You know the story. Zombies have invaded a small town in the mid-west and are hungry for brains. Your brains! In this exercise, the participants form into small groups and select a character to play. Choose from the farm girl, the sheriff, the math whiz, the jock and more. Your task is to create a set of rules that define your character, then use those rules to defeat the zombie menace. 


Kill all the zombies and stay alive! You lose if a zombie is in your square at the end of your turn.

Set Up:
Get into groups of 2 players. Each group selects a random town member and takes a 7 x7 board and a rule card. Feel free to make up your own characters. I recommend things like Sheriff, Principal, Jock, Town Drunk, Priest, Math Whiz, Cheerleader, Farm Hand, etc. Get a marker to represent your character and place it in the center of the board. Place 24 zombies along the edges of the board. You can buy plastic zombies, or just use pennies. (Beware, zombie Lincoln has risen!)

The two players work together as a team to make up rules for their character. The zombies are controlled by random die rolls and not by the players.

Turn Order:

  1. Zombie Phase. Roll a 6-sided die.
    1-4: All zombies move 1 square in the specified direction. Zombies won’t move off the board and only one zombie can occupy a square.
    5-6: Brains! The 4 closest zombies in your same row and column move 1 square toward you.
  2. Character Phase.
    Insert your rules here.
  3. Death!
    If a zombie is in your square then you die. Otherwise start the next turn.

Download PDF files for printing:



Players can make up any rules they want about their character, as long as it feels appropriate for that character. For instance, it makes sense that the Sheriff would have a gun, but not the Priest.

After 10-15 minutes join up groups so that there are 2 characters on 2 connected boards with 48 zombies. After another 10-15 minute join up into 4 groups. There will be 4 characters on 4 connected boards with 98 zombies.

Feel free to continue changing the rules for your character even after merging with another group. For instance, you may come up with special rules that occur only when the Jock is adjacent to the Math Whiz. Remember, all rules must be designed to fit the characters.

The point of this exercise is not to "win" the game, but to experiment with how rules can be used to model character traits. The exercise should be considered a success if the participants are actively role-playing their characters. Is the Farm Hand team speaking in a country accent? Does the Math Whiz team have a calculator out? The more the players act like the characters they are simulating then the more successful the exercise will be.

Download the PowerPoint version of this exercise with examples (1.23MB)