Geiger Counter



Geiger Counter was designed to do two things: 1) emulate movies in which most of the main characters eventually die and 2) perform really well in single-session play, such as a pick-up or convention game. I originally aimed to replicate the fun of watching movies like Alien and Scream, but Geiger Counter can also create play that feels like Jurassic Park, Dawn of the Dead, Twister, Nightmare on Elm Street, Vertical Limit, Jaws, or even sobering fare such as Black Hawk Down or Saving Private Ryan. Currently, I’m most excited about playing out movies that are too interesting to ever actually be made.


– 2009-06-14: Beta Edition in Italian
– 2008-08-17: Beta Edition (Proofed) – now with fewer typos!
– 2008-08-17: Beta Play Sheet – now with fewer bears!
– 2008-08-13: Beta Edition (GenCon)
– 2008-07-23: Alpha Play Sheet
– 2008-03-21: Alpha Edition
– 2007-04-10: Original Version (hack of D. Vincent Baker’s Afraid)

Development History

“Geiger Counter” category at One Thousand One

Play Reports & Example Maps*

– 2010-01-05: Castlevania (Cedric Plante)
– 2009-09-29: The Walkers (Antti Kirjavainen)
– 2009-09-07: Frigid Fear (Elias Helfer)
– 2009-08-11: Dirty Stars (Steve Hickey & Mike Sands)
– 2009-07-08: Scarlet Chechnya (Damian Fraustro)
– 2009-07-01: The Edge of Darkness (Ping)
– 2009-04-24: Last Flight of Leviathan IV (Chris)
– 2008-10-26: Total Eclipse (Mostly Geek)
– 2008-10-26: Total Eclipse (Mike Sands)
– 2008-10-24: Zombie Zoo (Jackson Tegu)
– 2008-10-08: Collider (Andrew Cain)
– 2008-09-15: I’ll Get This Fish to Fly! (Frederik J. Jensen)
– 2008-08-22: The Rig (Matthew Gagan)
– 2008-07-22: The Cylinder (Michael Sands)
– 2008-06-08: The Silent Deep* (Ben Robbins)
– 2008-06-03: Long May You Run* (Ben Robbins)
– 2008-06-02: The Protocol (Lukas Myhan)
– 2008-04-19: Crystal Alien Ziggurat* (John Harper)
– 2008-04-04: Diamonds in the Sky (Lukas Myhan)

Rules Discussions

– 2008-10-25: Bang-Bang-Bang-Click-Click-Throw (Ben Robbins)
– 2008-09-15: I Don’t Have to Outrun This Bear… (Ben Robbins)
– 2008-08-19: Version Beta Rocks (Ben Robbins)
– 2008-08-13: Geiger Counter for Free (Jonathan Walton)
– 2008-06-13: Overrun by Zombies (Ben Robbins)


14 Responses to Geiger Counter

  1. Lukas says:

    Sweet action pants!

  2. Ryan Shelton says:

    On page 7 of the Beta Edition (Proofed) you a period instead of a comma after old habits.
    old customs, old culture, old habits. and old ideas.

  3. Hey, I ended up playing a demo of Geiger Counter here at Guardian Games in Portland a couple of weeks ago, and just wanted to drop in and say hello. Lots of fun, and I’m probably going to try running it for some friends at our bi-weekly “Booze ‘n’ Dice” gathering.

    – NPC

  4. […] En beta-version kan i øjeblikket downloades fra spillets hjemmeside. […]

  5. […] I’m not discounting other great players-as-GM/world creator games such as Geiger Counter with the rotating GM and Shock with the issues, but those games have a lot of set up, set up that […]

  6. […] are just not enough hours in the day to play all the Geiger Counter games I want to try. I’m particularly interested in using the system in less obvious ways […]

  7. MaxL says:

    Downloaded and played yesterday at a local con. Really awesome indeed, our “Rave Or Death” movie — a zombie-style flick “filmed” with a rave party aesthetic — turned out to be quite a blockbuster 🙂 . Great!

  8. […] Geiger Counter is an rpg that allows you to recreate survival horror movies. It’s a shared narration/creation game where you create the premise of the movie, characters and plot once you sit down to play. It’s perfect for pick up play and cons. Not to mention being a whole lot of fun. I played a game run by Mike Sands at Fright Night ‘08 and managed to survive! […]

  9. […] to Shock: by Joshua A.C. Newman for proving you can tackle big sci fi in small games, Geiger Counter by Jonathan Walton for showing our crew that shared authority can be fun, and of course to Jared A. […]

  10. […] Dead and Dirty in Dubai Part 1: The Prologue Posted in Continual Story by Taylor on January 5th, 2009 (Author’s Note: I can’t claim full credit for this story. It’s based on a story several friends and I came up with using the collaborative storytelling game Geiger Counter.) […]

  11. Doc H says:

    I am going to run this game at Draconis in October. Thanks for posting all the AP reports. I feel like I can really “bone up” on successful techniques with all these examples to study. Having read the core rules I know I will like it. I love being creative with friends and these emergent sorts of games give me a pure shot of that. In some ways the game reminds me of Inspectres, because management seems to be largely about controlling the dice economy and maintaining a balance (or arc) of success/failure.

  12. […] Nøglebæk, Reviews, Roleplaying games. Leave a Comment I just came home from playing a game of Geiger Counter (this thing was written 24 hours ago, but only published now). We were five people: Ole, Andreas, […]

  13. […] documents – small press and indie publishers have been doing it for ages. I mentioned Geiger Counter in my Tweets of Doom this week and while I haven’t played it yet, I’ve read the Beta […]

  14. […] opportunity to play in a number of other games.  On Friday night, I got to play in a crazy game of Geiger Counter.  It is a cooperative rpg, similar in style to Fiasco, but focused on creating a horror movie-like […]

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