombies. They will infect zombification when inflicting Moderate wounds or greater.

Infection Plus - These zombies are a lot more viral than your run of the mill zombies. They will infect zombification when inflicting Minor wounds or greater.
     Note!: If you get unlucky enough (like a friend and I did) to run into an Infection+ Virulent Zombie, I'm sorry. They zombification on even hitting, and if they deal a critical wound to a target, that target has an 'Unlikely' chance of dying on the spot and mutating. Outright killing will boost this to a 50/50 chance. May RNGeesus have mercy.

Lonely - Think of the Witch from Left 4 Dead 2. Loudly sobbing, easy to know where they are, and will not react to you if you stay 15 feet away. Shoot them or train a light on them, and it'll act as though you're within 15 feet. After 3 rounds of being within 15 feet, being shot, or having a light shone on them, they'll rush and attempt to kill the nearest survivor. They enjoy +3 damage and +2 damage resistance.

Parkour - Think Hunter from Left 4 Dead 2. They're highly maneuverable, and can leap from elevated areas to slam you to the ground before ripping into your spleen. They enjoy +8 on Jump checks, and deal an extra +2 damage for each round they're in the air before landing on a survivor.

Possum - These mutated appear dead at first, like doubletapped zombies. Might be missing the head, impaled, a burnt husk, etc, but they're not fully dead. Upon any creature getting within range, they will strike.

Projectile Spit - Think Spitter from Left 4 Dead 2. They project stomach acid that will deal damage every round it's on you at -5 if it hit somewhere unarmored, or deal 3d10% equipment damage to what it does hit. Note, this can reduce the integrity of concrete and buildings, albeit slowly.

Projectile Vomit - Think Boomers from Left 4 Dead 2. They're not too quick, but they have a habit of dropping out of nowhere and vomiting on as many people as possible within 10 feet. This attracts any nearby zombies to frenzy towards the target. Those vomited on have -1 damage resistance against frenzying zombies.

Regeneration - This mutation will cause cells of the zombie's body to regrow. It will regenerate 1 degree of its worst wound modifier each round.

Regeneration Plus - This mutation rapidly regenerates cells of the body. These zombies regenerate 2 degrees of their worst wound modifier every round.

Regeneration Double Plus - This mutation is a truly horrifying rate of regeneration, and these zombies regenerate 3 degrees of their worst wound modifier every round.

Roll 2 Mutations - As it says on the tin, roll two mutations, apply both that aren't extra mutation rolls.

Roll 3 Mutations - As it says on the tin, roll three mutations, apply all three that aren't extra mutation rolls.

Roll Gift - Roll a Gift instead of a mutation and apply it to the zombie instead.

Screamer - These mutated will run away from survivors upon sight and continually scream at the top of their lungs to attract other zombies. They tend to prefer hiding in buildings or any place that they can make their scream echo, as to make locating them more difficult.

Screeching - These mutated will act somewhat like screamers, but instead of running away, will attack survivors while screeching at such an intensity that it would make one's ears bleed. While screeching, any survivors within 60 feet will suffer -3 penalties to all actions unless they have ear protection.

Silent - These mutated move almost without making a sound. Awareness checks to notice them are made at a -5 penalty.

Spine-crawler - These mutated are missing the lower half of their body, instead having an elongated and sharpened spinal cord. They will attempt to grapple onto the back of a survivor, much like a Gremlin, and then attempt to use it's spinal cord as a sort of scorpion tail. It makes called shots towards the head with it's tail at no penalty.

Sprinting - These mutated are unusually fast, and get +10 to rush actions against survivors.

Steroid-enhanced - Think of the Tank from Left 4 Dead 2. Large and bulky, strong, and very thick-skinned. They have a +2 to damage with melee attacks, +3 to damage resistance, and can make a ranged attack by taking two rounds that deals an extra +4 damage.

Thick-Skinned - These mutated are just more plain durable. They gain a +2 damage resistance.

Undying - These mutated just don't seem to stay down, and will get back up after some time passes. After 8d6 hours, they will stand up again, and go about their business as normal.

Volatile - These mutated will violently explode in a shower of acid and bone shrapnel, dealing damage at -2 to everyone within 20 feet of it

And now there you have the mutations explained. In the custom list, this is what you'll wanna put as you base:

Elongated Tongue
Elongated Tongue
Infection Plus
Projectile Spit
Projectile Vomit
Projectile Vomit
Regeneration Double Plus
Regeneration Plus
Roll 2 Mutations
Roll 3 Mutations
Roll Gift

Feel free to add your own mutations, and let us know here to I can see how well they measure up to put them on the list permanently!

