Gregory 0:00
Look… I don’t know what to tell you. It’s a miracle we can even keep this Terror Engine under control. This tech isn’t like our tech it’s, it’s special. It’s almost alive.

Lucy 0:13
Hi, I’m Lucy and I’m playing Vake.

Gregory 0:17
This job isn’t so much keeping the engine running as it is keeping it from fixing everything around it according to some weird plan.

Zoë 0:25
Hi, I’m Zoe and I’m playing Comet “Baby Teeth” Sharps.

Gregory 0:29
I mean, sure, we can use it to keep the lights on, the water clean, drain it into the fuel tanks of machines that can use it.

Ben 0:35
Hi, I’m Ben and I’m playing Jones Johnson the fourth.

Gregory 0:39
But the only folks who really tell it what to do are the Ego Drivers.

Jim 0:43
Hi, I’m Jim Ryan and I am playing Karloff Carradine.

Gregory 0:48
and all they can use its power for is death.

Gregory 1:25
Hello, and welcome to Tabletop Garden, an actual play podcast where we collaborate on short, self contained stories about interesting characters, and we do it with an agenda. I’m Gregory Avery-Weir. Today we’re continuing Ego Driver, a campaign of post apocalyptic vehicular combat using the Big Eyes Small Mouth third edition ruleset. As a note, as we’re heading into the final several episodes here, the episodes are going to be a little long, just due to where the good breaks in the story were and the way that we did out of character chats. Usually we’ve had episodes that are about an hour long, these are a little bit chunkier, but hopefully they won’t drag on too long. As usual, if you want to see episodes early, you can go to and support my work there. As always, our agenda is to honestly portray diverse characters pursue healthy play practices and craft story with social responsibility. For this campaign, we’re also following the rules save yourself, make it look good, and live like you’re dying. For more info on the show, visit: We now continue Tabletop Garden Ego Driver

Gregory 2:53
“Perhaps an object demonstration would be appropriate?” and they raise one hand up and this golden glow comes like forms in their hand above their head and then seems to burst and drift downward in glittery shimmery gold down onto the vehicles around you. And you see little blue glows gleaming in among the machinery that that is all around.

Ben 3:28
Yeah Jones is definitely looking around frantically trying to figure out what’s about to happen.

Zoë 3:33

Jim 3:34
Now’s the time for me to activate my targeting system.

Gregory 3:39
All right, are you targeting this person or just being ready for attacks?

Jim 3:45
I am… that’s an excellent question. Yeah, I think with the mine’s targeting system I am locking on but i’m not i’m not attacking yet. I want to be ready to do so should this about to go south which it looks like it might very well.

Gregory 4:03
So you’ve got them in your crosshairs and around you you see headlights snap on and engines rev and dead vehicles all around you are coming back to life. They’re APCs and Humvees and a bunch of just heavy vehicles are revving and pulling themselves free from piles of debris. And these these cars shouldn’t be running as well as they seem to be. Like, you’re seeing big holes in their engines and and some of their wheels are… Most of their wheels are just bare rims, but that blue glow in among them seems to be keeping them together enough to be able to run.

Zoë 4:58
“So if you’ve been like waiting for…” I’m doing this over the loudspeaker, of course. Um, “have you been saving this for us? It doesn’t look like these have been moved in a while. Were you just kind of waiting for somebody to show off to? What’s what’s the deal here?”

Gregory 5:15
They say, “I got a little tip that you might be showing up. An old family member that I haven’t spoken to in quite some time. And I figured that I’d give you all a little bit of a thrill tonight.”

Zoë 5:36
Oh, boy.

Lucy 5:37

Zoë 5:38
I have a, I have a feeling that I know what this one’s name is.

Gregory 5:43
And you see cars around you start gunning and converging on your location. So let me real quick set up a battleground.

Zoë 6:04
Well, at least these cars um, you don’t have to worry about killing anyone. We can just destroy them indiscriminately.

Ben 6:17
Simple joys?

Zoë 6:19
Without without conscience.

Lucy 6:22
Tell me more about your feelings toward destroying non human things.

Zoë 6:29
Gee, Jolissa, you put me in a tough spot here.

Lucy 6:33
Oh, I see what you mean. Because they are not organic material. It is fine to destroy them indiscriminately.

Zoë 6:40
They’re just old cars, Jolissa. I mean, if you can communicate with them great, but I think they’re just old cars and they’re they’re they’re probably going to start coming at us real soon.

Lucy 6:55
Well, I guess we shall see. Shall we?

Zoë 6:57
If it makes you feel any better, I might not shoot first.

Jim 7:03
I’m just sort of sitting in my car thinking. “Yep. It’s a trap.” I press the Launch button.

Lucy 7:10
All right, Admiral Akhbar.

Jim 7:12
Yeah, I know, right? “It’s a trap!”

Gregory 7:18
So Karloff hits the fire… the Launch button, and that mine goes “beep beep beep beep”, and sails out through the air towards this figure up on the top of the crane. And a moment before it hits, the figure explodes into a cloud of what look like some sort of animal. Bats, maybe. And the… the mine explodes and you see a few of them catch fire and fall to the ground but the rest of them flap and a huge swarm overhead in the darkness and you you lose track of them in among the glaring lights of the vehicles around you.

Jim 8:05
Well, crap. Is this a metallic vampire? We’re fighting a metallic vampire aren’t we?

Zoë 8:10

Jim 8:11
We thought it was a twisted piece of metal before they stood up and…

Zoë 8:15

Gregory 8:16
Yeah, you’re not sure if if you were just not quite seeing them right or if they were actually transformed into something else. So let’s roll initiative.

Jim 8:27
A radiation vampire.

Gregory 8:28
Jones you see these the zombie cars emerging from the wreckage on either side of a… you’re in a relatively wide aisle, you’re kind of going down the center row between two big seas of vehicles. And so you’re the the front of the four of you and you’ve got four of these cars readily visible on either side of you that seem to be gunning and heading your way.

Ben 8:56
And what is the boxes on the edge? Is that difficult terrain basically?

Gregory 9:02
Yeah, those are that’s piles of, of vehicles that were not intact enough to move. So they’re just that’s just twisted metal and and rubble.

Ben 9:13
Okay. Uh, yeah, I don’t want to be in the middle of a car sandwich. And I think I’m just going to open up with a ram because it seems to be about the best configuration.

Gregory 9:25
Alright, you turn right and start driving straight towards one of the cars that’s that’s heading towards you the one furthest away from the rest of the group. And you’re you’re caught in a game of chicken that you can tell neither one of you is inclined to end the easy way. Are you just going for a straight ram or are you using your drill?

Ben 9:45
Yeah, I’m gonna go straight to the drill. These things are I do not know if this if Batman is going to just start calling more of these things. So I think I’m going to open up with a drill shot.

Gregory 9:58
You are to 15 To hit, they roll the 15 to defend. So this car is seems to be like maneuvering from side to side and attempt to avoid your drill and hit you behind it. But you are able to keep up with it and keep the tip of your drill pointing towards it. And your drill makes contact and…

Ben 10:21
It does have 16 armor penetrating,

Gregory 10:24
Okay, it starts tearing through the the metal of this car, but something about the way that that blue glow that’s that’s part of them is is near the front of the car. And it seems like these things are, it feels odd to describe to personify these pumps of junk, but it really does feel like they’re eager to crash into things. And so you have a feeling that that it’ll be harder to damage them by just running into them. But you’re still able to do an enormous chunk of damage. You’re ignoring much of their armor, but they still got some that will protect them so you end up doing 50… said he had 16… 54 damage to this one. And it is it’s got a huge ragged hole down the side of it. But is still running. still moving.

Ben 11:22
Okay, so the end result is I have ended up we ended up past it, basically.

Gregory 11:29
Yeah, I think it hits it hits your sc… your drill screw and you’re kind of it’s skittering off like a like a fork in a blender. And you end up scraping your sides against each other with it. It almost torn in half but still moving behind you. Vake?

Lucy 11:48
Okay, I think what I am logistically going to be doing is readying an action. But what I’d like to do is back up to here,

Gregory 12:03
Yeah, between the two cars they’re kind of at the back of the group.

Lucy 12:06
Mm hmm.

Lucy 12:07
And then um you know, my car has a quality called Elasticity. So I also I don’t know, want to do the sort of the equivalent of like wiggling my car butt and saying “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.” So I hope hoping that these two cars are gonna come both of them running at me

Gregory 12:38
All right, you you twist and ride your car and what action are you preparing?

Lucy 12:43
To move out of the way when they both come running at me.

