undead president, an adventure from the knife-shaped sphere, troika exclusive

A one-shot where you play as a group of friends that just so happen to be inside a mall when the zombie apocalypse starts (using the 1978 dawn of the dead board game).

I wanted to get this out in time for Halloween. 

For a real spook this Halloween season, try being generous to a complete stranger or asking someone questions about themselves without using those questions as a gateway to answering them yourself, and/or lastly, being open at all times to be hurt.

This year my Halloween costume is my room via 'wearing' my room during Halloween. 

Now to the adventure...

What triggered the zombie apocalypse?

Brain parasites are unknowingly present in the Nation's number 1 corn producer.

The Mall: 

In the top left corner of the map is a key (click the image to view it larger). There's an icon for "character placement symbol." Start the party in "Theatre II." They've been excited to see whatever new Werner Herzog film TORTLES. It's nearing the end of the documentary and this guy sitting in front of the party starts being a real asshole. Like stands up and blocks their view. This asshole jumps out of their seat so violently their Bepsi and popcorn (you know from the nation's number 1 producer of corn) flies back and hits the players. How you reveal this first zombie to the party is up to you. It could be so dark in the theatre they just think they're about to get into a fight with some asshole who groans and it's not revealed until later what they really are.

Looking back at the map key again, the "Zombie Placement Symbol" provides locations to encounter zombies (stats below). The map has all of the store names so it should be easy to run from here.

The Goal:

It's obvious. To leave the mall safely with your friends. 

Further Complications:

There's a rival party in the mall that are unwilling to help any other survivors. The party will inevitably encounter them.

During the initial mayhem, the mall will be put on lockdown with those metal grates that roll down and block all the exits.

Consider giving the party some friends who aren't Werner Herzog or documentary film fans to rescue in a different area of the mall that were window shopping.

There are ~250 people and ~50 zombies in the mall at the start of the game, and a pet store. 

There no cops in The Knife-Shaped Sphere. 


Let's use more of the original board game material. 

Use this sheet to keep track of the zombies as the players kill them. Use the numbers next to the zombies as their Skill and double it to find a zombie's Stamina. All zombies inflict damage as Small Beasts. Use grappling rules when encountering groups of zombies. Use the number next to the zombie tokens as their Skill and Stamina scores (for example: Skill 3, Stamina 3, Initiative 1, Armor 0).

Remember the rival party I mentioned above. Use the pink area of the sheet below for their stats and equipped weapons. Use the first number as their Skill, the second as their Initiative, and the third as their Stamina. For example, Peter has Skill 5, Initiative 1, and Stamina 20. Rifles deal damage as firebolts and pistols cause pistolet damage. 

Rival party:
Skill 5, Stamina 20, Initiative 1, Armor 0

Roger Skill 5, Stamina 20, Initiative 2, Armor 0

Skill 3, Stamina 16, Initiative 2, Armor0

Skill 2, Stamina 16, Initiative3, Armor 0

Consider this:

Zombies only die if their brains are destroyed. Zombies don't have to be slow in your game. Zombies have a hoard mentality. 

Each time the party listens to the radio or watches tv (a timeline):

1. A reporter says: "There is a zombie invasion. Zombies are all over the city and are attacking living humans. Be very cautious of them."

2. Congressman's message: "Do not worry citizens. The zombies will be killed and you will be able to return to your way of life. We must stay alert. I've heard that some have thought it a good idea to try to make friends with the undead. It will not work, no matter how you talk to them about pacifism, they will bite you. Do not fuck with zombies! Thank you, your congressman."

3. A Market Professional: "Things will be better after the undead invasion because a lot of the undead had jobs. Jobs will open up with healthcare. Don't fret. This will have a happy ending after all."

