(This is long, so if you plan to go further be ready for a huge chunk, feedback is great!)
Ok so in my lurking time here I often see people discussing plots for thier games. I know for some that plots are just a little side thing to tack on and for others it can really change the overall effect and life of the game.
At Reinhardt we're more of the latter beast, we have a smaller game around 100 to 150, and so everyone knows each other and as such the great mystery of "Whos what guy?!" or "I was tagged by What's-Her-Nuts" that you find at a bigger school is simply not possible here. Now I have run games where I made up the crappy story the night before the game and it was more of "Oh yeah now this happened btw guys...." type story. And naturally it fell into the Mad-Scientist-Made-A-Virus-Oh-No-There-Are-Zombies-Now plot. As such the game actually was played a little half heartedly and ended quickly on the third day.
Now some of our players LOVE the story that each game has, and it really effects how they play and how they act during it. Others not so much, but still enjoy hearing/seeing the story.
Well I've tried a lot of different approaches to get away from the "Virus" standard, I've used the Bio Dept. that was trying to create safe steroids for student Althletes, I've used a Chem. Professor that didn't exist who was angry that his pay was cut and therefore performed horribile experiments on his most hated students, and I've also said that because of the recent construction around Reinhardt that a rare mineral was exposed to the water supply and had harmful and deadly results.
You can imagine how many "SOMEBODYS POISONED THE WATER HOLE" posts and texts I got, maybe not one of the best choices lol.
However, what was a surefire hit and actually drew spectators to the game was The VideoVerse. In this plot we said that an "Ultimate Evil" had begun to raditate from a lost gaming console on campus. It finally corrupted the mind of a hapless student and forced him to build a device that could draw the Characters from Video Games into the Real World. Went it was complete, Left 4 Dead was placed into the device and Zombies soon quickly began to overrun Reinhardt. The Forces of Good in the VideoVerse could not let this go on so they sent two unlikely Heroes: Pheonix Wright(Played by myself) and Guile from Street Fighter(My First Mate Mod) to assist the Humans in their battle with the Ultimate Evil's horrible plan.
Right away this took off, soon we had people dressing up as their favorite characters all across the board, We had Cloud, Link, Samus, Lara Croft, and even a spot on Pokemon Trainer Red. It was amazing. When it came to designing missions for this all it took was thinking of a video game and then translating it's experience to the Real World, and with most stuff it was easy.
Mission One: The Hills Have Convenant
Halo is a easy thought to come to when thinking of popular video games. So we came up with a King Of The Hill mission, where Phoenix and Guile wanted the Humans to train for what they were going to face. In this Training Program it pitted the Humans against each other in trying to hold a 20 foot circle for 15 minutes, alone. This was truly a free for all mission, where the promised reward was great and only the King Of The Hill would recieve it. The firefight was furious for sure, midway through the mission the Zombies broke into the Training grounds and were another factor in trying to win. Once a Human was shot by another, they were out and could not be tagged however that also meant that they were going to get the punishment. Finally a brave soul became the King of the Hill and the Training was over. The King was allowed to continue to use his heavy weapons, however that meant for all the rest they were down to Mavericks or Barricades only.
To suppliment the weakened Humans, I told them that each day I would post a riddle about where to find a Pendant of Virtue(of Zelda fame) and if they could complete the challenge then they would be given Body Armor.
Pendant Challenge: Courage. I posted the riddle and it was quickly found, I told the player that to show that they were full of Courage they would have to run across Campus with no guns, no socks and no help from anyone within one Hour. He was allowed a phone to call me if was tagged on the way. I removed his weapons and drove to the other side of campus. Our campus has many hills and rolls, as well as buildings and tree lines. From the Gym(where he was) to the Performing Arts Center its roughly 1.5 miles. Once I was in place he started, and 45 minutes later he arrived bloody and exhuasted. Most Zombies were in class but still the run was nervewracking for him. But he did it.
Mission Two: This S**t is Bananas
Phoenix and Guile had heard from Donkey Kong that he was willing to help the Humans, but his distrust of Mario made him skeptical so he demanded the Humans pay him tribute. So the Humans were ordered to construct a Barrel to pledge their loyalty to the Mighty Kong. They scrambled and through the miracle of duck tape and Female construction a Barrel was made in the 45 minute time limit. The Barrell had to be tested to see if it was sturdy, so they had to load several Stampedes and a Vulcan into it. I lifted it high to the cheers of Humans, it held up...Barely lol. But now DK was hungry! The Humans had to fill the barrel with Bananas, our Student Center had be littered with them and after a basically a small WWII reanactment, and I mean Couch trenches and epic sacrifices and the sudden appearance of Super Zombie they finally managed to get all the bananas out. DK was pleased, but he wanted to see if these little Humans had what it took to be Kongs! He demanded that they eat ALL the Bananas in 10 minutes. They had about 180 bananas in the barrel. At this point I nearly died laughing, seeing so many people cuss and eat bananas at the same time, some were gagging and others firing AND eating. Doing all of this while fighting off Zombies, and surprisingly no humans fell at this point. In the end heartbreakingly.....They failed to eat the final 6 bananas. To be honest, they had it but some people only ate ONE banana while others ate about 6. DK was pleased that the Humans had acomplished so much but was angry that they had wasted the Sacred Fruit, so he gave the power to carry Heavy Weapons again(Yeah they did this whole mission with only Mavs and Barricades) but he would not use his power to weaken the Zombies, so the Zeds grew in power to have the power to Swat Darts.
