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Announcement: Original RPG System - ALIVE INSIDE

Updated: May 4, 2023

a zombie tearing apart a barricade with the words "ALIVE INSIDE" written in blood

A rotting fist punches through the glass and pulls hard on a two-by-four barricading the window. The moans outside are growing louder and more numerous as you clutch a sawed-off shotgun in your sweaty hands. Do you make your stand here in a blaze of glory? Do you try to escape through the back yard and hope the undead don’t surround you? Or do you flee to the basement and hope you can hole up until the zombie hoard loses interest?

I am SO excited to be able to share that we are officially working on our very first original TTRPG game system that will focus on running gritty horror apocalyptic campaigns! The reason for my excitement, aside from that fact that I love apocalyptic fiction and games, is that I have been working on this system for six years now. So, what is ALIVE INSIDE, how does it work, and what are our plans for it?

Quick Aside

Want a free adventure you can play tonight with 30 minutes of prep? Have one on us!

an image of one of our 5e adventures depicting a gnoll with a magical gauntlet

black and white sketch of an apocalyptic city

ALIVE INSIDE will be a gritty horror TTRPG system specifically made for running apocalyptic campaigns. Mechanically, if you are used to playing 5e, there are a lot of aspects that will feel familiar including d20 skill checks, saving throws, and attacks rolls. However, the game will also include a completely new character creation system designed from the ground up where players will choose a profession, a passion, and a life event. For instance, a player may be an Army Medic with a passion for photography and who has already survived a catastrophic survival situation once before. Instead of advancing within a class, players will level up by selecting new abilities and features from an Talent Tree. Combat, while largely familiar to 5e players, will include a new action system. In addition to an Action, and a Bonus Action, players will also be able to take a Round Action once per round of combat to help an ally or hinder an enemy, keeping players engaged in the game even when it's not their turn. Finally, ALIVE INSIDE will also feature a constantly changing dice pool of Stress Dice as survivors' emotional states fluctuate in a world of constant horror. A higher Stress Level can help survivors accomplish tasks they couldn't normally do - but at the risk of coming undone during critical life-and-death moments.

As this is a passion project I have been working on and playtesting long before I even started Headless Hydra Press, this system is actually fairly far along in its development process. I am currently drafting a quick start guide and balancing the character creation system. Our goal is to complete internal playtesting this spring and to provide the quick start guide for FREE to members of our audience to get additional feedback and playtesting. We will officially launch a Starter Box Set of ALIVE INSIDE this fall. The Kickstarter will feature print and digital versions of the Box Set including the quick start guide, game accessories, and an adventure taking place during a zombie apocalypse in rural Vermont. We have a vision for releasing additional content in the future including a Core Rulebook for ALIVE INSIDE in 2024 along with additional sourcebooks and campaign settings beyond that. Additionally, Headless Hydra Press is one of thousands of publishers to have joined PAIZO's Open Gaming Creative License coalition and once ALIVE INSIDE is established with a complete Core Rulebook, we plan to open the game up for third party publishers.

If you want to stay updated on ALIVE INSIDE, be sure to join our mailing list below. Thanks for the interest and we'll keep you posted as this project develops!

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