HvZ rules
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Game Rules
(last update: April 22, 2015)
Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of tag of epic proportions. There are two teams, the Human Resistance, and the Zombie Horde. All players begin as Humans, except one who is randomly chosen to be the Original Zombie (Players can opt out of being chosen as the Original Zombie). The Original Zombie tags Human players, turning them into Zombies. The Zombies must "feed" on a Human every 60 hours, by tagging them, or they starve to death and are out of the game. The Humans can defend themselves from the Zombies with various game approved equipment stated below.
New Rules and Rule Changes for this semester
  • No entering/exiting foliage between the hours of 8pm and 7am. This has been established for safety reasons and concerns from the public.
  • No hiding in foliage at any time. However, during daylight hours bushes may be traversed through.
  • Blasters may not have any form of attachable barrel on them. In addition the Centurion is no longer permitted.
  • Upon exiting a doorway, a 10 foot safe zone is established until exited, reentering a building, or when players (in the bubble or not) countdown 10 seconds outloud. Rules for entering doors has not changed. See doorway section for details.
  • OZ timers can be reset after 12 minutes (i.e. 3 minutes until unstun) during full missions ONLY. Their total stun clock is still 15 minutes.
  • New section on doorways.
  • Play zone boundaries have changed slightly from last game to reflect construction projects. See map here.
  • Objectives
    Zombies: win when all Human players have been tagged and turned into Zombies, or by preventing the Humans from completing the final mission.
    Humans: win by surviving long enough for all of the Zombies to starve, or by completing the final mission.
    1. You must be able to spend an adequate amount of time on campus (1-3hrs per day) during the game week.
    2. You must be affiliated with OSU (faculty, student, postdoc, on campus work, etc.) Exceptions to this may be made upon request.
    3. You must be registered on the OSU HVZ website, then add yourself to the upcoming game to play.
    4. You must also agree to the OSU OSUndead Humans vs. Zombies Agreement (when you register on this website).
    5. You MUST attend ONE orientation out of the dates specified on the front page, and if you cannot make one of these dates email us at mods@osundead.com to arrange a separate one (times and locations are posted in the weeks before the game).
    6. You must sign and return the liability waiver at orientation. Note: You will start as deceased if you do not attend an orientation AND return the liability waiver. (Plus, you won't get an armband if you don't.) One-on-one orientations can be done before the start of the game on request by emailing the Mod email at Mods@osundead.com
    Safety Rules
    Rules created for the safety of all players are strictly enforced. Violation of safety rules may result in a removal and ban from the game, even on the first occurrence and without prior warning.
    1. No realistic looking weaponry. All Nerf devices must be inspected by a mod before the game. Approved devices will be marked with a zip-tie as proof they've been inspected. Using a Nerf device that hasn't been inspected will result in removal from the game.
    2. Game devices may not be visible inside of academic buildings or jobs on campus (i.e. Nerf Devices). Make sure they are tucked away entirely, with no handles showing, etc.
    3. Nerf markers must not hurt on impact. (If you're not sure about this, ask a moderator).
    4. Play inside buildings is strictly forbidden. Doing so will result in removal from the game. The exception to this is around doorways.
    5. Common Sense. If something seems excessively dangerous, don't do it.
    6. Stairs are safe for humans only. Zombies can be stunned on stairs, humans can not be tagged as long as they have at least one foot on the stairs. To count as stairs, there must be three vertical faces.
    7. Doorways:
      1. Doorways function as the boundary between play areas and no play zones. Players must exercise caution around doorways. If the doorway is crowded with people, wait for them to move out of the way.
      2. A human is safe if they have at least one foot within the doorway
      3. A human is safe if, as they are entering the building, they have one hand on the door handle
      4. If the door is locked, then you are only safe if you are able to open the door
      5. Zombies are never safe in doorways
      6. When a human exits a door, they are safe until they move more than ten feet away from the door. Any zombie nearby can remove the safety bubble by audibly counting out ten seconds. Once the zombie reaches zero, the human is no longer safe, and should probably run away or return to the building.
      7. The purpose of the bubble is to reduce clogs around doors. Please use the safety to stand away from foot traffic and avoid blocking exits.
    8. Vehicles: Players on/in vehicles are outside of the game. They cannot be attacked, and cannot attack. Players on roller blades are always safe because a push will cause them to move. (Please don't ride bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades at missions. You may use them to get to and from the mission location only).
    9. Do not hide under cars (even if it is yours).
    10. Do not under any cirumstances attempt to tag someone who isn't a player. Doing so will result in immediate removal from the game.
    11. Play is forbidden 5 feet surrounding all construction zones (sidewalks are a good guide for distance).
    12. No entering or exiting foliage between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Additionally, no hiding in foliage at any time. This has been established due to safety and concern from the public.
