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Tools and tricks to help you make your games interesting!

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Pick up or print out some tourist maps of your town and city.

Most towns/cities have a tourist board where you can pick up a free map. I usually make sure I have 4 in "stock" and have one in the middle of the table when we play so that my group can gaze over it as we play and I allow them to draw on it as we play.

The benefit of using tourist maps over generic maps is that they show you the features of your town. What tourist attractions are nearby and how do we feature them in our games? Which restaurants can we loot? And what stores are nearby where we can get our apocolpse kit together?

I found my players love having such a map handy and they were having big discussions over it while deciding which route to go.


Investigate and make a note on what special events are going on in your area when preparing the adventure

This can really help add atmosphere to your games. Is there a festival in the park? Is the circus in town? Is there a concert in one of the auditoriums? A particularly popular movie having a premier etc.

In our game we had a circus pitch its tent about 300 meters where we played our game. This added burning clowns and freightened donkeys to the mix of zombies and hysterical patrons. It was a nice way to make the game relevant and anchor it in the present.


Why play from home?

Even though a private setting might be preferable for beginning groups I think this game is a great one to play away from home and thus forcing the players straight into the action.

We played our first session in a micro brewery and I used the people present in the bar as NPC's in our game. It also added beer to the mix and gave the players an opportunity to start the game somewhat silly. It added black die to certain roles but it also helped the players shake of physical harm more easily.


Use NPC's or even celebrities your players know and can relate to

Is there a shop owner that is somewhat of a local celebrity? Is there a particularly famous baseball player that calls your city his home? Is Nikki Minaj playing a show in town? ;)

Why not have your players run into them? Can they hole up in that  sandwhich stall whose owner is always so mean but now turns out to be a pretty bad ass veteran with a big weapon arsenal? Can they hide out in Nikki's stretched limo only to find a zombified rapper attack them from up close? Is that football stadium a good place to hide out or are zombie linebackers a particularly dangerous type of zombie?


Have law enforcement, military and  ambulance personel be human as well

Cops will be just as surprised about what is going on as the rest of us. Sure most will try to control the chaos but some will deal with this better than others. Have them be erratic and dangerous or have them not care at all about looters and traffic violations when they have so much bigger fish to fry make sure you have a complete arsenal of civil servants that all react to these things completely differently. It makes for a great game. Imagine a zombie tied onto a gurney biting at the air while two ambulance brothers are discussing who gets the put him into the ambulance. Or imagine a road block by soldiers one of which shoots before asking questions.


Cut your players ties to relatives and lovers.

This is only necessary if your players can't stand the thought of fending for themselves in an apocalypse, and if you don't want to see 5 players run in 5 directions trying to help their wife/girlfriend, etc.

Have your players buy into the fact that they are not going to have to fight to rescue their lover or children or parents. They are either out off town or, and this really helped our game take off, they are no longer in a relationship.

In fact I sent out a mail in advance to set the stage for our game in which I told all 4 of my players that by some stroke of faith they had all been dumped in the same week and they were meeting up in the microbrewery to celebrate their renewed freedom. (This also explained the binge drinking and their "No tomorrow!" attitude.)



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Think about what normally goes on in a certain area of town and use this in your story

Are the PC's crossing a field where usually people walk their dogs? Have a zombie being dragged around by a big German shepherd.

Are they hiding out in a park where people barbecue in summer? Have a sweet smokey smell warn them of a half grilled zombie coming up from behind.

Can zombies survive on the bottom of a swimming pool still wearing speedo's and a bathing cap?

Do dead worker stay at their desk?


Be describtive of the zombies clothing, hairstyle, etc

Surely your players can imagine a gruesome zombie, the wounds open in their flesh their mouth opened in a hollow face, their ice milky in death. But isn't it more awesome to tie the walking dead to the world of the living? Describe a zombie in his mcDonalds uniform or a Yoga instructor coming back to bite you, how about a Rastafari undead or a Sikh?

Or that one zombie on the highway still wearing part of a motocycle jacket and a full helmet stuck on his head?

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I've taken the first bit of advice -- about getting maps -- to a fun extreme: I got a mini Atlas of my county, with a zoomed-in version of my campus and the town to the noth, and managed to snag a bit of thick plastic from the DIY framing section of a craft store (it was on hella sale, too) so we can dry erase locations, events, and zombie hordes. Now we know where home is, where we are, the big zombie areas, etc.

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For ours i made a bloody map of the city that someone had been working on but shes dead now...





Also she had a diary that she picked up from someone else, the first chunk of pages are from a guy during the beggining of the outbreak, she picks it up 32 days later, the group continues it...




Also picking up a mask that there gonna find soon that leads to a cult there gonna have a big problem with because they are unclean

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Just a few ideas that I had when I ran my first End of the World scenario


Explore your environment


I ran my first scenario at our FLGS.  At various times, we got up and walked around the place to see what could be used as weapons and gear.


Found Gear


Given the nature of the scenario I ran, players ran into zombified members of the police, fire department, and hospital.  I had a random roll available to allow players to find gear on defeated zombies (that is, if they could search in time).

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