Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

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aion7
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby aion7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:12 am UTC

Unless you organize many, many people you will not be able to kill enough zombies for it to make a difference. If you have that many people equipment is readily enough available to those who can use it best. Also, killing zombies is harder than getting away alive and human. Therefore, your aim should be to survive in hopes of meeting with other survivors.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:18 am UTC

Alright, perhaps we should come up with a universal set of rules in which to follow to keep your ass alive, healthy, and safe.

Rule 1. When You Can, Run Away.
Rule 2. Use Firearms Only When Necessary.
Rule 3. Kill Zombies Only When Necessary.
Rule 4. Never Go In To A Building To Clear It At First - Let Them Come Out To You.
Rule 5. Never Attempt To Clear A Building With More Floors Than You Have People.

And so on..
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby aion7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:32 am UTC

Some buildings are tall, but small in other dimensions. Rule 5 is not universally applicable.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:43 am UTC

Never Clear A Building That Has More Than 10 Rooms Per Person?
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby aion7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:56 am UTC

That's fair, because even if the rooms are closet-sized, there could always be a zombie in the next one.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:11 am UTC

aion7 wrote:Unless you organize many, many people you will not be able to kill enough zombies for it to make a difference. If you have that many people equipment is readily enough available to those who can use it best. Also, killing zombies is harder than getting away alive and human. Therefore, your aim should be to survive in hopes of meeting with other survivors.

As long as those survivors don't want to kill you, then that is a good plan.

SecondTalon wrote:Alright, perhaps we should come up with a universal set of rules in which to follow to keep your ass alive, healthy, and safe.

Rule 1. When You Can, Run Away.
Rule 2. Use Firearms Only When Necessary.
Rule 3. Kill Zombies Only When Necessary.
Rule 4. Never Go In To A Building To Clear It At First - Let Them Come Out To You.
Rule 5. Never Attempt To Clear A Building With More Floors Than You Have People.

And so on..

With rule 4: They might not want to come out to you . . . they might just want to stay in their closet and wait for you to come in :twisted:

Rule 6. If you barricade yourself in, make sure that you have more than one way out that the zombies can not get to.

Rule 7. Don't take on more zombies than you have ammo. (If you are using firearms/bows/other ammunition using weapon)

Also, I got myself a bunch more bolts for my pistol crossbow. And my mum said that I can get my gun licence! :mrgreen: Watch out zombies!

In the local gun/hunting/fishing/camping shop, there were a pair of Colt .45 semi-automatic 1911 M1 handguns . . . one was Gray and one was Black . . . they were about $500 each . . . now all I need is money! Damn it! I cant rob a bank without a gun and I cant get a gun without money . . . if only there was another way to get money :wink:

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby aion7 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:44 pm UTC

That reminds me, second on your priorities list (after not die and/or become a zombie), should be to team up with and stay on good terms with other survivors. I believe Night of the Living Dead speaks for itself. It also brings up another point. Make sure you don't look like a zombie.

Not in spoilers 'cause it doesn't technically spoil anything, and it's a really old movie.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:48 pm UTC

See, I don't like Rule 7 as written, as it suggests that you should be attempting to take them on. Which you should not. There may be a better way of phrasing it..
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:58 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:See, I don't like Rule 7 as written, as it suggests that you should be attempting to take them on. Which you should not. There may be a better way of phrasing it..

SecondTalon wrote:Rule 1. When You Can, Run Away.

^better phrasing

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:13 pm UTC

Right, but there comes a time when, though you can run away, you find that it would be easier to just stay and fight.

IE you're hungry, there's only three zombies in the corner shop, plenty of canned goods on the shelves, yet you know that if you tried to lead them out and away, you're likely to draw the attentions of the zombies a few blocks away.

It's easier to just bash the three's heads in, grab the cans and run like hell.

So how to phrase that in an easy to remember way, as if there's six of them and only one of you, it's not nearly as good of an idea.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:24 pm UTC

I guess it varies with the timeline of the zombiepocalypse. If we're talking a few days after Z-day when you're in survival mode trying to find some kind of safe-haven and group of people to work with then rule 1 applies. Hungry or not, leave those zombies alone and go about your business. If we're talking Z+100 and you're out with your well-trained, experienced, and well-armed Zombie Fighting Militia escorting a supply caravan between safe-havens Caravaneer style then taking out a few zombies for the convencience of Zebra Cakes and Powerade even though you could avoid them is perfectly okay.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Susy » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

Well my my, I would have never figured out xkcd had a thread like this... :)

Anyways, my experience in killing zombies (more than 5000 hours of training) shotguns are the best...but none as ever mentioned salt!!! I carry always a pack of salt with me, this will me time to run far enough to find a weapon.

Remember: Always aim for the head.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Torvaun » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

Shotguns are not best. They shred and maim, which works wonders on living creatures, but won't kill zombies unless you hit the head. The ammunition is heavier and bulkier per shot than a rifle. It's a good choice if you're going raider, and murdering other survivors for your supplies, but other than that, no.

I don't know what you're talking about with the salt thing. If you're talking about rock salt as a deterrence load in the shotgun, that's a terrible idea. It won't kill zombies, it won't kill people, and it'll drastically increase the amount of maintenance you'll have to do to keep your gun in working condition.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm UTC

I read through all 21 pages, just so I would have a good base before starting in on the conversation. Of those pages, here are a handful of quotes I'ld like to reply to. After that, I'll work on my ZSP. Also, I have not yet seen this site posted, so I might as well, as it could be an extra resource for ideas:

http://www.zombiesurvivalwiki.com

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Maseiken wrote: I guess I shouldn't be too worried, Australia would be pretty easy to quarantine...

