Posted on : 10-08-2011 | By : Brian | In : hacks, IndieRPG, Role-Playing Games, ZombieCinema
After reading through Zombie Cinema, I started getting ideas. I’d like to put one of them up here, because I really want to get it down on paper (so to speak), and I’d like to try it out sometime. If any of you wind up trying it, I’d like to hear about your experience.
The premise of this hack is to create a Zombie Cinema game that is similar in tone and feel to the movie The Thing, by John Carpenter. The Thing has themes of isolation and paranoia; you don’t know who you can trust, and you’re trapped in a secluded location with a dangerous creature that can look like any of your allies. Because Zombie Cinema focuses on intra-party conflict, it’s perfect for this kind of game.
It does need one or two small tweaks to get it working, though. In terms of physical items, you’ll need the following:
- A copy of Zombie Cinema (naturally)
- One copy of the game board for each player, plus the one that comes in the box. Photocopies would work just fine.
- A screen for each player, to keep each player’s private game board secret from the others.
To set up the game, put the main game board (the one that came with Zombie Cinema) in the middle of the table, and put the zombie pawn on it as per the normal rules. Instead of representing the pervasiveness of the zombie threat, this represents the threat of the Thing; how powerful it is, and how many people it’s infected. Then, each player puts his or her own pawn on his or her own copy of the game board, and keeps it secret behind his or her own screen. Optionally, you can also hide all but one of your player cards, making only the most obvious one visible.
Then, play the game as normal, with the flavor of The Thing (or something similar) rather than the flavor of a standard zombie movie. Keep your position on the board secret, and keep track of where you are in relation to the zombie pawn. If it catches you, it eats you as normal. When this happens, you have been infected by the Thing. Don’t tell anyone this. Continue to play as normal, but now it’s your job to subvert the group and try to make sure that other people get infected, too. This’ll be a bit of a guessing game, as you don’t know where they are on the board, but if you use the conflict system to keep pushing people back on the board, eventually they’ll be infected, too.
Something you can do with conflicts is call for blood tests. Doing so is like any other conflict, but if you successfully convince someone to take a blood test, they must reveal whether or not they are infected.
Finally, even after you are infected, you should keep track of your position on the board. Once infected, you cannot become uninfected again; however, you can still escape (the Thing wants to escape, to infect more people). The game ends when everyone escapes.