On the Bus

The game starts with all the characters on the bus but if the game were a film, the opening credits would include a montage showing how each character arrived on the bus. Allow each player in turn to introduce their character by describing the events prior to their arrival and how they came to be on the bus. This will start with the bus driver (John Otto if the pre-gen characters are being used). Whoever is driving does not require any specific advantages though it may help. All the character needs is a backstory which makes it credible they could drive a bus and would have the opportunity to take possession of one at the start of the apocalypse.

Before each character's introduction the Game Leader should drop in background information via Mikey McCann, the DJ at KBFL.


Gooood Morning! Mikey McCann here with McCann's Drive Through Breakfast Show on KBFL. Playing classic hits and the latest tunes to start your day with a bang.

We have some traffic news for you. Avoid Fifth Street at the moment, there is something going on outside the hospital and the police are in attendance. Now back to the music with Don't Stop Me Now by Queen.


And you are back with Mickey McCann, the golden voice of radio, only on KBFL! As you heard on the news there is something serious happening in the downtown area, things are pretty confused and traffic is at a standstill throughout the city. A whole bunch of minor accidents around the metropolis area is adding to the problems. But don't lose your cool, it is not the end of world. Except it is, here is R.E.M. with It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).


It's one o'clock and Mickey McCann is still on air! What is happening? Let me tell you. Host of our lunchtime show, John 'Long' Silvers, hasn't made it to the station. The city is in gridlock and police say one or more violent offenders are on the loose. Everyone is recommended to stay where they are, to lock the doors and stay tuned to KBFL. We are trying to get more information from the police but until then, back to the music with Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bad Moon Rising.


Folks, Mickey McCann here and I can tell you things are pretty bad. We don't know what is happening as we cannot contact anyone at Police H.Q. or the State Marshals. The TV News was showing rioting and panic in Washington D.C. and New York but about five minutes ago most channels went off air. Whatever is happening it is big, it is nationwide and it is bad.

I don't know what to tell all you people but here at KBFL we have barricaded the doors at the station and we plan to stay on the air.


Mickey McCann, bringing you eye-witness news of this madness. I am looking out of our studio window on to the junction of Romero & Snyder and, people, you will not believe what I am seeing. A shambling crowd of men and women has just stopped a car, dragged the occupants out of the car and started eating them! I am not high, I am not mistaken. It is happening twenty feet below me. There are people eating people and the police are nowhere. Oh my god, someone has come out with a gun and started shooting the flesh-eaters. It is not working. They are just walking slowly towards the man. Oh my god, I can't watch, they are tearing him apart…


Folks, I don't know what to say. I'm here alone at KBFL. Everyone else is trying to get home to their families or out of the city. I've no family nearby since Mrs McCann ran off with that voice-over guy and this station has been my home for twenty years. The doors are locked and this place is as safe as I can make it. I've liberated the little .22 pistol the station head kept in his desk just in case one of us DJs went mental while on air. My plan is to keep broadcasting as long as possible and if those bastards come for me, I shall take a few with me.

Good News

At this point the game starts with the bus climbing into the mountains along the back roads.

Its has been an hour since you last saw a flesh-eater but neither have you seen any living people. As the sun drops towards the horizon and darkness starts to fall, KBFL is only radio station still on air. Its signal comes through loud and clear as the bus nears the summit of a pass.

Ladies and gentleman this is Mikey McCann here! We’ve just been in contact with the government! Yes folks, Uncle Sam still exists! I spoke to General Koby Bryce, 82nd Airborne. Finally we have some real news on the situation. An unknown disease is sweeping the country turning people into deranged flesh-eating creatures. His advice was simple. Hunker down wherever you can, build barricades, avoid contact with other people and arm yourself with whatever weapons you can find. If you have a TV, turn to channel 55 for emergency broadcasts, that is channel 55.

As everyone listens, a house comes into view, nestled back into the woods, lights blazing like a beacon in the oncoming dark, promising safety and shelter.

In this moment of distraction a speeding car comes over the top of the pass and straight towards the bus.

The bus is going to crash, the only question is how badly everyone is hurt. The crash counts as a 3d6+3 attack, promoting a resistance action from everyone. This is a narrative action allowing characters to make use of all their potential and, if relevant, the characters' free resistance. The purpose of the scene is to help players get to grips with their characters and advantages. Game Leaders should be generous and allow characters to use any advantages they can justify as being useful to survive the bus crash. Whoever is driving the bus has the option of using their driving skills to minimise the accident though this will only help them and not the other characters. Characters who fail their resistance action take Life damage as per a physical attack.

The car ricochets off the side of the bus as both vehicles swerve but the bus sideswipes a tree. Glass breaks, metal tears, branches punch through into the bus. The engine whines and cuts out as the bus slides to a stop in a cloud of dirt and smoke.

The bus has skidded, half off the road and the engine has stopped. It will not restart. Many of the windows down one side are smashed and the metalwork is badly dented. Any NPCs (unused characters) have been killed in the accident, impaled on branches or suffering similarly gruesome deaths. The car was not so lucky - it went off the road into a tree, and is now on fire. There are no survivors.

Characters taking an action can examine the bus.

Apart from broken windows and dents the bus is reasonably unharmed. The only problem is the road is covered in diesel. There must be a major fuel leak somewhere.
A quick check underneath the bus reveals the fuel tank has been punctured but it would be possible to fix it. All it needs is duct tape to fix the hole and some diesel to refill the tank.
What Now?

Woodlands cover both sides of the unlit road and the sun is setting. The house the characters saw is out of sight but it was on top of the hill and no more than a 20 minutes walk through the woods. They should be there before dark. This is the characters' only real option, the only sign of civilisation the survivors have seen in the last hour of their drive.

Before beginning their trek, the characters may wished to scavenge for useful equipment. Characters can equip themselves with tree branches as ad-hoc (0d6+2) weapons and a search of the bus will turn up:

Bus Keys.
1 x Tyre Iron
Notes To The Game Leader

It is possible the characters will assume the bus is unrepairable or decide to avoid the house. Neither of these is a problem. The bus is only a minor part of the challenges facing the characters in the next few hours. Whatever the characters do next, they need food and shelter in order to survive. Allow the group to head off in whichever direction they choose and after an encounter with a zombie, they discover a house. A house which most certainly isn't the house they saw on the hill. No siree, it is a completely different house. Now turn to The House In The Woods.

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open/oneshots/outbreak/onthebus.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/08 13:39 by tregenza
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The 6d6 RPG tabletop store is owned and operated by Chris Tregenza. Who also owns and runs Myomancy, a site about ADD / ADHD medication, Autism and Dyslexia Treatments and also site called Poosk. Chris also provides copy-writing, web design SEO advice to sites like Dingles' Games pathfinder rpg resources.