    Bandana Rules
    Game bandanas are given out at orientation. This is to indicate who is a player. They usually cycle between blue, green, and yellow of various shades per game with OSU HVZ spraypainted on the front of varying colors/font. Moderators have an additional pink bandana.
    1. Game bandana's must be used at ALL TIMES (except for the noted exceptions below). This includes going to/from class, to/from exams, etc. Failure to do so may result in disciplanary action, and or removal from the game. If you suspect someone of violating this, please report it to the mods.
      1. Exceptions: outdoor class, ROTC, work, transporting heavy/fragile/expensive equipment (does not include laptops in a backpack), physical injury. If you feel you have an exception activity, please contact the mods.
    2. Game bandana's must be worn at minimum several minute prior to exiting a building. Placing on a bandana, then exiting several seconds later to chase/escape a player will result in disciplinary action. We encourage players to wear bandanas inside as much as possible!
    3. Game bandana's must be clearly visable in a 360 degree manner (i.e. from all angles). Do not fold them lengthwise to make them thinner. Tape may be used to repair damaged edges.
    4. Game bandana's cannot color-match clothing.
    5. Game bandana's from previous game may be worn. However, the current game's bandana must be worn and be the most visible.
    1. HvZ Bandana - to identify people as participants in HvZ. This will be provided to all players. This is a required item
    2. 2 Index Cards - to identify players uniquely for the purpose of Zombie feeding. Write your Player ID on your 2 index cards as a human. You can find your player ID under "My Account" at the top. These are required items.
    3. Game approved Nerf blaster(s) - For Human players only. See section on Nerf devices. These items are optional.
    Safe Zones
    Players that are in safe zones cannot be shot or tagged in these places. Human players can however fire from within a safe zone to clear exits.
    1. Residence Halls. Humans may not shoot out of windows or from fire escapes.
    2. Bathrooms (includes porta potties)
    3. All Buildings (four walls and a ceiling)
    4. Stairs are safe for humans only.
    5. Dining Halls
    6. Reser Stadium (inside, not on the plaza waiting for tickets)
    7. Personal Tents
    8. Bus Stops (ONLY when there is a bus or shuttle present)
    9. Cars.
    10. Anywhere else needed due to safety or as declared by a mod.
    No-Play Zones
    No-Play Zones are places where your safety outweighs the context of the game. The game is not to be played in these areas and if you are in one you should be trying to do nothing but get out. You may NOT use a no-play zone as a safe zone. If you find yourself in one, get out immediately
    1. The area surrounding buses and shuttles (not bus stops). Busses are and Shuttles count as vehicles; players on them are safe.
    2. Crosswalks: If you enter a cross walk you must cross to the other side. You may not shoot into or out of a crosswalk. Zombies may not tag Humans that are crossing a crosswalk
    3. The Parking Garage
    4. Construction Zones (plus the additional 5 feet surrounding a construction zone).
    5. Fire Escapes
    6. During fire drills (when there are people sent out side to wait the group is in a No-Play Zone until everybody has dispersed)
    7. Around emergency vehicles
    8. Off Campus.
    9. Around cultural and diversity centers. (Do not camp outside of these buildings, it's not cool!)
    10. Jobs, Labs, Outside classes (Take your head/armband off so as to not interrupt the class.)
    11. Anywhere else as declared by a mod.
    Areas on campus that are safe to play in and not listed as a Safe Zone or No-Play Zone are fair game.
    Click here to see what is defined as on and off campus, in addition to construction areas, non-crossable campus borders, mod locations, and unique buildings.
    I.D. Number: Humans must keep two index cards with their unique identification number on them at all times, to be used for identification purposes and for Zombie feeding. Zombies must carry one card, simply for identification purposes. It's also recommended to write your ID code on your bandana that way you never lose it!
    Game Mechanics
    Stunning a Zombie: Humans may stun a Zombie for 15 minutes by shooting them with a Nerf marker, throwing a sock at them, or landing a hit with a marshmallow. All projectiles must leave a blaster or hand to be valid. A stunned zombie must place his/her headband around his neck.
    When Tagged By a Zombie: When tagged by a Zombie, a Human is required to give the Zombie one of their ID cards, which the Zombie will use to register the tag. The player is now a Stunned Zombie and will become an unstunned Zombie fifteen minutes after being tagged.
    Wearing an Armband: Humans must wear provided bandanna around their bicep to identify at all times that they are in a game-on zone to identify them as Humans players in the game. (This will come in handy when you become a Zombie!) Zombies must wear the bandanna on their head, OVER hoodies, hats, hair, etc. so that it is visible at all times from all angles.
    Time keeping: Players must be able to keep track of time, such as with a watch or cell phone.