Hence the original intention for Australia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia#History

Nullcline wrote:Oh, and zombies rot to death after a couple of weeks, or they die of dehydration.

Somehow, I don't think "being dead" would be a problem for a zombie...

LoopQuantumGravity wrote:A normal human jaw can actually produce several thousand pounds of force. It could do much higher than that if you didn't feel pain.

And just where are you getting these numbers?

Mo0man wrote:Hows about an outdoor parking garage? It's in a city, so it's easy to loot and plunder, it's raised off the ground, so all you have to do is destroy/block the ramp, and abandoned cars could be used as shelter. I'm guessing people wouldn't immediately think of it as a safe area, and it's made up of almost completely concrete so you wouldn't have to worry about fire hazards. What do ya think?


Very bad idea, IMO. If zombies can climb even a LITTLE bit, you've basically opened yourself up to 360 degrees of attackable area, because the levels are so close to each other and overlap each other in wide paths of exposure.

Mo0man wrote:Automobiles could be fine for a very long while. Sleeping in the back seat could be plenty comfortable, and if you sleep in the middle floors, you won't be kept awake. And that's assuming there aren't any larger vehicles such as vans and trucks and SUVs. it's better than sleeping in a shack out in the woods imho.


Cars like mine would be PERFECT because of a back seat that you can pull down to access a rather spacious trunk. No windows at all, so zombies couldn't see you. Even if they could smell you, it would probably be rather difficult to get into, as they clearly won't possess the knowledge to "pop" the trunk, and would probably take them awhile to figure out how to pull down the seats. If they did, you could pop the trunk from the inside and hope you have enough time to get away (unless there's an entire horde right outside the trunk).

Gojoe wrote:
Nullcline wrote:Some zombiologists have conjectured that the virus causes a host to release a scent that identifies it as such.


If this is true, it may be possible to synthesize this "scent" to make them see us as fellow zombies...
There is hope for man kind!


I'd rather develop a scent that would make zombies identify other zombies as food and release it in the air.

Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel wrote:Also called cemitaries (the right spelling isn't showing up in the firefox dictionary that I have)


After reading your novel, I couldn't help but to wish that the FF dictionary could help you understand the difference between your and you're.

Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel wrote: I would likely use duct tape to strap a lot of handguns to my body (saves time on reloading and geting the right ammo for the right gun) All of my guns would be loaded at all times, just in case.

This would be a very poor idea, because the guns are either going to fall off or be hard to detach (one or the other, I highly doubt they're going to work how you intend them to), and even if you do detach them, you're going to have to take extra time making sure all the tape is off of them, else it will probably mess with the gun when it's discharged.

All in all, your response is one of the poorest I've seen, notably because it combines a lot of ideas that the majority of the people on here have already ruled out as bad ideas, and then you make up new bad ideas.

people wrote:... would use a "lamda circle" to mark safehouses

Why the hell would you do that?? Wtf do you think people are universally going to understand? The words "safe house" or "SAFE" with a picture of a house, or a freaking symbol from a game, that's actually a greek symbol that would mean absolutely nothing to anyone who actually understood real-world uses for the symbol?

Gunfingers wrote:Imagine a symbiotic parasite was created that would take over metabolism of food. Instead of being digested the way you're used to it takes it from the stomach, breaks it down, and uses it to build muscles and bones. It completely stops the aging process and gives every human being the physique of a god.

Now imagine that this parasite becomes an asshole, shuts down your higher brain functions*, and takes control of the rest of your CNS. It uses your body to propagate itself by biting, scratching, or otherwise breaking into the bloodstream of other people. It's stronger and faster than you, and cannot be permanently killed as long as the parasites are alive within it, and will live forever as long as it can get sustenance. That's the zombiepocalypse that i believe is most likely.


*Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe you're still conscious as it uses your body to devour other people.


Like this, except with the qualities you mentioned, and against humans instead of snails: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWB_COSUXMw ??

ArchangelShrike wrote:Also, cross-species infectivity? Think hunting dogs, large predators, carrion feeders, etc. If cross-species, it would include a whole new axis to the game.


LIFE (or unlife, as it may be) isn't a game!!!!!

SecondTalon wrote:Basically, Z overrides everything. Z says it's unsafe. Z is the sign of the Zombie, and should be respected and feared.


Awww... my name's Zach....

SecondTalon wrote:Power would be gone in a matter of days, a couple of weeks tops. So I don't think that would be too much of a problem.


Not to mention problems with power sources... plants exploding... nuclear plants... yeah. We'd have a LOT more problems than just zombies.

Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel wrote:Look at it scientifically: A zombie with a spear in it, walking around all day would tire it out. You imagine walking around for the rest of your life with a huge chunk of metal imbibed in your chest. Don't you think that would slow you down (because your a zombie and cant feel pain). Getting a spear through the chest (even if you cant feel pain) would still damage you.


Ok... please... just... stop. There's so much wrong just w/your opening paragraph that I forced myself to skip the rest of whatever you typed, yet somehow I still managed to see that you don't know the difference between to and too.

Zombies getting tired. Are you effing serious? THEY'RE WALKING DEAD!! IF THEY CAN OVERCOME DEATH, THEY CAN OVERCOME "BEING TIRED." What's your next brilliant idea? Giving them sour milk so maybe they get a stomach ache and have to stop and go potty?

After reading a couple more of your posts, I've started to skip the rest entirely. It seems that everything you say is just horribly wrong and makes me want to drink in excess to erase the posts of yours that I've read.

