Razzielle wrote:With the start of chapter 2 it has you push ahead in time.
1. Have you started chapter 2 status quo and simply jumped ahead?
2. Have you started chapter 2 a different way?
I'd be interested to hear anyone who had run WotD what they did to start chapter 2.
I have an idea how I will do it...just like to hear others.
At risk of repetition (I don't know how many of my previous posts you might or might not have read), we had a bit of a break between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. The PC group ended up splitting due to irreconcilable differences (we had one "shoot-first-don't-ask-questions-later" guy who rendered attempts at negotiations impossible, versus one pacifist preacher who wanted to save everyone) -- at which point I took a detour into a slightly refitted "Zombie Run" campaign (and the preacher's player joined back in with a more "mercenary" character who'd fit in better).
When we decided to go back and try Chapter 2 as a "continuing campaign," we had more players, and we followed the continued adventures of the preacher and the NPCs he'd taken along with him. Our group's "Samantha" actually became a PC. (I used a different NPC for the "kid capture scenario" in Sanctuary.)
I went with the idea that the survivor convoy set up a base in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and made it through the winter. I ran a few mini-exercises to represent PCs helping with hunting, scavenging for supplies, etc., as a sort of modified Dramatic Task that would impact how many NPCs survived the winter, and in what condition the PCs were when the chapter would begin. A prerequisite for any PC joining the group at this point had to be that the PC would be motivated to head west for further adventures rather than staying at the camp.
I experimented with scrambling the order of events in Chapter 2 ... and in retrospect, I don't think it really worked as well as I'd hoped. My premise was that the PCs were heading to Sanctuary (in Texas, in my version, west of Dallas/Ft. Worth) because they managed to establish contact via radio. They would FLY to DFW airport, and be met by an escort team of soldiers. I basically then started the chapter at a point that originally would have been POST-Sanctuary (the part where the PCs visit the airport and deal with cannibals and pick up new NPCs), moved forward, and THEN looped back around to material roughly corresponding to Chapter 1, eventually ending at a point where the PCs saved Sanctuary, but quite possibly at the cost of their own lives. (If we ever continue with "Chapter 3," it will be revealed that they didn't get killed off after all, but simply left town and headed off toward Colorado. )
This didn't really work all that well, because, in addition to having to shuffle things around to justify my different order of events, the PCs also had a different motivation to keep moving forward -- and quite often this meant that they would just barrel on past potential encounters. I tried to make up for this by making events in Sanctuary last a bit longer, but I think this might have given the impression of "stalling for time."
If I had the chance to do it again, I would have done this somewhat differently, but I'd keep a few things differently.
I would have tried to keep closer to Chapter 2 as written. My experiment with shuffling the order of the "Weeks" and involving an airplane flight really only complicated things needlessly. PCs' motivations were significantly impacted, and we ended up skipping over a lot of what gave Chapter 2 its "character."
I'd still have had some time to pass between Chapters. It felt like I had more leeway to enact more radical changes, such as survivor settlements having more effective fortifications (piling up all those cars takes time!), gasoline being in much shorter supply, etc.
I'd also do the "NPC clean slate" approach, but rather by having extras stay behind rather than being gratuitously killed off. If Chapter 1 had gone differently and Dalesbury had survived, I'd have the Extras stay there. If it'd gone as I'd played it, and the PCs still escaped Dalesbury with a convoy of refugees, I'd have them settle in the mountains just as I did this time around.
One thing I also did -- that I'd still keep -- was that I "leveled the playing field" for XP. We had two "veteran" PCs from Chapter 1, and I used the XP total of the more experienced PC, rounding it down to the nearest Advance. I also significantly whittled down the amount of supplies that the surviving PCs had hoarded, justifying that as necessary to last through the winter. I declared that all PCs for Chapter 2 would start at this number of XP. After such a long hiatus, after all, it was essentially a new "campaign," and I had some completely new players. All in all, it was just easier to let everyone start at the same point -- and of course one of the prerequisites was that you'd play a survivor who'd be willing to head westward rather than sticking with the settlement.
Our justification was taking our known "immune" character (the preacher) westward to Sanctuary for further study, in hopes of finding a "vaccine." If it hadn't been for that, I would've gone with just the idea that the group would be heading west in hopes of reaching the Colorado Citizen Relocation Zone ... or maybe someone had heard a RUMOR of the town where UNIMED has its headquarters, and had some idea that perhaps that medical facility might hold some secrets to the "Z-virus," etc. I'd just need a hook to get them rolling westward, and then I'd pick up Chapter 2 from there.
That's my thought, anyway.
I've got all of one player who has expressed an interest in Chapter 3, and in the meantime I've got players who have a wish list of OTHER things they'd like to do, so -- alas! -- it's likely to be a while before I get around to it.