Rotten LeggZ - A Real-time Race-for-your-life Zombie Game - UPDATED 9/13/14 | Skillshare Projects

Will Nickley

Industrial Designer @ ZOKU



Rotten LeggZ - A Real-time Race-for-your-life Zombie Game - UPDATED 9/13/14

READ FIRST - I've removed game concepts unrelated to final direction (Round 6 and earlier).

// v0_1_2 September 13, 2014 ---------------------------------------------------------

v0_1_2 - More playtesting with 4 players. Bite mechanics added. Balancing and simplification.

- Added Bite Markers and bite mechanics - should increase game length slightly, make the win-condition easier to identify.

- Eliminated “Special Case: Last Human Round”, now if you’re the only human left after checking for bites, you win!

v0_1_1 - Many rounds of playtesting in Connecticut with 4 players. Balancing and simplification.

- Introduction of beginner and advanced modes for learning and playing the game (advanced adds player abilities and safe zone round modifiers)

- Final round, last human vs. all Zombies - the human gets all Super-Action cards back

- Zombies cannot use Super-Action cards

v0_1_0 - First printed prototype via Complete overhaul for simplification based on Grant’s feedback and playtesting with 2 players.

- Removed deck building or deck modification

- Character mechanical overhaul; new Character Cards; individuality based on inherent strengths based on character type/subtype, extra powers also based on type/subtype. Zombie versions of characters loose main strengths from typing, gain ability based on former type.

- New Action Deck; actions/movements now based on uniform decks of cards (poker cards)

- Safe Zone mechanical overhaul; added new Safe Zone Attribute cards, which pair with any Safe Zone card to create 144 unique Safe Zone combinations (with only 12 + 8 cards)

v0_0_3 (7.2) - First round of real playtesting completed for zombie side of game! Tweaks for human side of game.

- Zombie game mechanics added; Safe zone cards now have a Zombie Difficulty rating (how difficult it is for Zombie players to catch Human players).

- Overhaul of human side of game; Players keep cards in their hands instead of playing into piles to alleviate tedious card movements.

v0_0_2 (7.1) - First round of real playtesting completed for human side of game!

- Tweaked human game mechanics - players match sets of three cards; tweaked deck structure to include character cards; added extra round - last human must survive one more round by himself to win (this allows zombie players to win in two and three player games); worked on the balance of character deck symbols and Safe Zone card requirements;

v0_0_1 (7.0) - Introducing a brand new racing game concept: Rotten LeggZ - a real-time race for your life! (or your next meal!)

ROTTEN LEGGZ (working title)

Game Summary

Rotten LeggZ is a fast-paced tabletop card game in which 2-8 players race from safe-zone to safe-zone to avoid being bitten and turning into Zombies!

People don’t take turns in a real race, and Rotten LeggZ is no different; Use your Character’s Attributes, Special Abilities and your very own Action Deck to make it to the Safe Zone before the Zombies catch you — and they always catch someone!

Only one Human can survive long enough and escape as the winner.

Too many bites, and your Human Character transforms into a Zombie. And as a Zombie, you can back at those tasty Humans for a chance at an alternate victory for the Zombie horde!

Game Goals

- 2-3 minutes per round, average game time around 10-15 minutes.

- Fast-paced and chaotic elimination* game based on very simple rules.

- *When you're "eliminated", you get to play the game from a different angle, and can achieve an alternate victory / prevent other players from "winning".

- Expandable to, and even more fun with, 6+ players (use deck of cards)

- Embraces individual character traits, but not based on deck-building or modification — easier on your wallet!

Core Loop

1 - Spot a Safe Zone (establish goal)

2 - Run! (Human characters make Action Matches to reach Safe Zone, help/hinder others) / Chase! (Zombie characters make Action Matches to bite human characters)

3 - Breather! (Human characters check for bites and transform into Zombie characters, check for winning condition, reset for next round)


Safe Zone Location Cards - 12 cards with "Safe Zone" locations depicted; each safe zone has a unique round modifier (advanced mode).

Safe Zone Attribute Cards - 8 cards; each depicts a number of Actions symbols of a certain Type all players must match in order to reach the Safe Zone.

Character Cards - 12 cards (front depicts Human character, rear depicts Zombie character); Each character has its own Attributes in both human and zombie form, displayed as symbols of a certain Type — these count as Action Matches during play. Each character also has a special ability (advanced mode).

Action Decks - Four identical decks of 52 cards. Each contains 12 Action cards of four different Types which must be combined into sets of 3 to create an Action Match. Also contains 1 Super-Action of each Type which can be played on its own to create an Action Match immediately (then removed from game)

Bite Markers - 12 markers, placed onto human character cards to indicate Bites.


0 - Setup

- Each player selects a Character Card and places it in front of them, human-side up (As a variation, some players may opt to start as zombies).

- Each player takes an Action Deck. Players shuffle and place the deck in front of them, face down.

- Shuffle the Safe Zone and Safe Zone Attribute cards and place in a central location, face down.

- Place the Bite Markers aside and within reach.

1 - Spot a Safe Zone

- Flip over a Safe Zone Location Card - this is where your characters are headed! Note the Safe Zone Location’s special round modifier (advanced mode).

