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Roleplay and the Trans-mortal Survivor

When it comes to how I play most of my characters, roleplay considerations have little influence on in-game decisions. I view the game as a game, and the choices most of my characters make are with game mechanics or AP efficiency (or plain old fun) in mind.

Being killed doesn't bother me, except when it impedes my ability to do something as and when I want or need to. Used intelligently, I believe trans-mortal tactics are legitimate and useful to both survivors and zombies. Dual Nature doesn't make much sense to me. Combat revival, in certain situations, is a powerful and efficient 'weapon'. Zombies aren't the 'enemy', they're the opposition. As a player, overall, I'm interested in maintaining game balance, not the dominance of one side over the other...

In spite of this, I can still, oddly, justify how I play from a roleplay perspective. Perhaps I should explain...

Urban Dead is not set in the traditional 'Romero' zombie world we all know and (should) love. The rules are different. It's a new and unique take on the zombie apocalypse scenario.

Our characters are all very much aware that death in this world is only temporary. The technology and know-how to revive each other doesn't just exist, but is easy to obtain, cheap to use and ubiquitous. With the aid of our friends, we can be up and on our feet again in seconds.

Death is no longer a threat, a worry, a fear, nor 'the end'. To die and turn into a zombie isn't 'death' as we know it, it's a simple change of state; at worse, a mere inconvenience, and occasionally, actually helpful.

And when we're a zombie? We're not the mindless beings of Night, Dawn and Day, nor are we the relentless trans-human killing machines of 28 Days Later. Nor do we pretend to be (unless playing Dual Nature), consciously shambling to revive points or to a location that works better for our team mates.

As the undead, we have full control over our actions, we retain our capacity to think and make tactical decisions. We can help the survivor cause, decading piñatas, attacking other zombies to help clear buildings in RTS, act as scouts and early warning systems. And when we decide enough is enough, manoeuvre ourselves to improve the chances of revival. It's just a different skill set, albeit less consistently useful as pro-'survivors'.

With this in mind, I don't quite understand the aversion to 'death' amongst many survivors. Viewing the situation in Malton as a kind of war, we can make 'the ultimate sacrifice' again and again. We're close to being immortal. Zombies, on the whole, understand that already. They know that one of the most useful things they can do as a fully skilled zambah, especially in siege conditions, is take a headshot and stand up to fight once more. They laugh in the face of 'being killed'. There is no being killed. The inconvenience for them is it often leaves them back outside again to face the barricades (which are the survivors' greatest 'weapon'), and not that they've 'died' (again). This way of thinking hasn't quite filtered through into the general survivor consciousness yet though, although some groups do understand it well already.

But that's not to say that I always seek to actively throw my 'life' away. It's fun to survive for a long time, a challenge to be relished and a sign I'm doing something right. I just don't mind putting my life on the line if my potential death helps the wider survivor cause, because in Malton, death isn't the end unless you want it to be.

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