7:33 PM +ANS-Jerrod: My name is Jerrod ‘Savage Daddy’ Gunning. I’m one of the founders of Atomic Ninja Studios and the creator of Dead End. Dead End is
7:34 PM +ANS-Jerrod: a gritty zombie survival horror setting using Savage Worlds rules and currently live on Kickstarter until 10/16/20.
7:34 PM +ANS-Jerrod: (done)
7:34 PM +ANS-Jeff: My name is Jeff Friedman. I’m the wordsmith and lore/setting guy for Atomic Ninja Studios.
7:35 PM +ANS-Dave: I’m David Scott co-founder of Atomic Ninja Studios, a designer behind Dead End.
7:35 PM +ANS-Dave: (Done)
7:36 PM ~Dan: Thanks, guys! The floor is open to questions!
7:36 PM ~Dan: So aside from being about zombies, what is the premise of Dead End? Is it a specific setting, or is it a zombie “how-to” guide?
7:37 PM +ANS-Dave: I think Jerrod is the best one to explain that, it is after all his baby.
7:37 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Dead End is about ordinary everyday people caught flat-footed by the sudden end of the world.
7:38 PM +ANS-Jerrod: While zombies are present, they aren’t the real threat. Finding food, shelter, medicine and people you can trust is the focus. And players will quickly learn that other NPC survivors and the world itself is far more of a threat than the living dead.
7:39 PM ~Dan: So it is one specific setting?
7:39 PM +ANS-Jerrod: focus on the often overlooked survival aspects of zombie games and media. You are more likely to die of starvation or exposure than a zombie bite… depending on how you play your survivor.
7:40 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Yes. It takes place in our modern world. And explores the impact of a world-wide pandemic that causes the dead to rise and feast on the living
7:40 PM +ANS-Jerrod: (done)
7:41 PM +ANS-Dave: One of the favorite sayings of the play testers for the past few years has been “embrace the suck”. We often see almost a Stockholm syndrome type reaction. Players rave about loving the setting while their characters suffer dramatically.
7:41 PM ~Dan: What are “your” zombies like?
7:41 PM +ANS-Jerrod: They are the classic shamblers imagined by George Romero and those featured on The Walking Dead.
7:42 PM +ANS-Dave: We wanted to refocus on the Romero style of zombie. No intelligence, no coordination, no special abilities. The entire company has read the Zombie Survival guide by Max Brooks as well as World War Z.
7:43 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Our zombies have absolutely no sense of self preservation, and will walk into a wood chipper in pursuit of living prety.
7:43 PM ~Dan: (As an aside, I only recently learned that he’s Mel Brooks’ son.)
7:43 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Oops… prey
7:44 PM ~Dan: How soon after the rise of the dead does the game take place?
7:45 PM +ANS-Jerrod: That is really up to the player.
7:45 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Or Game Master.
7:46 PM +ANS-Dave: That is up to the user. We have an adventure in development set during the outbreak, but the main plot point campaign takes place typically a few months into the appocalypse.
7:46 PM * ~Dan nods
7:47 PM ~Dan: And this is a Savage Worlds game, correct?
7:47 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Correct. It is compatible with the current version (Savage Worlds Adventure Edition)
7:47 PM ~Dan: Do you introduce any new rules or rules tweaks to the system?
7:48 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Quite a few. But, I’ll turn that over to ANS-Dave
7:49 PM +ANS-Dave: I don’t have the reference here in front of me but I would guess we introduce around 20+ pages of mechanics to Savage Worlds. Some examples are additions to the Edge and Hindrances listing, as well as full replacement of core mechanics.
7:49 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Probably the most innovative new rules is the Infestation Deck (Done)
7:50 PM +ANS-Dave: Some of the biggest changes for most players to get used to include Trauma Damage wherein the player actually loses the ability to soak wounds, no longer suffers a “wound penalty” on actions but is forced to roll on the injury table.
7:50 PM +ANS-Dave: We also have the aptly named “Fate is Cruel” rule which actually prevents the use of Bennies on any dice roll where the wild die resulted in a 1.
