I am not a historian, as will have been evident from these lists previously. I am perhaps more a half-assed encyclopedist, a commentator, a wannabe librarian, or a pseudo reviewer. But I like history and I have some sense of historical transformations and time.
So sometimes when I’m reading setting backstories, I do a double take. Because they’ll describe a country or nation and then jump forward a thousand years and it’s relatively the same. Like maybe they’ve fallen under the sway of evil or expanded their borders, but generally their lifeways, tech, and civilization have remained the same.
I mention Forbidden Lands below—where a miasma cuts off cities from one another for hundreds of years and when it lifts, these settlements and institutions are pretty much the same I blame all of this on Tolkien. He’s the one who really set it up that the fantasy history gold standard required centuries and millennia. But even then his civilizations have a continuity. Empires fall—but it’s only a change of politics, leadership, and migration. Everything else remains in it’s weird Low/High Medieval state.
Here’s what I’m saying: read some big history, especially of non-Western civilizations—those that we often have a static, monolithic view of. See what we know about the cultural shifts there and how long those took. Consider going for smaller spans: trade in millennia for centuries and centuries for decades. Consider things in terms of generations. It feels less weird and it offers the opportunity for there to be folks who have living memory of the Old World
Post-Apocalyptic Media from 2018
TV Shows: Origin, Rain
Films: Battle Angel Alita, Fahrenheit 451, How It Ends, Mortal Engines, Ready Player One, Wastelander
Video Games: Darksiders III, Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers, Fallout 76, FAR: Lone Sails, Fist of the North Star, Frostpunk, Mutant: Year Zero, State of Decay, The Walking Dead, Will to Live
Board Games: AuZtralia, The City of Kings, The Edge: Downfall, Fallout: Wasteland Wars, Gen7, Human Punishment, Kero, Maximum Apocalypse, The Reckoners, Terminator Genesys: Rise of the Resistance, The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary, Wildlands, Zombiecide: Green Horde, Zombie Kidz Evolution
I focus on core books for these lists, plus new post-apocalyptic settings for existing rpgs or significant sourcebooks. If a line has several releases, I put those in a single entry. I consolidate zombie sourcebooks and smaller games into one entry and other miscellaneous supplements into another. Revised editions appear when they significantly change a line or present a milestone. I only include published material- print or electronic. If it’s a question, I err in favor of products with a printed version and cut off sourcebooks with a smaller page count. I skip freebie or self-published games. Finally with a few exceptions, I’ve opted to skip modules and adventures going forward.
I'm sure I've left something off without adequate reason; feel free to add a comment.
A world after the fall of humanity featuring anthropomorphic felines with a fantasy edge. Cities of the "hooman" old world lie shrouded in corrupting Miasma and filled with foes. But “Mommy Nurtur” has placed new stewards and given them power over Meowgic. It’s a classic fantasy set up, though without the old baggage of classes, instead having a focus on talents and skills.
And Breeds. I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand it plays into the idea of catkind and reinforces that. On the other hand, it’s a weird bit of racial essentialism which harkens back to some of the worst aspects of FRPGs. It’s clear from the way the book presents Breeds that these aren’t cultural traits, but biological drives and proclivities with modifiers to different stats, special talents, and behavioral tics. That the different breeds are dressed in clothes matching particular cultures isn’t great.
I don’t know what to think. I’ve come in recent years to have a real visceral reaction to “in the blood” approaches, given how people use those ideas for evil in the real world. But it’s also a game about anthropomorphic cats, so maybe that’s something we can look past. Of course the next section has Paradigms, which are cultural traits. Well some of them are (Aristo-Cat, Steam Cat) but others are weirder, like the Blind Cat (with an Asian-themed outfit) and the obese Fat Cat. If those approaches don’t bug you, you may find it’s a solid game with a decently simple system.
The elephant in the room for CATaclysm is the release of Pugmire in 2016, and particularly the Monarchies of Mau sourcebook also released in 2018. CATaclysm has the lighter system which may appeal to some. On the other hand, while I’ve been tracking my reaction to CATaclysm’s set up here, I’ve realized I don’t know if Pugmire and Mau do the same thing with breeds as races or something else. (More on this, see below)
CATaclysm’s laid out nicely with decent art in many places. But it falls back into the trap of texture page background—with different splotches of color on pages. It doesn’t help the book and makes it more difficult to read. The character sheet seems simple mechanically, but design-wise it’s hard to look at with the busiest page bordering I’ve seen in any game.
