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Savage Tales #6: Zombie Run $7.95 $5.96
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2008 00:05:58
This supplement of 42 pages has two general parts: the first is rules adjustments and notes, and the second is a scenario.

The rules adjustment have some serious problems; the writers replace miles per gallon consumption for vehicles (understood by any vehicle owner) with a ‘level’ system that means a SUV or pickup has a fuel capacity/range of only 100 miles (absurd), while a school bus can drive completely across the USA on two tanks of gas (equally absurd).
Likewise, while the US Army expects trained, conditioned infantry (in good physical shape) to have a foot movement of 2.5 to 3 mph, the writers state that any random group of Americans (who tend to be overweight & out of shape) can easily move 8mph for days at a time.
Apparently .30-06 and .308 have somehow magically become the same caliber, although that could be a typo.

The Scenario has a plot hammer the size of a school bus; no matter what the PCs do, they can only progress if they are rescued by NPCs in a school bus (remember, according to the writers, school buses get about 210 miles per gallon).

Once the PCs are aboard the Deus ex machine (ie, the school bus carrying people with any skill the players forgot to take), there are a few interesting encounters, and then on to the meat of the scenario, which has nothing to do with zombies. In Flagstaff and Phoenix two communities have sprung up. Flagstaff is run by a competent military deserter; it is labeled as ‘City of scum’, but other than being a bit Draconian and surviving off salvage, there’s not visible trait of ‘evil’.

Phoenix is run by a committee, and has greenhouses; other than an anti-Christian bias (which is pretty common throughout the scenario), its people seem no different than those of Flagstaff. However they are openly the good guys, again without much explanation of why they warrant that label.

The entire area draws electric power from a nuclear plant. The people of Phoenix have decided in secret to shut the plant down without warning any of the other communities drawing power from it. Flagstaff finds out, and objects to losing their source of electricity (making them still more evil, apparently). Phoenix is determined to shut the plant down, and will kill anyone who gets in their way (being the good guys, that’s acceptable, I suppose). Violence ensues. The end.

Frankly, this is poor material. If you do not consider nuclear power to be EVIL, the motivations of the alleged ‘good guys’ is rather obscure, and their arbitrary ‘we know what’s best and we’ll kill anyone who tries to stop us’ attitude is hard to see as a moral high ground, much less rational. Numerous communities have access to computers, radio, climate control, and medical technology (not to mention power tools) because of the power plant, but the 'heroes' of the scenario have decided that it must be shut down, and damn the consequences or wishes/rights of anyone else.

This reads like a Darwin’s World scenario; other than the initial chapter (which can only end in the PCs rescue by the NPCs in the Uber-Bus of Endless Fuel Capacity), zombies are seldom a feature. NPC motivations are stated rather than demonstrated, and the authors’ rules adjustments are junk. If you want Dawn of the Dead zombie action, or a scenario without a railroad running through it, don’t waste your money.

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Savage Tales #6: Zombie Run
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