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O:U DS Character Creation Questions

citizenvaincitizenvain Indianapolis
edited August 2016 in Outbreak: Deep Space Posts: 188
We probably missed a lot in our first read/skim through of the module, but my group and myself seem to have a lot of questions about character creation in this system. I hope it is OK to post here. 
  1. Technology. How much Tech (weapons, armor, etc.) does a player start with at character creation?
  2. Damage Threshold = Toughness + Defense. My question is, is Defense capped at 5 like in the core system, or do we use the actual total this time? 
  3. Trained Skills. Does every character start with all "Trained Skills"?
I'm sure we will have more, but these are the main ones we are stumbling on tonight. 
A survivor and GM in Indianapolis, IN. 


  • Posts: 680
    1. Tech is limited by the GM. Often the more tech you create the more power is needed. You could create a 20 Tech "Plasma Blaster" if you wanted to. But you may only have 1-2 shots of it. It's all based on your scenario GM.

    2. Damage Threshold - Defense is not capped at 5 anymore.

    3. They will only if its reflected on the SPEW line. But often the 'Trained Skills' are ones that you have to take skills in.
    Developer/Marketing Manager.
    Player Kills = 23
    Zombie Kills = 154

  • Posts: 973
    To expand on 3, all characters can fill out their character sheets as much as they are able and attempt any check they are presented with, Trained Skills included. However, as the name would indicate (and especially in the case of Expert Skills) attempting any of them without even SOME ability to advance them will make for a very low chance of success.
  • Posts: 415
    I guess I'd better get Deep Space before these threads go too far and I become confused.  :)
    Zombie Kills = 19
    Player Kills = 14

  • Posts: 973
    Well, it IS what all the cool kids are doing.
  • Is there anywhere in the core book that explains, step by step, how to generate a character?

    I have been reading the book for a week and still do not get it.
    How are disadvantages determined?
    How are tiers determined?

  • Still hoping for some kind of response, from anyone.  I can't really give the game a fair review on Drivethru until I understand it, and I do not want to add to the pile of "Can't understand it, money wasted, don't buy."

    Anyone, Mayday.
  • Red_EyeRed_Eye Ohio
    Posts: 461
    Hello Pardalis66, and welcome to the community.  I will admit the ODS has some issues in layout in presenting of the information.  There is a long story behind all of that I won't get into here, but needless to say we do have plans to clean up ODS, we're just a very small team so getting to it is another matter entirely.

    Now, to make things work for you, because in truth ODS is great once you grasp it, we'd be happy to address questions you may get here.  Let me start off with the ones you have posted here so far:

    Regarding Character Creation that is detailed starting on page 17 with two methods of how to generate the SPEW stats (optionally you could also use the SPEW-AI test online to make a version of yourself).  It runs through various areas and the options you have for them (most parts of Character Creation have different ways you can do them to customize the game somewhat to your own style).

    Characters can take as many Disadvantages as they like, but it is important to remember that the negative factors of these will eventually add up to make a character nearly unplayable.  That is somewhat up to the player how many they want to pile on.  For pregeneration as you propose here, I suggest doing 1 per character and leave it at that (even moreso with this being your first foray).

    How many Tiers you get for Abilities/Skills is detailed in the Character Creation stuff that I noted above (those details are on page 18 specifically).

    Hope that clears those issues up for you, let us know if you have any other questions.
    -Alex (Red)
    Community Manager & Developer
  • Posts: 973
    Just to answer some of the questions directly:

    How are tiers determined?
    A character can take 1 Tier's worth per Bonus in an Attribute. so If a character has a Strength of 25, the Attribute bonus is 2, and can therefore take 2 Tier's worth of an Ability. All Abilities are a single Tier, but some can scale up to Tier 5, with their effect increasing with each Tier.

    How are Disadvantages determined?
    Red_Eye touched on this, but Disadvantages are generally more of a narrative choice and all characters are encouraged to take at least one. A Disadvantage will give a character a certain drawback or character flaw, but also have the tremendous perk of having a way to mitigate the loss of Morale. A character without any Disadvantage will lose Morale extremely quickly because they have no outlet to indulge to prevent the stress from breaking their spirit.

    Players that don't take a Disadvantage may be forced to do so at random, if their Morale is continually pushed into the Insanity range. So for this reason, player is encouraged to take a Disadvantage that they wouldn't mind roleplaying before they have one inflicted upon them by chance. 

    This operates on the principle that all people have some character flaw, so saying a character doesn't have one means that it hasn't been sufficiently stressed for one to manifest. A player is better off with the "Devil they Know" and take one voluntarily.

    Scenarios, like our newly released organised play, say strictly that a character needs at least one Disadvantage, but that is because it is specific setting.

    Long and short, a Disadvantage is only mechanically necessary as Morale is to your scenario. If, as a GM, you eschew using Morale, Disadvantages are relegated to being only valuable roleplaying aides and nothing more.
  • Thank you both, this helps a lot. I am going to be running my first session on Tuesday for a group of 6 players via roll20. I am also making a custom sheet for the game, using HTML and CSS style sheets.

    I keep reading and re-reading the text, to make sense of it.

    I finally am getting the idea of how it works, I think. Everyone has basic skills, which have a largeer relative chance of success.  Then Trained skills which also require gear, usually, then expert skills, which only expertly trained characters have.

    One sticking point which I have seen in reviews, and do not quite get. if success is over 100% why have the reroll?

    Is it possible to use any of the game logos for the character sheet, with attribution?

  • Posts: 973
    The 100%+ success rate has always been a sticking point with a percentile system. It should be a rare occurrence when they happen, but they happen nonetheless. So it's a point worth addressing.

    None of our beta tested methods proved effective as a universal rule which is why we have a few options. You just pick the one that works best for the situation. If it doesn't make sense, then just don't use that option.

    Our goal with that is to prevent players from spamming any one skill check to pad out their pool of DoS to use... which in ODS and OU 2nd Ed, having even 1 DoS reliably (let alone 4 or 5 DoS) is a colossal advantage. This is less of an issue than it was in 1st Ed though, since a skill check at 100% or more can be nullified if the character is in a situation where that kind of check can't possibly apply any longer. For instance, a character spamming Stealth with 100% chance can still not hide in plain sight, as one of the requirements for that skill check to be made is that they must be actively trying to avoid detection and describe how they are doing so to a GM's satisfaction.

    As for the use of our logo on a character sheet, if you're using it privately for your own use, there isn't much of a need to ask our permission. Go ahead and use it if you feel it will help immersion in your private game session. But if you want to make it publicly available with our logo on it, then we'd have to review it. We have posted fan-made character sheets before, so this isn't a soft "no", I'm just saying that distributing it requires review. But thanks very much for asking first.
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