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Outbreak: Deep Space
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2017 18:28:37

I have to give this 2 stars. I have been running games 40 years. literally all genres. At first I didn't understand it. A solid two weeks of reading it, plus questions to the team at the publisher's site, who were very helpful, multiple times, cleared up a lot of it for me.

Then once I understood it, It became a case of other systems do the exact same thing, easier. There are some nice bright spots in the rules but almost all of it is a system that simulates survival in space, but does so in a way that delves unneccessarily into minutiae, and uses mechanics that do not reflect reality or simplicity.

Literally, you get what they say... A toolkit for skills, abilities, and disadvantages, no setting. So it is an open world, create what you want, on a blank canvas. Okay great, but the details of the tools given to do that are just so complex, so full of jargon and abbbreviation, so densely written, without enough page references, it COULD be run, but unless you scrap half the book, running it as written is going to be very unnecessarily difficult.

There are spots in the rules for credits. From flat broke to 10,000 as a rich person. No cost charts. When queried, the response from the authors was, costs will vary across different campaigns. decide what things cost yourself.

If you want to design gear, you design it yourself, except for a few small page s of examples usimng their "Kit" system.

If you want planets, design it yourself, there are no rules for planets. I defaulted to using Traveller, to design planets for the campaign I planned to run.

If you want spaceships, there are no design rules for spaceships, other than a ship has locations, like Medbay, or Engine room, which usually is used as a force multiplier for a skill check or as resource points for gear. There are no rules for ship to ship combat. There are no rules for interstellar Travel. It is all design it yourself.

There are no rules for costs or costs of ships, or gear. "All of it will vary by campaign, so we left it up to the referee."

The art is amazingly wonderful.

If you have the time and desire, you could take a few weeks, and design things...using the Kit system to add "Descriptors" to an item, like... Gun, Rifle, Flashlight, Supressor, Auto-Fire, Scope. Each one of those things evokes like a Tag from a game like Fate, to give you a skill bonus.. if you have the relevant Skill to use that item's Tag.

This would be best used to run a game like Aliens or Pitch black or some similar shoot em up in space, but be prepared to create 90% of what you will use for your game.

The Mechanics are extremely difficult to grasp, and badly explained. Again, Jargon everywhere. Things like Encounter Check are abbreviated E%. Descriptor level, which is a measure of Tags, which add multipliers are DLv.

The character sheet is super complex. It has places where skills are calculated you have a box for the toal, but those formulas are not on the sheet, they are inside the book in the text descriptions of each skill.

The book text is hampered in grasping concepts for skills because of abbreviations, making it a foreign language check every few sentences.

The system does not flow, it is like jugglimng baslls of air to figure out how to generate a character with no foundation or grounding.

In actual play, you do not drink from a canteen, and mark it off, you have a system that has 5 points of water to be depleted. you might get one drink, you might get up to 5 drinks, it depends on making a roll of "5" on a d6 for the first drink. For the second drink, that's 2d6, on a 5 or more it is depleted. thrid drink 3d6. So literally you are tracking Individual drinks of water by dice roll, not knowing if you are emptying the canteen or not until you make the roll.

That kind of "micro-management by guessing" minutiae pervades the whole system. The attempt was to "Not have to worry about marking stuff off on a sheet minutiae, replaced by this die roll system to "add tension as befits horror, you do not know when you will run out of ammo, or food or water, or bandages."

What it added was Tension Headache over a few weeks of digging through to figure all of this out.

Forgive me, but if I have three bandages, and I use one, I got two left. that is pretty much kindergarten mathematics of resource management, done by 5 year old hands, not needing a calculator or dice.

People have run this at conventions, by scrapping a lot of the mechanics, and it was reported to be great. it was also reported to be worst Sci fi RPG ever made.

