Gamma World, Seriously

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So we all know that the newest version of Gamma World is a little wacky. If you are looking for a "serious" post-apocalypse game, this isn't it.

But could it be?

If we wanted to run Gamma World Seriously (GWSrsly), what would you do? To the game mechanics, to the setting, to the monsters and powers? Or can these elements all stay the same, and all that is required is a change of tone at the game table?

I'm not here to debate the decision, per se. Wizards had a vision, they implemented it, and that's cool. Likewise, I am not here to tell people they should play GW any specific way. If you want to keep the game wacky, go for it!

But for those of you who find the idea of "serious" Gamma World to be worth thinking about: 

Should we...
  • Allow players to create characters they want, rather than use the random tables?

  • Come up with a new way to determine your starting Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech, other than random draws from a created deck?

  • Alter the idea of Alpha Flux, to enable powers which make sense with what you have already displayed?

  • Remove "Gonzo" elements from the background, such as the infinite worlds in one place concept, replacing Istar, Area 52, and Xi with equivalent organizations which existed here, on our world, before the Big Mistake?

  • Something else?


 
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I think it's potentially pretty easy. The tone of the game isn't serious, but outside of the prescribed random-ness there isn't anything in the rules that requires you put a humourous spin on everything. I'd say 85-90% of the game is flavor, and you can easily toss out what little background material there is in favor of a homebrew and more seriously toned setting.

Mechanically I'd remove random character creation (just use standard arrays and let players pick their origins) and random alpha mutations. Players choose an Alpha Mutation to be a permanent power, providing for some oversight for potential balance issues. Possibly require that the Alpha Mutation's keyword match one of their origins.

I can't think of any quick and easy way to convert the Omega Tech to a parcel system. But having a random deck is pretty much identical to having a random table, so unless you want to more strictly control how items are acquired I wouldn't finagle too much with loot distribution.

Because Omega Tech acts partially as an additional power and partially as equipment, I wouldn't change the rules for using it too much. I'd stick with the 'tap to use, roll to re-use, salvage to make it permanent' system. This isn't inherently goofy and still reflects the unreliable nature of the equipment.
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I picked up Gamma World specifically because it's so gonzo and whacky.  If I wanted serious apocalypse, which I often do, I'll play Apocalypse World.

This was posted in a thread in the Future Releases forum.

Another variant I was considering was persistent mutations:

The first 8 times you draw an Alpha card, you keep the card (or have the option of keeping the card, maybe).  Once you've reached 8 Alpha cards, that's your player deck until that character dies.  That would give each character a unique set of mutations.  With only the 30 cards in the box, though, that'd only work for less than 4 players...   Have to wait for a 'complete Alpha Deck' product for it to work well.


Similarly, when a character fails an Omega charge roll, he retains the card and builds it into his Omega deck.  When he 'draws it from his Omega Deck' he doesn't find the same item again, he finds a power cell or jurry rig part that gets it running again.  Yeah, that'd actually make some sense.


Identical Games

D&D Published World foums at The Piazza (Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Planescape, and more); Core Coliseum; D&D Material including my Master/Expert DM Competition entries

Here's how I started up the campaign (post-game test with the group):


1. Since the characters were all starting out from one community I rolled their primary origin (which came up Android) and set the tone for the community that they grew up in (Since the day you came online, Ced R Poi has been your home. The players are all the "offspring" of the androids that were installed at Cedar Point amusement park in the future).
2. Then the characters rolled their secondary origin (with one rolling Android and he quickly said that he was the descendant of the chosen "Maint'n Monks: They who keep the servos oiled.")
3. When it came to Alpha Powers they got to draw once and that's their first power. Doesn't get shuffled away into the oblivion of game death after the first encounter. It can be changed out if the player undergoes the "Challenge of the Great Glow" and meets the "High Programmer". As they level up (and/or due to certain circumstances: i.e. exposure to mutagens) they'll get another Alpha Power that they get to keep.

A lot of this comes from having grown up with the original Gamma World and trying to integrate some of the aspects of it into this iteration, and TOTALLY junking the whole "Dimensional Collision" idea...

Make a system for Pure-Strain Humans. Probably some system of 4 or 5d6 keep the best three. Only extreamly fit humans have survived to this point.
GAMMA WORLD Wuv D&D: Beyond the RPG - Transcript This is a complete transcript. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390668593 The audio file is in this News Archive http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/DNDXP 2010 D&D Product Overview (47 minutes into the Audio) http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390928045
If we wanted to run Gamma World Seriously (GWSrsly), what would you do? To the game mechanics, to the setting, to the monsters and powers? Or can these elements all stay the same, and all that is required is a change of tone at the game table?