7:51 PM +ANS-Dave: The Infestation Deck that Jerrod mentions is an upgrade to the standard Action Deck used in Savage Worlds.
7:51 PM +ANS-Dave: It gives the game a “neutral arbiter” so to speak of horrible things that happen as a direct result of player actions.
7:52 PM +ANS-Dave: If a player for example fires a gun, butchers a slain animal, or shouts they must draw a card from the Infestation Deck which very often results in bad things happening to the party or ongoing challenges they must overcom.
7:53 PM +ANS-Jerrod: One of my favorite changes to Savage Worlds comes with the zombies. Unlike other monsters, they have no Parry or skills of any kind. This just helps to reinforce the Romero style of zombie in the game.
7:53 PM +ANS-Dave: The largest impact this has on the original rules is it causes far more draws from the action deck and also causes some cards to be left face up on the table meaning even on a reshuffle those cards are no longer available.
7:54 PM +ANS-Dave: A good number of the rules can be found in our Jump Start which can be downloaded for free at (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/266732/Dead-End-Jumpstart-Edition)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/266732/Dead-End-Jumpstart-Edition (Done)
7:55 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Caladors!)
7:55 PM +Caladors: Hey Dan
7:55 PM ~Dan: By the way, I’m assuming that these are “head shot” zombies?
7:56 PM +ANS-Dave: Oh absolutely
7:56 PM * ~Dan nods
7:56 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Of course. Classic shamblers.
7:57 PM +ANS-Dave: Not only are they killed with a single wound to the head but in some cases we have rules that auto-kill the undead with no need to roll damage. Zombies also have such low stats that a headshot in classic “melee” has a target of 0 before modifiers! All the player must do is not roll a critical failure.
7:57 PM ~Dan: You’ve touched on this a bit, but there are a lot of zombie RPGs out there. What do you think makes Dead End stand out?
7:58 PM +ANS-Dave: The problem isn’t 1 zombie, the problem is his 10 friends that are ganging up on you at once.
7:58 PM +ANS-Jerrod: What makes Dead End different is the focus on survival and horror, not action.
7:58 PM +ANS-Jerrod: This isn’t Die Hard meets Night of the Living Dead.
7:59 PM ~Dan: I see.
7:59 PM +ANS-Dave: I can’t speak to some of the existing games as I’ve mostly played Savage Worlds for a bit over 10 years now. With that said the other zombie products using Savage Worlds are very much Zombieland or 28 days later, where we wanted to serve a different branch of the zombie genre.
8:00 PM ~Dan: Regarding the Infestation Deck, it sounds like a draw from it can happen based upon pretty much anything happening. Am I missing something there?
8:00 PM +ANS-Jerrod: It really focuses on find food to keep from starving, or shelter against the elements. It is also about holding on to what you’ve got and the moral dilemas that come with survival.
8:01 PM +ANS-Dave: Ahh, so the interesting part there is that while many things can trigger a draw it isn’t everything. A player who uses a melee weapon, a bow, or some other silent weapon will find they don’t cause draws. Scavenging only causes a draw on a failure to make the stealth checks to remain silent…
8:02 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Generally, anything that would draw the attention of the dead (loud noises like gunshots) require a draw from the Infestation Deck. And the deck reinforces the classic zombie movie tropes.
8:03 PM +ANS-Jerrod: That could be drawing more dead to you, to losing half your supplies in the process of escaping.
8:03 PM +ANS-Dave: Some draws from the infestation deck might result in stumbling on traps laid by other survivors or a storm passing through the area as well.
8:04 PM ~Dan: Ah, I see. But I’m not sure I follow the logic there — a player isn’t stealthy, so a storm hits?
8:04 PM +ANS-Dave: It’s not designed to be pernicious but it does act as a risk vs reward mechanic for using the guns or butchering an animal on open ground rather than taking it to a hide where it can be masked while you butcher it.
8:06 PM +ANS-Jerrod: It also serves to present the players with the ‘common’ challenges a survivor would face in a zombie apocalypse.
