The Scenic Route: A Walking Dead Campaign- Chapter 3: Runaway Train
"Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here nor there..."
Escape! Miraculous, but it seems like you may have just done it. A train means you can move quickly and safely and hopefully get you where you all need to be. You may even get a good night's sleep for once.
But wait! What's that on the tracks ahead? Cars, trucks, SUV's oh, and a horde of walkers to spice things up. Clear the tracks and deal with complications both outside and within if you want to survive.
Welcome to Chapter 3 of our Walking Dead campaign. At the end of our last session, the remaining 7 survivors had boarded the UP Northwest train, and headed north out of town. To make things even more tense, the players were informed at the start of the scenario, that there were no more companions to be found. Any deaths from this point on will result in a smaller group and tougher games.
The layout included the train, a road, some forested area, and the back side of a residential neighborhood. The zombie population was much lower in this area than in the previous 2 sessions. All survivors started on the train, and as it rolled along, the heroes carrying ranged weapons were allowed to take some potshots at the crowd of zombies following the train to earn some additional experience.
The train had to stop near the railroad crossing, as there tracks were blocked with abandoned cars. They would have to quietly kill zombies and clear the tracks so the train could continue. To move a car, any 3 survivors or any 2 tough class survivors needed to be in base contact. Karl and Tim each controlled 3 characters, and each had one tough survivor. Michael only had one survivor remaining. This meant the players would have to work together to accomplish their goals.
Karl and Tim's characters moved towards the cars, attempting to quietly clear the zombies and tracks while Michael's character, Mad Dog headed to an ambulance at the far end of the road, hoping to set off the sirens in order to lure zombies away from the tracks.
Nobody stayed behind to protect the conductor...
It took the group a few turns to clear the area of zombies.
Mad Dog got the sirens going, but the ambulance doors popped open and walkers poured out. He ran back towards the group as zombies shambled towards the noise.
Nobody paid attention to the conductor's plight...
The team worked together very well and managed to clear the tracks.
They made their way back to the train. When they got there, the conductor was panting and covered in gore, but still alive. They were very relieved because they had no idea how to drive a train.
The train started to make progress. As it moved further along the tracks, the survivors began to relax. Suddenly, the conductor collapsed, directly on the throttle control. When they reached out to see if she was okay, she turned towards them... a walker. They quickly dispatched their friend, but had no time to cope with the sudden loss. The train was hurtling at high speed towards a sharp curve! Quickly thinking, Lucinda pulled the emergency break...
The train derailed and burst into flames. The survivors piled out of the train. Each took a single damage point, and were too injured to run for the remainder of the game. The group stumbled through the woods towards the nearby back yards, hoping to find some place to hole up for the night... Suddenly a shot rang out!
Mad Dog had turned on the group! He was raving like a mad man, shouting "The Oracle sees all, and will come for you! Oracle's Redemptionists will be your downfall! We have been leading you like lambs to the SLAUGHTER!" Unfortunately for him, he turned out to be a terrible shot. Bananas and Stokley teamed up to defeat him, although it took several rounds of combat.
Exhausted and betrayed, the group made their way to the backyard of a nearby house.
Luckily, there were only a few walkers to dispatch.
The remaining 6 survivors made it safely into the house, hoping to rest until morning.
Please watch the livestream for a blow by blow accounting.
This was a very cinematic game. After taking so many risks in the previous session, they were very cautious, and worked as a team. They were not expecting betrayal, and are hopefully feeling nervous about what else in in store for them... Check back for Episode 4 in a couple weeks!
What an insanely jam packed scenario. So much happening and so many great twists! Sorry I missed it. Looking forward to the next one.
An incredible game, great story and what a table!
I thoroghly enjoyed this. CSW has been moving toward more narrative (somewhat RPG’ish) gaming in our campagins. This is a prime example of how well it can work while retaining a fast-play feel and without becoming a full-on-paper-heavy RPG experience.