Gregory 12:46
Hmm. Okay. All right.

Lucy 12:49
That’s my great plan.

Gregory 12:51
Okay, cool. So you get ready to to drive out of the way just as they’re both slamming in towards each other. And it is the one part of the zombie cars’ turn. The one to Vake’s left starts seems to be successfully taunted first and goes driving towards them. Let’s let’s do contested drive checks. Okay. To figure out if you can get out of the way fast enough.

Lucy 13:27
So a contested drive check is just me hitting the drive thing?

Gregory 13:30

Jim 13:31

Lucy 13:32

Gregory 13:33
So you rolled a 19 and they rolled a 22 so they go careening towards you and you pull forward but they seem to have been actually anticipating that and so as you were directing your car to to move they turned hard the left and crash into you anyway.

Lucy 13:56
That’s what I get for getting too into that “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah” stuff.

Gregory 14:00
That is 30 damage with that crash.

Lucy 14:02
Ouch! Does that, uhh…

Gregory 14:05
Yeah, that’s affected by armor and stuff. I think in that case does it does it just slam into your armor and not do damage?

Lucy 14:12
I have 30 armor?

Gregory 14:15
Okay, so it impacts you and it just kind of smashes the front of itself against your armor and the front of it crumples heavily but appears to have not at all impacted how it how well it drives despite the fact that it its engine compartment is half the size it once was. Two of these cars make a crash for Karloff’s left side.

Jim 14:42

Gregory 14:43
I guess Give me one drive check since you’re just doing the the one…

Jim 14:49

Gregory 14:50
Well, no, give me two drive checks. We’ll, we’ll do two contested drive checks.

Jim 14:53
Okay doke.

Gregory 14:55
They roll a 19 on their first attack.

Zoë 14:58

Gregory 15:00
Right, so you’re able to pull forward and one of them zooms past your ba… your back bumper, the other one, rolls an 18.

Jim 15:08
All right, here we go… Ooh.

Gregory 15:12
And you rolled a 15.

Jim 15:13
I think I would like to invest points at this point.

Gregory 15:16

Jim 15:17
which… if I…

Gregory 15:18
So you canspend 10 energy points per plus one.

Jim 15:21
Okay, so I would need to spend like 40 of those in order to change the result, yes?

Gregory 15:27
Yeah. Let’s see, they got an 18. You got a 16 with your specialization, so you need to spend 30, Yeah.

Jim 15:32
Oh, wait, so 30 Okay, that’s, that’s slightly better. So I have 45 of them. So I guess that’s what we’re doing.

Gregory 15:40
All right, you spend the extra. You feel like you’re not going to get to do it in time and you concentrate and turn your wheels slightly to get a little extra traction. And you just barely pull ahead of this this ram with sparks thrown up from these dead cars scraping against your back bumper. And the final car that’s that’s further forward of all of you. revs and tries for its full acceleration to crash into the back of Jones’s car. So give me a drive check. It rolls a 16 and you rolled a 21 so you’re able to to pull out of its way as it sails past you and just smashes into the the wall of rubble and then backs up a little bit to pull itself out and extricate itself again. Karloff.

Jim 16:36
Okay, let me see of these cars that are before us currently. I guess these two are still active right?

Gregory 16:43
Yeah, yeah, they’re… even the ones that have crashed still seem to be active even though they’ve taken damage that should suggest that they’re not drivable.

Jim 16:51
Moving around and stuff. And these cars have not gone yet. Which is also somewhat troubling. Alright, strange thing I’m about to attempt, and I’m not sure if the physics are going to bear out. So bear with me here. Would it be possible for me to harpoon this car over here, reverse and try to do it in such a way that I can smash it into these cars here.

Gregory 17:17
You’re gonna harpoon one of the cars that hasn’t attacked yet and try and smash it into the two that went out?

Jim 17:23
Yeah, you basically by doing that, and then with through a combination of pulling on the tightening the cable and, and reversing in a few different directions to get probably I probably end up somewhere like down here or something crazy like that?

Gregory 17:36
Yeah. Sure. Give me your attack on that car first.

Jim 17:41
All right, here we go. There’s a 19!

Gregory 17:46
Right, you roll a 19 it rolls an eight, which means you beat it by 11. So you’re… how much armor piercing does that have?

Jim 17:57
Let’s see the harpoon gun has penetrating 10.

Gregory 18:02
So that means it’s only got 10 armor against that means you deal 42 damage to it. And your harpoon is solidly stuck into this car. And then let’s do a contested drive.

Jim 18:17

Gregory 18:18
For you to pull against it. Nicely done. So it rolled a 12 and you rolled a 21 total. So you reverse and start dragging this car and it’s it’s a… struggling against you almost like a like a resisting animal. But you managed to drag it backwards and pull it with more and more force toward the other two cars that are now sitting kind of off your back right bumper, you’re backing behind the group. Vake, you’re seeing this this happen pretty much in in front of your windshield. And this one zombie car smashes hard into the two zombie cars that were attacking Karloff and they don’t seem to have been particularly hurt by the impact. But they are now kind of crushed together and intertwined in a way that their their engines are revving and struggling to pull apart from each other. But as they’re doing they’re tearing at each other’s chassis and are just this tangled mess of metal.

Jim 19:38
And I’m going to detach the cable for that one so that it’s not still bound to me.

Gregory 19:45
All right, and you end up back behind the rest of the group being able to see everyone out through your windshield. Comet, you have this tangled mass of metal off to your left.

Zoë 19:56
I do.

Gregory 19:57
And you have a very angry looking car revving at you from your right. That probably if it hits you would be able to slam you straight into that mess.

Zoë 20:08
I am fully intending to leave the current position that I’m located in. I believe that if I go up towards Jones I can probably hit these two zombie cars and not Jones with my electrical stunning blast weapon. And that is what I will do as long as I can position myself that so that my friend is not potentially incapacitated,

Gregory 20:43
All right. You you drive forward so that you’re seeing the two cars that are attacking Jones within your range but leaving Jones just outside of it and you activate your your stunner. Let’s see if they’re able to avoid it. Nope. So you rolled a 16, they rolled a seven and an eight. They don’t really have much of a sense of self preservation and your stunner hits them solidly.

Zoë 21:14
All right, do they even have the ability to be stunned?

Gregory 21:18
Yeah, cuz your your thing… well, oh.

Zoë 21:21
It’s… yeah.

Gregory 21:22
I guess you’re not sure

Zoë 21:23
I mean, I think the damage the damage can work.

Gregory 21:25
Yeah, the damage will work. They each take 36 which pushes the… The car that Jones tore half off of? Your shock races over its components and it must fry enough of them that even the Terror Energy can’t keep this one active. The car that tried to slam into Jones earlier you deal solid damage to and then it is going to make a Body check. So it hits a 13 which is just enough to not get it’s it’s electrical systems incapacitated. But you can see that parts of it are smoking from the the electricity and so it probably this probably will work to disable it eventually.

Zoë 22:17

Gregory 22:19
And the rest of the cars… the the one… out of this group of four, one of them just got fried by Comet’s stunner and one of them is still entangled up in that mess of churning metal that is the three of them crashed together. But the two remaining, one of them will race forward and try and sandwich Vake between itself and the other one that just went for Vake.

Lucy 22:48
Yes, I’m here for it.

Gregory 22:51
Give me a Drive check please. So you both rolled 19s, so that would mean that it as the attacker would hit.

Lucy 22:58
Unless I wanted to spend energy points?

Gregory 23:00

Lucy 23:01
I’m gonna spend 10 of my energy points and improve it by one.

Gregory 23:08
All right, it looks like it’s gonna hit you but you managed to figure out a skillful way to contort your tank and I don’t think the rest of you have seen this level of squirming from Vake’s vehicle before. It it is completely reshaping itself like it’s just a metal balloon. Twisting and and, and making its tail so narrow that it just kind of gets squirted out from between these two junker cars who smash into each other head on. And there’s a growling of engines from them as their chassis twist together and it’s… they’re hopelessly intertwined in the front. They’re struggling at each other pulling and pushing trying to rip themselves apart, but every every attempt they make just causes more damage to them.

Lucy 24:04
My tank ripples, it undulates in an un-tank-like manner.

Gregory 24:10
The remaining car that has yet to act takes a right and accelerates. You can hear its engine rushing towards the back of Comet’s vehicle.

Zoë 24:24
Contested drive check?

Gregory 24:26
Yes please.

Zoë 24:28
Ooh, just barely.

Gregory 24:30
It rolled a an 18, you rolled a 19 see you’re able to to pull what, a hard right?

