Red Markets is a tabletop RPG about economic horror.
In Red Markets, characters risk their lives trading between the massive quarantine zones containing a zombie outbreak and the remains of civilization. They are Takers: mercenary entrepreneurs unwilling to accept their abandonment, seeking to profit from mankind’s near-extinction before it claims them. They must hustle, scheme, and scam as hard as they fight if they hope to survive the competing factions and undead hordes the GM throws at them.
Takers that are quick, clever, or brutal enough might live to see retirement in a safe zone, but many discover too late that the cycle of poverty proves harder to escape than the hordes of undead.
Red Markets uses the traditional zombie genre to tell a story about surviving on the wrong end of the economy. It’s cut-throat capitalism with its knife on your neck.
The game runs off Profit, a mechanics system designed to allow players to customize their experience to taste. Red Markets can be played as a pure story game, a tactical combat challenge, or any combination in-between. Other features of the game’s setting and system include…
- Unique Theme: The threat of monsters is nothing compared to the weight of economy. Supernatural threats join the horror of trying to escape poverty to make a powerful, relatable storytelling experience.
- Strategic Social Combat: Profit’s Negotiation mechanics put as much weight on skillful roleplaying and social engineering as traditional RPG combat.
- Player-generated Setting and Scenarios: Make your own survivor enclave, simulate the fluctuations of its economy, and design opportunities for your characters to exploit.
- Near-future Technology: No luddites allowed in this apocalypse: use drones, prosthetic limbs, and 3D printed guns to hold back the undead hordes!
- Modular Scenario Design: Sessions and campaigns can be as long or as short as you want them to be, focusing on interpersonal roleplay, tactical combat, or some mixture of the two.
- Scalable Difficulty: Rules variants allow the GM to plan for care-free zombie slaying romps or grim, rogue-like character meatgrinders.
Those that want to know more can find full AP recordings of the game and development diaries found on Role-Playing Public Radio. Listen to the entire history of the game’s development on the RPPR Game Designer’s Workshop podcast, or listen to an entire playtest campaign called “The Brutalists.”
Red Markets is currently live on Kickstarter.