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Killing a cyberzombie [5th Ed.]

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Adamo1618

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« on: <12-04-14/1139:09> »
Hey! New GM here. I'm trying to create a military campaign where I want a cyberzombie to go rampage on a small society (a town or similar), and forcing the players to witness it powerlessly. (Is that a word?) Then I want the zombie to become the main antagonist, and the players to eventually kill him late in the campaign. For the zombie I use the rules provided in 4E - Augmentation. How do you pull this off?

I want them to be outclassed by him early, but discovering a method later on that allows them to kill him. The solution can possibly come from a certain research facility where the zombie was being experimented on. Can you think of a way, except something like filling him with APDS or any "simple" solution?

Rift_0f_Bladz

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« Reply #1 on: <12-04-14/1210:24> »
One of the easiest ways is hacking the monster via a decker, who could just shut it down or overload it 'ware. Remember too cyberzombies are not free think critters, but controlled by someone else. So, while the zombie maybe the first "antagonist" the real threat is the rigger running it (who may have more).
Quote- Mirikon on 7/30/2019 at 08:26:51
Agreed. This looks like a 'training wheels' edition, that you can use to introduce someone to the setting, and then shift over to something like 5E or 4E. Like how D&D 5E is best used as training wheels for D&D 3.X.

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8-bit

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« Reply #2 on: <12-04-14/1220:01> »
One of the easiest ways is hacking the monster via a decker, who could just shut it down or overload it 'ware. Remember too cyberzombies are not free think critters, but controlled by someone else. So, while the zombie maybe the first "antagonist" the real threat is the rigger running it (who may have more).

Where are you getting that a cyberzombie is run by a rigger? Looking through Augmentation, I see 0 evidence that this is the case. They are most certainly free thinking beings (kind of a stretch to call metahuman at this point), usually insane, depressed, and psychotic due to the amount of 'ware and the fact of being a cyberzombie. And cyberzombies can run most, if not all, of their stuff offline.



I think you should realize that Cyberzombies are basically considered one-man Weapons of Mass Destruction. And they have access to the best 'ware on the planet.

One of the ways to defeat one is to turn off their Invoked Memory Stimulator. Those who have them off usually forget to take care of their body and die through sheer apathy. You can also stop their supply of drugs that they need; if they stop getting them, they develop fatal cancers or worse from all the work they've had done on them. If you want to tie this into a run, you could probably sabotage a facility that gives him the necessary chemical cocktails so that he breaks down and dies.

Other than that, the only real method are lucky and liberal applying of bullets, or maybe just nuke the damn thing and hope it dies (not even guaranteed there).

Rift_0f_Bladz

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« Reply #3 on: <12-04-14/1430:35> »
Mostly from fluff and the shadowrun games (especially Returns) Cyberzombies where generally near brain dead or had the original mind so repressed they need a rigger or someone to control them.
Quote- Mirikon on 7/30/2019 at 08:26:51
Agreed. This looks like a 'training wheels' edition, that you can use to introduce someone to the setting, and then shift over to something like 5E or 4E. Like how D&D 5E is best used as training wheels for D&D 3.X.

Turned in Toxshaman for ¥1 million/4 once.

DigitalZombie

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« Reply #4 on: <12-04-14/1433:03> »
heh alternatively you could have the cyberzombie kill the whole party, that usually creates some animosity between the players and the antagonist:)

No no, I dont mean kill off their usual characters, but at the next session give each player a mercenary character (at about 70-80% of awesomeness compared to their own character), have them all equipped with sim rigs and have the cyberzombie brutally kill them all. Then the following session (or later the same game night) have the real characers view through the simsense to try and gauge some weaknesses.

Being extra mean you should make some short background stories to each red-shirt mercenary, stuff like: this will be his last mission before returning home to his wife and toddler, or getting enough money to pay for his kid brothers surgery etc.

... or send the runners out to find some real have emotional heartbreaking stuff from the cyberzombies past and load that into its memory stimulator, making him/it go nuts or break down or whatever.

farfromnice

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« Reply #5 on: <12-04-14/1517:07> »
I was thinking to run a game with basically the same idea

something like : a High Technology Drone is, at first, tough to be stolen. The players are brought in to find it and discover that the drone is self aware not a real AI but it have the potential to be. The problem is it's in a killing spree, much like the first Rambo, and fight everything who looks like a corp as the players advanced in the game they finds that "the killing spree" is only a cover up by the employer corp to retrieve his drone. Now, normally, the players talk with the AI, who by the way don't think like normal MetaHuman, and now it want revenge over is parent corp for the set up ! The players could help it but in the process will kill a lot of innocent people OR they could side with the corp and make the AI prisoner again