Zoë 24:38

Gregory 24:38
And let it go sailing past you. And it crashes into the vehicle that that you stunned earlier and gets it’s it’s a… these are both heavy armored vehicles. But the… what do you call it? the the crack between two armor plates splits open and this one ends up embedded half in the other car in some horrific melding of two vehicles,

Zoë 25:07
That’s convenient.

Gregory 25:09
So in this space at the moment, everything is still for a bit, and you hear the flutter of wings and the this cloud of bats descends behind all of you further away from the ship and coalesces into this figure again, this, this, this person in red. And they spread their arms wide again, and they say, “See? This, this is what you destroyed, this power to reshape the world. It’s gone now.” And you see these cars that are merged together, start to twist and undulate and ripple. And instead of separate cars trying to pull apart from each other, they’re merging and cr… bits of metal are crawling over each other. And it’s as if each mass of metal is combining and reshaping itself into something different and functional in a very, very unnatural way. So I think that we will stop there for tonight.

Jim 26:26

Ben 26:29
I think the phrase, “Huh.”

Lucy 26:33
It is fascinating. Is it not? that were you describing organic materials coming together in such a way you would call it erotica. And yet because it is inorganic, you call it horror?

Ben 26:45
I’m pretty sure when two people have sex, they don’t actually merge their torsos. But you know, I may not be doing it right.

Lucy 26:57
I will send you several links.

Ben 27:00

Zoë 27:04
Thank goodness, my old car can’t accept links through the radio.

Gregory 27:10
My CB radio doesn’t have hypertext mode enabled.

Lucy 27:15
What kind of CB radios are y’all using? Stuff from 2020.

Gregory 27:23
So we’ve talked in a bunch of different ways about post apocalyptic media, and how it views characters and and how disability shows up in it. But I don’t know that we’ve talked to just in a general sense about what post apocalypse means, like what its core metaphors are, why we are attracted to it. One thing that I mentioned in an earlier chat was how post apocalypse is, in some ways, answering the question, “What happened if all of the rules went away, if all of the power structures and all of the laws and ways of living that we have now were just suddenly gone? And we got to, we found out what happened kind of in a state of nature, but with people who remembered the way things were?” What do y’all think about kind of the deeper meaning of post apocalyptic fiction?

Jim 28:22
It’s an interesting backdrop to throw different kinds of character types against. It’s one of those elements that you can introduce that changes everything. And you get to see how someone that you think you know, how they will behave, will then change their behavior. Because they’re now in this setting. And that’s one of the things that’s very interesting to me. So that’s if you’re approaching it from more of a character perspective. And if you’re approaching it from more of a plot perspective, then it does give you a certain level of freedom with the stakes, I think you might say, because you’ve got it, you can basically build whatever you want out there. So you can pretty much move the dial on personal stakes from zero to infinity.

Gregory 29:30
In the sense of like, what do you have to lose?

Jim 29:33
There’s that yes, but the thing about having survived an apocalypse is you can build whatever you want after that, right? As a writer.

Gregory 29:43

Jim 29:43
You can set up whatever structures you want and explore them saying that these are the things that happened after everything went to hell, given that you can take these characters and put them into virtually any sort of system that you like.

Gregory 29:59
And there’s not that expectation with like sci fi where it’s let’s explain what is different, like what changed. It’s like, well, no just stuff was thrown together. Or fantasy where you got that, under trapping of like the mystical about it. This is just what if now but different?

Jim 30:18

Zoë 30:19
I think having that implication of, especially in an nearer future apocalypse where there are living people who remember how it was, gives an interesting jumping off point. Because it sort of at first assumes that, you know, you wouldn’t have necessarily unless it was a pure act of nature with absolutely no bearing on anything anyone did as as a member of human race. Like, you’re kind of implying that something went wrong, like whatever was happening before, stopped working to the point where everyone destroyed themselves or an alien race destroyed them, or an act of nature caused by human intervention destroyed them. So it like it plays off of like, we want to reinvent things probably because something that was happening wasn’t working. And you have the people who remember how it was and either, you know, acting to bring that back to preserve the old status quo or to or to have a blank slate to build something new on. I think just capturing that like human fascination with the end of the world and and seeing beyond it is one of the great gifts that fiction can give us.

Lucy 31:34
Something that had come into my mind about it is that post apocalyptic fiction, I think occupies a similar place as like wild west and cowboy movies and stories do in some ways. Like, I think there are some similarities, in that I think both of those kinds of stories are about the idea that I think a lot of us sort of unconsciously believe, which is that living in a culture in a civilized world forces you to be something particular, like you have to be a certain kind of person, wear a certain kind of mask in order to be civilized. And so those kind of stories are kind of about stripping people down to, I don’t know, something essential, essentially human. But I think in that, it sort of betrays a, maybe something that is particularly a US kind of perspective, which is that people are individuals and sort of independent and capable of doing things independently and individually. And these kind of settings, I think, in some ways, can perpetuate that kind of idea of individuality, that stories that take place in civilization, sometimes make more challenging.

Ben 33:04
One of the thoughts I had about it is, there’s an interesting hidden statement and an apocalyptic scenario that is so assumed that we don’t even think about it 99% of the time, which is that we survive. There’s that element of pick what you want. We nuked the world to oblivion, water spontaneously disappeared, water flooded the whole world, aliens invaded, every good superhero in the world is destroyed in a heartbeat. No matter what crazy apocalyptic scenario there is there is that undercurrent of some level of humanity will survive. And we may see some very, very dark and depraved efforts of humanity to survive. But there is an interesting statement there that we write characters who have gone through this nuclear waste Armageddon scenario, and will still continue and are strangely still recognizable as humans in their behavior and their personality.

Gregory 34:18
Yeah, I think of post apocalypse is kind of in two categories. There’s the the zombie apocalypse where something goes wrong with people, but everything else is sort of left the way it was. And then there’s the nuclear apocalypse where the world is destroyed, and we’re sort of left in this ruined world. And that idea that like, the distinction between those in my mind is at least partly that, you know, is the Earth okay? Even though we survived, but both of them have us sticking around. When many of the actual existential threats that we look at, they’re like, well, that’s kind of that’s kind of apocalyptic, like global pandemic or Or the global warming issues that we’re having currently, like, those are situations where the earth is probably going to be pretty fine. Like, there’s still going to be trees and animals and, and so on just, you know, maybe slightly different ones, even if all the humans die out. But post apocalypse is… are all the humans are going to make it in smaller numbers, but what happens to the rest of the world? And how do they interact with that?

Jim 35:28
Something also that I think is part of a lot of these stories is this core idea of being able to overcome fear when people are no longer behaving like people. And I’ve noticed in a lot of these stories, that the the heroes are often the ones that are trying to behave like human beings, at least in some way. And it’s a question about standing up, essentially, to the bullies standing up to the folks who have become more powerful because they just took what they wanted.

Gregory 36:07
I mean, that’s that’s kind of… The Postman is a work that sort of directly exposes that. Of let’s not act like the world has ended. Because we’re still around.

Jim 36:20

Lucy 36:22
I mean, it does sort of the require you to think that the world is is getting worse, though. I mean, even with the the tendrils of hope offered by people, some people, some kind of people surviving, there’s still that sort of declinism, right, that that things are getting worse, which I think, geologically, it’s possibly true. But I think morally, maybe that’s more questionable.

Gregory 36:57
Yeah. And I think it ties in with the fact that because, as we’ve been talking about, most of these make the assumption that we did this, that there was something that we did that was wrong, there’s an implied: “because there is something wrong with our modern world.” And it can often be pretty reactionary, in the sense of often the cause of the apocalypse is something new, something that we are doing now that we didn’t used to do. And isn’t it convenient that it manages to end the world and return that return us to this imagined state of, of pastoral innocence? But…

Lucy 37:32

Gregory 37:33
I think, maybe the fact that then all these stories, almost all these stories turn around and say, Well, no, actually, we turned violent and assault each other in a Lord of the Flies sort of situation is maybe refuting that initial premise. I don’t know.

Zoë 37:49
This reminds me of the previous episodes of Tabletop Garden, in our last foray into a possible post apocalypse scenario, and I think we had some similar discussions about like, what what kind of… Imagining the setting that we were in, and this sort of, gosh, what was the word? Something about having a very, very nature centric, like the natural world has overtaken civilization…

Gregory 38:20
There was solarpunk…

Zoë 38:22
Solarpunk, that was it.

Gregory 38:24
And postsingularity also.

