Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There's a Box of Twinkies in that Grocery Store. Not Just Any Box of Twinkies, the Last Box of Twinkies that Anyone Will Enjoy in the Whole Universe. Believe It or Not, Twinkies Have an Expiration Date. Some Day Very Soon, Life's Little Twinkie Gauge is Gonna Go... Empty.

Several months ago Rissy announced she would be coming to visit Sunland around Halloween. Of course, we started thinking of doing a Halloween Saboteur here in Sunland, then one thing lead to another and suddenly we had a great idea for ZOMBIE SABOTEUR. 

Enthusiasim was less-than-stellar with my grown-up-friends here in Sunland who have children, and suddenly Drek and I planned a trip to Hometown (for other reasons) and the enthusiasm among Rissy's grown-up-friends without children was quite steller. So we did it there. 

It was awesome. Not our most flawless game, not as seamless as ULTIMATE SABOTEUR, not as scary as the last Halloween Saboteur, but still awesome. 

Players are called “survivors”. The point is to survive until the end. All Survivors wear a pedometer on their waist. During every game, survivors are at risk to turn into zombies. Once contaminated, the pedometer is activated. Once the pedometer reaches two-thousand, that survivor becomes a zombie and joins the zombie team. If the contaminated survivor takes “meds” before the pedometer reaches two-thousand , the pedometer is turned off and that player remains a survivor. At the end of the game all survivors win. Only one zombie has a chance of winning.

The players showed up, ready to start. Most of them had done our Saboteur games in the past, but there were a few newbies. We chatted while waiting for everyone to show up. O called to let us know she would be very late, and it was decided that if she didn't show up before a certain time, she would start as a zombie.

Finally, we were ready for the first game:
Game Each Survivor is assigned a number on a ten-sided die. They wear that number on their front for this game. As a group, Survivors are asked trivia questions about survival (i.e. A 27 year old male has been hiking out in 80 degree weather all day. He complains of nausea and dizziness. His skin is hot and dry, he can't walk without staggering around and he no longer responds to questions. What is the diagnosis? A) Dehydration B) Heat Stroke C) He's turning into a Zombie) For every correct answer, Survivors avoid zombie contamination. For every wrong answer, the die is rolled. The corresponding survivor is now “contaminated.” Survivors won’t have access to meds until next game, so the more survivors contaminated, the more likely it is that all of them will not get meds in time. If a survivor is contaminated more than once, his pedometer threshold is halved.

Rissy and I had secretly worked out that we needed half the players to be contaminated at the end of this game in order for the game to run smoothly and the teams to be fair. To control that, we came up with twenty-five questions, and agreed we would stop asking questions whenever the half the players were contaminated. If we asked all twenty-five question and half were still not contaminated, well, the survivors deserved to move on as some of the questions were pretty hard.

Too hard, as it turns out. We only asked about seven questions. One survivor had his number rolled three times in a row, making his pedometer threshold five-hundred, that was actually really funny.

O showed up right as the game ended, and she became our first zombie! She was told this:
TOP SECRET Zombie information:
Congratulations! You are now a zombie! Please trade in your pedometer for a chain to tie for feet together. This will help you to walk with the famous “zombie shuffle”. If you break your chain, you must come back to zombie base to get a new one, and you will lose a link. Make sure you have your bag of red paint. If you get close enough to a survivor (you call them entrees) try to get the red paint onto them in the form of a hand print, they are contaminated. You must then leave that particular entree alone for a minimum of five minutes. After 5 minutes, feel free to contaminate them again.
How to win: Just because you can’t run very fast and crave brains doesn’t mean you aren’t clever! You can still win the game by becoming the fastest, smartest zombie. You do this by earning more links in your chain. You can do this by: #1 Contaminating an entree and #2 Spawn a zombie (this is done by having an entree you contaminated become a zombie. In the event that the entree was contaminated more than once, you need to be the initial contaminate) There will be additional ways to earn links throughout the game. Good luck!

With one zombie, one almost-zombie, and three survivors contaminated, we were off to game number two:
Survivors go out scavenging for food, clues, meds, and ammo, but the Zombie horde is approaching! Survivors must find all the supplies they can while keeping the zombies at bay! During this game, the survivors who were contaminated in Game 1 will need meds so it is crucial that meds are found and administered! Survivors are given clues about the location of supplies. Survivors can split up to cover more ground, or stay together for safety Survivors may also use cell phones to relay information faster. Survivors are given a laptop. On the laptop is a countdown timer, counting down the time to the zombie attack. The game ends when the timer hits zero.
 Supplies: Food = actual dinner items: Spam, Twinkies, Energy Bars, Can of Green Beans...
Ammo = codes used to enter into countdown timer, if a correct code is entered, more time is added to the countdown clock. If an incorrect code is added, time is subtracted.
Meds = essential to stop contaminated survivors from turning into zombies. Must take within a certain amount of time.
The clue to the location of these items is on an iphone that has survived the zombie Apocalypse (we used Drek's old cracked iphone). There are several pictures. one item is hidden in each of the pictures. Survivors will need to find the real-life location of the places pictured to find the items.

