"4E" GW Houe Rules?

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Hey all! 

So I'm curious as to what house rules you might have when running this newest version of GAMMA WORLD?
I'v posted this elsewhere, it's a combination of House rules, some cribbed and expanded from Dark Sun, and a set of cards and handouts for the players.  One thing I wanted to do was inject a more survivalist tone to the game.

Character Sheet:
www.4shared.com/document/LwpSJ25I/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.


That's what I'm going to try an go forward with.  I'd love to see what others will be using.

I'm thinking about expanding the guns lists, adding buckshot/full auto rules  ranged explosives like RPGs/grenade lanuchers,  heavy machine guns, and ordinance level stuff as well.  I doubt that my players will complain, how often do players say  "I don't think you should be giving us bigger guns."


I will run the RAW for game day, but for long term games...

Players can create their own Alpha Mutation decks with the following guidelines:
  1. You must have 2 commons for every uncommon.

  2. You must have 2 uncommons for every rare.

  3. You can have up to 2 copies of the same card.

The minimum deck size is thus 7 cards and 4 powers (2 common powers of 2 cards each, 1 uncommon power of two cards each, and 1 rare power).

I will be incorporating "Survival Days" out of Dark Sun; one survival day is enough supplies to get you through one day in the wasteland. Survival Days also become a generic unit of currency.

I also really like tallyrand's Wound system. 
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 generally allow combat moves from 4th edition D&D that aren't in Gamma World -- charge, bull rush, grab, etc.

Other than that, we don't really house-rule it much around here.

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

I generally allow combat moves from 4th edition D&D that aren't in Gamma World -- charge, bull rush, grab, etc.



This.

I plan on running a slightly more serious version of GW.  I plan on updating and including defect mutations for the PCs, one each.  Has anyone done anything similar?

p.s.- Tallyrand, I really like the WOUND idea.    Oraibi, I wil likely use those attack types as well.
I generally allow combat moves from 4th edition D&D that aren't in Gamma World -- charge, bull rush, grab, etc.


Oooo...  Consider also allowing each to work with it's paired ability score as well!  

I'm thinking of a number of possible variations involving the use of cards.

A basic 'common sense' one for Omega Tech,
the Finders Keepers Omega Variant:


  • Players do not start with Omega Tech and cannot build their own Omega Deck from boosters.

  • The DM can 'stack' or 'salt' his Omega Deck to represent the items that  could be in a given area the players or exploring. 

  • The DM can pick specific cards and place them in an area, or even in the hands of a creature that might use them against the PCs. 

  • When a player gets an Omega Tech card, either by taking it from the cold dead hands/paws/tentacles of the enemy that was using it, or by drawing it while searching an area, he gets to keep and use it, just like the normal rules for Omega tech.

  • When the player fails an Omega Charge Check, and doesn't salvage the item, he still retains the card.  When he accumulates seven or more such cards, he builds them into a Player Omega Deck after his next extended rest. 

  • A player with a Omega Deck uses the regular rules for decks, he can roll to see if he can draw from his deck, or the DMs, he places any failed Omega Tech that he can't or chooses not to salvage into his discard pile, including items drawn from the DM deck.

  • A player Deck still has a limit of 2 of the same item, but count a salvaged item against the limit, also.  So if you salvage a laser pistol, you can only have one laser pistol in your deck. 

  • A draw from a player Omega Deck does not represent finding a new charged item of the same type, but represents finding a power cell, charging station, spare part, similar item that can be canibalized, or other means of returning a peice of Omega Tech to full functionality.

  • The DM can place a limit on the size of a Player's Omega Deck (you can only cart around so much junk), or disallow retaining impractically large items without salvaging them (like a Minitank ).  The size limit aplies to the deck, plus salvaged items.


Similarly, for Alpha Mutations,
The Stable Mutation Alpha Variant: 
  • The DM builds an Alpha deck.  This can be the deck that came with the game, a subset of it, or a customized deck using starting and booster cards.  Cards with a name not in the DM's deck are implicitly banned from play.

  • At chargen, each player draws 4 cards from the Alpha Deck, these cards become his base Player Deck.  If the DM has duplicates in his deck, the player may draw duplicate mutations, but cannot have more than two of the same mutation, return any third-of-a-kind card to the DM's Deck.