Well, probably run the rather dismal 6th edition (which was liscensed to WWGS under some name I don't remember) instead of the current one.  But, then, I kinda like whacky - I run /1st Ed/ GW sometimes.  Yeah.

But for those of you who find the idea of "serious" Gamma World to be worth thinking about: 

Should we...

Allow players to create characters they want, rather than use the random tables?


For a 'serious' game you want players to care about their characters, that means letting them put some care into them.  So, yes.

Come up with a new way to determine your starting Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech, other than random draws from a created deck?Alter the idea of Alpha Flux, to enable powers which make sense with what you have already displayed?

Yes, definitely.  Even for a whacky game I'm seriously (npi) considering this.

Some possibiities: 

/Do/ let the players build their Alpha Deck, but keep it to a small and the same size for all players.  I'd say something like 4 mutations at first, add one each time they level up and get to have another Alpha Mutation active.  Keep the 2-duplicate limit.  So 8 cards at first, up to 12 at high level.  When the player deck runs out, or durring an Alpha Flux, you could still have them draw from the DM deck.  Alpha Flux you might want to limit to actual radiation exposure.

Do not use player Omega Decks for found equipment.  Instead, start with no player decks.  As players find stuff, they draw from a (hopefully artfully stacked) DM Deck (or you just give them cards you've picked). When they fail a charge roll, they don't have to discard or salvage the card, they can, instead, put it into their Omega Deck.  Once their Omega Deck reaches the minimum 7 cards, they can start drawing from it.  Drawing from it doesn't represent finding the item - it represents finding something (a power cell, replacement part, charging port, etc) that can get it working for a while, again.  Put a maximum - maybe 12 - on the size of the Player Omega Deck (you can only cart around so much junk), you could also have each salvaged item reduce that maximum.

Remove "Gonzo" elements from the background, such as the infinite worlds in one place concept, replacing Istar, Area 52, and Xi with equivalent organizations which existed here, on our world, before the Big Mistake?

You could just drop the Big Mistake thing and go back to the original Shadow Years future history.  There would be no real difference among the types of Omega tech, though. 

Something else?

Add healing surges (base them on origin, each origin should give you 3-5, and they add together).  Model serious wounds and radiation exposure as diseases.  (both using 4e D&D mechanics)   Have the standard 2-origin characters represent 'mutants,' but also allow single-origin 'mutated humans,' ('human' is their primary origin - put an 18 in whatever you want, or stack it with their secondary origin - that's righ, no Alpha Mutation Overcharge bonus, you're just not that mutated) with single-origin Engineered Humans representing the 'Pure Strain.'  Give single-origin characters a 'class' - D&D martial classes would work fine (let them pick just two skills to get a +4 in, instead of getting trained class skills, and half the usual surges to add to their origin's surges, let Fighters have their higher hps).  At each level after 1, they can choose to take the ability from their origin, or the ability their class gives them at that level (+1 to two stats insead of an additional Alpha mutation, for instance).  If you /really/ want a pure, pure-strain human, use a D&D Human with a martial character class (but choosing 5 GW skills to get a +4 in, instead of the usual class skills, and rolling 4d6, drop the lowest for stats...).  Let class Weapon powers work with whichever stat the weapon being used would normally work, and ignore most weapon-specific requirements - for that matter, if it can make sense at all, let any Weapon power be used with a ranged weapon.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Add healing surges (base them on origin, each origin should give you 3-5, and they add together).

Rather than re-instituting surges which don't have an inherent use (obviously you would be adding that in later), consider a mechanism that works with the second wind:
  • Straight up, add a third wind, or a fourth wind.

  • As above, but make the action required escalate: third wind is a move, fourth wind is a standard.

  • If a player has expended their second wind, allow them to make a saving throw at the beginning of their turn to regain use of their second wind.  (This could produce an unstoppable stream of healing, be warned.)

  • As above, only instead of a free saving throw, they may choose to make their standard end-of-the-turn saving throw to do it.  (In which case they forgo the shrugging off of effects.)