They could reasoned with it but, like I said, it don't think like you and me, and probably see every try to temper it off will be seen with suspicion

if you don't want the AI. I see your Cyborg with a sever PTSD who trigger is killing spree. The players, at some point, will want to help it but he will see every attempt to do so with paranoia and fear, it could trigger another crisis. The Corp at this point will see the players at liability and will track them down for "erasing" purpose. Maybe they will bomb the hell out of the players who will be save by the Cyborg in a full crisis who think is in long end EuroWar or somenthing

or they could kill him and be friend with the corp :P

farfromnice

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« Reply #6 on: <12-04-14/1527:25> »
you could bring a third party like Knight Errant who is not happy to see that some corp is losing is material on there turf, they could help the players "apprehend" the "culprit" with equipment of their own

certainly the Cyborg want to be free and will respond badly to an arrest

Namikaze

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« Reply #7 on: <12-04-14/1620:36> »
First off, determine if the character is a cyberzombie or not.  If they're a cyberzombie, then they have full autonomy.  The biodrone idea that is being passed off as a "cyberzombie" isn't accurate.
Second, determine how you're converting the rules from 4th edition.  Since there aren't any rules for 5th edition yet, we don't really know how the character interfaces with things.  This is especially true for a biodrone type of character.

If your players need to a kill one of these death machines, the best thing to do is hit it with stun damage.  Generally speaking, most cyberzombies don't have the Willpower to really have a large stun damage pool, and with all their armor and such they're likely not going to do any physical damage anyway.  Stunbolts and other spell-based damage are especially effective.  Also, you might consider having the team's mage sever the connection that is keeping the cyberzombie alive.  My memory of the details of cyberzombies in 4th edition isn't great, but if I remember correctly there was some sort of spark that was being used to keep these poor sods kicking long after their body was dead.  This is what your team wants to attack - whether it's an implanted memory that might be altered by a hacker, or a mana-based spell or enchantment that the mage can destroy.
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8-bit

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« Reply #8 on: <12-04-14/1625:32> »
I don't know about the spark part, but damaging a Cyberzombie with a spell would actually be pretty difficult, if I recall.

They get their maximum natural attribute raised by their negative essence (rounded normally). While it does require Karma to raise them, a Human Cyberzombie with -2 Essence could end up with all 8s in it's stats. They also always stand at the heart of a Rating 4 Background count that affects all incoming spells.

Then again, I've never seen a Cyberzombie in a game, so I don't know what the typical one would be, if that term can even apply to them.

Adamo1618

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« Reply #9 on: <12-04-14/1630:31> »
One of the ways to defeat one is to turn off their Invoked Memory Stimulator. Those who have them off usually forget to take care of their body and die through sheer apathy. You can also stop their supply of drugs that they need; if they stop getting them, they develop fatal cancers or worse from all the work they've had done on them. If you want to tie this into a run, you could probably sabotage a facility that gives him the necessary chemical cocktails so that he breaks down and dies.

Other than that, the only real method are lucky and liberal applying of bullets, or maybe just nuke the damn thing and hope it dies (not even guaranteed there).

I like that idea. I doubt it would be Wireless (and if so, probably set to Silent) so hacking it can be very tricky and requires a direct connection. I'd also like that kind of anticlimactic ending. Maybe I'm an evil Gamemaster. Sabotaging medication might work but isn't very trustworthy since they most likely have backup chemicals and stuff.

On a sidenote, is there any was to lower an individual's Magic rating? And does Elemental damage count as Normal Weapons for the purpose of the Immunity to Natural Weapons Power? How about Toxins?

Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #10 on: <12-04-14/1755:31> »
Alternatives to lead poisoning approach:

1. The Terminator Way
The runners somehow discover that even a cyberzombie can be melted down, and so they begin a bait-and-switch series of adventures that take them through the town to the old smelting plant conveniently located nearby in order to dispose of the villain once and for all.

2. The Malcolm Reynolds Way. Shiny!
This method could involve adventure in true space cowboy fashion, with the team infiltrating the research lab where the cyberzombie was created and finding out the horrible truth behind it all. The team then has to evade the corporate masters behind everything as they race to eliminate the team, while the cyberzombie, like the Operative in Serenity, becomes one of the first of his kind to overcome psychosis.

This one is definitely more of a horror/thriller story driven method than my other suggestion, and it plays fast and loose with established canon.

3. The Macguffin Method
At some point during a protracted fight with the cyberzombie, a weakness is conveniently revealed. Perhaps the creature reacts to a particular external stimulus, like music, in an unpredicted way, or perhaps it turns out that it has a debilitating allergy to some unusual metal or chemical. Bonus points if the zombie is allergic to something a team member is allergic to as well.

The team then has to either gather a unique ingredient and figure out how to weaponize it in order to weaken the cyberzombie enough to kill it, or reproduce an event or situation in order to distract the monster just long enough for the rest of the team to drop the proverbial hammer.

Namikaze

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« Reply #11 on: <12-04-14/1916:51> »
I don't know about the spark part, but damaging a Cyberzombie with a spell would actually be pretty difficult, if I recall.

They get their maximum natural attribute raised by their negative essence (rounded normally). While it does require Karma to raise them, a Human Cyberzombie with -2 Essence could end up with all 8s in it's stats. They also always stand at the heart of a Rating 4 Background count that affects all incoming spells.

Then again, I've never seen a Cyberzombie in a game, so I don't know what the typical one would be, if that term can even apply to them.

I can't recall the specific rules, but I thought there was a way to sever them astrally from the their life force.  Still, I had forgotten about the Invoked Memory Stimulators - that was what I was talking about for the technological solution.  I suspect your memory on this is better than mine, I've never wanted to use a cyberzombie nor have I ever had anyone try to create one.  The background count thing is new to me, I think.  I'll have to go back and read the rules.  But it makes sense - these things are just wrong.

1. The Terminator Way
The runners somehow discover that even a cyberzombie can be melted down, and so they begin a bait-and-switch series of adventures that take them through the town to the old smelting plant conveniently located nearby in order to dispose of the villain once and for all.

This is a great solution to any big bad guy.  :)

2. The Malcolm Reynolds Way. Shiny!
This method could involve adventure in true space cowboy fashion, with the team infiltrating the research lab where the cyberzombie was created and finding out the horrible truth behind it all. The team then has to evade the corporate masters behind everything as they race to eliminate the team, while the cyberzombie, like the Operative in Serenity, becomes one of the first of his kind to overcome psychosis.

This one is definitely more of a horror/thriller story driven method than my other suggestion, and it plays fast and loose with established canon.

This would be interesting - I think a lot of work has to be done by the GM to make this work in a game setting, but if the GM wants to put that kind of effort into it then the players would get a nice reward.  The story potential here is awesome.  And established canon is only worth what a GM wants it to be worth, so I say go for it.

3. The Macguffin Method
At some point during a protracted fight with the cyberzombie, a weakness is conveniently revealed. Perhaps the creature reacts to a particular external stimulus, like music, in an unpredicted way, or perhaps it turns out that it has a debilitating allergy to some unusual metal or chemical. Bonus points if the zombie is allergic to something a team member is allergic to as well.

The team then has to either gather a unique ingredient and figure out how to weaponize it in order to weaken the cyberzombie enough to kill it, or reproduce an event or situation in order to distract the monster just long enough for the rest of the team to drop the proverbial hammer.

I like this method the best, as it's a great combination of the other two methods you suggested.  It has some storyline elements that are intriguing, and it gives the players an "I Win" button they can (maybe) press in time to save their hides.
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Shaidar

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« Reply #12 on: <12-04-14/2247:27> »
While Cyberzombies were originally freethinking individual Metahumans, they require a very expensive and tightly controlled process for their creation, and more importantly, ongoing maintenance/support.  They are usually tightly controlled, reusable self-guided weapons, which tend to view the world as if they were playing a round of Doom.

You might want to give some thought to which cat/corp the Cyberzombie/paw belongs

McGuffin

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« Reply #13 on: <12-05-14/1203:03> »
A Cyberzombie is the ultimate badass opponent. If your Cyberzombie gets defeated by simply pulling some switch it would take away from the drama and excitement. In my humble opinion, if the runners don't think back to that fight and shiver in fear of the enormous personal costs it involved - even though they won - something went wrong. There shouldn't be a situation where they cheer and kill it, walking away while high-fiving.

I really like the approach that the runners need to do some research, breaking into a lab or something to gather intel about this particular Cyberzombie.
It implies that the creature is not defeatable otherwise (and it shouldn't with all the best hardware money can buy, driven by expert combat and tactical training. Keep in mind its not stupid and highly mobile. A Cyberzombie could just retreat to come back later), and it needs the help of all runners not just one, which is always funnier for the players.

Assuming the runners actually have a hacker available (should be a player), one solution might be to find a way to activate his wireless transponder (let's call it antenna).
Before that he is not reachable via wireless attempts to hack. Call it a precaution of the original maker in cases of autonomous action, to prevent this bazillion-nuyen investment to get bricked by some punk-ass hacker.
Only from a specific console at a specific location (whatever secret lab or facility you might find worthy for this endfight) his antenna can be activated.

This scenario leads to,
a) The runners need to lure the Cyberzombie to the location (which could be hard if you rule that it knows about its 'antenna dilemma') and close to the short-range transponder.
b) They need to play with it while the hacker attempts to hack the protected console, to deactivate it.

It would involve all runners to participate, create a great deal of suspense and the dramatic sacrifice option where runners really take hits to keep it where it needs to be.
And it gives you a lot of things to twitch to create the exact atmosphere you want. Too easy so far? Make something on the console break because its so old - hacker needs to repair it fast. Or let the Cyberzombie see through their trap and try to retreat - until a runner comes out of cover and taunts it. The runner is no in a duel to the death which he can only hope to win by surviving long enough. You get the idea.

Hope that helps. Would be nice if you let us know how it all played out, when it's done.

Adamo1618

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« Reply #14 on: <12-05-14/1413:39> »
Thanks a lot guys! I'm gonna give them several ways to pull it off, and different endings based on which one they choose.

Hope that helps. Would be nice if you let us know how it all played out, when it's done.

I really want to, but it might take a while (about a month I guess). But I'll post here once it happens ^^