Happy Game Day! Check In Here! (Spoilers)

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Tell us what you thought of the Gamma World game day after you've played it!

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

When I arrived at my local game store to GM, another group was already there making characters. They had 4-5 people, so I took Room #2 and set up. I got 3 more players, and ran with that. We had Larry the walking pile of molten lava (Giant Pyrokinetic), Thermite, a radioactive rat swarm hiding beneath a manhole cover, and Moebius, which was a man-sized origami made out of psychic paper (Mindbreaker Empath).

The first encounter was the worst. While I knew I needed to reduce the number of monsters, I made the mistake of removing two Porkers instead of the Blood Bird Flock. The Flock nearly killed everyone; only the fact that Thermite took none of the radiation damage and only single digits from the Flock's beak attack allowed the players to survive. Moebius spent the entire second half of the encounter unconscious, and that was after he second winded, stood up, and promptly fell down again from the radiation and poison ongoing damage.

The players entered the parking garage and I used three Klickeys, an even 300XP level 1 encounter. A photon grenade reduced two of them to single digit HP in the first round, and Brickbat finished them off. By now Thermite had drawn her favorite Omega Tech ever, the Animatronic Toy, which she used to good effect for the rest of the game, never failing an Omega charge check.

Entering the stairwell, the heroes bypassed levels 1 and 2 completely, which meant they missed the noncombat encounters. Since there was nothing left except the final encounter, I sprung three Sentry Bots on them as they exited the stairwell. A short, sharp, battle -- the kind 4E excels at. The players had area attacks from Omega Tech by now, but the Sentry Bots responded by swarming Moe, and although it went fast it was fun.

There was some brief exploration of the top floor, where they discovered the restrooms and abandoned offices. Some post-apocalypse amusement here. Moebius folded himself into silhouettes to match the Men's and Women's Restroom, since clearly you had to look like that in order to enter. Must have been a religious thing. They found office furniture branded with the mark of the Ancient craftsman IKEA, a famous and prolific individual of great talent.

When they reached the final encounter I wanted to make sure not to overwhelm them again, so I calculated out the right XP for a level 4 encounter for 3 players, and that got me Tangh, the Dobber, and the Hoop. No Porkers at all. The players got lucky as Tangh missed with all his initial attacks, and the Hoop missed with his Big Hop+Axe combo. The Hoop went down first, Tangh managed to knock the rat swarm unconscious with his belch power (those close attacks were very hard on the rat swarm, but it was all make-up for her incredible invulnerability in other situations), but a couple of Second Winds and they managed to take him down. Larry managed to use his Powdered Scientist to activate the laser cannons but the Dobber fled after Moebius used the Patch II on Thermite.

The Powdered Scientist explained the Beta Chamber, but the players could not get into it. They did not have the access code and could not make the Mechanics or Strength check. We ended at 4:30 after a fun time. I got to meet one new gamer, and see a couple of old friends I had not seen in a long time. So a fun time was had by all. 

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I took my son and we had a blast.  The other party was a TPK.

In my case, we had quite a mix.  To roaches, and felinoids, a brain.  My character was an Empath, Hypercognative.  I rolled some decent stats which was great.... 'cause otherwise combat was going to suck for me.  Sooo. I was the leader. I had healing, and could keep people alive.  I managed to roll a high enough strength, so I was able to hit people for some solid damage.  The game would have gone very differently if I wasn't running around healing and helping.

The store did well too.  Complete sell out on Gamma World and cards.
I tried my best to provide the players with extra take-home stuff to keep them interested in Gamma World.

The first encounter we lost a character. It turned out that the player was very fond of it but blood birds and a porker close burst took him down and out of the game (a reroll later and we had a....CATGIRL! woo!)

First thing was finding visitors badges in the locked cars in the first encounter. I'd printed the image out on business cards and allowed the players to keep them. The badges allowed access to a break room off of the lobby in addition to the bonus defense vs. Pung Co robots.

They actually got in through the garage, fought off the Klickies and bypassed the first floor. To the second floor where they found the datapad. Smartphones were available as well as a netbook and notebook so the email was quickly read and analyzed.

Reading about the fusebox got them interested in the first floor (YAY!) where they got to work on the computer and everyone flipped out over the security footage. Since they'd already taken out the clickies, it wasn't as suspenseful but overall it added enough immersion to get the players excited.

They moved up to the roof thend own to the 3rd floor where they were smacked around a bit. The combats were taking quite a while with 6 players so I decided to help speed it up a bit by allowing them to take full control over the laser guns. As a minor action and after making a DC24 Science check, they could target the guns. This turned out to have been a great idea since the guy who initiated the targetting was summarily knocked into the negatives with a tang/hoop combo attack. He got to roll for all the laser guns during the encounter.