4. A reporter says: "The undead have destroyed much of the city. The president has said, "there is no need to worry." 

5. "This is the leader of the undead. The undead now rule over The Knife-Shape Sphere. We are the leaders of this great land. We have been voted in through a fair election. There were no human candidates. To the living people of The Knife-Shaped Sphere: my army of the undead is going to find you. We are going to make you undead. We are going to fuck up your shit. We are watching you right now. We have your phones tapped. We have cameras on every street. In every store. Everywhere, watching your detestable living human bodies. The time is nigh you mother fuckers, soon you will be undead. You have a choice, if you join us freely and come out of your hiding places we will gently bite you. If you decide to remain hidden, we will bite your faces off, rip your jaws out and stick dynamite up your asses. We own everything now. The radio will only play christian punk. There will be only one store in every town, called undead mart, which I own personally. It will supply all of your undead needs like alarm clocks, dishwashers, and above-ground pools. Thank you, your president."


1. Bar & Restaurant
2. Art Gallery
3. Audio Center
4. Cobbler Shoes
5. Jewelry Store
6. Record Loft
7. Expectation Maternity
8. Sewing Center
9. Theater 
10. Collector's Corner
11. Bathroom
12. Optics Clinic
13. Bath Fads
14. Brane Lyrant (designer)
15. Special Gifts
16. Eco Bank
17. Games for All
18. Superlative Sportswear
19. Goalile Deli
20. Flavores Ice Cream
21. Tony's Pizza
22. Card Corner
23. All Aboard Travel
24. Nickle's Department Store
25. Interior Concepts
26. Clam House
27. Flo's (hair salon)
28. Cheese City
29. Offices
30. Miscellany
31. The Youthful Idea
32. Doggies Galore
33. Costly Drugs
34. Radio Shanty
35. Murth Brothers (tools)
36. Camera Store
37. Family Book Nook
38. Sports Center
39. Bea's Bakery
40. Bobs Barker Shop
41. Uniforms Inc
42. Arcade

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)


All zombie movies have these scenes so here are some ideas to include in running Undead President.

1. Someone must kill him or herself

2. At least one scene where ~5 zombies are eating one human. There is a bird's-eye-view shot of the person screaming.

3. There must be a scene where at least two of the living are peeking over something, and one of the living does the 'be quiet' gesture with their index finger.

4. There needs to be one stubborn character, always a white male protestant. In some movies, a white male protestant creates the zombies.

5. Horror movies must have man-ass now. Since 28 days later, man-ass has appeared a lot in horror movies.

6. Low-budget horror movies are generally ~80 minutes long. 80 minute long gaming sessions are still fun (probably more fun than playing for ~3 hours in some cases).

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)


rusty springs, an adventure from the knife-shaped sphere, troika exclusive

(drawing by Tony Jaguar)

The earth is .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent of the universe

The time one human life exists is .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent of the time that the universe has existed

What does this mean?

Even .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 is not the same as 0

You are either constantly trying to do more or you must admit you are not 'serious' about what you are doing

Doing a little is more than doing nothing

What am I trying to say right now?

I don't know, 

These are things I try to consider in my writing 

I am being 'off-topic'

The following is an unreleased adventure I wrote a while back that I’ve decided against publishing (outside of this blog post). I feel I’ve improved since writing this adventure and I have more 'interesting projects' I’d rather focus on releasing.

I don't consider a draft 'done' until I drive it 'miles' away and drop it off in the middle of the 'woods', to see if it will be able to make it back home.

(the park is loosely based on oak mountain state park)


The presence of the possum girl has negatively affected the tree’s immense happiness. All the beautiful leaves are gone but there’s always a song; cicadas in the summer, hooting owls in the fall, and coyotes howling in the dead of winter.

Start the party with an extra player, you can play them. The thing is they will get abducted shortly after the start of the game and disappear. Rule number 3 of surviving a horror movie is to never, ever, ever, under any circumstances say, 'I'll be right back'. You won't be back. Trail cameras are installed in the trees throughout the park. Their wires have been hastily buried in the ground and provide a live feed to the bunker. If anyone tampers with the trail cameras they are rigged to blow up (damage as firebolt).


