Aug 2, 2012

RPG Idea Sources - Zombie Survival Guide

While in New York my wife and I couldn't help but stop into Barnes and Noble, where we picked up a few books.

I grabbed The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, both my Max Brooks.

So far I'm loving The Zombie Survival Guide. I'm a big of of fictional non-fiction books like this. The Guide presents instructions for handling breakouts of the undead as though it were addressing people who live in a world where such things are real, even describing historical outbreaks and detailing the virus that causes the dead to rise.

While I've been reading the Guide, I've been struck by how great a resource this would be as the basis for a roleplaying game. It gives simple and clear information on the zombie threat, including how to classify outbreaks and what zombies are and are not able to do. It gives you everything you need to determine how the existence of zombies affects the world and decide what scale of game you want to run.

As a gamer I'm always on the lookout for things to inspire and improve my games. I love finding resources like this. It's even better that the book itself is an entertaining read. Despite being basically an instruction manual, it is still engaging and gives the impression of a world where this information is of real importance.

For any gamers, I'd definitely suggest checking this out if you're going to run a zombie-themed game.

Has anyone else read a book or watched a movie and thought that it could be used in this way? Obviously I'm specifically talking about personal use for hobbies, not for commercial use.


  1. I have both of those books, there's a fair few errors in the ZSG in regards to things that would be more sensible and less dangerous, but it would be a pretty good resource for an RPG.

    The thing I'm currently using for some ideas can be used for both RPGs and fictional worlds. A Tarot deck. It's a mine for little ideas and character types.

    Stick 'Ace of Swords' on as a title for someone and you get an idea that they're pretty awesome with a blade. A Queen of Wands is someone you might not want to trifle with if you value not being a frog. Beware an ominous Tower with a storm crackling around it. Mysterious old man living in solitude? That's a Hermit for you.

    - Ellen J. Miller

  2. Yeah, I admit I had to refrain from laughing when the ZSG suggested that the katana was the superior bladed melee weapon of choice for killing zombies.

    A tarot deck is a great idea! I've seen tarot decks used to get backstory ideas or plan adventures. But it can definitely help to define personality as well.

  3. That sounds like so much fun! I would love to be part of an RPG like that.