One player happened to have found a phase cloak for one of his omega tech cards and got into the beta chamber. he was really excited about trying it so I allowed him to do so. Up on the platform he went and ZZZZAP! Draw a new omega tech ;) He went out the opposite wall on his next turn in an attempt to replace his mutation by taking rad damage.

Overall, they said they had fun. It was the first time in about 8 years that I DMed anything and with everyone having stayed up late the night before and it was 7PM when the game finished up, it was time to close up shop.

They never did figure out the password to let the other characters into the chamber...

Oh, and the Dabber, being the only one to survive the encounter, escaped through a hole in the wall towards the back of the beta chamber. I did that as a way to finish the encounter faster and to provide an occurring bad guy during later games.

High points:
- The party was heading towards a TPK from the Blood Bird Flock until the pyrokinetic lured it to a gas vent
- A skakeboarding Yeti repaired a vehicle and used it to smash through the gate of the underground garage
- Tangh smashed open the Beta chamber door on the first round (rolled a 20) and was wisked away... returning later to blast the party with an Omega Boom Box.
- The two remaining party members set the Beta Chamber to overload and ran.

Game Day:

Rizzy:  Mind-Breaker/Rat Swarm
Queenie:  Mind-Coercer/Engineered Human
Tibby:  Empath/Giant
Scoot:  Speedster/Telekinetic
Green Giant:  Yeti/Plant
Lucy:  Gravity-Controller/Hawkoid

The party did a fair bit of investigation and RP, and bypassed all but the 1st and last combat encounters pretty handily.  The first combat wasn't too hard - with a party of 6, I used two Porker Marauders and 4 lashers instead of 5 lashers.  The Rat Swarm took on the Bloodbirds (I ruled off the cuff that since they were both swarms they did regular damage to eachother).  At one point the Hawkoid and the Plant each got in an AE attack on the Swarm, which helped (but it was still the last critter to fall). Queenie had a +13 Interaction check and got the full story out of the one porker prisoner they captured. They went straight to the third floor, (pausing only briefly to watch the klickies on the security camera - the website worked, but damn, was that a long URL to tap into an iphone).  Unexpectedly, Tangh actually got into the Beta Chamber the first round, and disapeared.  Another porker also ran in with 1 hp remaining and got healed.  ;)  The Rat Swarm tried to overcharge an 'explosive pod' mutation, and ended up bloodying two of his buddies, one of whom was later dropped by Tangh (the Beta Chamber only makes you disapear for the one round).  One of the porkers got the lasers going for a few rounds, until Queenie shut them down.

The party prevailed - I called it when the shop closed, with only a bloodied Tangh still up and only one of the PCs down.

A good time was had by all.  Two of my players immediately bought the GW boxed set.

One thing that helped was that I playtested the adventure with a group of old-school GW fans who mostly weren't into 4e.  It made me go over the mechanics more thoroughly, so I found, for instance, the rule that you can use a standard action to trigger an ally's Second Wind (done no less than 4 times durring the playtest, once on Game Day).  On Game Day, I was careful to recomend Second Wind to bloodied PCs on their turns.



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Me and my son showed up to play the game and had alot of fun he is only 13 and wants to play again.

Our charactors were as follows:
Ixin Giant/mind
Jenx Android/radiation
Malachai Felinoid/cant remeber
Sverok Empath/Telekinetic me
Dandelionzzz Rat swarm/plant my son

  We had 3 veteran D and D players my son and I who were both brand new to D and D 4th edition in any way.  I did however notice a trend here in this game from the first encounter, the Blood Bird flock seemed to be pretty tough.  Our gm was a bit on the nice side by allowing us to rest up and recoop HP after every encounter but the flock still messed us up pretty bad, with I think 2 of us going down and 2 bloodied mainly by the birds and those dang powers.

During the 2nd encounter we went in through the gate and fought the bugs in there but worked better as a team and were able to take them down pretty quickly.  After which we failed on the computer in the office 3 times and took damage.

We ended up going straight to the next encounter in the boss fight room with the laser guns, by this time malachai had to leave for work and wasnt present.  At this time i would like to add the GM didnt hold any punches attacking or with what he spawned in each room he had max each time.  We fought hard for quite a few rounds in the last room, jenx and ixin went down after we took out the porkers we had the dobber, tanhg, and hopper left between me and my son we managed to take out tanhg.  I moved away from my son who was left fighting the hopper grabbed the dehydrated man and shot at the dobber with a crit, a hit, and another crit i believe i had to use the restroom and my son took that shot for me. My son was brought down by the hopper and i was left shifting one square away shoot shift shoot shift shoot.  The only reason the hopper wasnt hurting me was because i had drawn metal skin which gave me a boost to my AC with telekinetic shield as well.  Not sure if those were supposed to stack but it was allowed, and hopper rolled for crap.  I was hit a 2 times in this process which brought me down to 1 hp and i took the last shot to kill the hopper.  We never got into the room with me bieng the last one left and only a strength 5 but all in all it was a fun game. 