2. Children of the Fall
Another of the small but striking niche of “All the adults are dead, only children survive” post-apocalyptic games. Unlike KidWorld (all the adults have gone blind) or Libreté (all the adults have vanished), Children of the Fall offers more of a zombie apocalypse with all of the adults turned into ravenous killers. See also the 2017 film Mom and Dad.
Children of the Fall is a GM-less story game with a token economy for narrative. It’s intended for longer term play with a focus on issues of community tensions and developing your haven. In regular session play there’s a focus on structure. First players select from a select of prepared missions. Second, players take turns framing scenes over four acts. Third, based on that the group updates the Haven and Tribe sheets.
Characters are built from a playbook. While these have themes, these playbooks only vary in the three character backstory questions and three kinds of trauma they can mark. As you’d expect with a GMless game, play is narrative focused. There’s little mechanical material in the playbooks. But it isn’t a diceless game. Instead you roll 2d6 versus complications put forward in the narrative to see if you overcome them.
It’s striking little game, with clean and basic layout. The handful of art in it is dynamite and really helps the mood. It does lean more towards Lord of the Flies and The Walking Dead than towards any kind of children’s liberation fantasy. It’s pretty dark.
A post-apocalyptic sandbox setting book for the Italian MONAD system rpg. When humanity attempts to repair damage to the ecosystem, they instead release a massive mutagenic infection. The changes wrought transform biological organisms and destroys civilization within few years.
The mutagenic infection remains dormant until activated, meaning that anything can become a danger. When it triggers, the organism transforms into a zombie-like biomass. Think Last of Us for the closest equivalent. As with any good zombie rpg, several different classes of monsters exist. There’s a strong eco-horror theme, with flora as well as fauna infected. Some areas have been overtaken with contaminated vegetation. However some have developed new tech based on synthesizing materials from certain weird plants.
4. Forbidden Lands
Forbidden Lands came something of a surprise—a fantasy adaptation of Fria Ligen’s Mutant system with a distinctly old-school vive. It offered a focus on hexcrawls, resources, and classic dungeons. To reinforce this they hired notable names like Patrick Stuart and Chris McDowall for the first scenario compendium.
In many ways Forbidden Land’s really conventional. A trad approach to actions and resolution, leveling up, and fantasy races. Like all good thick fantasy settings it offers a tremendous amount of backstory and historical information. We have wars and dates spreading over two millennia. But it splits when embraces its post-apocalyptic nature.
This apocalypse is the Red Mist, a hiding place for horrors which has closed everyone into the areas just around their settlements. Going further beyond those bounds invites death. Only members of a particularly nasty order learned to travel through it. The general isolation lasted for 265 years and at the start of the game, it has just recently lifted. As a result heroes and explorers can now go forth into the lands.
It’s a smart set up in some ways. It gives a purpose to characters who go out to see the world and reason why no one would possess accurate maps. That hexcrawl procedure echoes Mutant: Year Zero but with elements lifted from The One Ring.
But as I mentioned at the top Forbidden Lands also bugs mein that we have to accept fantasy world logic about cultural change. Some of that’s present in the backstory, with little change in institutions and cultures over centuries. More importantly there’s little discussion of the impact of 265 years of isolation on these settlements. People can travel up to a day away from their homes, but still need to be back by nightfall. Besides the material and food question, there’s issues of social tension, lack of information, and cultural advancement. Rather than 250+ years of isolation, the material feels more like it’s been a generation or two.
That’s a small issue but one for some reason I couldn’t easily get past when I ran Forbidden Lands. Still it’s a gorgeous package and Fria Ligen have supported it with a second regional Kickstarter. It’s popular among some folks as a slightly more storygame approach to OSR play.
A PbtA game with a striking art style and aesthetic. THAOE is set in Mouse Park, our Disney stand-in, generations after the apocalypse. A civilization and religion has grown up around the trappings of the park. Some of the Mousineers may know the truth and the dark practices used to keep the park running, but most simply bow down to the Great Mouse Who Lies Beneath.
