Zombies Culture & Ecology Health & Healing Resting & Active Duty Combat Types
Damage Calculations & Critical Strikes Counts & Interupts
Effects: Damage, Boost, Cleanse, Trip, Push, Leech, Blast, Stun, Slow, Impede, Rend,
Jam, Dismember, Weakended, Petrify, Controlled, Wound, Infection, Activate
Defense Calls Weapons/Armor/Shields
"“Don’t Open; Dead Inside”Some monsters are all about the scare. The jump-in-your seat moments when the closet door springs open or something lurches through the window or pops up in the backseat. Everything seems fine (although the music is usually letting you know it’s not), and then Gah! There it is! Heart races, everyone laughs a bit, and the fight goes on.
But zombies – zombies aren’t just about the scare. Zombies are about dread. You know the dead are out there, and you know they’ll keep coming. They are inexorable and relentless, and really, it’s only a matter of time. We can bar the doors in the hospital; we can build a wall to keep the infection at bay; we can do all sorts of things, but all it takes is one mistake, one infection, and we’re done. Eventually, the monster is us.
Zombies and LARPing are a combination that seem born to go together. A great LARP is all about immersion – the adrenaline rush of combat, the way your heart hammers in your chest when you’re creeping through the woods at night, those moments when your character triumphs – or fails – and it gets you right in the gut. You’re living inside the story, right there in the visceral thick of it.
A good zombie story can catch you in the same way. The dread of the beginning, of watching the familiar world start to fall apart, as everyday landscapes and everyday people transform into horror. Trying to escape, to find safety, the immediate need to survive and the long-term need to live, all catching you up with adrenaline and fear and barely giving you a chance to breathe – this is the stuff unforgettable LARP experiences are made of too. At Z-World, looking around the location, you don’t shut your eyes and imagine you’re in some magical other realm. You’re here, only here is changed and charged and terrifying, and nothing will ever be the same.
In Z-World, you’re long past the point where most zombie movies end. Anyone who was going to get out of that shopping mall got out a long time ago, or they’ve Turned and joined the horde. Your character may not even remember the world that was – this may be the only reality they’ve ever known, a horrorscape of decayed cities, strange powers from the Myst, and the near-certainty that someday you too will Turn.
You’ll notice a lot of cinematic terms in the rules for Z-World – locations, crew, episodes, scenes. A LARP is the sum of all these parts combining – with your participation – to create a story as immersive as any movie. The dedicated folk who write and produce the game see your character as the hero (or the anti-hero) of the story, and they’re going to give you every opportunity to be one, right up until the moment you finally Turn - and maybe even after that.So read on, dive in, and Join the Resistance! - Hilary Glover
Zombies ^ Return ^
You’re joining us on this journey because by now, you already know what they are. They are without fear and they will not slow down because of pain or injury. They can’t be reasoned with or manipulated and they are here for one thing and one thing only: to rip you to pieces and chew you apart. They’re out there in the dark, clawing at the doors and walls, smashing through the windows with a relentless drive. Filling the air with their choral maddening moan like a melancholy bee hive, you could almost feel sorry for them. Look out the window and you'll be greeted by the haunted expression of John, your neighbor from down the road – or maybe Mr. Perkins, the old man who runs the corner store. It’s not the individual creature that will fill you with horror – no, you could almost take time to pity that one lone individual that didn’t make it, and is now cursed to roam the world as a mindless shell. You could almost take that time... that is, if it wasn’t for the other few dozen that are shambling along with them.
A zombie by itself is just a revolting mess of dripping rot. Disgusting, yes, but manageable. When they come together to form mobs of dozens, hundreds, thousands – that is when they are truly terrifying. That’s when people really start to think about the “what if” scenario. How would you survive in a world where society collapses almost overnight? I’ve heard some interesting plans from people over the years – Would you hide inside until the worst is over? Or perhaps head to the nearest Costco or Supercentre?
And then, of course, there are the LARPer’s that would pack up and head to their site in the woods. I’m for that plan. Like what Ed says in Shaun of the Dead; “If we hole up, I wanna be somewhere familiar, I wanna know where my exits are, and I wanna be allowed to hit someone with a boffer!” Okay, maybe he said he wants to smoke – but I don't, and if it’s the end of the world? LARPing sounds like a good way to pass the time.
There are a lot of people analyzing the deep roots of our fears and fascinations with Zombies these days, and many agree that this monster is a reflection our culture and consumerism is at the heart of it. The walking corpses represent the purging of our society, washing away the overly complex way we live like a swarm of locusts converting and consuming everything in their path. I can’t argue with them. I’ve heard it said that our society is hungry and that’s what we are. Be it hungry for material gains, success, companionship or excitement and thrills. We are driven, motivated and hungry. That’s what the Zombie truly is – a reflection of our hunger devoid of everything else. They are incapable of judgment and self-preservation. They are just hungry and can never be filled. The Zombie wants what you have – no, not have... what you are! You are the next meal, and if you're lucky they'll stop long enough to think they're full. But soon enough, they are driven to find another bite.
