Z-Land Beta 4.0

The new version of the Z-Land beta is now out and on its way to you!

We’re up to 4.0 and onto a whole new era: the Apocalypse Era!

This is, almost literally, a whole new world and will take some time for your characters to get used to it.

In this update you’ll find that the bookmarks are (hopefully) properly fixed, a new random name table for you to roll on if you can’t think of a name (or if you’re a GM who needs to make a few dozen NPCs) and the first part of the Apocalypse Era character generator.

The first thing we’re going to give you for the Apocalypse Era is the “Transition” character generator. This is for those characters that started their life in the D-Day section before the Infected destroyed the world and have now survived a good 10-15 years into the apocalypse. The Transition generator will give you a few questions to answer such as how many people you’ve killed, how you handled the apocalypse itself and how you feel about the undead. Whether you made your character an adult, child or teen before D-Day, if you survived a decade or more into the apocalypse, you roll on the Transition tables.

What you can expect further in the 4.? series is the rest of the Apocalypse Era generators as well as seeing how the five premade characters fared in a world now turned on its head.

Z-Land Campaign Podcast

To go along with the Z-Land Campaign YouTube series (produced by Rycon Roleplays), there will also be a Z-Land Podcast that you’ll be able to download and take with you wherever you go to hear the exploits of an unprepared party in the post-apocalyptic hell that is Z-Land.

While we did, and will, have a camera rolling throughout our campaign sessions, the Z-Land campaign is all about the audio, so just be listening you’ll feel as if you are right there with the group taking on the apocalyptic world one session at a time.

Both the YouTube series and Podcast will start this coming Saturday (North American time), but its regular slot on Rycon’s schedule will be Wednesdays (North American time).

Z-Land beta 3.3

The new version of the Z-Land beta is now out and on its way to you!

This beta is the very definition of an update. After we removed the Perform Skill last time and Split Athletics into itself and Might, we figured that we might as well have a look at the entirety of the character generation.

For all of the character generation (other than the careers), each time you roll a lore option you will get two Skill options. This means that Skills are always given to you in pairs. As we checked over all the option, we found that certain skills were paired up more often than not. Fight and Shoot were nearly always given together, as was Will and Lore. This means that, at the end of the day, if you were good at Will you will also be good at Lore because they are given together so often. We wanted to make it more random and give your characters a chance to be good at one and perhaps not good at the other.

So went through and changed them where they paired up too often. It’s by no means perfect as is, and we might have another go at it down the line, but your characters should now have a less deterministic Skill set.

As an aside, we have also now added the character sheet as a standalone download to the DriveThruRPG Z-Land page, so if you already got the Beta, you can go and grab it.

Z-Land Beta 3.2

The new version of the Z-Land beta is now out and on its way to you!

This beta version adds in a small (relatively speaking) change that can have some serious ramifications. This is a change that has come straight from the playtesters and is why we are so grateful to have folks playtest the beta for us.

In this beta version we have removed the Perform Skill and have added in the Might Skill. There were a few reasons for this and some adjustments that had to be made.

The biggest reason is that performing some sort of art (whether musical, acting or whatnot) is simply not that important in an apocalypse setting. That is not to say you can’t create art in Z-Land, but rather that other social skills can handle it such as Diplomacy, Insight, Deceive, etc. In Z-Land it isn’t such a crucial thing to require its very own skill. The Perform Skill works in the Sigil System because Sigil is a generic system and so has to provide for any setting and genre you can think of; and it worked in the Runed Age because in that setting you played as a career criminal who (no matter whether you are stealing, assassinating or sabotaging) infiltrates wherever you go, so Perform is a useful skill as part of your disguise.

But in the Apocalypse, survival is far more important.

So we changed Perform to Might.

Might is the skill that covers everything to do with how strong you are, so in a more traditional RPG system this would be your Strength attribute. Adding in a strength skill meant we had to adjust how Athletics work. Previously, Athletics covered anything the human body does that is physically taxing, and this included feats of strength. Now that we split off strength to our new Might skill, Athletics has become our dexterity skill. Everything you want to do that requires you to be dexterous and nimble, such as running, parkouring, acrobatics, dodging, will fall under Athletics while pure acts of strength such as lifting and pushing heavy things and climbing will fall under Might.

Z-Land Beta 3.1

The new version of the Z-Land beta is now out and on its way to you!

