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Subject: A another scenario variant : The cottage of doom rss

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Fabien Vidal
France
Saint Cyr sur loire
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This a new scenario, inspired by the indie video game "The Cottage of Doom" (http://www.deadrock-game.com/blog/)

You crush your cigarette in a puff of smoke "Hmm, that book was disturbing. And I don´t really like that graveyard hidden behind the garage... But listen. What are these horrible growls coming from the garden ?
Bloody hell ! I can't believe it. I´d better barricade tightly and wait untill the morning !"

Your target is to barricade in your cottage untill the morning (6:00), or if by chance you find a candle, cast the ritual to repel all zombies.

Be warned !
This scenario requires much more note taking than a usual "Zombie in my pocket game", and is more likely to last 40 to 80 min

Installation :
--------------

Installing the tiles :
From the outside tiles, set aside the graveyard and the patio. Remove also 2 yards, and the garden.
From the inside tiles, remove the foyer and the storage room. Shuffle the foyer and storage with the 2 yards and the garden.

Install at random the inside tiles in a 2*3 rectangle. The walls are important, so be carefull to have all rooms connected to each other. You can help a bit fate if the the rooms where not correctly placed.

Install the patio in front of the Dining Room. And one of the remaining outside tile (yard, sitting area and garage) in front of every path leading outside. Add the graveyard next to the garage.

You should have something looking like that (all tiles shown):

Where :
GC I : is an inside tile,
IIIP O : the yard or sitting area
OIII P : the patio,
O G : the garage,
C : the cimetry (graveyard).

All installed tiles are shown.

A word on doors and windows :
- Every connection inside the house are doors. (A connection is when 2 tiles have an opening facing to each other). (opened)
- The Dining room to patio, and random room to garage are doors too. The one of the patio starts closed, the one of the garage starts opened.
- The garage to graveyard is a window (opened)
- All other paths leading from the inside to the outside (4 maximum) are windows, and they all start closed.
- If it happends that the graveyard is next to an inside tiles with an opening toward it, there are 2 windows connecting to it : the garage, and that inside tile.

Preparing the sheet :
Each line, write the first 2 letters of the installed outside tiles (ya, gr, ga, pa, si). Make 2 columns for each with enough space. One is called "zombies", an other "barricades"
A bit lower, write the first 2 letters of the inside tiles, with one column for the zombies. Next column, write the connection of inside tiles (example : di-ba).

Lower, make some room for the health, boards and objects.
Finally, write every hours ranging from 9:00 to 5:00.

After you would have been playing for a while, you sheet might look like this :

zombies barricades
ya XXXX| || XXX|| |||
gr ||||
ga |||| ||||
pa ||||
si ||||| XXXX

di ||| di-ev ||||
ev di-ba
ba ba-be
be be-ki
ki ki-fa
fa

Health : XXX||||||
Boards : XX|||
Objects : Petrol, Chainsaw

XX:XX XX:XX 11:00 12:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00

The sticks on the left column represent the number of zombies in every area, the X represent the zombies who left the area (dead or gone somewhere else).
The sticks on the right column represent the barricading level of the connection, window or door. (For the "outside tiles", it is the connection with the inside the tile that is next to it.)

In a game it is not unusual to have more than 30 zombies and barricades at one location. So make sure that you have enough room, and group the "sticks" by group of 5 to make it easier to count.

Starting values :
You start the game with 6 for your health, 0 boards, and no object. Your attack value is 1.
Every door or window going outside are closed, and have a barricading value of 4. The garage window leading to the graveyard also. (mark 4 little sticks in the corresponding place on the note sheet).
All inside doors are opened. (so for now, with a 0 barricading value)

Other few things :
Prepare the events packet in the same way as the usual game (remove 2 cards from it).

Install a counter in the Evil Temple. That's you !

Now you should have in front of you :
- The installed tiles
- A counter on it
- The event packet
- the 5 remaing tiles packet, facing down.

We now are ready to resist the assault of the zombie hordes !

