As we are putting finishing touches on the new I AM ZOMBIE: TOXICITY Kickstarter, we’d like to go into more details about this awesome little project. We’ll start with the book one of the three booklets from this game set in the 1970s Toxic infested undercities of New York: TOXIC & TOETAGS!
IAZ: Toxicity is an old school dungeon crawling game, and it comes with the new Axiom System module. Designed with simpler, more streamlined Axioms reminiscent of the old school gaming rules, and adapted for play with miniatures and dungeon tiles.
Book one deals with the player Axioms: it has everything you need to know to create your Toxic character and have it perform wondrously horrific feats. The system is very simple: you just pick five cards, record your movement and defense scores on paper, and you are ready to go.
Exploration occurs in dungeons and caves far beneath the city streets (UpTop). Below ground, you can find Undercity layers, where most Toxic live out their lives; the deepest part is called a Hellhole, fearsome but appropriate name for the miasma-infested levels of caves full of dangerous monsters and the unimaginable riches they guard. Those monsters are dangerous, yes, but they are also rich with Ichor, the rare and powerful substance which has many uses in Toxic society, so Toxic are known to venture in these deep levels to gather it.
You can use any dungeon tiles you have to play this game, or just a simple square grid, to represent the dungeon the characters will explore. If you don’t have any available, you can also simply draw one on a piece of paper. Book one will supply you with all the rules on how to navigate the map (while rules for the narrator on how to build the dungeon itself will be in book two).
Results of combat and other actions are determined by the combination of your imagination, your character’s skills, and dice, as in any good RPG, both old and new. Your roll gives you a Score pool that you can spend on various actions like combat or using Vectors. Score is calculated by adding up your non-Brainz/Chaw dice results. The more you roll, the more actions you can perform during your turn.
Toxicity Axioms have been outfitted with rules and charts for Armor, Weapons, Equipment and Items (both mundane and the new Tainted ones, the Toxic equivalent of the good old magical items), listing their use, stats, special effects, and score cost. Vector powers have also been updated to reflect the setting and the new rules, with the addition of some powers that will be all-new also for modern day I Am Zombie players and specifically meant for dungeon delving.
Dice rolling is a major aspect of the system. You have the ability to make many strategic decisions and each roll or re-roll is a bet. Fighting monsters (Fiendz) in Toxicity is a lot of fun and while mechanics provide plenty of meat for a good action, the setting and story still play a large part in the overall experience. The rules are simple, but the monsters are not just the collection of stats: Toxicity aims to bring back the old school feeling of discovery, and here you will have to face new kinds of enemies, working as a team to develop proper strategies and find out how to beat them, and at the same time, will be very easy for narrators to devise their own monsters to surprise and terrorize both the players and their characters, without needing complex charts or a lot of balancing work.
Brainz (good) and Chaw (bad) tokens play a very important role in Toxicity gameplay: you will collect them during play sessions and they will provide additional layer of depth and danger to both combat and roleplaying.
Toxicity is a game that is fully functional by itself, but with I Am Zombie Field Manual and Playkit you can further augment your experience. New old school axioms are compatible with modern day setting and you can use them to set up dungeon crawl adventures in your city.
I AM ZOMBIE: TOXICITY Kickstarter will launch soon and you will be able to get the whole game for $29.95. The PDFs will be emailed the day Kickstarter ends and the physical copies will follow shortly. Stay tuned for more information about Toxicity and a preview of books two and three!