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The Creeping Rot

Publisher Description

THE CREEPING ROT is a tabletop zombie survival game designed to be played with no game master.

as a community of regular people,  focus on using dwindling resources to tackle everyday problems,  like an empty gas tank or unsettling sounds from the woods.  your focus doesn't need to be on blowing off heads - instead, you must figure out how to conserve your supplies, ensure your safety, and protect your spirit while caring for yourself and your comrades. 


The Creeping Rot, Revised Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse

Character Creation [ edit ]

Characters in The Creeping Rot have three stats: SPIRIT, SAFETY, and SUPPLY.  Each player rolls 2d6 and allocates the result between the stats.  The points allocated translate into the number of dice to rolled when using that stat.

For instance if a player rolled a total of five they might set their SPIRIT to three, SAFETY to two, and SUPPLY to zero, creating a strong-willed, reasonably capable hero ... who owns nothing but the shirt on his back.

Since players play as themselves in The Creeping Rot, the above is literally all there is to character creation: you don't even need to pick a name!

Stats Change Based on Rolls

Although there's no XP or advancement in The Creeping Rot, there is a way to improve, or lose, stats over time.

At the end of every turn each player changes their stats, based on their rolls that turn.  For every 1 they rolled they lose a point in the corresponding stat, while for every 6 they rolled they gain one.

Core Mechanics [ edit ]

The Creeping Rot is a turn-based game.  Each turn the group faces a new Problem, and can also tackle any number of Projects. 


There are 36 possible problems (12 for each stat), and the group rolls randomly to see what problem comes up.  Problems range from "The radio broadcasts stopped" (SPIRIT) to "Several zombies are blocking the way home." (SAFETY) to "We’ve run out of ammo" (SUPPLY).

If an existing problem is re-rolled the group gets a (brief) respite, and has no Problems added that turn.


The group (or individual members) can also try to tackle as many projects as they want each turn (there's no benefit or penalty for incomplete projects).

There are eighteen total projects to choose from, with six for each stat.  Examples include creating a meditation space (which allows players to have a 1 in 6 chance of gaining d6 SPIRIT) or a guard schedule (which let's the group spend 1 die of  SPIRIT to remove a SAFETY problem).

Completing Problems/Projects

Each turn each character can work toward solving one problem, or implementing one project.  To do so they simply describe how they intend to work on the issue, and then roll their corresponding stat for the problem/project.

Every problem or project has a corresponding number, eg.

SPIRIT: The stench of rotting bodies is depressing. (6)

At the end of a turn each player deducts their roll from the problem/project they worked on, and if the number is reduced to 0 or below they have solved the problem or finished the project.


In-between turns the characters get a week of downtime.  Depending on how they spend that time they can exchange dice, either between their own stats (eg. overworking yourself to lose a SPIRIT but gain a SUPPLY) or between players (eg. losing a SUPPLY to give another character 1 SAFETY, by bandaging their wounds).

Combat [ edit ]

As a very simple game The Creeping Rot has no separate combat system.

The only "combat" in the game comes from Problems that are solved by defeating zombies or other humans, such as:

Zombies are crowding outside the door. (15)

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