Sunday, May 1, 2011

May is for Gamma World

While I still plan to focus on a wide variety of old school games on this blog, as I always have, I've decided to devote a lot more of my attention during May to the science fantasy classic, Gamma World, and its near-clone Mutant Future. I'm going to kick off this month-long focus later today with a "Gamma World, Cover to Cover" series for the first edition of the game. I'll also occasionally chime in with examinations of other editions of the game (mostly second and third), with particular attention to the continuity and differences between these editions. There will also be discussions of Gamma World's predecessor, Metamorphosis Alpha, whose central premise I continue to think is one of the most interesting ones in science fiction gaming. Gamma World has always been one of my favorite RPGs, so I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to indulge myself over the coming month. I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I expect to do so.

23 comments:

  1. Great idea, I love Gamma World!

    Are you going to actually play the game?

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  2. Brilliant, looking forward to hearing more about this classic game that I've never had the chance to play!

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  3. i really appreciate this. I've always loved the the 1st ed of Gamma World but never found anyone else who saw the 'seriousness' of it. Thank you sir.

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  4. By all means please do. Looking forward to reading more on this.

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  5. Sweet! Looking forward to it!

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  6. I recently ordered Mutant Future. Should have it in my hands this week so I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on the GW/MF subject...

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  7. YES .. .
    I wish they published mutant future with an ascending armor class,
    Gamma World was far more
    gonzo than DnD

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  8. Most wonderful as I recently started my Gaia Gamma blog at http://www.gaiagamma.com in order to create another GW Clane with some fresh ideas in line with the OSR train of thought. I'm Looping Vorwand to all the GW attention!

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  9. ...clone... ...looking forward... Damn the iPad word completion... I am ashamed.

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  10. May is going to be very enjoyable. I have always enjoyed Gamma World since I first fill out my hex map way back in the day.

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  11. While D&D was my introduction in the early 80's as far as RPG's were concerned, it was Gamma World that caught my imagination unlike any other game.

    To this day, I still think it's the best from a "character generating" standpoint of any RPG. The combinations of attributes are practically endless and it was the one time when rolling for an attribute from one of the charts and getting something that was detrimental could literally add loads of fun to your character during game play.

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  12. Holmes Basic was my first rpg ever, but the next was GW 1e and it's always been a very close second favorite in my heart. I can't wait to enjoy a full month of your attention to it!

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  13. That looks like the illustration on the cover of the first miniatures boxed set for Gamma World which was also the first miniatures I ever owned. From Grenadier I believe. I wish I still had those. Those little lumps of lead were evocative in their own right. I think they put out another set and some blister packs too.

    Also, very keen to read your ruminations on GW, MA, MF etc. A whole month of mutated games! Definitely something I look forward to.

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  14. Hear! Hear! I love Gamma World the FIRST edition and the evocative painting on the box. I got a poster too. Kudos, James!

    To me, Gamma World was the primarily about exploration of the alien, though all ofthe artefacts were garden variety weapons and other equipment albeit high tech.

    To this end GW 2nd or 3rd Edition introduced a concept of "Tech Level", similar to Traveler, I suppose. TL1 - was stone age weapons and arnor, TL-2 - was D&D/Medieval, TL-3 was present day snd TL-4 was Gamma World near future, as I remember.

    Inspired by a little sci-fi novel titled "Roadside Picnic" I introduced a "Tech Level 5" into my Gamma World game, which for me was stone age tribal characters venturing out into the ovrrgrown ruins and what lurked there. Anyway, one of my little gems was that aliens have landed at some point in my Gamma World campaign and have tried to settle the post-nuked world and have contaminated itsecology and left behind artefacts. Roadside picnic dealt withthe soame themes and intrdouced a bunch of examples of truly alien artefacts, which featured obscure concepts from physical chemistry and subatomic physics, theoretical materials whose creation was beyond the technological capabilities ofthe late 1960's when the novel was written, and it took massive brainpower to figure out what those things did and if they have any practical applications. Side effects were dangerous and terrible, though earthly, such as hydrofloric poisoning, whch ocurs during industrial accidents pertaining to uranium enrichment, anyway Artefact scaveging, and figurig them out was a big part of the GW1 game and introducing alien technologies into the campaign would not only make it challeging for the chraaters, it will also make it a conundrum for the players!!!!

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  15. I was never much of a fan of Gamma World, but those opinions are now 30 years old. I'll be interested to see if you wind up changing my mind. :)

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  16. Splendid idea. I look forward to seeing this.

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  17. Excellent! Our group has been playing 1E Gamma World for the past couple years, so you could say it's been on my mind a lot as well. My intent was to take a break from 3E D&D (which the majority of my friends are quite fond of) and play a simpler game from my youth that I always wanted to play, but never got around to. The plan was to start the campaign playing the rules straight out of the box and then only slowly tweak the game with house rules as I saw fit. So far I've been lightly surprised at how little I have felt the need to change things.

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  18. Most welcome news. It was discovering Jeff's Gameblog through googling Mutant Future that brought me into the OSR in the first place. Since then I've seen comparatively little love for my all time favorite genre. As someone who got introduced to Gamma World at Origins '79 and has kept abreast of it since then I'm looking forward this series of posts. Hopefully it will send ripples through the blog-o-sphere as others riff off of these posts, but it's distant hope at best.

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  19. Are you going to actually play the game?

    Not likely to do so this month, since I just started a new one and I've still got Dwimmermount going, albeit on a much reduced schedule. Maybe during the summer.

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  20. Fun times! I played and ran GW 2E back in the mid-80's. It seemed oddly appropriate during the Cold War to see what would've happened 100 years after WW III. Plus with the Road Warrior and other movies exploring post-apocalyptic scenarios
    Of course, for the D&D nerds I also dug running Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module as a mixture of Tomb of Horrors and Paranoia for laughs all around.
    If you felt sadistic, put in a gate to Gamma World for your D&D characters to go play there. GW characters are ridiculously overpowered and wouldn't work too well in a Greyhawk or AD&D setting at the time. Now, with 3E or 4E mechanics, not so much with all the magitek, feats and so forth but I digress.
    I'd love to see where this discussion takes us!

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