Looking For Playtesters For My Zombie Apocalypse Roleplaying Game (Fear The Living)

I'm currently working on polishing up version 2.0 of my zombie apocalypse role playing game Fear The Living, a system designed to capture the drama and action of both classic zombie movies like Night of The Living Dead as well as that newer longer-running zombie stories like The Walking Dead. I'm currently running a playtest with two players over Skype that's on hiatus due to one player's religious obligations (Ramadan and all that), and so would love to be able to make contact with some fans of zombie media to run a long-term play test to pinpoint any mechanical problems and stress-test the system.

At it's core, Fear The Living's resolution mechanics run off of a d6 dice pool system that rewards players for having their characters invest emotionally in other survivors, and for thinking critically about their survivor's motivation and past by giving them greater mechanical effectiveness (which helps the game hold fast to the central conceit of many zombie films: the least interesting characters die first). The versatile Conflict Resolution system works off of players using successes gained from their survivor's dice pool to buy Advantages in the fiction, which makes it equally suitable for both tense negotiations and full-tilt bloody mayhem.

This investment in your character's identity and emotional development is continued with the Relationship mechanic, which rewards you for interacting with people and objects that your survivor cares deeply about. True to the fiction however, Relationships are also potential weaknesses for your survivor, who can be manipulated based on their prejudices, loves, and hatreds.

The game is also designed to be easy to run from the GM's side of things, with a simple mechanic called the Entropy pool that grants the GM clear indications of what level of conflict they can (and should) be introducing into the game as well as strictly delineating GM powers to avoid Illusionism and railroading. The Entropy pool is the GM's primary resource, which is spent to introduce risks and complications, bring zombies into play, and give NPC survivors an extra boost when it's dramatically necessary.

I live in Kent Washington, and so would prefer to find a playtest group in the King County region or adjacent, but also have Skype and so would be open to running a skype-based play-test. My plan is to have this game ready for publication and online distribution by the end of this December, and to that end I'd like to play-test at least once a week. If you're interested, all I'll need from you is your enthusiasm, willingness to learn a new system, and willingness to give honest feedback on a regular basis. Of course, if I do actually get this game published all play testers will be credited for their efforts.

Feel free to indicate your interest with posts on this thread, PMs, or emailing me at jtjessop88@gmail.com

I hope to hear from you soon!


  • I'm in Seattle and have t-shirts about zombies :)
  • @ Aaron Fantastic! Up until recently I've been unavailable weekday nights due to working two jobs, but since I've slimmed down my schedule I would definitely be able to do Thursday or Friday evenings. The games would probably take place after I get off work and get my little one down for bed, so probably around 7 Pacific Coast Time. Would that work for you

    @Dream of Peace. Always good to meet another fan of zombie media :). Would you be interested in getting in on the playtest?

    Anyway, I'd love to send you guys the Character Creation section of Fear The Living, along with the Conflict Resolution rules, and a character sheet so you guys can get a basic idea of how the system works. If you like what you see, we can start brainstorming the zombie apocalypse (by the rules, deciding what sort of zombies started the apocalypse, how you kill them, etc is one of the first steps you take). Let me know and I'll send it out immediately so we can get this ball rolling. The game definitely works better the more player survivors you have to cooperate and conflict with one another, but from what I've seen plays perfectly well with just 2 survivors.

    Let me know, and I'll send them out post-haste. Likewise for anyone else who might be interested-let me know and I'll send you the material to get started and see if it piques your interest.
  • Sure thing, send it on over. I gave you my info in the message above. I'd prefer not Thursday or Friday, but we can discuss scheduling by email or Skype.
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