It seemed to me the survivors were still learning how to work together. They scattered, and though they found several ammo items, only two made it back to the laptop to enter in the codes. The survivors did have enough time to find the can of Spam, and a can of green beans, but not a single med was found in the short time they had to work with. This proved fatal to the player who only had a threshold of five-hundred. He was turned into a zombie. One survivor did find a geo-cache, and that was cool, but had no effect on the game. A few more survivors were getting dangerously close to their thresholds. Meds needed to be found quickly! It was time for game three!

After the zombie outbreak scientists desperately searched for a cure. Miraculously, they found one that could easily be mass produced. The meds just finished the production stage when the entire economy and commercial infrastructure collapsed. The world was in chaos: due to riots, lootings, panic, war profiteering and, of course, zombies, it became impossible make, buy, or ship anything. If someone was lucky enough to get their hands on a container of med they would carry it around with them at all times in case they were contaminated. However, other survivors were so desperate for meds for themselves or their loved ones that they began to kill anyone suspected of carrying meds. That lead to people taking great efforts to hide the meds they were carrying, but in some cases, it still wasn’t enough to save their lives. That was before people stopped burying bodies. In fact, that was right around the time they started special “possible zombie graveyard” where they buried dead before they knew they were contaminated or not. You have access to one of those “possible zombie graveyards” and you have access to information that tells you certain people were carrying meds when they died. If you can find the grave and dig it up, you might be able to save some of your contaminated friends. The catch? If you dig up a wrong grave more people could become contaminated. And, of course, any time spent trying to collect meds is time the zombies use to try and eat you. So decide now: Will you go to the graveyard to try and dig up some more meds?

It was supposed to be optional, but after Rissy and I set up the game, we decided it was not optional. They HAD to play this game. It just looked so cool!

Survivors split into three teams teams: Say no evil, hear no evil and see no evil. They can decide how many on each team. See no evil move to the graveyard and are given shovels. Say no evil are each given 6 movies in which someone has died. They then play a game of charades, trying to get the hear no evil to say the movie title. One they do, Hear no evil radio’s / calls the see no evil and tells them the movie title. The see no evil work together to search the graveyard for the actor’s headstone of the character that dies in that movie. They must dig up the grave. If they are correct, they find a med. If they are incorrect, the survivor opening the grave is contaminated. Zombies can chase the see no evils and turn them into zombies.

To prep for this game, we had sent the players sureys to fill out weeks before the game. On the survey each player had to name their three favorite movies. I used those movies for this game in hopes that the players would now the actors in their favorite movies. Some did, some didn't. If I did this game again, I would skip the actors and stick with the characters.  Even so, This game was so fun to watch. So much fun.

The two players doing charades did an awesome job. They worked together so well, and the two guessers had almost no problems guessing the movie titles. Almost no problems, except that they had to keep running from the two zombies who were constantly chasing them. Charades on the move is not an easy game to play. At one point, the actors mimicked a jedi-duel, and the gussors yelled Star Wars! New Hope! The actors desperetly tried to silently tell them that no, it was Return of the Jedi, but the guessors were too busy trying to relay that information back to the survivors in the graveyard. And also they were being chased by zombies. The two actors in the graveyard from Star Wars were Frank Oz (Yoda) and Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan). The survivor knew Obi-Wan died in A New Hope, and quickly dug up the grave before the guessers realized their mistake. By the time they corrected it, it was too late. Since that survivor had already been contaminated, he was instantly a zombie!

One other survivor was contaminated during the game, but meds were found! And another survivor was cured. One other survivor reacher their threshold and was turned into a zombie. This was getting serois! So it was time for a break.

Dinner! The survivors had their scavenged food (they sure wished they had found the Twinkies!) and C downed the entire can of Spam by himself. The zombies had a dinner of spaghetti in the shape of a brain. They chose to eat it zombie style.

Zombies secretly pick one survivor to be their hostage. During dinner, the other survivors are distracted and the zombies blindfold the hostage and takes them to a pre-chosen location. The hostage is then given a cell phone and calls the other survivors. The phone call may only last thirty seconds. The hostage must describe where he is. Survivors have a time limit to find the hostage. If they find the hostage within the time limit, the hostage remains a survivor. If not, the hostage is automatically a zombie. No meds will change this. Zombies may either stay with the hostage, or go out in search of survivors to contaminate. The hostage finds that he is locked in a lab where the meds were made. The hostage can attempt to make one dose of meds. If successful, they can use it. If unsuccessful, the hostage will be contaminated. (In the event that the hostage is unsuccessful, and the survivors do not reach the hostage in time, the survivors will arrive to find the hostage already a zombie and what looks like a dose of meds. They can chose to use it (infecting the survivor it is given to) or ignore it (nothing happens)).

