Rules and Redundancy for

COVID-Z

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House Rules

Combat Clarification

  • P.P. attribute bonuses and Hand to Hand Combat bonuses do NOT apply to modern weapons.

  • Critical Strikes calculate the total damage, then double for the final amount.

  • PCs may forfeit initiative, but they may not hold their attacks until the end of the combat round.

  • When in doubt, tie rolls go to the defender.

Saving Throws

  • Curses: 15 or better (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Disease: 14 or better. (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Lethal Poison: 14 or better. (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Non-Lethal Poison: 16 or better. (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Harmful Drugs: 15 or better. (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Acids: No save possible – dodge!

  • Insanity: 12 or better (sometimes higher). (M.E. bonus will lower).

  • Magic: 12-16 vs spells. 16+ to save vs ritual magic. (P.E. bonus will lower).

  • Psionics: Varies; 15 for ordinary people and animals. (P.E. bonus will lower).

Talking During Combat

  • Talking is a free action, but monologues are not.

Terminology

  • Cautions Mode: PCs move at half speed, and use full Perception.

  • PCNPC Mode: When a player is unavailable to play his/her character, the GM must step in to ensure aspects can be successful.

Campaign Redundancy

  • Argo Cruises: Argo Cruises is a small ship cruise line headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The line operates a fleet of sixteen boutique all-suite and cruise ships carrying 150 guests for their sailing yachts up to 4000 guests for their flagship, the Azure Queen throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Alaska and British Columbia, Mexico, and U.S. Coastal regions. The award-winning line is known for all-inclusive fares including gratuities, beverages, port charges, travel insurance, and some complimentary shore excursions. Argo Cruises is part of the Mansfield Travel Collection, a group of hospitality and travel companies, one of which traces its history back over a hundred years of operating experiences beginning with the first railway travel in North America. Mansfield Travel Collection is owned by The Everson Corporation, a multinational company with ventures in transportation for commercial and leisure experiences.

    • After thwarting a bank robbery, the PCs were rewarded with a 7-day Alaskan cruise, coinciding with the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.

  • EAU Systems: EAU Systems, known as Easton-Abwehr-Upchurch, is a United States multinational defense, and security company. Its headquarters are in Houston and San Francisco in the United States with operations worldwide. The company is the third largest defense contractor in United States and among the world's largest defense companies. Its largest operations are in the United Kingdom and United States, where its EAU Systems Inc. subsidiary is a significant supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense. Other major markets include Australia, India, and Saudi Arabia. The company was formed on June 22, 1985 by the $7.7 billion purchase and merger of companies by Wynn Easton, Theodore Abwehr, and Jennifer Upchurch, whose companies included defense electronics, aircraft, munitions, and naval systems manufacturing.

    • Before the apocalypse, this company was the primary employer of Maxwell Klinger, who worked out of the Houston branch at Ellington Field.

  • IMI Systems: Israel Military Industries is defense systems house specializing in the development, marketing and implementation of comprehensive combat-proven solutions for the land, air, naval and homeland security requirements of the modern battlefield.

  • Speirs Tactical: Speirs Tactical is a privately held North American manufacturer, producing weapons, body armor, munitions, and military technology mainly for the United States and Canada. The son of a famed World War II officer, Richard W. Speirs used his 20 years of military experience to found a company whose products are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes. The company headquarters is in Boston.

  • zombie: Hideous animated corpses that feed upon the living.

    • sloucher: the most numerous type of zombie, known for their shuffling, shambling, and groaning masses.

    • crawler: any zombie that has lost body parts and must crawl or walk using its hands and arms, or slither on its belly like a snake.

Special Rules

Casting Spells

  • A mage cannot cast any spell they do not know. The only exception to this is a spell scroll (very rare on Earth) in which the scroll is read aloud to cast the spell. But once read, the words magically vanish or a powerless mystic symbol. To cast a spell requires verbalization and often hand gestures. The mantra of the spell must be spoken aloud and with authority. Hand gestures are usually part of the casting process, helping to focus and direct the mystic energy.

  • The casting of a spell is done as follows:

    • Level 1-5 count as 1 melee attack/action (about 3 seconds).

    • Level 6-10 count as 2 melee attacks/actions (about 6-7 seconds).

    • Levels 11-15 and Spells of Legend use up 3 melee attacks/actions (9-10 seconds).

  • The weakness of spell casting is that even offensive spells have their limitations in range, damage, etc., and the unspoken limitation that the spell caster is not the best at one-on-one combat action. They usually lack initiative and is the last to attack/respond in melee combat rotation. However, the restructuring of the amount of time it takes to cast low level spells gives the character a chance to respond quickly and get their spell off as fast or faster than their opponent may get off a gunshot. This also makes logical sense, because it is the low-level spells that cost the least P.P.E. and are the most likely to be fired off in a combat or panic situation. The more powerful mid- to high-level spells require more time, concentration and focus, but the low level spells are so familiar to the character (because they are used often) that they are like second nature to cast.

  • When firing off a low-level (1-5) invocation, roll Initiative as usual. If the spell caster gets initiative, they get to use their magic before opponents, if it is a low-level spell counting as one of the spell caster's melee attacks/actions. Mid- to high-level spells count as 2 or 3 of the melee attacks/actions of the spell caster, and will require the spell caster to take a step back from the action to use their magic to the best strategic purpose. While they may remove them from the immediate action of combat, their spell may have a profound effect on the battle, that is the trade-off.

