<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy John. We started talking on the twitter not too long ago, and then he reached out and asked if he could write for us regarding his journey through the nerdy realm. I was all DUDDEEE!! That’s so raaaddd!! And now, here we are. Like right now, in real time, this is happening. Pretty cool huh? HIT IT JOHN!!! </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s John Sollitto
So, this was a fun weekend. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to hang out with Misti at her fantabulous birthday party with all of her other friends, but my sister suggested the next best thing, a release party for her friends’ game! You like pen and paper rpgs, like Dungeons and Dragons? Then how about one that is about the zombie apocalypse?
That’s the setting for Outbreak: Undead. The best part? You get to roll yourself as a character. Seriously. Let me make an example. You can go to the website outbreakundead.com to check the whole system out and order a core rulebook, but I’ll go through character creation right now. You get four attributes: Strength, Perception, Empathy, and Will (S.P.E.W. that’s quite possibly the best acronym ever haha). You can go to outbreakundead.com/spewai to answer 40 question about your lifestyle and personal health and the website will generate your stats for you! After that, you’ve gotta chose your class and skills.
So, me, John Sollitto my class is a journalist. According to the book a journalist doesn’t have a lot of skills that are good for a zombie apocalypse. However, I do get a plus five bonus to my Empathy so I’m better at talking down panicked survivors and whatnot. Then I can choose skills like Calm (which would help me keep a cool head if the zombies came rushin’ towards me) or Gunslinger (if I have experience in firearms). Then the Game Master chooses the level of zombie outbreak, location, and off we go!
Of course it’s more complicated than that but I won’t bog you down with the details, though I will suggest that you get this game because it is freaking amazing. But now to the good part: the party. So I get to Meltdown comics at about 7:30 p.m. I’ve never been there before so it was like walking into heaven for me. I mean just look at it!
Friggin’ beautiful. So we go in the back to the Nerdist Theater and the party is in full swing. Fans of the game are there, the creators, and of course friends and family. It was quite the shindig. Zombie themed drinks were flowing and the pictures were snapping, it was glorious.
I got to talk to Ivan Van Norman, the Marketing Director and one of the Creators of Outbreak: Undead, and he gave me the rundown of the whole thing. This was entirely created by him and his two friends, a labor of fan love. Ivan explained that they were through their first printing of the core rulebook and going on their second. They were debuting their newest book of content Wild Kingdom, which expands the bestiary of zombie animals (which sounds absolutely frightening by the way). Going on the Outbreak website though would show you that these guys have a HUGE fanbase. Their forums are super active and everyone helps each other out if there are any questions.
As the night went on Ivan and the co-creators Robert Watts and Christopher De La Rosa did a Q&A about the game. That went for about half-an-hour and it was pretty cool to hear about all the different professionals that helped out on the game. Then the games began.
EVERYBODY LOVES A RAFFLE! The prizes were awesome: fanny packs and backpacks filled with survival supplies in case the zombies rise up any time soon, gaming flavored energy drinks, and then the two beauties. The two beauties would be a real freaking machete with a serrated blade on it and a crowbar with three pointed tips! It was like a pickaxe crowbar with a pointed end on the handle. And guess who won it!!
Oh yeah, I don’t think I’ve won anything as awesome as a crowbar before, but now I have. Honestly though, the best part of that night was getting a press copy of the rulebook, seen in the picture, some zombie blood energy drink pouches also in the picture, and the prospect of a new game. I was so impressed by the game, and when I saw the site I was so impressed by the community and the creativity of the game.
Projects like this, self-funded and totally backed by fans and enjoyed by them are so amazing. They’re the light in the dark tunnel of hum-drum same-old same-old games. I applaud these men and their fans for being original and supporting each other. Zombies for life.
Want more from John? Click here to follow him on the twitter!