8:07 PM +ANS-Dave: Well the infestation deck is a random draw from the deck. We leave crafting the narrative to the players and the GM but an great example would be you are scavenging a destroyed pharmacy, fail your stealth check and draw the storm card and the GM narrates that as you leave the pharmacy with your stash of treasures you feel the first drops of a
8:07 PM +ANS-Dave: thunderstorm rolling in, this causes an unplanned narrative hook for a sidetrack session of play. (done)
8:07 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Some cards have instant effects, while others linger until the players take the necessary actions to clear card. And if you ever have more than 5 cards on the table at once, it summons a zombie horde!
8:08 PM ~Dan: Ah, now that’s clever.
8:08 PM ~Dan: How big is a horde, by the way?
8:09 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Too big to fight (wink)
8:09 PM ~Dan: Heh.
8:10 PM +ANS-Dave: So let me break down Hordes for you.
8:10 PM ~Dan: Sure!
8:10 PM +ANS-Dave: This is actually something that no one outside the play test or development staff has seen at all. Essentially Hordes and Herds are two designations we have of very large groups of Zombies.
8:11 PM +ANS-Dave: A Horde operates as a swarm from Savage Worlds and the GM narrates how large it is, so it could number anywhere from 10 to a couple hundred zombies.
8:12 PM +ANS-Dave: Any character caught by a Horde is auto hit! as such the zombies only roll damage and remember any wound is fatal!
8:12 PM ~Dan: Wow. That IS scary.
8:13 PM +ANS-Dave: Herds are a different beast all together and as scary as a horde is a herd is the Godzilla of Dead End! Characters caught by a herd are auto killed.
8:13 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Think Hershel’s Farm (Walking Dead reference)
8:13 PM +ANS-Dave: Herd are designated as being thousands of zombies
8:13 PM +ANS-Dave: So I feel I’m remiss to talk damage from zombies.
8:14 PM +ANS-Dave: If a zombie bites a character they are most likely going to die.
8:15 PM +ANS-Dave: We do have rules for amputation, but it must happen extremely quickly. We also have some rules regarding select immunity, though those are optional.
8:15 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Speaking of rules, there is one for Amputation in the event of a zombie bite.
8:15 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Dave beat me to it… lol
8:15 PM +ANS-Dave: All of that said, a bite is FATAL. All dead will rise as Zombies regardless of what caused their death as well.
8:16 PM +ANS-Dave: I believe when writing the rules for this the comment was “make the walking dead look like sesame street”.
8:16 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:17 PM +ANS-Jerrod: That has ALWAYS been the design principle and elevator pitch
8:17 PM +ANS-Jerrod: I think one of the really innovative things about the setting is the opportunity for mental derrangements
8:17 PM +ANS-Jerrod: And morality challenges
8:19 PM ~Dan: How does one gain a mental derrangement?
8:20 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Characters have a new stat called Humanity.
8:21 PM +ANS-Jerrod: This is a measure of their mental stablility. It can be increased by taking the “moral hindrances” from Savage Worlds. Like Heroic
8:22 PM +ANS-Jerrod: When they experience events like the loss of a love one, ect. they make a Mental Anguish check and if they fail lose Humanity (or pick up a derangement on a critical failure)
8:23 PM +ANS-Jerrod: So witnessing a close friend being torn apart by a zombie can lead to Depression, PTSD, etc.
8:23 PM +ANS-Dave: The interesting thing is that when a character develops a derangement we don’t simply have them roll on a chart.
8:23 PM +ANS-Jerrod: The have mechanical effects that make survival more dangerous, but like wounds can be healed over time.
8:24 PM +ANS-Dave: We never want the player to feel like the development of their character has been taken away, so instead when they do gain a derangement the player gets to choose the derangement from a list we have in the book.
8:25 PM +ANS-Dave: With the exception of Flashbacks which is a special derangement tied to the morality system which ultimately determines the character’s ongoing humanity during play. (done)
8:27 PM +ANS-Jerrod: In other words, you can make the selfish choices that ensure your survival at the risk of your own humanity and mental stability. But guilt comes back to haunt you.
8:27 PM * ~Dan nods
8:28 PM ~Dan: You guys have come up with some really clever mechanics.
8:28 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Another classic zombie movie trope
8:29 PM ~Dan: If I might make an observation here, you seem to have down what I consider to be the art of genre emulation.