Ironically, my intent in suggesting adding surges was to be more gritty and realistic.  I know surges are pretty 'heroic'/action-movie-like and not very realistic, but compared to healing fully from anything in 5 minutes, they're a step in the right direction.  ;)   They also work with mechanics like diseases, and can be used by the DM model things like exhaustion and privation.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Here's what I'm doing, It's a combination of House rules, some cribbed and expanded from Dark Sun, and a set of cards and handouts for the players.

Character Sheet:
www.4shared.com/document/o1wh2YYN/Gamma_...

Wound Cards:
www.4shared.com/document/mSkR9HRz/Wound_...

Equipment/Gear Cards:
www.4shared.com/document/dKsgUHYv/All_Eq...

The Equipment cards are for for generic stuff that the players may find/use/trade. I have cards for:

Clean Water
Dirty Water
Rations
Scrap Salvage
Tech Salvage
Junk Salvage
Heavy Ammo
Light ammo
Guns - Heavy/light, one/two handed
Ranged & melee weapons, Heavy/light, one/two handed

For the assorted generic salvage cards, they all have numbers 1-9, and when they are used to fabricate/trade/repair if you want you can roll a d10 to see if you have "just the right thing" and get a bonus of some sort to the action.

For the wound cards, if you are going to use the rules below, print out as many Wound cards as you could expect to show up in a really bad combat, and as many Lingering Wound cards as you want for a nice random draw with chances of stacking penalties, I had a pack of sleeves for them, so I printed out 9 sheets of Lingering Wound cards for a deck of 45, I don't expect to use that many of course.

Tallyrand's House Rules for GAMMA WORLD

CHARACTER CREATION:  The way I have this allows the players to choose the origins they want for their characters, but it rewards them for rolling them randomly. 
1: Pick 2 Origins, 1 Primary, and 1 Secondary, then roll remaining Attributes straight down with 3d6
2: Roll one Origin, and choose the other, assign Primary and Secondary and either roll remaining attributes straight down with 4d6 dropping the lowest die, or roll 3d6 for remaining attributes, assigning them where you choose.
3: Roll both Origins, assign one Primary and one secondary, then either roll 4d6 dropping the lowest die for remaining stats, assigning them where you choose or roll 5d6 dropping the two lowest straight down.

LITERACY: Reading and Writing have fallen by the wayside since the Big Mistake, and books are just another source of kindling to some. If you choose, at character creation, you may make your character illiterate, this may cause some problems down the road, but hey, you can't help the way you were raised. If you choose to be illiterate, you must be doing something with that extra room in your head, so whenever you draw Alpha Mutations, you may draw one additional card and return the one you don't want back to the bottom of the deck.

WOUNDS: The world is harsh and unforgiving, the result of fighting is that you get hurt, and the only thing that can help you is rest and some medical attention. These aches and pains are represented by Wounds and Lingering Wounds. You take a Wound in combat:

-The first time you are bloodied.
-Each time you fall below 0 hit points.
-Each time you fail a Death Saving Throw.
-Whenever you take a Critical Hit – Minions deal no Wounds on a Critical Hit, regular monsters deal 1, elites 2, and solos deal 3 Wounds on a Critical Hit.

Wounds give the character a cumulative -1 penalty to all Attribute and Skill Checks.

At the end of combat, after a short rest you make a saving throw for each Wound you have taken, a success means the wound is discarded, a failure means the Wound becomes a Lingering Wound. With a Hard Constitution Check, or a Hard Science Check for First Aid you can get +2 to your saving throws. You only have time to make one Science/First Aid check for yourself or someone else during a short rest.

Lingering Wounds give the character a cumulative -1 penalty to all Attribute and Skill Checks, as may give cumulative penalties to Speed, Defenses or To Hit Rolls.

At the end of an extended rest, you automatically heal one Lingering Wound. After that you may make Hard Constitution Checks or Hard Science/First Aid checks to remove each of your remaining Lingering Wounds. There is enough time during an extended rest for one person to tend to everyone's Lingering Wounds with Science/First Aid. When healed of Lingering Wounds, the player may choose which Lingering Wounds are discarded.

