Geeksagogo recently spoke with Robert A. Neri Jr. of Ranger Games Publishing about "Zombie Horror" -- a supplement for their Dice & Glory tabletop RPG system.
Q: Could you tell us about how your company created the game?
A: Dice & Glory came from a large group and the problems I noticed with the flexibility of most systems at the time when it came to dealing with a wide array of situations and limitations in character construction. When it comes to Zombie Horror, the first edition was going to be a Halloween release and zombie movies were hitting their height around 2006 so it seemed natural. However, I wrote the whole thing in a month and released on Halloween 2006, I pulled it after a
year I think, I wasn’t satisfied with the end result. So, I had the bright idea to re-edition it as I had previously with the rest of the original group of books. Also there’s a small crop of zombie films ou this month so… This time though, I gave myself enough time to produce something I could be proud of, also I had a small budget to hire a cover artist (Brian Brinlee).
Q: Who is the production team that worked on it?
A: Me, the production team more often than not just me from concept to finished product save for some occasional help with editing from my wife Jennifer, or some illustration work from my brother or a friend here and there. Cover artists I make an effort to hire when I have a budget available (which is always small). So on this one, my wife had done an edit when I considered a revised edition of the book (the other books made that editioning) a few years ago and I still had the illustrations done by my brother for the original. I hired the cover artist, did some new illustrations myself and went at it from there.
Q: What is the premise?
A: The premise of Zombie Horror is a zombie apocalypse, it can be used as a sourcebook for any campaign that uses zombies as a primary threat. The book goes into detail about the physiology and operation of zombies as well as the pathogen that creates them. The book also takes the view of following a zombie outbreak to the bitter end from the walking dead to a road warrior style aftermath. It details the progression of an apocalypse and how infrastructure and the products of civilization degrade and eventually disintegrate.
Q: Could you describe the game mechanics?
A: The game mechanics are the Dice & Glory game mechanics, dice roll (mostly D20) + modifiers plus the few subsystems that exist in the optional mechanics (luck, chi, & faith). However, the book goes into detail with character options and how the GM could handle certain situations and scenarios found in the zombie genre. I also created progressing lists of what an infected character experiences over time.
Q: Are supplements coming?
A: Well, supplements for Dice & Glory definitely, for Zombie Horror possibly but more on the freebies downloaded from the Ranger Games Publishing website in the form of maps, scenarios & modules. There should be enough material in this book for a long-running zombie apocalypse campaign as well as short survival horror sessions. There’s a full chapter of pregenerated characters for use as NPC’s or for players to pick out to get a game going quick and plenty of weird and gross zombie and zombie-related monsters in there.
Q: What in your opinion is the appeal of the genre?
A: The appeal of the genre, at least for me and this is reflected in the book, is gore and buckets of blood and brains, the bouts of running and gunning, blood-pumping stretches of pure terror and desperate flight, and of course, the high-tensity character drama where stretches of silent calm tend to screw the suspense ever-tighter.