I do not understand...

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Ok, I am confused by "Human, Engineered".  It says you only get to be one as a 2nd Origin, if you roll the same origin twice.  Ok, I understand that, but how do you make a character like a Swarm of Rats/Human, Engineered?  Or a Cockroach/Human, Engineered, Or a Yeti/Human, Engineered?  

It makes no sense.

Read the next page in the book, they discuss all this there.
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I'm not really sure how it could be more clear, when the Gamma World rulebook spells it out so directly:

"If your second roll is the same as the first, then your second origin is Engineered Human (page 56)"

Are you asking how you would make Engineered Human your primary origin? From the rule as written in the Gamma World rulebook currently, the only way to do that would be to pick your origins rather than rolling (or to roll your origins randomly, but choose which is primary and which is secondary afterward).
His question is, "If I am an Engineered Human like Khan Singh or something, how can I -also- be a damn Yeti? Or a swarm of rats! That makes no sense."

He knows how to do it mechanically. It's the concept that is wonky.

Follow Oraibi's advice. There's some suggestions on how to incorporate both origins on the next page. Maybe you use some technology to do the things your other origin gives you. Or maybe it's a psychic power or something that you learned, rather than a mutation. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
Here's an example. Let's say I roll Yeti + Engineered Human. I am someone who looks fully human, but yet has the powers and abilities of a Yeti, whatever those are.

So I look at it more closely and I see that Yetis are strong, powered by their biology, are good at nature, are hard to hurt, and they resist cold. They also have an encounter power which is a minor action, letting them do a melee attack with "claws" or something similar. Okay, I can work with that.

Instead of being a big furry guy, I'm a normal-looking person whose genes were deliberately spliced with polar bear DNA. I'm sort of like the Spider-Man of polar bears -- just like he didn't change into a giant bug, I didn't change into a sasquatch, I just got polar bear powers.

So I'm "super-strong", really tough, and I am comfortable in really cold weather. My melee "weapons" are actually going to be retractable claws, a la Wolverine from the X-Men, which I'll use as a two-handed heavy weapon.

A cockroach/engineered human is pretty much Spider-Man or something close to him. Talk to your GM and ask if you can switch out the damage type from acid to poison or electricity or something. (The latter is similar to the Wasp's bio-blasts.)

Gamma World Downloads: Character sheets, GM screen, adventures, monsters, house rules, cards, and more! You can usually find my posts at the Gamma World forum.
Rat Swarm / Engineered Human

The book suggests having a collection of small robots or animals following your human around that are able to be commanded to get the effects of the Rat swarm ability.

If it were me:

Nanite infection.

1) It was part of the procedure that engineered me.  I have a small control chip implanted in my brain which allows me to control the nanites.  By speaking specific code words I've learned, or as a response to specific electrical impulses the chip in my head picks up, the nanites respond to my commands.

or

2) The nanites were randomly encountered shortly after my first steps into the wilds of Gamma Terra.  A colony of wild nanites decided to make me their home.  I don't have much control over them, but they seem to react in ways to insure my continued survival (for now).

Regardless of how my character picked them up, the benefits they provide are many.  When I attempt to go unnoticed, the nanites adjust the color of my skin and equipment (Stealth skill bonus).  When they notice an attack coming, they swarm to where they think the blow will land on my body (Swarm damage resist).  When I attempt to punch an enemy, a small group jump to my target and provide a destraction (novice level power).

The only drawback, is that every once in a while, they randomly collect themselves into unusual forms.  I don't know why they decided I needed tentacles for a day (programing glitch I guess), but I was certainly glad when they were done (Bio Alpha Mutations [because what engineered human is going to spontaniously grow wings for a day?])

Even though Engineered Humans are always a secondary origin, the 'What is Human' sidebar implies that it's 'dominant' in the sense of the EH generally at least /looking/ or even /being/ human.

So, Yeti:   You are large, super-strong and engineered for a cold climate.  Perhaps you were created in a worldline as a Siberian super-soldier for a triumphant USSR.

Cockroach:  You are engineered for survival at any cost.  You are protected by sub-dermal plating, and your metabolism can adjust to use just about anything as food.

