Now that we’ve discussed a bit of the nature of zombies themselves entering into a campaign, we’ll take a look at how the living are coping with the dead. The living need somewhwere to live – in this environment it needs to be a safe haven where even asleep a reasonable amount of security and safety can be expected.
Most of humanity now lives in small fortified enclaves, with an average population of between 50 – 1000 individuals.
Some common features of many settlements include:
Walls: Steel reinforced concrete topped with barb wire baffles are common, preventing masses of undead from knocking them over through sheer weight. The barbed wire on top often snags those undead who find a way to clamber up the wall (such as, climbing over corpses piled in front of the wall). Such corpse dams need to be cleared as soon as possible.
Pre-existing fortifications such as castles, prisons, old military installations and others have often been used as well. Shopping malls, while high in the zombie collective conscious do not often make good fortifications.
Underground installations have been popular sanctuaries provided there are at least three entrances/exits and all of them open to walled areas as well. Fences proved to easy to topple when set upon by hordes of zombies.
Dry moats and upper level dwellings
More effective than water filled moats. With dry moats, zombies fall in and someone pops them in the head from a watch tower or wall. With water filled moats, the zombies fall in and just hang around on the bottom being a menace
Second story living where the ground floors of most if not all buildings have been cleared with non-supporting walls removed. New construction often features stilted buildings. Easily withdrawn and collapsible ladders are the norm. Not only do the remove the ability of unwanted guests from entering buildings but they can be used in a pinch to connect several structures together above ground level.
Some enclaves exist as independent cities, with their own governing bodies, security, farming etc. Others belong to protectorates or city-states. In these, some communities are primarily farming endeavors, while other are manufacturing etc. They trade with each other for survival. Convoys occasionally ply the highways between these enclaves by trucks, where oil and gas are available, or by cart in most of the rest of the world.
Farming comes with its own unique challenges. While the zombies themselves ignore crops and in many cases livestock, farms become difficult if not impossible to tend with the ever present threat of a group of undead wandering through. Several solutions have been tried, including hydroponics, enclosed truck gardens, reinforced fencing and the cultivation of areas inaccessible by foot.
Areas around major cities throughout the world have become Dead Zones (DZs). High population areas succumbed quickly at a near exponential rate to the zombie plague. With limited food supplies available, even the most hardened positions of living humans had to make a choice by the end of year one. Fight the hordes to leave the city, or succumb to hunger and insanity.
Large concentrations of zombies naturally congregate around the strongholds of the living at even the slightest hint of occupation. The constant moaning and scratching sounds have often been attributed to causing a number of psychological problems among the living – the lesser of which are insomnia and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Often complete mental breakdowns occur.
Current human settlements can be found in many remote areas with a larger surviving population in rurarl or farming zones. Many remote cultures have dealt relatively well with the zombie menace and continue to thrive as they had before the zombie plague.
A few survivors have chosen to set up suburban enclaves which act as fortresses near the highly salvageable cityareas and often survive solely on barter and trade from those moving between settlements or working the cities for salvage.
[tags]zombies, role playing games, rpg[/tags]