8:29 PM ~Dan: Specifically, it’s not about *making* things happen. Rather, it’s about making some things more *likely* to happen, given the circumstances.
8:30 PM +ANS-Dave: It’s a constant conversation we have internally. We didn’t want to be heavy handed about making a GM “abuse” the PCs but at the same time we wanted the rules to make characters suffer the way real survivors in such an extreme situation would suffer.
8:30 PM +ANS-Jerrod: All of the rules reinforce the tropes of the zombie survival genre. It is one of the things you must do when developing for Savage Worlds because it is a genre nuetral rule set.
8:31 PM * ~Dan nods
8:31 PM +ANS-Dave: Savage Worlds is a very “gritty” system by default but most GMs simply don’t use the rules in the book fully in order to dial in a particular flavor.
8:31 PM ~Dan: Is it really? I haven’t used it much myself, but I thought it had a reputation for being a high-octane “pulpy” rules set.
8:32 PM +ANS-Jerrod: That’s a common misconception
8:32 PM +ANS-Dave: The Hazards section from Savage Worlds didn’t require us to change anything, in fact it gets effectively a couple sentences in our GM section of the Setting book saying essentially “Use Hazards”.
8:33 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Right? You can make a simple Vigor check after every period of rest to see if the character is carrying a level of Fatigue. And that’s vanilla Savage Worlds.
8:33 PM +ANS-Dave: Again, most GMs tailor which section of the book they enforce and ignore. Many simply handwave lighting, hazards, encumbrance and unsteady platform. Others will disregard specific mechanics based on the genre or setting they want to play within.
8:34 PM ~Dan: Huh. Interesting.
8:35 PM +ANS-Jerrod: I think one of the best departures from standard rules is our approach to Fear Checks. You still make a Spirit check as usual, but never roll on the Fear Table for a random reaction. Instead, your character is Shaken and role-plays their reaction to the situation.
8:36 PM ~Dan: Remind me what Shaken entails?
8:37 PM +ANS-Dave: Jerrod, the classic example?
8:37 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Sure, Dave. Go ahead
8:37 PM +ANS-Jerrod: 😀
8:38 PM +ANS-Dave: Shaken means you got your bell rung, or you were caught off guard. The classic example that is often used is Brody from Jaws when he is startled by the shark. He backs away slowly, cigarette hanging from his mouth and udders the infamous “I think you’re going to need a bigger boat” line.
8:39 PM +ANS-Jerrod: As a mechanical rule, Shaken means you cannot take any actions until you recover (usually with a successful Spirit roll on your character’s next turn)
8:39 PM +ANS-Dave: That is effectively a shaken character, unable to take any “real” action but able to move around slowly, and speak. They effectively become not stunned but their defenses are lowered and they have to “shake it off” by making a spirit check at the start of their turn (this is free) or dropping a benny.
8:39 PM ~Dan: Gotcha.
8:41 PM +ANS-Dave: Now Dead End uses a rule we call overwhelmed which actually extends this effect slightly from that found in Savage Worlds.
8:41 PM ~Dan: How does that work?
8:42 PM +ANS-Dave: When a character in Dead End is shaken they can still drop a benny to recover fully at any time. If they choose to rely on making the spirit roll the character is unshaken but still can not act or move at their full pace until their following turn.
8:43 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Recovering from Shaken is not a Free Action like it is in Savage Worlds. If successful, you could still be facing multi action penalties even if you recover
8:43 PM +ANS-Dave: This makes fear a far more devastating weapon as it can cause characters to have to seek cover, refuge and the movement penalty can actually cause a character to move slowly enough to be caught by the shambling dead.
8:43 PM +ANS-Dave: (done)
8:44 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Right! (done)
8:44 PM ~Dan: Cool!
8:44 PM ~Dan: So at this point, I’m going to need a bit of input from you guys…
8:45 PM ~Dan: Ordinarily, we spend about half a Q&A discussing the setting and half discussing the system.
8:45 PM ~Dan: It sounds like we’ve already done a good job of covering both already.
