The Few Who Remain
Author: Jardin Cobile
This supplement is inspired by some of the mechanics and the setting of the Last of Us franchise from Naughty Dog for use in D&D 5e. It is designed with one shots or small campaigns in mind. The primary timeline would be as if technology stopped progressing in 2013 and the initial cordyceps outbreak took place approximately 20-30 years ago. This can of course be changed with DM discretion should the game’s intention be to explore different eras of the pandemic and subsequent apocalyptic developments.
This supplement is built on the assumption of the setting being a version of modern-ish Earth. It is recommended that everyone plays as a human due to the abilities and limitations they possess. There does not need to be a restriction on what race players can choose but it should be at the discretion of the DM on how these will impact the game with their racial features and cultural implications.
Human (variants) are given a feat during character creation, so please make sure that this feat makes sense for the setting and type of game that you are willing to run.
The following are the recommended allowable classes from D&D 5e:
Magic based classes are not recommended due to their ability to dramatically affect the balance of the game. An exception to this may be a 1/2 caster class such as a Paladin or Ranger. If you do decide to implement magic in your game, then it should be considered that the enemies may have access to these arcane arts as well. Adjust the creature and enemy faction stats accordingly.
For the best experience, it is recommended that all player characters start at and do not exceed 2nd level. There will be sections later in the supplement that cover starting equipment and ability progression through the purchase of upgrades using “survivor points.”
If the players want to feel more powerful and have more specializations for their characters, please consider the following boons for each class:
+1 Rage per day. +3 Damage while raging. +Feral Instinct feature
+2 Battle Master Maneuvers w/ two d6 superiority dice, Melee Crit on 19-20 attack rolls
1d6 Martial Arts die, +1 ki point
+ Assassinate feature, + Uncanny Dodge feature
ARCANA VS TECHNOLOGY
Due to the recommended lack of magic in this Last of Us inspired supplement, it is recommended that the arcana skill should be substituted with “technology” and will function in a similar way.
Intelligence (Technology) checks measure your ability to recall the functionality of old world forms of technology such as electronics, mechanical, industrial, communications, and transportation.
It can also include your ability to read and understand manuals regarding specific equipment.
There are no recommended background limitations, however some backgrounds may not have any narrative significance or mechanical satisfaction due to the setting. To allow players more character flexibility they may choose the Survivor background and one of its features.
You’ve spent your life dealing with infected and other factions of survivors. You live in the ruins of a broken world and know the ins and outs of keeping yourself alive by making do with what you can find and who you can trust.
Skill Proficiencies: Any 2
Tool Proficiencies: Any 1
Equipment: 1 set of tools, a knife, a set of common clothes and traveler clothes, and a mundane trinket from the old world.
Feature: Pre-Infection Survivor
You grew up before and have survived since the initial outbreak and the subsequent collapse of society. Your knowledge of the old world and your years of experience allows you to roll with advantage on (a) insight checks or (b) persuasion or (c) deception checks (pick one) against other survivors. You are also proficient in technology.
Feature: Post-Infection Survivor
You grew up in a world where all you have ever experienced is a collapsed society after a global outbreak. Having only known a life of survival, you can add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls and gain expertise in 1 skill of your choosing.
The recommended equipment changes to fit a more modern setting are detailed below. There are no advisable restrictions on adventuring gear.
It is recommended that each player choose their starting equipment from the following list in addition to the equipment provided by their character background:
(a) a semi-automatic pistol or (b) a revolver or (c) a compound bow
4 pieces of ammunition for the ranged weapon you selected
(a) a hatchet or (b) a bat
Gas mask with filter and flashlight (10 foot cone of bright light + 10 ft if dim light)
(a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
Craftable equipment equal to 3 points of crafting
The world of the Last of Us has small communities working within a cashless system in which goods and services are traded at negotiated rates. This kind of bartering economy can be altered if you want to introduce a different form of currency into the setting. Some alternatives in other media that might work as inspiration are bottle caps from Fallout or clams from the Flintstones.
Firearms Silencer: This is a one use item that allows you to fire a single round out of a firearm without it compromising your position or alerting any enemies. This item cannot be used with weapons that have the spread or special properties.