1. You don't have service outside of your campsite or the parking lot. 2. Fuck the police, there are no police in the knife-shaped sphere. 3. You can say the party is meeting up after their first year since graduating college or celebrating the anniversary of a major event they all shared.

Bad guys & gals

Harmony AKA Possum Girl All she ever wanted to be was a hairdresser. Possum humanoid found in the park as a child and raised by the rangers. (Skill 9, Stamina 16, Initiative 3, Armor 0, Damage as weapon or modest beast) Possessions: BIG Shears (damage as maul +1) High Powered Binoculars Advanced Skills: (roll under Harmony's skill from above) Evanescence - the act of vanishing quickly Possum shit - climbing, resistance to toxins and diseases, hanging from your tail, it's a catch-all for whatever makes sense possums can do 'well' Special: If Harmony reaches 0 stamina she will respawn 1d3 rounds later with her skill and stamina halved (they always come back). Mien: 1] Bringing the doom. 2] Hungry and hateful.
3] Making sub-animalistic noises and sounds. 

Park Rangers There are 3 rangers in the park. They're all in cahoots with Harmony. They will try to separate the party. (Skill 5, Stamina 7, Initiative 2, Armor 1, Damage as weapon) They drive around on a shared Troikasawki (see below). Possessions: Walkie Talkie Handcuffs Pistol Pepper Spray Baton Mien: 1] Nodding out a bit. 2] Cruel. 3] Overly friendly. Troikasawki Seats 4 comfortably, has a 'make friends with your local squirrel' bumper sticker, and a maximum speed of 28 mph. (Skill as driver +1, Stamina 10, Initiative 1, Armor 3, Damage as modest beast)

Bear (I recommend this book)
Likes honey. Isn't from Darkest, Peru. (Skill 8, Stamina 12, Initiative 2, Armor 1, Damage as large beast)

Mien: 1] Threatening 2] Sarcastic 3] Crushing plants

Alligator A large pokey-toothed guy. (Skill 7, Stamina 9, Initiative 2, Armor 2, Damage as modest beast)

Mien: 1] Starving 2] Hidden 3] Blankly staring back

2d6 Encounters (roll the same encounter twice and Harmony appears)

2. Trash bag full of erotic magazines. One of them is a comic book about a strong and slippery robot. 3. Recently burnt king-size mattress. 4. An old pistol loaded with 1d6 bullets halfway buried just a little ways off the path. 5. An old tree covered with initials and hearts with dates to the early 1900s. Also carved into the tree is the phrase 'FUNNY + SAD + STRANGE = NO HOPE'. 6. A guy yelling at trees. Seems to be acting out a play. Will run away if interacted with. 7. Bear trap is hidden under foliage (damage as maul). 8. A lonely boomerang (damage as club) that has 'you'd better come back' painted on it. 9. A woman taking pictures of her per tortoise in different places. Will warn the party about a bear and then leave the park. 10. A rusty shopping cart with many types of potato chips, they're all past their expiration date. 11. A bear taking a shit. Don't make eye contact. 12. Mushrooms!!! (I'm not talking about that porcini shit, I'm talking about that Houdini shit)


Test luck then roll on the appropriate table for effect. All effects last 1d6 rounds.

Shrooms Go Good (success)

1. Walk on water 2. Night vision 3. Spider climb 4. Sprout a cool second head 5. Glow in the dark 6. Double in size (like Mario)

Shrooms Go Bad (failure)

1. Diarrhea 2. Blind 3. Paralyzed 4. Sprout a mean second head 5. Turns you into a mushroom 6. Lose 1d6 stamina

2d6 Locations

2. Parking Lot - There’s an info board with a map of the park and an empty brochure rack.

3. Bridge - Made out of wood. It’s only wide enough to walk across. It stretches out over a deep ravine.

4. Campsite - The players hiked in carrying all the equipment to the site. There's no electricity but there’s a water spigot. 