  • At levels 4 and 8 the player draws an additional Alpha Card and adds it to his Player Deck.

  • When a Player experiences an Alpha Surge, he discards a readied card back to the Deck he drew it from (his player deck, unless the card was drawn from the DM's deck, as from a previous Alpha Surge in the same encounter, for instance) and rolls a d20.  On a '10' or higher, he can choose to draw from his deck or the DM deck.  On a '9' or less, he draws from the DM deck.  When the card drawn is discarded, it goes to the discard pile of the deck it was drawn from.  Alpha Surges do not change the Player's Alpha Deck, they are always 'temporary' or unstable mutations.

  • Players can choose to add their own cards (from the base set or boosters) to their Alpha Decks.  They can up to double the size of their decks in this manner.  Cards not in an existing deck (player or DM) cannot be added to a player deck, but a player could, with DM aproval, add a card to his deck if he contributes an identical card to the DM's deck (so anyone might draw it).  Each card added to a player deck must be different from each other card added, but may duplicate a card already in the deck, as long as the deck does not already contain two of that card.

  • Since unaugmented player decks in this variant are very small, the players who have not added their own cards to their Decks may re-build their Decks after each short rest.  Players who have added to their decks re-build their Alpha Decks at the end of each extended rest, only.    A player who runs out of Alpha cards must draw from the DM deck until he rebuilds his own deck.

 

 

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The Drawmij/one-niner-seven-eight Alpha Variant:


  • Players cannot build their own Alpha Deck from boosters.

  • The DM divides his Alpha Cards into two decks, one with Bio mutations, the other with Psi and Dark mutations.

  • At chargen, each player rolls 1d4 and draws that many cards from the Alpha Bio Deck, then another d4 and draws that many from the Alpha Psi/Dark deck. He retains all 2-8 cards as a 'player deck.'

  • When a Player experiences a random Alpha Surge from rolling a '1,' he discards a readied card to his discard pile, draws a card from the DM deck, and returns the card to the DM discard pile.

  • When a Player suffers an Alpha Surge from 'radiation exposure' or other DM-designated source, he draws draws the Alpha card from the DM deck, but discards it to his own discard pile, so his deck will be one card larger after his next long rest.  The new mutation is 'permanent.'

  • When a Player is 'devolved' (by the Devolution mutation, or by an ancient medical technology trying to 'cure' his 'birth defects') he can lose a mutation permanently (this is up to the DM), and discards the card to the DM's discard pile.

  • Some sources of Alpha surge can inflict a 'Defect' (the DM determines which - typically hazards but weapons or mutants might be able to so it, too).  The DM rolls to hit the PC's FORT, if he misses, there is no effect, if he hits exactly it's a regular Alpha Surge, if he hits by more, it's a 'Defect.'  Acquiring a defect works just like an Alpha Surge, but the effect from the readied mutation is as if you had Overcharged it and rolled a 9-.  At the start of each encounter, the mutant must save or suffer the Defect, again.  After each extended rest, the mutant can save to discard the defect to the DMs discard pile - if he rolls a natural 20, he discards it to his own discard pile, and it becomes a normal-functioning mutation from then on.

  • If a character has more than 5 mutations, he suffers a -2 penalty to Interaction & Science with respect to ancient machines/AIs that are programmed to function for normal pure-strain humans, and also to Interaction with anyone prejudiced against mutants (like those crazy Purists - but who wants to interact with them?).  For each mutation over 8, this penalty increases by 1.

 

 

 

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The Drawmij/one-niner-seven-eight Origin variant.

In this variant, there are three broad origins.


Mutated Animal:   You choose one of the following origins:  Cockroach, Felinoid, Hawkoid, Rat Swarm or Yeti.  You roll your secondary origin randomly, ignoring 'android' and 'plant.'  If you roll the same origin, you just get a 20 in your primary stat, double your skill bonuses, and get a second use of your utility and expert powers at levels 7 & 9 (at level six you gain another +1d10 on a critical).  Rolling the same origin means that you are more animal-like (less humanoid) than usual for a mutant.  You cannot have a Player Omega Deck or salvage Omega Tech.  You only get 2 rolls for starting equipment.  You roll mutations per the D/1978 Alpha variant, above.