Zoë 38:28
Now, I can’t recall what I was going to tie that back to… That idea that that humanity has done something wrong. And that, and that the end of the world or the end of life, as we know, it is a return to something better. The way the way it was before when it wasn’t, when we weren’t doing all of these bad things. When we weren’t meddling with forces we couldn’t control. I think…

Lucy 38:53
Like Twitter.

Zoë 38:55
Well, Twitter is certainly going to be the cause of the apocalypse. As far as I know, if I had to put my money on one thing.

Jim 39:02
I’m waiting for the Twitter apocalypse. We know it’s gonna happen.

Ben 39:05
You know, it’s kind of interesting, because I was thinking about apocalyptic literature and the concept of the apocalypse. And my brain kind of went back and realized that the way we use it in modern literature is completely different from the way it existed in our classical historic. I mean, when we go back to the Jewish and the Christian, and even the Greek and the Roman, you know, you’ve got that it’s much more about a religious concept that now it is the time of reckoning. And most of our post apocalyptic scenarios, I’m trying to think of ones that are in the modern genre. They almost always ignore any religious statement outside of things like…

Lucy 39:57
Left Behind.

Ben 39:58
Left Behind or And Then They All Went to the Rapture, things like that. Almost all apocalyptic scenarios, and most of those are not very apocalyptic. The way I normally view Apocalypse, almost always the religion, the religious aspects are kind of cast aside, when if you kind of think about it, probably during the apocalypse would be when people would tend to get more religious.

Gregory 40:22
Yeah, you often see weird cults arise, but they’re almost always like new cults of the atom bomb, and not like, “See, we were right, here.”

Ben 40:33
Yeah, you’d think some of those normal people would be like, “And you vile sinners have brought this upon yourself.” You’d think that would be a more common trope.

Zoë 40:41
Yeah, maybe it is all all circling back around to all of the religious people got got taken away during that event, and everyone left is godless heathens left to inherit a spoiled Earth.

Ben 40:56
You know, next time I play a Death Race post apocalyptic game scenario, I am totally going to play the preacher who got left behind. Because that just seems like an awesome character now.

Jim 41:07
Oh, yeah.

Gregory 41:08
Trigun is one of the main inspirations for this. And it does have a preacher character who…

Ben 41:12
It does, yeah.

Gregory 41:13
…it’s very clear, is not really a preacher, at least in many ways that matter. And I’ve mentioned Preacher before, which I don’t recommend due to many reasons. But it It follows a similar like, what is it to be a religious figure or to take on the mask of religious figure after the world has already ended?

Lucy 41:33
Speaking of post apocalyptic fiction, though, I used to know a person… she was she’s my ex in law now. And her message on her answering machine was, “If we don’t return your call, it’s because we’ve been taken up in the rapture,” which I always felt like that was, I mean, you know, that was a thoughtful telephone message that painted a world.

Jim 42:01
You know, there’s this service that people offered to take care of people’s pets after the rapture, if you pay them a fee ahead of time. Hi,

Zoë 42:09
I love it.

Jim 42:10
A type of insurance that’s being offered.

Zoë 42:13
An incredible business person came up with that idea,

Jim 42:16
But also as for the religious angle, I think also, if I remember, right, The Book of Eli goes into that quite a bit.

Lucy 42:23
Oh, it does. That’s right.

Jim 42:24
It’s kind of a core thing. Yeah.

Lucy 42:25
I actually was trying to find out why the book of Revelation is at the end of the Bible, the New Testament. I don’t know why I went down that path.

Zoë 42:37
It started with “The Book of?” Much like The Book of Life? I mean, I really liked the Book of Mormon myself. I don’t know .

Jim 42:49
The Book of the Dead is nice.

Gregory 42:50
I think I think we have we have petered out. Thank you very much. Speaking of…

Jim 42:56
I’m sure we can come up with some more books if you like.

Gregory 43:05
Speaking of post apocalyptic zealots, you are in this this junkyard. With these healing zombie — formerly car now strange monstrosities starting to loom behind you. And in front of you, is this, this person in red. What are you all doing for this moment?

Zoë 43:31
All the zombie cars were are no longer threatening us?

Gregory 43:35
They were disabled. But now they’re starting to reconstitute themselves with that that blue glow…

Zoë 43:41

Gregory 43:41
knitting them together into stranger shapes than before.

Zoë 43:46
I’ll poke my head out the window. This guy is like, or this person is nearby us?

Gregory 43:52
Yeah, they’re they’re still doing that thing where they’re talking and it’s like they’re on the loudspeaker, but they’re probably 50 feet away. Hmm.

Ben 44:01
I think I’ve got my line if we want to…

Gregory 44:03

Ben 44:04
…interrupt him. So I think Jones after getting a little extra distance from the amalgam that is right next to his vehicle, reassembling itself, is going to kind of lean out a window and shout out, “See, now look at them there cars! That ain’t right. If that blue goo were is as a healing and regenerative as you said it was they’d be turning back into normal functional cars, not some kind of mutant what-the-hell stuff? I can’t even imagine what that kind of stuff would do to a person over a long period of time.”

Gregory 44:40
They say, “Who are you to say that this form that they’re taking now is any more monstrous than what they were before? They were engines of death. And now… Who knows?

Ben 44:55
Yeah, see…

Gregory 44:56
Don’t you find that exciting?

Ben 44:58
No, no, no, no. It is not good when the car decides what it wants to look like. What I am is someone who knows what a Chevy 57 is supposed to look like. And that thing ain’t one of those no more.

Jim 45:14
And aiming Sonic cannon…

Gregory 45:16
I see. So you know, the place for all the tools that you use to serve your purposes, hmm?

Ben 45:24
Well, I mean, if we build it, we should decide how it looks! Unless if you’re up there, exerting some Voodoo upon that blue goo to make it look like what you want it to look like. But if not, it makes it sound like this energy, you want to call, whatever your you call it, since we use different words than you do. Whatever energy this is sounds like it’s deciding what you should make it. And I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want a computer deciding what I’m supposed to look like or an alien energy force, I guess. You think computer driven, right? No offense to the computer listening on the line.

Lucy 46:08
No offense taken. However, should you wish to determine the long term impact of said “goo” on human subjects…

Ben 46:15
No, no, no, I’m good. Good.

Lucy 46:18
I was simply going to suggest you might observe two members of your party.

Ben 46:23
Well, I don’t know about the long term but in the short term, I’m not sure they’re looking right no more. I ain’t a doctor. So I can’t say for sure.

Jim 46:32
Now it feels like a good time to fire.

Gregory 46:35
All right, you, you fire that sonic cannon at the person and again, they burst into a bunch of black flying figures. Bats, ravens, it’s unclear. And the cloud flies in more unison toward the exit. Again, you catch a few of them in your blast. And so a few of the animals fall to the ground and and are knocked out. But most of the flock or swarm is heading down the aisle toward the exit of the of the junkyard back kind of where you came from.

Jim 47:13
I feel like following it.

Lucy 47:15
I was about to say that too.

Jim 47:18
I think following it’s going to happen now.

Zoë 47:20
I think that sounds great.

Gregory 47:21
All right. So you all start up your vehicles again. And those shapes behind you finish reforming and start in most cases rolling but in a few cases, walking or dragging themselves behind you as you pick up speed out of this junkyard and down the the road out of the military base that is surrounded by these fields. And as you’re following this swarm, you see occasionally, those golden sparkling lights coming off of the off of individuals in the swarm and settling on some ruined cars by the side of the road or on just spots in the field, in the fields. And instead of machines coming to life this time you see bodies start to pull themselves out of wrecks or tear their way out of the ground. And these are decaying, almost, almost entirely skeletonized or mummified corpses pulling up out of the ground with their eyes glowing with that blue light. And you’re driving down the road now and see just all these figures looming in the wake of this swarm of bats or crows that you’re chasing. So let’s roll initiative.

Jim 48:55
Bat crows.

Ben 48:56
I really need to know because if it’s crows, it’s a murder. If it’s bats, it’s a swarm and that is a key difference.

Jim 49:03
Crow bats.

Zoë 49:04
What? This is an unlucky initiative round. Three 13s in a row. Holy shit!

Jim 49:15
Hey, I match everyone! I got a 13 just like everyone else.

Zoë 49:20
That’s legitimately surprising.

Ben 49:22
I’m kind of confused as to how I can get a 13.

Gregory 49:27
I think that as that’s Yeah. Maybe everyone should just reroll.

Ben 49:34
Are we sure the sheet’s working?

Gregory 49:36
No. I think that if you drive past one of the bodies that’s lying on the ground of the creatures, you can tell that it is neither a bat nor a crow. It is some black, not feathered creature but with the bod… a body plan more reminiscent of a raven, but it’s fleshy skin it’s skin covered and has webbed wings.

