This thread is open to everyone, and biographies are welcome at any point in the story. Also, because I don't like making unneeded threads (and because I don't read directions so I skipped step 1), all bios can be posted here. OOC can be directed to the old RP talk thread located here http://www.iwakuroleplay.com/showthread.php?t=9747, or left on here, provided you keep it to a minimum or within an IC post. Hello, and welcome to The Forsaken: Left Behind on the Dead Continent. Yes, a terrible title, but it's tradition for anything involving zombies to have a terrible title. In any event, I will be hosting your journey through the end of the world. And I do mean "your" journey, because instead of making a character, you are roleplaying as yourself. A while back on a different site I had an idea for a zombie story set in the present day. The general idea is that about 90% of the population has died and is starting to come back as terrible undead thingies. Standard stuff so far. The novel part is that instead of playing characters, you're playing as "yourself", more or less. In your bio you include whatever skills you think you have, and a level of proficiency. Obviously, there's going to be some subjectivity in ratings, and seeing as no one knows who you really are you can make things up, but we're going on the honor system here. Of course, if you really don't want to be anyone who even vaguely resembles yourself, you can always just make a "normal" character, or you can ask me for permission to be an interesting NPC. One thing to be aware of is that a lot of the elements I've added for this story are experimental. I think they'll add some balance into the game, and a sense of danger for your characters, but I could be wrong. If, part way through the game you feel like things aren't working out, let me know and we can change the mechanics up. In regards to the story itself, I'm hoping to run it kind of like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I'll provide a general thread, but you guys fill in the rest. I can lead you along on a path, or you can go totally off the rails. You can also form separate groups in different places to keep things going when not everyone is around. I am but a simple storyteller. I have no character of my own, I will simply put enemies, challenges, and information out before you, and you're free to do with it as you wish. While you are restricted from doing anything you could not physically do yourself, if also means that...you can do anything that you are actually capable of. It might not seem that impressive, but in a world without social order, you will be amazed at the sort of things you can accomplish. One final comment, it IS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR CHARACTER TO DIE!!! While I won't kill people off for arbitrary reasons, and I'll never throw you into unwinnable situations, I want you to think things through. If you just rush headlong into absolutely everything, it'll come back to bite you in the ass. Now then, onto the story. ============================================================================================== In March of 2012, scientists discovered a large asteroid headed towards Earth. The asteroid was almost the size of the moon and, should it hit the planet, would almost assuredly cause the end of the world. Fortunately, the asteroid was still quite far off, and the expected time of impact was more than a year away. In an effort to keep the public from panic, this information was suppressed. In the mean time, massive amounts of money were spent on proposed countermeasures, some a bit more reasonable than others. In September of 2012 the asteroid is close enough that some private researchers are able to spot it. While governments initially crack down to keep these stargazers quiet, word eventually gets out. This goes about as well as you'd expect. In an attempt to quell the ongoing chaos, the American government announces that it has a plan to stop the asteroid before it hits Earth, though the details are vague for the time being. Rumors fly about what the plan could be. The most popular were that there was going to be a mission to fly to the asteroid and plant nuclear bombs on it, doubtless inspired by sci-fi movies like Armageddon. In the coming weeks, the American public is informed that there will be a series of blackouts, each lasting for 4 hours, three days a week in the near future. They are still not informed why. December 1, 2011. At noon, the whole nation goes dark. The national guard is deployed across the country and every branch of law enforcement is on high alert, expecting that a massive wave of looting will occur. At 4 PM the lights come back on. Still no mention of why this had occurred. The process repeats every two to three days. The only information comes from foreign governments, who announce that there has been a massive atmospheric disturbance shortly after each blackout ends. On December 5, a Russian satellite captures an image of a massive structure which is hidden partially underground in the middle of Nebraska, before the satellite goes offline. Faced with these images and accusations that the US shot down a Russian satellite, the government announces that it will go public with its plans. The next morning came astounding news. There was footage of what appeared to be a massive explosion on the asteroid. Later in the day, the President addresses the American Public and the world. It is unveiled that the military had constructed a massive Gauss cannon. The cannon was designed to propel a projectile at relativistic speeds and strike the asteroid, destroying parts of it while altering its