Mutated Human:  You take Engineered Human as your secondary origin.  Roll your primary origin randomly.  If 'Android' you are a cyborg.  If 'Plant' you have photosynthetic skin.  Even if you roll an 'animal' primary mutation, you are fairly human-seeming, you might have Wings if a Hawkoid or a partial carapace if a 'cockroach,' but you retain a more humanoid apearance than a random mutant.  You can build up an Omega Tech Deck in play (per the 'Finder's Keepers' variant, above), but you are considered 2 levels lower for puroses of what you can salvage.  You get the normal d4+1 rolls for starting equipment.  You roll mutations per the D/1978 Alpha variant, above.

Pure Strain Human:  You have Engineered Human as your primary and only origin.  You have can place an 18 in one of INT or CHA and a 16 in the other.  You gain +2 to all your defenses, a +4 to Omega Charge Checks and may choose two skills (in addition to Interaction and Science) to gain a +4 bonus to.  You roll 4d6, drop the lowest for each of your other stats.  You start with 15+CON hps and gain 6hps per level.  At 7th & 9th levels you get a second use of your utility and expert powers.  At 6th level, you inflict another [W] of weapon damage, yes even if that's the 3d10 of a plasma sword (if you're not using a weapon, too bad).  You cannot have a Player Alpha Deck and cannot have readied Alpha Mutations, you do not experience Alpha Surge; at levels 4 and 8 you add 2 points to any of your stats (either 1 each to two stats or two to a single stat). You count as 2 levels higher for purposes of what Omega Tech you can salvage.  You start with an Omega tech deck of 7 cards (drawn randomly, and accumulate more per the 'Finders Keepers' variant, above), and roll 5 times on the starting equipment table.  If you don't like any of the Omega Tech you draw, you can trade it in for one more starting equipment roll per card you return to the DM's deck.  You may also choose to immediately salvage one of the cards you drew (up to Salvage 3, becaue of your bonus).


 

 

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Making all Novice powers at-wills.


It bothers me a bit that a character can be stuck with two encounter powers from his origins.  I'd prefer to see everyone have an origin at-will always available.

Some novice powers seem like they stack up fine to others that are at-wills.  The Yeti's doesn't seem particularly nastier than the Android's for instance, nor does the Hawkoid's screach seem substantially more powerful than the Telekinetic's wave.  Others, like Brickbat seem pretty brutal for at-wills.  Some, OTOH, seem thematically apropriate for encounters - a screaching Hawkoid might not be so scary the 2nd time around, a Hypercognitive's tricks might not reasonably leave you open every time.

 

 

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My main one, and I've run this by most of my payers to make sure they are ok with it too, is no player decks for mutations and omega tech. The main reason is a matter of flavor. For omega tech it makes more sense to me if they can get anything, not just a bunch of things that compliment their styles. For mutations I, and the players I've talked to, like the feel that you may get a useful mutation or one that you can't make good use of. We feel this is more in the spirit of the randomness of the game. I'm also trying to discourage min/maxing (whitch most of my players don't really do anyways) as we are doing this as a light hearted break from normal play.
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Some novice powers seem like they stack up fine to others that are at-wills.  The Yeti's doesn't seem particularly nastier than the Android's for instance, ...


Really? Did you notice the Yeti's power is a minor action attack?

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

Nope, did not notice that, at all...

...that's just wierd.  You have big claws.  Once per encounter, you can quite casually hit someone with them.  The rest of the time, no.  Huh?


...so, make it a Standard Action, At-Will, should be fine.

Brickbat, I was thinking, should just be melee instead of close. 

 

 

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Some great ideas here! I can't wait to give some of 'em a try!

Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playing 5E D&D and liking it! OD&D player since 1975

So, encounter novice powers:


Empath: Vitality Transfer, CHA v Fort, Weakened + CHA temps to an ally, very short range (3).
compare to:  nothing really?  But what's the big deal?  Weakened is a stronger condition than slowed, but not particularly more so than imobilized, say.  If it hits, it saves half the target's damage, if the target hits.  So that's really saving 1/8th an enemy's attack in damage per use.  Pretty trivial.

As an At will:  fine as-is, I'd say.  Am I missing something?


