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game features

  • Distemper is a sandbox, survival/horror TTRPG built on the XeroSum Engine ("Zee Engine") that combines simple to learn yet robust game mechanics with collaborative storytelling elements which put the focus on building a compelling shared narrative without sacrificing any of the fun or the crunch

  • Players will take on the role of survivors in a hyper realistic, near post-apocalyptic world as they deal with challenges like having to find food and shelter - as well as staying safe - in a world where everything is in short supply, particularly trust

  • Players can create characters using the Backstory Generation process, a life pathing system which allows them to assign points to attributes and pick from 36 skills as they outline the various stages of their character's development to get to the exact concept they are looking for

  • Distemper is a classless system but those wishing to get right into the game can pick from one of 15 Paradigms that provide a thematic set of skills and equipment, requiring the player to just give the character a name, slap on an attitude and start rolling dice

  • Players can recruit NPCs, either to become their Apprentices or perhaps they intend to form their own gang, militia, religious group, or even army as they establish control over a territory or region

  • Distemper can be played at a grand scale involving conquest or rebuilding society, but it includes mechanisms to keep the characters grounded and real, including subsystems for Morality and characters reaching their Breaking Points

  • Although playing in essentially the real world, background and context are provided around the virus outbreak and life since, including breakdowns on the major subsets of NPCs and groups the players are likely to meet, including Survivors, Nomads, Cannibals, Warlords and Zealots

  • Combat is fast, brutal and unforgiving, and players might want to find other mechanisms for resolving conflict, such as Negotiation, to ensure they are alive long enough to thrive

  • The XeroSum Engine comes with predefined systems such as Encounter tables, Road-trip tables, Loot tables, NPC Design and Motivation rules, all designed to get a GM and group into a game as quickly as possible