Zombie LARP: Nightmare

Nightmare poster

Bad dreams, fuseboxes, a keycard and a fireaxe: Nightmare was a Zombie LARP event at Congregation Hall on 24 November 2010.

This was the event with the masked Nightmares whispering horrible things to you. On most runs, the only items which could open the exit doors were a keycard and a very very sharp fire axe.

Event plot

The event was literally meant to be a dream: Bioflex employees and OTF agents had all gone to bed in their own homes and unaccountably woken up inside the burnt-out zombie-haunted remains of the Bioflex Research Complex.

What happened

It was creepy. Boy, was it ever creepy. We had some genuinely fantastic and horrible role-playing from the Nightmares, who blurred the boundary between being generally upsetting in-character and being seriously creeptastic out-of-character too.

In FUSEBOX we experimented with a new prop – glowing fuseboxes, surprisingly – that the players had to dismantle in order to cut the power to the exit doors and get out.

Team COBWEB had to deal with far, far too many Screamer webs littered around the complex. Both their potential objectives, the axe and the keycard, were being held by dormant zombies ready to scream at any moment.

JIGSAW was one of our more playful runs. The Nightmares hid the keycard, put a clue on a jigsaw puzzle, gave one piece to each player, and split the players up around the complex. This worked, frankly, better than we could have hoped – the players completed the jigsaw, got the clue, grabbed the keycard and got out in about 30 seconds flat once they’d all managed to meet up.

Nightmare letter

Invitation sent to players. (Click to see full-size version).

Team LUNATIC had to deal with one man who knew how to get out, but didn’t really feel inclined to tell anyone. Oh, and he would occasionally go try to make friends with the zombies.

Team BUGHUNT asked us nicely, before the game, if they could go in with all their weapons. They had rather a lot of weapons. So we decided to task them with hunting down and destroying three White Knights. It, er, didn’t go as well as they thought it would. Video here.

CARNIVAL was one of the best runs we’ve ever managed to pull off. The Nightmares led the players through the zombie-infested complex to the small hall, where they’d set up a demented zombie ring-toss game. Prizes included the keycard they needed to get out, a screaming medic, and a White Knight. Tom, as a Nightmare, ended up messily executing the medic in front of the players after they failed to win her in the contest.

In TOMBSTONE, a previous survivor had run off with the axe and died somewhere in the building.

During SLEEPER, we tried to set up a pretty complicated puzzle for the players. We had three sleeping humans, who were meant to be the source of sustenance for the Nightmares themselves, and the players could get rid of the Nightmares by killing or waking the humans. Unfortunately, because our players knew us pretty well by this point, they were convinced the sleepers would wake up and become some sort of particularly hideous zombie overlord, so this didn’t quite go to plan.

CHECKMATE was another run where the players had rather a lot of guns to start with. One White Knight had the keycard, another had the axe, and players had to kill one or both in order to get out of the complex.


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