King of Frogs wrote:My ideal defensive base would be in my home city of Edinburgh - you see, we have a castle there, only one entrance, set on a totally unclimbable granite rock, high stone walls, and it has an armoury because it's still kinda used as a military base :D.


Yeah, I'd have to say you're in just about the best position one could be in for a zombocalypse.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Jebobek » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:32 pm UTC

King of Frogs wrote:My ideal defensive base would be in my home city of Edinburgh - you see, we have a castle there, only one entrance, set on a totally unclimbable granite rock, high stone walls, and it has an armoury because it's still kinda used as a military base :D.
Yeah, I'd have to say you're in just about the best position one could be in for a zombocalypse.
Only one entrance always seems like a no-no when it comes to zombies. If it is truely a base you need a backup entrance. Sure, you're going to keep raiders out, but what happens if you're going to want to restock on food and water and need to get out, but the only exit is currently swarmed with zombies? If you never need to leave then thats a different story.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

.
.

:+: Phrozt's Zombie Survival Plan. :+:


Challenge:
First, I'd like to challenge the entire zombie scenario in the first place. I'm cool with a lot of the different ideas for how a zombie could come to exist in the first place, but the problem I have is the sheer number of zombies depicted in most movies/games. There's always a horde of zombies against very few people. Now, while I understand the initial "infection" could either claim a lot of lives in and of itself, or cause enough confusion for the initial zombies to claim a lot of lives, I don't see the horde ever getting as big as it's depicted.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone has a ZSP in the back of their heads, but I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of people have heard of zombies and know a couple things about them. The least of which, I'm sure a lot of people know that when someone is covered in blood, snarling, and coming at you, it'd be a good idea to defend yourself. Whether or not they'd get as far as disabling the head, I'm not sure, but I still seriously doubt that the horde would get as big as what the media gives us.

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Goals:
Second, I'd like to list my long term goals. This includes gear and a very brief overview of how I think a society could successfully survive against WWZ. Some of these may not exactly exist yet, but I'll get into how their existence might come to be.

Weapons:
- Melee: At risk of sounding like Napoleon Dynamite, I think a weighted bo would be perfect. Harden the wood so that it wouldn't break easily, and cap the ends with a bit of metal of your choice. It would be lightweight enough to be very maneuverable, but could be accelerated fast enough to do lethal damage to the head or spinal column. It could be used to push several zombies away, or strike a couple zombies at the same time. It could be used to easily trip up zombies. It could be used to stab, similar to a spear. Besides all of this, it could be used for any of the number of uses that a good solid stick could be used for (walking, splint, grabbing something, something for a falling person to hold onto... etc...). Simple, effective, and TONS of uses.
- Guns: An air rifle, but not just any air rifle. An air rifle that would be self-reloading, could hold a lot of ammo (most likely in the butt), and would be pump action. Again, something like this doesn't exist, but I'll get into that later. The ammo would be extremely easy to make (metal balls that could be manufactured from a basic mold), and the gun would be such that slight variances in the ammo should not have a drastic effect on accuracy. The pump would utilize scientific engineering that would allow one pump to build up a sufficient amount of pressure to incapacitate a zombie up to 10 meters away, with the given ammo for the gun. Any other guns found would be saved for guards that need more accuracy, reliability and stopping power than what could be supplied by the air rifle.
- Biological: I'd set a goal to find enzymes/bacteria/SOMETHING biological to either incapacitate (very unlikely) or speed up the decay/debilitation (more likely) of the zombie horde. I'd think something like the introduction of MRSA to speed up the infection, or high doses of antibiotics to possibly kill/slow the disease would be in order.
- Bonus: PIPEBOMBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY HOLY HELL... if these things work ANYTHING like they did in L4D, I'd be making these buggers all day long!! Easy as hell to make, and just have to find something noisy to attract attention. I highly doubt they *would* be as effective as in L4D, but if they're anything close to it.... I'd have a sweatshop of children churning these out like crazy. Even if we're only talking about maiming or taking only a few out... the ease at which you can make these, as well as the added bonus of distance from the action makes these party favors #1 in my book.


Armor:
- A FREAKING BIKE HELMET!!!!! It was briefly mentioned before, but a bike helmet solves so many problems. First of all, it covers your head, and with a light curtain of leather, covers your neck. Not only is this incredibly helpful for any blows you might receive to the head, but think about it.... your head has the most holes in it of any other place on your body. If infection is transferred by blood/air.... I'd want those holes covered up!!!! A bike helmet takes care of all of those holes at once! I'm surprised that not ONE person mentioned goggles or any kind of nose/mouth covering in this entire thread.
- A bike suit. Also mentioned before, but I think this would be perfect. It would allow for a good amount of mobility, and should also prevent almost any bite. If it is found that zombies would actually be able to bite through this, the suit should be modified with a metal mesh of some type (this is getting into the realm of "doesn't yet exist, but I'll explain it later" territory) that would sufficiently prevent bites, with minimal loss to movement.

Society:
- Dictatorship with a council, more towards an Oligarchical society (that would most likely spring from survivors with the best ideas). At times like this, we'd need one central leader.... or even one central leader of each nation state to make decisions that could not be questioned. However, a council should assist the leader to not only help the leader make better decisions, but also help the people feel as though their needs are being heard, to keep moral up.
- Spartan-like society, except without the slaves (oddly enough, when I looked up Sparta, I saw that they had an Oligarchy for a government). Everyone is a warrior (men AND women, instead of just men). Everyone knows survival skills and has training with the basic weapons and armor mentioned above. Also, a strong presence of science would be prevalent in this society, to ensure that not only existing technologies are kept, but that we have an ever increasing ability to adapt and quell the threat.
- Militant expectations. With some exceptions, that would be agreed upon, everyone would have a service to perform, or face being thrown to the horde. If someone refuses to do a service, a public gathering would be held so that all would know who refused it and why, and therefore if it happened again, the society would be justified in throwing them out.

:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:

Immediate Plan (Z-Day):
The first thing that I'd like to address is that my house would SUCK against zombies. It's pretty, but I don't know wtf I was thinking when I bought it. Windows to the basement, porch, low roof, big old-style windows, even the stairs to the second floor are easy to get up to. My town would also SUCK because not only does it have 60k people (closer to 100k w/the two surrounding towns), but a large majority of them are low-lives that would be easily susceptible to becoming members of the horde.

That being said, the first thing I'd do is grab my hatchet that I always keep beside by bed in case of regular intruders (more for use as a tool, with the back end of it being skull-crushworthy), grab my hunting knife (again, tool), grab my phone charger, grab my contacts/glasses and grab my laptop. I've got a good case to carry it with, and I'd want to be able to get as much information as possible before the networks go down. My phone also doubles as a data device, but would obviously die a lot quicker.

Next, I'd grab an energy drink or two from the fridge (will probably be a long day/night) and head to my car. I'd grab my pool cues out of the trunk and get the shafts from the cues to use as weapons (very pretty and expensive weapons). Then I'd hop into my car and start heading towards a defensible position to meet up with others and possibly be able to stop to learn more info from my laptop. At this point, I'm not sure if I'd get my girlfriend and son. I know that sounds horribly bad, but he's only 17 months old and whines, which would attract zombies. She also whines a lot, and would probably insist on bringing her 10 year old son, who's a bigger baby than my 17 month old son and I have no doubt in my mind would get us killed very quickly.Ahh hell, I'll go get my son... he's a good kid.

**Update: My baby's momma decided to cheat on me and leave me for a fugly tard, so she can go ahead and feel free to become zibbles n bitz at her leisure.

After securing the basics, I'd start to formulate a plan to hold a site for a long term siege. Ideally, I'd like to get to a castle, as I believe they would be the best place for a variety of reasons. However, American castles suck for the most part, and I have no clue how I'd get to England to chill w/the King of Frogs. Once I find a good enough place, I'll start on the long-term plan.

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Long-Term Plan:

The first things that I'd want to secure would be food, water, getting rid of waste and defenses (both physical and in terms of training). Unfortunately, this would most likely be best done in raid groups, so we'd somehow have to get weapons and possibly even armor. After a decent system is set up to get food/water taken care of, defenses would be the next issue. By picking a good enough place to begin with, raid teams should be able to forage for supplies to fortify and increase the size of our base. Increasing the base would be done by first establishing a weak expansive perimeter of sharpened stakes in the ground (previously mentioned in this thread). After that, we'd build up walls of brick (scavenged) that would loop back on itself, so that after each successful wall, we could knock down a previous wall and therefore have more total space. All of this activity would be done under heavy guard. EVERYTHING would be done in groups (which is why the eventual pump-action air rifles make sense).

At the same time we have people tending to the physical defenses, we'd have people training in the use of basic weapons (bo, shafts, bats, blunt objects, etc). It would be really great to have some sort of weapons expert in the group, but somehow I doubt that we'd be that lucky. Either way, simply practicing and getting used to attacking/defending would be a large step above being scared and clueless to the ways of combat.

By this time, some form of "government" would have to be agreed upon just to get goals aligned and basic duties assigned.

Once we get enough space (we'd never stop building, but we'd have initial goals), we'd start working on a garden/farm of sorts to help keep renewable food growing. Unfortunately for me, it's winter right now, and I live in an area that can be covered with snow, which would make this part quite difficult. If nothing, we could at least reserve a space to stockpile any pillaged food. Eventually, the layout would include sectioned off living quarters that could be barricaded if they should fall... not the "cell" type as mentioned previously, but more like tiered "fallback" areas, which would actually make more sense. It would also include multiple sections to stockpile food and weapons, as well as training halls, educational areas and probably an area for governmental/judicial practices to take place. Finally, there would be a section for research and development, which ties the missing pieces together.

R&D:
I strongly feel that this attack should not be something that is "survived," but instead something that is "beaten." Initial goals WILL simply be survival, but to get back to normal society, we HAVE to "beat" it. To effectively do this, we must learn everything we can about the enemy, and improve ourselves against them. Main topics would be weaponry, armor and biological solutions to the problem, as mentioned before. Immediately, we could start with weaponry and armor, and as we develop and maintain a stable testing environment, we could start experimenting with the biological. Ideally, by this time our complex would have grown to include several buildings (possibly even as broad as the walled in section of a town attached to castle as in midevil times) while still keeping security. Hopefully, we can also establish some sort of communication with other survivors so that we can share ideas with them as well.

Energry:
Hopefully you can see that, in my ZSP, technology isn't exactly the highest priority. The melee weapons are low tech, and survival strategy is basic. That being said, I would work towards experimenting until bike generators could be created. This would be one of the foremost goals not only because of energy, but also to keep the survivors fit. It should supplement training in helping to make warriors out of the survivors.

Raid Crews/Vehicles:
Along with basic combat techniques, survivors would train to become raiding crews that could effectively stave off moderate groups of zombies in order to obtain items/food/whatever. In the longer term, a raiding vehicle would be created that would be easily defensible, able to deal with bodies mounding up (so it would be tracked, most likely), and with the ability to transport people/objects as needed. With just a brief amount of imagination, I would say that using a looted armored vehicle or customized bus would be a good start for such a vehicle. Of course, this is only if we were able to obtain a few mechanics out of the group, which most towns would likely have.

