Tackle a zombie apocalypse as a party of disabled characters living in 14th century Europe in the upcoming roleplaying game, Survival of the Able.
Set in 1367 AD during the spread of The Black Death, a plague that killed around 700 million people, Survival of the Able is a horror RPG about a group of disabled people finding ways of overcoming adversity in the face of undead terrors. With the deceased people of the local village seemingly coming back to life as flesh-eating monsters, the player characters will have to fend for themselves.
However, Zombies aren’t the only thing that the player characters will have to contend with during the roleplaying game, as three will also be far more subtle and insidious challenges such as famine, terrible weather and stress to cope with as well. As disabled people, the player characters could experience discrimination from the other townsfolk - as long as the players are comfortable with tackling this topic - but will nevertheless find the strength to keep themselves and others alive. Death doesn’t just mean the end, it also means potentially adding another zombie to the horde, meaning that the players will need to be careful.
Beyond the undead apocalypse setting of Survival of the Able, it is “a game about creating and gaining empathy for those who live with disabilities every day”, with every player stepping into the shoes of someone with a disability or impairment. A wide variety of disabilities and impairments have been included in Survival of the Able, from “vision-based to mobility-based”. A “great effort” has also been made to provide something that is accessible to as many players as possible, with the title featuring black-and-white artwork, vision layers in the digital version to allow readers to remove artwork, alongside options to make the font more accessible.
The gameplay rules for Survival of the Able are based on a combination of the Fudge system - a rules-light roleplaying game that uses word-mechanics for action and combat - and the Fate RPG, mixing elements of fudge dice, trait ladder and fate points together. Player characters do not have specific physical attributes, instead, they have scales on each of the five senses to “illustrate how disability is a spectrum” and how this might affect people’s ability to perform certain actions. Characters will also have skills that they can apply to various situations and qualities to define their personality.
Survival of the Able was created by Jacob Wood, the founder of a company called Accessible Games - a studio that specialises in developing titles that are designed to be more easily played by people with disabilities and to highlight the importance of disability representation - and a writer who has previously contributed to RPGs such as Baby Bestiary and Infestation. Broken Ruler Games, a company founded by Todd Crapper, has assisted in marketing the title and providing production resources.
The Kickstarter campaign for Survival of the Able is currently live until November 2nd, with a pledge of $25 (£19) getting backers a copy of the physical game in August 2022. Alternatively, the digital only version is available for a pledge of $15 (£12).