The Tower

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IMAGE(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y46/AzarKing/P1000152.jpg)

After looking at the above picture while thinking up ideas for a zombie apocalypse campaign, the inspiration to create a sort of fortress situated in a tall building came to me. Should enough people participate, I can start mapping out the "fortress" floor by floor.

Now, this particular building is in Kazakhstan, but any place near a river should do nicely. The entire survivor group would consist of no more than ten people. Most of them would be broadly skilled, though an engineer, medic and pair of close-quarters-combat specialists (for the stairs) in particular is optimal. Lastly, assume the surrounding city is devoid of other survivors.

Assuming you manage to successfully barricade the first floor and have your choice of supplies to store on the various levels, what would you choose? This includes food, hygienic products, weapons + ammunition, medicine, electronics...whatever is vital to you. Are hydroponic gardens viable?

Also, concerning water: the pipes will soon give out. Once taking it from the faucets becomes impossible, and your stores run down, is there an effective method to collect / draw it from the surroundings (I am aware climate will play a part)? Will the typical methods to generate power (solar, wind power, hydroelectricity) be worth considering?

Finally, for now, I was thinking that if the roof was large enough, you could keep a passenger helicopter up there for emergencies. If that was unfeasible, then hang gliders for all. Of course having a destination in mind is important too.
I've actually got a Play-by-Post RPG going on another board that's along these lines. I've got a few ideas.
Let see assuming that as you say we can have anything
Food: Mostly TV dinners (assuming refrigeration is available) or mostly no shelf life or at least very long shelf life foods, such as trail mixes and anything foil sealed, if there are no refrigerators. Gotta have plenty of Pepsi and Cuervo obviously plenty of disposable utinsels and paper/plastic plates and bowls, as well as wet wipes and hand sanitizer (If the water is at a premium or requires an armed expedition to the river to retrieve, then it is far to precious to use to wash dishes, or hands with.), and a large supply of water purifiers (Pur, iodine tablets ect.) for the inevitable decline of the tower's water supply.
As to power most likely gas powered generators, placed somewhere were they are least likely kill all of us. and the kind that you hook to an exorcise bike as back ups, assuming one of the other survivors knew how to build them and the river was close enough to the tower I would also have a hydroelectric generator, but it would not be the primary as it would be to vulnerable.
As to weapons a healthy mix of pump, double barrel, and Full auto shotguns loaded with Frag-12 and 3.5in ultra mag shells, Milkor Revolving chamber Grenade launchers loaded with standard and beehive shells, ZM-LR300 Assault rifles loaded with Armor piercing Incendiary 5.56 rounds, as well as M1A rifles with hi-Shok ammunition and at the low-tech end .45-70 lever action rifles with 405 grain rounds (that's what I keep in mine). As to base defense Mk19 Auto 40's, H&k MG42 MMG's and 5.56 mini guns. Sidearms would be mostly Sig and H&K .45 automatics.
Basement: Wells are installed, and the tunnles well locked off, but contrary to popular belief, zombies do not know how to open a man hole.
Roof: the slope of the roof makes it perfect for gathering rain water, mostly pure, it is put thru a few filters made of gravel to a basin in the middle of the building.
Windows: solar pannels are much more useful, some are electricity producing to a large suply of batteries. others are just tanks of water that boil to pump water up to the top floors, where the drinking water is stored.
Penthouse:other than the drinking water tanks are sniper riffles and maybe a few rockets, to assist runners outside and maybe get some deer for food.
If I had my way, assuming we had 66 stories to work with...



Floors 1-5: Trapland
From the lobby to the fifth floor would be an elaborate series of traps, mainly spike pits and the like with the key areas condoned off with broken Coke machines and welded steel plates. That way the occupants of the Tower could get to the key systems down there, like the building's security setup, any possible backup generator, or maybe even a subway station. With the exception of a staircase at a service entrance with heavy steel door and security lock, every way up the tower from Trapland would be welded shut. The primary purpose of Trapland, aside from minor entertainment, is to free up a decent part of the surrounding street so that other survivors could make it to the tower.

