Each player takes on the role of a survivor in the post apocalyptic Quarantine Zone (the locale of your choice, preferably your actual real-world location) . It has been roughly 5 months since the outbreak and society has more or less collapsed. The zombie outbreak seems to be a viral infection which in some cases causes bizarre deformities, as well as zombification.
QZ uses six sided dice. To resolve dice rolls a player rolls a certain number of dice and tries to get the required number of successes. The die result required depends on the game type, it will always remain the same and should be determined before play begins.
Action- dice are successful on 4+ result. An easier and faster paced version.
Survival- dice are successful on a 5+ result. Recommended default.
Horror- dice are successful on a 6+ result.Very difficult. Characters will die.
Each Player character has 6 ability scores-'B.R.A.I.N.S.'
Brawn- How physically tough and strong a character is. Used in hand to hand combat and to resist illness.
Reflexes- A character's speed and agility, also used to measure manual dexterity.
Attitude- A character's ability to connect and make relationships. Used in social situations.
Intelligence- The knowledge and mental capacity of a character.
Nerve- A character's ability to stay calm in difficult situations and overcome fears. Used to shoot ranged weapons.
Search- A character's ability to notice details. Used to scavenge supplies.
Each character starts with 1 skill point in each 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability. Each character gets an additional 6+1d6 skill points which they may assign to one of their 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' abilities or spend on Survival Skills. Each 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability or Survival Skill may have up to 3 skill points assigned to it.
A Survival Skill is some specific skill that the character has. A character may choose nearly any skill they can think of, provided that it is specific enough and plausible. "Good at Shooting Guns" should not be a Survival Skill, but "Good with Hunting Rifle" might be acceptable. "Very Charismatic" -bad, "Trained in Hostage Negotiation" - good. Survival skills are meant to help make characters unique and give them a bonus in a few very specific situations. In a situation where it is useful the player may use their skill bonus on a 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability check to grant 1 extra d6 for each skill point assigned to that Survival Skill. Survival Skill bonus dice do not count towards generating automatic successes.
'B.R.A.I.N.S.' Ability Checks
When making an ability check the Games Master will tell the player which ability is being tested and how many successes will be required. The player then will roll a number of dice equal to their character's ability score. An ability score is the number of d6s a player will roll as well as the number of automatic successes.
Example: A character with a Brawn score of 2 will roll 2 dice but will also generate 2 automatic successes. So 2 successes are guaranteed with 2 more possible if both d6s roll high enough (5+ in the standard game type). The number of dice a character will roll can be increased if conditions are favorable, or if they possess a relevant Survival Skill.
GM note- You should not decrease the number of dice a player gets to roll to make a task more difficult, instead increase the number of successes required. Also do not adjust the d6 result required to make a success once play has begun, as the game type selected above should not change.
Example of Play: Reloading a Gun
Reloading a gun should be a very simple task, and in most cases a check would not be required. In a dangerous situation however a Nerve check would probably be appropriate.
Nick is cautiously walking down the street and finds a shotgun and some ammo for it in a police cruiser. He sees that the gun is empty and would have reloaded it easily, but a zombie staggers out of a nearby doorway.
To reload the gun Nick needs to pass a difficulty 1 Nerve check, requiring 1 success. Since Nick has a Nerve score of 1 he gets to roll 1 d6 and also gets 1 automatic success- he reloads the gun.
A few minutes later Nick needs to reload the shotgun again. This time though a Sloucher is shambling towards him and moaning loudly (a zombie moaning commonly increases the difficulty of a Nerve check by 1), so this Nerve check is at difficulty 2, requiring 2 successes. Suddenly this check is considerably more difficult- Nick can't rely on his 1 automatic success, he needs to roll a success on his d6 to pass.
Steve is cornered in an alley with a horde of moaning zombies moving in, and he has to reload his pistol.
Steve is a hardened biker, unlike wimpy Nick (Nick has Nerve 1) Steve is cool under stress (Steve has Nerve 3). Steve gets 3 automatic successes and rolls 3 dice when he makes a Nerve check. Steve needs to pass a difficulty 6 Nerve check to reload his gun, he needs all three of his d6s to be successes.
Note- I know this is a mess but I just want to get my thoughts down.
Thanks to Fenway for letting me rip off the "B.R.A.I.N." acronym he uses in his cool Zombie Attack rpg.
More on this later.