Saturday, November 29, 2014

Zombie Zigzag Shambling Back

One of the weirder phenomena about doing my own rule systems, has been working with other people with different interest wanting to use those rules. When I devised Crawlspace back in 2009, I pretty much envisioned non-Call of Cthulhu horror sessions, at late night gatherings. Folks around me, though, namely Michael Larsen, Monk, and Darryl Nichols, wanted to see how zombie tales could be worked using the TAG system. Believe it or not, while I don't dislike zombie movies, heck some are damn good and fun to watch; they just aren't my favorite take at the tabletop. 

Zombie RPG sessions weren't my thing for various reasons. In the early Aughts, when I met he authors/GMs, they were guys who basically bragged that they were the only survivor of this or that battle in the Vietnam war and basically wanting to shoot any person slightly different from them in race, politics, or even sex. I found the regular players tended to be military wannabes, who wouldn't join for whatever reason, who thought the GM had some insight into life. The play tended to boil down to First Person Shooter games done with dice and miniatures. I stumped more a couple GMs by not opening this or that door to explore hidden areas on the map before me. One time I grabbed a "patient" and ran back to helicopter ending a planned mega scenario in 11 minutes, which was the team's mission. I had expected to at least meet my superior officer and see some of the inside of our safe house, err place. Alas, who wanted to think that much? Besides there are plenty of zombie role-playing RPG games, as when as even more zombie RPG supplements.

Later though, Monk, especially, dispelled my aversion because of his enthusiastic Gamer love of the branch of horror scenarios. He was the biggest push behind the Zigzag project, and I still find his scenario "6 Degrees of Zombi Annihilation" one of the best ever conceived. It keyed me into the science fiction of these sorts of things, which can be better than just a virus gone awry. Later JerryTel, would devise his T&T variant, Stay Alive, and help me appreciate a good table-top zombies session.

So now that Paul Cooper, Paul 2.0, is talking me into making a TACK-ruled Zigzag for the latest Crawlspace, I am not even blinking. The man is an absolute encyclopedia of everything reanimated and his passion is quite convincing. Also TACK Crawlspace (13, Deluxe, whatever) is about making little horror movies at the tabletop. I'd be damned remiss if we didn't get some zombie action for the connoisseur of the sub-genre going on.

Like before, diverse perspectives are the key. I've got Monk coming back. There's no holding Paul 2.0 back. A couple of scenario writers are expressing interests, we'll see who else jumps in. This new Zigzag is going to new works, done in the Crawlspace screenplay style of scenario, coupled with different authors' takes on how to use TACK mechanics to make zombism(?) work for the person wanting to write his own. My own contribution won't detract from the upcoming Stay Alive's Apocalypse in Your Hometown as we're slating it for release around GenCon. When else should one do a zombie movie release besides the dog-days of summer?

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