Floors 7 - 12: Secondary Storage / Alternate Trapland
At these floors would be a lot of newly emptied offices which now serve as storage space for various supplies an equipment. From what I can tell of that picture, around those levels is a parking garage or something (somewhat obscured by a raised sidewalk), so an alternate exit to the roof helicopter would be built there.

Floors 13 - 23: Primary Living Area
There's no way that ten people could take up this much room. However room would be provided for any survivors that could make their way to the tower and get to the service entrance. Room would also be available for various indoor recreational pursuits, as well as areas that could be freed up to expand the Workshops or Hydroponics areas.

Floors 34 - 36: Workshops
Areas for welding, carpentry, cooking, and various trades I haven't thought of at the moment would be provided here.

Floors 37 - 42: Hydroponics
Any and all available hydroponic plants would be grown here. Actually getting the soil and lamps up here would be a task possible only by the use of a few raids and a cargo elevator, but otherwise it could probably be done. When the pipes give out, any and all collected rainwater would be routed to this area and stored in large tanks.

Floors 43 - 48: Auxiliary Storage / Granary
On the off chance the Hydroponic area provides a surplus harvest, it would be stored on these floors, as well as any other raided food supplies and ammunition. Needless to say, it'd be heavily guarded.

Floors 49 - 57: Secondary Living Area
Mainly intended as a pause before the last resort of taking the helicopter. Anyone who works in the Communications or Granary areas are welcome to stay here on a permanent basis. The terraces on this level would be used as secondary plant growing areas, as well as places to grow flowers.

Floors 58 - 63: Empty Space
I dunno. This space would be left alone or emptied in case something really needed to get done here. Fixing the helicopter for instance.

Floors 64 - 66: Communications
Controlling the radio antennae on the roof which would be broadcasting all hours of the day leading survivors to this location. If i'm horribly mistaken and those aren't radio antennae on the roof of that tower, a HAM radio tower would be placed up there as well as solar panels and wind turbines to help power the building.

Now if only I knew anything about the specifics of water filtration and hydroponics and such...
Excellent reference drawing, nclanceman . I'll be going back to it once I stop working on specific supplies.

This post is dedicated to weaponry: from carried by all, to the most exotic saved for dire circumstances.

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Carried at all times ->
Each member will be equipped with a KA-BAR or KM2000 knife as their backup melee weapon. They will also be equipped with a Glock 17 or H&K USP chambered in .45 ACP. If the zombies have unusually thick skin or bone, then armor piercing rounds will be standard.

Chokepoints ->
These will be used in the defense of the stairwells and other narrow points of access in case of a breach. Emphasis is on high damage in a small area or rapid fire with "light" rounds.

Shotguns: Benelli M4 or Reutech Striker.

Submachine gun: H&K MP5 (any version with Single shot, Burst and Autofire)

I considered a Thompson .45 with 100 round drums, but the next weapon should do the job nicely.

Squad Automatic Weapon: FN Minimi Para (for easier carrying)

Fifth to tenth level marksmen and snipers ->
Be it boredom, observation or thinning the herd when necessary, a pair of marksmen/snipers will use these levels to put their shooting to good use. Bolt-action rifles will be used for solo targets, whereas semi-automatic rifles will be used when time is of the essence.

Bolt-action rifles: Any L96A1 chambered in .338 Lapua or M24 Sniper Weapon System

Semi-automatic rifles: G3SG/1 or M21 Sniper Weapon System

Also assume each rifle has the most advanced optics available, including night time scopes and bipods. If you're going for the best, a rangefinder + stockpile of match grade ammunition is even better.

Long range and heavy weapons ->
There might be a time when you either need to take something out at extreme distances, or blow away a large group. The following are chosen for their excellence in these roles.