5. Dock - 'Beware alligators' sign. Frogs croak loudly unless Harmony is nearby. Many mosquitos. The lake reeks of sickness.

6. Ranger Cabin - There’s a stereo system along with a collection of records (goodby yellow brick road is on the platter of the record player). A book on herbalism next to a bottle of Bim Jeam. Only one of the four light switches works. Plaid wool blankets have been nailed over the windows. There’s a microwave and a copy machine. If anyone uses them both at the same time a fire will start. There’s one park brochure in the tray of the copy machine. Next to the microwave is a box full of popcorn and ramen noodle cups. Outside is a shed full of water bottles.

7. Bathrooms / Showers - The lights don't work. Filthy as hell.

8. Playground - There’s a tire swing. The slide is metal and anyone paying close attention to it will notice steam rising (damage as maul if anyone goes down the slide, when in doubt everything is always damage as maul). 

9. A manhole -  Leads to the bunker.

10. A herd path -  On the side of the trail going up a steep slope that leads to a large grotto in the face of a rock. Several chairs, a table, and a cabinet full of notebooks full of poetry (give any players that write a poem irl 1d3 [permanent] luck).

11. Bunker - Has: an entire toilet, a broken television, a broken mini fridge, a moldy fuzzy pink small pet bed, a tangle of wires and cords, several broken chairs, a mud-caked shovel, a rusted rake, a few broken lamps, a few spades, hand axes, and pile of dirty rotted clothes, an open cage with a mattress inside, barrels containing many types of non-perishable foods, canned tuna, canned stews, MRE's, Reese’s peanut butter cups. A big plastic fish tank with luna moth eggs and caterpillars. Across the tank on a wooden table rests a very delicate large sewn collage of silky lime green moth wings. This is where their friend is found. Bound in premium Saran Wrap in a cage like an old-fashioned mermaid wearing a tiara made of shotgun shells and tinsel. The trail cameras provide a 24/7 surveillance feed to an old CRT television.

12. Sightseeing Tower - A latter leads 100’ up to an observation tower

Trail Descriptions: Although trails are clearly marked you should always have a map 

1. A rugged dirt path. This area is very dry, be careful to avoid starting a forest fire. It's the oldest route in the park. Along this nature trail, you’ll find signs that share information about the plants, and animals native to the park.

2. A quite easy graveled path. Among a slight clearing in the trees is an old artillery weapon. 

3. This trail leads you far into the quiet spruce forest. Halfway in a few small stream crossings are found which lead to the lake. There are wading cables at each stream to assist hikers when crossing. Many forest flowers and berries grow here.

4. A long touring route with plenty of height differences and landscapes ranging from open fells to spectacular old pine forests. A few wood shelters and several lean-tos are found slightly off the trail. This trail gradually climbs up to the slope of MAKE OUT PEAK.

5. This trail is stony and the roots make it challenging. There are ascents and descents along this route and hikers should be in considerably good shape. It leads to a sightseeing tower with a magnificent view. 

6. This trail that provides many great views along the lake is partially made of boardwalks and duckboards of aged to weak condition. It’s poorly visible in bad weather conditions and the dark. 

d6 Environmental Atmosphere

1. A thick lingering misty fog like a conscious dream hindering vision.

2. An uninvited rainstorm beats down like drums on the leaves.

3. Cold strong wind that stings the tears in the corners of your eyes

4. Buttery tones of periwinkle clouds circling the trees.

5. The sky turns red.

6. Everything is laced with pollen.

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)


i review 'liminal high school' and interview the author evlyn moreau

I bought this new zine from Evlyn Moreau (I recommend following or subscribing to her patreon, she posts free use art in high frequency) called Liminal High SchoolAccording to the author, it's as if The Breakfast Club took place in Silent Hill.

I read and then reread this zine while lying in different positions on my bed and then sent the link to purchase it to ~6 friends.

I feel that would make a good blurb. 

