Zombies [Dystopia Rising: Evolution]

Dystopia Rising

It’s been at least four generations since the Fall of humanity. No one knows the exact number of years since the world was blasted with nuclear radiation and became infected with fungus and the undead, so the best the survivors can do is count the number of generations before them. Oral tradition and crumbling documents detail the remaining history of those first few generations of survivors, and misinformation has clouded the tragic events around the original catastrophe.

Prior to the Fall, humanity did everything they could to record and share data across the world; unfortunately, as green movements and landfill concerns took the forefront of human focus, the shift from hard sustainable technology to digital and virtual mediums caused a massive period of human growth to be lost. Music released on digital formats all but disappeared. Information shared via the internet and television was eradicated by electromagnetic pulses and low-level ground destruction. Generations of neglect, misunderstanding, and misuse caused localized electronic equipment to break or fall into disuse. Humanity lost most of the advancements from the mid-1990s forward, and comforts of the modern age were replaced with tools for survival.

The ancestors of today’s survivors were the first deviations of the human condition — the initial contact with the mutating fungal infection — and were able to survive the rapidly spreading epidemic. Those ancestors then taught their children, born in a deadly world, how to survive. Those children, the first generation of the new “strains” of humanity adapted to exist in this deadly new world, in turn taught their children how to live in the ruined world, and so on. History is a distant second to survival skills such as punching the undead and firearm maintenance.

Small communities come together in a world where concepts such as “democracy,” “freedom,” and “government” are newly reborn. Major cities have been all but destroyed; transit has been reduced to animals, wagons, and the occasional iron horse. Humanity has just started to rebuild the telegraph lines and the postmen have begun to ride from territory to territory, but large sections of the world are still irradiated or completely overrun by the undead. Steam trains become networks of travel for the affluent and industrialized territories, while small hold-out communities hidden in the wastes worship strange cargo-cult gods scraped out of the irradiated soil. Finding a community of decent size in this world is rare; finding one that has any concept of equality or morality is rarer still.

Oh, and people have the unnerving ability to come back from the dead, regrown from the very virus that destroyed the world.

This is dystopia. The world is broken. It is up to you to pick up the pieces and make a new world from the remains of the old.

Welcome to the evolution.

***

Goliaths

Among the largest zombies of the wastelands, Goliaths are giant, malformed figures with misshapen limbs and swollen growths across its muscles. Standing between fifteen and twenty feet tall, its weight slows it down and forces it to move with both arms and legs. However, its giant mass of flesh can suffer a lot of punishment, and its arms are strong enough to behead a survivor with a single swipe. Many consider this form of death to be a merciful one when facing a Goliath, though.

Unlike other undead, they do not gnaw on their food. Rather, they use their weight as a weapon, crushing targets into the ground with arms, legs, and bulbous torso. Once their target’s limbs have been shattered, a Goliath leans over them and inverts its decomposing stomach. As it does so, the acidic nature of this undead flesh rapidly breaks down the target, usually while they’re screaming, until they are little more than a condensed blob of human flesh. With a horrific slurp, the Goliath then retracts its organs and food via the esophagus cord still hanging from its maw.

Previous attempts to neutralize Goliaths have always resulted in casualties for the attackers. While feeding, the esophagus cord proves a weak spot, as it cuts off the ability of the Goliath to feed and regain strength. Unfortunately, victims tend to be too far gone at this point.

Goliath

Massive and intimidating, the Goliath roams the wastes in search of food. Traveling survivors know from a very young age the trail of this zed and take care to avoid areas under threat.

Initiative: 2
Melee Attack: 8
Ranged Attack: 0
Defense: 3
Health: 6
Vulnerable Gullet: Once a target is Taken Out, the Goliath takes two turns for it to crush them, invert their stomach, and begin breaking down the victim, sending it into Bleeding Out. Every round during this process, it gains 1 Health, but any attacks against the exposed esophagus cord do double damage to its Health. In the meantime, rescuers may roll Athletics + Stamina against difficulty 5 to free the victim, whether or not the Goliath is neutralized.

Dystopia Rising: Evolution is currently available on Kickstarter.

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