Darkest of Winters Adventure Synopsis #3

by Silveressa

“On second thought I might just get ‘mself a preachers collar and a rabbi cap, jus in case.” -Jessy Hannaford discussing the “spray and pray” method of full auto fire with Riley.

You’d better bring a bible for your last rites as well, and shovel, ’cause if your “friendly fire” comes within spitting distance of me or my pups again, I’ll bury your grizzled, dehydrated, jerky lov’n ass on boot hill!” -Heather Wilks still fumed about Jessy’s last full auto experience almost killing her.

“I see why they call her a hound master now, that gals one right bitch most’a the time.” -Jessy Hannaford’s quiet observation spoken to Riley.

With Tommy’s breathing becoming more labored with every passing minute the group quickly agrees to take him to a hospital or doctors office post haste, despite the surrounding darkness and rumble of thunder in the distance. In a flash of brilliance Heather suggests they visit a veterinarian hospital instead, since they also keep antidotes on hand for scorpion bites and the place wouldn’t be crawling with undead.

Quickly placing Tommy’s unconscious body in the wheelbarrow and rushing with him back toward town (leaving most of their gear unsecured near the bank of the river) the group hurriedly thumbs through the phone book of a pay phone and finds “Brandi’s dog breeding and veterinary clinic” listed as being only 5 blocks away, and begin the fast, noisy process of wheeling towards the place, the streaks of lightning illuminating the town like a strobe light and occasional gusts of wind nearly capsizing the wheel barrow on them.

During the frantic flight there Heather grimly remarks how the weather is similar to tornado weather. (giving me an “ah ha!” look as I quickly reevaluated the storms ferocity; which also unfortunately resulted in a peppering of Heather’s player with M&Ms from the rest of the group.) Heather then suggested they all might want to seek shelter in a basement somewhere after getting the antidote for Tommy.

Unfortunately for them, their reckless dash towards the vet clinic attracted the attention of several zombies and a fast zombie, that leaped from a fire escape down on to Renee, nearly tackling her to the ground. The rest of the group stood in shock afraid to shoot, having seen the effect of friendly fire on npc’s too often by now to risk one of their own.

As they stood in horror Renee executed a perfect jujitsu throw of the zombie into the side of a dumpster and screamed at the rest to “blast it!” They readily agreed and opened fire, (Jessy on full auto >.<) Swiss cheesing the zombie, the dumpster, and sending enough ricochets around to hit Jessy in the leg and crack the stock of Renee’s shotgun.

With Jessy on the ground yelling in pain and the moans of more zombies echoing in the wind he bravely ordered everyone else to “run and save m’ boy, he’s got more life ahead of him then I do.” The group, after a few seconds of deliberation, ran forward with the wheel barrow, leaving Heather and her hounds to look after Jessy who was trying drag himself to the doorway of a store out of the sudden onset of rain.

With plans to leave Tommy at the vet with Riley & Jamie, and Renee run back with the wheelbarrow to rescue Jessy, the three tore rapidly town the street, almost capsizing the wheelbarrow as they launched it across strewn debris, broken glass, and into a overturned mailbox.

Reaching the vet in record time Riley quickly kicked in the front door and secured the lobby, before dashing to the back to root through medicine cabinets, leaving Renee and Jamie to place the boy in one of the chairs before Renee dashes back outside with the wheelbarrow into the torrential downpour, struggling to move the wheelbarrow and hold a flash light at the same time.

Meanwhile back at the store doorway, Jessy has tied heathers panties around his leg to help control the bleeding and now is firing off short bursts towards the incoming tide of zombies that stagger relentlessly up the street, Heather keeping her dogs close, and taking markswoman shots with her rifle, ignoring Jessy’s repeated yells to “git the hell outta here with yer mutts and forget about me!”

As the zombies draw closer it becomes apparent to them both they lack enough ammo to take them all down before they get overwhelmed. Thinking quickly Heather whips out her bowie knife, levering open a near by manhole cover and dragging Jessy over, dropping him down and urging her dogs down as well, before quickly climbing down herself and pulling the lid shut.

She seals the manhole shut only seconds before Renee rounds the corner and sees the morass of zombies advancing towards her. Assuming Jessy and Heather are quite dead, she drops the wheelbarrow and flees back towards the vet clinic in tears, vowing not to miss such an opportunity again. (making the rest of the players and myself go “what opportunity?”)

While this is all going down, Riley is in the back of the vet clinic, hearing the pitiful whimpers and meows of caged starving animals, and tearing through a locker of meds, not hearing the approach of the zombie secretary until its hands are around his throat. (It never occurred to the players or their characters to wonder how the animals survived for 60+ days in cages without food and water, but the reality of it is the vet clinic was being used by a near by group of survivors to store the animals for “food,” at least until they themselves got eaten by zombies a couple weeks ago.)

A brief and brutal melee then ensues, with Riley using his combat knife and commando martial arts to fight back and more or less quietly kill the zombie. (He didn’t use his guns because he didn’t want to alert any other Zombies in the area) Worn and bleeding from several scrapes and cuts Riley manages to finish off the zombie by driving it back and kicking it into the glass doors of a cabinet, and then using his foot to drive the zeds head into a shard of jagged glass protruding form the busted cabinet door.