I will write more blurbs for it now.

'I felt myself strongly relating to the character I created.'

'I absolutely love this release. It's simple but has depth like homemade vegan lasagna.'

'It's very well executed in a sweet way that makes me think of the creator a lot.'

'While reading this zine I felt calm and detached from reality almost like a robot that has reprogrammed itself with what it wants and can effortlessly and automatically do whatever it wants with complete control over all impulses.'

The zine provides tables and alternate rules for creating Liminal Horror (a modern horror hack of Cairn [a hack of Into the Odd and Knave]) characters in high school that feel genuine but aren't simple caricatures or anything like that.

Let me partially introduce you to the first character I rolled up. (the bold text being the generating tables)

Student Archetype: You are the... Bookworm (bury yourself in a book)

What's cool about this table is that characters can recover d6 HP when they do the activity listed in parentheses. 

Reputation: You are known for... A flaw (often something that adults disapprove of)

I'm going to say it's vandalization, or just being destructive in general.

How are your grades: You are barely keeping up but you are doing ok.

Personal Connections: Significant person... Ghost of your best friend. Contact... a teacher.

The ghost of your best friend is already a great hook for starting an adventure and I'm not even finished with character creation. 

When you confide in your significant person you recover d6 HP. Contacts generally trust your character and you are instructed to give them an area of expertise

There are NPC portraits on this page.

Cell Phone: Last year's model but with a badly cracked screen.

Here the zine has an optional rule to use cell phones as a way to reduce a player's stress or inflict additional stress. I really like this but you'll have to get the zine and see it for yourself. 

Players then get 2 rolls to 'spend' on 4 different tables for starting gear. 

The last bit of character creation is to roll on the 'what bounded you all together' and 'personal bonds between students'. 

There is a subtle artistic social commentary throughout this release that surprised me. There are layers to the text like homemade vegan lasagna. This is good. These I will leave for you to find for yourself. 

Liminal High School is something I would like to play and write adventures and content for. I hope to see others releases made specifically for it soon. 

It's a submission from The Tales of the Void: Liminal Horror Jam going on right now at itch. 

An interview with the author

When do you enjoy making art the most?

When I go drawing at the coffee shop, early in the morning or late at night. I like when there are a few people around and a quiet vibe, it helps me focus.

What are your favorite materials you use to make art, and any other material you would be interested in learning?

I simply draw on normal sheets of paper with a pen or pencil. My favorite pens right now are Uni Pin. Oh, I would love to get better with watercolors but I rarely give myself occasions to practice.

What's the coolest thing you've ever drawn and why?

For now, I would say that my favorite work is still what I drew for 'Where the Wheat Grow Tall'.

What do you do on the internet if you're bored?

I often watch videos about astronomy or space exploration. But when I get bored I often try to do off-screen activities like painting minis, crafts or going on a walk.

If you could leave yourself a present in the future what would it be?

An immortal pet that I can sneak in my handbag and who communicates with me telepathically. Well, I guess that I am describing a familiar. 

(if you'd like to support this website there are links on the right to purchase my zines)


Evlyn tweeted that she is planning to add the following to Liminal High School to make it a ~20 page physical release:
-student character sheet
-stress fallouts table for teens
-weird teachers and weird students table
-optional character advancement focusing on the student's life (grades, relations, etc)
-a short adventure

This entry from the Tales from the Void Jam called Mary's Stall would pair nicely with Liminal High School. It's about a haunted bathroom stall. 

This is a photo of my favorite teacher from high school. I plan to use them as an NPC in my first session of Liminal High School.

