Sunday, 10 March 2013

ATZ-FFO House Rules


ATZ-FFO is far and away my favourite zombie skirmish game. I like the rules a lot but there are a few things that I want to do differently. So, I have come up with these House Rules, which will remain in place throughout my campaign.

CO-STARS. FFO uses two types of character - Stars and Grunts. I'm introducing a third type - Co-Stars. A Co-Star is simply a Grunt with the Star Power Advantage. This is actually allowed in the rulebook, but to differentiate Grunts with this Advantage from those who don't have it, I decided to call them Co-Stars. This will include anyone recruited by Vampifan. So from the outset, Big Sil, Angie and Gap will be Co-Stars. Just remember that Star Power can not be used against zombies. Also, note that Star Power is the only Advantage that a Grunt is allowed.

SKILLS. In my campaign Rep is no longer the all-encompassing power that it usually is. Now, Driving, Melee and Shooting are separate skills. To these I have added People and Savvy (as per the FFO rules) and Fitness, which is used for any Physical Challenge. A character begins with three skills of his choice at a level equal to his Rep, two skills at a level equal to Rep -1 and one skill at Rep -2. Rep is still used for Initiative and anything not covered by the listed skills. This is one of the biggest changes I have made to the rules, so it is important to bear it in mind when reading my batreps.

ATTRIBUTES. A Star can still have two Attributes and a Co-Star or Grunt can have one Attribute but instead of dicing for the Attribute I choose the Attribute that I think best reflects the character. In addition, I do not limit myself to the choices given in the FFO rulebook. After The Horsemen (ATH) is a great source for extra Attributes.

RANGED COMBAT WEAPONS. In addition to the weapons listed in the FFO rulebook I am adding the non-firearm weapons from ATH to my campaign. Bows and Crossbows are ideal for killing zombies and best of all, they are silent.

TIGHT AMMO. Weapons with a Target Rating of 1 appear to be immune to this rule since they can't roll double ones because they only roll 1d6 to hit. I advocate that they roll a second different coloured die for Tight Ammo purposes. This means that Bows, Crossbows and Bolt Action Rifles can run out of ammo if both dice score a result of double one..

STOCKPILING AMMO. I now have Ammo listed as a separate item that can be found so there is no need to burn a Resource or Item at the start of an Encounter to acquire spare ammo.

MULTI-FIGURE MELEE. I am raising the limit of how many figures can melee a single opponent from four to six. That is two to the front, two to the back and one on either side.

VEHICLES - DRIVING. The Driving Skill replaces all references to a Physical Challenge in the rulebook.

VEHICLES - TURNING. Vehicles with a Turn Rating of A can make a 45 degree turn at any time during their movement. Vehicles with a Turn Rating of B can make two 45 degree turns at any time during their movement. Vehicles with a Turn Rating of C can make three 45 degree turns at any time during their movement. I don't see why vehicles could only turn at specific moments during their movement.

PLACING ZOMBIES. Using the clock face on p.46 of the rulebook, I roll 1d12 to determine the direction a zombie will appear. I allocate one side of the game board as North and 12 o'clock on the clock face is always North.

RESOURCES - AMMO. Ammo is now classed a separate Resource. Just like Food, Ammo is a generic term and can be any type or calibre of Ammo. This is purely to keep bookkeeping simple.

FINDING RESOURCES.  I replaced the results on the Loot table with these.
Pass 0d6 = You have found nothing.
Pass 1d6 = If in Year One you have found one Food unit. If in Year Two roll 1d6 and on a result of 1-4 you have found one Food unit. If in Year Three or higher roll 1d6 and on a result of 1-2 you have found one Food unit. If the 1d6 roll is a failure you have found nothing.
Pass 2d6 = If you passed with a result of double one you have found one Item/Resource of your choice. Otherwise, roll on the Tables below.


Here's a few examples of how to use the Random Loot Tables.
Vampifan is searching a House in a Rural Area during Year One. He rolls 2d6 and gets a 5 and a 2, which when added together gives a result of 7, denoting Food. Consulting the Loot Table we see this gives him a score of 2. Now we check for modifiers under the column marked Food.. For being in a Rural Area there is a +0 modifier, and for searching a House there is a +2 modifier. Adding them all together gives a result of 4 (2+0+2=4). He rolls 1d6 and scores a 3. He has found one unit of Food.
Next year, Vampifan investigates a Pub (classed as a Bar) in the Suburbs of Mayhem City. Rolling 2d6 on the Loot Table he rolls a 5 and a 4, for a score of 9. This means he is looking for Gas and his initial score is a -1. Not a good start. His modifiers are +1 for being in a Suburban Area and +0 for being in a Bar. When added together we get a score of 0 (-1+1+0=0). Oh dear! Vampifan has zero chance of finding any Gas here so he leaves empty handed.
In Year Three, Vampifan is searching a Warehouse in an Urban Area. He rolls 2d6 and scores a 2 and a 1 for a result of 3. This indicates he is looking for a Rare type of Firearm and his initial score is 0. His modifiers, which we find under the F(Rare) column, are +2 for being in an Urban Area and +0 for searching a Warehouse. Added together, we get a result of 2 (0+2+0=2). He rolls 1d6 and gets lucky with a roll of 1. Now he rolls 1d6 on the Firearms (Rare) table and scores a 4. He has found a Semi-Automatic Rifle.
A building can be searched only once. No coming back and trying later on if unsuccessful the first time. In addition, up to six people may search a building if they are grouped together. If a party contains more than six people you'll have to nominate which six are searching. 
If you want an Excel copy of this table, just drop me an e-mail request at vampifan@talktalk.net and I'll send you a copy. I've printed mine out onto an A4 sized sheet of thin card to keep as a handy reference.

