ZombiesEat Flesh - Fast food experience in Zombie apocalypse role playing.
By Rainer K. Koreasalo
Beta Playtest version
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-NonCommercial 3.0 license
Welcome to Zombies, May I take your order ?
Would you like to play a game like a classic Zombie horror movie? With Zombieseat flesh you can. This shared creation role playing game was designed specifically to inspire an generate familiar zombie movie story arch. Playing Zombieseat flesh is easy - you can be up and running (from zombies) in a few minutes.
(Ok, until the Ashcan version, there is no real need to write all that yadda-yadda about RPGs here)
Your Character, the meal
Each character consists of a Setting, career and a burden. Each of these adds two themes to the character. Themes are story telling concepts, providing inspiration for narration but also directing and guiding the story by limiting the story elements. The use of themes will be described later (extensively in the Ashcan version)
You can select your setting and career from the table below. Mark the themes to your character sheet.
|Artist||dicipline, use of force, expressionism, identity||uniformity, discrimination, expressionism, identity||salvation, guilt, expressionism, identity||community, growth, expressionism, identity||individualism, anxiety, expressionism, identity|
|Student||dicipline, use of force, peer pressure, self doubt||uniformity, discrimination, peer pressure, self doubt||salvation, guilt, peer pressure, self doubt||community, growth, peer pressure, self doubt||individualism, anxiety, peer pressure, self doubt|
|Professional||dicipline, use of force, pride, mastery||uniformity, discrimination, pride, mastery||salvation, guilt, pride, mastery||community, growth, pride, mastery||individualism, anxiety, pride, mastery|
|Worker||dicipline, use of force, duty, effort||uniformity, discrimination, duty, effort||salvation, guilt, duty, effort||community, growth, duty, effort||individualism, anxiety, duty, effort|
|dropp-out||dicipline, use of force, defeatism, fate||uniformity, discrimination, defeatism, fate||salvation, guilt, defeatism, fate||community, growth, defeatism, fate||individualism, anxiety, defeatism, fate|
|instructor||dicipline, use of force, tradition, authority||uniformity, discrimination, tradition, authority||salvation, guilt, tradition, authority||community, growth, tradition, authority||individualism, anxiety, tradition, authority|
Then select your burden from the list below.
Burdens (with help from tonpa)
Now you have 6 themes. The two themes from your burden are the two leading themes of your character and they will be used to color your character narration during conflicts and scene narration.
Example: St. Jonestown baptist church choir leader Leonard Arms has the Church background and Artist Career. His Burden is Teacher so Leonard has Charity and Envy as lead themes.
His character theme table could be:
Leonard believes in salvation through repentance and charitable work, and feels guilt about something related to this. He is envious of others and has identity issues when it comes to expressionism in others.
So, Distribute evenly the 4 themes you got from the setting-career table under the two themes from the burden.
Example: City drop-out would have individualism, anxiety, defeatism, fate as building themes. With the Follower burden hope and sloth are the lead themes. The theme table would then be:
Every narration about this character will deal with either column of themes. If Envy leads, you get envious individualism and defeatism, if charity leads you get anxious charitable efforts, and charitable fatalism (they got what was coming for them, but you will help).
Enjoying the meal, your roles in play (with help from Tonpa)
In every scene in the game, there are three players in special roles. One player, called "the meat" is responsible for playing the character and leading the reactive narration. Another player will play the role of "the plate" . The plate is responsible for playing the role of your prototypical game master, describing the environment, introducing story elements and providing plot points. The third role is that of the "hunger". Hunger controls the danger element and has the power to make story elements more permanent.
You sit clockwise from the meat. You will be the meat next.
You are responsible for creating the story, you will use the themes for each character brought into the scene, together with that scene themes and story elements the hunger has made semi-permanent.
You sit between the plate and the hunger. You will be the hunger next.
You are responsible for the character reaction and building on your own themes. Just play and try not to get eaten.
You sit counter clockwise from the meat. You will be a free character next. Your character cannot be harmed during this scene.
