Am I doing it wrong?

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Hey guys,

I ran my 1st game of Gamma World last weekend, but something struck me as odd.

The PCs all had incredibly high defenses (especially AC as they all took Heavy Armor), and i found that the monsters had a very hard time hitting them. I was always under the impression that GW was supposed to be harder in terms of dammage as characters are easily rolled up in minutes.

We followed the instructions as per the book and character sheet, but it struck me as a litte high, whereas all the monsters defenses seemed pretty low in comparison. I think all 4 of my players had over 20 in AC.

Anyways, just wondering if perhaps I did something worng or maybe its always like that?
all 4 of my players had over 20 in AC.

It looks like you're doing it wrong then. You don't get your Dex/Int bonus to AC if you're wearing heavy armor.

Ah yes - Thats probobly where the error is then. If i recall correctly, I think we added that in as we rolled the characters up amid many distractions.
It's worth noting that most of your players will have AC of about 18 at first level, while most monsters will have AC of 15 (possibly lower) at that same level. Monster attack bonuses will be around +5, which means they'll need a 13 or higher to hit against AC, which means they'll miss more than they hit.

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion


Anyways, just wondering if perhaps I did something worng or maybe its always like that?



For Fort/Ref/Will, it could be a few things as well.

1. Did you let people choose thier origins? Letting powergamers have free pick makes it easy for them to maximize thier defenses by picking complimentary origins which have 2x same stat and have defense bonuses that arent to that same stat, giving them above-average boosts.

2. Did you have them roll THREE d6 in order for thier stats? Avoid the temptation to let them do the classic 4d6 drop lowest, especially combined with letting them put stats in whichever order they want. The game expects people to have lower defenses because of low stats. Its not uncommon at all for a character to have less than a 5 sometimes for a stat.

3. Your observation that monsters have lower defenses than the PCs is correct, and normal. I'm not actually sure why WotC chose that route, but monsters are VERY easy to hit in Gamma World, but also they tend to be very good at hitting back. I think theres generally a difference of about 2-3 points between high scores at each level. That is to say, a high monster score would be a 14 or 15, with maybe 12 or so average. PCs would be a few points higher than that - but barring the occassional PC with a 17 or 18 defense, monsters should be hitting on a 12 or so.

4. Of course, another thing to look at is what monsters you were actually using, and what defense they were attacking. If they're all attacking AC, theres the problem right there - in addition to calculating ac wrong, all PCs should have a fairly decent AC on average due to how AC is calculated. The average PC should have around a 17 or so at 1st level. Sometimes a little more or less due to stats/origin.
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