Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tommy's Take on War of the Dead: Chapter Two Week Thirteen

Before I review the final Week of War of the Dead Chapter Two, some linkage:

War of the Dead Chapter One
War of the Dead Chapter Two Weeks One through Three
Chapter Two Week Four
Chapter Two Week Five
Chapter Two Week Six
Chapter Two Week Seven
Chapter Two Week Eight
Chapter Two Week Nine
Chapter Two Week Ten
Chapter Two Week Eleven
Chapter Two Week Twelve
The Paper Dead

And now, without further ado, the halfway mark of the series.

Fresh off of last week's supply run gone wrong, the PCs get more exciting news: Their pregnant lady is going into labor.

There's a farm nearby, which the NPCs will try to steer the PCs towards, and a bit of tension as the group kinda looks like a bunch of raiders. This is meant to be played up a bit for tension, but not to get too out of hand, as neither side (in theory) are "bad guys".

Everything slows down a bit. The PCs get a chance to go hunting (or stay behind if they like), as the preparation for the birth commences. They also get a situation involving two of the NPC survivors that can EASILY go very badly (or worse, given how bad it is when they get involved) if the PCs react too quickly, building the group basically having to decide how much of a "society" they are going to have right now.

The grand climax of the week is the baby's birth which actually goes off without a hitch...but mirrors the loss of two NPCs that have been with the group since Chapter One. The timing is fairly cliche, but I'll give it a pass because - by this point - the group is probably expecting a zombie baby to tear out of the pregnant lady's stomach instead.

This sets up a natural break point for Chapter Two, at the farm, waiting for the baby and mother to be able to travel, with a mix of some hope and tragedy to finish it off.

Like the last few weeks, it's pretty low key (especially considering what has come before) and the PCs should be in no real danger at any point. At an average of 2 xp, and assuming you have only ran the Chapter One and Two adventures, you're looking at about 52 xp, meaning the PCs are well into Veteran and approaching Heroic...if they're not stepping up and being leaders, they're doing it wrong. Just sayin'.

Taking Chapter Two as a whole, I am disappointed that Sanctuary didn't play as large of a role as I'd hoped, but the author has already noted that the whole Sanctuary thing has taken on a life of its own and will be revisited in a later project in the future. Chapter Two was plagued with some issues that have led to Chapter Three being pushed back until the Spring, but I would be shocked if there isn't some kind of supplementary material (namely one sheet adventures) somewhere along the way.

Very strong recommendation for Chapter Two. In some places, I think it exceeded anything in Chapter One, especially as the tension had far more variations this time, taking it out of the realm of just a completely standard zombie apocalypse.