I am, as mentioned, a gamer, and one of the genres I love most are roleplaying games. I also love horror, making me a big fan of horror games, which pretty much puts Palladium’s Dead Reign right in my wheelbox. It’s a zombie apocalypse RPG that focuses on exactly what I want a zombie apocalypse game to focus on: the world is falling apart, everyone is trying to kill you, and you’re running out of pretty much everything. It’s bleak, and desperate, and I love it.
The first sourcebook for the game, called Civilization Gone, really didn’t do anything for me, as it felt small and incomplete, like it was all the ideas that weren’t good enough to get in the main book. That made me sad, because the game is so cool, and when the second sourcebook showed up–called Dark Places–I was not very enthusiastic. As it turns, though, Dark Places is totally awesome.
Civilization Gone added a few new zombie types, but nothing that really felt right to me; they were goofy things like smart zombies that were visibly indistinguishable from humans (which kind of ruins the whole point) and mundane things that I’m pretty sure I didn’t need, such as zombies who are slightly bigger than normal. Dark Places, on the other hand, really takes the concept to new places, creating new zombie types that we should all be embarrassed we didn’t think of before. How about zombies who are completely infested with bugs or maggots, which is not only believable but gives them a meaningfully different appearance and skillset. Very nice.
The other thing Dark Places focuses on are ways to travel through the zompocalyptic world, describing what it’s like in the sewers, and along railroad tracks, and so on. Overall the book was very fun and useful, and I recommend it for all your zombie RPG needs.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do, and which my friend Janci actually did because she’s awesome, is run a zombie apocalypse RPG in which the characters play themselves, in their own town, trying to survive. I think that would be awesome.