Gamma World is a science fantasy role-playing game , originally designed by James M. It borrowed heavily from Ward's earlier product, Metamorphosis Alpha. Gamma World takes place in the midth century, more than a century after a second nuclear war had destroyed human civilization.
Games That Made Me Cry: Gamma World Third Edition
The war that destroyed civilization in Gamma World is only vaguely described in most editions of the game, and what details are provided change from version to version:. All editions, however, agree that the cataclysm destroyed all government and society beyond a village scale, plunging the world into a Dark Age.
In many editions of the game, technology is at best quasi-medieval in the first edition, the crossbow is described as "the ultimate weapon" for most Gamma World societies. Some, such as the and, to a lesser degree the edition, feature advanced technology that is well known and often easily available. In contrast, super-science artifacts in earlier editions were risky to use due to the average Gamma World character not knowing how to properly operate such devices, or possibly even what the device is at all.
The post-apocalyptic inhabitants of Earth now refer to their planet as "Gamma World" or "Gamma Terra" in later editions. Gamma World is a chaotic, dangerous environment that little resembles pre-apocalyptic Earth. The weapons unleashed during the final war were strong enough to alter coastlines, level cities, and leave large areas of land lethally radioactive.
These future weapons bathed the surviving life of Earth in unspecified forms of radiation and biochemical agents, producing widespread, permanent mutations among humans, animals, and plants. As a result, fantastic mutations such as extra limbs, super strength, and psychic powers are relatively common. Random tables of such improbable mutations are a hallmark of every edition of Gamma World.
Many animals and plants are sentient, semi-civilized species competing with surviving humans. Both humans and non-humans have lost most knowledge of the pre-war humans, whom Gamma World's inhabitants refer to as "the Ancients".
The only group with significant knowledge of the Ancients are isolated robots and other artificial intelligences that survived the war—though these machines tend to be damaged, in ill repair, or hostile to organic beings.
Gamma World player characters include unmutated humans referred to as "Pure Strain Humans" in most editions , mutated humans, sentient animals or plants, and androids. Characters explore Ancient ruins and strange post-apocalyptic societies to gain knowledge of the Ancients and social status for themselves.
Common adventure themes involve protecting fragile post-apocalypse societies, retrieving Ancient "artifacts" science fiction gadgetry such as power armor, laser pistols, and anti-grav sleds , or mere survival against the multifarious dangers of the future such as gun-toting mutant rabbits, rampaging ancient death machines, or other Gamma Worlders bent on mayhem.
A recurrent source of conflict on Gamma World is the rivalry among the "Cryptic Alliances", semi-secret societies whose ideological agendas—usually verging on monomania —often bring them into conflict with the rest of the Gamma World.
For example, the Pure Strain Human "Knights of Genetic Purity" seek to exterminate all mutants, while the all-mutant "Iron Society" wants to eliminate unmutated humans. Other rivalries involve attitudes towards Ancient technology, with some Alliances such as "The Restorationists" seeking to rebuild Ancient society, while others such as "The Seekers" want to destroy remaining artifacts.
Attribute generation is much the same for instance with a range of 3 to 18, randomly generated by rolling three six-sided dice. The attributes themselves are the same, but with occasional name changes such as Physical Strength instead of Strength and Mental Strength instead of Wisdom. Character generation is mostly random, and features one of the game's most distinctive mechanics, the mutation tables.
Players who choose to play mutants roll dice to randomly determine their characters' mutations.
All versions of Gamma World eschew a realistic portrayal of genetic mutation to one degree or another, instead giving characters fantastic abilities like psychic powers, laser beams, force fields, life draining and others.
Other mutations are extensions or extremes of naturally existing features transposed from different species, such as electrical generation, infravision, quills, extra limbs, dual brains, carapaces, gills, etc. These were offset with defects that also ranged from the fantastical - such as skin that dissolves in water, or a scent that attracts monsters - to the mundane, such as seizures, madness and phobias. Characters in most versions of Gamma World earn experience points during their adventures, which cause the character's Rank in some editions, Level to increase.
In fact, in the first three editions of the game, character rank is primarily a measure of the character's social prestige. The game mechanics used for resolving character actions, on the other hand, greatly varied between Gamma World editions.
