Outbreak: A Post-Apocalyptic Tabletop RPG Source Book
Experience and create any modern apocalyptic scenario you want with this new and exciting Tabletop RPG
What is Outbreak?
OUTBREAK is a pen and paper Tabletop Role Playing Game System that is tailored to letting you play your choice of a variety of apocalyptic scenarios in the modern world. This game uses a custom, easy to use, 1d10 skill based system that we have been developing for the past two years. We decided to throw away the confusing experience point system during development. In Outbreak you level up once per game session so you can have a smoother game session and not have to keep tabs on thousands of experience points.
Outbreak uses a point based character creation system based on 5 attributes. Those attributes are physique, coordination, aptitude, psyche, and vitality. Attributes are used to shape your character to be whatever type of survivor you want. Attributes also enhance learned skills, such as mechanics, first-aid, observation, and many more. All these skills will help your character to adapt and survive against the elements of various apocalyptic environments. You can shape your skills any way you wish with attribute points that you unlock when you level up.
Included in Outbreak are various custom GM Templates to shape the game how you see fit. We use the same templates in the book to create all of our weapons, vehicles, and enemies. These templates help you play out any modern apocalypse of your choice. The most important template though is the one included for designing your very own custom apocalypse.
Here are some links to a list of some general information about the game so far. Keep in mind this information is in a very rough draft without proper format and illustrations.
Attacking and Dealing Damage
For Kickstarter we will be providing you with the limited printing of the Special Edition book for the same value of the Normal Edition book with a ton of extra content. The normal edition book will be unlocked when the Special Edition copies run out and will be the only edition available for sale on our website post-funding. The Special Edition book will not be printed again after Kickstarter so get it while you can!
Types of apocalyptic scenarios pre-created in the Outbreak Guide
- Economic Collapse
- Alien Invasion
- Robot Uprising
- Zombie Outbreak
- Nuclear Winter
- Viral Epidemic**
**Viral Epidemic is only available in the SPECIAL EDITION book
Wait. I get to create my own apocalypse?
Oh yes. We have a template set up so you can design your own apocalyptic setting if you're up for it! We leave some of the discovery up to you! But for those that want to play a pre-made apocalyptic setting, we have 6 made for you in the Special Edition book.
Do you want to create an apocalypse of mutated bugs that start attacking everyone or perhaps you would like to play in a world where nature has claimed its territory once again? You can do this with the apocalypse creator template.
I suppose it is technically possible to combine all of the apocalyptic scenarios at the same time but...wait...no that would be awesome. Go ahead and try it if you wish :)
Special Rules for the different apocalyptic scenarios
Each apocalypse section will come with its own set of rules and guidelines, enemies, back story, form of currency (if any), apocalypse specific weapons and items, and other information for playing whichever apocalypse you choose. This means that your experience playing a zombie outbreak apocalypse will be different from playing a nuclear winter scenario or alien invasion. Each section is diverse and different from the last so you will always have a fresh experience when switching between scenarios.
A good example of the diversity we bring to each apocalypse can be seen by taking a look at the zombie section. With the zombie outbreak we have rules for becoming infected, playing a zombie character, zombie horde rules, specific factions and enemies that might appear in a zombie outbreak, and more. The other apocalyptic settings have specific information that is unique to that setting.
This game is meant to be difficult. It's meant to be scary. It's just like trying to survive an apocalypse. Just because you are the highest level in the game, does not mean that you are "overpowered," it just means you will perform as a better, more skilled survivor. Leveling up just gives you a few more tools to try to survive another day in this cruel and unforgiving world. A sniper shot to the head or a pack of zombies trying to eat you is most likely going to leave you dead on the ground no matter what level you are. The constant threat of death whether it be from starvation, enemies attacking you, or disease makes this game extremely exciting and the rewards that much more satisfying. This is the kind of game that requires team work to survive which also makes playing with your friends a lot more fun, creative, and memorable.