MEET AND GREET. This test uses the People Skill and not Rep.

KEEPING IT TOGETHER. This test uses the People Skill and not Rep.

30 comments:

  1. Seems you have put a lot of thought into this. You do make some valid points!

    Now....Let us see the new Team Vampifan on the table!

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    1. Thanks, Johnny. The good news is that my next post should see the return of Team Vampifan in a batrep. I just wanted to post my House Rules before I ran the batrep.

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  2. Cool stuff Bryan,
    This seems a lot better than what I remember from the old BTZ system!

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    1. FFO is a LOT better than BDTZ, but it is not entirely fault-free, hence, House Rules.

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  3. From what I remember these make a lot of sense especially the ammo!

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    1. Thanks, Fran. I've always wondered why Ammo is not a separate Resource to be found.

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  4. My oh my feller you've been busy. I haven't got FFO yet but I've been gaming long enough to know where at with this. Looks logical and well thought out. Well done.

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    1. Yes, Bob, I have been very busy this year and I have certainly achieved a lot. It was great being a play tester for the FFO rulebook as I got a lot of practice games played and that gave me a great insight into the game and how I wanted the rules to work, even though Ed did a fantastic job on updating them.

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  5. A lot of changes Bryan, they all seem to be for the best, i realy like the Ammo changes this will add a lot to the game.
    I cant wait to see it all in action

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    1. Thanks, SK. The Random Loot Tables get their first airing in my next batrep. Look out for it next Wednesday.

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  6. Some great ammendments there Bryan,especially in the loot finding aspects.
    I quite like the change to the driving rules asyou'll now be able to turna corner and keep going,I've adopteda similar approach but have basically doubled the number of 45 degreetruns that you suggest which brings it more in line with the old ATZ rules.

    You've done excellent work on with the Loot tables though in your loot example I think you've made a typo. When vampifan is searching the bar in the second year surely a score of 8 wouldmean he would be looking for foor with a score of '8' as gas would require a'9' - or have I missed something ?
    Have you considered how many characters can search a single location at the same timeor how many resources etc can be found at the location ? Further, how many times can you search the same location ?

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    1. Thanks for spotting that typo regarding Vampifan finding Gas, Joe. I have corrected it so that Vampifan does indeed roll a 9.

      I had not considered your other points, but they are certainly valid and so I have added new rules, stating how many people can search a building (it's 1-6) and how many times you can search the same location (it's once only).

      I can always rely on you to find the little things that most of us miss, my friend!

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    1. Coming from a non-zombie gamer, I do appreciate that, Ray.

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  8. Some useful rules and charts there Bryan, I like the loot table they make a lot of sense.

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    1. I'm very happy with how the Loot table came out, Simon.

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  9. Good stuff, though do you use the detailed skills (driving, melee, etc.) for all NPCs or just Stars and co-Stars?

    Also, maybe you could use the expanded number of targets in a melee based on their melee skill or a special brawling attribute? Just a thought, and I'll be emailing for that sheet. ;)

    Zombie Chow

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    1. Mike, the detailed skills will be used by everyone. I have generated a lot of NPCs to use in my campaign and I'll be producing a lot more as the game progresses.

      I'm still not 100% happy with the melee rules as they stand. It bothers me that multiple attackers don't get a bonus to hit their target or that he doesn't suffer a penalty to fight so many. A Martial Arts Attribute sounds like a very good idea for your Bruce Lee and Jet Li types.

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  10. Your work here is great, thank you so much for sharing it!

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    1. I am glad you find my work so helpful, Jon.

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  11. I like some of the ideas. This is making the game closer to RPG. I'd be interested to see if you also update the random encounter table.

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    1. I totally agree that I am aiming for more of an RPG feel to the game. There is a free supplement available that has upgraded the old BDTZ encounter tables for use in FFO. Check out the ATZ Yahoo forum.

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  12. I'm really looking forward to hearing about your ATZ-FFO games. I feel a bit jealous that you can split out all the various skills into separate values. In the type of multi-player, frantic game I tend to host this would probably be too complex to handle!

    I'm still not convinced by the FFO rules for multiple opponents in melee. Allowing more enemies to engage is useful, but doesn't address the root issue of one-at-a-time resolution for me.

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    1. Hugh, I feel the same way as you about multiple opponents in melee. It is something I'm going to have a big think about.

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  13. I finally bought FFO yesterday and came back and made a copy of your house rules. Good stuff. If only I can keep on task and get the figures and terrain together. But thanks for sharing your work and ideas.

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    1. That's great news, Sean. I hope you enjoy FFO as much as I do.

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  14. Nice to see some of the house rules are similar to what I use in my games. Thanks for the great stuff.

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    1. Wow, thanks for the endorsement, Ed. It's nice to know we share similar views.

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