SURVIVAL: Just about everyone needs food and water to get by, and some need more than others. Except for those noted below, everyone needs one ration of food and one gallon of clean water every day to get by. The exceptions are:

Android – Needs neither food nor water to survive
Cockroach – May drink Dirty Water without penalty, and may declare rather questionable things to be “rations”
Giant – Needs double food and water rations
Plant – If exposed to sunlight for just one hour a day, it does not need a food ration
Radioactive – May drink Dirty Water without penalty
Rat Swarm – May drink Dirty Water without penalty, and may declare rather questionable things to be “rations”
Speedster – Needs double food rations

Failure to meet your survival needs has penalties, if you don't meet your needs for a day then at the end of the extended rest Science/First Aid may not be used to cure your lingering wounds. Additionally you start the next day with additional lingering wounds if you did not meet the previous day's survival needs:

Did not eat a Food Ration +1 Lingering Wound
Drank Bad Water +1 Lingering Wound
Did not drink at all +2 Lingering Wounds

WEAPONS BREAK: Let's face it, most weapons are junk, if you are going into battle with a meat cleaver duct taped to a baseball bat, it's not going to last forever, and even a well preserved handgun in Gamma World is still over 150 years old. Any time you roll a natural 1 on your attack roll with a non Omega Tech weapon, if you wish, you can push it, and re-roll your to hit. But hit or miss, the weapon you are using breaks becoming a piece of useless junk.

___________________________________

That's all I have, I'm hoping for a fun wacky game, but I still want there to be a survivalist aspect to it as well.
Ironically, my intent in suggesting adding surges was to be more gritty and realistic.  I know surges are pretty 'heroic'/action-movie-like and not very realistic, but compared to healing fully from anything in 5 minutes, they're a step in the right direction.  ;)   They also work with mechanics like diseases, and can be used by the DM model things like exhaustion and privation.


Absolutely, I just meant there were no present mechanics to make use of healing surges but we had a function for additional... uh... winding.  
Sure, presumably second wind would then use a surge (or two, if you want it to heal your bloodied value), and you' might want to pick some of the powers that currently give fixed healing give surge healing, instead.  The main thing would be healing up with surges after a short rest, instead of just getting your hps back. 

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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You've got some great ideas here. I had not thought of using wounds, but now that you mention it, it fits very well and happens to be the same system used in Mutants & Masterminds and other d20 systems that don't use hit points.

The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
If you wanted to skip hacking in surges altogether, you could just have certain conditions or effects restrict character ability to use their second winds. A simple example option would be to allow all characters to regain their bloodied value in HP between encounters, rather than healing to full (effectively they get a 'free' second wind between encounters).

For imposing other restrictions based on fatigue, disease, or other nasty conditions, maybe an afflicted character cannot start any encounter at more than 3/4 or 1/2 their max HP value, or they may only regain 1/4 hp (maybe 1/4 + level?) when they spend their second winds rather than their bloodied value. This kind of affliction could be represented by adding in a new condition to the game (Worn Out: Your second wind power only grants you 1/4+level of your maximum HP) that can be caused by any number of things - excessive fatigue or certain types of debilitating attacks seem like obvious options. Add in a couple of ways to get rid of being Worn Out (save ends, appropriate skill check / power / tech, use of survival days/rations, etc.) and you're good to go.

If you're already of a mind to really grit things up and add in a lot of other material and such to track, then surges are a fine way of running things, but I think an option like the one I present here would be a way to limit things a bit with a lower 'extra stuff' overhead.

Also, I kind of like the idea of shying away from any kind of daily resource in a system that (as far as I've read so far) has none. No longer being reliant on a 4-6 encounter 'work day' for the math to come out right seems like a very freeing (and possibly very intentional) mechanic.
True, GW is nearly free of daily mechanics.  The only resource difference between a short and extended rest, for instance, is that you re-build player Alpha Decks after the latter.  So, you could end up 'using up' your mutations in the course of a long day, and getting totally random ones out of the DM's deck.

For greater realism, you could just have a healing rate for characters, so you heal up some value in a short rest as 'first aid,' then more after a long rest.  That would make hps more of a dialy - or longer - resource, like they were in the original.  (In 1e Gamma World there were relatively few healing mutations, artifacts, or the like - and you healed 1 hp per /day/ of rest...  yes, a game can be both whacky and grim.)

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

First off, I want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread, and to others which have chipped in their two cents and opinions on how to run Gamma World more seriously than it was designed.

After a week, I am starting to get some ideas on where I want to go. After some initial mis-steps, I have started blogging it.

My GW #1: Post-Crash Dating

My GW #2: Nobody Calls Me Chicken 

Again, my thanks to everyone on the forums who has helped in the conversation. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
I've moved on to figuring out a new reason for the world to end. The Big Mistake is just too hand-wavy for me.

