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The Walking Dead roleplaying game on the way from Alien RPG and Tales from the Loop studio

Shambling onto Kickstarter next spring.

The Walking Dead is getting a tabletop RPG next year from the studio behind the Alien, Blade Runner and Tales from the Loop roleplaying games.

The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Game, as the name suggests, will be set in the post-apocalyptic, zombie-filled world of Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s comic book, which was later adapted into a long-running TV show spanning 11 seasons. The final season of The Walking Dead will bring the television series to an end later this month, following the conclusion of the comics in 2019.

The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Game - which truly rolls off the tongue like a mouthful of brains - will be more closely based on the television series than the original comics, with network AMC partnering with tabletop publisher Free League on the upcoming RPG.

The publisher will put a “new spin” on its Year Zero system - seen in games including Mutant Year Zero, Tales from the Loop and Alien: The RPG - in the Walking Dead RPG to test not only characters’ physical abilities but their psychological mettle, too.

Heading up development on the game are Alien and Blade Runner designer Tomas Härenstam and Nils Karlén, co-writer on Alien, Tales from the Loop and more. Nils Hintze, lead writer for Tales from the Loop and folk-horror RPG Vaesen, will once again lead writing on the new RPG.

The announcement trailer for The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Game

The RPG will have a number of survival and base-building aspects in its gameplay, with players able to construct and fortify strongholds in what remains of the world, scavenge for resources and scrape out a living amongst the undead. The game’s creators insist that human drama between characters and endurance will be as viable ways to play as bashing in zombie heads - with players free to choose which parts they lean into.

“The place you call home should become a rich, three-dimensional character with its own origins, attributes and memories,” said Hintze.

The RPG will draw directly from the Walking Dead TV show and its numerous spin-offs, such as Fear the Walking Dead, as well as introducing “new story elements”. Familiar characters and places seen in the Walking Dead series will make an appearance in the tabletop game, with players able to choose where and when in the universe’s post-apocalyptic timeline they jump into their campaign.

The Walking Dead Universe Roleplaying Game will hit Kickstarter next spring, granting backers early access to the RPG, ahead of a retail release in autumn 2023. The game’s initial release will include a core rulebook and starter set, along with the extra gubbins you’d expect like accessories and “limited-run exclusives”.

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.