Oct 21, 2013

The History of Zombiepocalypse - A New Era

Over the period of a slightly more than a decade, ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE evolved from an unsual Dungeons and Dragons (TM) adventure into some weird hybrid of the D&D ruleset. But one thing remained the same throughout all those years: ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE was only being played by one small group of players. In 2010, that was about to change.

Some months prior to its first official "release", I had taken a new interest in reading about other people's role-playing adventures (I think a lot of this was due to some fantastic RPG-related video-articles by Noah Antwiler on his website, The Spoony Experiment, but honestly I don't remember what initially sparked this revival). I visited numerous websites and started reading several forums about D&D and role-playing in general. It was great but what really struck me was how many people were experimenting in creating entire new game systems. Could I do that, I wondered? And then I realized that - unexpectedly - I already had, with  ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE. There was only one major difference between my games and all the other home-brew systems I had read about, and that was that ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE had never been published.

Actually, to be more precise, it had never been written down. Although my group had played the game for over a decade, ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE was completely ad hoc, a modification of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Editon rules that each year we struggled to remember or simply made up on the spot. That was half the fun of the experience, in fact. It had never been codified into any sort of coherent system.

I spent the next couple of weeks struggling to write down what I remembered of the game and ultimately released it as Zombiepocalypse 2nd Edition (the 2nd Edition moniker was in honor of its AD&D 2nd Edition origins). I posted it to an obscure corner of the internet (Usenet, to be precise) where it disappeared entirely without fanfare. But I was satisfied by the effort, not the response; ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE was now a game in its own right, for the first time since its inception so long ago.

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