The game :
----------

Each turn is divided into 4 steps :
- player actions
- zombie actions
- fight !
- event card drawing

Player actions :
Here is the list of actions that you can do every turn. You can only do one of these things every turn :
- Move. Move the counter to next tile. On the way, you find 1 board ! (add 1 to the board number). To be allowed to move somewhere, the tiles must be connected (through a door or a window), and the barricade level has to be lower or equal to 2.
Note : you can close a door at the same time as you are passing through it. More explanations later
- Build barricades. You use any number of boards that you have in your possession to barricade a door or a window. 1 board adds 1 barricade to a door, and 2 to a window (windows are smaller and easier to protect).
- Destroy barricades. You remove some barricades. The double of your attack value.
- Support barricade. You put all the weight of your body on a barricade. While you are doing so, If there is still a bit of barricade standing, you can add 5 to its value. (No need to note it down. It is temporary only).
- Close a door. You close a door in the room in which you are. Add 4 to its barricading value. This can be done once only, and closed door can not be reopened ! (You have locked it on the way).
Note : When changing room, closing the door you are going through is a free action. See "move"
- Cower. If your health is lower than 10, you recover 3 points. Otherwise 1 only. No need to pull an extra event card.
- Look for an item. If the event displayed on the previous card was "item", you are allowed to look for an item this turn : you will get the object displayed on the next event card that will be drawn. note : the event displayed on that card will be played as normal
- Look for some boards In the same way as the items, if the event last turn was "item", you can search boards, and get 5 of them.
- Search Gasoline in the garage. You can try this every turn. If next event does not add any zombies, you find some gasoline.
- Throw gasoline at zombies. You can send gasoline at zombies in next room (barricades must be lower than 4). You kill half of them, but totally destroyes all barricades leading to that room. No need to use a candle.
- Use oil, gasoline. In the same way as described in the original rules (but no need of candle, and destroyes barricades)
- Light candle and get idol, or burry it. You light the candle and get the idol at the same time in the evil temple. Or you burry it in the graveyard.
- Do nothing. Avoids to loose 1 attack point for a fight with zombies.

Zombies actions :
Every group of zombies will do 1 of the following action (to be resolved in the following order):
- Try to destroy the barricade blocking their way leading to the character. They need to be more than the level of the barricade to be able to remove 1 barricade. Every 4 extra zombies allows to destroy 1 more barricade.
Some examples :
- There are 12 zombies. The barricade level is 12. The barricade is strong enough. Nothing happends.
- There are 13 to 16 zombies. The barricade level is 12. 1 barricade is taken away !
- There are 17 to 20 zombies. The barricade level is 12. 2 barricades are taken away !!

note : If 2 ways are equally short to go to the character, they will try to break the weakest barricade
- Move toward the player. The zombies will try to get closer to the player. 2 zombies each turn can go through a window and 4 through a door.
note : If zombies enter in the Evil Temple when the candle is lit, they make it fall and it stops burning.
- From 6:00 AM the zombie behaviour changes : they stop coming when drawing event cards, all those who are still ouside the house flee, and those inside the house start trying to reach the closest opened exit. The follow the same rules as usuall for their movement (number of zombies through each door or window).
note : If the bathroom roof has been broken, it is an exit, but only allows 1 zombie at a time to leave.
However, all zombies who can not leave a room keep behaving as usual : destroying barricades, and trying to eat the player's brain.

Fight !
- If zombies are in the same room as the player, they will attack him. Up to 5 zombies will attack at the same time. The player will kill as many as his attack value. The zombies he can't kill will all take 1 point of health. All remaining zombies stay in the room.
note : The player will not be allowed to build barricades or cower when in the same room as zombies. He can do every other actions.
note : The players attack value is reduced by 1 point if he did any kid of action during that turn.

Event card drawing :
- In the same way as the original game, an event card is played. For 9:00, 12:00 and 3:00 the event played is the one at 9:00; for 10:00, 01:00 and 04:00 it is 10:00, and 11:00, 02:00 and 5:00 it is 11:00. After 5:00, you keep drawing cards untill the game is won (see "wining the game".
Note : Unlike the original game, wathever action the player is doing, the event displayed on the card is played.
Note : After 6:00, you keep drawing event cards untill you are safe. But, no more zombies will arrive.

