[I Am A Survivor] Free Self Contained Character Sheet and Game

Hey Story Games!

I figure this might worth checking out for some people, especially cause it's free. What I did here was try to create a simple, self contained character sheet/rules summary for a game about surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. The system is reminiscent of Lady Blackbird mixed with The Dead and MouseGuard. I created this for a one-shot quick session when my friend was coming into town and felt like running from zombies for the evening. I tried to create it in a sort of "universal" manner, meaning it's not specific to zombie horror but should work for that type of game no problem.

Let me know what you guys think!

Link to IAAS

Also, incase anyone is interested in leaving feedback, here is a link to The Forge discussion I started today.

Link to the Forge Discussion


Zachary Wolf


  • Hey, you might want to have a scaled down, thumbnailish version on that page, so people can see when reading the description what sort of feel you're going for. Because the sheet looks neat and all. Let people know that sooner.

    - Ryan
  • Yeah, this looks great.
  • cycy
    edited September 2011
    Looks cool. I assume one player is the GM?
    I can't see where Karma comes from? Even just a one-liner like "the GM can give you Karma for doing cool stuff."
    Another one-liner about what happens when you run out of Sanity would be handy too (possible suggestion: up starting/max Sanity to 7, and Refresh scenes refresh you to your Sanity.)
  • I was so excited when I saw "Nice" was an expendable resource. I imagined a shotgun toting woman telling the hysterical dude, "Sorry, I'm all outta nice."


    But what you have is cool too.

    Also a really uptight grammar Nazi might be forced to point out "then it's once per scene."

    Good thing there aren't any of those guys around. Hate those guys.
  • Hey! Thanks for all the comments guys! I did go ahead and make those changes to the character sheet. Just need to upload the new version.

    And yes, one player is meant to be the GM. I haven't gone through the effort of creating a GM rules sheet but I definitely will once we have a chance to playtest the game.
  • So it's my favourite genre, with my favourite rules length (one sheet of paper) at my favourite price?

    Triple-score! Thanks!
  • Play this while playing the Destiny's Child song of the same name - you know, to get that "Fall of Mankind" feel.

    I like games where the rules fit on the PC sheet. Makes players capable of more active play, I think.
  • Damn, this is nice. Can't wait to see some revs based on your play testing!

    I will bring this to Big Bad Con for possible on-demand gaming. Seems very easy to pull out and explain.
  • Thanks for droppin' some lines everyone! Based off of the feedback provided in this thread and on the Forge, I made some changes and clarifications in the rules text. Version 2.0 is now up and ready for download. Caesar, I would be honored if you or anyone else decided to run a game of IAAS at any con, or even just at the saturday night dinner table. That'd be awesome! Definitely let us know if you do end up getting a session going!
  • Looking good.

    I notice you upped starting Sanity to 7, but aren't limiting refresh to your Sanity? I kind of figured those would go together. :)

    To clarify, if I do something dangerous to help a VIP, I get +VIP to the roll, and +3 Pool dice? Can I spend the Pool I get on the roll to help?
  • edited September 2011
    Thanks for the feedback Cy! Erm...I'm not sure what you mean about limitting refresh to your sanity. Are you asking if your dice pool should refresh to your sanity level? If so, I didn't intend them to be connected. In other words, you could be nearing insanity but your dice pool still refreshed back to 7 during a refresh scene.

    As for the VIP Dice pool question, the way I intended it to be is if you are doing something dangerous to help a VIP, you get two dice, not three because your technically helping and doing something dangerous. It was one or the other. But since you mentioned that, I don't think "helping" your fellow survivors warrants a dice pool die. Helping them by going into danger definitely does, so I'm going to revise so that danger gives you dice pool, helping does not. Also, the dice pool you earn from helping was not meant to be used on that roll. It would be awarded after the fact. Thanks for asking those questions though. I've revised the sheet to help clarify that and I'll upload as soon as work is over.

    Since IAAS is getting a fair bit of love, I think I'll go ahead and create a Narrator's cheat sheet to accompany the character sheet.
  • Looks good. How do characters get Karma?
  • A friend of mine signaled this game to me a few hours ago by e-mail. I read it and I was positively impressed by it. Compliments!
  • Anything on the Narrator's Cheat Sheet? I think this might scratch the PA itch my group is having...
  • Thanks for checking out this game, fellas. I did start a GM sheet a while ago but never finished. If I can find some time over the next few weeks, I'll try to finish it up. Let me know if there are any specific questions to help you start playing before I get around to releasing the GM sheet.
  • Whoa, this is from last year? I never saw it. So glad it got resurrected -- this looks really cool!
  • Yeah, great layout. Sorry I wasn't anywhere near a computer (well, online, anyway) last year!
  • I loved this when it came out! I ran across it on my desk last week. Please make the GM sheet, or even just talk about what would be there.
  • Thanks for the compliments guys! Has anyone had a chance to play with the sheets yet? Sadly, my opportunities to actually play the stuff I make are extremely rare, so I'm relying on people like you to tell me what works and what doesn't work.

