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5E Need help figuring out the crunch behind this zombie siege

Delandel

Villager
I'm writing a free adventure module and I'm stuck on a Chapter that involves a zombie siege.

The setup is this:

The PCs (level 2/3)are in a town (population 1,000) when they hear from newly arrived refugees that a horde of undead are rampaging through the countryside and are heading this way. They've got ~2 days to prepare.

Assuming they make a stand and fight, this is what they've got to work with:

- the town has a shallow moat and is walled off, with only one gated entrance
- 30 trained fighters in the town guard, have both swords and crossbows (probably MM guard stats)
- 2 expert militia fighters (MM thug stats)
- 3 expert hunters skilled with longbows (probably MM scouts)
- the head priestess (MM priest) and four lower ranked clergy (probably custom stats to be 1/2 CR each)
- enough weapons to equip ~100 commoners in the case of an emergency

The PCs decide how to use the village's defenses.



They'll be up against:

- ~600 zombies
- 3 stitched abominations (MM ogre zombies) that are good at breaking down gates/walls
- the necromancer leading the horde (MM cult fanatic)
- possibly skeleton archers

The necromancer sends the bulk of the army at the gates led by two abominations. She sned the third abomination and some zombies at another wall. She hangs back out of arrow range with a handful of zombies.

Since they have prep time, I want to award the PCs for taking steps to prepare. Some mini missions they could do:

1) The holy wards along the walls have waned in power. A character proficient in Religion can attempt to help the priests imbue the protective magics in the walls once more. If they're successful, , the zombies cannot attack/scale the walls.

2) Boost the morale of the people. If they do, the villagers get a small bonus in combat.

Other creative things that make sense.



Then my problem comes: what system should I use to describe the actual siege?

One option is using the new Mass Combat Rules, though I myself don't really grasp it.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum, I could handwave any combat mechanics that don't directly involve the PCs and just focus on the fights they are part of. There's a breach, go help, fight those guys, fight the necromancer, etc.

Not sure what to go with. Any suggestions?


EDIT: Current setup

Village Fortifications:
- A 10 ft. wide moat encircles the village. The shallow water acts as difficult terrain.
- A 20ft tall stone wall encircles the village. Units can walk on top of it. A 10-ft.-by-10-ft. section of wall has AC 17, HP 40, and a Damage Threshold of 8
- A 15ft wide gate is the sole entrance into Shadowgrange. It’s made of wood reinforced with steel and has AC 16, HP 35, and a Damage Threshold of 2
- Any make-shift barricade made by the villagers is primarily wood and has AC 15, HP 15, and no Damage Threshold

Village Defenders:

Solos:
- Each PC; can be commanders
- 1 priest, Priestess Flora; can be a commander
- 2 thugs, the cathar commander Levi and retired commander Eckhardt; can be commanders
- 3 scouts, Silvia, Rosa, and Ann; can be commanders

Stands (10 identical creatures):
- 4 guards
- 10 commoners
- 1 clergy (treat these as Priests without Divine Eminence, no 2nd or 3rd level spells, and only 10 HP)


Zombie Horde side:
Special Traits:
- The undead do not fear their own destruction and auto-succeed morale checks
- Undead Fortitude: zombies with this ability can only use it once.
Solos:
- 1 cult fanatic, Rineta Smitt; can be a commander
- 3 ogre zombies; can’t be commanders
Stands:
- 40 zombies
- 2 skeletons


Village Objectives:
- destroy an ogre zombie solo = 1 VP, max 3
- destroy all skeletons = 1 VP
- destroy 100 zombies = 1 VP, max 6
- defeat the cult fanatic = 3 VP
- protect the gate = 1 VP per round if the village has two or more stands adjacent to the gate if it has not been reduced to 0 hit points, and if no enemy stands or solos are within 2 squares of the gate
- protect the breach = 1 VP per round if the village has two or more stands or solos adjacent to a breached wall/gate and an enemy stand or solo spent the round attacking through the breach


Horde Objectives:
- destroy a wall = 4 VP
- destroy the gates = 4 VP
- defeat a PC = 1 VP
- defeat 4 stands = 1 VP
- defeat 3 non-PC solos = 1 VP
- overrun the village = 1 VP per round if the horde has ten or more stands inside the village walls


Village Tactics:
- follow PC commands
- PCs given rings that permit telepathic communication amongst them and the other solos/commanders