I can see the value in one off games as well as campaigns but for now I think it will be better or 1 offs with my friends on the game night where we go what should we play tonight.
We ran it twice at my FLGS - Double TPK. Apparently I'm a brutal DM.

First time the blood bird got 'em. Of course, we only had four players for that one, so that might have something to do with it.

Second time, we fluctuated from four up to seven players (late arrivals); they got through the robot fight fine, but never went to the roaches. Tangh didn't get into the beta chamber, and an android reprogrammed the lasers once, but they were spreading out their attacks too much. Then the Giant Empath flubbed an overcharge and disappeared for 4 hours, and the Pyro bolted. TPK Mk 2. 
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As written the Blood Bird Flock is outright brutal.

initial hit(6.5avg) + 5 ongoing + 5 aura = bloodied from a single hit for any lvl1 character

Add in the follow effect and you're taking 10 dmg/round till you save. 

The extra dmg from blast/burst is just silly with the swarm ability. Giant & Plant are the only mutants w/ party friendly bursts and those are encounters. Any other burst/blasts are gonna hurt their ally trying to take the swarm out.

With the resistances it's given, only a Gravity Controller or Pyrokinetic can deal full damage to it. Everyone else is dealing half damage and taking 5/rnd if they're melee.

The fact that the Blood Flock was in the 1st encounter of a 1st lvl Game Day event was bad, bad design. Unless of course, spending more time rolling up a character than playing it is part of WotC new marketing strat.

Yep, an overleveled swarm in the first combat of an intro adventure turned out not to be the best idea - not as bad as Irontooth and Kalarel, but still a bit much.   I ruled that the rat swarm could do full damage to it (and vice-versa), and that the aura damage didn't stack with the ongoing damage. 

There was no shortage of AEs in either my playtest group (hawkoid/plant, Giant, & siesmic) or on Game Day (telekinetic, hawkoid, giant, & plant).  A seismic knocking a flock of birds 'prone' by stomping on the ground was kinda funny (it's a sonic attack, though, so why not).



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We had a great time at the Launch Pad in Lodi CA.

We had the following characters:  A Seismic/Electrokinetic, an Android/Plant, an Electrokinetic/Empath, a Felinoid/Engineered Human,  a Speedster/Yeti, a Speedster/Android, and myself a mutated sentient fire beetle bounty hunter (Cockroach/Pyrokinetic) named Beetle Fett, armed with heavy football armor, grey cloak, G-36 assault rifle, and 12 pound sledgehammer.

I pulled my Black Ray Pistol as my first OT, but blew it when I shot at the lead Porker.  So I helped squash him like a bug with my hammer.....pun intended.

I had to leave before we fought the Klickeys, though I did declare that there could Bug Only ONE!!! 
I didn't treat the flock as a swarm. I had it take regular full damage from all attacks. That made it a lot more reasonable and kept it from dominating the encounter - it should be a pet/ally of the porkers, not the leader of the gang!

Whenever I run a gameday I work hard to keep from too many PC deaths. I dropped three PCs to unconscious, but they came back up after a round or two with some good PC heroics. PC deaths are less of a deal in GW, but they can still leave people feeling like the game is not fun, like they did poorly in front of their peers, etc. GW is the kind of world where you can save the PCs with literally the most far-fetched reasoning... an old man on a unicycle comes by with a crate of ancient Jamba Juice bottled drinks... all heavily radiated. He tosses one at each PC and heads off into the distance, cackling wildly. PCs can drink it as a minor action to regain and use their second wind, and they lose and gain one Alpha Mutation.

Having the threat of death is very different from actually having your PC die at a gameday.

I wrote in the other thread about my unicorn that fired rainbows from its rear end. It was huge fun.

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PC deaths are less of a deal in GW, but they can still leave people feeling like the game is not fun

Heh: to me death actually seemed more fun than unconsciousness in GW, especially if you're not attached to your character (i.e. you get to spend the next few minutes rolling up another entirely bizarre character rather than sitting idle). Not that this inspired me to purposefully kill unconscious PC's, but the game does seem to have a bit of Paranoia feel.
I agree. GW does work well that way. For a gameday I just like for everyone to have feelgood all the time. The taste of danger, but not the agony of defeat. It can happen of course, but I would rather keep peeps playing.

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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

In classic Gamma World (which I still run occassionally), the fact that your character could really be pretty aweful, and the next one you roll up could potentially be better, made the frequent character death a lot more palatable. 



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