Tips for Campaigning in Gamma World (Episodic Play)

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It seems that Gamma World is focused on short games you'll have a revolving door of PC's whether it's from character mortality or the pick up nature of the game.

Here are some ideas on how to have a little continuity that links games together, and even facilitates a faster set up for future games. Feel free to add more.

  • Don't lynch pin anything on the PCs (being named in prophieses or primary owners of an artifact.)

  • Use organizations (like Cryptic Alliances) as an "adventuring guild" network to summon up new PCs and call away the "missing" characters. Different alliances offer different themes and missions.

  • Name the game after a vehicle or business that transports PC around, like a ship, RV or a merchant caravan. The focus is then the road trip and all it entails, bandits, weather and profit

  • Build a detailed community of NPCs who know the PCs. The game is then all about helping the community.

  • Create a paramilitary organization. Each new session is now a mission. PC show up, get briefed and go kick mutant behind.

  • Pull new PCs from the "background" A member of the ship's crew, an Alliance member, or young warrior from the community

  • Create an antogonist who's the connection between PCs. A vicious warlord, a recent disaster, a mutant headhunter.

I approve this thread. 
Use organizations (like Cryptic Alliances) as an "adventuring guild" network to summon up new PCs and call away the "missing" characters.


My plan was to include a small sentient dimensional rift that inexplicably follows the characters around, occasionally tearing one or two (missing players) into alternate dimensions.

When the players next show up, I briefly recount their 6-year campaign against the Mind Lords of Earth-946, culminating in the activation of the Deviant Mass Engine.

For which they received exactly the same amount of experience as the party received last session. 
The Legacy Thread campaign --  inspired by the Pendragon RPG.

  1. 1 year, 1 session: Game sessions only happen during the summer months, with winters beign too harsh for people to do much more than hunker down and eat stored grain.

  2. Absent Players/ New Players: Recovering from bad fortune during those winters (deceased farm hands, a new litter/nest of mutant babies, plow pulling mules dying from hyperthermia) means that some PC will have to stay on the farm instead of going out on artifact quest. Others had a good winter and come join the tradition.

  3. The Years Roll On: Keep track of the years, when mutants get too old, retire them and have an heir carry on the family honor and glory

  4. RPG Opportunities: Finding and courting a wife, family fueds, and working with the neighbors are all RPG and NPC interactions to be had

  5. For those who don't show up: Build some random tables for a few encounters that grant some XP so they don't get too far behind.

Any game inspired by Pendragon is automatically made of win.

This would be a great campaign to work some sort of long-term goal, like curing the land of radiation, going back in time to prevent the Big Mistake, or something like that. 

If you don't slow down XP gain, or add additional levels, your game should end after about 10 sessions and 10 years of in-game play. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
- Do not build a Civilization Core that consists of only 1 village, only 1 tribe, or whatever.  This is too hard to get the replacement characters to fit in.
- Do build a world that has several roughly-equal groups in it.  Of course my tribe is still cooler than your tribe (cue college team fight song here) but we'll all work together against the big bad nasty outsiders.
- Keep good notes of what the PCs do for L9 and L10.  When the new group starts at L1, describe the old PCs passing through on their final mission(s)!
- Do create some areas that are Taboo, not deadly, so nobody goes there.  This provides a way to bring in new peoples/characters/threats/&c.  Do place a few Taboo zones near the edge of the map.

Best complements I have yet received:

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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.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

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:

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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