Tuesday, May 31, 2011

House Rule: Lazarus Timeline

The following house rule hasn't been important until now. My campaign has just entered month #2, so usually there is a chance for encountering ragers or smarties from now on. I've created this rule with the intention to add some uncertainty.  

The planes carrying the Lazarus Agent discharge their payload on Day 22. This house rule assumes that it takes some weeks or even months for Ragers to become a common sight and even longer for the first smart Zombies to become self-aware.

► No Ragers or smart Zombies appear on Day One or in any scenario in the first month of the zombie outbreak. Ignore all rules for Ragers, Smarties and Psychics until the following conditions are met:

Starting with the second month roll 1d6 before playing a scenario:

(1-5) There still aren’t a lot of Ragers around. I continue to use a modified NPC Type Table without Ragers to resolve PEFs.

(6) Ragers are now a common problem. From now on I will use an NPC Type Table including Ragers to resolve PEFs. Ragers may also be encountered when you enter a building or when the activation dice total is seven (see How Ragers appear).

Starting with the first scenario after Ragers have become widespread roll 2d6 before playing a scenario:

(not a double) If the result is not a double you still haven’t heard anything about Smart Zombies or Psychics.

(double) It is possible to encounter Smart Zombies from now on. Anytime a Zombie is generated roll 1d6. If the result is a "1" then it is a Smart Zombie (see How Smart Zombies Appear).

(double 6) It is possible to encounter Smart Zombies (see above) and Psychics from now on.

Recently I have thought about another addition to this rule: Everytime the main activation dice show a result of "double 1" the die roll above is repeated. This would probably create even more uncertainty. I am not sure about this...I guess I will decide this all in good time (month #2 started yesterday evening...).

Any comments?


  1. This looks like a great house rule. Only comment about the addition is - do the math. If you're happy with the minimum and maximum number oif times you might be re-rolling - go for it. Might never happen but then agian, it could all go horribly wrong - fine with normal zombies...but not so good with Ragers eh?

    I say - give it a go and give us a Batrep! :)

  2. Hmm, a "double 1" has less then a 0,5 percent chace to allow (allow, not generate) ragers. Doesn't sound so dangerous, but statistics hate me.

    QUOTE: "Not so good with ragers"
    It all depends...if I would use the normal rules, there might be ragers in every game from now on. By using my own rule I will probably delay them for a few weeks.

  3. I like it, you get little or a lot, batrep please.

  4. Let me please finish the game first... :o)

  5. Doesn't it also depend on how easy these ragers are to kill ? most ragers in most modern Zed movies usually die fairly easily, what kills a normal human kills a rager, ie headshot or abdomen shot, this makes them a little weaker, but still quite fearsome, you'll be in deep s*** if you stumble into one at close range.

    I say give it a go.....

  6. Oliver, I like this house rule so much that I'd like to use it in my own campaign, with your permission of course. I have a scenario planned for a couple of week's time and i'd like to implement these rules then.
    I think that when Ed brought out the I,Zombie supplement he assumed we'd be playing ATZ two years or more after the outbreak. I can see the logic in making their appearannce during Year One a far from certainty.

    @The Extraordinarii. Ragers are slightly harder to kill than a normal human, in that they ignore knock down results by an Impact 1 weapon. Other than that, they are on a par with killing humans. What makes Ragers such fearsome opponents is when it comes to melee combat. Avoid at all costs!

  7. No no no, I don't raise or lower the amount of Ragers or Smarties in my campaign. I don't even change the pro...pro...probability of Ragers / Smarties appearing.

    I just change the timing. It's not a fixed date anymore, i.e. after day 22 special zeds are everywhere. This date is replaced by a die roll result of "6" before the mission. After this happens once everything would be resolved with the standard rules and probabilities.
    The addition to my own house rule would keep me from feeling to safe during a scenario; I could never be too sure.

  8. @Vampifan: Hmm, you already used ragers in your campaign, but that's nothing that couldn't have been just bad luck for Team Vampi. Must have been some of the first specimen.

    Feel free to use it! I had thought about sending you this house rule some months ago.

    @addition to my previous post:
    When I use the term "from now on" in my rules, I want to say "for the rest of the campaign" and not "for the remainder of this scenario".

  9. Oliver, thanks for giving me the okay to use these house rules. I devised some of my own for the last scenario I played, but yours are far better than what I came up with, so I'll be chucking mine in the bin!
    I, too, reckon Team Vampifan just got unlucky in the last scenario as they encountered two lots of Smarties and two lots of Ragers. I would like to add a Psyker to my party but later rather than sooner.

  10. Very nice set of rules!

    Can't wait to read some BatRep :D

  11. As Bryan said, I might have to steal these house rules for my own games. Matter of fact I may re-post these over on my blog (with full credits going to you).

    I have had a couple small test skirmishes played with Ragers, and as Bryan said once they get into melee they are nasty, if you can take them down at range you are good to go.

    As for the Psykers, I don't know if and when they will make an appearance in my campaigns, though I do have Hasslefree's Witch Hazel figure (from the Mantic Licensed Hasslefree Femme's Fatales set). Though for the most part I will be using some of the other survivor figures as Psyckers since I see them wanting to remain anonymous for the most part out of fear that if their abilities are known they will be hunted down and exterminated or forced into slavery by an ambitious warlord who wants to use the psyckers powers to his gain more power in the wastes.

  12. Everyone is welcome to use these rules.

    I don't expect Psykers to appear during year #1, but you never know.
    Witch Hazel is a good choice for a Psysker miniature. Can't do anything wrong with Hasslefree minis.

    Don't do small test skirmishes, do a campaign ;o) This is where the body count really matters!