Deadtime Stories aims to recreate the horror story feeling of the classic zombie movie. This means that all of you will die, confused and alone, betrayed by those you thought were your allies. That is ok, in fact having a good fun death is kind of the point, you’re not playing to be a hero, you’re playing to be scared and to die, then get back up again and eat some people.


Deadtime Stories has three types of refs: A Player Ref, a Zombie Ref and a Master Ref. Despite the titles, any ref at any time can give you instructions, warnings, etc. listen and obey them all.

As a player, there will be a Player Ref keeping an eye on you, asking you to slow down if you run to fast or not thrust with a melee weapon, or issuing warnings if you continue to muck around. They will also open doors for you if you have a key card, serve as witness that certain puzzles were solved, etc. They are there to keep an eye on you and make sure you have a horrifying time.

And do remember, if a ref isn’t there for some reason, be sensible and play by the rules. No one wants to play with a cheat, and should you do that you’ll soon find yourself receiving a strike.




Humans have three health levels, and each time a character takes damage – they’re shot or struck with a melee weapon or a zombie touches them – they lose a health level. In Deadtime Stories you roleplay the damage you take, the impact of health levels on your ability to move is outlined below in Table 1.


Table 1

Hit Points Issues Role Playing Suggestions


No problems at all Your character can act as they please – Jog,  jump, shoot, hit things with axes, and so on.


You’ve taken a light wound Perhaps you can’t shoot or swing with one arm, perhaps you’re limping, and perhaps you’re just complaining about it loudly and attracting the undead.


You’ve lost a lot of blood and takes some serious injuries Perhaps you can barely walk, perhaps you can’t see properly; perhaps you’re incoherently rambling and attracting the undead.


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 as normal.


You’re dead You are infected and will reanimate a dramatically appropriate time after your death.Note: minimum time before reanimation should be a count of 30 seconds. But may be as long as you feel to be suitably dramatic 



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 kick the bucket cradled in the arms of your weeping lover, or while your best mate is carrying you to safety, feel free.



Deadtime Stories is played in a low light environment with obstacles in your way. As such, at no time should players be moving faster than a jog. And you should only go that fast if you have three hit points. Table 1 outlines the relationship between hit points and movement speed.

Table 2

Hit Points Maximum Movement Speed 




Slow jog / power walk 




None (without assistance) 

Movement restrictions help recreate the desperate feeling of being attacked by an unrelenting horde of the undead (or living impaired), when you start out everything is great, besides the undead thing, but as the game progresses you tire out and are injured. Eventually you cannot out run the undead, only try to shoot them and stay out of arms reach. Shortly after that you join them.



Med-strips allow players with the Medic class to heal themselves and each other. Only Medics may use med-strips. The Gentec Med strips may be found in different locations within the game, Medics also start with 3 as part of their player class.

To heal a player, the Medic peels the backing off the med strip and slaps the med strip on their arm or back – this immediately restoring 3 hp which for most players 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.

Med-strips can never be used to increase a player past their starting hp level. This includes extra levels granted by classes and armour.


Extra health levels

Some characters have extra health levels thanks to their archetype, equipment or scenario special rules. You don’t have to roleplay losing these – they’re effectively free.


How to die well

The average lifespan for a human character in Deadtime Stories is measured in minutes, not hours. It’s best that we tell you this straight-up: your character will almost certainly die. We estimate that the total human character survival rate across all our events to date has been about ten percent – and when players do survive, luck usually plays a part in it.

The constant presence of imminent death keeps the adrenalin levels high. Knowing that your next bullet could be the last you ever get the chance to fire is what keeps the game fast-paced and frightening. If you go down in combat, you have to hope that your friends like you enough to wade through the zombies and drag you to safety. And if you’re the last one alive, or you’re lost in the dark, alone, your life depends on whether or not your gun jams. Our simple rules and realistic combat system (“fire your NERF gun or swing your axe – if you’ve hit, you’ve hit!”) means that combat happens terrifyingly fast. Jump the wrong way at the wrong moment, or abandon the barricaded door too soon, and you’re doomed.

Your chance to be a human character might be over in minutes – but our veteran players agree that one minute spent inside the simulation feels like an hour of normal life. Time speeds up in this game – or slows down, depending on how you look at it. We guarantee that these events – however brief – will be etched onto your memory for years to come.

Your character’s death is often your best chance to write yourself into the many legends and myths of Deadtime Stories. If you talk to seasoned players, they will all have a story about a time that they died. Most will have several. Ask a player about their favorite memory of the game, and it’s almost invariably a good death – sometimes even someone else’s.

When you come to Deadtime Stories, do your best to survive – run, kill, and do everything you can to stay alive – but when the end comes, die the most exciting, heroic, tragic, dramatic or melodramatic way that you can think of, because a good death is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.


Bringing your own weapons

Bringing your own weapons rocks! The weapons you use at a Deadtime Stories event will depend on your teammates, your mission, your character class, and the weapons in the game’s arsenal. We encourage you to bring along your own weapons for the class that you would like to play. We have the blue elite darts with orange tips for players to use. And as we provide all the ammo you won’t risk losing your own.

However, if you’ve modified the mechanism of any of your weapons, we’ll have to test those weapons for safety. We do this by firing each gun at one of the refs and then at the player who has brought the gun along. If a shot from a gun hurts at close range, we won’t let anyone use that gun in the game.

You must also make sure that if you have painted your nerf gun it can’t be mistaken as a real weapon. Under Victorian law your toy weapon can’t be mistaken for a real weapon, keeping the brightly-colored orange flash on the end of the barrel will help but if you are going to paint your gun make sure it’s not all black or all silver. Yes, it’s picky of us, but the game loses its appeal if we’re raided by genuine armed police half-way through, and we reckon it’s better to be safe than arrested.

The same goes for melee weapons. We’re particularly delighted when players bring modern-era Larp Safe melee weapons that enhance the visual element of the game. However, if your melee weapon has a wooden handle, a hard grip, or any other very solid components, we may have to exclude it. We will also usually say no to melee weapons which are less than 20cm in length, because it’s too easy to accidentally punch someone in the face while wielding such a weapon.

In all circumstances, the refs will decide whether a weapon is safe for the purposes for which we expect players will use it. Because Deadtime Stories is a fast, intense game that runs on real-life adrenalin, players can get a little over-enthusiastic. Many of our players are not seasoned LARP combatants and in the heat of battle they may forget to pull their blows, so we have to be very careful about what weapons we allow. Our motto is better safe than sorry.