- Flip over two Safe Zone Attribute Cards and place [next to / onto] the Safe Zone Location Card - these depict a number of symbols corresponding to the type and number of Action Matches your characters will have to make in order to reach the Safe Zone (human characters) or bite other players (zombie characters).

- Note: if both Safe Zone Attribute Cards are of the same type, replace one by flipping over another Safe Zone Attribute card.

- At this point, players should think about how many Action Matches they need for their character to reach the Safe Zone.

- [enter diagram example for two different characters to show how they calculate the number of matches they will need: Safe Zone requirements minus Character Attribute matches plus/minus special modifiers]

- After all players are ready, start the next phase by saying “RUN!!”

2 - Run (for human players) or Chase (for zombie players)

In order to reach the Safe Zone (humans) or Bite players (zombies), players must use cards from their Action Deck to make Action matches. At their own pace, players may perform any of the following actions:


- Draw the top card from your Action Deck or Discard Pile.

- The maximum number of cards allowed in a player’s hand is 4. If a player already has 4 cards in-hand, they may not draw another card without first discarding or playing an Action match.

- Note: At the beginning of the Run/Chase phase, players will usually want to draw 4 cards from their Action Decks.

- Note: If there are no cards in your Discard Pile, you may not draw from it.

- Note: If there are no cards left in your Action Deck, you may shuffle your hand and Discard Pile together, and flip it over to form a new Action Deck.


- Discard any number of cards from your hand, face-up, to your discard pile.

Play an Action Match.

- When 3 cards in a player's hand match, they may place those 3 cards into a new Action Match pile in front of them. The match counts as one Action Match toward the required number of Action matches on the Safe Zone Attribute Cards.

- A player may play a Super-Action card all by itself to make an Action Match.

- Note: Super-Action cards, when played by themselves, are removed from the game at the end of the round; use them wisely!

- Note: Super-Action cards, when played as part of a set of 3 cards, are not removed from the game.

Use a special player ability (advanced mode).

- See Character Card for details.

- Activated abilities can be used once per round, others once per game as noted on the character card.

- Passive abilities have an effect for the duration of a round as noted on the character card.

- An ability that involves “flipping” or “discarding” another player’s Action Match: a player points to an Action Match pile another player has in front of them. That player must place all cards in the Action Match pile directly into their discard pile. Ouch!

- Note: Special Player Abilities may not be used on Human Characters already in the Safe Zone.

Enter the Safe Zone (for human players).

- Once a human player has enough Action Matches (from Action Matches played from their Action Deck and from Character Attributes) to meet or exceed the required Action matches on the Safe Zone Attribute cards, they must move their character card next to the Safe Zone card — they are safe for the round!

- Note: Human Characters in the Safe Zone cannot be caught by Zombie Characters.

- [diagram showing a player meeting the requirements]

Catch a human player (for zombie players).

- Once a zombie player has enough Action Matches (from Action Matches played from their Action Deck and from Character Attributes) to meet or exceed the required Action matches on the Safe Zone Attribute cards, they may place their Zombie Character Card on top of any Human Character Card not already in the Safe Zone. That Human Character has been caught!

- When a human player is "caught" by a zombie player, the human player's round is over.

- [diagram showing a player meeting the requirements]

Round End

- Round ends after all human players have reached the Safe Zone or have been caught.

3 - Breather (check for bites, transform humans, check for winning condition, reset)

- Human players “caught” by Zombie players add a Bite Marker to their Character Card.

- The last Human player to reach the Safe Zone adds a Bite Marker to their Character Card.

- Any Human character with 2 Bite Markers now transforms into a Zombie character! They will play any/all future rounds as a Zombie. These players should flip over their Human Character Cards to the Zombie Character side.

- Note: to increase game length, you can increase the number of Bite Markers required to transform a Human Character into a Zombie Character.

If there are no remaining human players (all players have transformed into zombies), the zombies are victorious! Not sure if that’s something to celebrate...

Else, If there is only one remaining human player, that Human player wins! (and claims the last spot on rescue chopper?)

- Note: even if that human is Bitten, they still win.

Else there are at least two remaining human players:

- All players remove any Super Action cards used on their own as Action matches from the game.

- Players reshuffle their Action Decks.

- Reshuffle the Safe Zone Attribute Cards.

- Start a new round! (Spot a Safe Zone)


A place for optional game components, questions. Comments and suggestions please!!

Special Human Character Power Ideas (use once per game):

- instant match: transform any card into a match

- miracle cure: any one zombie player is human again (for "Mad Scientist" character or the like)

- trip: place one matched set from any player back into their deck

- chew toy: any one zombie ends his chase this round

- ambidextrious: matches of one type count as matches of another type this round

Standard Human Character Power Ideas (once per round):

- foresight: look at the top three cards of your deck, then play them into any stacks

- hindsight: take the top three cards from any pile and replay them into any stacks

- <insert violent action> a zombie: make any single zombie start their chase over

Special Zombie Character Power Ideas (use once per game, remove from deck when used):

- super virus: any one human is now a zombie

Standard Zombie Character Power Ideas (use anytime they show up):

- lend a hand:

- break a leg:

- eye for an eye:

- don't lose your head:

- leg up:


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