Fear The Living is a tabletop roleplaying game where you and your friends portray the badass, dysfunctional, and codependent survivors of a zombie apocalypse. You all cooperate to decide on the details of the apocalypse your survivors will struggle to survive, from the tongue-in-cheek splatterpunk of Evil Dead or Planet Terror to the grim melodrama of a zombie series like The Walking Dead.
Players are thrust headlong into the roles of capable, passionate survivors whose personal relationships and priorities in the midst of the zombie apocalypse are just as important as their training with a rifle or their trusty machete. Relationships give you extra dice in conflicts where you’re fighting for or because of what you love, what you fear, or what you hate. Just be careful that someone doesn’t use your feelings to manipulate you; the ties that bind can also strangle.
You’re Talented. Player-defined Talents further flesh out your character, detailing capabilities as diverse as “Wiccan Dabbler” and “I’ve Killed Before, and It Shows”. No Talent, however obscure, is useless. The more narrowly applicable the talent, the more bonus dice are granted when it applies.
Your character’s priorities are power! How your survivor sees the world now that it belongs to the dead is captured by their Attributes: Ruthlessness, Will To Live, Authority, and Humanity. When you act according to your Attributes, you gain crucial extra dice at the cost of temporarily depleting the Attribute. Even the most cold-hearted bastard can only be Ruthless for so long. Attributes are renewed only by acting the part, so if you want to keep taking strength from your inner core of Humanity, you’d better be acting Humanely.
No endless equipment lists! Your survivor’s Gear, whether it’s as grand as a stolen Hummer with a custom paint job or as humble as a memento from a happier time, a solid cricket bat, or a distinctive sheriff’s hat, is all handled through one easy mechanic. Gear grants you automatic successes in conflicts where it applies, but the more successes it grants when the chips are down, the more it can complicate your life. Hummers need gas, your wife’s old ring isn’t likely to be appreciated by your new lover, and machine guns have a tendency to attract the attention of the undead.
Your character’s flaws, failings, and injuries are just as important to them as their gear and talents. With the Liabilities system, anything you can think of that could complicate your character’s life can be made into a Liability – from a crippling fear of commitment to a bum leg from a tour in Iraq. You’re rewarded for playing to your character’s Liabilities, and you’ll gain crucial Experience when the GM uses them against you, which can mean the difference between a near miss and a bite that spells your infection. More than anything though, Liabilities grant you a choice: will you restrain your Horrible Temper when faced with the man who killed your son if it means you’ll lash out later at those you love, or do you trust your character’s self-control?
Everyone’s got a type. Your character’s way of doing things, or MO, shows what special role they play in the zombie story unfolding at the table. Is your character a Necrologist, obsessed with learning about the walking dead and uncannily good at figuring out what makes them tick? Are they a font of compassion and kindness in the midst of horror, possessing a Heart of Gold? Decide, then watch as your character grows and changes as they’re nominated for new MOs by your fellow players for their breathtaking heroism, their blood-curdling savagery, and their compelling idiosyncrasies.
Gain control over your character’s story with Advancement. Gained by suffering from your Liabilities, dealing with Risks, and playing to your Attributes and Relationships, the Advancements in Fear The Living offer a temporary respite from the deprivation and danger of the zombie apocalypse. Learn something new, grow callous (or for that matter, grow a conscience), get over your old war wounds and neuroses, find an NPC ally when you need them most, unearth a helpful stash of Gear, get a respite from undead and Entropy for a time, or just get a second chance and tell the GM “My character’s come too far to die now.”
The entire kickstarter can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2025893540/fear-the-living-rpg
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