A Zombie Apocalypse Burning Wheel

So, I was thinking about creating a Zombie version of Burning Wheel to play along with Gold with a couple of friends. The only thing is, a range and cover system is kind of useless against a zombie. However, I really like it. I will most likely use some of the rules from Burning Sands. A few things I have thought up to make it more useful are:
a. Acid Spitting Zombies that would come up rarely
b. Combat between survivors as a more common fight and having zombies only appear in large numbers at night perhaps?

Please leave any suggestions for this as well as other rules and setting ideas under this.

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In other words, this is like a brainstorming thread.

Oh, I’d think that Range and Cover would be incredibly useful in a zombie apocalypse. A crossbow bolt to the brain would probably drop a zombie, and it would keep you out of bite range. Only safe way to kill a zombie, I’d say. Granted, a hit to the chest isn’t going to do you much good.

Remember that most zombie apocalypse stories are really about the survivors and their interactions with zombies as a background, popping up as the main conflict only occasionally.

Yeah, zombies are traditionally more of an environmental hazard. Focusing on survivors would be the way I’d run it.
-Hostile groups of survivors
-Survivors who need things the PCs have
-Survivors who have things the PCs need
-Survivors with personal ties
-Survivors who are in danger and the PCs have a reason to want them protected
-Survivors who want to do things that will unintentionally screw everything up for the PCs
-Survivors who want to intentionally screw up the PCs
with the zombies always there in the background, ready to add pressure or make things more complicated.
Not that “The zombies have you surrounded and they’re breaking down the door, what do you do?” is at all unreasonable either, of course.

Bonus points for every NPC that gets infected because the PCs had to make a hard choice and chose the thing that meant not saving them. Rack up those Guilt Persona! (“Spending a persona point, eh? Remember Johnny? Remember how he always thought he was going to find his mother again some day, even though she was in a wheelchair and can’t possibly have survived this long? How he played the harmonica every night? How you left him to die that day when you got the generators going again? That’s HIS persona you’re spending, the one you got in exchange for his life. I hope this roll is worth it.” Though I guess that might just lead to artha bloat, if the players never want to spend it…)

Ha, great. Oh yeah, survivor guilt is gold, I think you could make it an Emotional Attribute.

I was thinking about a zombie game and was considering a game where for whatever reason, be it religious or medical, the plague spread through the nobles. I’d want to have a game set in a village just in view of a small castle right when the zombies start really pouring it on against 3 or 4 LP Peasants or Villagers trying their damnedest to stay alive.

Zombie Nobles? Who cares why…

“Um, Phill…” says Will, the millers son, “I reckon that thar Zombie Knight, with his fancy helmet on is going to be hard to kill.”


I like that the peasants would have to branch out and learn new skills in order to survive and when the zombie menace is cleared, someone is going to have to build a new social order on top of the feudal wreckage.

Thanks for all of the suggestions:
I was thinking of making it modern, and just editing some stuff.
However, a medieval campaign with zombies is also definitely something to try.

Once again, thanks!

In response to Hirram…
Yes, but can the zombies shoot back?
It may end up half Fight! and half range and cover.

Are there lifepaths out there for a modern setting? Might be tough if there aren’t.

No, zombies don’t shoot back. They swarm.

I’ve found that careful use of the Burning Empires LP’s can work well for a modern setting. Rename a couple of skills, make a couple of substitutions, drop a few LP’s.

No, zombies wouldn’t really shoot back–but the R&C rules cover situations where one side has missile weapons and the other doesn’t (you’re in R&C until the melee side closes). Like Noclue said, zombies swarm: remember to let them Help each other with positioning. If there are only a few zombies and you see them at range, you shouldn’t have a problem picking them all off. But if you’re dealing with a horde, you’d better shoot and scoot, because you’re going to get surrounded quick.

Exactly! R&C can totally do zombies.


I wrote a couple, but really, a medieval setting is better. It’s just more unique.
However, a modern setting would make the players more desperate to win because the setting is a lot easier to connect with.
I will be back with the session results next week.

I love the idea of zombie R&C. Can you beat them off before they close to fight?

In Fight!, all they do is script “Lock & Braaainz”.

A zombie apocalypse with standard BW lifepaths could be a lot of fun! I think the best way to capture the zombie feel would be to request that players generally stick to non-combat LP’s (although the last one could be combat, depending on how long it’s been since the apocalypse started) to capture the feel of “ordinary people”. Skills like Scavenging and survival skills will be more important, and I love the idea of splitting skulls with axes and going for a headshot with a crossbow!