Horde Tactics:
- the main unit comprised of 2 ogre zombie solos and 33 stands of zombies heads for the gate
- a unit of skeletal archers (2 stands) moves behind the main unit to fire at defenders on the walls
- a secondary unit of 1 ogre zombie solo and 5 stands of zombies heads for a back wall, regiment
- the cult fanatic commands her own unit of 2 zombie stands and hangs back until the Villagers acquire 5 VP, and then she moves into combat
 
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PnPgamer

Villager
You could have players get more mini missions based on their classes. Such as warrior types could teach fighting, clerics could boost morale, mage types could put on a magic show to distract folk of their upcoming horror... Have some bar bums leave their bar and partake. Party face could convince some horses for use from the stablemaster.

On a situations like that, there are runners, hiders and people who want to protect their own valuables at first. You can work from that.
 
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This scenario is always fun.

In my experience, they key to achieving that fun is to keep the focus on the PCs.

Describe what happens to the town, let the zombies break through at some point so the PCs can plug the hole in the defenses, then have a final surge that flows into town and give the PCs chances to save townspeople while being nearly overwhelmed.

Really play up on the tension and be sure to note where the townspeople are doing things the PCs encouraged/taught them to do that are helping stem the tide.

Wait to see if the PCs will counterattack. If not, bring the villain to them for the fateful showdown.

Good luck!
 
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Quartz

Explorer
Don't forget the role-playing side! Try adding a morally difficult NPC, like a priest of Hextor (for Greyhawk). Evil people have friends and family too. And they want to make a name for themselves. The NPC should be of lower level than the PCs - or the same level if to be played by a drop-in player. A foil, rather than an opponent. Or you could have the NPC be an evil fighter-type who isn't so sure about her moral compass any more and PCs get the opportunity to turn her to Good.
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
On top of that, have a handful of encounters with the people of the town. Have an encounter with the guards, where they are talking about the fear of facing down an unstoppable horde of the dead. Give the PCs a chance to influence them on a personal level, while also giving them a few faces and names among the NPC guards. Have an encounter with some children, who are excited about 'participating in a great battle'. Give the PCs the difficult choice of whether or not to give children slings and put them on the walls. How many extra soldiers would that be? Can they have them up there, and then pull them out of harm's way when the dead get to the walls?
 

Leatherhead

Adventurer
I remember fighting ~12 zombies in Lost Mines of Phandelver without radiant damage. That town is screwed by the ~600(!) zombies alone.

The UA rules would actually be of great help to you, even if the defenders are almost entirely too small to make good use of them. What part are you having trouble with?
 

Delandel

Villager
You could have players get more mini missions based on their classes. Such as warrior types could teach fighting, clerics could boost morale, mage types could put on a magic show to distract folk of their upcoming horror... Have some bar bums leave their bar and partake. Party face could convince some horses for use from the stablemaster.

On a situations like that, there are runners, hiders and people who want to protect their own valuables at first. You can work from that.
My mini missions so far are as follows:

1) Anyone proficient in Religion can help power up the protective wards on the walls. If successful, no zombies climb over.

2) Anyone can attempt to boost morale. If successful, the NPCs fight harder.

3) New recruits (commoners) don't know how to use their weapons. If someone shows them how, they fight without disadvantage.

4) Anyone can go scout the zombie horde. This gives them a better indication of numbers and direction they're coming from.

5) Deserters and whatnot can be straightened out.

This scenario is always fun.

In my experience, they key to achieving that fun is to keep the focus on the PCs.

Describe what happens to the town, let the zombies break through at some point so the PCs can plug the hole in the defenses, then have a final surge that flows into town and give the PCs chances to save townspeople while being nearly overwhelmed.

Really play up on the tension and be sure to note where the townspeople are doing things the PCs encouraged/taught them to do that are helping stem the tide.

Wait to see if the PCs will counterattack. If not, bring the villain to them for the fateful showdown.

Good luck!
Thanks! I plan on having a main attack at the gate and a secondary attack on the wall itself. It's likely one of these defenses will fall unless the PC is there to help. Afterwards they'll definitely have to take on the necromancer.

