Saturday, December 29, 2012

[USR] OUTBREAK RPG - Ideas & an Outline

This post contains my initial ideas about the design and layout of the OUTBREAK RPG.  Of course, all of this stuff is subject to change.
The rules will open with a transcript from a news report or a 911 call from a hysterical citizen screaming about zombies.  The news anchor/operator will be skeptical but by the end of the conversation it will be clear that something is not right.  This should continue on in other sections or at random spots in the book with a lab report, a police report, a journal entry or whatever else seems appropriate.
Included in the introduction will be a subsection on What You Need that will cover the same list in USR and also point people to the USR core.  I am making a supplement to the rules, not replacing them.
Character Creation
Players will be free to create a character that is appropriate for the modern world in a zombie apocalypse.  There will be examples of how to assign the Attribute Dice and Specialisms to come up cops, teachers, scientists, detectives, military personnel, and other character types.  There might even be the option to play a character somewhat similar to project Alice from the Resident Evil movies.
The Campaign
This section will cover various aspects of the game world.  This section will include a short history and background of the game world, information on weapons, equipment, encounters, the virus, and other information as well.   
Weapons & Equipment
A list of weapons and equipment stats will need to be provided.  Of course, the characters will also be scavenging for weapons, ammo, and fuel in many situations so there should be some scavenging tables.
Not only will the characters have to contend with monsters brought to life but also other survivors.  Some of these other survivors may not be "good guys" so that could lead to conflicts. 
This section will give details about the monstrosities the characters will encounter during the game.  What the general populace believes to be zombies are actually the result of an experiment by a weapons manufacturer.  There will be various types of bio-weapons with zombies being the most basic type. 
The Virus
This section will explain about the development of the virus and what specifically led to the outbreak.  At this point, I am thinking that there were several weapons manufacturers in a heated competition for government funds.  One of them got a significant advantage which led to one of the others looking for revenge.  It took years but they were able to get an insider into the leading manufacturer and sabotaged one of their plants - instant zombie epidemic.
This section will also explain how the virus is spread, how long it takes for the infected to turn, and the probability of a positive outcome from being infected.
The Antidote
Is there one?  The rumors of such a substance will definitely be the motivation behind some game sessions.
There will be several organizations at work behind the scenes in this campaign.  This section will detail the creators of the virus, opposing organizations, militia groups, safe havens, etc.
The plan here is to have several adventures in this section that will start a campaign shortly after the initial outbreak and progress up to the epidemic over several sessions.  The characters can learn rumors in some of these sessions and may hear about safe zones that they may attempt to reach, antidotes, or some other information that will serve to spark further adventure.
That seems like a good start for now.  I am sure that I forgot something somewhere but I will get more detailed in the coming posts...


  1. You are to have to cover skills such as tinkering, repair, and perhaps items creation. For example, diesel cars can run on vegetable oil. You just need to strain the oil and splice the oil into the fuel lines. You might also want people to take solar panels from houses and hook it up to a Prius to make a solar car. I can see players wanting to construct a Gatling gun from some pipe.

    Then people are going to have to find a way to clean the water or perhaps make a still.

    So make sure you have the skills you need in order to make sure you have things like this covered.

    1. I like the way you think, Darius! Those are great suggestions and I will definitely incorporate them.