It’s a strong concept- Christopher Grey mentions indie horror video games as a touchstones in the intro. THAOE definitely captures that feel. There’s a little mix of Paranoia’s rule-driven society and the messy weirdness of something like Human Occupied Landfill. It’s also a kind of brave move for a PbtA game, focusing on a specific apocalyptic setting in the wake of Apocalypse World. You could compare the two, but this game has a distinct feel which sets it apart from AW. The emphasis on horror in particular illustrates the difference.
There’s a fun process for designing the theme of the park: where it’s located, what The Mouse is like, what kinds of attractions are there. The system itself has a lot of moves. Characters get assigned to one of four personality types: earth (melancholic), water (phlegmatic), air (sanguine), and fire (choleric). They pick one move from three choices reflecting that.
You can play as a Mousineer or a Guest, the book suggests players stick with the same group for one-shots and shorter games. Everyone picks a work history/career (Unemployed, Service Industry, Blue Collar, or Professional) which gives you some starting stuff (merchandise) and another move. Guest answer some questions about how they got here and pick another move from their list. Mousineers then define their area and answer questions about that. There’s both Service Industry for work history and Service for area which can be confusing. They pick from their move list, giving each character three starting moves.
My biggest complaint with the book is a text design issue. Sidebars and examples of play are presented in a light grey font. That makes it hard to read on screen. On paper the effect’s even worse. It’s especially bad in sections where that’s combined with a super-tiny font. It’s really distracting if you have any visual accessibility issues.
6. HeXXen 1733
A German game based on the idea that the Thirty Years’ War opened up a gate to hell and released hordes of monsters to ravage and devastate the land. In many cities these creatures of darkness now rule and command humanity. You play as part of a small portion of the human race will to fight back against these forces.
The system seems to be d6-pool based with attributes, skills, and chosen classes. It’s a big luxury hardcover game with a lot of support: adventure collections, box sets, monster sourcebooks, and more.
“A Story Game of Gunslingers, Samurai, Gangsters, Barbarians, and Steampunk in a Post-Apocalyptic World with Superpowers.”
High Plains Samurai comes from Todd Crapper, designer of Screenplay and Killshot. In fact HPS builds on the Screenplay rules. This is a world where Chaos has come down and shattered the land. Whether that’s our world or another fantasy one doesn’t matter. You play Heroes in this broken land divided now into five distinct cities. Serenity Falls: our Wild West analogue; Yung Zhi, our Legend of Korra location; Monsoon, our jungle and samurai spirit-based city; Khar’tep, place of mountain barbarians; and Rust, home to xenophobic inventors.
How much you dig High Plains Samurai will depend a) on how much you’re into wild gonzo mash ups that mix together tons of different elements into double and triple mumbo jumbo. That’s not to say bad, just a lot of patchwork. b) How comfortable you are with this collection of stitched together borrowings. There’s a lot of stuff here I’m unsure about. I wonder what level of cultural sensitivity consultant was used. Not sure how I feel about that.
Play itself begins with the group defining several elements called formats. This include genre, medium, combat, technology, rating (PG, R, etc.), key initiatives (premises), and duration. It’s good to see that collaborative focus at the start.
Mechanically HPS uses the idea of descriptions. You’re expected to narrate your action in depth. From that the player can use details to create effects. The key detail sets what the action is and everything else supports that. Effects work by applying complications to characters. There’s a diced element to resolving these complications. It’s a very different approach than most systems and I’d recommend checking out an AP for this if you’re interested in the game.
It’s also worth mentioning that HPS offers options for reading visibility—a black and white version & one without the graphical bits—and calls that out right away.
8. Infected: Tabletop Roleplaying Game in the Eldritch Apocalypse
Infected opens with a chunk of in-game narrative. That’s a challenging technique. Do it well, like World War Z or Red Markets and it’s compelling and draws you in. But that’s hard to do. That kind of narrative is like Found Footage. The form of the material strongly impacts the reception.
Infected moves from its in-game narration to a substantial section on ttrpgs and what constitutes play. This is some Levi Kornelsen has written about elsewhere. It’s a little surprising to see in an era when general “What is a TTRPG?” talk has been removed or shrunk in rpgs.
The game itself uses Fudge dice and players have four stats (Grim, Keen, Quick, and Vital) ranged from 1 to 4. Your stats determine number of dice rolled, with – results cancelling dangers and + results adding benefits. Characters themselves are chosen from archetypes which offer Motives, Talents, and Gear packages.