The survivors rocked this game. K was chosen as the hostage, and she knew right where she was when the blindfold was removed. She relayed the information to her fellow survivors, who knew right where to find her. Instead of going straight there, R went back in search for Meds from the second game. She found some, and the contaminated survivor was cured. The other survivors used R as a decoy, and rescued the hostage with two minutes to spare. R was a fantastic decoy, and also very good at avoiding the zombies. She avoided contamination. K, the hostage, also did a great job. She decoded the notebook (the notebook was awesome. I wish I had pictures) and made a med, which she kept for herself in fear she might be contaminated in the future.

Survivors find kidnapped survivor, hooray! If they found them in time, the hostage is still a survivor. If not, that survivor is now a zombie (meds will not change this). Regardless, the whole thing is a trap! Zombies ambush players and lock them up (they DO NOT contaminate them, because the zombies don’t want to make more zombies, they want fresh brains). Survivors must work together to unlock each other. Zombies, at the same time, must compete against each other to earn a fresh brain.
Zombie Game:
 Zombies align themselves into factions with two-to-three zombies each. Each faction has two minutes to privately debate amongst themselves. They must all decide to chose one leader from their faction. They must all agree. At the end of the two minutes, all factions who could not agree are eliminated from that round and can meld back into one big zombie group. If the faction could decide, that leader is put with all the other leaders, and the other two zombies can meld back into the group. The leaders create their own faction and the timer is set again. The leader faction has two minutes to decide on their leader. Everyone must agree. At the end of two minutes, if they cannot agree, they meld back into the group. If they agree, that one zombie may go and claim a still-chained entree to feast upon. That entree becomes a zombie (not because it makes sense, but because it would be sad if they were out of the game.) The zombie who won can count it as a completed #2 task and gets another link in their chain. The game is restarted. Game continues until time runs out or all entrees are unchained.
Survivor game:
Each survivor has one hand locked to a chain-link fence with a ziptie and a combination lock. Next to each survivor is a box locked with either a combination lock or a lock with a missing key. In the boxes are the keys to other boxes or a clue with a combination on it. Survivors start off with two clues. If a survivor frees themselves, they can help the other survivors but cannot be eaten by a zombie. When the time runs out, all survivors still chained are contaminated.

The clues looked like this:
Ryan was born on the __ of the month times the first digit of Shana was born on the ___       of the month

Roz and Cav were married on the ___ of the month plus Shana and Curt’s  wedding month plus the last digit of Rachel was born on the ___ of the month.
Nick was born on the ___of the month minus Ryan’s favorite number plus the first digit of Kim was born on the ___ of the month

Yeah, it was a hard game. The zombies worked together flawlessly, making it extra-hard on the survivors. The survivors figured out the codes, unlocked boxes, found keys and figured out more clues, but just not fast enough! Only one survivor was able to unlock themselves in time, though two others were SECONDS away from freeing themsleves when the zombies ate them. At the end of the game, only two survivors were left, and one of them was contaminated. Lucky for her, the contaminated survivor was K, and she had med on her! She took and was cured!

The survivors have met a wandering doctor who has discovered a cure to the zombie virus that works on contact. Unfortunately, the zombies have evolved into spitters and runners, and can now infect from longer distances. Several ropes are twirled/knotted together so that you can’t tell which rope ends up where (the rope will also be partially obscured to prevent cheating). Everyone (players and zombies) takes an end. When the game starts, everyone tried to detangle themselves and discover to whom they are tied:
 Zombie to a zombie- Hooray! Zombies are safe! Work as a team - two red
Survivor to survivor- Hooray! Survivors are safe! Work as a team - two blue
Survivor to zombie- Oh no! You are not a team! Compete against each other! Survivor gets one blue, zombie gets one red.
Everyone is given either one or two a plastic balls dipped in paint. If you are a zombie and you hit a player with a red ball, they are now a zombie and make their way over to the zombie “maturing” ground. After reaching that area, they are a zombie and act as such, getting a ball dipped in red paint.  If a zombie is hit with a blue balloon, they must go to the “medical center” and become human. If they are then hit with the opposing color (so if a player has both red and blue on their shirt), they die (the toxin and the medicine don’t mix well) and stay dead.

The game was a giant paint fight with some tree-climbing, and K and S hiding in the bathroom to avoid getting paint on their clothes. They called a truce with Zombie C, and that made S and K the winners of the game.  Congratulations! They were reward with zombie truffles; chocolates in the shape of brains, with marshmallow or raspberry filling that Rissy and I had made the night before.

Ah, good game. It was so much fun to plan and so much more fun to watch. I'm already planning the next Saboteur game, to be played the next time I visit Homeland...

1 comment:

  1. WOW, that's awesome. Also, I know a lot of the people who were there! :)


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