One of the problems of roleplaying games is dealing with character death. Players can put a lot into their characters, and if they die, that’s it. The character is gone and all that work is for naught. The worst part, in my opinion, is how the player has no way to continue playing the game. True, she can generate another character but that takes time (in some cases, a lot of time) and sometimes makes little narrative sense. (“How did her sister get this deep in the dungeon?”)
In our first rpg Triune, there is no character death. There’s a penalty for dying, but you still get to play your character. Some players love that idea but others feel the threat of character death is a vital component of the roleplaying game experience. That seems especially true in a zombie-themed game where danger is potentially lurking around every corner as humans struggle to survive in a world overrun by zombies. When we decided to create a zombie rpg, we wanted character death to be a real threat–yet we didn’t want players to lose their human character early in the game and wonder what to do next.
We feel we’ve come up with a unique but obvious solution. In our upcoming game Outlive Outdead, players take roles as human survivors of a zombie apocalypse. If your human character dies, no problem–you will spend the rest of the game playing zombies who are trying to kill the other players’ human characters. The threat of character death is there but you can still play the game. Hell, some people might look forward to losing their human character for the chance to play zombies!