Don't forget the role-playing side! Try adding a morally difficult NPC, like a priest of Hextor (for Greyhawk). Evil people have friends and family too. And they want to make a name for themselves. The NPC should be of lower level than the PCs - or the same level if to be played by a drop-in player. A foil, rather than an opponent. Or you could have the NPC be an evil fighter-type who isn't so sure about her moral compass any more and PCs get the opportunity to turn her to Good.
As soon as the refugees say there's a zombie horde coming, a council meeting is called where the PCs are invited. I'll have each council member have his/her own solution. Ultimately can advocate a plan, but they'll have to convince everyone to get on board with them.

On top of that, have a handful of encounters with the people of the town. Have an encounter with the guards, where they are talking about the fear of facing down an unstoppable horde of the dead. Give the PCs a chance to influence them on a personal level, while also giving them a few faces and names among the NPC guards. Have an encounter with some children, who are excited about 'participating in a great battle'. Give the PCs the difficult choice of whether or not to give children slings and put them on the walls. How many extra soldiers would that be? Can they have them up there, and then pull them out of harm's way when the dead get to the walls?
Oooh, the children and elderly is a fun dilemna. You get 100 capable commoners, but you can get much more if you put a weapon in anyone's hands. What do the PCs do?

I remember fighting ~12 zombies in Lost Mines of Phandelver without radiant damage. That town is screwed by the ~600(!) zombies alone.

The UA rules would actually be of great help to you, even if the defenders are almost entirely too small to make good use of them. What part are you having trouble with?
Just having trouble in general. I'm not sure if I have this right.

Would this be accurate?

Village Fortifications:
- moat circling the village, 10 feet wide, shallow water, difficult terrain
- 20ft tall wall, units can walk on top, auto-hit, 300hp?
- 20ft wide gate, auto-hit, 200hp?
- any make-shift barricades, auto-hit, 50-100hp

Village Side:
- PCs = each a solo, can be commanders
- 30 guards = 3 stands of guards, work as regiments
- 2 thugs = 2 solos, can be commanders
- 3 scouts = 3 solos? Or do I let the PCs find 7 more scouts and they become a stand? Work as skirmishers
- 100 commoners = 10 stands of commoners
- 1 priest + 10 clergy = 1 solo and 1 stand


Zombie Horde side:
- ~600 zombies = 60 stands
- 20 skeleton archers = 2 stands
- 3 ogre zombies = 3 solos, can't be commanders
- 1 cult fanatic = 1 solo, can be commander
- undead are fearless in battle, auto-succeed morale checks

Am I doing it right?
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
You have it right.

The big concern for balance's sake is the zombies' ability to stand back up after being killed. If all 600 zombies have that ability, the townsfolk are well and truly screwed (and it will also be a bookkeeping nightmare at the table). On the flip side, skeletons being resistant to piercing damage makes them very frustrating to fight at range.

I playtested the battlesystem rules in their earlier incarnations. PCs can fight off much larger forces with use of choke points. You could put a river a day's ride from town where they can hold a bridge and whittle down the numbers. Also, ranged attacks are extremely powerful in battlesystem, and this is where the PCs will have the edge. The skeleton archers will be the biggest threat to the PCs, at least until the walls and gates come down.
 

Delandel

Villager
Good points. I'll remove undead fortitude, it's not needed for this. Maybe 600 is still too much. Skeletons have no resistance to piercing that I'm aware of.
 

Blackwarder

Villager
Personaly I would leave the zombie fortitude as is just switch the zombies with the skeletons, have tons of skeletons and a strike force of zombies, the commoners could handle the skeletons better than fighting zombies, leave the zombies to the PCs and milita.

Warder
 

jodyjohnson

Villager
For emulating a cinema genre I'd scale hit points inversely with numbers. The more there are, the easier they are to kill. Masses - 4 hp, Scores - 8 hp, a dozen - normal hit points, the last Zombie - Zombie commander.

Also works with ninjas, nazis, and pirates.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
K I S S. Keep It Simple Silly.

Keep things in the PC's perspective. Have the larger battle going on around them, but have the entire battle turn on what they're able to do to protect a key location. If it were me, I'd ask the PCs what they plan to do to stop the undead so that I can figure out where they'd be ... when something goes wrong and they need to save the day.

Perhaps the NPCs can be manning the walls when the enemy approaches - and a large number disappear into the moat. Suddenly, the PCs hear the sounds of crushing stone as a section of the wall is suddenly under attack from the spellstitched abominations. By the time the PCs get there a hole is open and medium sized undead are starting to pour through the hole. The PCs have to contain the undead coming through and either stop the spellstitched on the other side before they enlarge the hole or stop them as well once they get through... Perhaps drop supplies in the area that smart PCs could use to block off the hole...
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
Skeletons have no resistance to piercing that I'm aware of.
Oh! You are absolutely right.

