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Outbreak: Undead
 
$49.99 $19.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Outbreak: Undead
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Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
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
Publisher: Hunters Books
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
Publisher: Hunters Books
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!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Tim M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/24/2011 19:29:24
My sons and I played "Outbreak: Undead" at GenCon2010 and had a great time. I am glad they came out with a pdf version of the rule book.

PROS:
- An interesting rules system that is more a simulation then an RPG.
- Character creation and being able to play yourself using by SPEW assessment online in nice.
- The mission oriented format is new to me and easy to use as the GM.
- The pdf version has an index, although it would be nice if you could click on a page number in the index and be taken to that page.

CONS:
- A searchable pdf would have been nice.
- The format of the rulebook being a journal can be a little annoying at times.
- There are some pages that just have pictures and quotes without useful game information but they do break up the text.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Ian R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/24/2011 15:49:39
Write a review for Outbreak: Undead? Sure, give me 4 hours. Seriously though, this book is huge, and packed with crunch cover to cover. Don't let that scare you off though, because this book contains all of the player information you need, AND the DM information, and all of the crunch is useful. I'll highlight just a few of the standout features;
If you're looking for a serial style game that feels like a zombie horror movie, this is the game for you. The mechanics are unique (which in of itself is very impressive for the now very full RPG market, especially for first time publishers), and really help the flow of the story move directly from one scene to the next. And the key to understanding this game is that it is built around scenes, much like a movie.
Outbreak: Undead is great for oldschool players who love to track every little condition, and every little item (it includes superglue in the equipment section!). It will satisfy those players who love horror games, and want their PCs to eventually feel the cold embrace of death. And perhaps best of all, the game isn't tied down to any single zombie trope- each of the major zombie types is covered, with examples, and plenty of rules are given to modify those.
And DMs, this game is a breeze to run on the fly. Zombies have (understandably) a set of rules that govern their actions (which of course varies based on the trope you choose), which means your job can be boiled down to just rolling dice at the appropriate time. Indeed, a good group could even play the game without a DM.
I hope this, combined with other reviews, will give you a reasonable idea of the game. It truly is more game than one tiny review can contain.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2011 12:57:35
Outbreak: Undead is one of the best RPG experiences that I have EVER had. I review zombie games on www.BoardGameGeek.com and this game has been dominating my play list pretty much since I got it. When I review games on BGG, I look at their originality, rules, components/quality/layout, theme, coolness. This game almost scores full marks.

What I Like:
The game is an original take on the zombie RPG, because it is really not just an RPG, but closer to a zombocalypse simulator.

The rules are hard-core, no excuses, this-is-how-post - apocalypse-life-is-so-deal-with-it feeling. This is not a game for wimps, especially if you use the online character generator to create yourself as a character. Your character will probably die.

The free online content available for this game is INCREDIBLE. Get the game, join the forums and look for the Free Content Friday stuff. You will have to join and participate in the forums to get it, but WOW!

I love the character generation system. I will admit that there is a learning curve to the process, but remember all things of true value require work on your part.

The different Outbreak levels and the way that they change the encounters and the scenario/campaign as you move from one to the next really add a level of realism.

The rules for equipment (and its degeneration), the rules for formations and the rules for panic are all excellent.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about the zombies, the different types, the ways they can pass infection, everything is very well presented such that you could customize the game to nearly anything. This is proven by the April 1st 2011 Free Content available here on RPGNow.

The chapter on combat, including open wounds, wound types, grappling with the undead, etc. is all very clear and realistic.

Again, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in the game masters section is really cool: Encounters, stronghold rules, missions, viral tables, everything.

What I DON'T Like:

Some of the character generation rules are arbitrary and don't make much sense -- for example: according to the rules characters over 200 lbs can't have the skill Agility. My stepson is 6' 5" tall. He practices parkour in real life. He is unhealthy and anorexic-looking at 200 lbs. His normal athletic weight is 220 lbs. Believe me when I say He DEFINES Agile. Additionally, by these rules, 2x Super Bowl champion Tight End Todd Christensen is also not agile in his prime at 6'3" and 230 lbs., he is just one among others that I could name.

Between 10 years of past autocross and car tuning experience and my wife working for an engineering firm that reports on auto accidents, I know a LOT about vehicles. The chapter on vehicles is NOT realistic, but in fairness, reality and vehicles would make for a truly complex set of rules that would NOT lend themselves to being 1 chapter in an RPG where functioning vehicles are scarce anyway.

TABLES - TABLES - TABLES Where are they? This is a system nearly as complicated as 1st Edition AD&D and there are only a handful of tables in the book. Wow, could it really use some more!

The layout of the book is something some people will like and others will not. I like the idea of it being like a survivor's notebook. That part is cool. What I do NOT like is the small print in the "handwriting" font -- I get it thematically, but I could sacrifice that realism to be able to more easily read the text. I'm glad I don't need glasses, 'cause this book must be HELL for people who do.

Overall this game rates 4 stars out of 5. What it really comes down to is this:

Is it PERFECT? NO. Nothing is.

Is it better than anything else I have seen for this genre? YES.

