Project Dismember: The Decemberlong Zombie Survival Game

Project Dismember: The Decemberlong Zombie Survival Game

“Merry Christmas to All, now you’re All gonna Die!”

This coming Thursday night will be the first session of a five-part December-only mini-campaign, which I have entitled “Project Dismember.” Currently the roster is full for the first session, but I want to post the details here to share the setup. I’m really looking forward to this one, and have been deeply immersing myself in zombie fiction since deciding to throw this thing together.

What: Project Dismember is a five-week tournament-style open-story role-playing experience. You and your friends must survive not only the overwhelming desolation of the zombie apocalypse, but your own dark sides as well. When the dead walk the earth and feed upon the flesh of the living, when a single bite is all it takes to turn your best friend into your worst enemy, who can you trust? What will you do to stay alive?

When: The first session will be hosted the night of Thursday, December 2nd, starting at 7 PM, at my place. We’ll play four-hour sessions each time, ending around 11 PM. Five full sessions will happen, with the last night taking place on December 30th.

Who: You! I have open room for up to 10 players each night, on a strict RSVP roster. See the Rules further below for details.

Other: There will be prizes given based on a combination of character experience and longevity. The short of it is that the longest-lived characters who went through the most shit will net their players rewards. These will be books, gift cards, games, and other items of nerdly or even monetary value.

I’m asking a $1 buy-in for each night of the game you play. Since I’ll be spending real actual money to acquire several possible prizes, I think this is pretty fair – and to be quite frank, I would gladly pay a GM a dollar a night ro run a bitchin’ game, if it kept the group together and assured a good time for all.

I’m currently also planning on audio-recording these sessions, and releasing them as MP3s on my blog.


  • For this tournament, we will be using the core dice mechanic from the game Unknown Armies, with all of the magick stuff stripped out and thrown away. It is a relatively simple and elegant core mechanic, and allows for some realistic and very, very deadly combat.
  • There will be special mechanics for earning character experience primarily through three avenues: Survival, Teamwork, and “Meta-Betrayal.” This third involves you taking an active interest in the flaws of other characters, and inserting in-game situations in which those flaws will come to light and be challenged. Should the specifically affected character(s) accept those challenges and overcome, then both of you receive the experience.
  • I have maximum room for ten players each night. Starting with the first session, any pre-existing players will be given first-pick placement for the following sessions. There’s one catch: when your character dies or gets turned, you are out of the game as a player. You can still hang around and provide an audience, and even give suggestions to the GM (me) on ways to screw with the others, but you are out of the prize lineup. Additionally, if ever you have to miss a session for any reason, your character is killed or turned, no exceptions. If there are open player slots, new players can drop in and take a place in the game, as new survivors encountered in the story. New players most certainly can have a go at the prizes, too.
  • I will function as a hands-off GM. My role will be that of antagonist and world-setter, and nothing more. There will be no plot or meta-story other than the ones you create with your own characters. My job will be to make their lives miserable, and make them suffer horrible, disgustin, ignoble fates. Players will have enhanced story control through the activation of other characters’ nagative traits, using them to create bad situations for experience.

So it’s all up to you. You can work together to survive. You can resolve your differences, ignore your fellows’ flaws, get past their twisted pasts in order to survive as a team. Or you can throw your fellows to the wolves and take the prize for yourself.

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