I've got some other ideas, but this is a good start.
Last edited by Phrozt on Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:19 pm UTC, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

Phrozt wrote:*rant rant ranty rant rant*
Zombies getting tired. Are you effing serious? THEY'RE WALKING DEAD!! IF THEY CAN OVERCOME DEATH, THEY CAN OVERCOME "BEING TIRED." What's your next brilliant idea? Giving them sour milk so maybe they get a stomach ache and have to stop and go potty? *rant rant*


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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Okita » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

I can imagine a Zombie horde spreading in multiple ways. The big factor is how fast someone turns into a zombie after being bitten. The main issue is that when you've got people being bitten or attacked all over the place, they'll end up at a hospital. Let's say the turning rate is something under 6 hours but definitely more than an hour. That means, sooner or later your hospitals are going to at least have several crazy people. In a hospital, there is no diagnosis for "zombie" (maybe there should be) and it is unlikely there would be a quarantine situation that occurred fast enough. Furthermore, this problem would be compounded if patient 0 infects a bunch of other people who are transported to diff. hospitals. Or maybe an infected person goes home, turns, bites someone else who goes to a different hospital. It's not like a Doctor or a Nurse is going to recognize a Zombie and bash its head in (effectively preventing it from infecting others) and there are plenty of issues from the typical restraints that the medical community probably would use. I mean, I'm sure doctors have some sort of procedure for restraining crazy biting people but assuming that zombies are stronger than an average person, you'd still potentially have infection towards Doctors or Nurses. Furthermore, if the survivors attempt to run away, there are plenty of patients who while bed-ridden, would probably survive being infected and thus increase the horde size.

At this point, depending on whether someone has made the conscious choice to start shooting zombies in the head/ beating their brains in, you've got something mob-worthy localized around infection areas. Let's say that the police get its act together and start dealing with the problem AKA shooting them in the head. While the police would be effective, it starts to become a numbers game in that the zombies would spread out and attempt to infect more. The movie image of these giant hordes of zombies against small groups of people is unlikely but more likely would be that each zombie spreads out towards humans. Some succeed in infecting others, some fail, but since it's not like more than 50% of humans are armed and able to bash in a zombie's head, you still have pretty poor attrition rates on the human populace which of course increases the zombie horde.

So this can pretty quickly devolve into a city-wide panic. At this point, the governor (even if he/she hasn't recognized it as a zombie problem) would call in the National Guard who would be better off at dealing with the problem. I can't really imagine city to city infection once its recognized its a blood based infection (simply by virtue of transportation problems and recognition of infection due to modern media and communication) but in the initial days of a Zombie infestation, I can definitely seeing an entire city fall into chaos.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Okita wrote:In a hospital, there is no diagnosis for "zombie" (maybe there should be) and it is unlikely there would be a quarantine situation that occurred fast enough.


Hmm.. good point. It seems that someone should draft a letter to send to the AMA to rectify this situation.

Okita wrote:The movie image of these giant hordes of zombies against small groups of people is unlikely but more likely would be that each zombie spreads out towards humans. Some succeed in infecting others, some fail, but since it's not like more than 50% of humans are armed and able to bash in a zombie's head, you still have pretty poor attrition rates on the human populace which of course increases the zombie horde.

.... So this can pretty quickly devolve into a city-wide panic. ...
... the National Guard ...


See, I still disagree with your timeframe on this. When 9/11 happened, it didn't take long before the vast majority of the nation knew that something was terribly wrong. I'd assume that once something this radical was found, it would be aired in such a way (cnn/local news/youtube/forums/people shouting/college networks/etc) that people would rapidly become aware of the problem. After becoming aware of said problem, I don't see how people wouldn't think to arm themselves with basic defenses...

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Okita » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

My argument is that due to widespread communication, other cities will definitely be quickly protected. But this isn't like 9/11 in which one location is destroyed and it has no potential to expand beyond the original structural damage. And that was pretty damn devastating. This is more like Katrina in which you need to immediately start airlifting not only supplies but also bullets. Furthermore, there'll be the assholes who will attempt to loot the city during the confusion but most likely will get eaten by zombies as they are weighed down with their stolen HD TVs.

What you'll end up having anyway is a large number of people armed with blunt instruments with a smaller group armed with firearms. The firearm group will definitely have higher survivability rates except for the issue of bullets attracting attention. Then again, police will probably attempt to keep armed civilians down. Also, blunt instruments are definitely effective in a 1 vs. 1 situation and maybe even 1 vs. 3 but any more than that and you've got a problem. And that's assuming someone who is in shape when we definitely know a lot of people are the exact opposite of that.

Besides, in those situations, the best way to clear zombies would be to arm up with blunt instruments and travel in groups but somehow I don't think I see people doing that. I see civilians holing up by themselves and depending on how well they do so, either surviving or having their defenses overrun and being eaten due to overwhelming numbers. Cuz people are selfish. Besides, the gov. would attempt to keep civilians from taking a proactive stance and there wouldn't be good coordination in the initial outbreak. While once a zombie situation is recognized, any reasonable government/ military can switch its standing orders to deal with the problem, I am reasonably sure there would be a delay for that switch.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Mo0man » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:17 pm UTC

Also, you're assuming that it will take a shortish period of time for people to change. What if it takes days? Weeks? The longer it takes for people to turn, the farther infected-not-yet-zombieized people can travel. And with planes, trains and automobiles, that could turn out to be pretty fucking far. Also, once people start turning, there will be the massive evacuation/escape thingy that happens once a dangerous event occurs. Makes it even harder for people to track the virus as it spreads
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

You're also assuming that something like this would happen in a Western city.

