Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gamma World

Ah, Gamma World. I'm not old enough to have played the original editions of this game, but I've heard stories, and I did pick up the (sadly) much less wacky version created for 3rd Edition - Omega World, I think it was. I am not sure I can really give a description that does Gamma World justice, so I'll quote from the Wizards of the Coast website:

Bruce: Most people believe the world was once perfect, but then the Big Mistake wiped it out, leaving behind the blasted landscape and visibly cracked moon of Gamma Terra. Residents of that utopian former world (you and me) are called Ancients, and their ruins and still-functioning super-science artifacts can still be found.

Insofar as it can be determined by people of Gamma Terra, the Big Mistake was a combination of events kicked off by an accident at an Ancient installation called the Large Hadron Collider that was attempting to locate the “God Particle.” Depending on the story, it was one of those tiny things that didn’t seem important at the time: a bird dropped a piece of bread, which precipitated a series of cascading malfunctions culminating in the event that partially collapsed billions of parallel timelines into a single worldtrack! Uncomprehending nations in a large percentage of these parallel Earths mistook the collapse for an attack by enemies and immediately launched their arsenals of nuclear, chemical, biological, and superscience weapons at each other.

That was some years ago. Since then, remnant poisons, fluxing timelines, and transposed creatures and technology of myriad alternate dimensions combined to create a unique tableau that any Ancient would deride as the gibberings of a down-on-her-luck pulp novelist. From where you’re sitting, it’s obviously no fantasy, but sometimes it sure seems crazy.

So, Gamma World is a wacky game. And characters for it are correspondingly wacky. For initial character creation, you have two origins for your character; it is left up to the player to decide how the two fit together. Right now, the origins table is just something you roll 1d20 on twice, but I have hopes it will be expanded. So, starting out, I roll Cockroach for my primary origin, giving me an 18 Constitution, and Hawkoid for secondary, giving me a 16 Wisdom. With Cockroach, I get +4 to Mechanics skill checks, +2 to Reflex saves, I can climb my speed, even upside-down, and I can spit at opponents, while as a Hawkoid I get +4 to Perception checks, the ability to fly, and a terrifying shriek attack. I then roll 3d6 for each of my remaining stats, and get Strength 10, Dexterity 10, Intelligence 12, and Charisma 16. I start with 30 hit points, saves of Fortitude 15, Reflex 14, and Will 14, and for random gear, I get duct tape, night-vision goggles, and a tent.What this all looks like:

'Hawkroach' (Cockroach/Hawkoid)

Strength 10
Constitution 18
Dexterity 10
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 16
Charisma 16

Fortitude: 15 Reflex: 14 Will: 14
Hit points: 30

Acrobatics: 1
Athletics: 1
Conspiracy: 2
Insight: 4
Interaction: 5
Mechanics: 6
Nature: 4
Perception: 8
Science: 2
Stealth: 1

Heavy armor
Weapon: speed limit post, with sign
Weapon: potato gun

Explorer's kit
Night-vision goggles
Duct tape

With that, my crazed hawkroach is ready to wander out into the madness that is Gamma Terra. If you're interested, there's a random character generator for the new edition of Gamma World; you can find the character generator here.

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