For some actions, such as attacks, the number located on the matrix represents a number the acting player must roll. For other actions such as determining the result of radiation exposure , the matrix result indicates a non-negotiable result. The third edition rules replace specialized matrices with the Action Control Table ACT , a single, color-coded chart that allowed players to determine whether a character action succeeded, and the degree of success, with a single roll.
The ACT requires the referee to cross-reference the difficulty of a character action with the ability score used to complete that action, determining which column of the ACT is used for that action. The character's player then rolls percentile dice ; the result is compared to appropriate column, determining a degree of success or failure and eliminating the need for second result roll e.
The fifth and sixth editions though would relegate Gamma World to that of a Campaign Setting and require the core books to play. Character generation choice though was nearly fully removed. Instead of choosing a character class, a player had to roll a twenty-sided die two times and consult an accompanying character origin table.
For example, a player might obtain the result "Radioactive Yeti" and gain the powers associated with the "Radioactive" and "Yeti" origins. Attributes, mutations, and skills were also randomly assigned. Two decks of cards comprising the core of a Collectible Card Game are included with the game. One deck represented random Alpha Mutations, which could be drawn to gain temporary powers, and the other contained various Omega Tech, powerful technological devices that could possibly backfire on those that used them.
Some 4th edition rules enhancements for the setting include new damage types such as "Radiation", Gamma World-specific skills, and increased lethality.
The original Gamma World boxed set containing a page rulebook, a map of a devastated North America, and dice was released in TSR went on to publish three accessories for the 1st edition of the game:. Grenadier Miniatures also supported the game, with a line of licensed miniatures.
Work on the adaptation was halted when a 2nd edition of Gamma World was announced. Two modules and two accessories were released for this version:. TSR also produced four packs of Gamma World miniatures. This module was not published. The 3rd edition of Gamma World was another boxed set, credited to James M.
It introduced the Action Control Table, a color-coded table used to resolve nearly all actions in the game. Color-coded tables were something of a trend at TSR in mids. Unfortunately for TSR, this version of the rules became notorious for the number of editorial mistakes, including cross-references to rules that didn't appear in the boxed set.
The Rules Supplement was sent to gamers who requested it by mail, and included in reprintings of the boxed set. The five modules TSR published for Gamma World's 3rd edition introduced the setting's first multi-module metaplot , which involved rebuilding an ancient 'sky chariot':.
TSR dropped the 3rd edition of Gamma World from its product line before the multi-module storyline could be completed. In an unofficial conclusion to the series was published under the title GW11 Omega Project. Ward , published in May by TSR. TSR published five accessories for the 4th edition:.
TSR's Gamma World development team announced at Gen Con that no further products would be released for the 4th edition. They also announced that TSR had restarted development of Metamorphosis Alpha to Omega , but that the manuscript would be completed using the Amazing Engine rules.
The 5th version of Gamma World was a supplement for the science-fiction game Alternity. In a nod to Gamma World' s reputation for being repeatedly revised, the book's back cover states "That's right, it's the return of the Gamma World ".
Alternatives to First Edition Gamma World
This version of Gamma World is unique as the only one not to have accessories or supplements. Tweet does not plan any expansions for the game,  although it received a warm reception from Gamma World fans and players new to the concept alike. This new version of the game presented a more sober and serious approach to the concept of a post-nuclear world, at odds with the more light-hearted and adventurous approach taken by previous editions; it was also the first edition of the game to include fantastical nanotechnology on a large scale.
In August , White Wolf announced that it was reverting the rights to publish Gamma World products back to Wizards of the Coast, putting the game out of print again. The basic box included 80 non-random cards. In addition, random "boosters" of "Alpha Mutation" and "Omega Tech" cards for players are sold separately in packs of eight. This edition of Gamma World includes the following three boxed sets one core set and two expansion kits :.
Beginning players should find it easy to learn, and referees are challenged to create a playable, balanced world.
#RPG - Know Your Role: Gamma World (DnD 4th Edition)
It's somewhat expensive and the sudden-death power of futuristic weaponry and the lack of character 'levels' may put you off, but if the basic premise is appealing you'll probably enjoy Gamma World.
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James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet.
Post-apocalypse , Science fantasy. Custom 1 st —4 th edition Alternity 5 th edition d20 System 6 th -7 th edition.