Review: The Waking Dead (All Flesh Must Be Eaten – Introductory Adventure)
Eden Studios released a free introductory adventure for the All Flesh Must Be Eaten RPG. In The Waking Dead players fight not only for their own survival, but for the future of humanity while trying to survive the zombie-apocalypse.
The Waking Dead is a completely free introductory adventure from Eden Studios to the All Flesh Must Be Eaten roleplaying-game, including pre-generated characters (Cast Members) and the basic rules to play through the adventure without a separate rulebook.
The 34-page book opens with a short introduction about the setting and the All Flesh Must Be Eaten RPG. There are many different settings available for the game (western, sci-fi, biblical, fantasy and many more), but for this adventure we will stay in our modern world.
We continue with the archetypes (or Cast Members) available to the adventure : Doctor, FBI Agent, Gang Banger, Good ol’ Boy, Marine and Soccer Mom. They are nicely detailed with some background and game statistics. The only problem I see here : there are many Qualities and Drawbacks which don’t have a description in this adventure, mainly because there are only streamlined rules included in the book. The equipment part will be unused this time, thanks to the adventure itself, so it’s only comes to play if you start another game with these characters.
The simple rules in the book are easy tu understand and manage. You add up to 3 single-digit numbers, roll a 10 sided die and you are ready with most checks in the game. For this adventure they definitely focused more on the story than filling up a lots of pages with rules. The combat and fear rules are not complicated either, but definitely up to the task.
The most interesting part of The Waking Dead starts at page 16 with the first details on the adventure itself. The story draws inspiration from such titles as 28 Days Later or The Stand among others, so Game Masters should be able to draw upon the same sources easily for further ideas. I think the adventure is relatively short (I think about 2 sittings), but with an open end, which could lead to a longer campaign. Well, if any character survives this adventure first.
In most times the adventure only sets up the general setting and gives advices to the Game Master, and leaving the details to him. This means a bigger commitment on the GM’s part, but it’s also needed, since there is a complete city to explore in the very beginning.
If you would like to the The Waking Dead, the adventure is available at RPGNow here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros