De-Genesis is a German roleplaying game with a fascinating post apocalyptic background with stunning artwork. The game is only currently available in German language, although 99.9 percent of it has been translated into English for a release prior to Catalyst Game lab dropping alot of properties (to concentrate on Shadowrun and Battletech) and the German company-Sighpress deciding to re-write the poor rules (the one stumbling block, good ideas poorly executed) I am sure that with Mongoose@s excellent record of improving rules systems they could make this game into somethoing special.
For those interested the following is the games background followed by links to the free downloadable german rulebook (go look at the art) and English quick start rules.
Degenesis Background

A wave of euphoria first spreads over earth when in 2070 a long range space telescope in Peru obtains the first pictures of a widely spread asteroid swarm. When further calculations allow for a further prediction of its flight path, excitement turns to fear and sheer terror: The celestial bodies will cross earth’s orbit. But humanity thinks itself prepared and launches an old weapon system created for this purpose into the coldness of space. Hundreds of Paladin satellites, called the Silver Horde by earth’s population, enter an interception course. “The Clash of the Titans”, the battle in heaven between earth’s line of defense and the tumbling rocks is blown up to be a tremendous media event – but it never takes place. The Silver Horde passes the asteroid swarm without detonating even a single warhead. The reasons for the failure remain shrouded in mystery, a riddle never to be fully solved. The only clue is a 2 ^16 signature in the controlling software.

Panic ensues. Many people leave the cities and seek shelter in the mountains to escape the coming apocalypse. Mass car crashes jam the highways leading out of the metropolises. Fierce scenes take place on the roads. Egoism and violence is the sole survival tactic of the desperate. Police units and military troops are hopelessly outmatched. Many turn away from the technology which could not save them and seek the protection of the faith. Tradition becomes much more important. Sects believing in the End Time grow in their ranks, but many go back to the holy places of the traditional religions. Two days to Day Zero. Mass suicides, pillaging and lynch justice are the first worldwide signs of a changing society: a bitter foretaste of the dehumanization of man, of the Age of the Beast. The Final Days are here.

One day to live a whole life. Homo sapiens is reduced to its most basic and powerful emotions: love, hate, lust, power – and fear. A chaotic maelstrom of emotion, all-encompassing and terrible in its pure animal magnetism, engulfs the world. Orgies, unbound violence, greedy theft but also examples of sacrifice and human warmth can be seen in the streets. The shrieks of alarm plants, the screeching of broken glass, the heat on the flames felt on the skin, the smell of a burning building right in the vicinity, papers and magazines swept through the gutters. The End has come.

On March 13th, the transhuman age ends in a global sea of flames. Nothing could stop the celestial bombardment, even the megawatt discharges of the Thor defence lasers are drowned in the whiplashed atmosphere, a mere toy compared to the power of the cosmic threat. Man has never been so aware of his unimportance in the grand scheme of things.

The day after
Europe has suffered horribly through the asteroid bombard-ment. Huge fires and electrostatic discharges set the night afire, during the day smoke clouds, consisting of asteroid substance and whirled-up dirt, smother even the last sunbeam. The rain is sour, even toxic. The cities stink of death. But this was only the beginning. Along the Reaper’s Blow, a meandering line of craters that rips from what was once Northern Germany across the Alps and the Italian Boot to the north coast of Africa, the ground opens up. Earth-quakes and heightened volcanic activity herald the next catastrophe. Extreme tectonic tensions make the earth quiver and tremble. Huge cracks open up in the ground, gigantic areas the size of whole cities are levelled, the sound of crushing stone filling the skies. Lava seas bubble in Northern and Middle Germany and turn the region in a grey field of slag. One town after another is reduced to rubble by the terrible forces of the tortured ground, seething lava runs through the streets, melts the cars, seals the cellars and bunkers. Toxic gases waft towards the east – and the dying continues. Europe is ripped apart by the Reaper’s Blow – any attempt to cross this extremely unstable zone is a risk not lightly taken.

Ice age
The years of darkness demand their tribute. The polar caps extend towards the south, turning billions of liters of seawater into ice. North Europe is smothered by a meter-high snow blanket. The ground water level sinks, the sea level drops by more than 30 meters during the following centuries. The ruins of former coastal cities stand isolated on dry ground, kilometres afar from the new coast line. The changes in Africa are far less disastrous. The changing weather patters drive billowing clouds across the Dark Continent. The Sahara desert blossoms into a subtropical jungle.

Europa after the fall
Five centuries have passed since the Eshaton. Knowledge from that time is scarce and dispersed with legends and religious ramblings, panicked scribbles describing the indescribable. Humanity has changed, became tougher, adapted to its new environment. Finally, when snow released the ruined cities, Scrappers combed through the ancient buildings, searching for arte-facts, bringing them to the budding enclaves. Mercenaries, whores, slavers - the riffraff of a world reborn – pour over a land without laws and leaders. They gather into clans, fight against the rising city states over weapons and food. Civilisation is a mere withered plant – but slowly the growth returns to the wasteland as the will or need for order is still dominant in the human mind.

Of Crow and Lion
The European continent: Cold, forgotten ruined cities, the toxic red dust of the craters, the people as stubborn as the land. Then the dark continent of Africa: subtropical climate, plants laden with fruits, a new renaissance of technology. The land masses which have been separate in the past are now connected, and crossing is easy. Still, some regions are fought over, but who is strong enough to stop a whole peo-ple? But many stay at the place they call home, fight a daily struggle for survival. Maybe they don’t know better. Maybe they do not trust the news of a paradise called Africa. And maybe the true reason lies in the crushed heritage of their forbearers: the artefacts of the ancients. One of these treas-ures is enough to turn a poor prospector into a rich Scrapper – or into a mighty warlord. The fixed ideas about these possible findings keeps their culture alive, is their fuel for the flame of hope. Europe is a continent for adventurers and soldiers of fortune: Everyone can make it there.

The lion knows this and lusts after the crow’s wings which allows to the bird to soar over the plains. For centuries the Neolybians and other African people have pushed towards the North, to rob the ignorant Clanners of the production plants that belonged to their forefathers. But the Southern European city states are not much better: Hi-Tech enclaves sent out shock troops to seize the oil wells of the Neoly-bians. Being in control of the oil for just a few days would spell rulership over one’s own country for weeks, perhaps even months. The Mediterranean Sea, a puddle of brackish water covered with algae and the stench of salt and decay, has become the central lynchpin of the post-apocalyptic world.

Ancient Paths
Great profit and even greater danger await the postapocalyptic merchant. The concrete paths of the Ancients resist the encroaching of the new vegetation at many places and ease the travels between the city states, but safe they cannot be called. The traders have adapted to the threats: they are wiry fighters with leadership skills and excellent knowledge of their surroundings, to leave the known routes with their highwaymen and self-appointed warlords. Rich, fat-bellied merchants, too clumsy to handle a warscythe, can only be found in the Justitian protectorates. Gathering in small and fast groups or in caravans with hundreds of armed man, they are responsible for bringing water to Justitian, metal scraps to the Mediterranean coast and slaves into the fighting arenas of Liqua. Oil for technol-ogy, furs for weapons, herbs for meat, Burn for steel – a new enthusiasm has taken over the traders in the Mediterranean – fortune and glory beckons to the daring and desperate, who thwart the dangers of the wasteland.

What's Degenesis about?
Degenesis takes place in a ruined future, 500 years in the future. Civilization as we know it has been demolished by a asteroid swarm. 7 cultures (the northern Borcers, the insect-plagued Frankers, the nomadic Pollens, the war-ridden Balkhanians, the crusadic Purgaryans, the Hybrispaniards torn by civil strife and the up and coming Africans fight for hegemony. Characters can belong to 13 organisations and cults (the wandering Scrappers, the technophiliac Chronists, the medical Spitalians, mercenary Hellveticans, righteous sledge-hammer wielding Judges or the Neo-Lybian merchant kings with their avenging forces of Scourgers among others).

But there's another danger for man: A strange growth or disease came from the stars, infecting fungi, men and animals. The Sepsis, as the strange growth is called, plagues the world, as its the source of the psychoactive Burn drug. Children and newborns affected by the Sepsis show strange abilities. When these children grow up, they are often exterminated or ostracized before they grow up as Psychonauts, gifted with psionic powers but also in danger of losing their minds by communing with the hive mind created by the Sepsis growth.

The KatharSys Game Engine
Degenesis uses our KatharSys System. Characters have got five stats and a number of skills, all on a scale of 1 to 10. You roll 2d10 and try to roll not higher than the sum of your stat and skill. Difficult actions are described by a difficult number, which acts as a lower threshold. So if you've got a Body Stat of 6 (muscled) and an Athletics Skill of 3 (some training), but try to climb a sheer cliff (difficult of 5), you're successful when you roll above 5 and not more than 9 on 2d10.

Fights work much the same way, but characters also have action points which they can spend for getting initiative and making difficulties easier. If these action points reach zero, they are momentariliy out of action and have to spend a round or two to replenish their reserves. All weapons have a damage factor which works as follows: Pistol: 6d(5). This means that if you're hit with a pistol, 6 ten-sided dice are rolled and each roll which is not higher than five counts as a wound. If someone wears armor, the armor score functions again as a lower threshhold. Each character can take a number of flesh wounds, depending on his or her build (1-3 in the head, 3-5 in the torso). After that, a character suffers trauma wounds, which can be debilitating and downright deadly.

Character creation is quite easy: we call it the 3C-System. You first choose a culture, then you choose a concept which describes how you grew up (religious upringing, life on the streets, nomad, slavery) nad finally you choose a cult or organization to which you belong. In each stage, you get some points for your stats and can allocate points to your skills. The system is really fast and helps you to gain an idea of your character quite fast.

In the basic rulebook you play a member of one of the cults in this Europe. Though there are some basic guidelines for playing other characters like Sleepers (men and women held in cryo-static and recently released from their nano-dispensers) and Psychonauts (those men and women who have entered a symbiotic relationship with the core spore fields and can use psychic abilities like flesh-forming, telekinetics, precognition and subvocal commands), full rules for them will be available in future supplements. There's only so much which you can put in 380 pages...

Character generation
In each step, all characters get exactly the same amount of attributes bonuses and skill points. But they get bonusses for different attributes and can develop different skills. So: If you 've create a Frankanian (french) character he gets an attribute bonus for Psyche (willpower) and Charisma, because Franka has been reigned for centuries now by the Pheromancers, who can control your emotions by scent. He can spend 5 skill points on Artefact Lore, Fitness, Survival and Notice. He should also choose a so-called principle which will give him an additional XP when he plays it out during the sessions (I do believe in carrots more than in sticks...). That was Step 1

In step two, we choose Pain for concept, this means that the character has suffered a lot of violence in his youth (perhaps a Pheromancer has used this character's family for feeding his beloved insects...). Pain give a bonus to Agility (you've got to be fast and nimble to survive). You can now spend 7 points on Endurance, Fitness and Initiative. You can now also choose a second principle like Cautious, merciless or lethargic.

In the third step, you choose your cult. I chose Anabaptist for the character, a neognostic sect which believes that the destroyed Europe is indeed the promised land which now has to be cleansed by fire and sword. The rulebook says that the Anabaptist have just a few years ago started to wage war on the ruling Pheromancers and I like my character to be one of the first recruits in Franka.

I can now spend 9 additional skill points on the following skills: Melee, Firearms, Faith, Legend Lore, Heavy Weapons (the Anabaptist use a primitive form of flame-throwers) and Cultural Lore. Again, I can choose another principle, like Chosen, Informer, Fanatic or Earth-Lover. After chosing my skills, I get some equipment basend on the rank which I have in my cult. As my character never had much of Faith, he starts as a mere recruit, with only the clothes on his body.

That's the character creation process in a nutshell. We decided to keep it as simple as possible, but the three step process makes it quite easy to create characters: Where was I born? How did I grew up? What do I want do do? Numberwise, all cults and character start out the same. But if you want to be a really crack in Technology, you do have to choose a Chronist or an Anubian Mechan. If a skill is not part of one of your culture, concept or cult repertoire, you can only have a maximum of three ranks in the skill (which means you've got 'working knowledge'). Moreover, your starting equipment depends on your cult and your rank within the cult. This means a starting Helvetic, a member of a cult based on the remains of the Swizz Army, has got his Pathmaker and a number of bullets at the beginning of the game. In effect, such a character will be extremely deadly - as long as he's got ammunition.

We do recommend creating your own backgrounds. For this we've got a kind of umbrella cult, the Sipplings. This cult just describes the typical tribal way of living prevalent in the world of Degenesis. We give examples of Sipplings for all 7 cultures and some tips on creating your own tribes. It's also quite easy to create an organization by yourself: You just have to think up an idea, get a good name, decide which skills are the most important for the cult and which principles are prevalent. And with how much CC (cash, that is Chronist Credit, the paper money which the Chronists give out in exchange for information and artifacts of the Ancients) a character starts out and which equipment can be found within the cult.
The artwork for the game is absolutely beautiful, to see this go to http://www.degenesisrpg.comwhere you can download quick start rules and an adventure as well as the full German version of the RPG.