Giant: Brickbat, Selective Close Burst 1 MBA (STR v AC) that knocks prone. 
compare to:  Siesmic Stomp:  non-selective Close Burst 1, STR v /FORT/, d6 sonic & knock prone. 

As an At will: This one is pretty brutal.  Either remove the Selective or Remove the burst (making it less like the Stomp), maybe making it Melee 2 to represent big long giant arms?


Hawkoid:  Terrifying Shriek:  WIS vs WILL, non-selective Close Burst 2, modest damage + slide 1
compare to:  TK Wave, non-selective Close Blast 5 (same 9-sq area), INT v FORT, modest damage + push 3.   Hm, WILL is better than fort, Blasts are maybe a little /easier/ to avoid hitting allies with, WILL is generally better than FORT, Slide is nice, but it's a Push 3...

As an At will:  Doesn't really look that superior to TK Wave.  Maybe make it a push?  This one, though, really feels like an encounter power - enemies aren't going to keep being terrified by a shriek... right? 


Hypercognitive:  Uncanny Strike,  WIS-based weapon attack vs AC + CA for a turn.
compare to:   Radiation Eyes, Con v Fort, ranged 5 (not as good as some weapons), d10 + -2 all defenses for a turn.  The -2 is unnamed, so it stacks with anything, while there are lots of other sources of CA.  Frankly, the eyes have it. 

As an At will:  Fine as-is.


Plant:  Lashing Creepers, selective Close Burst 2, CON v REF, modest damage + slow
compare to:  Nothing really, the large selective area is pretty amazing, even if the damage & effect are nothing special.

As an At will:  Make it non-selective and Burst 1, and it'd be fine.  Maybe even just non-selective or burst 1.


Rat Swarm:  Swarm, melee 1, DEX v REF, d8 & immobilized to /end/ of next turn.
compare to:  Android's Machine Grip, melee 1, INT v REF, d10 & immobilized to /start/ of next turn, but must remain adjacent to maintain immobilized (basically an inescapeable grab).  So, start of next turn and staying adjacent makes it OK to spam, even with the better damage?  Seriously?

As an At will:  Fine as-is, but let's make it start of next turn, and move into target's square and stay there to keep it immobilized, just to be on the safe side.


Speedster:  Quick Attack, basic light wpn attack, shift 2 squares before, and on a hit, after.
compare to:  Sadly nothing similar.  It's better than some similar D&D at wills, but so are a lot of these things.  Really nothing special compared to most skirmishers, for instance.

As an At will:  Fine as-is, I think.  If the shift after the hit were automatic, I'd have my doubts.


Yeti:  Big Claws, Minor Action(!), STR+2 v AC, d10 + slow.
compare to:  The minor action makes it unique.

As an At will:   Just make it a standard and good to go. 



Thoughts?

 

 

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I've been thinking about those as well, Tony. A couple of comments / suggestions that might work to resolve some of the trickier powers:

Brickbat: Melee 2 / one creature is a good idea. Maybe make it a Melee 1 with a 1-handed weapon and a Melee 2 with a two hander to provide the extra bit of reach? Alternative option could be to have it push the target a small amount before (or instead of) the prone... maybe base push of 1, plus an additional square per hand used for the weapon, making it a Push 2 and Prone for a 1-hander, or Push 3 and Prone for a 2-hander. Either way I like the idea of requiring a 2-hander to get the most out of the power as a thematic tie-in for the origin.

Lashing Creepers: Consider a Close Blast 2 (all enemies in blast) or (my current favorite idea) a Close Wall 4 (1st square of wall must be adjacent to you, all creatures). An additional option could be removing the slow effect but having the affected squares leave a zone of Difficult Terrain until the start of the Plants next turn.

Terrifying Shriek: This is really the stickiest wicket of the bunch, I think. The large area with a slide is just too much, and hitting all creatures rather than enemies only isn't really a big disadvantage since it can be used to slide your friends. If I really had my way, I'd replace it entirely with 'Wing Buffet' as a Close Blast 2 targeting Fort with a slide 1... maybe nudge the damage die up to a d8 (physical).

All the rest look like sane solutions to me, and for the most part match what I've been thinking.
Nope, did not notice that, at all...

