A downloadable game

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A hack of Electric Bastionland and Into the Odd inspired by Roadside Picnic and Annihilation. 

  • 100 character "alterations" (like being able to hear warnings uttered by animals, finger bones you can shoot as projectiles, and when you get a cut, the skin opens to reveal a functional eyeball) 
  • 40 pre-made artifacts (like seeds that grow into human hands, foggy lenses that show the past, and tables to randomly make your own artifacts, like a hovering, pearlescent lattice of crystal that absorbs light)
  • 80 super-compact encounters (like a baseball-sized tick that turns you invisible, a disembodied brain trying to burrow into your skull to eat your brain and take over your body, and an extremely awkward birthday party)
  • Tables to generate alien-warped terrain in the City, the Wilderness, the Wasteland, and the Tunnels below, plus a few example locations (like a settlement built out of scrap on giant sea-mushrooms where residents are kept in the dark about the outside world)
  • 78 pages including covers and 22 full-page illustrations

The Guard wants to control it.
The Lab wants to understand it. 
The Underground wants to profit off it. 
You need to survive it. 
Welcome to the Quarantine Zone.

Currently marked down to $5 during the completion of playtesting and revisions. If you get a chance to play it, please leave a comment or get in touch at pretendo.games!

Recommended for 1 GM and 1 or more additional players.
Character keeper spreadsheet
 for online play.
Rules inspired by Electric Bastionland
Illustrations by BEEPLE (Mike Winkelmann).

Purchase

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

QZ v0.21 spreads.pdf 31 MB
QZ v0.21 singles.pdf 31 MB

Free Download

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

If any of the following describe you, please feel welcome to download a free PDF, no questions asked. 

  • Not sure you can afford it
  • You wear a mask out, and try to help other people during this weird time
  • Contributed a game to Eclectic Bastion Jam

Thanks to Dee Pennyway, creator of Mnemomic, for instructions on setting up community copies on Itch.io.

Development log

Comments

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WOW! What a great product at this price. This looks fantastic. 

(1 edit) (+1)

Hi Jason, I am planning a one shot inspired by Annihilation, and was originally going to use 2400 Zone when I remembered this game exists. How would you compare the two? It seems QZ has a lot more meat on it and they seem to share genre tropes and expectations - would you say there is a reason to pick 2400 Zone over this? Also, I have been looking for inspiration for the game, what media touchstones would you recommend that is the same tone as Annihilation, or media that inspired you in making QZ (other than the two mentioned)?

(+4)

Good question! They're basically the same setting with two different rule sets, and QZ has a lot more material because it's a longer game. My goal is that you could use the content from either with the rules from either. To summarize what you'd find in each....

QZ

  • 70+ pages (revised edition on the way with 90+ pages)
  • Into the Odd rules – hit points, 3 ability scores, saves, attacks with no to-hit rolls
  • 100 alterations 
  • 20 compulsions to make you go adventuring
  • 60 contacts split between military,  science, and underground
  • 100 encounters split between 5 regions of the zone, each with generators for features
  • 20 sample artifacts plus random artifact generators

2400 Zone

  • 3 pages + cover (deliberately super short and quick to read)
  • 24XX rules – polyhedral dice with partial success, with no hit points, ability scores, or separate combat rules
  • 36 alterations (redundant with the list of 100 in QZ)
  • 20 contacts split between military, science, and underground (different from the ones in QZ)
  • 20 encounters (some with vague overlap with some in QZ)
  • Artifact generators (no sample artifacts)

Each game also has some generators for anomalies, but QZ's approach is likely to see some significant updates when I finish the revised edition. (I'm hoping to be done with that this year, but the pandemic, parenting, and my day job make that tough to predict.)

Hope this helps!

Thank you very much! That's perfect!

(+1)

I haven't read this yet but I'm compelled to share how stunningly beautiful I think it is.

Thank you!

I've been playing through this a bit, it's a lot of fun! The only thing is that there seems to be a lot of time spent in individual sectors, and not a lot of encounters or things in the roll tables to find within them. I was having a lot of repeats almost immediately, so i started to have to make a bunch of things up before I even really knew a lot abt the setting of the game yet. I don't really like altering the game too much when I'm not confident about the world it involves

(+1)

Thanks for the feedback! I’ve been revising those tables lately, and trying to figure out ways to fit in more variety. Still trying to determine whether it’s enough to offer more general DIY options (like: roll on this table for an adjective and this one for a noun, and decide for yourself what “multiphasic snake” means), or if I should just have longer tables of pre-written encounters and anomalies…..

Hey Jason, I would really love to own a print on demand version of this game at some point. Is something like this still planned?

Yes, thanks for asking! I’m actively working on that right now, actually. I’m revising some of the QZ travel procedures to minimize flipping around the book, and then I plan to get it on DTRPG (and maybe Lulu?) as POD. I’m hoping to figure out a way to send an at-cost POD code to everybody who’s bought it digitally here already. I’ll email an update when it’s ready!