That comes from someone who has played and reviewed almost 100 different zombie games and has over 25 years of RPG experience. It is a deal at 2X the price. Buy it now.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/31/2011 10:01:41
If you know Dreads, you know dreads loves Zombies; slow zombies, fast zombies, hell, I even kind of like the mutants from Another 28 days that are not zombies but everyone tends to think they are. I watch zombie movies, read zombie books and subscribe to every zombie comic book. When I was contacted by game designer Christopher De La Rosa to preview Outbreak: Undead I was very stoke. My discovery was a system that bled zombie lore and creativity and geared towards players who want a crunchy zombified evening of role-playing.

Outbreak is a hefty 459 pages of flesh-eating zombie love. De La Rosa develops a system that brings together elements of various zombie media into a super-sized package. It is a very stat heavy system.. Those familiar with Palladium Rift’s system, will recognize the percentage system that rewards players. Players have four stats, Strength, Perception, Empathy and will. They pick skills that fit into these stats that coincide with the job they chose. The occupation option is the most unique feature of the game and helps establish the role-playing element of the game.

Combat utilizes a collectible card type system of phases. Players take actions, the board is checked and then damage is resolved. This can make combat very tedious with the wrong group or DM. During the playtest, the one combat lasted 2 hours and it had been condensed.

The layout style is supercreative and really draws you into the book. It feels like you are flipping through a government dosier. However, an additional plain text version is very much needed for those who just want the information without the pretty. At 80mb, you could not bring this up on a phone, and the lack of distinguishable bookmarks makes it clunky to maneuver around through.

For RPGers
Outbreak: Undead is the table-top version of action RPGs like Resident Evil or Dawn of the Dead (remake). With the right DM, it can be utilized to play slower, more suspenseful zombie scenarios, however, it feels additional rules will either need to be created or houseruled. Still, the depth of the system allowed for some awesome random scenarios where the characters feel like they are firmly in the zombie-infested world.

For the Zombie Fan
Outbreak: Undead does not want you to run from zombies for too long. They have very detailed sections on equipment and weaponry that can save your life in the zombie apocalypse. The statistics and open ended occupation system is built for the type of role-player who likes to look at his character sheet and then figure out a roll.

The Iron Word
When played up to its strengths, Outbreak: Undead is a fun system that embeds the action zombie flick into the pages of a Role-Playing Game. I had a chance to run through a midnight preview of this game at Gencon 2009, and even with 8 players, the action was fast and intense. There wasn't a lot of tension breaking role-playing, but there was a lot of split second decisions and free form actions that really showed off the system's depth. At one point my character was allowed to take major electronics in the house and begin to hurl them outside at the herding zombies. To my surprise, there was actually a ready made system of roles for impromptu things like this. The Occupation system was one of the best features, as characters were allowed to automatically have abilities that were suited for the occupation they were before the flesh-eaters came.

If you are looking for a crunchy horror themed game, Outbreak: Undead will provide your group with the kind of zombie fix you can not get on Fearnet.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/28/2011 21:25:42
I'm going to admit that this book deserves a much longer review. It is 400 pages chock full of information. That being said, it is pretty rules intense. Much like a zombie outbreak, it isn't for the faint of heart. I haven't gotten to run a full game as I need to convince my group that I have a handle on it and it isn't tough. The best part is that the rules are so explicit that the GM can actually play the game (with a few minor caveats). The idea is realism here though. You can make yourself as your character to see if you would survive. Don't know your stats? No worries, just go to their website and fill out the 40 question survey. BOOM! Stats are done. Choose your skills, your equipment, and you're ready to go.

Without getting into mechanics, the basic gist is choose an objective for your party. This could be get to a certain waypoint in a certain amount of time. Secure a stronghold of X number of points. I'll get to that. Once you assign an objective, the players choose missions to go on that can secure various resources. Sometimes it is weapons, food, supplies, information, routing zombies from the area, etc. As you accumulate resources, rescue people, and accumulate knowledge, your stronghold (safe house of some sort) becomes stronger and able to withstand larger zombie attacks. So when you say get a stronghold of 40 points, you have a pretty darn good fortress at that point. Because the encounters as parts of missions are random, the GM really only have to control the rolls for what happens after specific amounts of time. Then zombies act according to specific rules, so the GM can just track damage and initiative while playing. Or just divvy it up and share the burden.

I am excited to give this a try. I love zombies and this is my chance to really see if I can survive (at least in this world). It'll take a bit of trial and error on the rules, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Jason L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2011 11:34:33
Finally, an excellent tabletop system based on a zombie apocalypse scenario! Although other engines can be bent to fit such a world, it is very refreshing to see a game based around it.

Definitely a first edition and some aspects need to be streamlined and/or reworked (vehicles) but easily worth twice what you are paying for.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/07/2011 07:35:07
So. Much. Awesome.

Outbreak: Undead is the best zombie tabletop RPG out there, and I can say that without a fear of having to eat my own words. There are other zombie games out there, and indeed other excellent zombie games out there, but none come as close to total perfection and accuracy as Outbreak: Undead.

Opting for a full simulation of a zombie outbreak, this game includes rules for playing yourself or a readily made character, as well as lots of things that could be found over the course of a zombie outbreak, including lots of info about the types and numbers of zombies you may encounter.

I'm really at a loss here. I could go on praising Outbreak: Undead for hours, but the words to describe just how awesome it is escape me. For $20, this will be the best zombie game you could buy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Undead
Publisher: Hunters Books
by Roy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2011 11:42:27
Excellent stuff. I have waited so long to get my hands on this book. If you want a good fast pace pen and paper with realistic rules and a brutal difficulty this is for you.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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