"No More Room In Hell" House Rules: Card Initiative System

Having played a lot of wild west games using "The Rules With No Name" and WW2/Modern using "Arc of Fire" I really enjoy a card activation system for determining initiative.

 The cards can lead to a lot of suspense and tension as you don't know which figure will be activated next, and the turn could end before you get to activate your hero, leaving them in a really bad situation.

 The cards add randomness to the game, as well making you think a few turns in advance... just in case the merde hits the fan.

To make the cards you can purchase blank playing cards easily on the net, or print out custom made cards and laminate them in business card size lamination pouches.  I prefer this last method, as it keeps the cards in good condition, and you can write on them to make notes if need be.

 For each survivor in play I create one card for every point of Survive! that survivor has.

 Thus Sheeple will have one card each in the deck, Back Ups two and Shot Callers three... unless of course these survivors have different Survive! points.

 I also include one card for the Zombies, an "End Turn" card and what ever other cards I feel will enhance the game, such as random events or even blank cards to stop card counting and to build up tension.
 If you are feeling especially brave, you can add extra zombie cards - this way you can represent faster zombie types, like those seen in "28 Days Later".

 Every time a card is drawn the survivor who's card it is gets to take one action. All zombies move when their card is drawn and they also get to move when the End Turn card is drawn, provided they have not moved already during the turn.  This ensures the zombies will always take an action each turn.

 If the turn ends before survivors get to take an action then bad luck. And believe me, it really can be bad luck, and the suspense level increases when it happens.

Also, every time a survivor is wounded (i.e. a point of Survive! is deducted) a card representing that survivor should also be removed from the deck before the next turn starts.
 The more wounds you have, the less actions you get.

 As I print out my cards, I like to have a logo on the back of the card, and a photo of the miniature(s) on the front.
 If needed, I also add text to the front - this helps eliminate the need to look something up, and is a useful reminder of game mechanics.
 I don't add names to the survivor cards, that way if they die I can bring them back in to the game as someone else using the same cards.

This is a sample of the "Celina Croise" survivor character card I have made for the game I am currently playing:

I haven't added any text to either side of the card, and I use them in black and white - it not only saves money, but it actually makes it a bit easier to see, but that could just be me (and no, I am not colour blind).

 I am not 100% sold on the bio hazard symbol on the front of the card, so I might change it to something else should I find an image I really like.

I find using cards can speed up game play as well, as you are not rolling dice and comparing them to see who gets to move.

I hope someone gets some use from this post, and I am happy to answer any questions on the system should anyone have them.


shintokamikaze said...

wow they will look great, and its a cool idea

Zombie Ad said...

Awesome. You might as well go the extra mile.

Add a character name, weapons REP/level and a quote too.


Shelldrake said...

Zombie Ad - I have individual character card/sheets that have the photo and a place for stats that I laminate as well that I can do that type of thing with, but your idea is very tempting :-)