...that's just wierd.  You have big claws.  Once per encounter, you can quite casually hit someone with them.  The rest of the time, no.  Huh?


...so, make it a Standard Action, At-Will, should be fine.

Brickbat, I was thinking, should just be melee instead of close. 




This is basically my main houserule. I didnt even realize at first that the Novice Powers weren't all At-Wills (They were green, after all. Silly me.). So we played an entire session that way, with 3 of the 4 characters using thier encounter novice powers as at-wills. Didn't seem to unbalance the game any, so until any problems show up, I'll be houseruling Novice Powers to be Standard Action at will attacks.
I know I won't be allowing my players to build alpha  or omega decks, so everyone will be drawing from mine. Since both are supposed to be randomly aquired it makes more sense that the players have no control over what they get.

However i'm thinking of having alpha mutations being permanent (or semi permanent). Changing all the time doesn't make sense to me, but I like the random factor. I'm thinking of droping the after each encounter thing; and instead having overcharge tied to changing alpha cards. My thouhgts having any failed overcharge (9 or less) result in you discarding the overcharged card and drawing a new one. I find this slightly more flavorful, it's a side effect of mishandeling the energy. Any feed back on this idea would be nice. Will this encourage, discourage, or neither/both the use of overcharge? Will this be enough to keep the random feel? I like the random factor, but it feels wrong to have mutations changing that much.

I would keep alpha flux.
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I know I won't be allowing my players to build alpha  or omega decks, so everyone will be drawing from mine. Since both are supposed to be randomly aquired it makes more sense that the players have no control over what they get.

However i'm thinking of having alpha mutations being permanent (or semi permanent). Changing all the time doesn't make sense to me, but I like the random factor.

One thing you could do is make the player deck mechanic work for you.  Have each player draw a 'player deck' randomly (of the minimum 7 cards, or maybe even fewer).  These are the PCs mutations.  Use the regular rules from then on (but if you go for very small player decks, let them refresh every encounter).  The PCs have random mutations, but they have them more-or-less consistently throughout the campaign.  You could still have players draw from the remains of your DM deck durring Alpha Flux for an added dose of randomness now and then.

I'm thinking of droping the after each encounter thing; and instead having overcharge tied to changing alpha cards. My thouhgts having any failed overcharge (9 or less) result in you discarding the overcharged card and drawing a new one. I find this slightly more flavorful, it's a side effect of mishandeling the energy. Any feed back on this idea would be nice. Will this encourage, discourage, or neither/both the use of overcharge? Will this be enough to keep the random feel?

I think this would make the overcharge decision more interesting.  If you have a mutation that isn't very useful, you could try overcharging it, just to get rid of it and get something that might be handier.  A player who was very agressive about overcharging could end up burning through multiple mutations per encounter.  A player who was happy with his readied mutations could just decline overcharging.

 

 

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Lashing Creepers: Consider a Close Blast 2 (all enemies in blast) or (my current favorite idea) a Close Wall 4 (1st square of wall must be adjacent to you, all creatures). An additional option could be removing the slow effect but having the affected squares leave a zone of Difficult Terrain until the start of the Plants next turn.

I like the difficult terrain idea.  Similar feel to slow, but inconvenient for allies as well as enemies.  
(BTW, does GW have the 'Wall' area?) 


Terrifying Shriek: This is really the stickiest wicket of the bunch, I think. The large area with a slide is just too much, and hitting all creatures rather than enemies only isn't really a big disadvantage since it can be used to slide your friends. If I really had my way, I'd replace it entirely with 'Wing Buffet' as a Close Blast 2 targeting Fort with a slide 1... maybe nudge the damage die up to a d8 (physical).

Yeah, I don't like the feel of Terrifying Shriek as an at-will.  I almost feel like the Novice and Expert powers could be switched.  Beef up Terrifying Shriek to make it an expert-worthy encounter (higher damage and combined sonic-psychic making it hard-to-resist damage, and slide 3 maybe), and make the Novice a less damaging 'power dive,' something closer to a D&D charge.

