Jim Pinto's Carcass Exodus gives you a grim post apocalyptic rules set that focuses on the characters rebuilding a shattered world.
The Carcass: Exodus is a roleplaying story game about the end of the world. There are a lot of roleplaying games about the end of the world, and most focus largely on conflict: fighting off marauder bands, defeating warlords and the like.
But what if they weren’t all like that? What if one of them was about rebuilding the community?
That’s the premise which makes The Carcass: Exodus unique: addressing aspects of a post-apocalyptic environment that don’t embrace the obvious clichés.
Firstly, as with the other games in the GMZero series, this game can be played with or without a gamemaster. The rules don’t really change; only the person in charge of the action does.
Secondly, the characters are not adventurers or saviors. They are real people trying to survive and rebuild in a world ravage by the past. What makes The Carcass: Exodus unique is that the past is different every time you play. So is the world. The players determine the nature of the environment and the goals their characters need to meet over the course of play.
The people living in the world of The Carcass: Exodus lack a coherent understanding of the past and what has led to now. In addition, this new edition of the game introduces pre-made histories and worlds for players (or gamemasters) who want to know more going in.
This is the Kickstarter version with the exclusive cover
You are not heroes.
You are flawed humans others lean on for answers.
Thirdly, each session of The Carcass: Exodus differs because different characters bring a different context to the game. A game where the players take on the roles of a marker, witch, and wrecker is going to be very different from a game with an astrologer, curate, firefly, and maggot. (See? You just started playing and you’re already aware that the character class roles all sound awesome.)
Finally, The Carcass: Exodus lacks a set end point. There is no leader when the game starts, and little harmony as the characters deal with ongoing issues of inter-tribe conflict. They don’t resemble mythic figures of the Max Mad variety — they don’t have mad combat skills and superhuman survival abilities. They’re simply trying to survive from day to day. Sometimes they make mistakes, and mistakes can be fatal. Sometimes, they do everything right… and they still fail anyway.
That’s not to say this world lacks heroes; simply that the definition of heroism has undergone a radical shift from the kind of campaigns you may be used to.