Semi-automatic rifles: Barret M82A2 (useful for distant zombies or targets that require the extra punch)

Machine guns: M2HB (have one set up on a cleared out level with sandbags and two set up along the barricades outside)

Grenade launcher: Mark 19 (inaccurate, and loud, but keeping a few on the lower levels to clear a path leading to the entrance wouldn't be a bad idea) and MGL Mk 1 (if you're on the move and have to stall rushing zombies, this is great for causing a pile-up)

Mines: Claymores and M16-mines (as someone suggested, you might as well flag them. I doubt most zombies can read )

I couldn't think of any rocket-launchers that would be useful in this scenario. I also thought of having a Stinger MANPAD on hand, but how often will you be meeting resistance from the air?

Armor ->
Usually, simple fatigues in urban patterns will do (if nothing but to boost morale). Thick civilian clothing is a good choice as well. If you're worried about raiders, then Interceptor body armor should do the job against them.

Any suggestions? Feel free to comment or critique! After weapons will be food and medicine.
This is coming along quite nicely guys, keep up the good work I am interested to keep reading your thoughts
Food

Everyone in The Tower is going to need a varied diet, so there will be a mixture of canned food, dry (non-perishable) food and little MREs. Reason being? MREs aren't very good for people with daily activities that include little movement.

Canned food ->

Meat, meat products, poultry and seafood: Corned beef, SPAM, vienna sausages, chicken spread, chicken breast, albacore tuna, salmon, sardines.

Soups/stews: Tomato soup, vegetable soup, chicken soup, clam chowder and beef stew.

Vegetables: Corn (normal and sweet), black beans, green beans, garbanzo beans, refried beans, baby tomatoes, spaghetti sauce.

Condiments ->

Mustard, ketchup, black pepper, tabasco sauce, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, worcestershire sauce (requires refrigeration)

Dry foods ->

Powdered eggs, powdered milk, saltine crackers, sugar and salt (keep away from moisture), rice (keep away from moisture as well, fungus can be a problem), mixed nuts (good for protein and snacking), popcorn, spaghetti, instant noodles (Top Ramen, wonton, etc), flour (semolina and white), corn meal, bouillon cubes (chicken and beef flavor), coffee, tea (green, if possible), multivitamin tablets.

Seeds (for hydroponic growing) ->

Bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, squash, tomatoes.

Cheer food ->

Honey, pudding (chocolate and vanilla), peanut brittle, Hershey's bars.


Liquids and flavoring ->

Iodine, powdered fruit flavoring mix, bottled water and water purification tablets.

And of course, bowls, plates, knives, forks, spoons and a few can openers. I would recommend a healthy stockpile of disposable wares, as you don't want to devote too much of the water to washing dishes .

I might have missed some more essentials, but nutritionally this covers Vitamin C, Vitamin D, folic acid sodium and iodine: bad things to have a lack of. In particular, what vegetable and fruit seeds are worth saving for hydroponic gardening?

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Medical Supplies

While a surgeon or medic won't usually be on hand, the below will still be useful for any injuries or ailments received when out on a supply run. If the zombie "infection" is similar to most versions, then the only cure for a bite is death.

Kits ->

First aid (some contents are perishable, such as the ointments, so renew/toss when needed), suture, latex gloves (used when handling badly mangled zombie bodies), respirator masks.

Antibiotics, antiseptics and antivenins ->

Bactericide gel, antiseptic towelettes, disinfectant, ipecac syrup, isopropyl alcohol, gojo sanitizer, topical gel.

Bandages ->

Single, roll, water resistant and skin patches.

Burns ->

Thermazene 1% silver sulfadiazine cream (unmaintained equipment can get touchy, and so exposure to explosives/fire is always a risk)

Electronics ->

Portable defibrillator, electrocardiograms.

Pills and tablets ->

Aspirin, advil, benadryl, diazepam (be careful of dependency), ibuprofen

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As always, if you have any recommendations or comments, feel free to jump in here .
I'd also place some form of 5.56 NATO assault rifle at the Chokepoints. Using an M16A4, SIG 550, or H&K G36 in those places wouldn't be that out of place, especially if you already have a FN Minimi there. While they'd be kind of a pain indoors, these same people would probably be the ones in the raiding parties, so weapons familiarity is pretty important.