Lucy 50:00
As we roll past them they probably say, “I rolled a 13 too!”

Jim 50:08
A swarm of 13s.

Lucy 50:10
Should we just reroll? Really?

Gregory 50:12
Yeah, just reroll.

Jim 50:13

Gregory 50:15
Okay. It’s feeling a little better I don’t know what order we’ll… we can put you in roughly… you can assume that you got out of the vehicle out of the military base in around the same order as your initiative.

Zoë 50:28

Lucy 50:29

Zoë 50:31
That means I get to shoot flames out of my butt on the way out and not have to worry about any of my allies by my butt.

Lucy 50:37
Way to look at the bright side!

Zoë 50:38
I mean my car, not my actual butt.

Gregory 50:41
That’d be a cool power though.

Zoë 50:43
I’ll consider that with my spare points.

Ben 50:45
Permission to moon out the bay window?!

Jim 50:50
I was gonna say I know a gastroenterologist if you really need…

Lucy 50:56
Just looking at the word “zombie” on the screen is sort of intimidating.

Ben 51:02
I don’t know. I think it’s kind of a Thriller.

Gregory 51:06
So I think Jones has a higher mod than Karloff. So we’ll have Jones go first. Up ahead you see, your lights illuminate this highway that now has all of these shambling figures moving towards it, apparently intending to intercept the path of your cars. They’re all like human, like, they don’t seem like they can do too much harm to a vehicle. But there are a lot of them. And then in the distance you can kind of you can barely see off and on that that cloud of of dark just silhouetted against the sky.

Ben 51:48
So but these are skeletal, they’re pretty well decayed.

Gregory 51:53
Yeah, some of them seem to have clothes or or bits of flesh that’re still around. I mean, you’d guess that there’s probably some bodies that are still that are from the past few decades. But you know, just from especially since you were mining, that there are corpses just everywhere from when the bombs fell.

Ben 52:17
Alrighty, well, pulling out my wilderness survival guide which says in case of zombie shoot for the head, I think I’d probably just take out the pistol and take a shot at one of the nearest ones just to see if it still works on them.

Gregory 52:31
Okay, so you lean out your window and aiming for the head… that’s a minus three.

Ben 52:37
Minus one for me I have…

Gregory 52:39

Ben 52:40
…specialty in called shot or whatever the correct mod is this… precise shot that’s the one.

Gregory 52:44
So you got a 12 after the modifier they got an 11 you hit one of the closer ones solidly in the head. Its head just shatters and it immediately slumps over given given the power of animation that this this energy seems to have that suggest that your guess of headshots is correct. This seems to be have been extra effective. It doesn’t seem to be getting up again.

Ben 53:09
I’ll pass on the radio. Shoot them on the head gets em back to the dead real fast.

Zoë 53:16

Gregory 53:18

Lucy 53:19
You’ve become quite the poet today.

Jim 53:21
You say that the bats are far away against the sky. And so I’d like to know, is that within is that still within 100 meters?

Gregory 53:31
Yeah, they’re probably within the range of your… that’s your mine. Your magnetic thing, right?

Jim 53:37
That’s my cannon. My mines have a range of a kilometer.

Gregory 53:39
Oh, okay. Let’s see. 100 meters is a football field. Yeah, we’ll say that they’re there they’re picking up speed so they won’t be for long unless you all can keep pace but yeah, they’re still within the range of they’re still within 100 meters.

Jim 53:58
Okay, I don’t know how close the the zombie hordes are. So I may need to leap over them to do this. I don’t know. I’ll only I’ll only leap if they are going to be like right up at me before I can do anything else say next round. But I want to aim the sonic cannon at the center mass it’s an area weapon so… so at the center of the mass of bats and fire at them

Gregory 54:28
All right. I think that you will probably be encountering zombies one way or another before your next turn. So if you want to jump you can do that.

Jim 54:38
All right. I will I will do that in midair then. As is my wont. Let’s see. “They think that they’re the only ones that can fly…”

Jim 54:50
All right. That is a 17.

Gregory 54:54
Alright, so that is a a very good jump. You have been driving alongside Jones and then you trigger your your rockets and you leap up into the air and you’re probably maintaining pace with with Jones pretty well but you’re up in the air now and can look down at this just expansive field of dead crops and and just barely still-tilled land. And you can see that that swarm of creatures is actually a little harder to see now just because it’s it’s now against the dark land. But you can see up ahead of it in the distance, there seems to be some sort of set of buildings in the middle of of some fields that it’s heading for.

Jim 55:46
Hmm, okay. All right. So let us fire the sonic cannon and see what happens. I imagine this sort of wave looking beam comes out of it as it typically does and aims at that area with the things in the air.

Gregory 56:03
All right.

Jim 56:04

Gregory 56:06
So you get a 14, they get a 15. So you fire this blast, and it’s really just spot on looks like it’s perfectly going to encompass a huge chunk of the swarm. And then, as that ripple is passing out from you, the the swarm just splits and makes a hole in itself and that that wave passes through it. And like an animal or two gets hit, but most of it is perfectly fine.

Jim 56:40
I guess we’re gonna just keep whittling them down.

Gregory 56:45
It did seem like area was the way to go for this. It’s just it was it was really dodgy.

Jim 56:53
Okay. Next time.

Jim 56:58
Do I land on any zombies as I come down?

Gregory 57:01
Sure, yeah, you, you crash onto one of these, one of these bodies and it, you know, immediately is crushed and goes down. But it feels more impactful than you kind of expect. Like, you’ve probably just over the course of, of this this life that you lead. Hit people or hit bodies with your car before. This seems sturdier than you’re used to.

Jim 57:31
Hmm, yeah, definitely. It was part of my training.

Gregory 57:36
Vake, you are driving along behind Jones and Karloff and they’ve now reached the kind of front of wave of zombies. And you’re very soon going to be in among all these shambling people that are heading for the road. What do you do?

Lucy 57:55
So are Jones’s and Karloff’s vehicles sort of in line to reaching Thriller from where I am? Or do I need to drive around them to get there?

Gregory 58:10
There’s enough space on this. This is like a rural highway. There’s enough space that you could pass them. They’re… I mean, that swarm of creatures is in the air. So…

Lucy 58:25
How far up in the air?

Gregory 58:27
Probably 15 feet off the ground? It’s staying pretty low. Height of… like top of trees height.

Lucy 58:35
Well, we will have our spikes come out of the tank in preparation for the approaching zombies.

Gregory 58:46

Lucy 58:46
So we’re ready for that.

Gregory 58:49
Those spikes extend and are are sticking out from… do they come from between armor plates?

Lucy 58:56
Uh, yes, they are. And they’re really asymmetrically organized. So it doesn’t look logical, like what parts they come out of. So yeah, just sort of asymmetrical dotted around the tank in different places. What Vake does is come out of one of the apertures on the tank, and they will use Pole to vault up into the midst of the swarm of Thriller and attempt to swing Pole around in a circle and get as many as possible before I have to land again, preferably on my own vehicle.

Gregory 59:44
Okay, I think that’s a…

Lucy 59:46
That’s my plan.

Gregory 59:46
I think that’s a very tricky jump.

Lucy 59:49

Gregory 59:49
So let’s, and I don’t I don’t think you can do that jump and like land back on your vehicle. So I think you would end up in in the road ahead if you did that.

Lucy 1:00:00
Okay. I’ll accept this risk.

Gregory 1:00:01
So give me a an acrobatics at minus three. And I’ll do a roll for Thriller to just get out of the way. Oh, wow, you rolled real high. I mean, you’re really good at this. And you also rolled real high.

Lucy 1:00:17
It’s got a green box around it. So I think it’s good.

Jim 1:00:21
Indeed, I think green usually indicates a crit of some kind, usually the highest number you can possibly get on the die.

Lucy 1:00:27
Yeah, I used my my deductive reasoning skills to sort that out.

Jim 1:00:31
I only just guessed, I wasn’t completely sure.

Gregory 1:00:35
So you got a 23, which I’ll say means that you were able to pull off this, this jump with a combination of your your car doing a hard acceleration, and you launching yourself forward with the extra boost that the that the Pole gives you. You go rocketing through the air, it probably looks for a moment to the rest of the folks as if your car shot something out because of how fast you’re going. But as you reach the top of your arc, and are, even with the swarm, the rest of you are able to see that it is indeed Vake, who’s been launched, like out of a cannon. And give me an attack.

Lucy 1:01:18
I am going to use my leap attack, it seems appropriate.

