The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

More Dialogue Over ‘Legend’!

We’ve been having quite a discussion about Zombies and their representation in next-generation tabletop roleplaying game ‘Legend’, and I thought you should all see the latest counter-arguments from the ‘Legend’ publicity department in full. Some interesting, and some objectionable, stuff here:

Hello again, John!

I’m glad to see we have an open and frank dialogue going about the role the Undead fill in Legend. Let me address a few more of your concerns here.

Firstly, with regards to “dark imagery” being pejorative, I would remind you that in 2012, among the fluid-valuing fleshbag community, “dark imagery” is at the forefront of popularity. Films such as The Dark Knight and its upcoming sequel have brought the neverdead around to darkness as a natural state of awesome. I would note that The Dark Knight featured a character eager to assume a corpselike pallor in his role as mass recruiter for zombiekind, one whose popularity led to a prestigious award. Would that his role was an actual zombie, I am certain his would have been the Best Actor award. Said film incidentally included a character far closer to the visual depiction of zombies, who didn’t angst at all about his fairly flesh-lacking state, instead choosing to go forth among the world – in broad daylight, no less – meetng with members of society at the highest levels and working for justice.

As to the term “damned,” I will concur that there was a point in human history during which the word was largely pejorative. However, outreach efforts by the living have resulted in media such as Queen of the Damned, a popular film beautifying the undead and depicting them as a powerful and important culture with its own art. I’ll further note that the lead actress of that film was so moved that she later converted to the unliving.

With regards to the sharing of the undead state of being, I’ll grant that it is labeled “The Blight Spreads.” In the popular game Warcraft III, The Blight was the support structure underpinning the Undead faction’s way of not-life. In this fashion, the “blight” is not some curse; this is undead outreach at its best, with support and pamphlets for the newly-turned. As you yourself noted, the conversion of living or recently dead to undead in Legend makes for a fairly good deal, and is lacking any of the often torturous and insuting “baleful transformation” imagery present in smaller-minded games. In terms of keeping a party together, I’ll note that The Blight Spreads is the earliest fixed ability to reanimate a comrade in any fashion, giving the undead a singular value entirely linked to their heritage and nature.

Dragons are accorded an appropriate status, but you’ll note that this is a group that casts aspersions on its own members. You’re a true undead from the time you turn, with all the appropriate trappings. Dragons, however, exclude five levels of membership before allowing a neophyte to be called a “true” dragon. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to hang with such an exclusivist club. Look at their terminology. “Dignity.” “Great Wyrm.” They sound like one of those Ivy League secret societies. An undead receives No Requiem because it has transcended death. Leaves it some peace and quiet to select a comeback tune. Note too that Undead revive themselves much faster than these so-called “Great” Wyrms do.

Finally, of course, I will point out that sometimes the text just drips with sarcasm. “Heroes” in that context is simply oozing it. Were it not, we could have PC undead seem immune to VILLAINS, given that only heroes are said to be frustrated. This is sarcasm, plain and simple, a harsh barb directed at zombiephobes who consider their deeds and prejudiced fears “heroic.”

I do hope this dialogue has allayed some of the ZRC’s concerns. We’re quite pleased to speak to the zombie-friendly community and are appreciative of your interest in Legend.

Most Zombie Friendly Regards,

Laird Smith
Publicity Director
Rule of Cool Games

I have to wonder if Mr. Smith watched the same ‘The Dark Knight’ I did. The Joker may be assuming a corpse-like pallor, but he’s not recruiting people to be Zombies, he wants violent anarchic terrorists. And Harvey Dent only gets his ‘flesh-lacking state’ from being burnt half to death, and then goes promptly loopy on painkillers and revenge, becoming the villainous Two-Face. It’s true that, in particular, Heath Ledger’s Joker was critically acclaimed, but I don’t think we’re supposed to admire him or hold him up as an example.

The point about The Blight is well-taken, and this could be an attempt to reclaim a pejorative word for the put-upon community, but if so, we should probably attempt to use it in very clearly defined and satirical contexts, assuming one agrees with that method of counteracting negative language; not all do. Far, far too many people actually believe Undeath to be a ‘blight’ and we don’t want to encourage them.

I am completely on-board with this interpretation of Dragons and will say nothing more on that subject; score one for ‘Legend’.

I also think the last paragraph about sarcasm is well-taken, and given these official statements on the matter am also willing to take that into consideration.

As such for the first time the ZRC is re-rating a creative work, and upgrading ‘Legend’ from Anti-Zombie to a tentative ‘Zombie Tolerant’ ranking. Future good behavior could, of course, lead to a coveted ‘Zombie Friendly’ award.

An upgrade!

We appreciate the hard work being done at Rule of Cool during this public development process, and extend a hearty personal thanks to Laird Smith as well for taking the time to speak with us.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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