Ammunition (Firearms): The general ammunition to fire a weapon. Each firearm uses a unique ammo. You can hold double the amount of the magazine.
Explosive Arrows: These are modified arrows that explode upon impact. When using these arrows, the range of the bow is halved. Each creature within 5 ft of the point of impact takes 1d6 force damage.
Incendiary Rounds (for shotguns only): Whenever a creature is hit with this type of ammo, it takes an additional 1d4 fire damage and an additional 1d4 fire damage at the end of it’s next turn.
Slug Rounds (for shotguns only): This type of ammo removes the spread property from shotguns and allows kill shots on an accuracy value of 19-20.* see alternate rules for firearms
These weapons are silent and will not reveal a character's exact position as long as they have at least half cover.
(All considered simple weapons)
Automatic (A): You can use an action to make an attack against any number of creatures within a 20 ft cube in range of the weapon. These creatures must make a Dex saving throw with a DC of 8 + your attack modifier + your proficiency, taking half damage on a successful save and full damage on a failed one. Doing this consumes ? your total magazine size.
Reload (R): This indicates the number of shots that can be made before having to use an action to reload.
Spread (S): the weapon shoots in a 10 foot wide cone with a distance of the weapons maximum range without disadvantage. Any creatures beyond that range that get hit in the spread take half damage.
Flamethrower Special Rules
The weapon attacks in a 15 foot cone. Any creature in the attack area must make a DC 13 Dex saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage, half as much on a failed one. If the creature fails, it is also set on fire and takes an additional 1d6 fire damage per turn. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of it’s turns ending the burning effect on a success.
Medkits are a small collection of medical supplies that allow characters to apply first aid and triage to themselves and others. Each Med-Kit has 2 uses before it is depleted and heals for 1d4 + Medicine. It takes an action to apply it to yourself or someone else.
The Maximum you can hold is 2.
(All considered simple weapons)
Shiv Special Rules
Shivs gain a +1 to attack rolls. When you use a shiv to attack a surprised creature, it is considered a critical hit that does max damage.
As a reaction to a grapple, you can roll an attack at disadvantage with this weapon. If this attack hits, any creature with 15 or less hit points dies instantly. When you kill a creature with a shiv, the shiv breaks.
Enhanced Melee Weapon
An enhanced melee weapon is one that has been reinforced to be more durable and deadlier. This could include things such as a baseball bat with barbed wire on it or a 2×4 with nails in it. These additions add a 1d4 of the associated damage.
Brick: Range 10/20, When a creature is hit with a brick it takes 4 damage and the next attack against it has advantage.
Maximum 1 in inventory.
Bottle:Range 20/40. When a creature is hit with a bottle takes 1 damage and is unable to use reactions until the end of it’s next turn. Primarily used for distracting and luring enemies. Maximum 1 in inventory.
Molotov: Range 20/40. 5 ft radius from point of impact. 1d6 fire damage. Burn for 1d4 for 2 turns.
Maximum 3 in inventory.
Pipe Bomb: Range 20/40. The pipe bomb detonates with a loud thump and bang in a 10-foot-radius sphere from the point of impact. Each creature in the blast must make a Dexterity 12 saving throw. A target takes 3d6 force damage and 2d6 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
Maximum 2 in inventory.
Smoke Bomb: Range 20/40. You create a 10-foot-radius sphere of smoke centered on a point within range. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. It lasts for the duration or until a wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses it.
Maximum 3 in inventory.
Stun Bomb: Range 10/20. 10 foot square area of effect. When a creature is in the area of effect when a stun bomb goes off, it loses its reactions for this round and has ? movement until the end of it’s next turn. The next attack against it has advantage.
Maximum 3 in inventory.
The table below catalogs items in this supplement that are craftable and when/how you can craft them. It will be up to the DM and player to add to or adjust the list as needed for desired items not included. It is assumed that the players will be scavenging and collecting materials throughout their journey and will have the resources to craft and gain 3 crafting points (CP) per day that they are out of a settlement exploring. The maximum crafting points you can have at a time is 6.