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I'd invest in permanent dishes. Sure, washing them would be a pain, but with disposables you'd run into the problem of where to put the garbage.

How exactly to maintain the greywater would be a good question for later...
I think it would be a good idea to have a fence around the Tower. A first line of defense for the Tower and it gives room for any vehicles, unless theres a parking garage under the Tower, and have room for any future needs that could be too big for a floor in the Tower.
For the chokepoint, I'd like to suggest Kriss Super Vs in .45 ACP with the MAGPUL 30 round mag (world.guns.ru article here). Precise automatic fire would be an asset. .45ACP would be real effective against unarmored zombies. Perhaps keep an FN FiveseveN (don't use any custom ammo in it, the weapon risks blowing up - seriously) or a P90 at the ready for armoured intruders (SWAT zombies, marauders, etc.).
An AA 12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun would be nice too, although it doesn't have that many rounds.

I don't think 5.56mm assault rifles would be too effective, although carbines could be (Colt Commando/M4, Sig 552 Commando, etc.).

My 02cents.
the ultamate checkpoint: lvls -1, 1 and 2 are the true essance of trap land. Reinforced with extra concrete, the whole floor plan has been altered. Pungi-stick traps with narrow ledges to take advantage of the zed's lack of dexterity.
and the second floor is the clincher. exept for the direct stairways to the basement that are concreted off, all access to the second floor from ground is retractable and sealable. its all concret, reinforcing steel and the "fire enabling system"
the whole second floor exists so that the first floor and basement can be set on fire without compremising the rest of the building. In such an event, the sewer entrances willl be used until the repair crews can fix the traps and clear out all the ash.

Thank god zombies are too dumb to handle a manhole, a few fall in so to speak butthe openings are identified and closed... by welders, just incase.

An out building is used for compost/septic and secondary access. the connection line, a pipe, can be disconected with a hammer.

Notice that the stairways to the garage are sealed (first by baracades, later by concrete) from floor 6 to -2. Floor -1 is a dead block age and may only be passed by these stairways.

it is important to have three disconected access points, each fortified, and easy to close off. if the seds come, you want do have the upper hand, three is a good number. if you have the survivor population of the size that can be housed in this building, the defenders can easily be split up in this way without weakening them too much. The basements are the least automated and most populated by guards. the other two take advantage of the zombies' clumsyness and require only a few to close and lock the main door/ smash down the bridge.


floor 7: food area easy access for hunters and getting rid of compost
floor 6: outbuilding access, garage access, storage
floor 5: storage, strait halls disconect main stairways from floor 4 access
floors 3 to 4: repeat floors -1 to 1
floor 2: fire enabling system
floor 1: trapland
floor -1: pits and fire enablign system
floor -2: garage and sewer access (entrance tunnle fortified)
floor -3: garage
floor -4: garage,subway access, garage access (the stairway is concreted off until down here)
floor-5: generaters and fuel storage
floor -6: fuel storage
floor -7: wells (holes drilled in the wall), storage
floor -8: wells (holes drilled in the wall), storage
Only taking the Tower into account from the photo, if there was to be other building close to it then some cat walks or bridges conecting the Tower to them so there was room for future projects and room to grow.
in the photo, on the other side of the highway next to the tower is what apears to be a strip mall. The mall meme has been satisfied.
Basement: Wells are installed, and the tunnles well locked off, but contrary to popular belief, zombies do not know how to open a man hole.

True, Zombies in the sewers come about from infected people entering the sewers to escape the hordes of undead who then die and thus infest the sewers.

If time is available and an underground garage unavailable, modify a section of the first floor by installing reinforced walls with firepoint slits every few feet. then install reinforced steel doors to allow scavenging vehicles into the buildling. If there is a basement garage try obtaining a Military Water Treatment Truck for water treatment.

