Free-form Mutants, Anyone?

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Wow, this is my first forum post in...well, let's just say that last time I posted on a forum, Eberron was new. Seriously, it's been so long, I've had too look up what RAW and IIRC stood for becasue I'd forgotten them.

Anyway, I've been playing GW for a while now, ran a campaign, and generally have loved the game. Sure, I have a few complaints, but fortunately, you guys here on these forums have done a fantastic job of rectifying many (if not all) of my quibbles.
While I love the randomness of GW, I've always felt that the idea of running a campaign using character generation rules presented in GW core doesn't serve well to make the players feel attached to their characters. So, I did a bit of houseruling for my campaign and allowed for a more player-controlled selection of mutant origins and ability scores.
Then, I hit upon the idea of completely removing mutant origins altogether. I've never played any GW edition other than this one (hell, I first learned about tabeltop gaming when D&D3.0 came out), but I was thinking of compiling a lits of all the games powers (from the books, not the Alpha cards), arranging them by level, and having players roll randomly and/or choose from the lot. You guys here have done so much with regards to compiling origin and powers lists, that this endeavor won't be too hard.
The big problem (for me at least) is the thing of determining key ability scores, innate skill bonuses, defense bonuses, and other special properties for characters after getting rid of the origin concept.

Anyway, I think I've rambled on long enough. Love to hear from you guys, and thanks for all the help/criticism/flaming!
Yeah, I'm a gamer. Yeah, I'm a Muslim. No, I don't really have trouble putting the two together; do you?
Hey, this is my first post on the WoTC forum too. What you intend to do sounds to me like the 'original' Gamma World, IIRC (-no joke intended here). Smile

I'm delving deep into my memory from when I played what I consider the 'original' version (which, to my understanding is really the 4th edition of Gamma World. We are now in the 7th incarnation of the game).

I remember tables to roll your character on, way back when. As far as rolling up characters based on the powers only, a suggestion could be a '+1' in a certain key ability based on the power. Or another thing you could try is a 'majority rules'; i.e. if someone has let's say 3 powers (which is a lot to start at first level) and 2 of the 3 powers are based from Dexterity (looking at the origins they came from), then the character's key ability is Dexerity.

Either way, IMHO they left a lot of the game open to interpretation of the GM; which is the way I like it. I'm going to have to create something for my group to go beyond 10th level soon. I'd be excited to see WoTC do an expansion for beyond 10th level tho. I hope some of my post was helpful. Basically, you could do something random for the powers, abilities and skills, and / or what 'feels right' for that particular character.
Thanks for the reply Rob-o. While I'm aware that my method is sort of a full-circle for GW, what I was going for was a sort of pick and choose from the available list of powers and traits. For example, a level 1 character using this method (using only the core GW book) might look like this:

Novice Powers: Eau de Roach (cockroach)
                         Big Claws (yeti)
Defense Bonuses: Just Tough (giant)
                              It Fell Sideways! (gravity controller)
Extra Traits: Unsurprisable (hypercognitive)
                    Ponderous (seismic)

The way I'm thinking right now is that players would select 2 innate skills and roll 1 randomly; select 3 skills randomly; or just select the same skill 3 times. One of the guys in my campaign did something like that, and effectively made best friends with any and all hard-to-sway NPCs thanks to a + 16 Interaction at level 1.
Your idea of determining key abilities based upon the powers chosen is very interesting, but I can only see it as working for the novice powers. Expert powers would be constrained by the abilities that the Novice powers determined. I was instead thinking of rolling a d6 twice to determine key abilities (2 and 4 would be Con-primary and Int-secondary; 6 and 6 would be super Cha), and having half of the powers be based upon the primary and the other half being based off the secondary.
Power sources fall into a similar boat, especially in my example above where they run thhe freaking gamut; and becasue I also count both primary and secondary origins' bonuses for overcharge.
Yeah, I'm a gamer. Yeah, I'm a Muslim. No, I don't really have trouble putting the two together; do you?
Where as I do like the thought of going back to the old school random mutantions. I am rather getting fond of the type based powers that vaguely mesh together.

The one question I have is in old gamma world you choose: mutant human, mutant animal, mutant plant etc... what about say basic mutations? Example: A mutant bear automatically gets Big-Claws? Or he might not have them and have lashing vines instead?
DrWonder, I'm not sure I entirely get what you're saying, but I certainly have no objection to using the mutations-powers-themes package they have in the current GW--after all this is the only form of GW I've ever played.

I think that, what I was getting at with my example above was "your PC looks like whatever you want it to look like; though with the powers and traits you've selected, it probably has some distinct features."

To again use the example above, the character might look like a stumpy-legged, rotund humanoid with tough, pebbly skin, and massive ears, eyes, and talons. It could lull the enemy into a false sense of security with its utterly ridiculous appearance, only to shred it to ribbons with its claws, then cause itself to vomit, that it might consume said enemy.

Or, if the enemy is out of reach of its claws/puke, it could open fire with its heavy two-handed gun...
Yeah, I'm a gamer. Yeah, I'm a Muslim. No, I don't really have trouble putting the two together; do you?
a level 1 character using this method (using only the core GW book) might look like this:

Novice Powers: Eau de Roach (cockroach)
                         Big Claws (yeti)
Defense Bonuses: Just Tough (giant)
                              It Fell Sideways! (gravity controller)
Extra Traits: Unsurprisable (hypercognitive)
                    Ponderous (seismic)



Lets say I wanted to be an eagle. Would I automatically get Hawkoid powers?
Novice Powers: Terrifying Shriek (Hawkoid)
                       Random
Defense Bonuses: Flight (Hawkoid)
                           Random
Extra Traits: Perception (Hawkoid)
                   Random

As opposed to being a mutant human that could get:
Novice Powers: Random
                       Random
Defense Bonuses: Random
                           Random
Extra Traits: Random
                   Random

What happens if I want to be an eagle but not any of the powers. Can I no longer fly? Could I pick and choose?

If I didn't fly can I still get Flap Away (Hawkoid Utility) or Power Dive (Hawkoid Expert) since they really have nothing to do with the 1st level Terrifying Shriek but more to do with the Flight Trait?

Could I be a Wheeled Giant (Big Foot Truck?) that has the Power Dive (Hawkoid Expert) that I do by doing some Evil Knievel type stunt?

I am so going to put a herd of big foot trucks in my game... lol
Thanks, DrWonder, for the clarification. While my ideas went more along the lines of "choose your powers, and what your character looks like/actually is would be completely up to you"; I must admit that the hawkoid's flight mechanic was perhaps my main speed bump, as it is essentially a combined defensive and extra trait for the hawkoid mutation.

But, like Rob-o said above, the developers of GW really left the game pretty wide open for interperetation, and so the Flap Away power could be recast as "Fart Away", which uses the character's bodacious gas to evade danger in a semi-aerial fashion, and Power Dive could be worked as something akin to Mario doing a super jump and stomping an enemy.

Maybe I should've said that this plan was for a more nit-picky, "build your character one quintillionth at a time" method, but I certainly wouldn't be oppsed to an even more insanely-random version of GW, as you and Rob-o have interpereted me.

Also:



I am so going to put a herd of big foot trucks in my game... lol



I am so going to put a Wheeled/Yeti mobster NPC named "Mr. Big, the Footless" in my game.
Yeah, I'm a gamer. Yeah, I'm a Muslim. No, I don't really have trouble putting the two together; do you?
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