    Zombies must "feed" to survive. A Zombie feeds by reporting their tag to the website, within 2 hours of the tag (please contact a moderator if you are having difficulties ASAP). If a Zombie's clock runs out from lack of feeding, they "starve", and are out of the game as a "deceased" player, who occasionally have minor roles in the game (so still keep your bandana). When a Zombie feeds, they gain 48 hours of time. A zombies's feed clock maxes out at 60 hours.
    Deceased: Deceased players are zombies who have starved out of the game by failing to feed within 48 hours as a zombie. They are indicated by wearing their bandana on their upper thigh. They may not make tags, stun, be stunned, or interact with regular gameplay. However, they can have important roles during missions and special events during the game (including the final mission!). Emails will be sent informing deceased regarding their roles as the game progresses. ALL HAIL CHAOS
    Wearing Your Headband: Zombies must wear the bandanna around their head at all times while playing. Again, make sure it is over hats, hoods, hair, etc. See headband rules for more details.
    A tag is a firm touch to a Human, including any items on their person excluding blasters held in the hand. (Keep in mind where an appropriate place to tag a Human is. Use good judgment; any violation of this rule is against game policy as well as being incredibly disrespectful, and will result in removal from the game at the very least). After tagging a Human the Zombie must collect one of the Human's ID card, and must report their tag to get credit for feeding.
    Getting Tagged: When hit with a Human Nerf device, a Zombie is stunned for 15 minutes. A stunned Zombie may not interact with the game in any way. This includes shielding other Zombies from bullets, continuing to run toward a Human, or providing information to the Horde. If shot while already stunned, the Zombie's stun timer is not reset back to 15 minutes. You will receive an email automatically when you have officially been turned on the game website.
    If a stunned Zombie encounters human players, they should raise one hand and identify themselves as stunned. Stunned zombies should not stalk human players, as this can sway the game, and isn't very sportsmanly. A good rule is to stay out of nerf dart range from humans when stunned. Excessive gameplay interaction when stunned may result in disciplinary action.
    Altered Mechanics: As a reward for missions, mechanics above may be modified. If this occurs all players will be emailed the conditions.
    Original Zombies
    The Original Zombies (typically 1-5) are randomly chosen at the beginning of the game. (You can opt-out if you want when you add yourself to the game, or go into your account settings). They identify as a Human for a few days (the Original Zombie period). This means that they wear the bandanna on their arm. They tote Nerf blasters, they carry socks, marshmallows, whatever. They can even stun Zombies if they want. For all intents and purposes, they are Human. Except that they can tag Humans to turn them into Zombies. At the end of the Original Zombie period, the Original Zombie becomes a normal Zombie, and must follow the Zombie Rules. During full missions (not mini-missions) OZ stun timers can be reset back to 15 minutes once 12 minutes (i.e. 3 minutes left to unstun) of their timer has elapsed. If you do NOT receive an email from a mod informing you that you are an OZ, then you are NOT an OZ.
    Moderators can not be OZs. An email from the mods will be sent when the Original Zombie period ends.
    Nerf Devices and Projectiles
    The only Nerf devices allowed are:
    1. Nerf or other similar foam launching toy blasters (i.e. Buzzbee). No barrel attachments may be added to blasters.
    2. The Centurion is banned for safety reasons. It has been indicated that it resembles a real gun.
    3. Blow guns firing nerf darts. (Blow guns must be lung powered, and may not shoot velcro darts.)
    4. Balled up socks.
    5. Regular Marshmallows (No jumbo or mini).
    All blasters must be checked at orientatons. Nerf devices must not look realistic. Federal law requires that toy blasters have a brightly colored tip. We require blasters to be obviously brightly colored - if we think it's too realistic looking, it can't be used. If you're in doubt, ask a mod ahead of time. Please don't paint blasters completely black or other colors found on realistic weaponry. All devices except socks and marshmallows must be approved by a Moderator prior to use. Approved devices will be marked as such by a zip-tie. Projectiles must not hurt on impact.
    Blasters may be modded. However, they must still fall under the aforementioned guidelines.
    Nerf blasters cannot fire anything except foam projectiles such as darts or balls. Socks must be clean. Socks must be thrown; they can be modified, but only by adding more socks.
    Only commercially available, off-the-shelf darts may be used in nerf blasters. For safety reasons, darts may not be modified to affect their flight performance in any way. Exceptions may be made for expensive or hard-to find ammunition such as titan darts. In that case, all homemade ammunition must be individually approved by a moderator.
    All ammunition must be cleaned up by whoever fired it. Don't leave darts and marshmallows and socks lying around. Be respectful of campus - ours is a beautiful one, let's keep it that way.
    If a moderator says a Nerf device is not allowed, then it is not allowed. Moderators do not need to cite a rule to ban Nerf devices. If you have a problem with this, you can appeal to another moderator.