It’s not a major release and deals mostly with typos and grammar fixes, but it is also the start of clarifying the rules and mechanics as we start to get more feedback from the beta testers. This is some of the most important “changes” we have and will be making to the beta as it is about making sure you as GMs and players know exactly what the rules mean and how they are applied to the game. After all, if you don’t know how the rules work, then how can you play the game?

The full list of changes and clarifications we made can be found in the changelog on page 3 of the beta, but to just pick out a few: we’ve clarified exactly how flanking bonuses work in melee combat (each flanker gets all the bonuses from all the other flankers), how the Sigil Threshold can be affected by in-session changes to your Luck Skill (it can’t), and what Skill Level the Skill Specialisations start at (the same Level as their Parent Skill).

The more feedback we get from all you beta testers, the more we will be able to clarify the rules to make it easier for you to play. So keep that feedback coming!

Also, we just ran a major playtest with the game design students at AUT’s School of Art and Design and we got a veritable boatload of feedback to work through, so expect some exciting changes to happen as we unpack all that feedback and critiques.

Z-Land Beta 3.0

The new version of the Z-Land beta is now out and on its way to you!

There’s a few minor things that have been added and changed in this section (such as adding in sample Infected character skill blocks, adding computing to the character generation’s careers and starting to add in archetype logos) but the main event for version 3.0 is scavenging!

In the post apocalyptic future you will always be either hungry, thirsty or both, so you will always be out looking for more food, water and other supplies. This is where the scavenging mechanic comes in. There are five main consumable resources and their scarcity will be different depending on what sort of environment you are in and what timeframe. What is rare and scarce in one environment might be common and plentiful in another; what you might find everywhere on the day the apocalypse happen might be in very short supply ten years later.

Scavenging is done quite simply: you roll an Investigation Skill Check and your GM puts a positive or negative modifier onto it depending on the scarcity. If you are successful then you find it, but how much do you find? That is where the Luck Skill comes in. If you have indeed found some food or water, you roll a Luck Skill Check to see if you have found enough to last you the next few days or just enough for the next meal.

Also due to popular demand, we have added in how long a turn in combat should last: approximately five seconds.

Have fun with 3.0 and get back to us any feedback you have!

Z-Land Beta 2.0

The Z-Land 2.0 has been released, and for those who already got into the beta it should be on its way to you right now. If you want to sink your teeth into the beta, you can now grab it from DriveThruRPG.

2.0 brings with it 2 major mechanics: Food Spoilage and Threat.

Food Spoilage is exactly what it says it is. It uses a very simple mechanic to track how long until the food you have spoils and can no longer be eaten. You already have to deal with hunger and starvation and now you have to worry about your good going off. Other than keeping you on your toes, the purpose of this mechanic is to keep you moving. If your food never went off or spoiled then you can happily set up camp somewhere safe, have a pint and just wait for the apocalypse to (hopefully) blow over. But if your food has a time limit that means you have to keep going out there into the ruins scavenging for food and that makes the game exciting.

The second mechanic is Threat. Threat deals with the consequences of going around scavenging or in general just making noise. Threat deals with how many individuals (alive, dead or undead) hear the noise you are making and how far away they are. Threat is also the first foray into our environment system as each environment deals with sound differently. Sound carries further in open plains than in a densely backed urban district, but there are far fewer people out on the open plains than in a city.

So stay on the move and keep your ears and eyes open!

As always, we love to hear feedback on these new mechanics and absolutely everything else in the Z-Land Beta. If you wanna chat to us you can email us at customerservice@stormforgeproductions.com or you can find us on the Rycon Roleplays Discord Server where you can chat to fellow beta testers about your experiences in the apocalypse.

Z-Land beta on sale now!

Due to popular demand, we have made the beta rules to Z-Land publicly available on DriveThruRPG, so CLICK HERE to get it! If you wanted to back the Kickstarter but didn’t get in on time, now is your chance! We will be updating the beta constantly with new rules and fixes and all that carry on, and through the magic of DriveThru’s website, you will automatically get the updates as we put them out.

Just bear in mind that the beta will only ever stay the beta. It will (eventually) have all the rules and mechanics for the game, but no lore or background or pretty art. It won’t transform into the fully completed book at any stage. If you get the beta, you get the beta.