The most interesting hook of Infected is that it isn’t your typical zombie pathogen. Instead the plague which creates the zombies is an attack by extradimensional intelligences. As the campaign progress this should become more obvious to the players, as the zombies evolve and cults begin to dabble with sorcery.
Infected has a very basic text layout with a silhouette illustrations peppered throughout. As of this writing its available PwYW on Drivethrurpg, so it’s worth checking out if this at all sounds intriguing to you.
9. Journal de l Observateur
Translated as The Observer’s Journal. A French modern setting game in which creatures have emerged to summon forth an army of invaders in 2015. Has a mix of modern military and magic which reminds me of Eden Studio’s Armageddon: Chimera, Black Towers, Witches, etc. Uses eight stats plus a skill system with d20 based resolution. Seems to have had only one release, the 116 page core book.
The feline counterpart to the Pugmire rpg, with fantasy-esque anthropomorophics ages after humanity’s destruction. I wrote about Pugmire on the previous list. Monarchies of Mau is a stand-alone follow up set in the same world, but this time with cats. The backstory suggests the cats of Mau saw humans as loyal servants and subjects to their whims, a nice contrast to Pugmire’s historical vision.
Monarchies of Mau sets up Instinct vs. Society as a theme. It “is a game about cat people, but the fact that they are cats only highlights the more important point that they are people.” Instinct here is presented as long-standing cultural values, like independence, which go against recent changes to develop a unified nation-state.
Mau follows Pugmire and uses the same adapted d20 system—fairly simple and clean. The book has the complete rules, which take up 90 pages of the 250+, less than many similar games which is nice. Thee’s a good deal of background, history, bestiary, items section, and GM advice. It includes a sample adventure.
Let me come back to a question I raised in talking about CATaclysm above. Does Mau utilize “races” per se with inherent traits? Characters choose callings—professions or classes. They then choose Houses. This is the cultural background, indicating upbringing and ideology. These don’t determine appearance or breed of any kind, but they do give a bonus to a particular ability and access to certain House secrets (feats). Lastly players can also take a background, representing early training.
So no--Mau doesn’t fall into the trap of race essentialism. That’s a relief because it’s a cute game and one I’m seriously considering running, especially now that there’s a Pirate supplement out.
11. Mutant: Mechatron
The third of the Mutant series, Mechatron has you playing newly “aware” robots. You begin within a Collective, filled with robots and overseen by an AI. Since the fall, this community has continued running processes of creation, dismantling, and recycling still acting on ancient corrupted commands. The robots themselves break down, scavenge from others, rebuild themselves, and weirdly evolve. You play awakened robots within a society that seeks to crush such sentience.
Mechatron’s big hook is that you assemble your character out of different parts. You begin with a set model and serial number which cannot be altered, but the rest you mix and match and may change over the course of play. These changeable parts (head, torso, and undercarriage) set your stats, # of add on modules, and armor. It’s a neat system and one which takes advantage of Mutant’s reliance on cards to represent items and powers.
All that’s cool, but Mechatron’s play isn’t as compelling. Mutant: Year Zero has a specific loop of threats--> refuge interactions--> explore the zone--> return to the refuge to deal with fallout and tensions. GenLab Alpha’s campaign is built around building up revolutionary cells within a diverse set of communities. Both of these have a through line which feels really open. On the other hand, Mechatron’s story seems straight-arrow and directed. You have growing awareness and now must overthrow NODOS, the AI which controls your community.
On the other hand the book’s written with the previous two volumes in mind. So GMs who want to introduce robots as an encounter in a campaign will have plenty to work with. Or players could easily play an escapee in a mixed group of Mutants, Enhanced Animals, and Robots.
In 2018 Monte Cook Games went back to do a new “version” of Numenera, the game which had kicked off their Cypher System. Numenera Discovery would replace the original core book, but “…this isn’t a new edition. There have been no substantive changes to the setting, the way the game plays mechanically, or the way NPCs, creatures, cyphers, artifacts, and other items work. All existing Numenera supplements (and even the original Numenera corebook) are compatible with Numenera Discovery—as are your existing characters and campaigns.”
On the other hand, Numenera Destiny seems to integrate some previous material with a lot of new ideas how to explore and interact with the setting. There’s a focus on building—objects, weapons, settlements. It adds new character options to fit with those kinds of approaches to the setting.