It has it's bright points, but for me, it was unworkable, needlessly complex, and a bear to understand.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Deep Space
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Outbreak: Undead 2nd Ed - Pocket Book
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2016 18:08:07
  • Haven't had an opportunity to play the game yet but have read about half the book. As with many RPG rulebooks, this one has some layout issues. Not that the pages themselves could have used more love but the information I need is just not always located where I'd like it to be. The rules themselves seem a bit complicated but not needlessly so. The name of the game here is "realism," so complicated dice pools are not out of place. If you don't want to play a gritty, realistic zombie game, play something else.


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead 2nd Ed - Pocket Book
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Outbreak: Undead - Quick Start Guide
by Jim H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2015 18:39:31

It would not even open it downloaded fine but the file would not open.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead - Quick Start Guide
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Publisher Reply:
Hey Jim! I\'m so sorry you\'re having problems opening up our Quick Start Guide. I just verified that the file is not corrupt, and shouldn\'t have any issues. We also checked the original file and the file on the server and it seems to be working fine. May I recommend you try re-downloading the item? It may have had a interrupted or incomplete download. If you\'re still having issues, you can also download the QSG directly on our site (www.outbreakundead.com) or we\'d be happy to email it directly to you. Please let us know if that is of any help and if you\'d be willing to take some time to reconsider your review. We\'d greatly appreciate it!
Hey Jim, Just wanted to see if you had any additional issues with the QSG. If you\'d like, we can send it to you directly to help with any issues you may be having with DTRPG\'s download. Please let us know how we can help!
Jim, Did you still need help finding our QSG? We\'d like to offer it to you directly if we can if you\'re having issues with the DTRPG download.
Hey Jim, It\'s been 7 months since we tried to help you with issues regarding the QSG. Is there anything we can do to help you re-consider this review?
Outbreak: Deep Space
by Dane K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2015 04:12:23

Since the update actually went through I've been playing Outbreak quite often with my friends. It's a damn solid title. I would also like to apologize to the publisher for the giant delay in removing my original negative comment/rating, between work and school it simply slipped through the cracks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Deep Space
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Outbreak: Deep Space
by Moritz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2014 16:56:38

Let me say right away that I feel pretty let down by this book. I'll tell you why soon, but first let me list the good things about it:

1) Art. As to be seen by the cover art, this book boasts some beautiful illustrations.

2) Adaptability. With Outbreak: Deep Space you can create gaming nights with a wide variety of theme, going from the movie "Alien" to "Starship Troopers" and beyond.

3) Setting. This is really a subjective matter, but "Military Sci-Fi Survival Horror" is a fantastic combo indeed.

Now let me say why despite these good things, I don't like this game.

1) Mechanics. In my mind they are atrocious. Only a few pages into the book you find yourself reading about ever-accumulative percentile checks combined with a degree-of-success system that is bafflingly complicated; you will have four (!) different ways of using a simple D6 explained to you that will make you feel like your back in school, learning about faculties in math class; you will be learning about attributes, skills, abilities, descriptors, paradigms (wtf?) and the various horror-stats (why are there more than one?). This system seriously lacks focus. It feels like the designer took virtually every good sci-fi RPG ever made (Dark Heresy, Traveller, Savage Worlds to name a few) and mushed them together to create one chaotic clusterf*ck of a system.

2) Character Sheet. This really goes with the first point, but the character sheet is so cluttered that I feel it deserves a point on its own. In fact, if you want visual proof of this system being overly complicated, just have a look at the free character-sheet PDF and you will see what I'm talking about with your own eyes.

3) Layout. It's not horrible and they tried to make it fit the theme, but often times the graphics look out of place and in general it's not really neat.

4) Abbreviations. The book is full of them and they make what is a hard system already even harder to understand. Just as an example, the abbreviation for the Martial Arts skill is {MtlA%}. I sometimes felt like reading code that didn't compile properly.

5) Skill system. This is an extension of (1). There's a skill called Diplomacy (Ask). And if that's not enough: even when all your trillion tiny bonuses make your chance to succeed at a skill check go above 100%, you still have to roll and the rules for success get completely mixed up. What.

6) Fluff. Aside from the artwork, there's barely any in this book. No short stories, no example adventures, none of that. You can see now, why that makes this game terribly "adaptive" to your own setting. You'll have to come up with it.

