June 17, 2014
Games Yet Played: All Flesh Must Be Eaten
One of the most popular monsters today that can still be classified as a monster is the zombie. While vampires and werewolves have gone the way of the heartthrob, the zombie remains — for the most part — a creature to be feared.
Yes, I am aware of the film Warm Bodies, but given that it did not have the same cultural impact as things like Twilight or Teen Wolf, I am giving zombies a pass here.
Zombies exist in almost every role-playing game in which they make sense, and even some in which they do not. As such, it should come as no surprise that there is a role-playing game devoted entirely to them. Enter All Flesh Must Be Eaten, often simply just called “All Flesh,” by Eden Studios Inc. All Flesh is a zombie survival game that provides players with a set of rules for any sort of zombie-apocalypse scenario they might be thrown into.
The game has no set story or cause of the undead scourge, but rather provides the rules for whatever the Gamemaster might want. Are these the infectious sort of zombies? Can they run? Is there magic involved? All of these things are up to the Gamemaster to come up with and for the players to discover. The game also supports three styles of play, called Norm, Survivor, and Inspired. If you are playing as norms, you are average people thrown into this scenario. At most, you might be a police officer – though that is bordering on Survivor – but more likely you are going to be role-playing as people like video-store clerks, cashiers at Wal-Mart, or someone’s housekeeper. Norm characters are just that, average folk who must now contend with the threat of the undead. Playing in this sort of game usually boils down to “you run away and you might live.” Survivor is a step up from that. These are people who are prepared for hard times. Maybe not “zombie apocalypse” hard times, but hard times nonetheless. These are your SWAT team members, your fully armed biker gang member, military personnel, or the like. In this sort of game, you can fight back though that is still not recommended. In essence, you still have to run away but you can at least be shooting at the zombies while you do it.
Then there are your Inspired-style game. In an inspired game you are something more. You are either tough/good enough not only to survive the zombie apocalypse, but also fight back against it. Some characters at this tier of play may actually have supernatural powers themselves which can even include being able to control a small number of zombies and having them fight for you rather than having them biting at your heels.
I have unfortunately never been given the opportunity to get a game of All Flesh Must Be Eaten going. The few times my group has decided to try and play a zombie survival game, we have stuck with World of Darkness instead as more of us know the rules and are comfortable with its mechanics. Even so, All Flesh remains one of those games I hope to give a try sometime.
As always, thanks for reading and I wish you all good gaming.
Try not to get eaten.
Image Credit: Eden Studios Inc.