Imagine this starting in, say, Harare, Zimbabwe. Rural China. The Amazon Rainforest.

Or, hell, the outbreak starting in Wyoming. Rural Wyoming. You could potentially have towns vanish overnight, with only the occasional weird call to the state cops (who also vanish) about homicidal cannibal mobs. Harder to spread, sure, but harder to recognize and find.

But, really.. if the turnaround time from initial bite infection to becoming a walking zombie is a few hours, it'd be easy enough to recognize and stop. If it's more of a strange disease that takes a week or more to kill the person before they rise up a few dozen minutes later.. basically, if it was in a hospital, long enough to call the time of death, detach the equipment, and start preparing the body for a trip to the morgue... then it'll be harder to recognize and stop.

So.. what Mo0Man said.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Okita » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:46 pm UTC

Yes well, the point is that Phrozt was arguing that zombie hordes seem unlikely. They are more likely if you widen the time it takes to turn post-infection (dependent on location but definitely increasing infection possibility and increasing the time it would take for someone to recognize the problem). But even under a turn rate of several hours, it's possibly to have a horde situation which was what I was trying to prove.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:You're also assuming that something like this would happen in a Western city.

Imagine this starting in, say, Harare, Zimbabwe. Rural China. The Amazon Rainforest.

Or, hell, the outbreak starting in Wyoming. Rural Wyoming. You could potentially have towns vanish overnight, with only the occasional weird call to the state cops (who also vanish) about homicidal cannibal mobs. Harder to spread, sure, but harder to recognize and find.


If this happened in China, I'd be incredibly frightened. Zimbabwe, I'd say bomb it, because all we do is send money for aid there anyway. The Amazon Rainforest....? You mean the animals there?

I can see what you're saying about rural places, and the frightening part about that being that we allow the zombies more time to move around because we don't see it until well after the outbreak has occurred. Then again, if it IS rural, and we are talking about zombies that need to feed to sustain "unlife," chances of them failing to meet that goal before becoming incapacitated would also be higher, thereby decreasing the Horde Size. Of course, then you've got people who inevitably find them and want to dissect them to study them, then find that they've infected themselves in a major city...

Yes, incubation time is clearly a key factor as to how large the horde would grow before being reported on a large scale. However, it also depends on the dispersal method. If the virus could only be passed by fluids, then yeah, the promiscuous and drug abusing population might spread it around, but the chances of a huge number of people being infected, even if the virus took a month is not likely. The reason the virus spreads so quickly in most movies is because the zombies have motive to attack and therefore spread the virus.

It would be interesting to do a study of fluid sharing among an initially selected group of individuals in large areas.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:33 pm UTC

I've yet to see anything regarding Zombies that requires that they feed. (..and if you say 28 Days/Weeks later, so help me...)So it happening in a rural area doesn't matter, they'll just be harder to track down. It's one thing to know that a 10x10 square city block area is infested. It's quite another to think there's two or three on a 1000x1000 square mile area.


And yes.. the Amazon Rain Forest. There's still plenty of tribes that live there. Simply bombing it (unless maybe you mean with nukes, and I don't even know how successful that would be versus the radiation fallout damage caused by it) really isn't an option as a body who's only weak spot is destruction of the brain is not going to be killed by bombs in the same way that people are. The compression won't get them, for one.

I'd also put forth that the reason it spreads so quickly in the movies is because it's more dramatic that way, but now I'm just pointing out the obvious.

So.. Amazon gets hit, and you'll have cities in the area suddenly hit by waves of hundreds of zombified tribesmen. Zimbabwe gets hit.. especially given the current political, social and economic climate, and it's entirely possible that southern Africa, if not all of Africa will fall relatively quickly to the hordes. China goes and you're only real hope is to get the hell off Eurasiafrica and hope they're afraid of the water.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

What's wrong w/28 days/weeks?? I love those movies....

And actually, the more I think about it, I think the scariest place would be either in South America or Middle America. Reason being is that they are very densely populated and aren't very well organized (compared to other countries).

China wouldn't be too bad for two reasons:
- I'm guessing that the melee skills per capita in an Asian city (and yes, this is a HIGHLY stereotypical comment) is a LOT higher than most other countries, and therefore the "average" town folk would probably be better equipped "out of the box."
- Many Asian countries have already demonstrated that they have no problem gunning down their own citizens if someone doesn't follow the rules. I'm guessing that if the had a reason to do so, they'd jump on it like hot cakes.

South Africa would be frightening, but for some reason, I could see the nations of the world being more likely to indiscriminately bomb the hell out of SA than most any other landmass...




Also, I can't believe I did this, but I completely missed one of the most important weapons in my survival arsenal.... please check the weapons section of my ZSP for an update.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Jebobek » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

Phrozt wrote:Also, I can't believe I did this, but I completely missed one of the most important weapons in my survival arsenal.... please check the weapons section of my ZSP for an update.
Pipebombs would be affective if :

A. Beeping attracts zombies over human flesh.
B. They are made by pro's or at least people who know what the hell they're doing.
C. They are used by the same people.