7) Combat. You'll be adding numbers and calculating rolls more than either ROLEplaying or rolePLAYING. There's little fun to be found in rolling D100 (Check) + 2D6 (Difficulty) + 2D6 (Speed) and adding that together to compare it to tables and charts. What is a difficulty-die supposed to transfer anyway?

8) PDF Directory. There is none, which makes navigating this thing a nightmare.

So to conclude:

Buy this game if you are a hardcore min-maxer that feels unchallenged by AD&D 2 and has an equally oriented group of friends to play the game with.

Don't buy this game if you think D&D 3.5 is crunchy enough. Don't buy this game if you want a game with a lush setting or horror-feel. Don't buy this game if you like having some interaction with NPCs and your peers where you can just let go of numbers for a second. Don't buy this game if you have a group of friends that expects you to explain the rules to them because they don't want to read them, or don't have the rules (I don't think it can be done). Don't buy this game if you like having a neat and self-explanatory rulebook/PDF at your side.

Really, in general, don't buy this game.

I only paid 15$ for it and I still feel like I should get my money back. Actually, I feel like I should've been the one getting paid for having read through this thing.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Deep Space
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2014 20:35:38

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=45134.

Most tabletop role-playing games can be classified in two different ways: a setting designed to fit with a set of mechanics or a set of mechanics designed to fit a setting. Yes there is some gray area between those two, but generally games fall into one of those two classifications. Outbreak: Deep Space is by far a game where the mechanics were designed around the setting.

Outbreak: Deep Space is a military sci-fi survival horror game. It’s kind of a mouthful, but it’s quite important to understand each one of those aspects, although not necessarily in that order. For starters, the setting and system are science fiction; seemingly far into the future. This means you get all that cool sci-fi equipment: armor, weapons, and gadgets. Second, it’s military; this means the game revolves around a lot of action without the drama, intrigue, and politics like space opera. Third, it’s horror; there are no shortage of scaring things to deal with on a regular basis. Finally, it’s survival horror; the goal is to survive because the horrors you’re facing are so bad that you may not make it to the end.

Understanding those four concepts can be easy for the setting, but Outbreak: Deep Space goes one giant step further and incorporates all four of those aspects in the games’ mechanics. However, this isn’t done on a piece-by-piece basic; it’s done by mashing all four of those aspects together to create a cohesive set of mechanics to support those four aspects. Oh yeah, they back it all up with some great setting-related artwork to boot. Let’s look at some of the mechanics that support what I’m saying:

Gear in Outbreak: Deep Space is quite dynamic. Gear is primarily supported by equipment kits, because a character should be completely outfitted to do the job they need to do. These kits can be further customized through external modifications and tech point upgrades. This is a very important mechanic to support that military sci-fi feel. It’s reminiscent of what a soldier in any army would be given so that they can be of value to their unit and do the job they’re supposed to do.

The effects of horror are numerous. You don’t just have one measurement of how horror effects a character, you have several: morale, insanity, psychological trauma, psychosis, therapy, regression, mental trauma, and other little bits here and there. This doesn’t just support horror, this is truly survival horror as it reminds you that there are many ways horror can affect a character and how many different ways a human might respond to that.

The overall level of horror is measured by an outbreak level. Granted, this is part of the Outbreak series, but this is one of the underlying mechanics, or at least it seems to be, that really defines survival horror as opposed to investigative or action horror. As the story progresses, the atmosphere worsens and things begin to happen more often. Maybe encounters are more frequent; maybe encounters are more deadly; maybe things just start feeling wrong.