But just because this game is a challenge to play does not mean that the rules to learn how to play are difficult. We have crafted the system of rules in a way that makes the game extremely easy to pick up for those who are just starting to learn how to play Tabletop Role Playing Games or those that are already used to them.
What if I want an easier game play experience?
Some of the rules like keeping up with food or making sure you drink enough water to not become dehydrated are just some of the many options that add flavor to those hardcore role-players out there. We'll be specific in which sections are not required for play in the guide.
The first step in Outbreak's character creation system is allocating points to your attributes to make your survivor more tuned to how you want to play the game. If you want be geared more toward the person that has the smarts in the group, or the character less likely to go insane, or the sharpshooter who has precise aiming, you can do that depending on how you allocate points when you level up.
Along with that you will gain 1 enhancement per level up that makes your character more successful when dealing with certain situations. For example we have the enhancement called Double Tap which is a zombie outbreak specific enhancement that let's you immediately kill a zombie behind the first zombie you kill with a sniper rifle. Another example is a general enhancement that works for all apocalyptic settings like Things That Go Boom which causes explosives to be twice as effective.
Weapons and Gear
There are tons of options for weapons and gear in Outbreak. We have over 80 guns, melee weapons, and explosives to choose from so far. Gun categories alone include hand guns, sub-machine guns, light machine guns, snipers, shotguns, and special weapons (like .50 caliber machine guns or crossbows). We use statistics on real life guns to come up with the stats on the guns we use in the game to make the game more realistic as well. Each of these weapons has the option for customization with attachments and special ammunition types.
For gear we have various types of armor (like bullet proof or ballistic vests and helmets) and a huge list of survival equipment to choose from that come with their own in game stats. Examples include different sized packs for holding more items, a vast array of survival tools, cooking equipment, and the list goes on and on.
A link to a list of weapons: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_7HQOv3jedMSEdLcTlFM0FWUU0/edit?usp=sharing
We feel that crafting would be a big part of any apocalyptic situation so we put a special emphasis on it in our game. You can craft makeshift weapons, barricades, buildings, and custom items.
We have a huge list of materials to choose from when crafting items and weapons that are split up into units of materials based on size. You can use those units of materials and put them through a special crafting machine we made in Outbreak specifically for creating items that would be difficult to figure out how to make on your own. For example if you take 1 unit of brass and put it through our machine you can use your engineer in the group to make thousands of bullet casings for making home made bullets. Or if you want to use a couple stacked units of steel you could potential create a suit of armor. Using this machine is not the only way to craft items but it is very helpful when a player cannot figure out how to express making something.
These units do have weight and HP to them so you can also get a rough estimate of how much the things you want to create weigh. If you go ahead and make a suit of armor, because of weight and HP stats for steel, you'll have a rough estimate of how much that suit might weigh and how much HP it would provide you.
Buildings and barricades are made using units of material as well except when building these things time is a huge factor. You will have to decide if the time to put up a wooden barricade on a door or adding an expansion to your survival bunker is worth it because time is a precious commodity in Outbreak where starvation and dehydration are constantly tapping you on the shoulder.
We thought it would be fun to put knowledge skills in the game that would let you gain access to tons of survival knowledge and do some pretty insane and creative things. We ultimately decided those skills were going to be Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. Players choose to have access to one of these knowledge skills at the start of the game and can choose to level them up if players put points into their aptitude attribute.
To give you an idea of some of the crazy stuff you can do with these skills I'll give an example of my favorite knowledge skill: Engineering. In one of the play test campaigns we were running, one of the players used materials and components to create a mecha robot that he could control. He was one zombie killing machine!
Leveling up your character
Outbreak has 10 levels your character can achieve starting at level 1. Every level you gain either 1 or 2 points to put into your attributes for a total of 15 points by level 10. Your attributes (physique, coordination, etc.) all start out with 1 point in each category and have a max of 10 slots to allocate points into when you level up. This means even at level 10 you will not be able to max out every attribute so you'll have to plan carefully according to how you want to play.
Attributes have a variety of effects depending on the attribute. When you put points into these attributes your character gains certain benefits like HP, increased carried weight limit, better accuracy with weapons, and other things.
Each attribute is paired up with a couple learned skills. For instance vitality is paired up with the nature, survival, and first aid learned skills. These learned skills get better depending on how many points you allocate to which attribute.
Alongside attributes and learned skills, we have enhancements. You gain one enhancement for your character per level starting at level 1. Enhancements are little perks that make your character unique and more adaptable to surviving very specific situations. There is a general list of enhancements that work for all apocalyptic scenarios and a list of enhancements per apocalyptic scenario.
That's it! That's all you have to worry about when you level up. There will be no experience calculations or anything like that.
The option for streamlined scavenging and combat
In Outbreak we have a system that lets GMs quick search a building depending on the building size, how many rooms, etc. Along with that we have a massive list of loot that you can roll for in various tiers from Ok, Average, Great, and Perfect loot types. This is extremely useful for those GM's that don't have every little reward planned out in every location. While you're scavenging we also have a quick combat system that works with the quick search if the GM decides the building you want to go in has enemies. Keep in mind this is NOT the primary way of combat and searching for things. This is just a method the GM can use if he or she has not planned every detail of an area in the game that players want to explore. That sounds about like every game right?
Your group of survivors is heading toward some objective and see a building off in the distance away from the main path. To the dismay of your GM, your group decides to go way off course and search for supplies in this giant building that the GM has not planned for at all. When you enter the building the streamlined combat system can be activated for the first floor of the building unless the GM wants to improvise the search.
If the GM decides to activate quick combat/ quick search, this sets up how many enemies are on that floor or in the area, the attack process of your group dealing with those enemies, and the damage and effects after combat with a few quick rolls using some tables. After that, depending on the size of the room and some other factors you can then roll for loot (if the GM does not make you fight through the rest of the building first). This way you do not have to spend an hour searching through every building just to try to find some supplies and can get moving toward the main objective. Of course using the quick search/ quick combat system is completely optional and not required to play the game.
The Core Rule Book
This 8.5 x 11" hardcover source book will consist of everything that you will need to play the game including sections for different apocalyptic scenarios, an NPC section, an enemies section, various game play information, a player’s section, and a GM’s section all in full color. This will be about 250 full color pages depending on how the book is formatted.
The Normal edition book will be unlocked once the Special Edition copies are about to run out. These will be valued at $45 and will be the same books we sell post-Kickstarter on our website. These books will have less content than our Special Edition Kickstarter Exclusive copies.
The SPECIAL EDITION Rule Book EXCLUSIVE to Kickstarter (limited printing of just under 1000 copies)
This 8.5 x 11" hardcover source book will consist of everything that you will need to play the game including sections for different apocalyptic scenarios, an NPC section, an enemies section, general game play information, a player’s section, and a GM’s section all in full color just like the Normal Edition book but this edition will have a concept art section, additional enemies and items, a special edition cover art, more NPCs, the Viral Epidemic apocalypse, and more illustrations. This will be about 300 pages depending on how the book is formatted. This is limited to Kickstarter so get them while they last! What are you waiting for? Snag one!
Oh! I almost forgot! Those of you that back the Special Edition book will have your name put on a page in the front of the book under a super special thank you section as well as a thank you page on our website! The cover art for the special edition book is below.
Meet the Artists!
The characters and illustrations in Outbreak will be drawn by our extremely talented group of artists in full color. Below is a list of the artists that will be working on this project with us and supplying some superb art work. Since we will have multiple artists working on the book with us, we will have a variety of art styles to enjoy, bringing a bit of added flavor to the game. We will be splitting up the artists to work on specific parts of the game such as an artist for characters, an artist for environment shots, etc to have a cleaner flow of artwork during the creation process.
Carrie is a senior graphic design major at the University of Arkansas, but has been making art all her life. She enjoys illustration, design, web design, and soon hopes to break into the world of comics.
Leigh Walls - http://leighwalls-artist.deviantart.com/
Leigh Walls is a New York based artist/writer/painter who was born and raised to make comics. He counts among his many influences Sam Keith, Bill Sienkievicz and Erik Larsen and someday soon hopes to create the next great American graphic novel. You can see his work at www.leighwalls-artist.deviantart.com.
Joe Badon - http://joebadon.blogspot.com/
Joe has been working as a full time freelance illustrator since 2009. He has worked on projects for Assailant Comics, Angry Fruit Salad Comics, devhub.com, Sore Thumb Press, Red Moon Comics, Candy or Medicine Comix, Flying Tiger Comics, Silber Media, Red Leaf Comics, Vein Armor Publishing, Amish Drive-by Presents, and on many other commercial and private commissions. He is always available for commission work. You can check out his portfolio at: joebadon.blogspot.com
Eric Douthitt - http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?artid=15096
Eric has illustrated a number of comic books over the last 7 years including American Sentinels, Issues 1,2, and 3. Recently Eric has been working with Blackfall Press on a book called Cold Steel Wardens.
The SUPPLY CACHE tier (Briefcase Board tier)
In this tier we are offering our hand made portable gaming board. This Briefcase Board folds out to unveil a plexiglass grid surface to play tabletop RPG's on. These Briefcase Boards allow you to replace the gaming surface to apply any grid type you want. The board includes storage for small items like markers, dice, pens, etc and storage for books and paper. The board is mainly wooden with comfortable rope handles. They take about a week each to make (since they are hand made). Since we are making them one at a time, with our bare hands, some of you could receive your board in the mail 1-2 months after the funding period. Some will take a little longer.
Shipping costs are extra so if you order this tier make sure to email us to get an appropriate shipping quote. Just add the shipping costs to your pledge and you will be good to go. We will ship internationally but keep in mind that will be rather expensive since the board does weigh about 23 pounds.
Additions: We do offer additions to these boards since they are custom made products. Add $30 and we will give you an additional grid surface of choice. The first grid surface is free and up to you to choose which grid type you want. We will also stain the wood whatever color you want for free.
If you would like to back the Briefcase Board in a tier that does not include it just add $200 plus shipping costs (which you can find by emailing us the location it will be shipped) to your order and we will create one for you after the funding period. Add additional costs if you would like the extras that are involved in making the board.
The Interactive Character Sheet
This is an interactive Microsoft Excel character sheet that uses custom formulas in order to have a much smoother game play experience. This sheet automatically calculates a variety of aspects of the game. This is extremely useful for those who want to play more and write less.
Keep in mind this is in alpha stage and will be working on it constantly as well as updating it with better looks and new and improved formulas after the funding goal. The updated sheets will be sent to those who backed the LOOT BOX tier on Kickstarter through email or download on our website as soon as the PDF for the game is available. The sheet that you see on the video is in alpha stage and will have many improvements the time the game is released to everyone.
Those who want to purchase the character sheet after Kickstarter will have to purchase a season pass to the character sheet for $20. As a reminder, backing the LOOT BOX will give you access to ALL of the future updated character sheets for FREE. Check out the video below to see a preview of our work in progress.
Remember this does not come with any tier so if you would like to purchase the interactive character sheet you will have to back the LOOT BOX tier along with the game. This let's us keep track of who orders the sheet a lot easier. Thanks!
For the best viewing of this video please watch in 1080p on YouTube.
What will we be doing during the time of post-funding?
We will be working on art, finishing up the little bits of information we have left for the guide, and formatting it. While we are doing this we will be play testing it like crazy. After all that is done we will print it out and send it out.
We will be providing constant updates of our status on everything to keep you as much in the loop as possible. Essentially when we know something new, so will you. Who knows, it’s possible we could get you the book even earlier than the expected time. The time that is set right now is just to give us enough time to deal with any issues that might arise. Sort of like a buffer.
The basic time-line post funding
During this time we will be finishing up the information on the guide, play-testing it, and piecing everything together. At the same time this is going on, our team of artists will be working on the rest of the art for the book. We will also start to develop our website so we can have a better line of communication for our backers and show off some things like game information and art as it comes in. We may even post some game footage of play testing so you can get a feel of what the game might play like.
This is the time final revision will be going on. We will be doing our final touch ups before we send the guide to an editor to professionally piece the guide together.
During this time we will be sending the digital files of the book to the printer to be made and shipped to our location to then be shipped off individually to each of you. Chances are we will be sending the PDF to everyone a good month or so before the books are sent out so everyone can get playing early. All of this will be clear during our updates.
On month 10, we will be shipping out all of the physical copies of the books to everyone so you can enjoy the game and begin taking part in your apocalyptic journey.
Keep in mind we could very well finish a month or two earlier than May but we feel it is good to have a good buffer in case anything pops up unexpectedly that we need to deal with.
$20,000 - The Survivor Narrative
If we reach $20,000 we will get to work on creating a narrative woven throughout the book of a survivor and his journey through the post-apocalyptic world. Every new entry of this survivor's narrative will not only provide a new and interesting story, but will also show him physically changing as you flip through the pages. This will be in the Special Edition and Normal Edition books.
$25,000 - Game Maps
If we reach this goal we will be working with a Tabletop Role Playing Game cartographer to create a series of top down grid maps of various places that might be popular to explore in an apocalyptic setting. This will be a separate section included in the book. This will be available in the Special Edition and Normal Edition books.
Professional Formatting and Editing
We will be sending our game to an editor to proof read and edit the game as professionally as possible after the final draft of the game is completed. After editing the game will be sent off to be formatted.
$15,000 for what exactly?
For the printing company we have chosen we have to order in quantities of 1000 which is the biggest chunk of change we have to raise. On top of that a large chunk of that change is going towards the artwork in the book by some of our professional artists as well as professional formatting. We will spare no expense on the quality of our book which will cost a little bit of money. What is left after all of that will be for shipping costs.
If we make a considerable amount past the funding goal, most of that will be put to good use in expansion books for the game. Some will inevitably be going into living costs (because we like to eat and pay bills too) but a large chunk will be going straight back into the game and other tabletop products.
Please help us spread the word!
If you know anyone who might be interested in a game like this, such as your friends, family, or co-workers, please let them in on it. We can only broadcast this thing so much, so we need YOUR help. We would really appreciate it!
The "All or Nothing" Kickstarter Method
It's important to keep in mind that Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding site. That means that if we do not reach the goal we get nothing. This means that the book will not be created for other people to enjoy unless you amazing people back our game. We would really like to see this made and only YOU can help us do that be backing our book today!
If you are wanting to ship outside of the United States please contact us through email for an appropriate shipping quote. Thank you!
If you wish to calculate your own international shipping costs, we will be using USPS shipping from Fayetteville, AR, USA, 72701 using the "package" option. The item weighs 1lbs.
Facebook page for Outbreak: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Outbreak-A-Post-Apocalyptic-RPG-Source-Book/439078692795280
This page will allow you to keep up with the latest developments for Outbreak
Facebook page for Cosmic Compass Creations: https://www.facebook.com/CosmicCompassCreations
If any of you bloggers out there or anyone else would like to contact us for questions about the game and what we are doing at Cosmic Compass Creations, feel free to email us and we'll try to answer any and all questions you might have :)
Risks and challenges
I would say that the only real challenge is re-playtesting through everything before we send it to the editor. The bulk of the guide is finished. We have about 150 pages of information ready to go at the moment. We will be taking time during funding and post funding to complete the information we don't have and play-testing it constantly. We set a generous amount of time post funding for us to complete our play-testing and content to make sure everything is up to par before sending it off for formatting and editing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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