In most of our games, humans have three health levels, and each time a character takes damage – they’re shot, stabbed, or beaten, or a zombie touches them – they lose a health level. In some games you may have fewer or more starting health levels, and in most games it’s possible to obtain armour which gives you an extra level.
Three health or more: No problems at all. Your character can act as they please – run, jump, shoot, hit things with axes, and so on.
Two health: You’ve taken a light wound – roleplay the injury. Perhaps you can’t shoot or swing with one arm, perhaps you’re limping, perhaps you’re just complaining about it loudly and attracting the undead.
One health: You’ve lost a lot of blood and taken some serious injuries. Again, roleplay the injury – perhaps you can barely walk, perhaps you can’t see properly, perhaps you’re incoherently rambling and attracting the undead.
Zero health: You’re barely conscious, and cannot stand unaided. You may not move without the help of teammates, who may carry you by placing one arm around your shoulder. If they let go of you, drop to the floor. You may use class abilities (i.e. Medic) as normal.
Once you have hit zero health, you are dying. You will die if you take any more damage, or whenever you feel it is dramatically appropriate. If you want to bite the bucket cradled in the arms of your weeping lover, or while your best mate is carrying you to safety, feel free.
Dead: You’re dead – and you are infected and will reanimate a dramatically appropriate time after your death (possibly while your friends are still nearby enough to be severely inconvenienced).
Med-strips allow players to heal themselves and each other. They’re usually represented by strips of coloured tape or stickers, and if we include character classes in the event, Medics will start with several.
To heal a player, the medic slaps the tape on their arm or back – this immediately brings them back to full health. Think of it like an adrenaline shot – it doesn’t really heal you, just means you can keep running. Medics can heal themselves the same way, and can ask for assistance if they wish.
Extra health levels
Some characters have extra health levels thanks to their class, equipment or scenario special rules. You don’t have to roleplay losing these – they’re effectively free.