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Dead Reign: Civilization Gone!

 

The Book

 

I love the Dead Reign: Civilization Gone cover but I swear that’s the same girl on the cover! She must be one unlucky soul to be ambushed by the Undead where ever she goes! Once again the cover looks awesome and inspires a feeling of sheer terror as the poor woman in question dings her finger nails into the floor in a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitable.

 

Dead Reign: Civilization Gone!Dead Reign: Civilization Gone begins with Reaper hero Bard Ashley telling us some unfortunate news, everything we know has gone, the average person is now part of the Creeping Doom, a Zombie. Those of us that are left, the survivors, are outnumbered by 100,000 to 1, not great odds but we are smarter, faster and more resourceful than the enemy, hope is not lost completely and if we stay one step ahead we will survive!

 

“Just because you see a human face staring at you from the darkness doesn’t mean it’s not the face of a monster” Brad Ashley Civilization Gone.

 

The book continues in the same vein as the previous book but with an added twist, this book focuses more on your fellow man and he is oftentimes worse than the undead!

 

 

Humanity the worse enemy of the bunch!

 

The Zombies do what they were meat to do, they hunt and feed without emotion being more like a shark than anything else. Humans however still have their wits, their cunning and their evil ways. This book focuses on the many types of Madmen and Psychopaths you may come across.

 

The Ghost Walker – OK so this fella isn’t a bad guy he is just a survivor who mind has snapped. Lets face it with civilization gone and with only a horde of undead to keep you occupied you may lose the plot faster than you think. These poor souls still have their humanity and have not become twisted and evil and therefore may be able to offer the player group information but beware their information is often very hard to understand, however persevere and you may pick up pieces of info that could well save your life!

 

The Backstabbing Cretin – An amusing name, not such an amusing person to meet. Usually of a selfish of evil alignment these people have no real friends and when their back is to the wall they will cut you down to save their own sorry skin. We have seen this character in many films before, he/she will keep the best equipment for themselves they fear everything from Zombies to Death cults and if you wrong them don’t be surprised if they lock the door behind them as they escape, leaving you as Zombie bait!

 

The Messianic Leader – These guy are as dangerous as they are crazy! Upon first meeting one you may find him to be kind hearted and full of apparent wisdom, unfortunately they are also completely delusional. Most will promise a safe haven or the hope of finding the promised land, in truth they can offer no such thing, worse their delusions will lead them to take incredible risks usually involving other people’s lives! If a plan works through dumb luck then will be happy to take full credit, if the plan fails then that’s a shame but the messiah can always try and tray again, which will inevitably result in more wasted lives. A character like The Governor from The Walking Dead T.V series would fall into this bracket.

 

The Zombie Master – This disturbed individual has learnt to train certain Zombie types such as the Thinker by using repetition and Pavlovian techniques, this madman can often be found leading Zombies on a leash. He may also be the leader of a terror cult. Unfortunately for him (and perhaps fortunately for player characters) a Zombie can never truly be tamed and much like a lion tamer and his lions, things can and do go wrong FAST!

 

The Zombie Lover – No it’s not as bad as it sounds! These guys think that the Zombie is somehow the perfect creation. They will often keep Zombies in a barn or in the cellar where they will go to sit with the Zombie and feed it. They will sometimes have a nice comfy chair in the room so that they can speak to the damned creature whilst they admire and feed it. Cross one of these guys and you will end up on his darlings menu!

 

The Deluded Zombie Lover – These are the saddest of people. Their mind has been broken and they no longer live in the real world, as such they will often keep the Zombies who were once relatives or loved ones claiming that they are “just a bit under the weather” or “not quite themselves”. These people accept civilization has gone and often make fantastic scavengers and their house will often be well fortified. The problems only arise when the player group realises this poor soul is “keeping” the undead, at this point the Deluded Zombie Lover is likely to become incredibly hostile and will often fight to the death to protect his loved ones, just a shame his loved ones are the undead!

 

The Psychopathic Killer – Speaks for itself, this person is a sadistic murderer and Zombies just aren’t fun enough to kill. The worse thing about these people is that they can seems as ordinary as any of the player characters and are often very charming, underneath this exterior lies a ruthless killer who will delight in a players death.

 

Zombie Deathbringer – This is the thrill seeker who believes the whole world is now just one big shooting range. Although this scoundrel delights in killing Zombies he will also have plenty of fun blowing you player characters heads off too!