  • Most practitioners of magic are not experts in hand-to-hand combat. Often, they can handle themselves in a fight, but they are not warriors; they just are not. Furthermore, magic has the disadvantage of requiring concentration and speaking, two things that are difficult while under attack. So unless the spell being cast is a level 1-5 invocation that can be popped off in three or four seconds, the action of Parrying, Dodging, or Striking back will break the spell invocation and prevent the mage from casting their spell (they will need a 'breather' of 7-10 seconds to cast a higher level spell). Likewise, getting popped in the mouth or stomach, or getting knocked down or blinded, or anything that breaks the spell caster's concentration and makes them stop in the middle of their verbalization of the spell prevents them from finishing it. When interrupted the mage must start all over again. They do not lose any P.P.E. (that is not spent until the spell is completed and cast), but they do lose precious time. This also means if the mage is being hammered by a full press attack (i.e. their attacker keeps striking at them at every opportunity), even if the sorcerer is successfully parrying each attack, the sorcerer is focused on protecting and defending themselves can can not get a higher level spell off. The same is true if they are doing the physical attacking, or running, or performing any physical action. To cast the spell the practitioner of magic will need to stop, catch their breath (that should count as one or more of their melee attacks/actions) and then cast the spell (another one or more of their melee attacks/actions depending on the spell level).

  • The spell caster/creator of magic can cancel/stop its effect or influence instantly at any time. Likewise, the magic-weaver does not have to create magic for its full duration, but can impose any amount of time, as long as it does not exceed the maximum possible duration. The same is true of damage. The spell caster may intentionally reduce the amount of damage a spell inflicts, but the player must announce this intention, otherwise it is assumed the full damage (or duration) is used.

  • Interrupting a spell caster, preventing them from completing the spell, will force the mage to stop and start again, from the beginning. No Potential Psychic Energy is lost, so the spell caster can stop reciting a spell in mid-incantation without expending any P.P.E. or causing any side effects.

Inner Strength Points

  • Meditation is an automatic skill/ability known to all psychics. It is the only ability that can be done at any time and costs no I.S.P. to perform. Meditation is not so much a psi-power as it is a mental discipline that enables the psychic to concentrate deeply and focus one's abilities and thoughts. The exact techniques of meditation may vary from focusing on a mental object or notion to chanting or humming a mantra. The result, regardless of technique, is a deep relaxation and focus to achieve insight and harmony into one's self and the world around him.

  • A relaxing meditative state also offers the following benefits to all psionics:

    • one hour of meditation restores six (6) I.S.P. and is the equivalent of two hours of sleep/rest for the physical body.

    • Inner Strength Points can also be restored during sleep and/or total relaxation at a rate of two (2) per hour.

Post COVID Rules

As the group reconvened post COVD, some ground rules were established.

  • DM/GM interpretation of game rules are all that apply.

  • Games will be run in 10 episode "seasons" so as to avoid burnout and let others give their shot behind the screen.

  • Seasons will be cancelled/renewed through majority vote.

    • Voting happens on Episode 8 of any given game

    • Most be present to vote. Mail-in, DM, call-in or proxy is not permitted.

    • Episode 9 late or missing vote will still be counted (again must be present).

"Hattori wakizashi (curved Japanese short sword)" by xxx, "KA-BAR 1218 serrated edge fighting knife" by xxx, "Speirs Gashmaster 2000 combat blade" by xxx, "Vencedor Sports baseball bat, wood (ash)" by xxx, "TenPoint Stealth SS hunting crossbow" by xxx, "Beretta 93R 9mm selective-fire machine pistol" by xxx, "Colt Anaconda .44 magnum double-action revolver" by xxx, "Glock G45 9mm semi-automatic pistol" by xxx, "Heckler & Koch P7M8 9mm semi-automatic pistol" by xxx, "Heckler & Koch USP 9mm semi-automatic pistol" by xxx, "IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX .50 AE semi-automatic pistol" by xxx, "Penu Dart 190B tranquillizer pistol" by xxx, "Remington M1911A1 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol" by xxx, "Sig Sauer P229 DAK .40 S&W pistol" by xxx, "Sig Sauer P250 .45 S&W compact pistol" by xxx, "ArmaLite AR-15 5.56mm assault rifle" by xxx, "Barrett M82A1 .50 caliber semi-automatic precision rifle" by xxx, "Browning M2HB .50 caliber machine gun" by xxx, "Fabricas Militares FX-05 Xiuhcoatl 5.56mm assault rifle" by xxx, "Franchi SPAS-12 12-gauge pump-action shotgun" by xxx, "Heckler & Koch MP5 9mm submachine gun" by xxx, "Kel-Tec KSG bullpup 12-gauge pump-action shotgun" by xxx, "Remington Model 870P 12 gauge pump-action shotgun" by xxx, "Research Armament 300 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper rifle" by xxx, "Speirs M60E6 7.62mm light machinegun" by xxx, "Steyr AUG A3 M1 5.56mm assault rifle" by xxx, "Day & Zimmermann M67 fragmentation grenade" by xxx, "EAU Systems M18 smoke grenade" by xxx, "EAU Systems M84 flash bang grenade" by xxx, "Speirs exploding/mercury-tipped ammunition" by xxx, "EAU Systems Composition C4 plastic explosive" by xxx, "Rothco police antiriot shield" by xxx, "Speirs tactical point-blank vest" by xxx, "Athlit Industries vehicle ram-prow" by xxx, "Buell Motorcycles U.S.A. 1125R sport bike" by xxx, "U.S. Coast Guard Response Boat – Medium" by xxx, "Micoxaphalin advanced healing medicine" by xxx, "Nightlord Hunter Darkblade Scimitar" by xxx, "Sundown Burritos" by xxx, "Vestment of Og'drorath the Unhallowed" by xxx