    Through the week, there will be various missions posed to both teams (sent via email). By completing these missions, you earn benefits for your team, or detriments for your opposition (such as decreasing stun timers for zombies, or adding a safe zone for humans). Failure to complete mission may have negative consequences for your team, or positive consequences for the other team. Missions are, of course, completely optional, but highly recommended, because they are fun. The final mission on the last day will determine the winner of the game, if it is not already over. The missions are supposed to add some depth to the game, suspense to events, and to give the Humans a reason to get out and fight!
    Special mission rules:
    1. No vehicles at mission! Vehicles may be used to get to or from missions, but their use during missions to complete mission objectives or help with the mission in any way is banned.
    2. Buildings may not be used as cover or passage during missions.
    3. Stairs may not be used as a play zone unless specifically told by a mod for the purpose of moving from one location to the other.
    Costumes are permitted (and encouraged!), but they must not be alarming to the public. For safety reasons, the following rules will be enforced:
    1. Camouflage may not be worn in bushes. No FULL camo is allowed either.
    2. Ghillie suits may not be worn at all.
    3. Costumes may not conceal the face at night.
    4. The costume may not contain banned weaponry or devices, even for looks.
    Transportation Rules
    OSU is a very large campus, and transportation is often used by many players to get to their classes in a timely manner. Transportation devices take players temporarily out of play. As such, please only use them if you really need them! They are NOT mobile safe zones, they place you out of play. You can not make tags, be tagged, stun, or be stunned while on a transport device
    1. There are particular rules associated with transport to be aware of. Do not do the following:
      1. Puppy guarding: This is the act of using a vehical to chase a player down to stun or tag them. This is against the rules and doing so may result in removal from the game.
      2. Transport jumping: Carrying a transport device (such as a skate/longboard) and quickly jumping on and off upon spotting another player is effectively using a mobile safezone. This is against the rules, and doing so may result in removal from the game.
      3. Hovering: Closely stalking a player on a transport device by running along side them waiting for them to stop so they can be tagged/stunned is be unsafe. Particularly for the individual on the transport device. Don't do it.
    2. Bicycles: If you are straddled over the bike (moving or not), you are out of play. Simply walking the bike or standing one peddle on the side does NOT count.
    3. Scooters: You are out of play when you are moving. If you are stationary you are in play.
    4. Skateboards and Longboards: You are out of play while on one, moving or not.
    5. Rollerskates and Rollerblades: You are out of play while they are on your feet. We ask players to please not use them during the game unless it is absolutely necessary.
    6. Segways: If you are standing on one, you are out of play.
    Rule Violations
    In the case where a rule has been violated, moderators will make a decision on the appropriate course of action. Most of the time, this is simply a warning, or nothing at all. For more serious occurrances, the rules head and or executive council may be involved. Possible actions include, but are not limited to:
    1. Verbal notice.
    2. Written notice.
    3. Action nullification (i.e. tag or stun doesn't count).
    4. Temporary removal from the game.
    5. Full removal from the game.
    6. Banned from the current game.
    7. Banned from HvZ.
    8. University is contacted and notified.
    Other Rules
    A mod does not need to cite a rule to make a ruling during game.
    The mod squad will never use Facebook, twitter, etc. to distribute mission details.
    Tagging non-players is a bannable offense. And a rude move. Don't do it.
    People who are not part of the game cannot interact with it. This includes spying or bringing supplies to barricaded Humans.
    Zombies must have both feet outside a safe zone to tag a Human.
    If there is a dispute over a tag and or stun (i.e. a tag and stun happened at the same time), this is settled by way of rock, paper, scissors. If a mod is near by we will officiate this. Winner best 2 out of 3.
    Shields are not allowed. Neither are melee weapons. A tag on a backpack is considered a tag on the player (otherwise the backpack would be a shield, which is not allowed).
    Athletes during practices or games are safe.
    Anyone participating in official or required events, such as jobs or meetings, is safe.
    Humans may stun Zombies from inside safe zones to clear exits.
    Those that are required to wear a uniform, such as players in ROTC, are not required to wear the headband during that time. This effectively removes them from the game for that amount of time; as such, they cannot be tagged.
    Unless you're in a sanctioned activity, please don't remove yourself from the game. Taking off your bandanna to walk to class may result in removal from the game.
    If there is a real emergency, call 911. For game-related, non-emergency help please try to find a mod (wearing a pink arm/headband) or email mods@osundead.com.
    Finally, be fair, have fun, and be kind to each other. This is a game, and only a game! If at any time you think you are violating this rule, stop and think about it. If something seems unfair, it probably is. If it seems un-fun, then something is probably wrong. This is a game, and games are meant to be fun. Try and play the game in a way that makes it good for everyone involved. Don't be selfish. And lastly, HAVE FUN!