Breaking points

Fighting zombies is fun – in a game. To do that for real would be stressful to say the least. That’s why human characters in Outlive Outdead can break.

As we discussed earlier, human characters have two numbers for each attribute, such as “Fight 11(19)” or “Repair 09(20)”. The first number is the target number for success with rolling 2d10; roll equal or higher and you succeed. The second number is called the breaking point. If you roll over your breaking point, you break. That means you snap, go temporarily insane, take a quick trip to batshit crazy country, etc. Whereas other horror rpgs can have a sanity check or a fear check in certain circumstances, Outlive Outdead recognizes the entire situation is so fucked-up that someone can snap at any given moment.

Breaks come in four levels. The first level usually lasts just one turn, such as the Level One Fight break, “Make a Fight check against the same target next turn, even if the target is dead.” Level Four is some serious breakage such as the Level Four Fight break: “Fight all enemies until they are dead. Then Fight all friends until they are dead. Continue until you are the last one standing or someone makes a successful Fight or Control check against you.”

Which break will you face? Roll 1d10. 1-4 is a Level One break; 5-7 is a Level Two break; 8-9 is a Level Three break; and 10 is a Level Four break. However, this is modified by a combination of Health and Endurance. If you are healthy and reasted, you can’t break no matter what you roll. The same is true for being badly injured and exhausted; you don’t have the energy to snap. The closer you are to being inbetween–say, being injured and tired–then the more likely you are to have serious breaks.

As you can see, breaks are attribute-specific. Rolling a break with Flee means something completely different than rolling a break with Scrounge, which makes sense. Break using Control and you might scream at the person you’re arguing with. Flee breaks usually have you keep running after the danger is passed. Hide breaks can mean you refuse to leave your hiding spot. Break using Repair and you can refuse to give the fixed item to anyone. Scrounge breaks might mean you make a lot of noise, alerting zombies to your location.

These are all for humans. Zombies? They don’t break. They just chase and eat people.

1 comment on “Breaking points”

  1. Pingback: Another great report from Paul |

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