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Walking Dead RPG 
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 Walking Dead RPG
So, an old friend of mine called up and starting chatting me up about Iridium, Shades of Earth and a Walking Dead RPG. Yeah, sure, I own AFMBE but what this was more a discuassion about was the aspects of the game. We came to settle on that it was not strongly a zombipocalypse game (i.e. hordes of zombies you killed in droves) but more a form of plot point. Think about it, a huge horde of zombies (you cannot hope to kill them all) push you to the next setting or trap you in a building. The first aspect is an immovable object or unstoppable force. The second aspect is as a moral dilemma, kill your best bud who just got bit...your wife...your son? Another one we came up with is the loner threat. This is the closest to a zombipocalypse setting with a single (or small group) character facing a threat of zombies you can maybe handle. Do I run or stay?

Now I could have it all wrong but it seems a bit more like a drama with zombies in it. It is a lot more about drama and intergroup interaction.

Thoughts? Do you have aspects you think would be part of the setting?

Ref for those living under a stone: http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_Wiki

Thanks

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:56 am
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
I haven't played the video game. Just looking at the wiki, it does look like more of a drama with zombies in it to me. I think you are right on with your analysis.

It seems as though the characters and the tough choices they have to make would be more of the focus than the actual combat or action/adventure aspects of it. Kind of like TOS Star Trek. The characters and their relationships were more important overall than the action sequences they took part in.


Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:33 am
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
Walking Dead is very much more about the relationships than the zombies. Zombies are just the external pressure that cooks the relationships.

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking for here, in terms of a reply.
Aspects of the story?
Scarcity is one. I think you could certainly get some mileage out of characters chasing this or that resource.

Also, I would set up characters to have conflicting goals.
Billy is the obvious leader.
Tommy is the best shooter and jealous that everyone follows Billy.
Edna knows the land and all kinds of folk remedies, but hates Billy for killing her grandaughter.
Robert is Edna's boyfriend and was Billy and Tommy's football coach. They are all traveling in his RV.
etc.

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:13 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
MountZionRyan wrote:
Walking Dead is very much more about the relationships than the zombies. Zombies are just the external pressure that cooks the relationships.

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking for here, in terms of a reply.
Aspects of the story?
Scarcity is one. I think you could certainly get some mileage out of characters chasing this or that resource.

Also, I would set up characters to have conflicting goals.
Billy is the obvious leader.
Tommy is the best shooter and jealous that everyone follows Billy.
Edna knows the land and all kinds of folk remedies, but hates Billy for killing her grandaughter.
Robert is Edna's boyfriend and was Billy and Tommy's football coach. They are all traveling in his RV.
etc.

Yeah, this is the kind of thing I am talking about. What aspects of the Walking Dead story can be adapted to rpgs? Conflicting goals is a good point.

An example of one that would be hard to do is how they sometimes have the old plot device standby for getting them out of trouble. So, they blow the window out on the CDC building attracting few if any walkers but have to whisper so as to not be detected elsewhere. Not a big or central point but that would be an example of one that would be hard to systemically model.

The conflicting goals would be a good and central point. Relationships themselves would be a tough one but I am inclined to let that fall to players to RP.

Sorry if I was confusing.

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:37 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
I think that games based on material like the Walking Dead are harder to run in some respects because they rely on an interested fan base, and are slightly more difficult for Jane or Joe Average to buy into. (I say that understanding that its simply a perception, and not an actual barrier.) That said if you can get players to pony up for the buy in they do provide an interesting frame work.

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
SeriousPaul wrote:
I think that games based on material like the Walking Dead are harder to run in some respects because they rely on an interested fan base, and are slightly more difficult for Jane or Joe Average to buy into. (I say that understanding that its simply a perception, and not an actual barrier.) That said if you can get players to pony up for the buy in they do provide an interesting frame work.

Yeah, there is some of this. It is not as bad as Star Trek IMO. With ST you really need everyone to buy into the game big time. No using transporters to zap the kingons, no creating clone armies of kirk or leveling all problems with hand phazers. Walking Dead I think you might get away from that in terms of the setting but you would have some of it with the relationships aspect. If you group does nto wan that sort of play, yeah, it will fall flat.

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:32 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
"Modern" games are almost as well received-because they're easy to relate to- as what I call the base setting "D&D". The nice thing about a Walking Dead game is you can snag a local map, and run something everyone can easily picture. That's what we did.

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Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:37 am
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
I am currently running a The Walking Dead game using All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

Instead of being set in Atlanta, the game takes place in Reno, Navada. The game I am running is very Sandboxy, which means I come up with problems and events the characters have to deal with, but there is no railroading or set course.

I agree with what has been said, the game is very much about relationships and not about the zombies. The zombies do appear in my game, however you don't see them all the time and since there is desert area, you can go to places where you dont see zombies at all.

When we decided to play the game, we decided that the relatinship side of things was more important then the zombies and that is how the game has been running. We have played 9-10 sessions and everyone is having fun


Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:25 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
Well, that does bring up a good point. Do any of you think that such a game would require and episodic framework?

Myself, I think it would help. With the setting partially resetting each episode. So, you end up with acting out the "goals" and "conflicts" of your character then drawing new ones for the next episode. It often seems to me that some of the characters have long standign grudges that help define them but then have these episode by episode alliances that pop up.

hmm, almost makes me think of a mechanic that would allow you to RP an outreach but then burn an alliance for resources. Kind of board gamey there but just an idea.

So, thoughts on an episode based game?

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Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:47 pm
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Post Re: Walking Dead RPG
Thengel wrote:
Well, that does bring up a good point. Do any of you think that such a game would require and episodic framework?

Myself, I think it would help. With the setting partially resetting each episode. So, you end up with acting out the "goals" and "conflicts" of your character then drawing new ones for the next episode. It often seems to me that some of the characters have long standign grudges that help define them but then have these episode by episode alliances that pop up.

hmm, almost makes me think of a mechanic that would allow you to RP an outreach but then burn an alliance for resources. Kind of board gamey there but just an idea.

So, thoughts on an episode based game?


This is a very good question.

We don't run each game within episodic framework. We kind of end where we end when it is time to quit for the week. I wonder if I should try to run the game within an Episodic framework to see if it would help.

For instance, the game before last ended when the group arrived at a lake camp by the end of the road and I guess that could have been considering "ending an episode"

The cars drive up the the empty camp and see the cabins, the office and 3 houses and then everything fades to black. So maybe it was unintentionally ended in a episode framework.

This gives me something to think about as far as improving how I run the game (something I am always looking to improve)


Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:01 am
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