Completely Unprofessional and Quite Frankly Insulting Review of Gamma World

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Basically all you need to know is that I just made a gravity-altering, duplicating space cowboy who was completely convinced that he could talk to fish for the better part of 3 hours. I romped around with my best friend, who is also a titanic stone golem from the depths of time, dispatching pigs with boomerangs and wooing plant ladies with my rugged charm. Then I fought a robot and he blew me up.

If that isn't enough to get you to go buy Gamma World, then I guess I'll have to resort to plan B: well reasoned, thought out arguments (I really hope this works; plan C is... well let's just say I'm more of a B-man, myself).

Gamma World (from fresh and upcoming WotC, known for such titles as "Where Did my Wallet Go?," "10,000+ Ways to Lose All That Expendable Income" and "Magic: the Gathering") is a futuristic tabletop role playing game that takes place on (don't forget to leave this part in when you plagiarize this review, it'd be kinda absurd if I was just explaining this premise to the group of people most likely to already own the game in the first place) "Gamma Terra," aka the Multiverse in a Blender. Basically (not to spoil it for anyone or anything, but) we screwed up with the LHC circa Doomsday, 2012, and forgot to completely annihilate ourselves with it. What we did do is take everyone else's reality and give them a little taste of what we Americans like to call The Melting Pot. No refunds, no returns. Anything and everything that could have happened found a place to happen here, and happen spontaneously, no less.

While the game borrows pretty much the entire combat system from 4e, it brings in a new element, the element of collectible cards (stick with what you know, eh Wizards?) that give you temporary powers from the ether that dissipate once the latest in your own personal series of unfortunate events has been resolved. The basic reasoning behind this is that the constantly colliding timelines have managed to give you a taste of what your life would be like if the Commies had won, or if you were Cthulhu's kid or something wacky like that. This leads to very random gameplay, and hilarious circumstances WILL ensue. Consider, if you will, the ramifications of suddenly levitating your foe dozens of feet off the ground one moment and switching on an electricity shield moments later as you release them over a radioactive swimming pool, and I'm going nice here. Frankly, I'm surprised enemies don't bolt the moment they see the first Alpha Flux.

There's a similar system for artifacts (called Omega Tech), and they do their best to create versatile, yet confining options that challenge the PCs in new ways. The main controversy over this seems to be the booster packs of extra cards, but I don't see what the problem is. The box set comes with everything you need to start your own adventure (including 40 Alpha Mutation and 40 Omega Tech cards), and the packs just serve to diversify the experience. Hell, the box even comes with a pack itself (it's like they're actually trying to sell you a product or something)! My only complaint about them might be the relative power, but considering the nature of this game (a game that calls you the world's biggest pansy and presumably makes out with your mother if you even think about choosing any aspect of character creation), that's a stupid and terrible thing to whine about and we will discuss it no longer.

Actually, on that same tangent in the parentheses above, this game goes out of it's way to act tough and  hardcore (despite the fact that 3rd ed was harder to survive when you had your munchkin friend write your character). Yes, this game's got random character creation and it wants you to know it! With over 20 different origins (technically true) and no point buy system, it's really breaking the mold set 2 years ago by the system it's almost entirely based off of. I get the feeling that Gamma World is trying to rebel from 4e, but doesn't actually know anything about thug life so it just turns its cap sideways and pops its collar. I suppose it's all well and good to act the part of roughneck survival game (it at least might act as a gateway to get all those new 4e players back to the "more intimidating" older stuff), but Gamma World, people are laughing at you behind you back. Your 4e fly's open, and the only reason you've made it this far is because we've all been too embarrassed, for your sake. Anyway, onward! To the actual problems with the game!

Let me say one thing right now: as an editor for a (failed, thank you very much) TTRPG, I understand the challenge of making sure everything clicks perfectly after 18,000 revisions (and counting!), but this is simply unacceptable. This is actually a long running complaint I've had with 4e in general: the editors are either lazy or bad at their jobs. And it makes no sense! You're the face of tabletop gaming (even if others don't want to admit it) and you can't check to make sure you've listed what consumable Omega Techs do or that powers don't reference abilities you don't have? If I have any reason to argue that Wizards and Blizzard aren't the same company, it's the fact that the latter can at least address not very subtle details like how integral mechanics work.

I suppose I could also cry about the lack of monster creating guidelines, separate backs for the different cards or an actual hard cover, but these are mild annoyances because I have no doubt that this game can be amazing. The adventures of Wesser Dead-Eye and Durg are testament to that. It just needs to be FINISHED. I feel like you handed this out to us as part of the playtest or something, Wizards. This really isn't doing anything for my case for why you should buy it, so let me finish with the following: the cards are an integral part of play, and I doubt most of you have the attention span to cut out multiple copies of each just to get out of 40 bucks. You see what they did there? It's brilliant, in a sick and twisted way.

Anyway, I'm tired and world game day is tomorrow where I shell out cash like the sheep I am for laser vision and super blasters that don't even exist, so I think I'll cut off here. Wait... crap, this article promised insults! Ok, ok, I can still do this. There's still room. Your mother is a wh 
I'm looking for literally any reason to post this song around. Thank god for signatures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5fkw10OkE
ore

You know what games need more often? Box sets, that's what. I was able to jump in MINUTES after opening this. That's saying something right there. Also art is nice, blah blah. 7/10 something or other. It doesn't matter. The game's good. Go buy it or make your friends buy it under false pretenses. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

EDIT: UNLESS YOU HATE FUN. 
I'm looking for literally any reason to post this song around. Thank god for signatures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5fkw10OkE

EDIT: UNLESS YOU HATE FUN. 


LOL I love this line.

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion, Visitor's Guide to Red Larch [updated!]

Adventures League Characters (click for list)
Adventurers League Characters:
  • Oraibi Jhannivvar (human noble devotion paladin of Siamorphe, level 8) and Golden Dawn (celestial warhorse); Lords' Alliance
  • Ninkasi the Ale-Nun (human guild artisan life cleric of Chantea, level 6); Harpers
  • Bacavi Jhannivvar (human sage arcane trickster/cleric of Tymora, level 4/1) and Teddy (cat familiar); Lords' Alliance, Cloaks
  • Niran Wishcrafter (fire genasi charlatan chaos sorcerer, level 3) a.k.a. "Madame Vessa" (human fortune teller); Zhentarim
  • Rhythm (tiefling entertainer bard, is a dancer, level 3); Harpers
  • Verdigris (copper dragonborn gladiator beastmaster ranger, level 3) and Heqet (giant frog); Emerald Enclave
  • Alcyone Pleiades (air genasi sailor conjuration wizard, level 2) and Buster (crab familiar); Harpers, Cloaks
  • Claráin Coppervault (mountain dwarf guild artisan abjuration wizard, level 2) and Julius (cave octopus familiar); Harpers
I get the feeling that Gamma World is trying to rebel from 4e, but doesn't actually know anything about thug life so it just turns its cap sideways and pops its collar.



I lol'd. Its so true.

The game really IS hilarious, and definitely encourages & emphasizes creative thinking. My group got pretty disenchanted with standard 4E around the begginning of the summer, but we've LOVED this game, and will probably start up a regular game of this once our 3.5e game concludes (which is ocnveniently in a session or two).
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