A small section of one upper floor dedicated to excercise equipement that have a couple of the machines; treadmills, stairmasters, etc. hooked to a generator to charge small car batteries.

Rig Claymore mines at approximately zombie head level at chokepoints. Also install heavy machine guns(Browning .50 caliber) or SAW 249 for mass hordes.
I like the balance traps myself.
but it sucks for whomever has to clear out the pits
Mines are not actually effective against zombies. Most use shrapnel, which could kill a human, but not a zombie. The idea of claymores at head level is a good idea though. The best idea is to seal of elevator access to and from all trapland floors, a zombie at the bottom of the elevator shaft causes problems. Sealing off all but one stair way to trap land is also a good idea. But, the best course of action is to skip trap land and just seal off those floors. Make it impossible to get in to the stairwell or elevators on those floors. You would save resources and could relocate barriers to hold out positions. Also, never rely on only one escape route. Mount a machine gun to a window washer platform and you have a simple way to get to and from the ground. Have access to the sewers as a ABSOLUTELY LAST RESORT ESCAPE. If entering the sewers, you need a plan, resources, and no other options. Every person should have single shot break open pistols for the purpose of suicide or killing an infected surviver. Derringers would work best for this purpose. Also, stack up on board games, table top RPGs, books, porn, instruments, and anything else to fend off boredom. As cruel as this may sound, bring small dogs, cats, fish, and/or birds and breed them for meat. Have a designated area for cooking and have a secure area for lighting fires. Also, have bayonets on every rifle, carbine, and submachine incase of extreme close quarters. Have everyone have multiple specialties and teach everyone else. Have proper exercise equipment. If your group is staying in the building for more than a year, breeding can be considered. If you decide to breed, ensure that the children are properly educated on zombie as early as possible. Every member of the group should be trained in combat.
Breeding? Didn't Ragitsu say assume about ten survivors? I really don't think that would be a viable population base, unless you've been spending time out in the streets searching for more supplies and other survivors like in the last stand games.
Ten survivors, and a really big building. Most of the weapons suggested are probably not at the local gun store, so if you can get a M2HB, you can probably get food.
Ah, didn't see the ten survivors bit.
Emm got it backwards though. the sewers are one of the two common routs. the garage is the absolute last rout of escape... remember, zombies don't drill for oil.

But a tower like that would attract other survivors.
And raiders.
Ten survivors, and a really big building. Most of the weapons suggested are probably not at the local gun store, so if you can get a M2HB, you can probably get food.

National Guard Armories, deployed Military Forces, Police SWAT units, etc are good places to look for the aforementioned weapons.
You might consider buckets full of marble for the choke point in the stairs.
ok it is a pain in the ass to clean after but it's very effective.
And i agree that a M4 in the choke point isn't bad.
Or you just seal off all of the floors below the living ones and save all of the military grade weapons to your self.
That is reducing the defence capability of the tower, you give those weapon to people that are how to use them. Beside you never know when you need more room.
If you seal some floor you need to be sure that you wont reduce your chance of survival.
A simple action like that can change many thing in combat.(if you wonder why there is two reply its a glitch)
Except the point is that you are isolating your self from the ground. Leave 3-4 floors sealed and have everything above that for living.
Well, i'm back .

I am a little wary of survivors to begin with...you have to balance empathy with realism in these situations. Anyhow, is there anything else to cover besides Daily Routine before the levels are mapped out?

Edit: Ah right, vehicles! I will be able to come up with a list for the ground, and possibly the roof, but i'll leave modifications (including armor plating) up to the others.
But, the best course of action is to skip trap land and just seal off those floors. Make it impossible to get in to the stairwell or elevators on those floors. You would save resources and could relocate barriers to hold out positions.