As a fan of this genre I’m excited to see millions of people are enjoying the renaissance of this monster. It’s new, fresh and exciting right? Finally we get a monster that doesn’t have abs or sparkles in the daylight. There’s a new sheriff in town and this one doesn’t want to monologue, leave clues or enact its revenge - It’s just here to end it all. But they’re hardly a “new” thing. In pre-medieval Europe legends and folklore speak of flesh-eating creatures bent on revenge and drinking the blood of their victims. Later these vengeful ghouls would rise from their graves and form the basis of the modern vampires. The Draugr from Norse mythology are undead creatures reanimated to climb out of their graves to attack and eat the living. A person killed by a Draugr is doomed to become a Draugr. Starting to sound familiar? It seems we have been strangely fascinated with the dead rising up and taking over the world for a long long time. One of the earliest records comes from The Epic ofGilgamesh dating back thousands of years ago. An ancient Sumerian poem in which the goddess Ishtar says:
These hungry undead have been walking along side us in the shadows and it seems they’re gaining momentum. In Z-World the undead have virtually taken over and we’ll have a wide selection of monsters ready and waiting. The Zombies will have specific motivations depending on their state and are ready to eat anything… even each other when necessary. Some will mutate into horrific nightmares, some will be bolted together; dead flesh combined with still working old world machinery. Zombies of all shapes, sizes and occasionally a colossal beast will emerge from the wastelands. Possibly the most terrible of all will be that person standing next to you when their time has come to Turn and they can resist no longer…
The explanations of the Zombie of today sounds a bit dry but it does have a ring of honest truth about it. From time to time we are all reminded how delicate our world is and how quickly things can go sour. One day you’re going about your life going to school, or working your shift getting ready for the weekend, when all of a sudden a satellite crashes and its radiation is bringing the dead back to life. Then what do you do? What do you have left? Money? Fame? Family? Power? In many of the movies, books and stories, when the world has slipped away and society has crumbled, the message that shines through is hope. It may be a crazy desperate hope to get away or a long reaching hope that the world can turn around but it is there. Hope.
Health & Healing ^ Return ^
In Z-World you have a Health Pool that determines the current condition for your character. How large your pool is will depend on what kind of character you are creating and what Feats you’ll take for them along the way. Increasing your Health Pool can be done by find a character with healing abilities or drinking potions available in the game. The effect for this is - “Boost Heath Pool X.” If at any time your Health Pool drops to zero (cannot go below zero) your character will be unconscious and enter the first stage of threat – see below:1. Blacked Out
Resting & Active Duty ^ Return ^
Every player at Z-World is required to complete a NPC slot (playing Non Player Character roles) during the game. When you arrive on location and check in with registration there will be a sign up sheet for NPC time on a first come first serve basis. When you leave for your time slot In Game your character will be going to perform their “Active Duty Shift” as part of the Resistance. This could be explained as going out on patrol or scouting out an area on the grid. When you complete your NPC shift you can return to the Episode with 2 resources (selected at random) and 5 Endurance Points for your Pool. Players should report in at the Creature Camp and notify a Crew Member they have arrived. Bringing a costume to use as your Zombie will increase your resources gathered to 4 but basic black clothing is recommended. Please make sure to have your character card signed off when your shift is completed. Failure to do this will result in your character advancement being frozen for that Episode. Players must also be sure to turn in the character sheet after the Episode’s End Credits. Failure to do so may result in your character not being advanced and no new abilities being available to you.
Combat Types ^ Return ^Combat in Z-World is resolved with Boffer and packet delivered attacks. As with all things we aim to keep the game as safe as possible for the enjoyment of our players. In this section we are focusing on the mechanics of our combat system. Z-World makes use of an (Effect) based narrative combat system. X represents the number used in a narrative to indicate the number of damage that would be subtracted from your Health Pool. If there is a number at the beginning of a narrative then the number or (damage) is considered to be the (effect). (Type) represents the type or flavor of the delivered damage. The basic (type)’s common to the game are as follows:
(CRUSHING) this would represent any kind of weapon used in the game that causes ‘blunt’ damage
(SLASHING) this would be any kind of weapon designed for cutting
(PIERCING) is a type reserved for ranged weapons
Enhanced / Special (Types)
(FIRE) reserved for elemental damages
(WATER) reserved for elemental damages
(EARTH) reserved for elemental damages
(AIR) reserved for elemental damages
Damage Called & Battle Spam
While engaged in the excitement of Live Action combat things can and often do get loud. For this reason during combat all narrative damage or effects are called only after you have successfully landed your attack. If the attempt was stopped the defender is responsible to respond with “parry”. Attackers should make every attempt to not call an Effect should they believe their attack was legally parried.
