Yesterday my gaming group finished the All Flesh Must Be Eaten campaign Raccoon City Burning, based on the Resident Evil series by Capcom. And what an exciting session it was. To do a reset on the party, here’s a quick who’s who of survivors:
- Herbert: A half-Japanese teen with emotional dependency issues. He moved to Raccoon City with his father several years ago, and enjoys big game hunting in and around the Arkley Mountains.
- Elesh: Emigrant Australian gunsmith, runs her own workshop/store outside Raccoon’s CBD. A no-nonsense woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and can pistol-whip you into a coma.
- “Lucia”: Umbrella lab tech working on various biological programs. Secretly an FBI agent collecting evidence of Umbrella’s unethical BOW research and links to international bioweapons.
The last session ended with everybody joining up in an ‘abandoned’ warehouse for different reasons. Elesh and Herbert were looking for sanctuary from the undead, and Lucia had been sent there by her handler to look for a missing InterPol agent. The agent was nowhere to be found, but they did discover Herbert’s father suffering from a nasty zombie bite.
Lucia did the best she could to patch him up, but she knew that he would be undead within 24 hours. And then the transmitter at the back of the warehouse burst into life. InterPol was sending an extraction hellicopter to the roof of the warehouse in 20 minutes, having been forced to act now by an approaching lightning storm and the outbreak.
Having a heart to heart with his son Herbert out front of the warehouse, the two were attacked by more zombies, signalling the start of an undead siege! Fighting their way through the hordes of rotting flesh, they found a metal ladder up onto the warehouse roof. While all were mid-climb, an explosion in the city shook the warehouse, sending Lucia falling onto the father’s shoulders. And he didn’t budge. Then he put her back onto the ladder, which isn’t usually how a mortally wounded man acts.
Once on the roof, they found the hellipad. And Lucia wouldn’t let the father all the way up because of his infection. The poor man agreed, telling his son not to get himself killed, and left a warning for Lucia: “Don’t let any harm come to those younguns, or I’ll drag myself out of Hell to find you.”
Herbert almost had a mental break, entering into a light fugue state. This didn’t help when a Licker climbed up the side of the warehouse and set itself on the party. Herbert, not really caring if he hit or missed, blew its brained out. Literally. Never underestimate a shotgun at point blank range.
But that wasn’t the end of it. The now-head Licker started to warp and bloat, like a decomposing body, before exploding in a shower of gore to reveal a Mutant Licker. The party took cover behind a smokestack, but Lucia finished it off with a rain of bullets. Oh.
As the hellicopter started circling the warehouse, and lightning strikes rained down on the Arkley Mountains, the Umbrella Headquarters nearby started to collapse. And in one final action, Herbert insisted that Lucia have his shotgun; so he wouldn’t use it on himself.
If you dare!
The Post-Mortem: This campaign was my first time using Unisystem, on which All Flesh Must Be Eaten was based. I appear to have some problems memorising the system, and had to keep referring to the weapons and called shots tables.
This problem was compounded by my decision to use a 3rd party sourcebook, Umbrella Assault, that in the end turned out to be badly balanced. The firearms dealt way too much damage, for a start. Nothing short of a large-scale explosive, like a grenade launcher, should be able to take out a Mutant Licker in one shot. Another issue was keeping things within canon, as Capcom have a history of revising and outright contradicting the established Resident Evil timeline. A set the game on the eve of the outbreak to put it before the start of Resident Evil 2, just to avoid any snarls caused by game events. But there wasn’t really all that much in the campaign to suggest it was a Resident Evil one, apart from using some Raccoon City streets, having Umbrella around, and a Licker. Could have done it in vanilla All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
On the other hand, in the future I need to escalate the danger of situations. Moving the party to the warehouse roof really limited what they could be attacked by, since zombies are not compatible with ladders and Tyrants don’t have any Climb bonus.
Herbert’s character has decided that, if we play another campaign with the same characters, he’ll be buying off his Emotional Dependancy and instead taking something like Reckless, to reflect how the situation has changed him. Always good to have players thinking about character development.
All in all, I think a very successful session for a first time.
Today’s Lesson: Aim for the exposed brain.
Swing that d6