By October 24, 2006

A gaming idea back from the dead

I can’t get away from it: the idea of running a zombie role-playing game. I gave it a shot over a year ago, and the group fizzled out. Admittedly, I was rusty on running a game, but I also think the zombie/apocalypse genre is pretty fucking bleak and is best matched with experienced role-players. Many things have re-ignited my interest in running a zombie game in the last six months. Dead Rising on the Xbox 360, the new World War Z book by Max Brooks, and re-reading the entire Year of the Zombie source book in preparation for a possible NANOWRIMO topic this year.

Now, there are a few issues blocking me from running another campaign. Well, besides the whole “it’s-been-awhile” GM issue. We also have a bi-weekly AD&D gaming session that takes place at my house, with a fairly stable and competent group of people. I know that The Accountant™ wouldn’t mind acting as a player sometimes, but I’m not sure if the rest of the group would be up for my genre — like I said, it’s pretty dark, and most of the group is looking for an escape, not an end-of-the-world simulation. Assuming the AD&D group doesn’t want to get in on the action (and that the group stays together beyond November), there’s the issue of scheduling. I could alternate weekends with the zombie campaign, but that runs completely afoul of Lady Jaye’s work schedule. She’s normally home on the weekends, and it’s just too much to ask her to accommodate a houseful of gamers every weekend of every month. I could run the game during the week, but that puts the kibosh on my out of town players, most notably The Accountant™, who lives up north.

All of that being said, I’d be really interested in getting a second-chance game together. If anyone’s interested, put in a comment or send me an email.

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Posted in: games, zombies

12 Comments on "A gaming idea back from the dead"

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  1. Markie says:

    What about a monthly game scenario. The bleakness may balance the space between sessions… Let people recover before returning to the apocalypse of the game a month later…

    However, you would have to kick the thing off the Thanksgiving weekend, or Christmas for that matter…

  2. drfaulken says:

    That’s not a bad idea, but it would mean that the sessions would have to be longer in order to advance the story line at twelve episodes per year. Also, people tend to forget things even with the twice-a-month sessions, a small part of each session would have to be recap.

    However, if playing once a month makes the difference between zombies or no zombies, once a month it is. 🙂

  3. Ed says:

    A few things come to mind :

    1) I would enjoy playing such a game. But my lass would probably dislike it unless we toned down at least one aspect of the game

    2) WE could also try and do short games after the dnd session everynow and then also.

    3) If you want to do a once a month game, I would need to arrange for my lass to have amusements while playing if you want it too gritty. Maybe she and lady J could go play?

  4. drfaulken says:

    Hey buddy,

    I’d like for the game to be as gritty as possible. The game should be fun, obviously, but I think a lot of the appeal comes from fighting against horrible foes at insurmountable odds. One of the things I keep in the back of my mind while reading the sourcebook is “it can always get worse.” And normally, it does.

    I think the AD&D sessions run too long for some of our players as it is — I can see one or two of them getting tired right before my eyes. I think putting another game afterwards might make things even worse.

    Seems like we’re gathering support for the once a month schedule. Hopefully I can get some more comments on this, and then we’ll go from there.

  5. Ed says:

    This could be a darn good game to try out some sort of voice chat item on the computer. Course you computer gurus would have to figure it out.

    Only bad part is half the fun of roleplaying is seeing each other’s expressions. And you would need rules on who is talking when.

  6. drfaulken says:

    Ed, didn’t you find some software that functioned as a virtual table, with dice rolling and all that? I’ll poke around later to see what I can find.

  7. drfaulken says:

    In the interim, I found Battlegrounds, a Windows- and OSX-based system for virtual RPGs. Holy crap it has some sweet features! I particularly like the “fog of war,” which limits what each character can see on their map. It even has settings for light sources, such as candles, torches, and flashlights!

  8. roclar says:

    I wonder how much it would suck to try online options for this kind of campaign. With voice chat, net meeting style white boards, wikis, etc. there are a lot of tools available to attempt this sort of thing. Since at least a few of have web servers/sites that opens up even more options.

    Just a thought, but that opens the field to more folks that couldn’t otherwise make the game due to geographic constraints while also allowing more options for game times allowing for shorter but more frequent sessions like a week night a week or something. I at least am generally freer on week nights then weekends, anyway.

  9. Ed says:

    That does look pretty cool. We should give it a run

  10. Bond says:

    http://www.urbandead.com/
    Pretty cool game, I like that you can become a zombie.
    or
    http://www.deadawaken.com/main.html
    Pretty popular, but never played this one.

  11. drfaulken says:

    Neither one of those are RPGs — did you mean to put this in another post?

  12. Bond says:

    [DrFaulken’s edit] Behave yourself. You’re a guest here.