Here is a recipe for a vegan lasagna from the singer of the Cro-Mags that my friend said was 'good'.


do you have cellular devices in your games? (a d100 table for generating npc contacts)

手機 (shǒujī) means cellphone/smartphone & translates to 'hand machine'

電話 (diànhuà) means phone & translates to 'electric words'

in Taiwan they use the term ​低头族 ('face-down' '["group" or "generation"]') in reference to people who are always looking down at their phones in public.

i recommend not having your phone with you.

i recommend breaking your phone.

i recommend not having a phone or a future.

one can do things one does on a computer.

probably one of the only times i've felt like a genius was when i texted 'fuck you, dumbass' from my mom's phone to my younger bother's phone.

i have a daily urge to dispose my phone.

i've been having mild visions of me or other people cutting down cell phone towers with chainsaws.

in 2002 a French study on negative effects of living within 300 meters of a cell phone tower included sleep disturbance, discomfort, depression, and headaches.

microwaves from smartphones open the blood-brain barrier. if you feel depressed, confused, and/or unstable, try putting your phone on airplane mode, unplugging your wireless technology, and spending more time in low EMF areas, like a forest.

(this blog is impervious to criticism)

here's a d100 table to generate npc

contacts for your players' cellular devices.

1. work 2-9. an ex 10. your boss 11. your roommate 12-16. coworkers 17. your best friend 18-20. your parents 21. a friend of a friend 22. a Chinese restaurant 23. your friend's brother 24-27. people you have kissed 28. a good person and you feel sad now 29. your best friend in fourth grade 30. you still have a crush on this one 31-34. people you went to school with 35-36. people that are just nice and you like 37. an online friend that gave you their number 38. someone you might go to a movie with as friends 39. you don't know why their number is in your phone 40. they lent you the first season of x-files on dvd 41. this one makes you so sad when you see their name 42. a really good person you used to work with 43. someone who told you that you don't know much about life 44. someone you'd like to see sometimes but wouldn't confide in 45. they aren't in the same city as you and that makes you feel sad 46. someone you've never called and can't imagine that you will 47. someone who said they love you, and does, and you feel sad about that 48. this person is under a different name than you thought it would be 49. someone you like and who likes you and hopefully becomes your friend 50. someone you told you're in love with, is really nice, and attractive 51. you wrote weird things about them on the bathroom wall in high school 52. someone you don't really know and whose number you can delete 53. someone you talk so much shit about and don't know what's going to happen 54-55. people that seem to like you but you really want them to like you a lot 56. a friend of a friend, sort of, you could delete their number from your phone 57. someone you don't know, they are cool though, you have seen them three times 58. a crush you had but now you really just want to be not-very-close-friends with 59. they came over to your parent's house and played scrabble, now you feel sad 60. someone you made out with once while you were both drunk, and would make out with again, you think 61. a person you really liked when you first met and don't like very much now, but it's ok 62. when you're seen with this person you feel embarrassed and stupidly proud at the same time 63. only a first name but you feel distanced enough from them that you think a last name is due 64. someone you used to be friends with, and saw recently, but you're not sure how you feel about them 65. you have to delete this number! though they texted you on new years, and everybody else too probably 66. someone you thought was in love with you, and that made you sad, but you don't think they are anymore, maybe 67-70. people you used to live with in a big stupid house a couple blocks away from where you live now 71. this person got arrested for 'car-shopping' you think they called it, when they steal shit out of parked cars 72. someone who left town for a month or two, you saw them a couple days ago and you were really happy to see them 73. one you met once, and then again a few months later, but you felt tired and nervous about other things both times 74. someone who didn't hangout with you recently because they had already made plans, but you feel like it was an insult anyway 75. someone who said they had a huge crush on you, but someone told you they are a liar, but you would never go out with this person 76. someone you told once that you were just going to stay friends with because you were going to see a band together and you didn't want that to be awkward 77. they haven't answered your calls for months and years, but do now, and whenever you see them you tell them how glad you are that you're friends and they say 'yeah' 78. you think you wrote poems about having a crush on them over a year ago and you feel totally distanced from feeling that way, but when you see them you feel good and okay, you have fun when you see them and feel like they're your peer, you feel depressed and numb sort of right now 79-100. a drug dealer


all phones do 1 'damage'

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right where you can purchase my zines)