Pendant Challenge: Wisdom, I hid this one a bit better...It was found three times. The finder was given a Nintendo Quiz along the subjects: Math, History, Music, Social Studies, Science and English. They were only allowed to miss one question, but were allowed to get a 50/50 and Phone A Friend. The first guy failed badly, the second got two right, but the third guy nailed it and earned Wisdom.
Mission Three: Mario is a Greedy Plumber
Mario arrived on the scene, promising a magic whistle once the Humans could gather 60 coins as they followed Mario on the way to Flag. Coins were scattered all the way along Mario's route, Mario was walking slow because he wasn't powered up! Humans did fairly well at first, but as they walked by "Hyrule Village" there were some fairly epic tree tags and I'm certain I heard that someone was the GD'd Batman....We had coin blogs tied to trees where the Humans literally had to bust them open to get the coins inside. One lucky Human found a Star and without waiting to understand what it meant he gave it to Mario, well you think you know Mario on Shrooms? Just imagine him on Stars! Mario took off at a hell bent pace, the Humans tried their best to keep up and after 30 seconds, Mario was very close to the Flag. It was getting close, and the Humans may have had enough...Mario slid down the flag, and even had a bit of fireworks to celebrate. The coins were counted....And once again, the Humans were oh so close.....57 coins. Mario was not pleased, so he tossed the whistle to the Zombies, which allowed them to warp to the future and see what the Humans would do next(Mission details).
Pendant Challenge: Power. I hid the Pendant on myself this day, saying that whoever could find me first and as me in a shrill voice: "Greg Chafin, do you like-a to do-a the cha cha?" Thankfully it worked and I was asked in the dinning hall while chatting with the Dean of Students, who spit up his coffee. Great Success. I led the poor soul outside and took my backpack off. I filled it with large rocks weighting out to 80 pounds and told him that he had to survive and wear this backpack all day unless he was in class, even while in a Safe Zone. If he could survive until 5pm, he would win. And he did it, the man was beast, he saved people all while carrying an extra 80 pounds.
I then made the winners of Courage, Wisdom and Power duke it out for the chance to use the Master Sword(melee) and I set them in Mortal Kombat....However they expected this so they let one they figured was best with the Sword win. However, the Sword carrier could ONLY use the Sword and nothing else.
Mission Four: Kingdom Hearts Bleeds
I had a contact with a church down the street, they asked us to come any time so I used that favor to have a new mission in a setting that wasn't familliar to the players. Since the Zombies got the Warp Whistle we brought them in first, and allowed them to get set up and ready. The Humans were told that they had to find Riku(played by myself) who was chained up in the woods. From there they had to take Riku to his Keyblades and through the power of Magic he would have to unseal them and from there Riku could break the sheild generator that was surrounding the device that was bringing Zombies to the Real World back at Reinhardt. 15 Humans were all that were left in the beginning, after walking RIGHT into the Zombie spawn area only 6 Humans remained, these brave few rushed out into the woods and dove into a mess of brambles. The Sword Carrier actually got so stuck that he looked like Frodo in Shelob's lair, strung up and stuck, he was tagged naturally. The Humans finally reached me, but there were only three left. They broke the "chain" and I led them to two rock formations with the Keyblades on top. It was going to take 20 minutes to unseal them, at this point it was 10pm we were in the middle of the woods by a creepy church and there was only three of them. Things did not look good, several Zombies were closing in from the darkness on the girl of the three, when all of a sudden her boyfriend shouted from nowhere "Get the f**k away from my girlfriend!" Swarmfire darts flew out from the darkness and he actually swung in from a old rope on a tree branch, no joke. One of the most badass things I've seen. The Keyblades were unsealed and we took off out of the woods at break neck speeds. We hit the edge of forest and a guy comes striding in out of the trees, another Human! He had made it through the brambles and hid under a bed of leaves until it was safe...With another in tow the 5 remaining Humans and I made it out, as we reached the sheild generator a roar was heard and all 115 Zombies came charging out of the woods. The 5 went down bravely, even the couple went down back-to-back as they ran out of ammo together.
I called it and told everyone to head inside the church to debrief and get ready for Awards(we do those) and clean up. But then out of the woods comes the 6th and final Human, he never stopped running when the Humans hit the brambles and eventually ended up in someone's backyard. He doubled back but got lost in the dark. I told him to run as the might of 120 Zombies came at him. He was massed and wiped out. We called a freeze to make sure no one was hurt and thankfully no one seriously hurt, other than shin splints but he was legitimately down and the game was over.
So much badassery in this game I totally praised the players but they kept saying that it was all the story and the missions, they felt like they were really a part of something and even though it was Zombie Victory it was the best game any of them had played.
We also have a non-player who loves the game but follows around as a "Reporter in the Field" and after every mission he posts another edition of News From The Front, he was a Senior for this game and as such this would be his last game reporting but he could not attend the final mission so he wrote of his "tale" being sucked into the machine and the VideoVerse and there he battled 8-bit and 16-bit foes...In the end through the use of the Konami Code he stopped the machine....But as such was stuck in the VideoVerse forever. It actually is a bit of a tearjerker, seeing as we wouldn't be seeing him again
I know this has been very long but I offer this to any of you, either in idea or take the whole thing, I think HvZ needs more different plotlines to keep the fresh and alive as it was the first time you play it. This was such a popular theme for us that I am going to bring the VideoVerse back with different characters and missions of course but people have been asking for more so....I'll give the people want they want