ZOMBIES!Now that I have your attention, just who doesn't like the Zombie genre? Not many people considering the obsession with the zombies on TV and at the box office (although I'm protesting World War Z).
Now if you don't like them get the hell outta here, Zombies are cool! In RPG land there are a few good choices for zombie horror survival, but for me I'd probably settle on using All Flesh Must be Eaten (fans shorten it to AFMBE) a second choice would be to use Savage Worlds and use the Weird War campaign setting an modify it from there. Savage World rule system would be perfect for zombie adventures using Weird War II rules as I like the feeling of the supplement and they sanded off the rough edges compared to the previous installment. Lastly, there is also the Battlefield Evolution with the Apocalypse Z supplement, but bear in mind that is a tabletop battle miniatures game first and foremost.
Released in 1999 AFMBE is still the standard for Zombie RPGs out there. With a number of supplements the line is well supported. While there are other systems, I think All Flesh Must be Eaten does the best job of capturing the feel of the genre. The rules are not cumbersome (or "crunchy") which might be off putting to some gamers but I like the ability to use in many types of settings from traditional end of the world trope "Rise of the Walking Dead", to voodoo zombie lords "Dawn of the Zombie Lords" to space aliens zombies "They came from beyond", to name but a few. Seriously, if you are a GM and you can't come up with SOMETHING in this genre, it's time to hang up your your GM Screen.
Back to characters three basic types (Norms, Survivors and Inspired) each with their own built in advantages (for the most part). 6 stats on a point system and away you go. Grab some qualities and drawbacks (here is where I think Savage Worlds is better) and you are off. Also in the character creation chapter I especially like the Archetypes section as it gives a good feel of the tone of the design of the system.
Equipment and vehicles are well handled and I also like the sections for different types of zombies (Apocalypse Z does this as well). For a game with only one and really defining monster some variation is needed and with the system presented its simple to do so: take the base profile and add to it for variation. Boom, done.
One thing I did not like (I have the revised edition so I cant speak to the original) is the graphic design. I like the look at feel but a lot of it looks like it was low-res quality scans, making it look bit muddy. Even if they are not, that's how it looked. Shame in an otherwise fine presentation.
In closing I recommend the game. I can't imagine playing All Flesh Must be Eaten for really long periods of time but I can certainly see it for a beer and pretzels type of gaming. Anyone else out there with thoughts on this RPG?
(as a blogger's aside: I want to make sure I keep blogging so be on the lookout for more posts about games that I've been collecting over the last few years as I get back/up to speed with the modern RPG scene. Some Warhammer blogging might be in order as well, stay tuned).