8:45 PM ~Dan: So, is there anything we *haven’t* covered that I’m missing?
8:46 PM ~Dan: And if not, do you guys have any other products you’d like to plug in the time remaining?
8:46 PM ~Dan: I’m totally fine regardless. It’s your show. 🙂
8:48 PM +ANS-Jerrod: I think ANS-Jeff might want to share a little bit about the lore , factions, etc.
8:48 PM ~Dan: Certainly!
8:48 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Dave and I have kind of monopolized the conversation to this point.
8:49 PM +ANS-Jeff: We’ve discussed a lot about the mechanics but not a lot about the state of the world in general.
8:49 PM ~Dan: Good point.
8:50 PM +ANS-Jeff: In the world of Dead End, the virus swept across the globe and left the world in tatters.
8:51 PM +ANS-Jeff: The idea was to create a world in which ordinary people were faced with extraordinary circumstances and had to do extraordinary things to survive, but it still needed to be believable.
8:52 PM +ANS-Jeff: So one of our big things was to take a good look at what is already available and turn it into something that reflected the new state of the world without being something that you couldn’t hand wave away.
8:53 PM +ANS-Jeff: There’s no magic power, no super humans, nothing but a decaying infrastructure and less and less people able to maintain it.
8:53 PM +ANS-Jeff: As an example, I’ll dive into New York City.
8:53 PM +ANS-Jeff: Anyone who’s been to NYC knows that the biggest issue there is space. As in, there’s not a lot of it.
8:54 PM +ANS-Jeff: It’s a zombie virus paradise. Lots of people closely packed into tight spaces.
8:54 PM +ANS-Jeff: But New Yorkers are also known for being incredibly stubborn and determined to do things their own way.
8:54 PM +ANS-Jeff: So in looking at it, the zombies have decimated the city.
8:55 PM +ANS-Jeff: However, the people who survived have gone arboreal.
8:56 PM +ANS-Jeff: The skyscrapers and other large buildings have been turned into a literal urban jungle. Scaffolding and walkways now criscross buildings, and survivors make their way through the city above ground. Demolishing staircases and access points to keep the wandering hordes from coming to devour the small pockets of humanity left.
8:57 PM +ANS-Jeff: An anarchist faction controls the Empire State Building, and the military have taken Liberty island as a refuge for survivors.
8:57 PM +ANS-Jeff: (done)
8:58 PM ~Dan: Very cool! That’s not unlike one of the “Deadworlds” for All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
8:58 PM +ANS-Jeff: I’ve never read it, to be honest. New York happened to be easy for me as I grew up there.
8:59 PM * ~Dan nods
8:59 PM +ANS-Jeff: We ended up taking various points through the US and tailored parts to each.
8:59 PM +ANS-Jeff: Each place has what we call an “infestation level”
9:00 PM ~Dan: Speaking of cities, are the PCs wanderers by default, or is it expected that they’ll build strongholds?
9:00 PM +ANS-Jeff: That’s something we’ve left to the GM, so it depends on the campaign.
9:01 PM * ~Dan nods
9:01 PM +ANS-Jeff: We do have rules for making your own settlements, so the PCs can have a place to call their own, ro they can settle into one of the ones we’ve already mapped out. This way you can set your story in your own home town if you like.
9:02 PM ~Dan: Do you have rules for growing crops, for example?
9:02 PM +ANS-Dave: So, we avoided creating rules for how well a character can build structures or plant crops, etc.
9:03 PM +ANS-Dave: We leave that to the GM and the players to craft through their narrative but it simply didn’t make sense to force them to make dice rolls to see how much wood they harvest, how well they plant a field, etc.
9:04 PM +ANS-Dave: The exciting part of the game is engaging with the survival aspects, not the more mundane day to day maintenance of gear, structures or vehicles.
9:04 PM +ANS-Jerrod: We do have a Scavenging rules system based on “points of supply”
9:04 PM +ANS-Dave: With that said, because of the scavenging system players can go looking for whatever they need but that also means we track how much water, fuel, food, etc they do have through that system as well.
9:05 PM +ANS-Jerrod: And instead of rolling on a random table to see what you find, you get points to spend on what you want to find or what makes narrative sense in the momemnt.