    As far as the GM sheet, I was planning on just explaining the rules from the GM's point of view, but that doesn't seem as cool as adding things like sample NPCs, maybe a list of sample conflicts, obstacles, and locations. What else would be useful?
  • Great looking game, Zach! I'm seriously thinking of running an online playtest of this-- maybe on rpol.net

    Don't know if you've fixed this typo yet, but "pursuing" is misspelled on the back of the character sheet that I have-- under the "Dice Pool, Karma, Sanity" section.
  • I just started a game on Monday. I was going to go with some other system, but this popped up so I tried it out. It seems pretty straightforward and simple, which is good. I don't really know what else to say about it... it seems like the game will go well because the look of the sheet focuses things.
  • Thanks Davis! I'd love to hear how your online playtest goes! Thanks for noticing the typo, I'll get that fixed up ASAP.

    If you get a chance Chris, post your actualy play results. I'd be curious to see how your game went. Thanks!
  • The first session was mostly improvised wandering and scavenging, but it went alright. I tried to put pressure on the players by having their resources dwindle, which forced them to spend other resources looking for more. It's a small group (only two players) but they have a number of VIPs that are following them around, and they've just made their way into a large compound that is going to put some pressure on them in non-resource depleting ways. Well, resources, but not Resources. I'm looking at doing terrible things to their VIPs and Dice Pools and Sanity. It seems to me that there is a nice balance of mechanical strictures and suggestive bits on the character sheet so that the players feel compelled to act on certain information they have been presented but not so much that they look to overly "game" the system. Hopefully I'm better prepared for the next session... We've been playing a lot of Anima Prime and Danger Patrol Pocket, so having something so open and problem-solving oriented is a change of pace.
  • Awesome Chris! You're the first person that has posted any information regarding how their session went. It's interesting to see your goals as the GM, putting pressure on their Resources and VIPs. How did you handle challenges? Can give any examples of how your group handled a success vs a failure? How did your players react to the rules? Did they seem confused at all? Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm just excited to see that someone had fun with it!
  • I had some time while my car was getting a new set of brakes, so I took another look at the rules, and started formatting them up for presentation on rpol.net where I will host my playtest. Here is something I noticed:

    There is no explanation of TALENTS on the rule sheet. The only mention of talents is on the character sheet, where if I understand correctly, you can use them to reroll a failed skills check, either once per scene or once per session, depending on what level the talent is. I think Talents should be there with the rest of the rules on the rules page.

    Also, because of the text formatting choices (completely understandable, because you are going for a scribbled-on, found object vibe for the character sheet, which is awesome) but because of that all-capital letters thing, I had a little bit of trouble understanding how it worked for a while. Once I reformatted for my own use with a mix of capital and lowercase letters, it became clearer, at least to me.

    So then, I wrote out "SCROUNGER (Reroll EXPLORE to search and find resources)" which puts the relationship between the Explore skill and the Scrounger Talent more explicitly. I totally understand you don't want to compromise your awesome formatting, which is really cool, but maybe consider putting the related/subordinate skills in bold, or underlined, or in quotation marks or otherwise distinguished. Or if there is room, spell it out by expanding to "REROLL XX skill check with YY ZZ."

    OK that was longer than I intended, but I wanted to be clear on the part where I was (momentarily) confused. I'll leave my other (shorter) notes for later.

  • Correct, there is currently no explanation of Talents beyond what is on the character sheet itself. Originally, I didn't intend on doing a rules sheet at all. I planned on explaining everything at the table, so I may have missed that on the rules sheet. Good catch!

    The text formatting is definitely weird due to the font I chose. If I remember correctly off the top of my head, the lower case letters are the fuzzy crazy ones and the upper case letters are clean looking, so everything is kind of opposite on the page. The font has no bold or italic either, so when I created these sheets, I was unaware that you could force bold onto text in photoshop. I can bold them on my next pass through. I agree it will make it a little easier to read.

    Thanks for the helpful feedback. If you're cool with it, I'd like to get a link to your PbP so I can follow along.
  • Any update on that Play by Post?

    On a side note - I'm working on a full-length "how to play" write-up for an up coming playtest I'm hoping to pull off and the newest version of the dual-sided character sheet with a few updates.
  • Hey. I really like what I see here. Fact is, zombie surivial is something that was poking around bmy brains (pun intended) for some time now. And this looks promising, though it lacks a few things IMO. Some of them were already described above.
    Anyhow i will continue lurking around. But if I can be of any help, I'll happily contribute.
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