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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

5 Reasons You Secretly Want a Zombie Apocalypse

They're all true. more


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ultimate Zombie Strike Team

It's nice of IGN to profile us every once in awhile. more


The Best Approach for Avoiding Zombies

Physicist Davide Cassi at the Università di Parma in Italy looked at how long an entity hiding in a complex structure could survive if being pursued by predatory random walkers. Cassi's paper, recently published in the journal Physical Review E, is the first to describe a general principle of a prey’s likelihood to survive over time while hiding in an irregular structure.

Or you could read Cassi's take on it, which is a little less clear:

The survival probability of immobile targets annihilated by a population of random walkers on inhomogeneous discrete structures, such as disordered solids, glasses, fractals, polymer networks, and gels, is analytically investigated. It is shown that, while it cannot in general be related to the number of distinct visited points as in the case of homogeneous lattices, in the case of bounded coordination numbers its asymptotic behavior at large times can still be expressed in terms of the spectral dimension d-tilde and its exact analytical expression is given. The results show that the asymptotic survival probability is site-independent of recurrent structures (d-tilde <=2), while on transient structures (d-tilde >2) it can strongly depend on the target position, and such dependence is explicitly calculated.

Yeah, we didn't understand it either. more


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zombie Simulator, Now With Nukey Goodness

It's a zombie infection simulator which includes:
* zombies (w/ time to eat, lifespan / increased lifespan from eating, and ability to break down walls)
* civilians (w/ panicability and breeding speed)
* military (w/ ability to recruit back up to their starting numbers, and ability to use pocket nukes under duress that will take out a bunch of zombies at once)

You gotta love a simulation that isn't afraid to resort to pocket nukes. more


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh great, now they're protesting...

Zombies, activists take over Blackstone/Shaw You know the zombie apocalypse is right around the corner when they start protesting in the street. Fortunately, that just makes them easier to find. Deanimation squads en route now. more


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is Our Bar

Donny Dirk's Zombie Den. Just sayin'.

Zombie Shooting Targets

Hey kids!

Are you tired of shooting at zombies but always missing? Do you run in panic whenever you see a shambling corpse hungering for brains?

If so, then you need Zombie Targets (TM). Because paper zombies are almost as good as the real thing. After all, shooting at zombies is almost like shooting at people, only they're already dead so you can't get in trouble. Right?



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Role-playing game review of Civilization Gone

Civilization Gone is a supplement to the Dead Reign role-playing game by Palladium. It begins with an overview of the types of personalities that inhabit the new apocalyptic world, and most of it is actually "fluff," i.e., role-playing tips. In a refreshing change to Palladium's crunch-heavy system, these archetypes provide few rules changes – they aren't classes or races.

Except for the Zombie Killing Maniac, who gets a whole pile of bonuses for really, really hating zombies. I imagine most players will immediately classify their characters as Zombie Killing Maniacs, because although he's a maniac, he's actually a pretty nice guy. In fact, his zombie-killing frenzy kicks in whenever facing a "life and death situation with zombies" or ten zombies or more. The Maniac's rage lasts until every zombie is destroyed or "until he must retreat or die himself." In other words, Maniacs are actually quite reasonable people who get bonuses to killing zombies. Not much of a downside.

There is a new list of phobias and obsessions, which occasionally gets awkward as not every phobia has its opposite in an obsession. Fear of dumpsters makes sense; an obsession with dumpsters makes less sense—the character gets a bonus to kill zombies lurking in one.

The next section details other threats: raiders, bandits, and other human filth, as well as a wide range of psychopaths and natural threats: bugs, disease, starvation, etc. There are two additional zombie types, big ones (Juggernauts) and little ones (Trash Crawlers), which are basically variations on regular zombies. The remainder of the book covers a wide variety of random tables for what can be found in houses, where zombies lurk, survivor communities, and zombie population density.

Overall, this is a useful supplement for any apocalyptic game that takes place within five months after the failure of civilization. Short and sweet, it infuses some much-needed human drama to Dead Reign games.


Role-playing game review of Dead Reign

Dead Reign is a zombie-apocalypse setting using Palladium's Megaverse system. When you open the book, it's clear this is not a traditional Palladium product. It starts out with a first-person narrative explaining what happened without explaining everything. It's five months after the zombie apocalypse and a biker gang known as the Reapers provides advice on how to deal with the undead plague.

Five months after the apocalypse is significant, as it provides unique opportunities for scavenging. The world is only recently destroyed, long enough to ruin infrastructures and destroy organizations, but not so distant that houses and habits become unrecognizable.

