Zombie Weddings ! ? !

Zombie Week, Day 6!

A zombie wedding cake is bizarre enough.

Zombie Wedding Cake

An entire zombie-themed wedding is just over the top.

Zombie bride & groom

Wait… you thought there was just the one? Hah! Try these on for size (click the pics for a fancy-schmancy gallery type thing):

Yeah, this is a thing. Those are real people, really getting hitched, really dressed up as zombies.

It’s so much a thing, there’s a WikiHow article about it, “How to Have A Zombie Wedding Ceremony” that shares tips and techniques to make your zombie-themed wedding truly memorable.

.

..

Alrighty then.

Let’s close with another zombie themed wedding cake.

Wedding cake — Brains!

And I’m out.

Sad News / Happy News

We’ll do the sad news first: my computer is dying, and will expire sometime in the near future. I’m not going to do much posting about ∞ Infinity until I can buy a new external HDD to backup everything (sometime next week).

Sometime after that — it could be as long as a month or as soon as next Friday – I’ll probably be stopping altogether for a while, while it’s in the shop. (There’s a slight chance it won’t blow up at all, but I’m not betting on it.) Just a head’s up.

Happy News: Thanks to the kind graces of a local politician, I got to do some live fire research tonight. I got to shoot a 9mm Glock pistol (it kicked up brass in my face), a .460 Smith and Wesson revolver, an AK-47 assault rifle (on single shot), an AR-15 assault rifle (civilian version of the M-16) on single shot, an Uzi 9mm on full auto (for all of 3 rounds, when it jammed), and best of all a .50 Barrett sniper rifle.

Boom!

Seriously, the sniper rifle kicks up your pants legs and lightly slaps your face from a few feet away. It was incredible.

So now I’ve had a little first hand experience with aiming, shooting, recoil, various sights, how loud guns are, what they smell like (cap guns), how hard it is for a beginner to hit a 6′ target from 20 feet away, and all that. It was a few hours well spent.

Better than that, it was totally awesome! I’m grinning. Like a kid. I’ve got the brass from a .50 round I shot on my table. It was awesome.

To top it all off, I — quite unexpectedly — got to meet my new favorite writer, New York Times Bestselling author Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International). He’s extremely knowledgeable about firearms, and kindly answered a few questions about shooting (such as what it’s like to target shoot a sniper rifle from a helicopter in flight). My only regret is I didn’t have a book for him to autograph. (Not that I could have. I bought all his books in ePub, so what, was he gonna autograph my smartphone?)

The other guys, who brought the really cool guns and let us shoot them, answered some questions, as well. (How do you shoot when your hands are shaking? Everyone’s hands shake. You have to learn to pull the trigger when the sights are in the right position.) Good stuff. Very good stuff.

Best night of research ever.

Wish me luck, and I’ll get back to posting ∞ Infinity stuff ASAP!

Zombie Taxonomy

(So, Zombie Week, I guess…)

Know your enemy: Do they bite? Do they think? Do they rot? Do they stink? Were they made to voudoun chanting or a mad scientist’s mad ranting? Do they shuffle or do they run? Are they sick or undead, son?

This chart will make it clear, so before you scream in fear, know which zombies that are near, or your plight will be severe.

Shooting Silhouettes [∞ Infinity]

Combat Interlude, pt. 3

Alright, I lied. There’s one last thing I needed to cover before we get to actions & initiative, and that’s the logic behind how the attack/damage system works. It starts with cel-shading.

When envisioning how difficult it is to shoot and hit a person, it helps to imagine them as being cel-shaded, like a character in Crackdown or Borderlands. If you’ve ever played those games, you know that each character has a thick black outline around the edge of their body that marks where their skin stops and the air begins.

Now fill in that outline with black, and you have a silhouette. Your job, with a gun, is to make your bullet impact the target’s silhouette.

As they move around, that silhouette gets larger and smaller. Think of the iPod dancers from those iTunes commercials, the dancing silhouettes. As the dancer whirls around, crouches, turns, and jumps the silhouette changes size and shape.

A target’s silhouette changes size and shape exactly the same way and for exactly the same reasons. And the smaller the silhouette, the harder it is to hit them with a bullet. But if you do, you might do some damage.

We roll damage in RPG’s, because sometimes a hit hurts more. It makes perfect sense, in hand-to-hand combat, because it’s a muscle thing: like swinging a bat, sometimes you swing harder, sometimes softer. But what about bullets? Do they go measurably faster or slower, all at random?

Of course not. That’s silly. So why do we roll random damage for guns?

Real world time. In order to hurt a target more, you shoot it in a vulnerable spot. Eyes, throat, vitals, head, groin, whatever’s applicable. Shoot it there — on purpose or accidentally — and you hurt the target more.

‘Course, the same general hit location has areas which differ in vulnerability. Hitting the thigh might mean a grazing shot, just tearing skin, or it might mean going through the muscle, which is serious but not usually immediately lethal, or it can mean you hit the femoral artery, which will kill the target in short order, unless they get immediate first aid to stop the bleeding.

All of this can be represented by a random hit location chart (including damage modifiers for more vital areas), and for a while I considered it. But it can also be represented by rolling for damage: when you do more damage, you hit a more vital spot, when you do less damage, you hit a less vital spot. The damage roll is, in effect, an abstracted hit location roll.

In this system, the Attack roll represents just hitting that silhouette. Your hit location, and how hard you hit it (for melee combat and missile weapons), is reflected in the Damage roll.

Attackers can deliberately target vulnerable locations, of course, which penalizes their attack in return for increased damage (and an increased chance of missing entirely). This “Called Shot” is a simple mechanic, yet it represents reality tolerably well.

This goes for the whole combat system. The two-roll method is very simple: roll a Bonus, add to Attack Skill. Roll a Bonus, add to Damage. Very simple. Yet it represents reality pretty closely, which you wouldn’t expect.

This is not a perfect system, or a perfect mechanic. But it’s the least imperfect mechanic I can devise right now. Which makes it the perfect mechanic for this system.

Now it’s time for Actions & Initiative.