Gregory 1:01:22
Yeah, that that makes sense.

Lucy 1:01:23
And I do have area effect. Okay. Not very good.

Gregory 1:01:28
This is the second time that they’ve been attacked. So that’s a 19, your attack is a nine. So you swing at them and your your pole is goes in and a an elaborate arc. And just the swarm just parts around your pole, and you are unable to hit a single one of them. And then you come crashing down to the ground thrown off balance by your acrobatic spin you had to do and you probably bounce a few times and throw up a little dust on the ground as you come to a stop in the midst of a whole bunch of these zombies.

Lucy 1:02:11
I would just like to have a really awesome landing. Even though I’m thrown off balance and have to use one of my hands. It still looks real cool because of that good roll I had on acrobatics, right?

Gregory 1:02:23
Yeah. So your let’s say your your defens is down. But you also jumped real good. So…

Lucy 1:02:29
I just want to look cool. That’s what’s important here. Let’s… Can we just focus on one part?

Gregory 1:02:35
Yeah, I think that might mean that you like to do…

Ben 1:02:37
Superhero landing!

Gregory 1:02:38
Some like really impressive, like somersaults and handsprings to shed the excess speed. But you’re left in in a little bit more of a an uneven pose at the end of it. It looks really cool. But it’s probably not the best for just getting swarmed by corpses.

Lucy 1:02:56
Thank you!

Gregory 1:02:58
Who are immediately going to take advantage of this. There are probably… I think I’ll say that four of them that can get to you and attack you at once. So we’ll do these attacks one at a time. So it’s…

Lucy 1:03:10
How noisy are they?

Gregory 1:03:12
They’re not making any noise. They are… to anyone else that would probably be unsettlingly quiet, but they’re they’re just moving towards you and and grabbing at you. And you can see that the because they don’t have skin on their, on their hands, you’re just left with like jagged tips of bone that are that are reaching for you. There’s the first attack and roll your defense, you’re at a minus three to start with.

Lucy 1:03:40
I’m just looking for it.

Gregory 1:03:42
So they rolled a nine you rolled an 11 which drops to an eight. So the first slash does connect. Your armor situation is… I think you’ve got you’ve got…

Lucy 1:03:56
I have 10 armor on my personal self.

Gregory 1:03:59
Okay, and then 20 forcefield?

Lucy 1:04:02

Gregory 1:04:03
All right, so it’s… these claws are doing 25 damage. So 20 of that hits your force field and drops your force field a level and then the rest of it just… they tear at your rags and probably shred a few of the pieces of cloth but don’t do much else thanks to the armor underneath it.

Lucy 1:04:21
Okay, so that’s what… my forcefield is 16 Okay.

Gregory 1:04:26
And then the next pair of arms descends upon you. So you’re at an additional minus one here. So they got a 14 to attack, you got a 17, which drops to a 13. So this one also connected. So now I think your forcefields is at 16? So they’ve got nine that that are… that’s coming through your forcefield and goes… grates against your armor so your force field drops again. You’re all seeing this, this flashing static up ahead as these zombies are clawing at Vake on the ground. The third attack, you’re at a minus… additional minus three on this. So minus six total.

Lucy 1:05:08
Always just one under!

Gregory 1:05:09
Yep, they got a 10, you rolled a 15. So yours was a nine. So that’s another 25 damage, This time your forcefield is down to 12. So 13 of it goes through. So claw… the bone, sharp bits of bone, start penetrating your armor and you take that three damage, I think.

Zoë 1:05:35
Don’t forget that you have energy points that you could spend if you so choose to bump up your rolls.

Lucy 1:05:43
Well, I might want to save that. I have a feeling that it’s not going to get better for me here.

Zoë 1:05:50
I don’t disagree.

Gregory 1:05:53
The final zombie just jumps on this heap on top and is is tearing at you from above. And again, totally quiet silent. Very polite.

Lucy 1:06:04
I’ve had worse foes.

Gregory 1:06:05
So now you’re at a minus six. So that’s a total of minus nine so they got a nine and your your end defense was a four.

Lucy 1:06:17
No, I thought the lowest it could go was minus six.

Gregory 1:06:20
Yeah, but you also have the three from your from your bad landing, the leaping attack

Lucy 1:06:25
Too right, too right.

Gregory 1:06:26
So your force field is now at eight.

Lucy 1:06:31

Gregory 1:06:31
So 17 gets through to your armor. So seven gets through to your skin. So you’re getting torn up. There’s blood staining your your rags again. And the rest of you… Karloff, you landed on one. Are you all just going ahead and be willing to drive through these critters? Are you trying to dodge around them? I guess both Karloff and Jones.

Ben 1:06:56
Yeah I’m pretty sure the word “through” is my trajectory. Going to roll up the window and just keep on… I might not even turn on the drill for these things.

Gregory 1:07:07
All right.

Zoë 1:07:08
It’s like an immersion blender at that point.

Ben 1:07:11
That’s it… well i think i think there may be somewhere back in the back of Jones’s head that just goes, “These were people once let’s not let’s not turn on the drill.”

Gregory 1:07:22
Not desecrate too many corpses?

Ben 1:07:24
Yeah, this this could get a little too messy for him.

Gregory 1:07:28
And I think that I think that you’re you’re definitely just hitting some of them as you’re going past. I think that a few of them try and grab for each of your vehicles. So this will be I guess a grapple on you. So this is an attack on Karloff.

Jim 1:07:49
I am also, just for the sake of information, I am also going through as I don’t have any little voice in the back of my head whatsoever anymore. They were silenced long ago and I am extending the electro ram while I’m going through them.

Gregory 1:08:04
All right, so so Jones is probably looking a little grim whereas Karloff is looking exactly as he always looks and occasionally spearing a zombie as he goes past. So Karloff, roll me defense, please.

Jim 1:08:21
I will do this thing. ACV!

Gregory 1:08:24
That’s that’s a tie which goes to the…

Jim 1:08:27
The attacker wins, doesn’t it?

Gregory 1:08:28
Yes. goes to the attacker.

Jim 1:08:31
Remind me what the the cost of these EPs again?

Gregory 1:08:35
You can spend 10 EP for a plus one.

Jim 1:08:38
Okay, I’m going to leave it.

Gregory 1:08:40

Jim 1:08:40
Since I don’t know if I recharged or not.

Gregory 1:08:42
Uh, you… hm.

Zoë 1:08:44
I think that you waved away our damage from the last fight since we had several days on the road.

Gregory 1:08:51
Yeah, I don’t think you spent any in the demolition derby.

Jim 1:08:57

Gregory 1:08:57
So yeah, so you’ve got all your energy.

Jim 1:09:00
Okay, that’s good. That’s helpful. Since it’s one point, I think just for the sake of not not wanting to die again so quickly, I am going to go ahead and spend 10 of those and just bump that up to a 14.

Gregory 1:09:14
All right, so so one grabs and like… an arm manages to catch on your fender and you are able to wrench… to to narrow your eyes and wrench the wheel violently and rip it free. And you’re left with a bit of zombie stuck in your car but but not one climbing on it.

Jim 1:09:34

Gregory 1:09:35
And Jones give me a defense please.

Ben 1:09:40
I am actually going to forego that.

Gregory 1:09:44
Okay, you’re going to let it crawl… you’re gonna let it grab you?

Ben 1:09:47
Yeah, I kind of want to play that out. And I want to see that. There’s some cinematics in there that I think it’d be awesome to see. So…

Gregory 1:09:55
All right.

Ben 1:09:56
We’ll consider it Jones is kind of closing his eyes or turning off the sonar, just so he doesn’t hear highly amplified sounds of bones shattering that I’m just going to… yeah.

Gregory 1:10:08
This the continued toll of of the impacts of these bodies against your vehicle gets to you enough that you don’t notice the one that is a slightly different noise as it manages to grab hold of one of the the ladders or handles or something on the side and starts to climb up the side of your vehicle. And it’s the side that is not visible from by the other the cars of your allies so they can’t spot it either.

Gregory 1:10:37
Comet, I think… so your your path forward is basically being cleared by Karloff and Jones. So you’re not having to decide whether you’re dodging or or smashing into these bodies. But I think that one of them from the side leaps out of the of the field and tries to grab your car as you go past.

Zoë 1:11:02
All right!

Gregory 1:11:02
So roll me defense, please,

Zoë 1:11:04
As I as I hastily roll up the window, maybe catch a few of its fingers. I guess it I guess it doesn’t stick?