On a side note, if A is true then we could come up with ways to distract them from pounding on barricade walls or to round them up for slaughter.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Cheese » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:hope they're afraid of the water.
...which is unlikely. I'm wondering if they could cross oceans, though - there are a lot of trenches, volcanoes and other things that could damage a slow, sluggish beast which is composed of what I can only call walking meat. I'm talking about the zombies that aren't all that nimble here, by the way - if you've got swimmers, their chances of crossing are that much easier. Maybe a moderately small deserted island with constant beach patrols?
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:
Phrozt wrote:Also, I can't believe I did this, but I completely missed one of the most important weapons in my survival arsenal.... please check the weapons section of my ZSP for an update.
Pipebombs would be affective if :

A. Beeping attracts zombies over human flesh.
B. They are made by pro's or at least people who know what the hell they're doing.
C. They are used by the same people.

On a side note, if A is true then we could come up with ways to distract them from pounding on barricade walls or to round them up for slaughter.


I admitted in my ZSP that it would be "nice to have" people with certain skills, indicating that their availability in the given situation was not probable, but thanks to the internet (which I made provisions for in my ZSP), anyone and their mom can make pipebombs. The chances of someone having at least some knowledge of pipebombs is highly probable, and again, in my "society" knowledge would be shared and perfected. This is one skill that I'd imagine would be no problem for a group of people to master.


EDIT: also, updated my long term plan.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

Phrozt wrote:What's wrong w/28 days/weeks?? I love those movies....

Nothing. But they weren't zombie movies.

I admitted in my ZSP that it would be "nice to have" people with certain skills, indicating that their availability in the given situation was not probable, but thanks to the internet (which I made provisions for in my ZSP), anyone and their mom can make pipebombs that are likely to explode in your face during construction, or rely on incredibly unpredictable detonating mechanisms and will likely cause more harm than solve problems, particularly for a group of survivors who likely don't have access to the proper material in the first place.


Fix'd it for you.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Mo0man » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

Zeds are too slow for pipebombs to be as effective as in L4D.
Well, traditional Zeds
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

Mo0man wrote:Zeds are too slow for pipebombs to be as effective as in L4D.
Well, traditional Zeds


Good point, though one could always include a rather long delay to maximize efficiency against shamblers.

Talon, certainly you could see the similarities in those movies to "official" zombie movies... Not to mention, of all zombie movies, the 28 series is probably up towards the top of the "most likely to happen" list, so I'd like to take those traits into consideration.

As for pipe bombs, there really aren't that many reports of true "accidents" when it comes to the construction of them, and the majority of accidents are people wanting to test the things and doing so in stupid places. Also, ever heard of IUDs? Yeah, there are duds, but they're also quite effective and I'm sure our military has seen thousands of them in the years they've been in Iraq. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be nearly as hard as you think it would be.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:56 pm UTC

Whether a zombie is fast or slow, capable of speech or coherent thought or not, can we all at least agree that zombies are corpses - that is, dead human bodies - that are (somehow) walking and moving around?

I mean.. yes, there are similarities. But there's also similarities between Rage-infected psychotics and Werewolves, yet no one considers it a Werewolf story.
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:21 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Whether a zombie is fast or slow, capable of speech or coherent thought or not, can we all at least agree that zombies are corpses - that is, dead human bodies - that are (somehow) walking and moving around?

I mean.. yes, there are similarities. But there's also similarities between Rage-infected psychotics and Werewolves, yet no one considers it a Werewolf story.


I think therein lies our problem. Given that one of the biggest problems we've faced is perfectly describing our enemy as well as all possible differences presented to us in media, I think this is a point that needs clarification. Though I would say that the majority of uses for the word "zombie" would relate to dead corpses (wiki agrees as well), I would not say that it's completely out of the realm to say that "zombification" could be a mental disease/virus that simply controls the mind through basic urges (see the video I posted on the mind-controlling parasites). Either way, I don't see the characteristics of corpses vs/completely controlled "living" bodies being different, other than the fact that there might be some false hope that "controlled bodies" could be "saved." They might not need direct shots to the brain/spinal cord to "die," but they would need very significant personal injury, as they have the same energy and bloodthirst as that of a reanimated corpse zombie.

Therefore, in my opinion, 28 zombies are fully compliant by zombie standards and should definitely be taken under consideration. Yes, they are technically still alive, but their characteristics are almost identical to zombies (given the consideration of slightly different motives/strengths/weaknesses that we've seen across various zombie species).


EDIT: Either way, given the fact that this thread is about considering the threat "real," and the fact that 28 zombies are the most likely to occur, you'd better believe that I'm going to take them into consideration.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Jebobek » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:32 pm UTC

A few times in this thread, to prevent zombie arguements from going circular with "Well, IF they could run" or "Well, IF they're 28-style zombies" we've been standardizing zombies as "Living dead, shabling around, if you get bit or possibly scratched you get infected, die, rise again."

Now you are free to argue that a 28-style zombie incident (or some sort of chemical agent making people crazy, or a virus, etc.) will occur moreso than bodies rising from the dead; thats fine. But the main premise of the thread as been: Zombies are the risen dead. How will the risen dead act? What will we do if the dead start rising?
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Phrozt » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:A few times in this thread, to prevent zombie arguements from going circular with "Well, IF they could run" or "Well, IF they're 28-style zombies" we've been standardizing zombies as "Living dead, shabling around, if you get bit or possibly scratched you get infected, die, rise again."


I don't recall seeing this anywhere, though I did just read through all 21 pages.... so I could have missed it. I saw the arguments, but I don't recall a resolution, and I do recall seeing several places that different types of zombies SHOULD be taken in consideration, along with different ways one could be infected, different incubation periods, etc.