My GW: The Apocalypse We're All Waiting For 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
Sorry to go slightly off direction, but as you know i have spent a lot of time thinking about this subject now. I came to the realization that the main thing killing the seriousness of the game are the automated killer mutant robots... (and the omega deck and alpha flux :P)

I think the best method of keeping it serious is to first make it recognizable. The mistake happens in 2012, so for my game, the best tech you will find will be stuff that we have around today. More like Rifts than Paranoia. Where the Book of Eli sets the real theme, and an iPod is a top item. Some monsters for the sake of monsters, but men are monsters enough in that sort of setting, and making something of the remains is a herculean enough quest.

So sure, some guns but every shot counts amount of ammo. Crossbows, and clubs are the common place weapons, and armour ould be made from road signs, but not likely, and much more encumbersome.

The real problem becomes healing. With limited armour, and traps, monsters and men tearing into you, you fall quickly.

So, my current thoughts (I run the first game Saturday), is to change the mechanics a bit. Turn the game into epic by having monsters use a lower number. Either +5 instead of +10, or maybe half level when players use full level for rolls. Not sure yet.

End result being that youre in a world thats bent ripped asunder, and you are the Heroes that will help turn the course of the planet back towards benevolence instead of kill or be killed. I may even u ae some of the gamma world stuff for aliens, and let them actually be aliens who are watching our devolved culture and trying to decide between putting us out of our misery, or aiding the Heroes set things aright ( though that might get a bit cheesy...)
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!
Sorry to go slightly off direction, but as you know i have spent a lot of time thinking about this subject now. I came to the realization that the main thing killing the seriousness of the game are the automated killer mutant robots... (and the omega deck and alpha flux :P)

That's only, what, 2/3rds of the game...  

 I think the best method of keeping it serious is to first make it recognizable. The mistake happens in 2012, so for my game, the best tech you will find will be stuff that we have around today. More like Rifts than Paranoia.

So the Big Mistake was supposed to merge a bunch of wierd realities.  You might want to go for a more conventional apocalypse, but, then, you lose the mutant origins, too...

So sure, some guns but every shot counts amount of ammo.  Crossbows, and clubs are the common place weapons

I suppose, if it's been a very long enough since the End.  There are actually a tremendous number of guns in the world - in the united states, hundreds of millions - almost 1 for every citizen - and billions of rounds of ammo.  If the initially casualties of the End Times are substantial, the survivors would be hard-pressed to burn through all that (though depending upon the violence of the apocalypse it might be hard to dig up).

The real problem becomes healing. With limited armour, and traps, monsters and men tearing into you, you fall quickly.

You'd have to add a grimmer healing mechanic, of course.  Surges and long-term wounds, that sort of thing.  As it stands, if you survive an encounter at all, healing is a non-issue.

Really, though, it sounds like you want something like Aftermath.  Only the 6th ed of GW  even aproached that (and even it had whacky nannites turning cities into strawberry ice cream). 

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

1/3rd maybe. The characters are all the same, just less gear and randomness, and different monsters (setting not equal game)

While the big mistake merged realities, they didnt need to be higher tech realities, but rather dinosaur filled, mutated monster filled, etc realities. Underground complexes filled with killer mutant robots dont have to exist for the story to still fit into the GW setting. You could easily, in any GW game, have your players trying to take down the rampaging dragon that crossed over, and its armies of dragonborn or whatever, with absolutely no omega stashes anywhere. Removing omega from the game as a gm is just focusing on other possible aspects of the game and should feel no more off theme than to have a game that lacked badders.

While good point on ammo, I am of the assumption that if it was easily findable, it was quickly collected, hoarded, and made inaccessible by people wanting it. Not found in your typical wilderness or dungeon crawl.

Never heard of Aftermath, will check it out, but we spent a over a hundred on these GW boxes and booster cards, so converting it to something playable makes more sense than throwing it to the side. :P
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!
So the Big Mistake was supposed to merge a bunch of wierd realities.


I'm actually very fond of how well the new concept explains Gamma World's traditional wide array of stable sentient species and tech levels.  In a twisted sort of way it actually makes the setting *less* silly then before, as it was always a stretch for the older justifications (radiation, mutagenic viruses, etc) to explain how geographically seperate bands of fixed form races (badders, hoops, orlen, etc) with consistant cultures would erupt in a world where most mutation is random and most communities are made up of whatever stray survivors you found in the area.
Of course, the old GW was set in a far-flung future, in which humanity had reached a pinacle of technological sophistication far in advance of the 20th century the players would be familiar with, combined with the depth of the fall and the generations having passed since, the PCs had very little in common with the payers.  The latest version sets the Apocalypse in the present, and doesn't push too far into the future, so the PCs can be familiar with many of the same basic things - like firearms and cell phones - as the players.  It makes the game much more accessible, but also takes away some of the mystery - the mystery that's injected back in by the myriad worldlines is a bit more arbitrary.  FWIW.


