Gamma World – System Mastery 60

Gamma World S

Today we’re thrilled to bring you a game where you can play as a swarm of tiny yetis hanging around with a robot hawk and have an amazing, basically balanced game.  Gamma World 7th edition is a favorite here, and we’re starting 2016 with a breath of radioactive post-apocalyptic fresh air.  Don’t worry, in two weeks we’ll be down in the filth showing off the filthiest bits of filth to each other, like two Gollums.  For now though, enjoy this legitimately awesome game.

17 responses to “Gamma World – System Mastery 60

  1. Great episode.
    All the weird monster names (and power sets) are straight from the old books. I actually think all of the ones in the box set you reviewed are straight from the 1st edition from 1978. Which is why I think the names sound very 70s sci fi: Very short and simple but not memorable.

    • I hadn’t even thought of that, but it makes perfect sense for why the names are so old school. Nowadays a giant wingless mosquito would probably have a more glib name than Blaath.

      • The main thing they changed was to make the monsters all at least potentially hostile.

        One dumb thing from old Gamma world is that like most of the monsters were good guys who were never bad.

        Like the Gren (those green dudes), peaceful fairy elf guys who never fight.
        Or the two headed giants, mostly good guys.
        Or the Sleeth (reptile scientests), universally peaceful environmentalists.
        Or even the Menarl (cobra headed multi-legged guys), pretty much all good guys.

  2. Cards aside, it sounds like a perfectly functional system, from a mechanical standpoint. It would have been nice to see something like that in a less-weird setting.

    • It’s basically a streamlined 4e D&D, I bet reskinning the weird class/races into basic fantasy wouldn’t be too hard. Giant Yeti? Minotaur Barbarian. Hawkoid Rat Swarm? Swarm Druid.

  3. Apparently I’m “that guy,” but I actually like to play a handicapped character now and again. I think the trick is to build and play such characters *with* the group, rather than in spite of them. Some of the most talked about (not complained about – I checked) characters I’ve played have been an ancient drunken kung fu monk or a child-like goliath fighter. If you play them right, others at the table will even set up stuff for you to riff off of. (yes, the goliath did like rabbits…)

    • Nothing wrong with liking to play a character with a serious setback,but it should be a choice you make. We would like baseline competency to be assumed, and the decision to be worse to be an optional thing that a player does because they want to. No one should be shackled into playing a Lenny fighter for a whole campaign because the DM has it in his head that you roll 3D6 straight down the line.

      • Fair enough, I think I probably misheard: it sounded like you guys were saying that Joe Blacksmith or One-Legged Joe shouldn’t be player characters. I just got used to playing characters with setbacks either by choice (20+ years playing Hero System) or by circumstance (my first game was 2nd ed. D&D) and learned to just roll with it and find interesting roleplaying “bits” from the flaws. Kind of like “Yes, And” bootcamp…

  4. If each class-like thing only has four distinct powers, do characters end up feeling very similar? Like, if you’re a fire guy, then your fire is going to manifest (mechanically) in the same four ways as every other fire guy.

    I can’t imagine that 4E would have been nearly as popular as it was if each class only offered one power at each level, without any options to pick between.

    • There are two things that help with that issue. First, which of your two sources you rolled first matters. A primary pyrokinetic will get will get his fire powers much done than a secondary pyro. Second, there are always alpha mutations and omega tech. In every encounter you’ll have one to three extra encounter powers pulled from a very random list that will differentiate your style, and a while host of wacky tech to choose from and use, most of which also take the form of encounter powers.

      Also whole it’s not a hard and fast rule, once you have the expansions there are 49 possible power tracks and I wouldn’t be surprised if rerolling duplicate tracks between players was a common house rule.

      • Nice. Are they the same print quality as the main set? I can’t decide if I should get the box set on Amazon and the expansion from DTRPG, or get them both from the latter (which wouldn’t get me printouts of the maps etc, but would have everything match).

      • The maps are great and worth it, the tokens are great and worth it, so the box sets are definitely a good call if you can find them. And yeah, the cards are nearly identical to the originals.

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