Of course, I prefer a very /small/ change, small enough to pass it off as correcting a probable typo rather than a big house rule.  Like 'Oh, it's supposed to be an at-will and target creaters' or 'it's supposed to be an at-will /blast/, not burst.'  ;) 

This is basically my main houserule. I didnt even realize at first that the Novice Powers weren't all At-Wills (They were green, after all. Silly me.). So we played an entire session that way, with 3 of the 4 characters using thier encounter novice powers as at-wills. Didn't seem to unbalance the game any, so until any problems show up, I'll be houseruling Novice Powers to be Standard Action at will attacks.

That's my experience, exactly.  I didn't realize any of them were encounter powers because they were all green.  I initially assumed that it was a typo (it's happened before), and I ran my playtest with all the powers being at-wills.  I got a Hakoid/Plant and a Hypercognitive and neither seemed to be overpowered. 

While it's starting to look like the encounter ones are mostly meant to be that way, I think I may just go with 'all novice powers are at-will standard actions' until I really notice an issue, then gently nerf each problematic power as it comes up.

 

 

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One thing you could do is make the player deck mechanic work for you.  Have each player draw a 'player deck' randomly (of the minimum 7 cards, or maybe even fewer).  These are the PCs mutations.  Use the regular rules from then on (but if you go for very small player decks, let them refresh every encounter).  The PCs have random mutations, but they have them more-or-less consistently throughout the campaign.  You could still have players draw from the remains of your DM deck durring Alpha Flux for an added dose of randomness now and then.



I do like this idea, I'll toy around with it but it does solve the problem and let them keep the deck.

 
I think this would make the overcharge decision more interesting.  If you have a mutation that isn't very useful, you could try overcharging it, just to get rid of it and get something that might be handier.  A player who was very agressive about overcharging could end up burning through multiple mutations per encounter.  A player who was happy with his readied mutations could just decline overcharging.



I hadn't really thought of the implications of getting powers in the middle of the encounter. The more I think about it the more interesting it becomes: If you succeed you get a very powerful effect, however if you fail you get a negative that might be outweighed by a new power (making the negative effects of the overcharge a little more marginalized). Of course the question comes how to deal with mutations that don't have overcharges (like the big feet one). If multiple powers in an encounter is too much then it will change at end of encounter. I think I'll keep toying with this idea.
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I hadn't really thought of the implications of getting powers in the middle of the encounter. The more I think about it the more interesting it becomes: If you succeed you get a very powerful effect, however if you fail you get a negative that might be outweighed by a new power (making the negative effects of the overcharge a little more marginalized).

You could have the new mutation become readied only after the effects of the failed overcharge are resolved.  Most of them are (save ends), so, after you save - say at the start of your next turn, you draw the new mutation and ready it.  If a failed overcharge has effects until the end of the encounter, then you discard and draw a new mutation at the end of the encounter. 

 

 

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You could have the new mutation become readied only after the effects of the failed overcharge are resolved.  Most of them are (save ends), so, after you save - say at the start of your next turn, you draw the new mutation and ready it.  If a failed overcharge has effects until the end of the encounter, then you discard and draw a new mutation at the end of the encounter. 




That is a good option, and likely the best way to get the feel I want from this. Need something to do about abilities with no overcharge, and maybe to encourage people to overcharge more (although I'm hoping that the possibility of new powers is enough incentive for people to use it often).
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You could have the new mutation become readied only after the effects of the failed overcharge are resolved.  Most of them are (save ends), so, after you save - say at the start of your next turn, you draw the new mutation and ready it.  If a failed overcharge has effects until the end of the encounter, then you discard and draw a new mutation at the end of the encounter. 



How about; If a failed overcharge creates one or more conditions which last until the end of the encounter, the duration(s) becomes "(save ends)."

This way you provide a mechanism for the negative effect to actually trigger, it's removal,  and the new card swap trigger.  I'm envisioning the negative overcharge not triggering and the only negative being the card swapped out.

I would want to try the game mostly RAW before I were to mess with the rules too much.  However there were a few tweaks and additions that I was considering for a slightly more serious campaign play.  I have been considering adding "Aspect" mechanics from the FATE rpg system.

Aspects are narrative phrases that can be tagged for a bonus or a penalty.  A player would come up with a number of aspects (probably about five) during character creation and would receive a similar number of fate points during each session.  During the session, a character could invoke an aspect by spending a fate point on a relevant roll to gain a +2 bonus or reroll the die.  They can also gain a fate point by having the GM compel an aspect against them.