I would like to note that Outbreak: Deep Space is not a game for beginners. However, I’d also like to point out that most beginners don’t start with survival horror as they may not be able to handle character death. (“This is the first time I’ve ever played and my character already died?!”) So, don’t approach this RPG with the idea that you’re going to be handled with kid gloves and walked through it like an introductory game. It pretty much has the assumption that you’ve played RPGs before and are ready to truly embrace the world of military sci-fi survival horror in all of its aspects. If you’re prepared for that type of atmosphere, than this is a game that will fit like a glove!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
by Chris A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2014 18:42:29

Very nice to have this Extra Content support from this Game publisher. It is all very relevant to the Outbreak Undead rules and games I will run. Really, it is much like optional rules expansions I have seen from other Game Systems (but I did not have to buy another Edition of the rules to get it, which I appreciate very much.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
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Outbreak: Undead - GM's Companion
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/06/2012 01:09:27

The GM's Companion serves as a handy addition to Outbreak: Undead that really does add a new degree of complexity to the risk and reward of missions in the zombie apocalypse. While it's not exactly going to turn your game upside down with a ton of new and unexpected things, it provides a good guide of what you can expect to be doing in the zombie apocalypse and things that can be put into play that won't beat the players' characters to a pulp in seconds.

Basically, the GM's Companion serves as a guide to what you want to do to keep a game smooth and on track, and allows you to use random generation to figure out stuff to put in if you lose track of where things should be going. It's not giant, but it's got enough stuff in there to be worth noting as a valuable aid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead - GM's Companion
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Outbreak: Undead
by Robert C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2012 22:11:48

If you're just looking to kill zombies, this may not be the book for you.

However, if you're looking for a general framework to fit your personal zombie apocalypse in, put your cash on the able now. Rules for stronghold building, firearms, looting, minor gear customization, an adaptable mission structure, and the ability to create "yourself" as a character are just some of the highlights.

The rules system is broad and different. It's made to play with 2 d10s and a d6, with a lot of room for imagination. The first thing to remember is that these are a framework. The rules can be vague or confusing in some spots, but the simplicity in mechanics they were shooting for more than make up for it. Add in monthly updates via Free Content Friday, and you've got a lot of potential.

The game adapts itself very well to the players, rather than demanding the other way around. The system tries to prevent rampant metagaming and will grow on you. Gamemaster friendly, as you can play and refree at the same time, and it doesn't demand large amounts of prep work. A great buy if you're looking for something different and aren't afraid to tweak the system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
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Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2012 15:57:40

This material adds an interesting threat for survivors to face, and one that is likely unexpected.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
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Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
by Jason A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2012 15:33:39

I love the concept of Free Content Friday. But is there a way to include something in the product title so that buyers know whether they have already purchased/downloaded this item? I suggest putting the date of release into the title. [Ex: Free Content Friday - 04/13/2012]. Otherwise, visitors to this site are left thinking that there is only one product release from who knows how long ago?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Wild Kingdom
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/17/2012 11:04:31

Outbreak: Undead is in my opinion the best zombie game available, and Outbreak: Wild Kingdom is a suitably high-quality supplement for it.

Quite frankly, if you're going to do any real wilderness focus in your game, this is a great add-on. While not every campaign goes into the wilderness, there are even more city-applicable features like statistics for dogs, birds, and vermin swarms that would still be in play in a urban environment.

The Fair King Zoo scenario is both very interesting but also a little gory for my squeamish taste (it is a zombie game, after all). I'm not as easily scared as I used to be, so it didn't bother me terribly much, but it's not the sort of thing I'd run with just anyone (just like any zombie campaign). This should not be interpreted as a bad thing, however, given the setting and goal.

I cannot come up with anything bad about this book; some people may not care for the style, but I find the style to be incredibly cool (maybe on account of my nerdiness), and there's nothing I can gripe about.

My one warning to people would be that this is a zombie game, so not everyone will appreciate the art and content (it is rather gory), and it's not for children or the excessively squeamish.

For those wanting a quick summary: Content: 4/5 (It has a lot, but it's very specific; if you are going into the wilderness specifically it'd be 5/5) Art/Typesetting: 5/5 (It made my graphic design nerd happy inside) Writing: 4/5 (Some typos detract from otherwise excellent writing, some places could be re-written) Awesome Factor: 5/5 (ZOMBIES! Wilderness survival! Animals!) Interest: 5/5 (Well thought out and deeper than just stating facts) Maturity: 16+ (Clean language and sexual content, but violent and potentially disturbing) Value: 4/5 (It's not the longest supplement around for $13, but it makes up for it with quality)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Wild Kingdom
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Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
by Christopher M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2011 18:49:57

Outbreak: Undead is a very fine game with a good flow. This product is a great addition, and will also do well as added on material for other Modern RPG's.