Now for gifts. Gifts are those little things about people that are special that we may or may not be able to place. Telekinesis, unusually good leadership, pyromancy, it all falls under gifts. Again, feel free to add your own gifts, and let us know here to we can add them too, but this is what we currently have:

Quote:Charismatic Leader
Empathic Control
Gifted Learner
Golden Luck
Jack of All Trades
Quickness Mental
Quickness Physical
Roll Mutation
Savant of Skill
Sense Projection Sight
Sense Projection Sound
Silver Tongue

Quote:Charismatic Leader - People seem to gravitate towards you to make decisions. Social rolls are made at a +5 bonus if you are to make a decision that other people are able to support or oppose. People will always turn to you to be the final arbiter of a decision, no matter whom suggests a course of action.

Displacement - You have a weird ability to short-distance teleport yourself. You gain the Displacement Skill at level 1 (0/20), and you can make a roll to attempt to displace yourself 10d5 feet in any direction.

Electrokinesis - You have a shocking ability to manipulate electricity in an area around you. Energy sockets seem to work, light bulbs will glow, and radios receive better signals. You can also use it aggressively. You gain the Electrokinesis Skill at level 1 (0/20) and can make rolls to manipulate electricity .

Empathic Control - You have an ability to force emotions onto people. You're able to make someone feel how you feel about something, even if they normally wouldn't. You gain the Empathic Control Skill at level 1 (0/20), and can attempt to force emotions upon people.

Gifted Learner - You've always been a better academic than most, and shine in the gaining of skills. When leaning skills using books, you roll 2d10s instead.

Golden Luck - Lady Luck was your mother, and you were her favorite child. 3 negative rolls a week that could affect you are made at a -10 penalty.

Heirloom - You have an item that has existed for a while, and as a matter of fact, it is more than what it seems...

Immunity - You are immune to the zombie virus.

Jack of All Trades - You get a +2 bonus to any skill you roll, but your skill cap is instead level 4 (80/80) and nothing can go higher than this.

Piety - Your faith in a god has finally paid off. You ignore damage resistance with melee weapons as long as you coat them in holy water at the beginning of each fight.

Psionics - You have mental abilities that can affect the minds of others. Altering perceptions, words, colors. I can't really put rules to this one seeing as how much you CAN do with it. You gain the Psionics Skill at level 1 (0/20).

Pyrokinesis - You have the ability to generate and control fire with your mind. You gain the Pyrokenisis Skill at level 1 (0/20).

Quickness Mental - Your brain processes information more rapidly than others might. Reading books only takes 20 minutes, crafting something takes 25% less time, and skills having to deal with critical thinking gain a +5 bonus if they're above level 2

Quickness Physical - Your body acts almost on it's own; must be preservation instinct. You're swifter, and your body will move in response to something faster than most people. Avoiding hazards is made at a +5 bonus, enemies get a -2 to hit you with melee attacks, and any natural twenties you roll while making a physical check give you an additional action for the turn.

Resistance - You are resistant to the zombie virus. Contraction takes 1 degree higher wound to infect, and you half any percent you get from the virus before adding it to your disease percentage.

Roll Mutation - You instead have some sort of mutation from the virus that got inside you without making you a zombie. You are immune to the virus, and have a random mutation.

Savant of [Skill] - When this is gotten, choose a skill to link it to. That skill can be raised to level 6. Level 6 skills have an xp cap of (120/120) and give another feat after they have been maxed.

Sense Projection Sight - You can use clairvoyance. Gain the Clairvoyance Skill at level 1 (0/20). When you use clairvoyance, you can displace your sense of sight up to 100 feet away.

Sense Projection Sound - You can use claudience. Gain the Claudience Skill at level 1 (0/20). When you use claudience, you can displace your sense of hearing up to 300 feet away.

Silver Tongue - You have an esoteric way of using words and syllables that's almost hypnotizing. Diplomacy and Deception rolls are made at a +8 bonus.

Telekinesis - Much like psionics, its hard to put rules to this. Gain the Telekinesis Skill at level 1 (0/20).

And there we have that! Next time, I make a character, and then I'll post to the actual play to see where they go!
Until next time!

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