trajectory. And as the recent footage showed, it seemed to be working. Despite the fact that the US had just created and used a weapon that was literally able to destroy planets, the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. While the issue would need to be addressed eventually, it could be put off; for the day, the world was safe. Over the next few months the cannon fired continuously at the asteroid, constantly moving and chipping away at it. By February 2012, it was confirmed that the majority of the asteroid had either been destroyed or safely rerouted. There were however a number of small chunks of rock headed towards the planet; quite a few actually. Fortunately, they were expected to largely break up in the atmosphere, with the exception of one piece. There remained one rather large chunk still headed toward the planet, and it was very possible that it could destroy an entire city if it hit anywhere inhabited. Presently, it appears that this piece will land in Siberia, destroying a vast swath of land, but harming few people, though this is not certain. On June 2 however, these predictions changed. The last chunk of meteor, originally expected to land in Siberia, was now expected to land near the Ural mountains, in the central part of the country. This proved to be an extremely bad scenario for Russia. While the area itself was not particularly densely populated, there were a number of outlying areas that were. Now thankfully, based on satellite images, as well as impact data from the Gauss cannon strikes, it appeared that most of the remaining meteor was just rock and ice. However, there was still a remote, though existent, chance that the object would be composed of mostly iron, in which case cities as far away as Moscow could be damaged. With impact expected to occur in four days, frenzied evacuations began to take place, though everyone knew that in the worst case impact scenario, not everyone would make it out in time. Knowing this, the Russian government searched desperately for possible countermeasures. Eventually, it was decided that the only way would be to try and shoot the asteroid down. The Gauss Cannon was out of the question; the piece had been too small to reliably hit earlier, and now it was far too close to get an accurate firing solution. Instead, Russia would rely on an anti-satellite weapon, adapted to deliver a warhead instead of a simple kinetic strike. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that this was a desperate move. The chances of success were low. But there was simply no other choice. The grim fate of Russia has done nothing to dampen your spirits however. In order to get the best possible view of the single most impressive meteor shower in Earth's history, a number of people have traveled to Europe to wait and watch the skies. You are one such viewer. Taking up residence in the city of Clear Water, located in southern England, you prepare yourselves for the most impressive night of your life. Unbeknownst to you however, it could quite possibly be your last. Clear Water is a fairly large city. While it's not a massive metropolis like London, with over 100,000 residents it is a far cry from the rural countryside. The city is home to numerous skyscrapers, hotels, hostels, museums, hospitals, restaurants, concert halls and more. Highly urbanized, the city is crisscrossed by a number of large motorways, and has an extensive subway system. In addition, a large river cuts the city in two, with numerous ferry stops along each bank. On the outskirts of the city is the Churchill Memorial Airport, which, while primarily catering to traffic around western Europe, does make the occasional intercontinental flight. Our story begins the day the meteor shower is expected to happen in earnest. You've been able to see a few shooting stars streaking across the sky for the past few days, but around midnight the whole sky is supposed to light up. What you do until then is up to you. ======================================================================================================= Biographies: Your profile starts out with the usual stuff, name, age, occupation, that sort of thing (feel free to make it up if you don't like giving out personal info to random internet people). From there, you'll add info about your general physical and mental capabilities and skills you have. You'll give each a letter grade. "F"-you're so terrible at this thing that an observer might seriously mistake your actions as sabotage. If we use hand to hand combat as a skill example, you're probably a quadruple amputee. "D"- You have absolutely no idea what you're doing. You've never been in a fight before, and you don't really even have much experience with manual labor. "C"- You're at least acquainted with the subject. You can't exactly be called reliable, but you can at least handle the basics. You've probably been in a couple scraps, and you know how to throw a punch. "B"- You've had a lot of training. Maybe it's your job, maybe it's a hobby that you've been fostering since you were a kid, but either way you're as good as some and better than most. If a random guy starts something, he's going home without most of his teeth nine times out of ten. "A"- You are extremely skilled, to the point where you could reasonably make a living teaching what you know. You're probably the master of a local dojo. "S"-You are competitive on the international level. Honestly, I don't expect anyone to actually be this good in anything, and if you are you're going to need to prove it. But I figured I'd throw it in because with so many members it's not totally impossible that we've got Mike Tyson or Albert