I'm sure they had it at one point during the playtest, and I just never went to check if it was gone. Armies of skeletons would be better than zombies, that being the case. With some unstoppable zombie units who just keep getting up (making their saves). Especially if they have the gate assault.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Undead fortitude should be fine since it will be at the level of the stand. Some of those 10 zombies have fallen down, gotten back up, and other stayed down during the battle, and this is represented on an abstract level by whether undead fortitude keeps the whole stand up when it hits zero hp. Generally, it just means the stand needs one more good hit to put it down.

As for a quick guess on battle difficulty, since stands are basically 1 mini each and solos are almost as good as stands in straight combat, I would start looking at CR of the creatures. Try adding up the CR of the two sides and determine what is left (My guess is part of the undead horde) and compare the remaining creatures' CR to encounter building against the PCs. The defenses may be enough to make this not a very difficult encounter.
The following is back of the napkin shenanigans. Feel free to ignore it.

So 3 guards, 2 thugs, 3 scouts, 10 commoners, a priest, and an acolyte would be one possible configuration of the town.
3 * 1/8 + 2 * 1/2 + 3 * 1/2 + 10 * 0 + 2 + 1/4 = 5 1/8 CR

Bad Guys
60 zombies, 2 skeletons, 3 ogre zombies, 1 cult fanatic
60 * 1/4 + 2 * 1/4 + 3 * 2 + 2 = 23 1/2 CR

Yeah, I know comparing CR doesn't really work this way. Anyway, the priest cancels out the cult fanatic. 2 skeletons and 11 zombies cancel out the guards, thugs, scouts, and acolyte. This leaves the PCs to deal with 49 zombies and 3 ogre zombies.

My encounter builder puts this at 10 times a deadly encounter. Better be lots of defenses. :)

Okay. Random musings about encounter difficulty are done.

With regards to walls and gates, check the DMG for rules for damaging objects. In general objects still have an AC. The AC in this case represents not whether it is hit but whether the hit does any damage. Walls also sometimes have damage reduction.

I really like this scenario, although it seems like it may be a death trap for the good guys. How large is the town? 60 stands of zombies could easily encircle a square town 12 squares (240 feet) to a side. Will the PCs learn about the necromancer ahead of time? If so, another mission may be for a couple of the PCs to sneak out with a couple stands of skirmishers and sneak around behind to try to take out the necromancer from behind while the bulk of the zombies are assaulting the town. If the necromancer goes down, all the zombies either fall over or start wandering aimlessly in confusion.
 

Quartz

Explorer
Look for excuses for the cavalry to arrive if the PCs are getting overwhelmed. Did they send runners to nearby villages? Did they give the runners their own horses? Of course, it's totally badass for the cavalry to arrive just after the PCs' victory.

With a force that size against them, I think you should prepare for the PCs to not hold the village but fight a series of delaying actions - even luring the zombies into the village and torching the place. After all, the village has got a wall around it and a moat and the choke points can just as easily hold the zombies in as out.
 

Leatherhead

Adventurer
Undead fortitude is not a question of thematics, it's a question of how incredibly powerful of a force multiplier it is in a large scale combat situation, especially considering the attackers outnumber the defenders by a factor of 6. Remember, the 10 zombies only collectively need 1 hp to be at full killing capacity, and they don't suffer from morale penalties.

Fortunately, if you use victory points, you can work around that. Kill off the ogre zombies (one point each), the cultist (one or two points), and defend the gates and rear for a few turns (one point each per turn), and that should give them enough points (10) to win in a relatively short amount of table time (but still potentially hours in game). If cultist is still alive then, they could fall back with the remains of the zombie horde to plan a better route of attack for a later day. Alternatively, if the cultist is dead, the zombies could mindlessly scatter with their threat still looming in the shadows, or simply deanimate depending on how brutal you want to be.
 
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Delandel

Villager
K I S S. Keep It Simple Silly.
Absolutely. This Mass Combat approach is actually just an alternative, but I want to get it right.

Basically in the adventure I say you can handle it two ways: Mass Combat D&D style, 13th Age style, or this custom style. I want to flesh out each option and make sure it makes sense though.