Zombies attack : If a number of zombies are displayed, they start on one of the outside tile. To know where the go, shuffle the 5 remaiming tiles, and draw one :
- yard : add the zombies to the yard
- garden : add the zombies in the graveyard
- storage : add the zombies to the storage
- foyer : add zombies to the patio

Wining the game :
--------------------

- The player suvives untill the morning. There are too possibilities :
-- From 6:00am the player manages to go outside or leave the garage. (flee very far from that doomed cottage !)
-- Stay barricades in the house untill all zombie have left (or when you are safe)
or
- The player performs the full ritual. That is : lighting the candle in the temple and THEN burry the idol in the graveyard. The candle must still be lit once the idol has been burried to work. (If the zombies have extinguished the candle, the player can go back to the Evil Temple to light it again.)

Special objects and various things :
------------------------------------

- Object : The board. It can be used as weapon as usual, or as barricades (as a value of 5)
- Object : Gazoline. see the specific player actions
- Object : Grisly Femur. "Bloody hell, what was that horrible craking noise ?" Some zombies managed to enter from the roof ! Next time zombies appear on the event card, they arrive in the bathroom. And from now, everytime you will "hear horrible screams", the next wave of zombies will land in the bathroom.
- Place : Kitchen. You get 1 health point only if no zombie are in the same room as you at the end of the turn, and if you health is below 10.
- Uncomplete ritual : If the player manages to burry the idol, but the candle is estinguished by the zombies, the ritual will still partly function : no more zombies will come, but the existing zombies will not be repelled. The player can either try to light the candle again, or survive untill the morning.


Example game :
--------------

Here are few turns of a game :
Turn 1:
- The player moves from the evil temple to the Kitchen. He gets 1 board.
- There is no zombie, nor fight yet !
- The event card is drawn. Item is displayed.

Turn 2:
- Thanks to last event card, the player is allowed to look for an item.
- There is no zombie, nor fight yet !
- The event card is drawn. "4 zombies" are displayed. The player draws one of the remaining tiles. He gets "Garden". The zombies are placed in the graveyard. (written on the note sheet). The Machette was displayed also on the card. As the player was looking for an object, he gets it.

Turn 3:
- The player moves from the kitchen to the garage. He gets 1 board.
- 4 zombies, and no barricades between the graveyard and the garage (the garage window started closed). 2 zombies crawl through the window
- A fight occurs. The player has the machette and manages to kill the 2 zombies without injuries (Attack = 1 + 2 (machette bonus) -1 (did an action that turn)).
- The event card is drawn. "4 zombies" ! and no luck, the player draws again the garden : the zombies are added to the graveyard.

Turn 4:
- The player closes the garage window. The barricade level is now 4
- 6 zombies against 4 barricades. 1 barricade is taken away. There is 3 remaining.
- The vent card is drawn. Nothing special.

(...)

Turn 10:
- The player arrives in the garage. He gest one board.
- There are 12 zombies in the graveyard. The barricade is at 2. There are enough zombies to destoy 3 barricades. They destroy everything.
- The event card is drawn. Nothing special.

Turn 11:
- The player searches for fuel in the garage
- 2 zombies manage to squeeze through the window. There is only 10 left in the graveyard.
- A fight occurs. The player has the machette and manages to kill the 2 zombies without injuries.
- An event card is drawn. no zombie arrive : The player finds gasoline !

Turn 12:
- The player leaves the garage to the kitchen, and closes the door. The barricade value from the door to the garage is now 4. The door can not be opened again.
- 2 zombies move from the graveyard to the garage.
- Event card...

(...)

Turn 64: (6:00 AM)
- The player does no action.
- (place description : The player is in the evil temple with an opened door to the bathroom, a barricaded door (strength 2) to the dining room. 4 zombies are in the evil temple, 14 in the dining room. The door between the evil temple and the dining room has 2 barricades.)
All outside zombies leave the place, the zombies in the same room as the player stay there, 4 leave the dining room to the patio. The 10 zombies left in the dining room attack the barricade and smash it.
- 4 zombies are in the room. The player has the machette. He kills 3 of them, and looses 3 health points.
- A card is drawn, it shows 4 zombies. But it is too late, there are not added to the game.