Rat Swarm:  You are able to assume an amorphous form.  Perhaps the process that created your line of EHs included a rapid-growth phase or were designed to be infiltrator-assassins able to assume any form (and you lost your ancestors' shapeshifting powers, but retain the transitional, amorphous form), or maybe you were engineered with nanites that can break down the solids in your body temporarily.

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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This is my absolute favorite part of this game.  "It makes no sense" is a symptom of a lack of effort.

Yeti/Human and Cockroach/Human should be reeeeeally obvious.  Rat swarm is a little more challenging, but consider all the following options:
  • Rats with human DNA: spans a wide range of options - anywhere from altered brain chemicals for human ingenuity to tiny humanoid rats.

  • Rat King/Pied Piper: a human with mental vermin control.  They literally sacrifice themselves to protect him.  (Probably my favorite.)

  • Traditional: a human that can discombobulate into a swarm of rats.  Or even disembodied human parts, for that matter.

I LOVE the rat swarm origin.

  • Rats with human DNA: spans a wide range of options - anywhere from altered brain chemicals for human ingenuity to tiny humanoid rats.



You are the Secret of NIMH.

I will have to think about this more.  You all bring up very valid points about how to look at it.  I was going to just disallow them, but I think it is actually not a bad idea now.
I was going to just disallow them


Definitely do not go this route.  Moreso than any other hobby, this is a game about collective creativity.  Gamma World of all places is a setting in which you can literally make anything work.  

I will have to think about this more.  You all bring up very valid points about how to look at it.  I was going to just disallow them, but I think it is actually not a bad idea now.



If you have to think about anything, think about this.
They made and playtested the game, right?

If Engineered Human was not actually compatible with anything, why did they include it in the game?


It takes some creativity, but every origin is compatible with every other origin, and there are at least 5 different ways to explain/present each combination.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!

  • Rats with human DNA: spans a wide range of options - anywhere from altered brain chemicals for human ingenuity to tiny humanoid rats.



You are the Secret of NIMH.




ROFL.
When I thought of Rat Swarm/Engineered Human, my first impression was Stargate/Stargate Atlantis with replicators. You're a being where your cells are nanites, you may assume different forms, fit through small cracks, etc. You can turn other substances into replacement nanites (eating or if you get an Alpha Mutation that disintigrates things or heals you).

Look at Swarm, a Spider-man villain. He's a dude that's made of bees. Though, he doesn't look human...heh Later on, there was a villain that was made of spiders. She looked human, but the spiders were what made her a swarm.
OK, you get a No-Prize for mentioning one of the most infamously awful villains ever.

"Swarm" for the win. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List

your asking a world where reality is subjective and linear time and space sometimes takes a holiday. your lucky not to be your own uncle on tuesdays.


your asking a world where reality is subjective and linear time and space sometimes takes a holiday. your lucky not to be your own uncle on tuesdays.




Dude, I about fell out of my chair.  Awesome line!
 
OK, you get a No-Prize for mentioning one of the most infamously awful villains ever.

"Swarm" for the win. 



Yep, had to be done Swarm is the perfect case of lame character rolling...heh


your asking a world where reality is subjective and linear time and space sometimes takes a holiday. your lucky not to be your own uncle on tuesdays.




Or, as Philip J. Fry happened to do: Become your own grandpa...Though, there was time travel in that, but who's to say that time travel isn't impossible in Gamma World? Especially with the shattered realities version we have now
Something for everyone to think about is that just because it says rat swarm doesn't mean it has to be rats as long as the explanation doesn't change the powers or ability's in any way your fine, like:

Muskrat swarm, Kitten swarm, Chihuahua swarm, or animated toy swarm.

So an engineered human/rat swarm can be many things such as someone who can turn into many midgets or simply many midgets with one consciousness.
your asking a world where reality is subjective and linear time and space sometimes takes a holiday. your lucky not to be your own uncle on tuesdays.


Or, as Philip J. Fry happened to do: Become your own grandpa...Though, there was time travel in that, but who's to say that time travel isn't impossible in Gamma World? Especially with the shattered realities version we have now


"I know where I came from—but where did all you zombies come from?"

"I know where I came from—but where did all you zombies come from?"


Nice reference. Not my favorite RAH, but a pretty interesting story.