Author Topic: Thinking of developing a Zombie RPG where You play the zombies, need comment  (Read 5853 times)

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shadowforged

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Ok, Zombie RPGs are fun to play (not all are great, but some are good)

But you never get to play the zombie...

A little while back it just struck me, this could actually be a great idea.

I have no delusional ideas, an entire campaign based about being a zombie might not be so great.
But wouldn't it be fun for a one-shot?
(hell it might be fun to have a campaign like that, but it will probably be a hack-n-slash fest)

If I do make this it will probably de either d6 or d12 based.(d12's need some love to)

(edit)
had a think about stats, will probably be something like this

(B)ulk basis for size and health you will have
(R)adiation mutations will be based on this
(A)ggression damage influencing stat
(I)ntelligence how human your mind still is, more means you can use complex things like weapons
(N)ecrosys how rotten you are, will probably act as a defense versus some damage types
(S)peed how fast you get to act/walk(/run)
(/edit)

So...
Do you think it is worth the time and effort to do this?
Or am I just alone in thinking that this might be fun?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 02:03:28 PM by shadowforged »
I'm not psychic, the world is just that predictable

Shoggoth

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It's certainly an interesting idea.  Ordinarily I'd dismiss it out of hand, but my weeks of playing Left 4 Dead have given me a new appreciation for playing "unique" zombies and I'm a little bit intrigued.

The biggest problem you're going to run into that I can see is trying to make an RPG about creatures that have always been viewed as mindless, instinct driven monsters.  It's hard to play a character who's only motivation is Find People - Kill People - Eat Brains.  If you can make a simple inclusive flowchart of your character's options, it's gonna be rough to inspire someone to play it.

It might work as a tactical near-board game though.  I could see a 4E variant, where the players are special zombies with cool abilities, and the scenario amounts to "Kill all humans".  You are at the vanguard of the zombie invasion, trying to overcome the military/armed civilians/etc. so that your stupid brethren can feast on the tasty num-nums.

I could also see it as a rules-light story game, where the mechanic gives you more power the more brains you eat, but also burdens you with instincts as you go.  Something about the existential angst of being a zombie.  It still wouldn't be good for more than a one or two shot though, I don't think.
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You could always take a look at Zombie Cinema over at IPR. The players who die get to play zombies - sorta. It would be some good inspiration for you, anyway.
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PhaedrusXY

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Isn't there a game like this already? All Flesh Must Be Eaten?

Edit: I guess that's not what that game is. It seems to be about playing living characters in world's that have suffered zombie apocalypses.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 11:27:14 PM by PhaedrusXY »
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Shoggoth

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Isn't there a game like this already? All Flesh Must Be Eaten?

AFMBE assumes that you're a human survivor of the Zombocalypse(tm).  I suppose you could invert that assumption and use the combat rules in the game to play a special kind of zombie, with the GM playing the human survivors.

The problem with that is, you'd need to do some work with the system to make it interesting for the zombie players.  Without those pesky human motivations, playing a zombie is kind of dull, so I'd think you'd need some kind of additional mechanics to spice things up.
Still came that eldritch, mocking cry - "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" and at last we remembered that the demoniac Shoggoths...had no voice save the imitated accents of their bygone masters.

shadowforged

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The way I was thinking zombies would think and act in this game would be something in the line of
- zombie moaning is actually a language that only zombies can understand
- its not really instinct but planning with the limited intelligence they have left
- zombies need to feed on brains to survive, if they don't feed they will die (again)
- who likes being shot at? it's payback time stupid survivors
maybe base something on a memories of life mechanic of some sort (worth thinking about)

On a side note, I've thinking about making it so you can play both sides
(and maybe halfway things like zombies with a few survivor powers(recently dead) or survivors with a few zombie powers (bitten))
radiation would slowly kill you as a survivor though
maybe make it as a flipover book (like white wolf does with some books)(one side of the zombies, flip it over and voila, survivor manual)
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skydragonknight

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It always seems like the barrels around here have something in them.

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  Here's how I percieve the whole thing:

When you die, you lose almost all your memories, brainpower, identities and so on. What is left in you is enough to drive you to hunt for fragment of that. That's why zombies want brains. You are convinced if it eats enough brain, you will get more of those, whether they belong to you or not. Most of the zombies eat brain and they got nothing, but you get something.

Zeke

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the game Zombie Cinema may be of use to you in this endavor.

JaronK

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I did a basic game a while ago where there was no character creation at all, and any time you died you just got a new body and kept going.  It was a heck of a lot of fun and the players absolutely loved it.

So, consider this: in zombie movies, there's ALWAYS more zombies.  Each time you die, roll a 1d10 or something to pick your zombie type (much like Left4Dead, really) and that's it, you're good to go.  Now try to eat some heads!  Give the zombies a goal that they can accomplish through brute force (such as "eat or kill the soldiers holed up in that building, so you can then eat the civilians inside"), and any time the players try to plan too much have their head explode due to too much attempted thinking.  And then go nuts.  Don't bog it down with die rolling any more than you have to... a very simple system like "for every action that needs to be randomized, roll 5 dice.  Any 5s or above are successes.  The difficulty of the action determines the number of successes you need" and then adjust the difficulty based on what sort of zombie they are.  Thus, a pouncing zombie only needs a success or two to jump on someone's head, while a shambling zombie would require five successes to do it (but only 2 successes to survive a gunshot without being injured).

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Nachofan99

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I would just steal ideas from Left 4 Dead.

veekie

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Urban Dead is a pretty good source for this kind of game, yeah.
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AfterCrescent

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the game Zombie Cinema may be of use to you in this endavor.
+1

I think one of the core elements you need to settle on first is what type of game you're going for. Tactical battle would work better as a board game/mini game, while a story game would take good ideas from something like Zombie Cinema. Comedy vs horror obviously has different needs, etc.
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Khorus

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Re: Thinking of developing a Zombie RPG where You play the zombies, need comment
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2009, 09:26:18 PM »
In all flesh must be eaten you can play a zombie. One of the books expands on this. We played a game once where we were zombies, incredibly fun. Almost l4d except we did much better. I played a zombie with shards of metal embedded in myself that gave me a Electromagnetic Field, since we were raiding a military base this was super effective.

Back on topic I think it might be in One of the Survivors or Atlas of the Dead or something. Any way really fun.

*Edit* best way to accomplish this is to have the book of archtypes 1 and 2. Have players make zombies and dm use the Archtype books as a Monster Manual.

Khorus

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Re: Thinking of developing a Zombie RPG where You play the zombies, need comment
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2009, 09:29:32 PM »
In AFMBE *sorry to keep making posts have flu and brain is half speed* but they have full stats / qualities / drawbacks for making zombies. It is as in depth for zombie creation if not more then player creation.

shadowforged

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Re: Thinking of developing a Zombie RPG where You play the zombies, need comment
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2009, 08:49:31 PM »
I have played AFMBE before, but I didn't know there where rules for playing zombies in it

I remember that I felt the game system for AFMBE rather clunky.

So if not for originality I'll  still continue building, just to improve on the number of possible systems available for the idea.

(in case anyone is wondering how this project is coming along; currently working out some kinks in the system itself (early tests proved the system to be biased towards the attacker in a disproportionate way), if all goes according to plan might be able to start serious play-testing before the end of the year)
I'm not psychic, the world is just that predictable

jonnypanda

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Did this ever go anywhere