Einstein hanging around somewhere. At this point, you're basically Neo from The Matrix. Grades can also be modified with a "+" or a "-", as a sort of halfway point between one grade and the next, or to indicate that you've got training in a similar, but different skill. So, if you used to be a semi-professional boxer, but you gave it up to start a family and haven't been in the ring 10 years, you'll probably drop to an "A-". In any case, I expect that most of you will have a skillset mostly made up of "C" and "D" ranks. To have an "F" you have to basically be actively bad, have a physical deformity, or something of that nature. As for the stats themselves, they're broken up into two categories, stats and skills. Stats are physical abilities. Strength (how hard you can hit, how much you can lift), toughness (how much punishment you can take), endurance (how far you can push yourself), speed (how fast you move), reflexes (how quick you react) and intelligence (how smart you are). Skills are what you know. These can be anything; what languages you know, what weapons you can use, how good of a driver you are, that sort of thing. Feel free to throw in random things too. I don't know if having extensive knowledge of feudal Japanese politics will come in handy, but you never know what will pop up. Aside from this, you'll also have an inventory. This is just whatever you happen to have on your person. It may or may not be anything useful, but it's important that you list everything. I don't want people just pulling things out of thin air, so unless it's something really obvious, like a hair tie or shoe laces, you should throw it in just to be sure. Finally, there's your backstory. We don't need anything too extensive (though feel free to go nuts if you want), just a very brief who you are, why you're in Clear Water, where you're staying, that sort of thing. An example of a profile will look something like this. Name: John Smith Age: 35 Apperance: Blond short hair, green eyes, 6'1", 185 lbs. Clothing worn- Upper body: Black polo shirt underneath a green sweatshirt. Lower Body: Blue jeans, a belt, and hiking boots. Stats: Strength: C Toughness: B- Endurance: C- Speed: B+ Intelligence: C Skills: First aid: C Driving car (automatic): C Driving car (standard): D- Driving motorcycle: C B Physical Fitness Computer software/hardware knowledge: A- Weapon: Handgun: D Weapon: Rifle: D Weapon: Knife: B Hand to Hand: C- Spanish Language: C Long distance running: C+ Inventory: A pack of gum, wallet with $60, a pen, car keys, briefcase filled with work papers. Biography: John is an accountant who has lived in Clear Water for the past few years. He used to run track back in highschool, and learned his way around a knife in the time he spent as a chef. From here, I'll give you some information about your starting point in the city. I'll tell you what's around, perhaps make some suggestions, and from there I'll let you guys run. =================================================================================================== Combat and skill challanges: Initially, I was going to use a diceroll mechanic to determine how fights go, but I've scrapped that. Instead, you're just going to roleplay your fights, as usual. However, in order to streamline things a bit, how fights go will depend on your skills and the level of the enemy. This is to avoid fights between player characters going on forever because no one wants to lose, and to add an element of danger for your characters. Generally speaking, every attack you and your enemy do will hit, provided you're in the same skill ballpark, and I (or whoever is narrating if I'm not around) will determine damage. You can grab a katana and go to town hacking away at zombies in this thread just like you could in any other; just don't expect it to go as well. This is a very stripped down example of how a fight might go in the thread. Obviously, you guys should add a lot more detail, I just threw this up in a hurry. Shawn (Unarmed combat rank B) is challenged to a fistfight by Devon (Unarmed combat rank D). Devon: "I throw a punch at Shawn". (Because he's on a much lower tier he does not automatically hit) Narrator (me): The hit connects with Shawn's torso. It'll leave a bruise, but he is otherwise unimpeded. Shawn: "I counter with an elbow to his solar plexus" (the hit is automatic, because of skill difference) Narrator: The blow connects, hard. Devon doubles over with the wind knocked out of him. He'll be unable to attack in his next round. Devon: "I take a few staggering steps back and try to defend against the next blow" Shawn: "I kick him in the head" Narrator: Devon gets his arm in front of the kick, but the force is still enough to send him sprawling to the ground. At this point, the fight is basically over. Shawn can choose to administer a coup de grace, but these attacks are not assured, regardless of skill level. Shawn: "I prepare to curbstomp him" Laura (terrible timing rank S): "Nooooo! I have enough love for the both of you!" (Trolololol) The same type of thing occurs for a skill challenge. Two cars, driven by Bryan (driving rank B) and Jess (driving rank:Asian, err I mean D) come across a massive hold in the road Bryan: I stop the car before hitting the hole. (he's a good driver, so he doesn't hit this fairly obvious pitfall) Jess: I slam on the breaks (she sucks as a driver, so she doesn't automatically stop) Narrator: She doesn't stop soon enough. The car crashes into the pit. Everyone inside is fine, but the car is totaled. ==================================================================================== Now, without further delay, post your bios and let's get this started!