9:05 PM ~Dan: Speaking of scavenging, how much equipment do the PCs start out with by default? Or is that up to the GM as well?
9:06 PM ~Dan: I’m thinking of weapons in particular.
9:06 PM +ANS-Jeff: A big part of Savage Worlds itself is the phrase “Fast Furious Fun”. Things liek figuring out a harvest and making sure walls stay together usually bog down play into a series of mechanical rolls and not much else, which isn’t fat, furious, or fun.
9:07 PM +ANS-Jerrod: It depends. Let’s say you succeed on a scavenging roll while looking through a school bus….
9:07 PM +ANS-Dave: Hold on Jerrod.
9:07 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Go ahead Dave
9:07 PM +ANS-Dave: He’s asking about STARTING gear not what they can find.
9:08 PM ~Dan: Yeah… Like is anything stopping a player from having his PC own a gun?
9:09 PM +ANS-Dave: So starting gear was a much debated topic. We have rules for you to start play as everything from a pizza delivery boy to a police officer and many other types of characters. Thus it wasn’t fair to use the standard Savage Worlds mechanic of $500 worth of starting gear. You could never afford a uniform, weapon, car, etc on that small amount of
9:09 PM +ANS-Dave: money.
9:09 PM +ANS-Dave: So we instead wrote it up that the player and the GM determine what your character would reasonably be expected to have based on the concept.
9:10 PM +ANS-Dave: Thus the pizza delivery boy likely has street clothes, maybe a paper map of the area, a beater of a car but not a lot else, while a Cop would start play with their service pistol, perhaps a long gun, as well as a patrol vehicle. So on and so forth.
9:11 PM +ANS-Jeff: We do provide some pregenerated archtypes that have a list of gear they should start out with, but we encourage players and GMs to sit down and discuss what they feel is appropriate for each specific character.
9:11 PM +ANS-Dave: We had one play test where the party were made up of backpackers who had gone on a guided tour up in the mountains. So they started with camping and hunting gear but no vehicles and not much in the way of weapons.
9:12 PM ~Dan: What kind of hunting gear did they have if they didn’t have weapons?
9:13 PM +ANS-Jeff: We should have said it was more camping and survival gear. These were weekend backpackers, not hunters.
9:13 PM +ANS-Dave: They had the typical hunting style knives as well as one character carried a bow and several arrows. They had the traditional hunting binoculars and other paraphernalia but as they weren’t hunting no one was carrying any rifles, etc.
9:13 PM +ANS-Jerrod: They were carrying field rations and canteens, but the trail leader had a bow I believe
9:13 PM ~Dan: Ah, gotcha.
9:14 PM +ANS-Dave: If I remember right when they found their first zombie it was killed with a rock someone picked up from the side of the road.
9:14 PM +ANS-Jerrod: The idea for the play test was that the apocalpyse broke out while they were on a nature hike.
9:14 PM +ANS-Dave: I believe they were returning less than a week after the outbreak to a world going mad.
9:15 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Essentially.
9:15 PM +ANS-Jeff: What we really want is for people to come up with concepts and then figure out what is appropriate. If you’re playing a survivor soccer mom, you might be able to get a can of mace, small knife, or the like, but there’s not much reason she’s packing a sniper rifle and a brace of grenades.
9:15 PM ~Dan: As I understand it, in the world of The Walking Dead, zombie fiction was never a thing, so nobody knew how you’re supposed to deal with Romero zombies. Is that the case in Dead End as well? Do people learn about the “head shot” rule by trial and error?
9:15 PM +ANS-Jerrod: And you don’t need a gun to survive in this world. A quick wit and a baseball bat will get you by
9:16 PM +ANS-Jerrod: I want to address this one
9:16 PM +ANS-Jeff: You have the floor, sir.
9:16 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Jacob_DC_Ross! Long time no see!)
9:17 PM +ANS-Jerrod: One of the things I have never agreed with is the idea that zombies don’t exist and nobody has every seen a zombie movie. That is a crock in my opinion. Of course the players and characters know what a zombie is. It is not a secret that a head shot puts one down for good. So there was no need to pretend.