Sphynx:  Aftermath is an older RPG, and I'm not seriously recomending it, it's very detailed and grim, with no mutants or anything.  I missed, in your post, that you wanted to keep the mutant origins.  If you're sticking with that, you can find ways to make GW work the way you want.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I suppose, if it's been a very long enough since the End.  There are actually a tremendous number of guns in the world - in the united states, hundreds of millions - almost 1 for every citizen - and billions of rounds of ammo.  If the initially casualties of the End Times are substantial, the survivors would be hard-pressed to burn through all that (though depending upon the violence of the apocalypse it might be hard to dig up).  




Actually the guns might stay around but the biggest problem is ammo. Ammo actually can go bad and it is one of the reasons the U.S. Military does so many live fire exercises. After certain moment of time the gunpowder in the bullet goes bad, which can cause anything from delay firing to nothing happen (hope for the nothing happening part). Now I don't remember how long it takes personally but that is an actual risk when dealing with ammo after awhile. 

Now merging realities idea is not necessarily a silly idea. Play or even read the Rifts books? Most of the stuff that crossed over from the Rifts are on line with Far Realm and demons from Hell business end. Randomness does not allows equal silly. And the alpha mutations can still be played for a very serious factor. Maybe the player character is an unstable mutation? I'll post later on this.
Behold the DM has entered.
Unless it's stored impropperly - which is pretty likely, really, in a post-apocalyptic environement - modern smokeless powder can be kept indefinitely.  The same goes for primers.  As ammo sat around for generations, though, the likelihood of it being propperly stored the whole time doubtless becomes rather slight.  I'm sure part of the reason for the abstract ammo rules could be that you never know if the next round you chamber is going to be a dud or not...

Guns do wear out with protracted use or poor maintainance, too, they can last generations if not badly abused.  Of course, when you're fighting mutants, your guns likely get a lot of abuse... ;)

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

For me, this is far more about story and genre than real world shelf-life.

Scarce ammunition is a staple element of the post-apocalypse genre. When characters discover a cache of guns and ammo, it's a rare, campaign-shifting, element. As others have noted, guns themselves are fairly common in these stories, but not only are the bullets hard to find, sometimes no one even knows how to use the gun or recognize it!

Remember that scene in Thunderdome when Max puts a gun together out of decorations the village kids have placed around their home? One of the memorable moments of a generally pretty bad movie.
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
When the Black years started in the 23rd century, there was plenty of room to assume that 'archaic' firearms were long gone.  With the Big Mistake pegged to the Mayan calendar, OTOH, you have hundreds of millions of guns and billions upon billions of rounds of ammo for the pittiful few survivors to dig up and burn through.  GW's abstract ammo system handles that well enough to get by.  Guns are like whittled up bows & arrows or swords pounded out of rebar - readily available if not always dependable or being used as originally intended (I could picture a character with an assault rifle, for instance, loading one round at a time into the chamber, unaware that it ever had a magazine).  Ammo's a little dicey but out there.  It works fine.

Nothing wrong with changing it, of course, but if you're changing it to be 'grittier' you're asking for a little realism, I guess.  'Realism' might lean more towards finding the /right/ ammo being a bit of a problem than finding any at all being the primary concern.

Another aproach entirely, if even more time has passed, is the re-discovery of black powder and muzzle-loading firearms. They'd be modeled just find as 1/encounter weapons. 

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I discovered GW in high school.  When I went to college, I picked my electives based on what I thought I needed to know to create a believable GW society.  Then I wrote a non-version-specific back story.  Check out the (10 yrs old now) "Tamerthya" website - a serious GW background.

Use what you like, ignore what you don't.  DO have fun!

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

Show

Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

My ongoing Gamma World blog has its latest bit here.

My goal remains pretty straight-forward.
  • Allow players to make characters they want to play.

  • Ratchet down the bizarre wackiness without removing the fun.

  • Treat the post-apocalypse genre with some respect for its themes.


All comments and feedback welcome. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
Ratchet down the bizarre wackiness without removing the fun.