You are responsible for creating the danger elements in the game, you play the zombies.
You can make a story element stay in the game by taking a doom token for it. You can make permanent any number of elements. You add the theme from the token to the element.
You are responsible for describing the zombie conflict, but only after the required number of safe scenes has passed. The number of obligatory scenes before zombies may come out is the minimum number of doom tokens any player has. (Or the difference max-min number?) Each failed non zombie scene counts as two scenes.
if a failed scene should reduce the number of free scenes below 0 (1 left, failure -> -1) escalates the conflict raising the story speed and giving the launched zombie conflict an all over -1 to dice rolls.1
Hunger may give the players safe scenes after the limit has been reached. Each lost safe scene will have the same cumulative effect as described before.
For each scene you roll the dice only once. There's no stakes negotiation. The stakes are always the same: in a Zombie Conflict you get bitten if you fail, in safe conflict you lose 2 free scenes and if there are no free scenes left, the zombie scene starts. The number of safe conflicts is determined by the hunger each scene. Scene will change according to the revolver rules when a zombie conflict is resolved. There are various ways a zombie conflict can be initiated. (more on that later)
Basicly, you succeed on d6 with 4+ and fail otherwise. There are ways to influence the dice roll.
Determine who goes first, usually by determining who wants to be the first seed. Each player places n times the number of players at the table. These are the doom tokens.
Each token has a theme.
You don't have your character in play during the first scene. You take a doom token and introduce your character together with the plate's description of the surroundings.
Doom tokens and how to use them
Players can take a doom token to achieve the following:
- introduce a new character. (meat only)
- add or reduce 1 from any dice roll (maximum of 3 for one roll per player).
- take the role of the meat for the next scene. (the scene after that will continue from the meat that should have been the next one)
- Skip the meat turn. Any free character can have that turn.
- reroll a die ( must play the token theme into the conflict)
When there are no tokens left on the table, the character with the most tokens gets automatically bitten in the next zombie scene. play the bite out with hunger.
example Matt has brought a bag of marbles to the game to represent "losing one's marbles" Nancy brought small plastic hearts to represent love, John brought bullets to represent violence, and Eric brought candy to represent innocence. The doom actions will have to deal with these themes, going crazy, love, violence and innocence.
Romero themes (all of them: The inability of humans to cooperate with each other) Night of the Living dead: things antagonized by bourgeoisie American society, namely civil rights activists, feminists, homosexuals, cannibalism. Dawn of the Dead: commercialism, consumerism etc,. Day of the Dead: …
Throw a dice for both sides of your burden to see which side of your character has the lead in this scene.
If you end up with 3 tokens of the same theme, you trigger a free and safe scene - a flashback. This will explain something previously unknown about your character and give you a permanent +1 to conflicts where you can narrate the theme in question. Add the flashback theme to your burden.
Bite is a wound. Bite cannot be healed.
A bitten character can succeed only with 5+, and each die roll for him takes one doom token. When a bitten character fails a conflict, he dies and becomes a zombie. He can give the character to the current hunger or postpone the zombie revelation to the next zombie conflict when he is the hunger. Hunger must use the themes from the character and the tokens to depict the death and attack.
A bitten character may also be sacrificed during the zombie conflict. You give the hunger a free go with your character and return the tokens you have collected to the doom token pile. This buys some extra time to other characters.
A wounded character succeeds with 5+. You can play one safe scene to remove the wound (conflict must be won)
Effects of failure
Each scene during the game will have an effect on the story speed. A failed scene escalates the story speed, and a successful scene slows the story down. Story has 3 speeds. Safe speed, Complicated speed and Chaotic speed. You cannot escalate from chaotic and you cannot slow down from safe.
Story Circle (Revolver):
The story moves according to the story speed along the revolver wheel depicted on the right.
You start from story point #1 with story speed determined by infection points (To be determined for the ashcan / player decision?)
The first scene in the movie, is a zombie scene. (ok this might get old, maybe a number of free scenes before the first zed)
TODO: the revolver rules.