Turn 65:
- The player moves to the bathroom (he gets 1 board)
- The surviving zombie of the evil temple follow him. 4 zombies of the dining room leave to the patio. 4 go in the evil temple.
- Fight with the zombie. The player kills it without damage.
- Event card

Turn 66:
- The player exits through the bathroom roof. He is now out and survided !!!

That´s it lads ! Feedback welcome !

(Rules edited for clarification, and minor changes - 11/02/2010)
(Changed a few things about recovering health point, fight with zombies and ending - 13/02/2010)
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Jeremiah Lee
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Wow, clearly you put some time and effort into this. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, though I'm not sure I'm completely following the flow of the rules. Maybe you could add some pictures of setup and/or play?

Thanks for your work on this!
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Fabien Vidal
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Saint Cyr sur loire
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Ok, I'll do some more testing tomorrow, reread, and try to find ways to be clearer !
Hmm, I see that my drawings don't draw well. I'll try with code balise next time...
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Fabien Vidal
France
Saint Cyr sur loire
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Hello !

I have reedited the rules, with some more examples and a few changes.

I have been through 3 games. Won all 3 with totally different strategies (one with full ritual; and other trying to barricade all the house, but at 2:00 the zombies managed to get in. I had to run to the bathroom, and survived thanks to the clock after some fights; In last one, I barricaded between 2 rooms with the garage, un burned a hell lot of zombies !)

In every game there where some really tight moment, and I quite like the way pressure is gradually rising. Though, it might be possible to fiddle a bit the rules to make the game quicker, or if we discover that survival is garanted every game.

Some pictures :


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Fabien Vidal
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Saint Cyr sur loire
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Wow !!! I have had an other game which was quite hectic ! I managed to survive once again, but thought that I would be eaten untill last second.

Basically, I had a nice layout with the graveyard, garage, kitchen, and evil temple next to each other. All dangerous places where at the other side of the house. So I went for a tour to close all doors in the dangerous area, and on my way back carefully barricaded in my confortable place.
Soon the zombies started smashing door and slowly pooring into the house. But I had the machette, lots of boards and was ready for the siege. At this point I have been given a wonderfull opportunity : look for an item. Will I try to look for the candle to cast the incantation an repel all the zombies ? Or get some boards ? The zombies approaching made me go for the boards. Bloody hell ! When pulling the next event cards I saw that I would have found the candle. It really was a good opportunity missed !

Soon the horde of zombies crashed onto my heavily barricaded door. I must have put all my weight on it during a good hour to reinforce it. It was just sufficient for a while, but after a while more came and started smashing my defense into pieces. So I jumped in the garage to try to find some petrol, which I have been lucky enough spot soon enough. However when I came back, some zombies had already to make their way to the evil temple.

With all the courage I could gather I jumped among the few Zeds there to throw the lit gazoline at the 30 others still at the door of what used to be my stronghold. I killed a good number of them, but many were still alive, and more keept coming ! The few zombies in the evil temple would also not allow me to do any barricading work. So I had to retreat, and hide in the garage to heal my scares.

I managed to repel them for 1 hour or so, and had an other nice barbecue. But this time, they were many more, and the few boards I managed to install where promptly smashed away. Luckily, almost at the same time as they managed to force their way into the garage, the sun light came out ! I killed some zeds, and more dead than alive, jumped from the garage window into the graveyard, to leave this cottage of doom for ever !

Pfiou. Just a few turns more, and I would have made a nice dish for these damned zombies...

Well, during that game, I have made some new minor changes to the rules (I didn't like the ending "it is 6:00. Suddenly, everything is calm again." There is more of a transition now). See first post.
 
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Jeremiah Lee
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Much improved! Thanks. I'll be sure to give this a chance soon.
 
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