Is that why the house rules link points to a youtube video of an action figure talking about a book about Prestor John? Wonder Woman Rolling = the new Rick Roll I guess...
Ratchet down the bizarre wackiness without removing the fun.

Is that why the house rules link points to a youtube video of an action figure talking about a book about Prestor John? Wonder Woman Rolling = the new Rick Roll I guess...

I would have liked to say I did that on purpose, but the truth is I've just been having a hell of a week and I screwed up.

Thanks for pointing that out for me. Fixed! 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
Really digging this stuff. Will probably use it myself and / or browbeat the other guy who plans to run into it. Some clarification requests regarding these rules:

* When 2nd Wind is used to negate a wound, does it still provide its normal benefits (healing/etc) as well?
* Do Salvaged Omegas go back to the GM deck, leaving behind their salvage stats on your sheet?
* So with the Omega Reward being Discovery or Recharge?, is that just the "normal" random roll (1-9 Discovery, 10-20 Recharge), GM decision, or some other determination method?
* Are the Theme Utility powers in an upcoming amendment or another file?
Really digging this stuff. Will probably use it myself and / or browbeat the other guy who plans to run into it. Some clarification requests regarding these rules: * When 2nd Wind is used to negate a wound, does it still provide its normal benefits (healing/etc) as well? * Do Salvaged Omegas go back to the GM deck, leaving behind their salvage stats on your sheet? * So with the Omega Reward being Discovery or Recharge?, is that just the "normal" random roll (1-9 Discovery, 10-20 Recharge), GM decision, or some other determination method? * Are the Theme Utility powers in an upcoming amendment or another file?


I think DoctorComics will be OK with these answers (he can browbeat me into pudding for the assumption if I'm wrong or if he doesn't like people jumping in...heh)

1: Yes, full Second Wind should take effect. It gains the ability to remove a wound in addition to normal rules.

2: I would say, based on some of the stuff I've read, that the card would go into the player's custom Omega Tech deck. If I'm wrong, then it'd go into the GM deck discard pile. But I thought the intention was to let the player build his Omega Tech deck from what he finds.

3: Dunno about this one.

4: I think Dr.C. is still working on the Utility powers (as he mentions in his blog post) but the basics are there. More than likely, I think he's going to port similar effects from Skill Powers in other material (I forget where I saw them).
2. ... But I thought the intention was to let the player build his Omega Tech deck from what he finds.

4: I think Dr.C. is still working on the Utility powers (as he mentions in his blog post) but the basics are there. More than likely, I think he's going to port similar effects from Skill Powers in other material (I forget where I saw them).


2. Yes that's more or less my understanding.  Just trying to clarify exception noted in "When an Omega Tech item loses its charge and you choose not to salvage it".  As I follow it we have four basic situations (ignoring equipment trades):
~ Discovery reward moves random card from GM Deck to Readied Pool.
~ Recharge reward moves random card from Player Deck to Readied Pool.
~ Discharged item that is not Salvaged goes from Readied Pool to Player Deck.
~ Discharged item that is Salvaged ?

4. I totally missed the earlier blog post.  Random blindness.   Skill Powers were PHB3 I believe. 
2. ... But I thought the intention was to let the player build his Omega Tech deck from what he finds.

4: I think Dr.C. is still working on the Utility powers (as he mentions in his blog post) but the basics are there. More than likely, I think he's going to port similar effects from Skill Powers in other material (I forget where I saw them).


2. Yes that's more or less my understanding.  Just trying to clarify exception noted in "When an Omega Tech item loses its charge and you choose not to salvage it".  As I follow it we have four basic situations (ignoring equipment trades):
~ Discovery reward moves random card from GM Deck to Readied Pool.
~ Recharge reward moves random card from Player Deck to Readied Pool.
~ Discharged item that is not Salvaged goes from Readied Pool to Player Deck.
~ Discharged item that is Salvaged ?