The zombies themselves operate under a very specific set of rules. Specifically, they consume life-force, which keeps the zombie functional; they fear fire; and they have a moan which calls other zombies to them. Zombies see via a form of life-sight that attracts them to living beings, and go dormant when there is no fresh life-force to eat. And yes, they can only be permanently slain by destroying their heads.

In the tradition of Palladium's unabashedly old-style approach to gaming, there are random dice rolls for everything (1d4 cans of soup can be found in a home!) and new rules are made up on the fly to adjudicate the topic at hand. More recent systems have long since moved past this style of game rules, but Palladium embraces it.

What this means is that the game has huge amounts of "crunch" interspersed amongst its ideas. There are rules for how much damage a zombie can take at close range, how many zombies move in a pack, the chances that they will wander off, the odds that one is sleeping in a car, how many will stick around trying to eat you, the chance one is holding something…the list goes on and on. For d20 games and their ilk, this is a game master's treasure trove of material.

Dead Reign covers a range of zombies; Slouchers are your typical horror movie zombie, Fast Attackers run, Pattern Zombies repeat their old lives (just like Romero's mall zombies in Dawn of the Dead), Flesh-Eating zombies are vegetarians – just kidding! – and so on. All the zombie tropes are here too: fundamentalist nutjobs known as Retro Savages, Death Priests who keep zombies as pets, thieves, thugs, soldiers, and scrappy survivors. Because Palladium's system isn't very modular, every form of survivor requires a different set of rules (in some cases, repeated rules).

There are piles of rules on random encounters in this new world, including typical zombie settings; all really useful information for game masters who aren't sure how many zombies are lurking in an industrial park or a corporate high rise building. There's even a random corpse search table.

There's also the obligatory set of rules that most gamers skip, explaining the skills and equipment that are part and parcel of Palladium games. Fortunately, these rules have actually be customized for the setting rather than cut/paste from other Palladium games.

If you are a Palladium fan and love the action horror genre, Dead Reign is an awesome supplement. If you're not a Palladium fan but you enjoy d20-style rules, Dead Reign is an excellent addition to any apocalypse game; the rules and advice on scrounging and scavenging are excellent, and the random tables (assuming you use random tables) are very useful. I plan to use some of the rules in my own d20 Modern game.

But if you're not a Palladium fan and don't play d20-style games, Dead Reign isn't going to change your mind. Kevin Sembedia's writing style is strongly represented here. He tends to list everything in threes (e.g., "People are rivals, enemies and food to be hunted, killed and eaten."), lectures for two pages on how level-based systems reflect his real life experience in "leveling up" as a game designer, and on page 55 he actually includes a parenthetical note to someone named Taylor ("Hey Taylor, this might be something you and I want to revisit.").

If you can ignore that stuff, and it's easy to ignore, there's a lot of great raw material here for any apocalyptic game.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And Now...a Zombie FAQ

Or not. 'Cause, you know, be wary of taking advice from anyone who thinks that "Zombies of Night of the Life (sic) Dead" are not real zombies. more


Zombies Wanted...


We're kidding, we just want zombies because we like the way they smell...

Nope, kidding again, we really want them to SHOOT AT! AHAHAHAHAAAAAA! more


You've got zombies in my Stormtroopers! No, not Nazi zombies. STAR WARS Stormtrooper zombies. Truly, these are dark times for the galaxy. more


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Possibly the best movie ever. We mean it.


Zombie Revenge

Before there was Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil 5, there was...ZOMBIE REVENGE for the Dreamcast, with bad Engrish and everything. more


Monday, September 7, 2009


Now here's an article we can get behind! more


The Zen of Zombie

These crazies are trying to make zombies out to be some sort of spiritual pinnacle to be emulated. We disagree. With a shotgun. more


Saturday, September 5, 2009


A movie made by a twelve-year-old. Seriously.


Zombies Are Dating

We should have figured...they were already getting married, so now we know how they meet up.


The 20 Weirdest Zombie Movies Ever Made

The title says it all! more


Now that you're a zombie... should probably learn how to act like one.


Do It Yourself Zombies

Actually, it's more "do it to yourself." Not that we'd know why you'd want to do such a thing. more


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nihilistic's CEO Dies, Returns As Zombie

We told him not to make a zombie game. more


Living Dead Zombies to Demand Universal Health Care

And this is what happens when zombies go to town halls. more


Attack of the Town Hall Zombies

Makes perfect sense to us: all this talk about death panels resulted in zombies. It's the only explanation for all the groaning. more