The custom style is heavily based on Red Hand of Doom's approach. The PCs have their radios and are responding to the NPC's urgent pleas. The abominations are knocking down the gates! The skeletons are taking out our archers! They've breached the walls, hold them until reinforcements can arrive!

It'll be fun!

Oh! You are absolutely right.

I'm sure they had it at one point during the playtest, and I just never went to check if it was gone. Armies of skeletons would be better than zombies, that being the case. With some unstoppable zombie units who just keep getting up (making their saves). Especially if they have the gate assault.
I like the aesthetic of zombies more though. I'd rather nerf the zombie ability than turn them into skellies.

I know in 3.5 skellies had DR/bludgeoning so you may be right about earlier playtests. Looks like they were toned down a whole step.

Undead fortitude should be fine since it will be at the level of the stand. Some of those 10 zombies have fallen down, gotten back up, and other stayed down during the battle, and this is represented on an abstract level by whether undead fortitude keeps the whole stand up when it hits zero hp. Generally, it just means the stand needs one more good hit to put it down.

As for a quick guess on battle difficulty, since stands are basically 1 mini each and solos are almost as good as stands in straight combat, I would start looking at CR of the creatures. Try adding up the CR of the two sides and determine what is left (My guess is part of the undead horde) and compare the remaining creatures' CR to encounter building against the PCs. The defenses may be enough to make this not a very difficult encounter.
The following is back of the napkin shenanigans. Feel free to ignore it.

So 3 guards, 2 thugs, 3 scouts, 10 commoners, a priest, and an acolyte would be one possible configuration of the town.
3 * 1/8 + 2 * 1/2 + 3 * 1/2 + 10 * 0 + 2 + 1/4 = 5 1/8 CR

Bad Guys
60 zombies, 2 skeletons, 3 ogre zombies, 1 cult fanatic
60 * 1/4 + 2 * 1/4 + 3 * 2 + 2 = 23 1/2 CR

Yeah, I know comparing CR doesn't really work this way. Anyway, the priest cancels out the cult fanatic. 2 skeletons and 11 zombies cancel out the guards, thugs, scouts, and acolyte. This leaves the PCs to deal with 49 zombies and 3 ogre zombies.

My encounter builder puts this at 10 times a deadly encounter. Better be lots of defenses. :)

Okay. Random musings about encounter difficulty are done.

With regards to walls and gates, check the DMG for rules for damaging objects. In general objects still have an AC. The AC in this case represents not whether it is hit but whether the hit does any damage. Walls also sometimes have damage reduction.

I really like this scenario, although it seems like it may be a death trap for the good guys. How large is the town? 60 stands of zombies could easily encircle a square town 12 squares (240 feet) to a side. Will the PCs learn about the necromancer ahead of time? If so, another mission may be for a couple of the PCs to sneak out with a couple stands of skirmishers and sneak around behind to try to take out the necromancer from behind while the bulk of the zombies are assaulting the town. If the necromancer goes down, all the zombies either fall over or start wandering aimlessly in confusion.
Thanks for the math! And the suggestions. Very helpful!

I dropped it down to 400 zombies. Could go lower maybe?

Yeah, they'll know about the necromancer from the refugees. If they lose the battle they can retreat to the Chapel or Armory and fortify there. I'll give them plenty of outs.

Look for excuses for the cavalry to arrive if the PCs are getting overwhelmed. Did they send runners to nearby villages? Did they give the runners their own horses? Of course, it's totally badass for the cavalry to arrive just after the PCs' victory.

With a force that size against them, I think you should prepare for the PCs to not hold the village but fight a series of delaying actions - even luring the zombies into the village and torching the place. After all, the village has got a wall around it and a moat and the choke points can just as easily hold the zombies in as out.
Lowered it to 400 zombies and yeah, I'll have the NPCs recommend retreating to the armory/chapel if they're overrun, or anything else the PCs think of.

Undead fortitude is not a question of thematics, it's a question of how incredibly powerful of a force multiplier it is in a large scale combat situation, especially considering the attackers outnumber the defenders by a factor of 6. Remember, the 10 zombies only collectively need 1 hp to be at full killing capacity, and they don't suffer from morale penalties.