Gregory 1:11:13
Yep. So it rolls an 11, you roll 18. So it, it leaps forward for your open window and you you don’t hear it. It’s not snarling or anything. It’s just staring at you with those glowing eyes. And you hastily roll up your window as fast as you can. I’m sure it’s… knowing your car, it’s got to be a manual window, right.

Zoë 1:11:32
Oh, yeah, no, it’s manual.

Gregory 1:11:35
And you manage to to shut a few of its fingers. And I think probably a few finger bones fall off into your car. And it is left behind you in your in your sideview mirror.

Zoë 1:11:48
Oh, boy.

Zoë 1:11:49
Well, I I will continue driving behind my allies. I still don’t I don’t see any zombie crawling on anyone’s car?

Gregory 1:11:59

Zoë 1:11:59
Even if I’m coming up… All right. It’s time to make some some zombie kababs. What’s… Is there anywhere? I don’t know if this is possible. But this is probably what I would be thinking about at the time. Are there any zombies that are sort of close enough together that I might be able to get through two of them with my with my lance harpoon weapon?

Gregory 1:12:22
Sure. Yeah, that’s, you can probably do that.

Zoë 1:12:26
I would like to aim for a zombie cluster and try to try to snag a couple of them.

Gregory 1:12:31
K. Let’s say minus one on the first, minus three on the second?

Zoë 1:12:36

Gregory 1:12:36
If that makes sense.

Zoë 1:12:38

Jim 1:12:38
Zombie clusters are my favorite cereal, by the way.

Zoë 1:12:40
Zombie clusters! Well, I’m making zombie kababs.

Gregory 1:12:43
I guess you’ll make one attack roll.

Zoë 1:12:45
With a 15.

Gregory 1:12:47
And then I’ll make two defense rolls. First. And the second. So you rolled a 15. They roll both rolled twelves. Even with the the penalties that hits them both. So you fire out with your lance at two that are… probably what, two that’re threatening Vake’s car?

Zoë 1:13:07
Sure, that makes sense. Since they’re the most threatened. At the moment.

Gregory 1:13:12
And the lance goes straight through the two of them. And you’ve got… probably the first one’s on the line that your lance is attached to, and the second one has the lance through them and then hooked solidly into them.

Zoë 1:13:24

Zoë 1:13:27
And yeah, I’ll just try to drive up… has the swarm dissipated yet? Or is it still around?

Gregory 1:13:31
The swarm of of creatures is still up ahead. It’s… Vake wasn’t able to to do much to it. And it’s it’s still flying. It’s you’re losing sight of it now and then. You know where it is. But it’s now pulled ahead of y’all a little bit because you’re getting slowed down just by the the impact of the bodies that you’re having to either dodge around or plow through.

Zoë 1:13:57
Well, I’ll just keep heading in that direction.

Gregory 1:14:01
Jones, you are hearing all sorts of things thunking on the outside of your vehicle, and presumably don’t don’t think much of it beyond how unfortunate this all is. That the swarm is now further ahead, you can see Vake up ahead of you and you’re very quickly closing on them. You’re not in any risk of hitting them, but you can see that they’ve got a bunch of critters piled on top of them.

Ben 1:14:32
Yeah, I was wondering, I don’t think there’s any way to like not hit someone with a sweep or an AoE or something like that. So I really don’t want to shoot at Vake.

Gregory 1:14:46
I think most of yours are are like explosives and stuff, right?

Ben 1:14:51
Yeah, I’m pretty sure. tossing an explosives would be a bad idea. Even firing off the lasers, I think a sweep would mean I hit everybody in the- in the area, and I don’t want to do that. So I think probably the best idea would be taking potshots at the fleeing swarm of not-bats. So I think I’m gonna fire up the laser and see if just through sheer volume of fire, I might be able to punch enough of these critters for it to actually notice.

Gregory 1:15:24
All right. Are you doing the sweep thing where you’re using the auto fire as as a more general cone?

Ben 1:15:30
I’m not sure if that’s the correct thing to do against a swarm mechanically.

Gregory 1:15:36
Yeah, I think that, unfortunately, I think the mechanics are not quite clear. But the spreading that you get from spraying an area will be more effective.

Ben 1:15:47
Okay, we’ll go with that, then.

Gregory 1:15:48
Okay, this is let’s see, the attack penalty is minus three. Is that affected by I don’t think that’s affected by your precise shot. Yeah, so just give me an attack at minus three.

Ben 1:16:01
There we go.

Gregory 1:16:02
That’s a good roll…

Ben 1:16:03
So 18 with the minus three.

Gregory 1:16:04
Okay, so you, you’re an 18 in the end. It’s a 14. Is this laser… is it like firing a number of distinct blasts like pew pew pew pew pew? Or is it just a is it auto fire in the sense that it’s this continuous burning beam?

Ben 1:16:20
No, what I figure it is, is it’s got a prism on the front of it. And so it’s the the laser is cycling between the different prisms. So there are a large number of lasers that are just slightly physically displaced from each other firing one after the other.

Gregory 1:16:40
Okay, so chew-chew-chew-chew-chew like a gatling gun laser.

Ben 1:16:43
Yeah, It’s like instead of a Gatling gun where the barrels cycle, it’s a Gatling gun where the power cycles and the barrels hold still.

Gregory 1:16:50
Okay, so the, these laser beams fire out in this spread, and they’re individually catching some of these critters, and each time they hit one it catches fire and falls to the ground. And you’re you’re definitely making more progress through this swarm than you would be if you were attacking individually. It’s still just a whole lot of physical animals that you’re dealing with.

Ben 1:17:21
I’d rather throw explosives but he is way out of range for that.

Gregory 1:17:25

Jim 1:17:26
Speaking of explosives,

Lucy 1:17:28
How far away is he exactly do we know?

Gregory 1:17:31
They are… I guess I’ll say they’re 300 meters at this point.

Lucy 1:17:38
Okay. Yeah, that’s pretty far.

Gregory 1:17:40
But they’re quickly closing in on that, that structure that Karloff saw when Karloff was up in the air.

Jim 1:17:49
You know, something I keep forgetting to say is to have you make checks when I use the sonic cannon to see if they get deafened. But we shall not worry about that right now.

Gregory 1:17:59
Oh, yeah.

Jim 1:18:00
Yeah, it’s like a separate check for that too.

Gregory 1:18:01
I’ll try to remember that.

Jim 1:18:02
They’ve gotta beat like a 12. I think some sort of Body type thing anyway. Because I finally remembered I can search PDFs for keywords.

Zoë 1:18:12

Jim 1:18:12
Yes, I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Zoë 1:18:15
We’re living in the future.

Jim 1:18:16
I know, how did this happen? But 300 meters that’s a bit far away for anything but the mines. So I’m going to try to target again, one of the bats in the center ma- center mass, center of the mass and aim one of my magnetic mines, send it after it. And it has a homing attack. So hopefully this will be helpful. It’s gonna follow them around for a while. If nothing else. Shall I go ahead with that?

Gregory 1:18:48
Yes, please.

Jim 1:18:49
Alright, so I use a little sort of targeting trying to get sort of the center of the cluster and I press the button and launch launch a mine out which starts homing towards the target. A little spherical metallic thing goes hurtling, hurtling off into the distance.

Gregory 1:19:07
Oh, since since the swarm is… doesn’t have an initiative I haven’t established when it will reset its defenses. We’ll say that it happened at the top of the round. So it’s at a minus one at the moment. Your mine goes beeping towards the swarm and manages to home in on one of the members of it and there’s a large explosion. It’s Area two, so it’s a decently large size and you take out a large chunk of the swarm with this. There’s this just rain of these bat bird creatures that fall out of the sky and the swarm is significantly reduced in size.

Jim 1:19:56
Excellent. Karloff grins vary slightly as he continues mowing down zombies in front of him.

Gregory 1:20:06
Vake, you are at the bottom of a dog pile of zombies, and you can hear the roar of your allies’ vehicles approaching.

Lucy 1:20:15
So there’s literally zombies on top of me.

Gregory 1:20:19
Yeah, so so you’re not grappled. But you’ve got three zombies coming at you from all sides, and then one that’s sort of climbed on top of the other ones. And is, is clawing at you from above.

Lucy 1:20:35
And the swarm is way far gone. They’re super gone.

Gregory 1:20:42
Yeah, way off in the distance, you saw that you could… through the, behind one of the zombies attacking, you could see that explosion of fire,

Lucy 1:20:50

Gregory 1:20:52
as it got hit by a mine and it’s pretty far away.

