Paul Baldowski, one of the designers of Outlive Outdead, posted a great actual play report yesterday. (Or maybe the day before that. I’ve lost track of days.) He ran the introductory adventure that comes with the book, and I found it fascinating for three reasons:
- When I wrote the adventure, I set it in the Chicago suburbs. Paul lives south of Manchester and translated every locale to the UK. It’s cool to see how another GM took the mission and translated it into his hometown while keeping the adventure intact. This is exactly what we will do if you pledge $15 or more. You give us your place names and we’ll edit those into the adventure. Here is a list of all the customization options. Of course, if you pledge $45 or more, we’ll even zombify a pic of yours and put it into your copy.
- The players are really liking how characters go temporarily insane. We call this a break and it happens when you roll too high on an attribute check. It’s still a success, it’s just that you snap from the stress. I love how players are getting into this feature. I think it works better than the Chaosium SAN check rule because it happens more often but with less significant (i.e., less deadly) results.
- Reading the actual play report feels more like reading a story–exactly what I designed to emerge from the gameplay. Although some of this feeling is due to Paul’s excellent writing, I can tell the characters were the central part of the game, turning what could be yet another zombie game into a unique, story-driven experience.
See, that’s why I created Outlive Outdead. No offense to other rpgs featuring zombies, but they left me feeling cold. They focused too much on simulating how a zombie apocalypse would really be like and ignored the story. I wanted Outlive Outdead to play like a great zombie move (original Dawn of the Dead) or TV show (The Walking Dead), and from both personal experiences and reading other GM’s reports, it does exactly that.