The Waltzing Dead

I am afflicted with creativity. When I get an idea I just have to jot it down and play with it for a bit. Many such ideas are awful or I just lose interest in them. Here is one that came to me earlier this week. What do you think?

An RPG that looks at life from the zombies’ perspective.


The characters are all people who recently died during a zombie apocalypse.
Characters are created by making five choices from the list of traits.
Despite what the living think zombies have minds, personalities, and ambitions.
They advance and heal by killing living people and consuming their favourite bits.

The basic zombie has limited mobility, strength, eyesight, hearing and sense of smell.
Choosing traits will improve one or more of these.

Trait  Effects
Big nose  You get a two dice bonus to perception checks involving smell.
Blackeyes  You can see up to thirty yards/metres in the dark.
Bonehead  You get an extra hit for your head.
Crispy  You have already survived being immolated once, so are now immune to fire attacks.
Doorman  You remember how to open door handles and bolts.
Dreadful  Because of your terrifying appearance living enemies are at a one dice penalty to fight you.
Flexi-Z  You can dislocate your joints to get through gaps as small as 12″/30cms across.
Gripping hands  You get a two dice bonus to grappling attacks.
Linguist  You can remember and use a single sentence of human speech of up to eight words.
Lurching walk  You get a two dice bonus against shooting attacks.
Miasmatic  You are surrounded by a fog of gas and flies so living enemies are at a one dice penalty to shoot you.
Mimic  You get a two dice bonus when trying to get close to the living without being identified as a zombie.
NBK  You remember how to use simple hand weapons such as clubs, batons, knives and axes.
Possum  You can collapse and very convincingly play dead.
Projectile vomit  You gain a short-ranged, four dice acid shooting attack.
Radioactive  Living enemies take a hit each turn they are fighting you. A side effect is that you glow in the dark.
Regeneration  Once a day you can regenerate one body location for free without feeding.
SBD  You get a two dice bonus to stealth checks.
Smasher  You get a two dice bonus when attacking doors, gates, fences etc.
Speedy  You get a three square bonus to movement.
Tainted bite  You infect anyone you bite with the Z-virus
Talons  You get a two dice bonus to fighting attacks.
Tanned hide  You get a two dice bonus against fighting attacks.
Tough  You ignore the first hit in any encounter.
Two good ears  You get a two dice bonus to perception checks involving hearing.
Two good eyes  You get a two dice bonus to perception checks involving sight.
Wall-crawler  You get a two dice bonus to climbing.
Wet-rot  You get a two dice bonus to swimming.

To gain a new trait a zombie must feast upon the brains of three living victims.

Hit location chart

d10  Location  Hits
1  Right Leg  2
2  Left Leg  2
3-4  Abdomen  2
5-7  Chest  3
8  Right Arm  1
9  Left Arm  1
10  Head  2 (+1 if you are a Bonehead)

Once a location has taken its listed number of hits it becomes useless.
If the Abdomen becomes useless the zombie can no longer walk. But it can still crawl.
If the Chest becomes useless the zombie can no longer use its arms. But it can still bite.
If the head becomes useless the zombie is dead, for now.

Feasting on a living victim fully restores one body location
A living victim will feed up to three zombies.


About Craig

For those who need to know these things: - I'll never see 50 again. - I'm tall enough to see well in crowds and fat enough to leave a wake. - I'm well married to a woman with twice my smarts, three delightful and challenging children (er-hem), and one cat overlord. - I am Welsh. - I have to work for a living, but do nothing that makes me perspire.
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3 Responses to The Waltzing Dead

  1. Sean says:

    Good stuff, Craig. Do we get to eat Dead Simple players?

  2. Craig says:

    I don’t see why not 🙂

  3. Stephen Sanderson says:

    Love this idea – you’ve got me at it now Craig!

    Maybe players start as a fresh corpse, then roll to see which body parts or memories/ abilities have deteriorated the most? On a fumbled roll for an action, maybe the Zombie gets stuck in a kind of repetitive loop until they can snap out of it?

    Looking after an important VIP Zombie without being bitten or allowing it to be killed by other NPCs could provide all sorts of interesting problem solving tasks for a group of players too.

    Great food for thought Craig, I’d love to see this developed a bit further!

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