For example, a character who distrusts guns and prefers the use of melee weapons could have the aspect "Brings a knife to a gun fight."  The player can invoke this aspect to add a bonus to an attack roll with his trusty knife.  Also the GM could invoke the aspect when the character tries to use a gun on that Arn which is annoyingly outside the range of his thrown weapon.

I feel this mechanic could be a good fit to the lighter nature of Gamma World and provides a way to personalize characters which seems somewhat missing with the  lack of feats.  I would probably also allow players to use skill checks to declare or discover aspects during play that they could use to their advantage.  I would also allow tagging relevant aspect for other narrative or mechanical bonuses, such as redrawing from the decks to try to get cards within a certain theme.
Yes, but +2 is a very big bonus in FATE, and a small one in d20.

+4 or +5 would be closer to the oomph of an aspect when you convert to d20.
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I noticed during game day (unless I've missed something) that falling to 0 or lower basically knocks you out of the game until the encounter is over - not too fun. At least in D&D there's a chance you'll get up from a healing power; but the only targeted healing the players can start with is the Empath's vitality transfer, and that's temp HP, so it won't help if you're at negatives. Here're a couple of options I'm considering; which do you think is the best?

1) Rolling a 20 on a death save allows you to heal as though you had used your second wind.
Notes; Good in a party with an Empath, otherwise that's only a 5% chance of it mattering. Maybe in combination with something else.

2) A [hard?] science check made as a standard action lets an unconscious PC use his second wind despite being unconscious. He gains no defense bonus, though. Basically, the First Aid function of the D&D heal skill.
Notes; Not bad, but it only works once for each character, and if they've already used their second wind, they're screwed. Maybe that's a feature and not a bug, though - don't be too cavalier with your HP.

3) An unconscious character can use his second wind despite being unconscious, but suffers some penalty as a result. I haven't decided what yet.
Notes; This would probably depend on what the penalty was. Otherwise, it's much like option 2.

I think I'll go with 1 and 2 for now, with the Science DC set at hard. I might redact that if it proves too difficult, though. 
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2) A [hard?] science check made as a standard action lets an unconscious PC use his second wind despite being unconscious. He gains no defense bonus, though. Basically, the First Aid function of the D&D heal skill.

This rule wasn't easy to find, but it /is/ in the book.  It's not a science check, though, just a standard action, no roll required.  You come up to a fallen (or even still up) ally that hasn't used his second wind yet, and, oh -  just spash some water on his face or slap him and say 'get up! we need you!' or whatever....   (the rule doesn't even technically say you need to be adjacent).   I guess you're all Warlords.  ;)  

A Science check does let a you stabilize a second-windless ally who is dying.

 

 

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Oh, man! I see it now, in the section describing second wind... my players would have liked to know that, I'm sure!

 I knew about the science-to-stabilize thing; I was basing science-to-trigger after it, actually. I think I'll still allow the 20-on-death-save thing, though.

Thanks! 
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 Survival Days also become a generic unit of currency.



Great idea!
Yes, but +2 is a very big bonus in FATE, and a small one in d20.

+4 or +5 would be closer to the oomph of an aspect when you convert to d20.



That's true, however I'm not sure if I would want to up it that high.

In FATE, aspects are a primary feature of the system.  If I were to use them in a GW game I feel it would be better to have them as a means to occasionally tip the scale for fun and creative uses.  That's also why I would plan on only giving them about five aspect and fate points. 
If going that way, it might be better to just use FP and aspects for their alternate use - rerolls.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
2) A [hard?] science check made as a standard action lets an unconscious PC use his second wind despite being unconscious. He gains no defense bonus, though. Basically, the First Aid function of the D&D heal skill.

This rule wasn't easy to find, but it /is/ in the book.  It's not a science check, though, just a standard action, no roll required.  You come up to a fallen (or even still up) ally that hasn't used his second wind yet, and, oh -  just spash some water on his face or slap him and say 'get up! we need you!' or whatever....   (the rule doesn't even technically say you need to be adjacent).   I guess you're all Warlords.  ;)  



I didn't come across that in the book.  What page is that on?
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