An alternative way to justify this resource could be that the players are subjected to a series of investigation rolls with DCs set at the GM’s discretion that represent the character’s ability to scavenge for supplies. For example with a roll of 6, 11, and 18 with a DC of 10, the player would be rewarded 2 crafting points.
Each player starts with 6 survivor points to invest in upgrades in various skills and abilities. Additional survivor points can be awarded upon completion of a mission or combat encounter at the DM’s discretion. The number in parenthesis following each ability or upgrade is the associated point cost to acquire that option.
Blindsight (4): You gain blindsight through hearing out to a distance of 20 feet. It takes an action to listen to your surroundings this way.
Crafting Expert (6): When crafting, you gain double the amount of that object.
Endure (6): When an attack reduces you to 0 hit points, you can roll a DC 13 Constitution saving throw to be reduced down to 1 hp instead. This ability can be used once per long rest.
Field Medic (4): When you use a medkit on yourself or another creature, it heals by 1d6 + Medicine + Proficiency.
Momentum (4): When you kill a creature with a melee attack, your next melee attack that hits does maximum damage. This effect lasts until the end of your next turn.
Steady Breathing (3): As a bonus action, you can steady your breathing while using a ranged weapon right before you attack to gain a +2 to hit when you roll.
Ability Score Improvement (3): You can increase one ability score by 1 to a maximum of 20. This upgrade can be taken multiple times.
Increased HP (2): You gain 1 additional hit die and can increase your health as if you have gone up 1 level.
Increased Movement Speed (3): Your movement speed increases by 10 feet.
Firearm Proficiency (2): You gain proficiency with firearms.
Proficiency Increase (6): Your proficiency modifier goes up by 1.
Whenever a party member detects an enemy of any kind, have the party roll initiative and have them be in a stealth state. Only large actions and directly being detected will cause the enemies to become hostile towards the party.
Bites From Infected
Most infected can infect people through a bite. (shamblers cannot)
This is always done in 2 steps.
The Infected must make a grapple check against the target.
On the following turn, the infected can make a bite attack at disadvantage against a grappled target to infect them. This attack does 1d6 damage.
Firearms (Alternate Combat Method)
Roll a d20 and add the appropriate bonuses for the attack to determine if you hit.*
Roll a secondary d20 and add the appropriate bonuses to determine the damage based on the weapons accuracy distribution. Firearms without the “spread” property are able to get kill shots on a 20 accuracy roll.
While within melee range, you do not have to roll an accuracy roll, but you must roll at disadvantage for the attack. If the attack lands, it will hit for full damage.
*A natural 20 to hit results in double damage for whatever you roll for accuracy.
There are 2 main ways that you can become infected which are as follows.
Coming into contact with infected bodily fluids, primarily through saliva or blood.
When you become infected, you must roll a d4 and divide the number in half. This will determine how many days until you transition into a runner.
(These stat blocks may be subject to change through additional playtesting)
For various encounters with other survivors, it is recommended that you use the following creatures and adjust them with items and weapons as needed.
The factions described below are the archetypal versions of factions depicted in the Last of Us.
These can be used as thematic templates for designing your own factions and settlements.
Heavily armed, sets traps, intentionally infects people to use as guard dogs, enslaves people for labor.
Militant Government Agency
Martial law control of sanctioned quarantine zones in urban settings, full military resources.
Loosely organized, aggressive, scavenged supplies and military gear, idealistic.
Tribalistic, well organized, efficient, merciless, patrols often, well armed with military gear, employs guard dogs, large numbers.
Fanatical, stealthy, communicates through whistles, nature survivalists, ritualistic sacrifice of enemies.
I’m not really sure what licensing I need to reference. (May update this in the future as necessary)
Monster Stat Block Generator
The Last of Us Franchise is the property of NAUGHTY DOG, LLC of ? 2020 Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC.
Dungeons & Dragons 5e
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, LLC.
System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Everything else that is not considered content of either of those IPs is mine. Don’t reproduce this as your own content. Do not redistribute this in any other formats. Printing is okay if it is for personal use.
Original “Publish” Date: 10/5/2020
Original Development Date: 6/29/2020