Hey! I liked Trapland! Aside from being pure entertainment, you can't seal off those floors completely: the control mechanisms and utilities for the building are most often on the lower floors in some room far removed from the stairways. Also, half the reason Trapland exists, like I said, is to clear enough of the street to allow other survivors to get to the building, which would neatly solve the genetics problem with breeding more survivors.
You have a good point. But the most effective course of action would be to use the elevator shaft to travel from the first to living floor. You don't need several levels of trapland. One floor should be enough if you have correctly sealed off certain locations. Try to create "Hallways", seal of certain rooms to create a small cluster of rooms as a lower floor "Safe Area". Store weapons, food, and water there and make sure that the movement between floors is also located close by. If you want to clear the streets, organize hunting parties. Of course, if you decided to read the opening post very carefully, you will find that the surrounding city is devoid of survivors. Only ambulatory critters are zeds and animals, assuming the zeds have not eaten the animals already, then you just have birds and fish.

As for vehicles, you should keep the ground vehicles in a place where it is impossible for zombies or other humans to find. Helicopter use should be kept to a minimum to conserve fuel and to stay silent. Motorcycles, ATVs, and bicycles will be more useful than cars for escape. A car, or better yet a bus, is better for purely defensive/offensive measures. Do not use it to escape the tower and do not use it to travel from city to city. If you have a bus, it can be used for travel, but only in the form of a convoy. Ten school buses will hold out better than one. Also, have one car for the purpose of escape. This should be able to carry heavy loads and remain fast. Good millage is also important. Fuel is theoretically low (we have only been given details about the tower, not the apocalypse) and motor vehicle use should be kept to a minimum.
Hey! I liked Trapland! Aside from being pure entertainment, you can't seal off those floors completely: the control mechanisms and utilities for the building are most often on the lower floors in some room far removed from the stairways. Also, half the reason Trapland exists, like I said, is to clear enough of the street to allow other survivors to get to the building, which would neatly solve the genetics problem with breeding more survivors.

Using abandoned cars, drain them of gas and other useful materia before making a perimeter by flattening the tires or flipping them on their side while creating a few entry/exit corridors for the salvage teams vehicles.
You could have the vehicles parked into the parking garage and have the small entrances blocked off and have the main vehicle entrance protected by flame throwers that spit homemade napalm to clear the way when survivors are going to leave. The Napalm being made from gas and other materials would only be used when there are zombies outside the entrance, with gas beingin short supply.
You could have the vehicles parked into the parking garage and have the small entrances blocked off and have the main vehicle entrance protected by flame throwers that spit homemade napalm to clear the way when survivors are going to leave. The Napalm being made from gas and other materials would only be used when there are zombies outside the entrance, with gas beingin short supply.

Possible Little in game event.

Chara One and Two; 'Hurrah for Flamethrowers' Characters yells as they open up.

GM: Make fortitude

Chara one; 27

Chara two; 11

GM: Chara Two You smell the rotted flesh cooking

Two; 'I think I'm going to be sick' as character smells roasted rotting flesh.
well I suppose they may need gas masks or somekind of air filter masks :D
well I suppose they may need gas masks or somekind of air filter masks :D

Good point and we wouldn't want the characters manning them to pass out from the fumes.
The only thing worse than a brain-hungry zombie is a brain hungry zombie ON FIRE.
On the note of homemade napalm how about homemade explosives/etc.
Unless you plant them IN the zombie, you are just going to have a slightly burnt/shrapnely zombie
Unless shrapnel digs into the zombie's face, and then its brain. I didn't read the whole thread, but the zombies in this setting are vulnerable to headshots, right?
My Deviant Art What the heck is Master_Vega actually working on, anyway? The D20/Haul project. Projects on the back burner (not actively designing, but still taking ideas): 1. D10-based in-depth tactical game (post-apoc) Making classes/adjusting weapon stats. If you have any questions or comments on my projects, please PM me. I'd like to hear what you have to say.
If the explosion is close enough it could do enough damage to the zombies muscles to slow it down if not stop it.
Yes, but that has to be close to the zombie and be around head level. Razor wire would be far more effective