4. I totally missed the earlier blog post.  Random blindness.   Skill Powers were PHB3 I believe. 

Ah, for #2 I think you can do one of two things: Write down the new item information on your character sheet (or other recording medium) and return the card to the player's deck OR return it to the GM's deck. I think it's up to the GM. I would say the player's deck simply because the player may be looking for items he knows about and that particular card may be one of them (the reason behind the player-based O.T. deck IMO-They know how that particular O.T. works and what it looks like so they're more likely to pick it up if they find another).
Really digging this stuff. Will probably use it myself and / or browbeat the other guy who plans to run into it. Some clarification requests regarding these rules: * When 2nd Wind is used to negate a wound, does it still provide its normal benefits (healing/etc) as well? * Do Salvaged Omegas go back to the GM deck, leaving behind their salvage stats on your sheet? * So with the Omega Reward being Discovery or Recharge?, is that just the "normal" random roll (1-9 Discovery, 10-20 Recharge), GM decision, or some other determination method? * Are the Theme Utility powers in an upcoming amendment or another file?



Thanks for your encouragement!

1. Yes.
2. Back into the GM's deck.
3. The GM just decides what to give out.
4. I've not made them yet.

Exposition: I think your Omega Tech deck would just be for cards whose powers you are using. If you have salvaged the thing, and it is now just fancy equipment, you don't need the card any more. So it should go back to whoever it belongs to. As for "discovery" vs "recharge" I just invented these terms as a way to both introduce new Omega Tech when I wanted to, and also give out treasure without introducing new tech. Recharge is a way for me to let you, the player, bring one of your own Tech back into the game without getting a new magic item. I figured I would give out Discoveries at first, till people had a few items, and then mostly Recharges with maybe one new item every adventure or so. Theme Utility powers are something I am looking forward to doing, as I think they will really flesh out PC options out of combat, but because there are 22+ of them, I haven't gotten started yet.

But I would love some ideas, if you have any.

Cheers 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
So my latest effort to add more non-combat potential to Gamma World involves the addition of Themes (Drifter, Survivalist, Teacher, etc.) and utility powers for all of them.

If you would like to help, the Theme Powers document is open to editing by anyone in the whole wide world. Put your notes, thoughts, comments or questions, and add your name so we know who you are.

My Gamma World folder on Google docs

The Theme Powers file

All this is in my blog
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
For those of you who have not yet read James Ward's comments on Gamma World, check it out here.

My favorite part:


Wizards: Gamma World’s wackier tone also set it apart from D&D—with its mutant chickens, rabbits, and the yexil which loved to eat clothes (to name just a few things). What led to designing Gamma World with a more humorous approach, as opposed to straight/hard sci-fi? Was there any resistance from taking this direction?


JMW: Sigh, I'm very glad you asked this question. The idea to make Gamma World wackier was not mine. It came from several designers from the TSR staff. On the other hand, I never considered a 9-foot tall humanoid rabbit that could turn all metal into rubber—wacky. This might be an area where I have blinders. I went along with the wacky material because I had lots of other things to do in those days. In hindsight, I should have used some editorial brakes on some of that material.


 I could not agree more.
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
I never considered a 9-foot tall humanoid rabbit that could turn all metal into rubber—wacky.

I was actually chatting with my wife last night about this in the current edition of the game: There is a point in the manual where it says essentially "Show the picture of the monster to the players. Wait for the laughter to die down." I don't find any of the monster images particularly funny... The Orlen comes close, and the Sleeth with the glasses, but certainly nothing that would make anyone I know do anything more then smirk briefly. A lot of the tone in the new GW comes off as "Look at this. This is sooooo funny. And hardcore. We authors must be such cool guys to come up with all this funny and hardcore stuff. Word." Like one of those old guys trying to seem relevant to kids during anti-drug speaches. It is a solid product but it just comes off as trying to hard sometimes...
I first played GAMMA WORLD somewhere around 1980 and using 1E. We played a serious game and it surprised me a lot when I first heard folks saying how "gonzo" GW is as a game. I'm not totally familiar with the new version's game mechanics yet (read it, haven't played it enough) but I think that the keys for a serious game are attitude, attrition, and stability.

(1) If the GM has a serious attitude and projects this to the players, the campaign tends to settle down and stay serious. Of course, this means that the GM may want to tone down some of the bizarre mutations, at least at first and until the tone of the campaign is established.

(2) If players have too much of anything, the game tends to become more silly. If they are having to count bullets, watch wounds carefully, ration gasoline, and so forth, the game tends to take on a more serious tone. No advantage in just shooting everything up if you know you'll be out of ammo shortly.

(3) Stability to me is a reduction in randomness. Allow some flexibility and choice in character creation. Get rid of the notion that mutations can change instantly and replace it with the idea that the character as designed will remain the same for a long time to come.

None of this is really ground-breaking, but I had to toss in my two cents.
Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playtesting D&D Next and liking it! OD&D player since 1975