While we would love for everyone to be able to play as themselves (taking any and as many SPEW points, skills, etc. as needed), this doesn’t seem practical to us at this time. For now, we are going to use character creation rules for Template characters, with slight modifications.
See this great thread on the Outbreak: Undead forum for some additional details about character creation.
All page numbers shown are from the Second Printing of the core rule book (as this is the version of the book I have). I believe there are some slight changes in what information is on what page between the First and Second printings, but they should be minor and all information should be within a page or two of what’s shown below.
Finally, all of the following published materials are available for use:
Outbreak: Undead core rulebook
Outbreak: Wild Kingdom (types and skills in Chapter 2)
Outbreak: Undead – Annual 1 (types and equipment)
Outbreak: Undead – Annual 2 (equipment/gear)
Outbreak: Undead – Annual 3 (types, skills and equipment)
Step 0: Your Character
Before you do anything else, you need to know who your character is. Where are they from? What is their job? What do they do for fun? How old are they? What are they like?
At a minimum, you need to know four things: Gender, Height, Weight, Age/Birthday. But, as this is a very story- and character-driven game, it is important to have a fleshed-out person with goals, fears, wants, needs, etc. Also, please find and post a picture for your character in your character sheet.
This game will begin on an Blue Line L train into Chicago (which is mostly a subway and goes between O’Hare Airport and the Loop), so it is important to know why your character is there (in town on business, living/working in the city, on vacation, etc.).
Step 1: SPEW (pages 10-15)
Each character begins with 120 attribute points to spread across their SPEW statistics. Each SPEW statistic must be at least 11 (Low Average) and no higher than 45 (Above Average) at this step.
Step 2: Size (page 16)
All characters are Size 1. That was easy!
Step 3: Character Type (pages 16-28, pages 40-78)
Choose any one character type, and gain all bonuses as mentioned in the text.
If a character type of ROTC/EMT/etc. (shown on page 28) is taken, there is no restriction on the list of acceptable bonus Skills to take, but please use your judgement on what makes sense for your character.
The Child character type (page 17) cannot be played. While there will be children in the outbreak, it doesn’t make much sense for them to be sent out on missions to get supplies, rescue survivors, etc.
Step 4: Bonus Skill Tiers (bottom of page 10, pages 40-78)
In addition to any Skill Tiers granted by your Character Type, you gain an additional 5 Skill Tiers to add to your character.
You may, however, decide to sacrifice one or more bonus Skill Tiers to add 5 extra points in any SPEW statistic per Skill Tier sacrificed. This may only be done once per SPEW statistic.
There are no restrictions on what Skills to take for now, but note that we have our eye on Lone Wolf and will retroactively disallow it if we find it disrupts the game. Character conflict is fine, encouraged, and expected, but not at the expense of everyone having a good time.
If a Skill gives you a die roll to add to a SPEW statistic, always take the median score, rounded down (for example, 1d3 = 2, 1d6 = 3, 2d6 = 7, etc.).
Step 5: Disadvantages
We will not be using these. Feel free to roleplay anything you’d like, we just aren’t going to deal with formal rules for now.
Step 6: Finishing Touches (pages 29 to 32)
Based on everything selected for Steps 1 through 4 above, this section can now be filled out. It covers Cargo, Movement, Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, Defense, Bite Resist, and Health. Many of these will be modified by equipment, weapons, and armor later; these are your base scores.
Step 7: Skill Checks (pages 100-107)
The selected Character Type and Skill Tiers will generally grant bonuses to different Skill Checks (such as Hide granting a +5 bonus to ‘Per – Hide’ checks). Note these bonuses (and any conditions for when the bonuses apply).
Step 8: Gestalt Dice (pages 36-39)
Characters gain a number of Gestalt Dice equal to their age per the core rule book. They may be spent to increase Primary Skills
Although these characters are technically Template Characters, Gestalt Dice can be spent normally and with no restrictions (i.e. bonuses are permanent, new skills can be created, etc.).
Gestalt Dice may be spent to increase SPEW statistics per the core rulebook.
You do not have to spend all your Gestalt Dice at character creation. You can spend them at any point to add a permanent bonus.
Step 9: Equipment (Chapter 8)
As your character will begin the game riding public transportation on a normal weekday, it is unlikely you will have much in the way of equipment with you. You will obviously have clothes (appropriate for Spring weather in Chicago, between 40-60 degrees with a good chance of rain), which are not restricted within reason (no riot gear or military equipment unless you are playing that type of character).
It is also unlikely that you will be carrying any type of conventional weapon (unless you are a police officer, military personnel, etc.). Things like golf clubs, softball bats, etc. are possible, but you probably aren’t carrying around a crowbar or length of metal pipe on the L into the city.
Firearms for civilians are generally frowned upon in Chicago (up until recently, they were basically outright illegal), but not unheard of. If it makes sense for your character to have a handgun, this is fine (within reason), but you only have enough round of ammunition for the gun to be fully loaded (i.e. no ammo for reloads). There are no restrictions on guns for military personnel, police officers, etc. other than what you would reasonably have with you on a train.
Don’t worry too much about optimizing your equipment, there will be plenty of opportunities to find what you need.