I'm in!

Any updates on POD? I’d love a physical copy!

Had to step away from game work for awhile, but getting back to things this month, and the plan described above is still the plan! 

(+2)

I took a train to Bristol between UK lockdowns and had a few hours to wile away, so I made a random bestiary for QZ. Entirely narrative, all stats require making up on the fly. (Also suitable for 24XX or basically anything similar.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fFO_dXqYgsXK01MIC5jtpGXwuRPyRye7S5ceHWlK...

(+1)

In many ways what I set out to do here was create a BEEPLE-creature generator, although arguably I need more iconic pop culture characters and/or debased politicians to realise that goal. 

Maybe in future I'll add some 24XX style columns with adaptations for different contexts, and BEEPLEverse can feature as one of them.

(+1)

Whoa, awesome! Thanks for posting this!

Added a generator in the sheet now too. Got a few kinks to work out but I'm calling it done for now! 

Can I get in touch with you somewhere other than here, Jason?

(+2)

Yes, apologies for the delayed reply! Email me at jason at pretendo dot games. 

(+3)

Just published a review of this game at https://perplexingruins.blogspot.com/

Hope it works

(+2)

This is so kind! Thank you!

You're welcome! Is this still planned for edited POD? ETA? Or should I look to local printing.

(+4)

Working plan is POD in 2021 (on the early side I hope), after I have a chance to make updates from playtests. The good news is that revisions should be way faster than they have been for Agents of the ODD, as I don’t feel the need to “fix” the graphic design on this one. 😅

(+1)

On p52 there looks to be a word or so missing from:

  • Could such dramatic ecological effects that extend even beyond the QZ?
(+2)

Oops — thank you!

Amazing hack - can't wait to get it to the table! 

During character creation, I'm not 100% clear on the following phrasing (for example):

  • check three times below; at least 1 scientist skillset required
  • check 3 boxes below; at least 1 must be a soldier skillset

Does this mean to take three skillsets, one to three of which are from the relevant Scientist/Soldier list, and the remainder of which are drawn from the table on p16?

Or does it mean to take one to three skillsets and one to two contacts? 

I'm pretty sure it means the latter, but the "at least 1 must be a scientist/soldier skillset is slightly throwing me, since there are only two other (contact) boxes anyway, so checking three without one of them being a skillset would be impossible. 

The slight difference in phrasing (three/3), (times/boxes) and also (skillset/scientist skillset/team role/soldier skillset) also slightly threw me at first, although that's a minor gripe. 

(+2)

Thanks for the kind words and for the question—I had a feeling this might be confusing the way I phrased it, so I'll definitely adjust for the revised version. You're correct that the intended meaning was that every scientist has to specialize in some kind of science; if you get to check two boxes, you shouldn't just take two contacts. It occurs to me now that this restriction might not even be necessary, though. Hey, maybe if you play a scientist and take two contacts, but no specialty, you're a grad student or something, and haven't picked a specialty yet. And maybe you should get to pick from page 16, considering that plenty of scientists and soldiers have had other jobs too. 

I guess the short answer is that intended it the latter way you phrased it, but I welcome you to interpret it either way and let me know how it goes. 🙂

Thanks for the reply! 

In retrospect, I quite like the skillset speciality limitation paired with allowing a pick from p16 (if they can pick 2 or more).

Is it intended to be possible to pick more than one speciality skillset?

(+2)

Sure! I definitely know scientists who work in multiple fields of expertise. 

Great, thanks! 

HYPE, I'm very excited to read this through!

Thanks! And if you have a chance, I’d love to hear any feedback!

I was expecting this since I heard about it on Twitter and boy oh boy was it worth the wait! I haven't read through all of it yet, but just by skimming through it you can see it's a fantastic game and/or toolbox. The layout is really good, easy to read and navigate. The art is extremely evocative and sets the mood perfectly! Highly recommended!

(-1)

Thank you so much!

(+2)

Will come back with more comments once I read through the book, but...

YOU GOT BEEPLE's ART?! Why are you not advertising on here that you've got freaking BEEPLE's ART?

(2 edits) (+1)

Because everything I used is creative commons licensed, so anybody can use Beeple's art!

EDIT: I'd been mistakenly informed that all Beeple's everydays are CC licensed, but he's said in a few places (including via email) that okay with folks using his stuff.

WhatI didn't know that! That is awesome news!

...also - they fit so well with your game - they make my mind spinning with ideas :)

(+1)

Seriously, as soon as I'm done with fixes on this, I have to launch right into my sci-fi game for another jam using more of this art. So good.

(+1)

Boy, this is kinda laser-targeted at me, huh?

I'm very careful with lasers!