It’s a little odd—a little bit of clean up and redressing of the core, sold in a Kickstarter with this new sourcebook. There’s some mention that while character options remain the same, some will be less important or effective in light of the new options. As a result in addition to letting the original core book go out of print, they retired Numenera Character Options and Numenera Character Options 2 books.
MGC also supported the line with several other large releases. Building Tomorrow expands on Destiny’s focus on creation and development. It’s filled with items, community ideas, new challenges for these kinds of campaigns. They also revised the Numenera Player’s Guide, giving just the most important player-facing elements. Finally Ashes of the Sea was the lines new quickstart and release for Free RPG Day.
It’s also worth noting the growth of third party supplements for Numenera. For example, The Gardener’s Apprentice is a huge campaign arc developed by Metal Weave Games. I’ve skipped over these a little in previous lists but there’s definitely a robust library of community created content out there.
13. Shattered: A Grimdark RPG
I had a weird journey when I first looked at this game. The first thing you notice is the cover—like Final Fantasy meets Troika meets WH40K meets “Is that lady wearing a shirt or not?” meets a bunch of other stuff. It’s a grabber illustration—done with great use of white space. That slickness is contrasted with the title logo which looks sketchy on a couple of levels. But OK—it aims for a particular feel. But then the title page identifies the creators as INDE. Which stands for “Its Never Dark Enough.”
Please don’t let this be an edgelord bullshit game.
It isn’t that. Instead it’s a kitchen-sink fantasy setting + new complete rules system with a large and detailed setting, tons of talents & magic, crafting rules, airships, and lots of wild fantasy races. (fyi: while I appreciate having both male and female illustrations for each race in games, it does demonstrate how men get to look hulking & dangerous and women get to have boobs. And when you put boobs on the lizard and undead folk, I begin to shake my head).
I always know I’m in for a wild ride when the history starts 3000 years back, though the apocalypse happened only 2400 years ago. This is a big ritual that messes up magic, brings down the cool ancient civilizations, and unleashes horrors across the world. Five hundred years after that there’s a rebirth of humanity. Then 1900 years or so passes with some rebuilding, tech advancement, and reorganizing of political units. It’s a lot, filled with references to many different places and tons of arcane (or Arkäna as the book puts it) terms.
While the game in places suggests you’ll be going out into a shattered world following the fall of civilization, it actually feels more like a conventional fantasy setting with lots of intact nation states.
Shattered uses its own, detailed mechanics. Dice have stepped ranks, but these are listed from Rank 1 (1d4) to 20 (5d10) so it blows the cap off of DCC or Savage Worlds’ dice chains. It’s a lot—it you’re an old school fan of D&D at its crunchiest, Rolemaster, or Chivalry & Sorcery, you may dig it. It does have a substantial set of rules for airships which some may find worth it.
I often wonder about the hard choice of striking cover design vs. evocative or explanatory design. SINS definitely falls into the former category with a screaming red skull on white and nothing else. The Kickstarter describes it as “Epic Action Horror in a Dying World.” It may be that they went with such a simple design because there’s a lot to the backstory for the game.
SINS reminds me most of Armageddon from Eden Studios, a near-future world with a supernatural invasion being countered by newly emerging supernatural PCs heroes. In the world of SINS seven figures emerged, known as the Reapers. They fought against the world’s militaries and devastated places with their singular personal power. However eventually one died and the others vanished, leaving behind a world in ruins.
Part of the Reapers power came from their control of The Brood. These are the zombies of the setting, but not the typical shambling hordes. Instead the Brood has a kind of collective consciousness. They larger the number of Brood in a group, the smarter they are and the more weird stuff they can do.
The PCs, known as Nemissaries, managed to break free after being made part of the Brood. They have great powers as a result. Those powers come with a cost, a hunger and wound in their soul. Nemissaries may be guided by shards which fell in a black rain at the start of the fall. Shards can drive away the Brood and also whisper dark advice to Nemissaries. There’s more: conspiracies and other paranatural weirdness but that gives a taste.