Fortunately, if you use victory points, you can work around that. Kill off the ogre zombies (one point each), the cultist (one or two points), and defend the gates and rear for a few turns (one point each per turn), and that should give them enough points (10) to win in a relatively short amount of table time (but still potentially hours in game). If cultist is still alive then, they could fall back with the remains of the zombie horde to plan a better route of attack for a later day. Alternatively, if the cultist is dead, the zombies could mindlessly scatter with their threat still looming in the shadows, or simply reanimate depending on how brutal you want to be.
Once they hit 10 VP the day is won and the rest of the zombies are mopped up / scattered.

I've tuned the encounter based on feedback:

Village Fortifications:
- moat circling the village, 10 feet wide, shallow water
- 20ft tall wall, units can walk on top, 300hp (? no idea what the HP should be)
- 20ft wide gate, wood reinforced with steel, 200hp (? no idea)
- any make-shift barricades, auto-hit, 50-100hp (? also no idea)

Village Side:
- PCs = each a solo, can be commanders
- 30 guards = 3 stands of guards, work as regiments
- 2 thugs = 2 solos, can be commanders
- 3 scouts = 3 solos? Or do I let the PCs find 7 more scouts and they become a stand? Work as skirmishers
- 100 commoners = 10 stands of commoners
- 1 priest + 10 clergy = 1 solo and 1 stand


Zombie Horde side:
- 400 zombies = 40 stands
- 20 skeleton archers = 2 stands
- 3 ogre zombies = 3 solos, deals triple damage to structures, can't be commanders
- 1 cult fanatic = 1 solo, can be commander
- undead are fearless in battle, auto-succeed morale checks
- zombies have nerfed undead fortitude, it only works once


Village Objectives:
- destroy a ogre zombie = 1 VP, max 3
- destroy all skeleton archers = 2 VP
- destroy 100 zombies = 1 VP, max 6
- defeat the cult fanatic = 5 VP


Horde Objectives:
- destroy a wall = 5 VP
- destroy the gates = 5 VP
- defeat a PC = 1 VP
- defeat 4 stands = 1 VP
- defeat 3 non-PC solos = 1 VP


Village Tactics:
- follow PC commands
- PCs given rings that permit telepathic communication amongst them and the other solos/commanders


Horde Tactics:
- the main unit comprised of 2 ogre zombie solos and 33 stands of zombies heads for the gate
- a unit of skeletal archers (2 stands) moves behind the main unit to fire at defenders on the walls
- a secondary unit of 1 ogre zombie solo and 5 stands of zombies heads for a back wall, regiment
- the cult fanatic commands her own unit of 2 zombie stands and hangs back until the Villagers gain 5 VP, and then she moves into combat



Though it would make sense for the horde to attack at night, which further penalizes the defenders. Maybe.. I won't do that.
 

Leatherhead

Adventurer
Village Objectives:
- destroy a ogre zombie = 1 VP, max 3
- destroy all skeleton archers = 2 VP
- destroy 100 zombies = 1 VP, max 6
- defeat the cult fanatic = 5 VP


Horde Objectives:
- destroy a wall = 5 VP
- destroy the gates = 5 VP
- defeat a PC = 1 VP
- defeat 4 stands = 1 VP
- defeat 3 non-PC solos = 1 VP
I would make the cult fanatic worth 2 or 3 points, and the skeletons worth 1, then add on the Protection Objective to the gate/walls/armory/chapel (but only if they are at risk of attack)
 

Derren

Villager
I don't see how the PCs can win this without a heavy dose of Deus Ex Machina and the proposed "inverse HP scaling".

Horde Objectives:
- destroy a wall = 5 VP
- destroy the gates = 5 VP
- defeat a PC = 1 VP
- defeat 4 stands = 1 VP
- defeat 3 non-PC solos = 1 VP
Why do the zombies need to destroy the gate and the wall? As soon there is a breach they can pour in and start killing. A VP system is usable for one shot tabletop wargames, but usually leads to silly situations in an RPG.
 
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Leatherhead

Adventurer
Why do the zombies need to destroy the gate and the wall? As soon there is a breach they can pour in and start killing. A VP system is usable for one shot tabletop wargames, but usually leads to silly situations in an RPG.
Well, aside from the obvious fact that they need to make the breach so they can poor in, they don't. They only need 10 points, you should parse the big point objectives as alternate paths to victory.

Also of note, the victory conditions of the zombies are actually the loss conditions for the townsfolk. If the zombies somehow manage to make two breaches, the town is effectively indefensible, which would cause the townsfolk to panic and flee or whatever they would do at the point where they no longer have hope. That in turn leads to more RP opportunities.
 

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