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Roleplaying your zombie apocalypse


Step one is to become a zombie. Step two, rampage around a lowbie zone. Step three, scream "Braiiinnnns!" for everyone to hear. Step four, wait for an immersive roleplayer named "Pwnsurface" to kill you, in accordance to his Retribution Paladin's most tightly held beliefs.

Okay, there's a little more to roleplaying the event than that. It's tempting to launch yourself at the suspicious crates and transform into a brain-hungry beast. But to borrow a quote from a roleplayer on Shadow Council, if you're going to do that, chances are that what you're really doing is "taking an OOC day."

Most characters in the Alliance and Horde aren't yearning to find themselves transformed into an instinct-driven cranium muncher. Zombies are not only evil, they're members of the Scourge, out to destroy all life as we know it. They also have fairly bad personal hygiene. (Okay, so maybe they're not that much different from the Forsaken.)

But to us players, Zombies are cool. You get to do stuff, and attack people, and explode, and convert people into zombies, and it rocks! And while your character might find itself outta bubblegum, and decide to start kicking butt instead, you-the-player might feel bad for ruining someone else's good time.

Still, there is roleplay to be had here!

We can roleplay this in a way that makes everyone happy, and we can make it work. So, let's take a look at the deep, meaningful stories that motivate your zombie as you spend your angst-filled nights struggling against intolerance, pain, the indifference of a cruel world, and the eternal hunger for gray matter.

  • Vast panic as your character realizes what's happening! At this point, you can't so much as wander by the Gnome King or the Ogrimmar Auction House without seeing those Argent Healer fellas trying to spoil our fun.

    As players, we watch the time tick down to zombification with mouth-watering glee. Our characters, though, are gonna freak out. "Oh my god! What's happening to me?" They may have already seen other zombies rampaging in Auberdine. Roleplay it out! Now's your time to flex your melodrama, and spam some yells. "My eyes, I can't feel my eyes!"
  • Try and communicate with the newly undead. Don't simply reach for your axe and start swinging. "Mulder, you're not you!" Give it a few heartbeats, and test the in-character knowledge that this jowl-slavering beast might be reverted back to humanity. You can't know until you try, right?
  • Talk about it. Man, this is the simplest suggestion, and it's often ignored. Spend some time both as zombies and living critters talking about what's happening. Don't naturally jet to the OOC channel, but instead, spend some time living out some zombie tropes. Hit the "walk" button, and try -- in vain -- to get away from a zombie, like a co-ed trying to flee Jason.
  • Create your Death Knight. C'mon. You're going to have one -- so am I. Create an alt, now, with the name you're going to use for your Death Knight. Level it up a bit, then have him horribly killed and turned into a zombie.

    This could be a great roleplaying opportunity, as you honestly get to go on a rampage and kill your own faction. Since many RP Death Knights out there are bound to have the "I went evil, killed my family, and now I angst eternal" thing going on, this event could be a legitimate chance for you to play it out in-game!

These are, obviously, just a few suggestions. But the zombie apocalypse is here, and we should use it to our best advantage.

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