Mechanically SINS uses a d6 pool system—with dice rolled and each compared against a target number (based on skill level). Each “6” rolled explodes and can be rerolled. Dice which match or beat the TN count as successes. Then the number of successes is compared against a difficulty. The resolution system isn’t that complex in itself, but there’s a lot of bells, whistles, and options which add a lot of crunch and weight. It’s definitely on the heavier end if you want to use all of the sub-systems.
SINS is deliberately grimdark; think Kult or the most shadowy corners of World of Darkness. It provides some content warnings up front and discusses the X-Card as a resource. The company has released a Quick Start “Dead City: (though that’s priced at $5, half the cost of the core rulebook) as well as a sourcebook for the American East Coast. The core book was offered as part of the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality.
15. Summerland Second Edition
Summerland’s first edition appeared on my 2008 list. “So the world becomes a forest. Overnight. One day modernity. The next day a walk in the woods. Everything: buildings, cars, roads, theme parks: overgrown and emerald. Civilization holds together briefly and then flickers out. This isn't a normal forest: it has dangers and stalking beasts and a song that gets into the head of the weak-minded."
"So what do you do in the Summerland? The PCs are Drifters, the rare few who have the talent to pass through "The Sea of Leaves" to uncover old things and reach out to other communities. They're necessary, but also regarded as dangerous and damaged. They lack a permanent home but must refresh and attach themselves to communities as then can. It sounds pretty compelling and Summerland does a great job setting that up, riding the line between history and myth. It has a simple, story-driven system focusing on personal issues and lives of the PCs. Characters have traumatic experiences and must deal with those in their journeys."
This new edition is a gorgeous full-color version. The setting material and the form of campaign play remains the same. The major change beyond presentation is a shift from the bespoke narrative mechanics of the original to a version of the Open D6 system.
16. T.E.A.R.S. Box
A German-language boxed set for a zombie survival rpg. It uses a classic d20 based system. The game’s focused on a fallen Germany with a population trying to rebuild in a new city called Neuanfang.
But that may be entirely wrong. The translations of the blurbs and scant online discussion lost me. Some of the supplements suggest that this is part of a larger series of modules, with some of them taking place in the 19th century. Other things suggest this is part of a TV show? I’m leaving this entry as a kind of place holder as I seek out further info.
An adaptation of Gallant Knight Games’ Tiny D6 engine (Tiny Supers, Tiny Dungeon) to offer a toolkit for playing all kinds of post-apocalyptic games. The core book has a dozen+ mini-setting written by a diverse team of authors. Each is about 4-8 pages long. GKG has supported the game with a GM screen, an Enclave deck for random events, and a Mutation deck for random mutations. Beyond that there’s a lot interchangeability with other Tiny D6 elements.
18. Wireless Soul Transmission
Wireless Soul Transmission has a wild set up and the path it takes to get there’s really interesting. It manages to do a Leap Forward well. What do I mean by a Leap Forward? That’s when a game gives you a bunch of historical info, setting up the expectation that you need to know this, but then smash cuts forward centuries to give you the present world which is what you really need to do. I remember being at a one shot at a convention where the GM spent fifteen minutes detailing their setting. And then went, “but that was 500 years ago and everything’s different now.” And my brain died a little.
WST has a jump, but it’s a set up all about ambition and hubris which plays into the present world of the game. That’s a New Earth called Hansei where humanity has arrived an begun to settle with the aid of a larger galactic union of races. New Earth has the trappings of the old with a cyberpunk feel and strong corporate presence.
The Shatter sundered the world, a scream across the wireless network connecting everyone which disrupted life and killed massive numbers of people. It cut off New Earth from the rest of galactic society. Isolated, people began to worth to restore what what they had but over time communications and computers began to collapse and people began to hear a hum, called The Whisper. It turned many into the Lost, who wandered in a daze. Then the Lost became worse, turning in violent berserkers—which proved to only be the start as machines, military and otherwise began to turn. Wireless Soul Transmission’s setting begins six years after the Shatter.
The game itself is built on a d20 Modern-esque engine. You have classes, augmentations, “origins,” benefits at tiers and so on. If you’re into d20, there’s a lot to like here. The core rules are split across two volumes: a Play Guide and a Mastery Guide. It has a colorful setting and I’m tempted to pick up both volumes, but I’m not sure what I’d use to actually play it or if I could get it to the table. Still if you like cyberpunk, space opera post-apocalyptic games and you have money to burn, it’s very cool.