Lucy 1:20:56
Well, so, Jolissa is going to accelerate the tank to get as close to me as possible. And…

Gregory 1:21:05

Lucy 1:21:06
Vake is going to attempt to jump out from this pile of zombies. I am not really sure on what the range of the situation is. But if I can get back onto the tank, then I’ll do that. If not, then just away from being at the bottom of a dog pile.

Gregory 1:21:26
Okay, let’s say that let’s get a 12 on a drive for Jolissa and a jump for you. And if so, you can you can leap out and and get on to the car again. Onto the tank again.

Lucy 1:21:41
I don’t know if I have a specific role for Jolissa.

Gregory 1:21:46
You can just use yours.

Lucy 1:21:47
Okay. And an acrobatics?

Gregory 1:21:50
Yes, please. Alright, so you just barely got a 12 on the Drive. So, Jolissa guns it, and zips between Jones and Karloff and pulls ahead. And it’s looking a little bit desperate but you managed to leap up into the air just as the the zombies’ claws are descending again. And the tank plows into the group of zombies that was around you and you land on its on its back and have a stable grip on an armor plate.

Lucy 1:22:27
Awesome. This feels a lot better.

Gregory 1:22:29
And I think we we treat jumping as movement. So do you have anything else you want to do this turn?

Lucy 1:22:39
So I am I in the tank? Are we in range of zombies we can plow into?

Gregory 1:22:47
Yeah, you can kind of take a take a swing off of them or or just smash into them with the with the tank.

Lucy 1:22:55
Well actually, I don’t think we’re purposely trying to smash into them. We’re just trying to continue to go as fast as possible toward the structure. So…

Gregory 1:23:06
All right.

Lucy 1:23:07
If that involves hitting some of them that’s no problem but we’re actually not going out of our way to trample them.

Gregory 1:23:13
So Alright, so you’re being as evasive as possible and not directly attacking any that you can avoid. And so you’re now at the at the front of the pack of your your group. In pursuit of this swarm.

Lucy 1:23:28
We harbored no resentment against the zombies. They attacked, but they did it with some degree of civility and quiet so I feel like they gave it 100%.

Gregory 1:23:42
Speaking of them, Jones you’ve been you’ve been you’ve been hearing these thuds and clanks you’ve got a noisy vehicle besides and you’ve been hitting things but you… behind you hear a noise that you’re you’re very… your ear that is very used to this vehicle doesn’t recognize.

Ben 1:24:05
That’s not good.

Gregory 1:24:07
And out of the shadows, a figure lunges at the back of your driver’s seat as this creature has found its way into the interior of your vehicle.

Ben 1:24:18
So we just doing this as the standard DCV?

Gregory 1:24:21
Yeah, I don’t think you’ve got anything that’s really specific to your vehicle.

Ben 1:24:25
Yeah, I do. There’s a subtract three off that because my vehicle I have dcv extra when using the vehicle.

Gregory 1:24:33
Okay, all right. Then it rolled a nine and you rolled an 11 so it swings with those claws at you and you’re able to lean out of the way and scramble out of the the path of its claws. But you’re now you’ve now got basically someone this this corpse clawing at you from the backseat of your of your piloting chamber.

Gregory 1:25:00
And Comet, I think that you’re now in the bulk of the horde. A zombie is standing in the beams of your headlights and is is looks like it’s going to try and jump on to your hood as you come up.

Zoë 1:25:16
Oh, boy.

Gregory 1:25:17
So give me a defence.

Zoë 1:25:18
I will do so.

Gregory 1:25:20
It got an 18… it got an eight and you got a 16 so you… Do you just speed up to hit it before it manages to make its jump or how are you avoiding this?

Zoë 1:25:33
Oh boy. Let’s see, I’ve still got some zombies tethered to me unless they’ve disintegrated off?

Gregory 1:25:39
You do. Yeah, they’re they’re looking pretty rather the worst for wear but you still… you’re still dragging them along behind you on this cable.

Zoë 1:25:47
I think that cinematically speaking, making making a hard turn and sweeping up the other zombie, with the zombie chain behind me makes the most sense little driving maneuver and try to you know, trip the oncoming zombie.

Gregory 1:26:08
All right. You’re, you probably pull a little bit further behind the rest, as this is a hard swerve, and swing that cable across, bouncing the bodies on the end of it along the ground as you do so. And it trips this, this zombie that was in front of you and wraps around a little bit. So they are now caught up too and you’ve now got three of these creatures on this line that you’re dragging behind you.

Gregory 1:26:37
And Karloff…

Jim 1:26:40

Gregory 1:26:41
One of the ones… I think that since you’re… you’re, are you actively steering for these things to make sure to take as many of them out as you can?

Jim 1:26:49
Yeah, yeah, basically.

Gregory 1:26:51
Okay, then I think that that that gives them kind of an extra chance to, to attack you. Just because there’s more of them in range. So you’re gonna get two of them try to grab onto your vehicle.

Jim 1:27:04

Gregory 1:27:05
The first one, um, give me a defense, please.

Jim 1:27:09

Gregory 1:27:10
So the first one rolled an eight and you rolled a 14 so you are able to easily turn your wheel slightly and smash into them instead of it managing to get onto your car. The second one you pass by takes a swipe at the superstructure that’s that’s part of the Humvees armor. And you’re at a minus one on your defenses here because this is the second time you’ve been attacked.

Jim 1:27:39

Gregory 1:27:41
But you handily are able to avoid it, they rolled a 19, you rolled a 12 in the end, and they grab on for a moment but you’re able to to turn the wheel from side to side and shake them loose.

Gregory 1:27:56
Comet you’ve got the these three zombies dragging on a line behind you up ahead you can see the three remaining members of your group and you can see… The last glimpse you had of that of the swarm of critters it was descending towards some sort of dark building on the horizon, well, not on the horizon at this point, a dark building that’s that’s swiftly coming up. It’s a large building like the size of the size of a barn.

Zoë 1:28:26
With with our target, main enemy, sort of out of the picture at this point, at least for my attacks. I am just going to drive to catch up with my my teammates, my allies, while roasting the zombies behind me to try to clear them off the line and reel it back in. So I’ll be using my flamethrower weapon not as much like a weapon but as more of a self cleaning oven cycle.

Gregory 1:29:03
Alright, I don’t know that I even need to have you roll for that. You yet turn on your your flame thrower and reel in your your tether and there’s little bursts of strange colors of flame as as whatever remaining ragged cloth or flesh is on these things burns off and they they fall apart. You’re seeing occasional sparks of gold or blue as that energy is that’s keeping them animated is disrupted.

Zoë 1:29:33
Comet says, “Sorry, sorry, sorry!” to herself as she generates the remainder of the zombies.

Jim 1:29:43
I love Comet so much.

Gregory 1:29:46
All right, so it is the top of the round. Vake, you’re in front so you have the best view of the that that very heavily damaged cloud of creatures converging on this barn. And then from within the barn, there’s a flash and a flicker of light, almost as if there’s lightning inside. Gold and electric blue flashing. And you can see just from the, the light shining through the structure of this dilapidated building and the windows that this is indeed just a big barn or big, like farm storage building in the middle of of all these abandoned and dead fields.

Gregory 1:30:31
And then you hear a roar of an enormous engine that almost sounds like an growling animal. And you see the big barn doors at the at this side of the building burst open, and a sort of vehicle emerges. It looks like it was once a tractor with a combine attached, but something has happened to it. The same sort of distortion and transformation that happened to the vehicles from the junkyard has twisted it into an almost monstrous shape as this enormous industrial vehicle larger than Jones’s digging rig, with this huge broad spinning blade at the front of it, launches out straight towards you and your entire group. It’s it’s as wide as the road itself.

Lucy 1:31:38

Gregory 1:31:39
And is currently heading currently playing chicken with you heading on a collision course with the front of your vehicle.

Gregory 1:31:48
Next time on Tabletop Garden: Ego Driver.

Ben 1:31:51
I think Jones has enough respect for industrial vehicles to recognize that thing could fuck him up.

Jim 1:31:57
But I feel like the cooler thing would be to barnstorm in a thing that is not a plane.

Zoë 1:32:04
Think you- you’re gonna give us any any spoilers about what’s in the ship or is it a surprise?

Lucy 1:32:10
Vake’s going to sit on top of the tank and take off their goggles.

Gregory 1:32:17
And you hear a soft, whooshing noise from all around you. Like the sound of blood flowing.

Gregory 1:32:29
Big Eyes Small Mouth third edition was created by Guardians of Order. The theme music for this campaign is Wasteland by Phantom Elite available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivatives license. For more tabletop garden and to subscribe to us, visit and to support the work I do visit:

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