He returns to the lobby, antidote in hand, just in time to see Renee burst through the front door soaked to the bone and screaming about the deaths of Jessy and Heather at the hands of a hundred zombies.

A quick cut scene back to Heather, Jessy, and her dogs, standing ankle deep in running water, a strong breeze blowing towards them from up the tunnel. (which is caused by the water up the tunnel rushing towards them and pushing the air ahead of it.) Realizing she had dropped her flashlight up top when she pried open the cover and forgot to retrieve it Heather pulls out her zippo, barely getting it to flick to life in the inky darkness. The moaning of the zombies above mixed with the eerie roaring of water rebounding off the walls making for a dark and horrifyingly claustrophobic feel.

Fortunately for her Jessy still had his flashlight, having shoved it down the front of his pants when he bandaged up his leg with her unmentionables, and rapidly sheds some light on the subject. Wasting little time Heather slips off Jessy’s belt and threads it between her dogs collars for him to hold onto as a makeshift pulling harness. Thus once again mobile in the quickly rising water, Heather and her dogs, with Jessy in tow, begin a mad dash down the slick quarter filled storm drain trying to outrun the arriving wall of water that is only minutes away.

The scene now shifts back to Riley, Renee, his wife, and Tommy, Riley injecting the boy with the scorpion venom antidote, only a minute later to hear Jamie’s panicked cries of “he’s not breathing!” Quickly using his first aid knowledge, Riley and Renee begin performing CPR on Tommy, the howling wind blasting the door open and sending a small maelstrom of paperwork swirling off the desk around them, the animals in the back howling in protest mournfully.

* * * * *

Will Tommy survive? Will Heather and Jessy avoid a watery grave? Will anyone discover what Renee’s missed opportunity was?

Find out in adventure Synopsis #4 Coming Sunday January 9th!


I’ve been enjoying your Darkest Winter Adventures! Sounds like you have some good hijinx and fun going on! Hope it keeps up. I’ll be on to Synopsis 4 today or tomorrow!


Thanks for the links I’ll give them look later on this evening. (It’s always great seeing other gms stuff, it’s full of inspiration and ideas <3 )

As for the palladium rules… They’re kinda meh honestly. Some very kooky damage rules, (going strictly by the rules you can do more damage with your bare hands and feet then with a .9mm pistol) and the rules themselves haven’t really been updated since the early 90′s.

Still, with a lot of house ruling they get the job done well enough for a short campaign or one shot to showcase the setting.

After dealing with repeated rules contradictions and related headaches, (an inherent problem with the palladium rule set) my players begged me to switch the game to a different system; and after a short discussion, we converted Dead Reign to the Cortex rule set. (We almost used the SW rule set but only me and one other player had any prior experience with it, where as everyone knew Cortex rules from the Serenity and Supernatural rpgs. )

After this system change things flowed waaay faster, allowing for much more to happen in a single session, and the game took on a far more cinematic survival horror/post apocalypse feel (Similar to Mad Max/Road Warrior or Resident Evil you might say.) which improved the pacing and tone a *lot.*

To put it more simply, I’d give the Palladium rules as written a 2 out of 5 stars for useability, enjoyability, and over all fun factor. With some serious house ruling and over hauling… Around 3/3.5 stars?

Cortex I’d say 4.5 stars for fun factor and ease of use in Dead Reign. (I rate the SW rule set a 4-5 star system over all depending on the setting.)

The real upside was converting all the necessary zombies and intel over from Palladium rules to Cortex was able to be done inside of an afternoon. (That’s the one thing I do love about Palladiums rule set, it’s sooo easy to do conversions from. 8) )


    Thanks for looking at my stuff. If there is anything you like or want to borrow or whatever :) Feel free. Take a look at the enemy sheets as well :)

    I hear you about some rule systems being meh. I love SW though. It is such an elegant and simple system (especially compared to DnD).

    I tried All Flesh Must be Eaten, and while I loved that you really could create ANY character you envisioned, the rules just didn’t do it for me. I’m not a big “dice pool” or massive amounts of dice rolling systems. So I bought a bunch of the books for AFMBE and read thru them and enjoyed them and we played a couple times, but I just don’t like the system. Oh well.

    Hence why I moved to SW and created my own Zombie survival Horror setting.


This story left me wondering: how exactly did Jessy procure Heather’s panties? That is a series of events I wish had been elaborated upon :)


That happened at the spur of the moment when Heather player, after realizing her med-kit was left with most of their other supplies back at the campsite made a Jury rigging roll to come up with a make shift bandage, (Which she passed rather well if memory serves) and then decided her character was going to use her undergarments since they were about the only article of clothing she had on that could be readily used as a compress bandage without having to cut it apart.

While not the best bandage in the world, it did help control Jessy’s blood loss and earned her a nice catch of Xp for her quick thinking, and later on her lack of undergarments became a bit of a running joke within the group.

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