A Zombie apocalypse rpg which “(takes) the survival aspect of survival-horror very seriously. You will see your character weaken as sleep deprivation, hunger & thirst slowly whittle them down. “There’s a parallel here to the rise in survival/crafting video games in the last decade. There’s even one named The Z-Land (no relation) which follows this template.
The Sigil System which powers Z-Land is a skill-based d100 roll under system. It has a lot of the kinds of systems you associate with traditional, detail-oriented survival horror: hit locations, hunger and food spoilage, skill specialization, and so on. If you like more meat on the bones of your rpg, this may appeal to you.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Z-Land is that it offers three robust campaign settings, each with history, rules for character creation, pre-gen characters, and starting scenarios. The first is set just as the collapse is happening. The second fifteen years after the fall. The third 175 years. It’s a cool idea—and nice that the game offers a range of options. Running a Legacy-style game across those eras could be cool.
20. Miscellaneous: Zombie
Era: Survival - Definitive Edition Rulebook: revised edition of this zombie PA rpg. It bundles the core rules with two key supplements.
Le Corbusier: An enclave sourcebook for Red Markets with an academic bent.
Leaving Solace: Taking Down the Crowleys and The Long March: two linked modules for After Zombies.
Outbreak: Undead (2nd Edition) Survivor's Guide: Player’s guide for the latest edition of this ZRPG.
Parsely: The Z-Ward setting, a zombie game set in a mental hospital, appears both on its own and in the Parsely compendium.
Scavenger Run: A generic location-based module which can be used with any zombie ttrpg (or adapted for other post-apocalyptic games).
Sine Requie Anno XIII: Regno delle Ombre: a sourcebook for this weird WW2 game, but it’s unclear exactly what it covers.
Survive This!! Zombies! 2nd Edition and Source Book 1: Among the Living: A revised version of this OSR zombie rpg and a sourcebook offer more player character options.
Tempus Mortis: a third-party module for Dread set in a town which is being overrun by zombies.
0.5%: A sourcebook for a post-apocalyptic Bilboa in the CdB Engine rpg.
After the Crash: A big old post-apocalyptic science-fantasy setting for D&D 5e. Has a Gamma World vibe with mutant humans, animal, plants, and robots.
Aftermath: The third setting for The Yellow King rpg. This takes place after the fall of a dictatorial Carcosan regime with the PCs trying to adjust to life in what remains of civilization.
Asteroid Cybele: The Fleet and Australia's Wild West: Two sourcebooks for this alternate setting for Aftermath!. The former covers remnants of the American naval fleet and the later Australia. Both have sourcebook material and adventures.
Black Atlantic: A massive sourcebook for Briton in the German sci-fi game Degenesis. It offers setting details and a massive set of scenarios.
Il Castigo del Corsiero: Sourcebook for the biomachines of the Nameless Lands rpg.
Children of the Apocalypse: A high-fantasy, low tech setting for Savage Worlds taking place five centuries after the collapse of civilization. Focuses on character with potent paranatural abilities.
The Gray Death: A campaign module for Mutant: Year Zero which draws elements from all the books in the series with a threat which arises from Elysium.
Hotel Imperator: Zone Compendium 5: A collection of locations for Mutant: Year Zero which has both psychics and robots.
I Am Legion: Sourcebook with lots of new options and a large series of adventures for Palladium’s Splicers, a post-apocalyptic world of humanity vs machines.
Twisted Menagerie Manual: Bestiary for the Umerican setting.
History of Steampunk & Victoriana RPGs
History of Cyberpunk RPGs
History of Superhero RPGs
History of Horror RPGs
History of Wild West RPGs
History of Licensed RPGs
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part One: 1976-1984)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Two: 1985-1987)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Three: 1988-1990)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Four: 1991-1993)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Five: 1994-1996)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Six: 1997-1999)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Seven: 2002-2002)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Eight: 2003)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Nine: 2004-2005)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Ten: 2006)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Eleven: 2007)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part Twelve: 2008)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 13: 2009)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 14: 2010)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 15: 2011)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 16: 2012)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 17: 2013)
The Year in Post-Apocalyptic RPGs 2014
The Year in Post Apocalyptic RPGs 2015: Part One
The Year in Post Apocalyptic RPGs 2015: Part Two
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 20: 2016)
History of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs (Part 21: 2017)