(This is the inside story of how DEAD IN THE ATL went from a long term zombie apocalypse RPG to a serial fiction free to read on JACKEDUPTALES.COM)
Now, in another blog, I am following a group of middle schoolers through the D6 rpg world of Star Wars; Jackedup Tales of the Fringe to its outrageous and hilarious end. But, more recently, I GMed a spur-of-the-moment Zombie Apocalypse game for some older gamers. What happened was intrepid and down right hilarious. To help explain our system, I will have to backtrack a little.
Flip, one of the gamers, had been to a Con not long ago where he had been a part of one of those beta tests for a fledgling game. He was so enthused with it, he brought it home and ran a few games. It was put together by a group called PTme Productions and this was their fourth swarray into the pen and paper gaming world. They called this world system S/D/C PUNK. It stood for Steampunk/Diesel/Cyber Punk and it covered the three most popular gaming genres/time periods. It worked off a D10 system and we got quite used to it, so I decided to just fashion a make-shift zombie game with it too.
At first, I made up the different zombie numbers using past experience. That’s when I found DEAD REIGN, a zombie apocolypse rpg published by Palladium Books. I eagerly bought up the main book and the first two source books. I did however have to adapt the numbers over to the SDC PUNK format still. I probably should have just adjusted the group over to the new system, but you know gamers with a tried and true system. I decided not to rock the boat.
What I found was that the story behind DEAD REIGN had striking similarities in a world set that PTme Productions had published to play with SDC PUNK. DEAD REIGN deals in PPE or life energy which the undead are drawn to. And, instead of eating their prey (although there were those who did cannibalize the living), these zombies beat their victims to death and fed on the life energy they released on death.
SDC PUNK dealt with a world where people apparently abused life energy aka Aether and used it for power and alchemy. This made it easy to merge the two worlds where living beings took the life energy of others and empowered themselves with its strange energy and the undead fed upon it.
THUS, the stage was set for a unique adventure with a merger of two worlds and bit of new from my vast imagination.
The third element I introduced was Google maps….
That’s right, you heard me right. Once I had the system and the storyline in the making, I started to try and find a setting. First, I decided I wanted somewhere real and I wanted it in real time/modern. I picked Atlanta out of the blue (later wishing I had picked better considering the wildly popular WALKING DEAD series started there) and got as many maps and info I could. I found out quickly that best, most up-to-date info was found on GOOGLE MAPS! With a simple Google maps search, I found every gas station, food store, police station, fire station, house, YOU NAME IT! SO, I decided that everything we did in the game would use the actual Google maps straight from online. Now, this caused a bit of fun down the road, but it was well worth it. Because that meant that everything that was on Google Maps was in the game. This made the game more realistic and saved me from having to make up a map and trying to figure out where everything was.
Looking Atlanta over, I decided a great vantage point in the middle of the city was the cylindrical tower of the Westin hotel. SO, I decided THERE on the top floor of one of the tallest buildings in town, in a restaurant over looking the overrun city was where our intrepid heroes would start.
I highly recommend using any of these elements; especially Google Maps and DEAD REIGN from Palladiun Books for both are easy to find. I may post some files from the SDC PUNK game, but they are not necessary for game play. Just extend the story-line surrounding the cause of the outbreak and the science of PPE/Life force and you’ll be fine.
More inside to the characters that were created for the RPG coming soon....