When you are hit with an attack your character will take the X value from your healing pool provided you are not currently protected by armour. The Damage Calculations & Critical Strikes ^ Return ^ As your character grows in power and skill your damage totals will increase. Damage totals have a soft cap mechanic in Z-World. They work in brackets of “five”. Counts & Interrupts ^ Return ^ Counts ^ Return ^ The target must declare “1 I’m (Effect), 2 I’m (Effect)...” up to “X I’m (Effect)” to remove the effect. E.g. If the target was hit with Slow 2, they would have to say, uninterrupted, “1 I’m Slow, 2 I’m Slow” to remove the effect. A count represents the duration or distance (as indicated by the Effect). This is important in situations where a player puts themselves under an effect as a defensive action. Or would be under an effect that still allows them to move or fight. They may choose to stay as they are in order to try to defend or help someone else. Interrupts ^ Return ^
Therefore with damage (Type)’s your character will fall into one of these three categories:
Resistant (X) – your character has the ability to resist a kind of delivery (Type)
Normal – your character receives the damage normally
Susceptible – your character is weakened against a (Type) and would take double the value of X from the attack
Note - A Susceptible character cannot also be Resistant to what they are Susceptible to.
Examples: For a Norm Hunter with a calculated range damage total of 14 (piercing) the damage call for this character would be, 10 (piercing) and the character would gain a “bonus shot” for 15 (piercing) 4 times per recharge of their Myst Pool. Each time they spend a point of Endurance to regain their pool the bonus critical Strikes are made available to them.
For an (Effect) that requires distance the count would begin immediately.
For an (Effect) with no distance requirement the player is free to count off the effect when they choose.
If your character is under the effect of Trip 10 and while counting off the 10 you are next hit with a push 5. The first count will be considered interrupted and immediately ended as the new effect begins. Note - this only accounts for effects with interrupts. Any other effects are treated independently from each other and must be counted off separately.
Damage Calculations & Critical Strikes ^ Return ^
As your character grows in power and skill your damage totals will increase. Damage totals have a soft cap mechanic in Z-World. They work in brackets of “five”.
Counts & Interrupts ^ Return ^
Counts ^ Return ^
The target must declare “1 I’m (Effect), 2 I’m (Effect)...” up to “X I’m (Effect)” to remove the effect. E.g. If the target was hit with Slow 2, they would have to say, uninterrupted, “1 I’m Slow, 2 I’m Slow” to remove the effect. A count represents the duration or distance (as indicated by the Effect).
This is important in situations where a player puts themselves under an effect as a defensive action. Or would be under an effect that still allows them to move or fight. They may choose to stay as they are in order to try to defend or help someone else.
Interrupts ^ Return ^There is selection of effects in the game that can be interrupted:
Defense Calls ^ Return ^If no Defense call is made, then you are assumed to have taken the Effect as normal and should act accordingly.
Any effect with the “Overwhelm” suffix bypasses all defenses provided by Weapons, Armor, and Shields. These attacks can however be Resisted, Evaded, or Counterstruck. Weapons are not valid targets without the “Overwhelm” Suffix. Should an attacker call any effect without the “overwhelm” suffix the appropriate Defense call is “Parried”. Attackers should make every attempt to not call an Effect should they believe their attack was legally parried. Shields are a valid target for Damage greater than their Armor Rating and any Effect with the Overwhelm Suffix.
Should an attacker call an effect without the “Overwhelm” suffix or Damage less than the Shield’s Armor Rating the appropriate Defense call is “Parried”. Attackers should make every attempt to not call an Effect should they believe their attack was legally Parried. Shields cannot be the target of Rend. When a Shield is struck with a Damage Effect greater than the Armor Rating of the Shield the target will take no Effect but the Shield is considered damaged. The Defense call is “Break” after each successful legal strike to the shield until the Armor Rating reaches 0. The Defense call would then be “Broken” and the target would begin to take the damage as if being struck legally on the body.
An Armored opponent is a valid target, with the Overwhelm Suffix, for Damage greater than its Armor Rating, and all other Effects. Should an attacker call Damage lower than the target’s Armor Rating the appropriate Defense call is “Negated”. Attackers should make every attempt to not call Damage should they believe their attack was legally Negated. An Armored opponent can be the target of Rend. When Armor Rating is equal to Rend X then the Armor is considered Exposed and provides 0 Value. The target should declare “Exposed” when their Armor value is reduced to 0. If a target is struck with a Damage Effect that is greater than their Armor Value the Damage Effect will be reduced by the Armor Value.