In today's post I will talk about the role-playing game Muzómbico, Mutantes vs Zombis, written by Juan Francisco Joya with cover illustrated by Borja Pindado and inner illustrations by Raúl Moreno García.
The review of this game had been made possible thanks to its author, who was kind enough to allow me to access the pdf (for those interested to buy it it's available in digital format through Lektu and in paper format through Amazon).
Muzómbico, Mutantes vs Zombis is an humorous game written in Spanish showing in its 78 pages showing a postapocalyptical game with (a lot!) of zombies and mutants with humans being the food of the other ones in a clearly descriptive inverted pyramid.
As I have said the game is basically a parody of the living dead and survival after a nuclear and biological holocaust genres ending the civilization as we know it, so the truly serious stories of TV series like The Walking Dead or Mad Max films go through a comedy filter becoming something similar to the following videos of Youtube channels Screen Junkies and How it Should Have Ended:
The origin of the setting acting as a background of Muzómbico, Mutantes vs Zombis is the spreading of virus T26M, a lethal and undetectable toxin designed in United States secret laboratoiries and conceived, in future, to affect given ethnic individuals the virus was programmed to attack and ease excessive planet's population (yes, it seems an idea someone could have in any moment given nowadays state of the world).
Something went wrong and the virus spread all over the planet infecting all, so nuclear powers soon considered to be victims of a biological attack and pushing the button enabling their nuclear arsenals was only a step away, so atomic mushrooms soon began to proliferate in all continents.
Here someone would think that it was the end and silence will reign in the planet, but it's clear it wasn't, because in addition of the few human survivors also appeared mutants as Humanity's next evolutive stage due to excessive radiation combined with the T26M virus, and this last one also reanimated the amount of corpses spilled through the planet, so legions of aimlessly wandering walkers appeared hoping to bite any unwary caught (they really not need any kind of sustenance but, well, you know that it's typical of the genre to have walker hordes whispwring "brainz..." while aproaching you with sweet tooth eyes).
The game's ruleset is really easy and characters are created taking as a basis a set of common Characteristics, Proficiencies allowing to access inherent qualities (powers, special capabilities, etc.) wether they are zombies, mutants or humans and their gang or tribe (see the following section) and Successes.
Checks to test if the character is successful in the actions carried out are made rolling a six-sided dice and adding the Characteristic or Proficiency level used to match or overcome a given difficulty number ranging from 2 (the easiest tasks) to 8 or more (the most challenging tasks), an outcome of 6 in the dice indicates that the character has an automatic success and obtains a Success point while an outcome of 1 indicates that the character's action hadn't been so successful as he wished, being forced to roll in the corresponding table to see the consequences.
Characeristics scores range from -3 to +4 and are the following ones:
|Characteristic||Definition and rules|
|Brain ("Seso")||Intelligence, learning capabilities and knowledge.|
|Shape ("Hechura")||Strength and resistance.|
|Skill ("Maña")||Dexterity and ability using weapons and objects.|
|Haste ("Prisa")||Running velocity and number of actions each turn.|
|Ninny ("Lelo")||Ability to look, see, hear and preceive the surroundings.|
|Hideout ("Escondite")||Ability to hide and disguise.|
Proficiencies can give roll modifiers or other interesting benefits, like Normal Appearance in case of zombies (so they won't appear as a putrid corpse), Smell the Pestilence in case of mutants (allows them to detect zombies using the smell) or Play Possum in case of humans (allows the character to self-induce a comatose state during some minutes and fake death).
Success Points allow to add positive roll modifiers (so increasing sucess chances) or repeat roll to obtain better outcomes, also allowing the character to enhance one of the Characteristics with a +1 at the wnd of the caming session if he has 50 or more points.
In addition to all the above to supplement the characters they also have access to Mania, Mental Aberrations and Secrets with which to determine their psychological characteristics and their motivations.
Game characters are those corresponding to the previously said three kind of beings, so it's possible to play putrid zombies being part of the restlessly wandering hordes, mutants suffering all kind of deformations and also developing superhuman capabilities and finally humans, the prefered prey of the other two groups (yes, something really difficult wich complicates youtr life).
Each one of this character types will have access to particular rules and the corresponding Proficiencies as explained in each chapter devoted to them, they also can be integrated in more or less organized groups (tribes, gangs, etc.) mantaining the humorous touch of the game:
- Hell Buddies (road bikers very similar to Hell's Angels)
- Ebbed Nazis (blacks with Nazi stetics and thinking, something which Adolf Hitler would consider quite inadequate)
- Smack Lords (with hypertrophied musculature and with anarchist and punk aesthetics)
- Enemies of Concrete (environmentalist mutants ecologistes living in the woods as Robin Hood and his happy bunch)
- Rowdy Scrap Dealers (recycle scrap iron and other materials and live in the cities)
- Home Canibals (choose by lot which member of the tribe is devoured when food is scarce)
- Death Scavengers (nomads feeding from human corpses they find or those stealed from zombies)
- Skunk Soldiers (wearing gas masks and capable of lethal gas farting affecting all, including themselves)
- Elegant Mutants (la creme de la creme and the most chic, usually the leaders of various mutant tribes and skilled to misled unwary humans to make them their supper)
- Sewer Rats (they live in basements and abandoned subways feeding from rodents and other small animals)
- Remora Gang (they don't work and steal from other gangs)
- Niche Plunderers (pilferers specialized in tomb theft)
- Holydays' Shinobis (shoddy ninjas)
- Sham Mutants (they pose as mutant tribes to scare their rivals)
Zombies (it's not very common to see them organized in groups although there had been some cases):
- Zombies Shepherds (near intelligent zombies with not so intelligent zombie herds to use for their own goals)
- Human Impersonators (pose as humans, so they are very dangerous for them)
And finally there are rumours about the existence of two misterious groups of which little is known: the Infrabeings (very dangerous beings mutated beyond what is considered possible living in cities's underground) and the Elite (humans with very advanced technology with unknown plans and objectives who may be related with virus T26M creators).
Muzómbico, Mutantes vs Zombis it's a game to be taken as a joke and a parody of the zombies and apocalyptical catastrophes genres in which referees and players who do not mind laughing at themselves can have a good time if they like humour and silly situations.
Its game system is easy and allows players and referees to create new contents or add them like a bestiary or rules for using vehicles (which the game doesn't have), and regarding this I recommend to take a look at Atomic Highway, Irradiated Freaks, The Metamorphica (Classic Edition), Ruinations, Death Race: Fury Road, Apes Victorious or Mutant Future as inspiration sources.
This entry it's also available in the following languages: