Outliving the Dead

Outliving the Dead

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbur...
A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Halloween fast approaching, thoughts might well turn to running a horror game for your friends or family. And with the recent return of The Walking Dead, my mind has turned to zombies (though I’m starting to get really bothered about this ‘The Road‘-like fascination with Long Pig Appreciators).

I have to draw attention to Outlive Outdead. I have run a couple of adventures of OO for my local gaming group – and we rarely get the chance to run anything more than once (we’re a bit Mayfly with our approach to RPG – they flutter through then pass away, rarely to return). My wife often mentions that she’d love to play more and why don’t I run OO at conventions. My answer… well, not enough conventions to run all my games. However, I do always carry it as a backup just in case I need to fill a slot unexpectedly.

The neat thing about the system is the whole business of personal motivations and Breaks. You have a reason to push on and reasons to freak out built into the mechanics. It feels natural, not awkwardly crunchy. Breaks, for example, simulate the stress of your experiences. Faced with a zombie game, players quite often just play kick ass hunters, hefting heavy ordnance and mercilessly laying the dead to rest. In all honesty, going from a normal lifestyle in our modern age to an unthinking and unswerving killer (even of the already dead), isn’t (and shouldn’t be) easy. Something’s gotta give. When you roll against a challenge, poor luck or pushing yourself too hard will get you success at a cost – and that cost comes in the form of Break. You snap, freak out, run screaming… whatever. It would be expected of most…

The Outlive Outdead core book comes with a bunch of advice, guidelines and support on creating different kinds of zombies and zombie settings. It also contains a modern day zombie adventure. However, if you want more ideas on zombies, picking up the Outlive Outdead Companion throws your options open.

Want to try battling zombies with tree branches and thigh bones in 30,000BCE southern Spain? US Marines in war torn France at the start of the 20th century facing something more than German soldiers in the dark woods? Fancy wrestling for control of the Holy Grail against the evil might of Mordred and his undead knights? Well, you can try the zombie genre across five different settings in OOC – then combine those ideas with your own to conjure up yet more.

Personally, I’m going to recommend you give the Neanderthals versus zombies a go – as I wrote that one! Most of the adventures in the Outlive Outdead Companion will fit in a single session, or expand to fit two or three if you choose to use all the options offered. Extinction Event, for example, includes additional encounters and a short end game alternative that allows you to see the survivors wander off into the sunset, uncertain of their future but alive for the moment.

You can pick up Outlive Outdead and the Outlive Outdead Companion separately, or opt for a bundle offer on RPGNow. Or, if you’re still not certain, give the game a go with the Outlive Outdead Quick Start available from Happy Bishop Games.

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