 

The Zombie Killing Maniac – Whoa this madman is also available as a player character! In the thick of battle this guy would be great to have at your side, you see once he claps eyes on a Zombie he will go into a berserker rage and destroy the undead with whatever tools he has available even his bare hands! Unfortunately they are also a bit of a wild card, in a situation where it would be wiser to hide you can guarantee this fella is going to leap out of the shadows all guns blazing….. only now this lunatic has made so much noise the undead will converge and chances are you may all end up in a Zombies belly.

 

The Paranoid – These people fear EVERYTHING and that includes your players! They don’t sleep more than a few hours a night and can often hear noises and moans of the undead where there are none. The paranoid is often guided by the voices in her head which will lead them to do terrible things, for instance they may hear a voice shortly after a Zombie fight which will tell them “I swear she was bitten, kill her quick before she turns, hit her until she can’t move.” These guys are best avoided.

 

The Paranoid Survivalist – Often similar to the characters above but they have learnt to survive alone. Often they will have valuables and drinking water however to approach one is lunacy and when they warn you “Get away there is nothing for you here.”  It is best to listen lest you end up with a bullet in your head!

 

 

More Zombies!

 

OK the humans were fantastic but we all want more Zombies right? Well this book give us several more Zombie variants.

 

The Juggernaut – This Zombie was a body builder or severely obese when he was alive, now he is a Super Zombie! Harder to kill and much stronger than the other Zombies I think your players are going to need bigger guns!

 

The Trash Crawler – These are similar to the Crawler from the previous book but they have a key difference. Zombie often get blasted, hacked and beaten but do not die, they will have bottles smashed into them and even lead pipes buried in their chest and still they continue to stalk the living, all of this debris builds up over time and grants the feind a crude form of camouflage! Next time you are sifting through a dump truck be more careful as one of these monster may well be half mushed up in the litter and waiting to kill you!

 

Pretty Zombies – Zombies who have just died or who feed regularly can look fresh as a daisy. Strangely this type of Zombie seems to remember that it was once and attractive person and will still attempt to groom itself however these are just memory fragments, they are still Zombies. Keeping their appearance up actually lends to the illusion of them being alive and their stilted movements could be a sign of madness or shock NOT that they are the undead, do not be fooled always approach everything and everyone with care.

 

 

Resources

 

The book expands on the previous offering by giving us new phobias and obsessions which work very well in the setting and will often provide your player characters with greater opportunity to role-play their characters. After all wouldn’t we all go a little mad at the end of the world?

 

Bandits and Raider also get fleshed out more by being given skills and abilities they may have. This is great for Games Masters as they will be able to knock up a group of road warrior very quickly to antagonise the player characters!

 

There is also a section on “other dangers” such as the weather and even mundane things like insects. This part of the book is pretty cool because we often don’t consider insects as a problem because we have pesticides and such, after the apocalypse the insect will spread and breed at an alarming rate and in the process they will spread disease and deliver infectious bites!

 

There is a write up on starvation, dehydration, infection, flu and disease. These rules are awesome and are wonderful things to inflict on the player characters as they help with the verisimilitude of your game and give the players an extra facet of despair and desperation to role-play.

 

There are also several random encounter tables to help GM’s keep their game moving along and to provide the players with interesting things to investigate such as abandoned houses and vehicles.

 

One of the best parts of the book however is the section on building your own Survivors Camp! This section is choc full of information ranging from what the general alignment and disposition of the camp is, so are they friendly and welcoming or paranoid and blood thirsty or somewhere in between? Where is the camp located? Is it on open waters or in a deep forest or even the city? Is the leader a good man or a self style dictator? What type of fortification does the camp have? Is it stone walls of a chain link fence? What resources do they have? Do they have modern items and electricity? DO they have fuel, food and water?

 

This part of the book is a fantastic resource for the GM and will provide hours of fun to the players should they find themselves in a position to build a base!

 

 

Conclusion

 

OK you only get 60-ish pages but the book does cost almost half the price of the main book. In my opinion for the price this is one of the best source books Palladium Books has ever released! There is a whole raft of information here that is fantastically imaginative and informative. This is a book that will massively benefit players and GM’s alike, I promise you you won’t be disappointed!

 

Long live the DEAD!!!!!

 

5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended 

You may also like to read:

RIFTS Essentials Palladium Fantasy Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition RIFTS: Main Rule Book

Want to try another system?

 

World of Darkness Core Book Dark Heresy Savage Worlds Deluxe Radiance