Understanding Artefacts

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Hi everyone,

In previous editions of Gamma World figuring out what Ancient artifacts do (and occasionally getting blown up in the process) was an integral part of the fun. Has anyone thought about implementing that with the new rules?


Use the original rules...
Actually, you know how we should do this? 

The Very Clever Pipe Game.

That link takes you to an online version, but really, the tabletop version of the pipe game is perfect for GW 2010. By which I mean, it uses cards. A player trying to figure out an artifact would have to build a pipe with time, his card selection, or a required length making the pipe harder.

The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
First thing I house ruled. That old chart was one of the best things about the game. Oh the stories...

I'm making omega tech discovery a skill check combined with discovery role play. I'll describe it. If they can think of a reason their character is on to how it works, I'll give a bonus to the roll. A penalty for bad ideas. The skill they use depends on the tech:

Xi: Science

Ishtar: Conspiracy

Area 52: Mechanics

(note that my campaign has a slightly different story behind the three techs)

The DC is 10 plus the salvage number.

Succeed and they can use it.

Failure safely discharges the device (if that applies). They now know how to use it and can make a recharge roll.

Failure by 5 or more there is a mishap based on the item's abilities or a random complication of my evil creation.

In general I've lowered the omega tech madness, but have given an extra permanent mutation and balance encounters to compensate.

There's no reason you couldn't break out the old flowchart and just use it. 

Setting a Science DC to figure out an artefact - maybe DC 15+Salvage level, rolled once per short rest - would be quicker and less interesting.



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I was wondering if it might be a cool use for Skill Challenges. I know they're not explicitly mentioned, but they are implicit in a few places, with rules like "3 successes before 3 failures", etc.

Thinking out loud, maybe you could use whatever skill made sense (usually Science, Mechanics, Conspiracy, but equally Insight and Interaction, etc) as long as you can narrate it. Then, the DC could either relate to the Salvage number like Tony and usgrandprix suggest; I was thinking maybe the salvage number could be the number of successes required, but maybe that would get too tedious at high numbers?

The trick then is how to model mishaps. Maybe a fumble / natural 1 is where the whole thing blows up in your face, you accidentally shoot your buddy, etc? Otherwise I like usgrandprix's thinking - first failure is maybe a Discharge, and maybe the last failure is where you just break the whole thing irrevocably, giving you tension when you've *almost* figured it out, and then... aargh!

I loved the old flowcharts, BTW, but I'd really like to play something that feels a bit more 4th ed - and skill challenges feel kinda right :-)

What d'you think?


Skill Challenge would be fine (GW doesn't actually have them, of course, but The RC has a much-improved Skill Challenge section, if you happen to have it).  Mishaps could be part of the 'consequences' of failing the skill challenge.  Failed Skill Challenges aren't supposed to stonewall the party, so it might be something like figuring out how an Omega Weapon works - by blasting an ally with it.  Or even just figuring it out by triggering - make an Omega Charge Check...



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