Love Outbreak, and look forward to more adds, free content, and companion material.

Rob Kirkman would be proud! :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunters Books - Free Content Friday!
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Outbreak: Undead
by Gokce M. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/26/2011 05:10:52

Outbreak:Undead(O:U) is purely wonderful. As a game system, it isn't just for short games, also you can play a whole zombie outbreak, sure if you can survive. You never get so powerful that you don't fear zombies, but you get powerful enough to survive and have small breaks to breathe.

Solutions for most ambiguous positions like car driving, fuel consumption and stronghold resources, are well designed ad-hoc solutions. They simulate encounters very realistic, and are fast-play, learn-easy formulations.

Zombies, on the other hand, uses different rules than players. Many types of zombies are possible and they cover all-types of zombies. Templates for most common types of zombies are designed and presented in rulebook. Familiar Face and Janitor are good reminders that zombies are not about only bodies, but they are remainders of what they were before.

Character creation is easy and most common type survivors has templates designed. If you wanna play yourself that is not so hard. There is just one problem with character creation, it takes time. But character sheet is not big at all, just front page of an A4 type sheet.

GMing this game is mostly being a ruler. But that doesn't mean there is no fun. Fun of this game for GM is designing areas, planning zombie encounters and watch players shrive to survive. It is really fun, take this word to heart.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
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Outbreak: Undead
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2011 03:31:31

Outbreak: Undead is a zombie horror survival rpg - a big one, clocking in at over 430 pages. And it is chock full of rules, lots and lots of beautiful rules for killing zombies, surviving zombie attacks, and fortifying your base to stop those damn zombies from getting in! That being said, the rules aren't overly difficult to get your head around, and everything runs off a straightforward percentage system, with margins of success for every ten points you pass or fail a roll by. I would say the game is thorough, more than it is complex, and I like that. How thorough? The equipment chapter is almost 100 pages and covers everything from chainsaws (obviously) to guns, to body armour and drugs. The 20 pages before that are just about vehicles - how to drive them, how to run them into stuff, and how to get away from a zombie horde in them. The GM chapter is close to 100 pages too, and covers all the ground you would expect it to - how to create and run encounters, and advice on turning the player characters into zombies! This is a realistic kind of game, where combat is bloody and the horror visceral. Making it even more realistic is the recommendation for the players to play themselves, in locations they are familiar with. There is plenty of advice to help you out with this, and I really like the idea. The basic premise of the game is to put the characters in a specific situation after a zombie outbreak, and give them a specific objective, such as last a particular amount of time, escape to somewhere safer, or kill all the zombies. This "mission" structure, combined with the possibility of player yourself in your hometown means you could play out all those conversations you've had with friends (you know you've had them), about what you would do in a zombie outbreak. Cool. But the rules aren't even the best part. For me, the LOOK of the book is where it is at. It is kind of like a survivor's scrapbook, filled with bad sketches, crummy polaroid photos, hand scrawled messages and sticky-notes. It is a really eclectic mix of documents, fonts and art, all presented as if stuck into a notebook it I think it captures the theme of the game beautifully. I am not normally a fan of such wildly different art styles in one book, and some of the art is pretty average, but here it all works together to present as an artefact from the world it is creating. The book is not without its faults, though I will admit they are pretty small ones. The table of contents is not hyperlinked, and neither are the chapter numbers that are on the edge of every page. I wish they were. Furthermore the bookmarks are only for the start of each chapter, which means there is a fair bit of virtual page flipping in those 100-page chapters. I also had difficulty reading large portions of the text that were presented as handwriting. Now, it was clear and neat, and very effective in terms of creating an "artefact", but it was not as easy as reading more typical "typed" text. Overall, I am really impressed by Outbreak: Undead.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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