To those who've run it...

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Pure Strain Humans are interesting because of their story, not because of their (lack of) powers. Mad Max, Logan, the heroes of every post-Apocalypse movie from Planet of the Apes and Zardoz to I Am Legend were Pure Strain Humans. And there's a reason for that.

Pure Strain Humans represent our world, the humanity of you and me. And when they are in a game, they bring out stories and themes in which the world of today is contrasted to Gamma Terra. The end of Planet of the Apes works because we identify with Heston's character at the moment that he looks up, sees the Statue of Liberty half-buried in the sand, and says, "You bastards, you finally did it."

It's not about power-gaming or crunchy bits. At least, it isn't in my games. It's about story. 
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Ummmm, wouldn't that be Engineered Human?

That was the point of the old Dragon article.  A PSH child in the old editions had more hit points then a typical robot.  They could shrug off illness and radiation sickness easier then a modern human can recover from the common cold.  Advanced mutagens that could totally alter the genome in one dose simply failed on them.  They were obviously not modern humans but they still called themselves Pure Strain because that is what they considered themselves since they didn't turn funny colors and grow antlers, and the players called them Pure Strain because that is what the race type was listed in the book.   It was sort of an amusing irony of Cryptic Alliances like the Knights of Genetic Purity.

In any case, the point wasn't wether PSH is a more appropriate term then Engineered (and its not like I can go back in time and argue with the authors of the old editions anyway).  What I was talking about in my prior post are some of the elements that have changed regarding humans (PSH, Engineered, or otherwise).
Does anyone ever want to play a PSH? To be honest, I can see why they left that option out of the rules -- PSHs are boring and miss out on the fun of Gamma World. Sure you can build an option for them that is balanced, stat-wise, but that doesn't make them fun.

Yes.  There's an apeal to the ordinary human hero even in the most fantastic genres.  And, the nastiness of defects in past eds and the randomness of alpha flux in the current doesn't apeal to all players, some would doubtless prefer a more 'normal,' character. 

IMX, players who prefer PSH are clearly in the minority.  If I run a 1st ed game for 6-8 players, I might get one PSH.  Doesn't hurt to give them the option, though.

 

 

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