9:18 PM +Jacob_DC_Ross: Hey, ~Dan
9:18 PM +ANS-Jerrod: There is no “rule” for discovering what a zombie is in Dead End.
9:18 PM ~Dan: I see. Cool.
9:19 PM ~Dan: danhunsaker, are you around this evening? It’s time for your Favorite Question(TM)!
9:19 PM ~Dan: (I’ll give him a sec.)
9:19 PM ~Dan: Okay, doesn’t look like he’s here, so I’ll ask for him.
9:19 PM ~Dan: To each of you: What is your *least* favorite aspect of Dead End?
9:20 PM +ANS-Jeff: Oiling the zombies. It’s a lot of work, and they smell.
9:20 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
9:21 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Hmmm… thinking
9:21 PM +ANS-Dave: Ooo, that is easy!
9:21 PM +ANS-Jeff: Honestly, I’m the lore guy. I don’t get too into the mechanical aspects under the hood, so there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve never really had to get my hands dirty with.
9:22 PM * ~Dan nods
9:23 PM +ANS-Jerrod: At the end of the day, I would say that it is not as gritty as I would like it to be. And that is saying something, because this is an extremely gritty setting in Savage Worlds.
9:23 PM ~Dan: Really? Interesting!
9:24 PM +ANS-Dave: The part of Dead End that rubs me the wrong way honestly is the fact it took us so long to get to a release quality version. I know that sounds like a trite answer but there is a lot you don’t know about a game product until the public plays it. We spent a lot of time honing a version that Jerrod released years ago for free under the fan license
9:24 PM +ANS-Dave: before we gained a license from PEG to release it commercially. Then just as we finished the original commercial version PEG released the updated core rules to us which caused another full rewrite and it also meant we had to start playtesting over from scratch.
9:25 PM +ANS-Dave: I look forward to feedback from the players quite a bit so we can dial in either with mechanics changes or optional rules to help our player base get the experience THEY want from Dead End not just the one we have envisioned for well over 5 years now.
9:25 PM ~Dan: Not trite at all!
9:26 PM +ANS-Jeff: I think for me, it’s the amount of lore and set dressing that is there. I love the world of Dead End, don’t get me wrong. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and zombie virus into it. But at the end of the day, I know that people really want the rules, edges, hindrances, and the like, and the many of the games will skip over the world stage for the stuff
9:26 PM +ANS-Jeff: they want to play through.
9:26 PM ~Dan: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you guys would like to bring up?
9:27 PM ~Dan: Good answer as well, ANS-Jeff!
9:28 PM +ANS-Jeff: I’d like to let people know that in addition to Dead End, we do a monthly release (on the 15th) of a new one shot adventure. We cover many different genres, and we have not missed a release since we started over a year ago.
9:28 PM ~Dan: All Savage Worlds?
9:28 PM +ANS-Jerrod: And the October 15th release is a zombie one shot for Savage Worlds
9:29 PM +ANS-Jeff: All Savage Worlds, but easily translated into other systems if one desires.
9:29 PM * ~Dan nods
9:29 PM +ANS-Jeff: They features good concepts and solid storyline, perfect for those days that you can’t run a regular adventure for your group and just need something, or even for a quick throw together con game.
9:30 PM +ANS-Jeff: We also feature gender neutral pregens in them, so you can play the character as you wish.
9:31 PM ~Dan: Nice!
9:31 PM +ANS-Dave: We try to avoid presenting characters in that series that force a player to role play a specific way.
9:31 PM +ANS-Jeff: I think we’d also like to say that while Dead End is our first full setting book, we have other settings in the pipe that will be following as well.
9:32 PM +ANS-Dave: As these are designed around pick up and play or con style games, and you never know who you will be playing with we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone. (done)
9:32 PM ~Dan: Thanks very much for joining us, guys!
9:32 PM +ANS-Jeff: Thanks for having us.
9:32 PM +ANS-Jerrod: Thanks for hosting this Q&A
9:32 PM ~Dan: Usual reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
9:32 PM +ANS-Dave: Thank you for having us on.
9:33 PM ~Dan: If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!