Either way, shamblers make everything much easier, and I suppose, if it makes you guys happy, I'd lay off the pipebombs a bit.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

Susy wrote:Well my my, I would have never figured out xkcd had a thread like this... :)

Anyways, my experience in killing zombies (more than 5000 hours of training) shotguns are the best...but none as ever mentioned salt!!! I carry always a pack of salt with me, this will me time to run far enough to find a weapon.

Remember: Always aim for the head.

I thought salt was only effective against ghosts??? :?:

Torvaun wrote:I don't know what you're talking about with the salt thing. If you're talking about rock salt as a deterrence load in the shotgun, that's a terrible idea. It won't kill zombies, it won't kill people, and it'll drastically increase the amount of maintenance you'll have to do to keep your gun in working condition.

You got the rock salt idea from supernatural, admit it! :twisted: (the rock salt in the shotgun, that is)

Phrozt wrote:After reading your novel, I couldn't help but to wish that the FF dictionary could help you understand the difference between your and you're.

It can? How? (Also, SecondTelon caught me up on the use of a "your" rather than a "you're" . . . or is that what your pointing out?) I don't know a word is wrong unless the red line shows up under it and since its not like word (doesn't have the green line from wrong grammar) then I simply don't know. I don't like grammar Nazi's . . . Iz uzta wrte like dis!!!!11 lulz! . . . but then I stoped and tried to write normally. If I didn't have the Firefox dictionary, Grammar Nazi's would hate me even more . . . but I don't care about grammar Nazi's . . . also, can we get onto zombies and off my spelling. If you have an issue with how I write, start a thread for that, don't sidetrack this one! :evil:

After reading the rest of what you said, I don't like you! :P

Someone posted a website that had a zombie taking over a city simulation . . . watch it and you will see how one zombie can infect half a city.

Why do people think that damaging without killing a zombie is a bad idea? I mean, even if you didn't feel pain, a broken leg would still be a bit annoying.

Telon? SecondTelon?!? Sheesh. -ST

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Torvaun » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:10 am UTC

Flesh_Of_The_Fallen_Angel wrote:
Torvaun wrote:I don't know what you're talking about with the salt thing. If you're talking about rock salt as a deterrence load in the shotgun, that's a terrible idea. It won't kill zombies, it won't kill people, and it'll drastically increase the amount of maintenance you'll have to do to keep your gun in working condition.

You got the rock salt idea from supernatural, admit it! :twisted: (the rock salt in the shotgun, that is)
No. Never seen/heard/read/whatever-the-hell-you-do-with-supernatural supernatural. Rock salt in the shotgun is (I thought) well-known. It was used in one of the old James Bond movies. This guy, who happens to be like the Mythbusters for guns and shooting, tested it out and found it wanting, even against normal living targets.
Hawknc wrote:I don't know if you've never heard of trolling, or if you're just very good at it.

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Pa-Patch
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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby Pa-Patch » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:11 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Whether a zombie is fast or slow, capable of speech or coherent thought or not, can we all at least agree that zombies are corpses - that is, dead human bodies - that are (somehow) walking and moving around?

I mean.. yes, there are similarities. But there's also similarities between Rage-infected psychotics and Werewolves, yet no one considers it a Werewolf story.


Thing is this is discussion of somewhat practical plans for taking it seriously. Angry virus people aren't exactly zombies, but they're pretty close for both fiction and ways of dealing with them. My idea of zombie is a horde of stupid people, fast or slow, that run after and attack the living/uninfected, which will add to their numbers if they get them.
Most importantly, they're the only remotely plausible zombie situation. So long as we're talking magic zombies that violate thermodynamics and basic biology, I don't see why we aren't discussing plans to deal with the flying laser zombies with t-rex legs (which would probably wreck us pretty hard).
Obviously we're talking pretty vague definitions here, and I'm not saying we get realistic and assume that everything would die in a week if it didn't feed. However, when I'm making my plans, I'm assuming that they'll eventually (could be many years) die out of a simple lack of self-maintenance.

As far as my plans would go, depends on the season (Winnipeg, here). If it's winter or winter is approaching I'll just stock up on all the food I can get at the Safeway a block from my house, barricade as much as possible (possibly invite friends, telling to bring anything useful) and wait. My house is pretty sturdy and has 3 easy exits with two solid entrances and no ground-level windows. The weather would stop any viable plans for safe mobility. Hopefully, the weather would mess the zombies up pretty hard too. A couple cold nights below -35 are bound to happen even the warmest year, and that should mess up any zombies outdoors. I wouldn't count on it and it wouldn't clear the whole city, but it would help.

If it's a warmer time of year, load up a sturdy car with all the supplies I can get in a short while. Food, gas, some clean water or if possible, water-cleaning supplies. Baseball bats and my bow for weapons, possibly attach a butcher knife to the end of a hockey stick for a makeshift pike. The range is nothing I'd rely on and I'd avoid combat, but it would be worth a shot before the messy shit-yourself-in-terror, bound-to-screw-up-eventually business of bashing heads. Motor it to my cabin and hope the smallish island on the middle of my lake is clear. It has a small bit of room to grow crops (not enough to support any numbers forever) but it has wood, water to boil, fish to catch and game nearby. It wouldn't do for a long term plan, but the area surrounding it is sparsely populated. It would be good to hold out for help and easy to leave if it becomes apparent nothing is coming.

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Re: Taking it seriously: The zombie problem

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:25 am UTC

Mostly because against a Rage infected, I don't think there'll be enough time to react. You're pretty much royally fucked. I don't really see humans lasting long in a Rage infected area, they'll either be killed/become one of the infected, or die when the place is nuked (from orbit).
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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