Friday, November 16, 2012
Infection : The Shotgun Diaries
The Shotgun Diaries
Ran the ever-popular John Wick game, The Shotgun Diaries, for my officemates at Indigo-Entertainment again. Of the original group that played, only one was available for this session. The remaining four other players were trying this game for the first time. Given this was a rushed game, I decided to have a player write in the Zombie Diary once every fifteen minutes or so. These entries will be in ALL CAPS.
After quickly giving them a brief rundown on the system, I handed out small sheets of paper which had the archetypes written on them. I thought it would be fun to have them randomly known their roles in the game, especially since of the four new players, three were playing a role-playing game for the very first time in their lives.
The Fast guy found the fire exit clear, and the doors opened to show an empty mall. The theater was on the fourth floor of a massive mall, and it seemed unthinkable that there was no one in the vicinity. He decided to slide back inside the theater and go to where the others were. None could see the Dangerous girl who had tripped over something in the darkness. Hoping to get up, she instead felt hands clutch her ankles! Kicking wildly, she was able to force the unseen attacker to let go, and in her panic, she rushed away from the group and made for the exit door. Hearing her scream, the Clever guy, the Sneaky guy and the Strong guy moved close to check as well. The Fast guy ran into the darkness, hoping to cast light into the area by shoving the exit doors opened. As he did so, both he and the Dangerous girl realized how empty the area outside the theater was. The nearby popcorn stalls, snack bars, and other theater entrances were empty as well. The whole thing felt surreal and odd.
There was a body in the corridor. The Clever guy slipped past it and quickly made his way to join the Dangerous girl and the Fast guy. But the Strong guy unwisely opted to sit down beside the body and turn him over. The man was missing his face, and his hands were bloody and broken. While the Sneaky guy decided to wait, the Strong guy ended up getting his face coughed at by the battered body on the ground. The battered body's eyes opened into empty whiteness and feeling threatened, the Strong guy slammed the switch-blade into the body's chest. "His head! His head!" the Sneaky guy gasped in fear, and the Strong guy was quick to oblige.
Outside, the three discovered where everyone had gone. Around thirty feet from the theater entrance was the escalator leading to the third level. Down below, hordes of what seemed to be the walking dead were bumping into each other and seemingly lost as to where to go. Unfortunately, a number of them had successfully walked onto the escalator, and the device was now bringing them up to the fourth level! While the Fast guy and the Dangerous guy rushed to find things to use as weapons, the Smart guy tried to open the hatch to the escalator wiring and reverse the moving stairs. But before he could succeed, the zombies were getting far too dangerously close! Thankfully the Fast guy found a metal trash bin to use, which he was able to hand to the Dangerous girl in time. The Dangerous girl threw the bin and successfully knocked three of the zombies away.. as well as delay the others for a few more precious seconds. With the second chance gained, the Clever guy finally reversed the stairs and forced the zombies back down.
Now aware of the threat surrounding them a floor below, the group hurriedly made their way to the closest fire exit. But this one had a long bloody smear that lead to the door. A quick vote, and they all decided it was best to find a different way out. The Strong guy handed the switch-blade to the Dangerous girl.
There was an elevator. And the elevator, to their knowledge was not too far from a gun store that the Clever guy remembered to be on the second floor. The group quickly made their way to the elevator, with the Strong guy dragging a potted plant with him to use as a weapon. As they descended in the elevator, the Clever guy worked quickly to jury-rig the controls to follow only their input. With the glass walls of the elevator providing an unparalleled view, the group gasped in horror as they discovered the whole third floor was swarming with so many zombies, they could barely move themselves. None have noticed that ZOMBIES ARE AFRAID OF LIGHTS FROM CELLULAR PHONES.
The second level, to their surprise was empty. And the gun shop was visible fifty or so feet away from where they were. The Sneaky guy quickly made his way closer, but stopped upon seeing a zombie nearby. Dangerous girl was nearly bitten by another zombie, but thankfully stabbed the switch blade into its skull before it got to her. Frustrated by their vulnerability, Fast guy hurried to the gun shop with Strong guy and Dangerous girl following suit. Clever guy remained by the elevator and noticed someone in the lower levels trying to call the elevator. He countered the controls and kept it stuck at their floor. It was then he started to notice something scary. The ZOMBIES CAN COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER. One zombie in the first level looked up and saw him in the glass elevator. Slowly, others around that zombie began to look up as well. Barely a minute passed before every single zombie down below was staring at him. Perturbed, the Clever guy rushed to join the others. Seeing the padlock on the door, the Strong guy used the heavy potted plant to smash it open. Few notice THE STRONG GUY COUGHING AND FEELING SICK.
All of the survivors gathered useful supplies in the Gun shop. Try as they might however, the could not transform the place into a Sanctuary. So while the others gathered some rest to let the fear subside, the Fast guy ran ahead to look for the service exit. There had to be a way for them to head out which the greater populace which had been infected were not aware of.
The group gathers at the door leading the service exit. Ready for zombies, the group opens the door to find zombies have already gathered there! Each one throws their weight into the fight as they hope to shoot their way into freedom, but luck doesn't smile upon them. Many shots miss and more often than not, survivors are nearly bitten had it not been for more of the supply they had taking the blow (bites that hit the first aid kit instead. Or swipes that tear away a weapon instead of an arm...) Since ZOMBIES' TOUCH BURN LIKE ACID, most aren't too keen on letting the monsters too close. With escape already visible for them, the group begins to splinter as fear finally overwhelms the Sneaky guy. He runs off for the exit, and the Fast guy opts to follow suit. Both see a running truck gunning for the door and fail to make it in time. The Strong guy feels sicker and ends up puking onto the Clever guy's face. The DANGEROUS GIRL BEGINS TO BLEED FROM HER NOSE that moment as well, making the Clever guy realize the infection has already reached them. Both the Strong and Dangerous survivors begin to hear whispers in their heads and they realize the whispers are the Zombies noting their location.
Outside, the Fast and the Sneaky guys see a number of parked cars just a few yards away. But the hordes appear and Sneaky guy opts instead to run back inside and find a place to hide. Fast guy pulls out his cellular phone, sees the zombies recoil from the light, and quickly slides into the closest car to start the engine. But back at the mall, Clever guy finds the Strong and Dangerous Survivors grabbing hold of him, and before he could do anything further, feels their teeth tearing into his flesh. Drawing out a knife he found from the gun shop, Clever slices his wrist to draw blood but as he realizes suicide won't come quickly enough, pulls Dangerous girl close in hopes for a final kiss before stabbing himself. His resolve fails however and the infection takes hold as well. The three drop to the ground, lapping at the still warm blood they have on their lips, even if they can no longer sense a living source.
Fast guy guns the engine and escapes with his life.
Sneaky guy survives a full week more in the mall, preying on other survivors he finds for food, and weapons, until finally he succumbs to the horde as well.
The Infection continues...