This is by no means a comprehensive game, in depth location descriptions have been left out for the most part. Some maps are currently unavailable (I lost them). Feel free to change any or all details to suit your game or group.
This mission was made for levels 1 through 5 with parties up to 8 players.
Players start on a Steamship
Down the river into the city
20 total characters (add guards to the pcs)
Several artificer mechanics for the ship
Have to open the gate to the city (Zombie ambush)
Have it rain so they can’t go up the river (not enough power)
Send party to see what happened and to recover some high value research from a scientific lab/wizard lab (town map? Have tower off the river? Fill with zombies, or ambush on way back?)
Saboteur who wants the reward for himself, kills npcs by ”accident” and is douche in general (this is optional, and could be one of the players if you’d like)
I have misplaced the town map. It will be up in a couple of weeks if I can find it or redrawn if I can’t (I found it, it’s at the bottom)
Loud noises attract 1d4 x 5 zombies
When a player is hit by zombie attack, have the player make a dc 10 str or dex save (to deflect blow to armor) then a dc 10 con saving throw if they fail the dex/str save (to resist disease)
Failed con save means they lose 1 max hp per hour until they reach 0, at which point they turn into a zombie (also applies if player is knocked out or killed at any point)
Remove tainted limbs before long rest
When pc’s turn they come back as a zombie with 22 hp (relative freshness)
When attacking in large groups, roll one attack for 3-4 zombies. Then roll damage for each member of the group.
*Since this game is based around numbers of zombies instead of quality, I recommend making the zombies deal 1d4 damage per hit instead of 1d6+1. The real deadly damage should be the disease.
*I also recommend doing one hit kills on zombies to make life easier on you as a dm (less hp to worry about) keep the undead fortitude ability this will make sure the players are kept under pressure during battle instead of mowing through zombies with aoe spells or multi attack abilities.
Ship map (if needed)
Guard stat block
For simplicity, make guards die instantly if fail con save (no dex/str save for these boys, only ac) this should chop them down fairly quickly. damage is less important.
Bandit stat block (see sewer encounter 10)
Mission Notes and Outline
Start off in the hold of the S.S. Saint Ann, a new steamship with a metal lined hull and several on board ballista. Your group mulls around in the dimly lit hull of the ship, several hooded lanterns providing the meager light. You’re being sent as reinforcements (and potential avengers) to the garrison of insert name (Dalm?). The city guard sent out a message several days ago, saying they were under attack and needed help. Scouts sent out to survey the situation have disappeared. You are a group of mercenaries and troops sent to see what’s going on and recover some extremely valuable research if the city has been overrun.
The ship is currently heading down the river that runs through the city. The heavy rain has greatly decreased visibility, but the engineers say you should be there in the next half hour.
your group waits in the damp belly of the ship, until one of the engineers stumbles in from the storm. “We’re here.”
As your group exits onto the deck of the ship you see the faint outline of the city walls. The engineer waves you into the wheel room.
“We’ve been trying to signal the gate guards to open, but they haven’t been responding. We need you to go and open it up.”
Dc 19 perception check to notice moving silhouettes and glinting armor in the thunder.
12 zambos along the top of the wall and 1d4x5 zombies per round, half coming from the walls and half coming from the doors from the city
Start the ambush when players get to the wench, the zombies on the wall will attack then
To open the gate, 3 successful dc 15 str checks from one player, or 2 successful checks at dc 12 for 2 players.
Choke points are important, there are a couple of doors on the bottom floor and the paths along the wall. Use guards to hold off the zombies along these while the players do their thing.
Red means up
Blue means down
The image on top is the lower floor
the image on bottom is the top of the wall
As the players make their narrow escape, the horde swarms into the river after them, but fortunately for you they can’t swim very well and the ship continues its course into the city.
The remaining crew huddle together in the wheelhouse, clearly smaller than before.
The chief engineer is somewhat shaken, but determined to carry on the mission.
“We’ll be letting you off in the center of the city, we’ll moor the boat there and wait for you. Remember the lab is the building with the lightning rod, it should be a few blocks east. Get the books and papers we need and any survivors you can find. If you aren’t back in five hours we’re leaving without you.”
There are three main paths through the city, the sewers, the flooded streets, and the rooftops. Make this clear to your players and the pros/ cons of each path. Players could also go through the unflooded streets, but that is highly unadvised. There is a five hour time limit to get to the lab and back. This is not irl time.
Have 3 events happen before running into npcs (you can add the npc encounters to the random table if you’d like) and 5 events after
Npc encounters are highlighted orange
Have 4 events on way back
5 hour timer, the boat will leave if the players don’t get back in time
means added to the time it takes (45 minutes to get there +15 min delay= 1 hour travel time)
– Means subtracted to the time it takes
(45 minutes -15 minute bonus= 30 min
Rooftops (environment dangers, athletics checks and dex check, second most danger and second quickest) takes 30 min to get to lab and 30 min back
Dc 8 perception or survival check to make sure you’re going the right way, + 10 min if success + 15 if failed
Random encounters chart (roof)
Npc encounter for rooftops
“Family” of 7 (1 adult woman and 6 children) huddled in attic, group rounded up and kept safe in attic.
Lead by mother, Rachel- protective, trusting, wants to keep family safe by going to the boat ASAP
Flooded streets (decrease movement speed, timer main enemy, third quickest mid danger)
Takes 45 min to get to lab and 45 min to get back
The PCs CAN NOT TAKE the SS Ann through this area, the water is too shallow
Dc 14 perception or survival check to make sure you’re going the right way, +10 min on success or + 20 0n fail
Random encounters chart (flooded streets)
Npc encounter for flooded area
See 17 and 18
Sewer pipe leading into the river (time crunch, getting lost, Rat swarms, slowest least danger)
Takes 1 and 1/2 hour to get there and 30 min to get back
The clogged sewers Caused the flooded area, which is why repair team is down there
Slower on way there, faster on way back.
Dc 16 perception or survival check to make sure you’re going the right way, add +20 min if success, add + 30 if failed
Random encounters chart (sewer)
Npc Encounter for sewers
Sewer repair team, one was infected and killed others aren’t sure if infected
Repair team lead by sewer worker John Roberts. 6 guys trapped, want to leave and get to safety, also wants party to search for their families (who are all dead, and with dc 10 insight check the party can tell he knows that), will have a couple of guys help party get to lab.
Non flooded streets
Rubble, collapsed houses (most zombies, large hoard, time not important)
Random encounters chart (non flooded streets)
The lightning rod on the building is constantly attracting lightning and the blasts seem to be keeping the zombies at bay. Lots of lab equipment, make the party roll dex saves or npcs knock over some of it to attract zombies. After which is a mad dash for the boat.
Small open area in front of the lab, with several buildings and alleys blocking your path. The lab itself is in a small square
Sewer grate in alley right outside the back of the lab
The flooding ends about 200 feet from the front of the lab
The closest building is about 30 feet away
Sorry only copy of map has tokens on it
On the way back
Run, maybe sacrifice some npcs to save party members