The Friday Blog
I just heard some news that was very exciting for me. I was going to write a blog about a new craze sweeping the evangelical Christian world, (Turn your sound down before following this link) but this is way better.
When I was a teenager first learning RPGs our group played a lot of different games. We played AD&D of course, but I actually cut my teeth on The Fantasy Trip, a weird game that never made a whole lot of actual sense to me, (ever want to play a prootwaddle?) but it was fresh and new and gripped my imagination. There was Traveller, Top Secret, Aftermath, Villains and Vigilantes, Champions, Killer, Role Playing Games, board games, games that were not clearly in either camp… but one of my very favorites was a TSR boxed set called Gamma World.
Gamma World was a post-apocalyptic game set nominally on our planet earth. It was sort of a polished up version of Metamorphosis Alpha, (also by TSR and from the same designer) and the game allowed the players to play just about anything they wanted. Most everything in the world was mutated in some fashion or other by the second nuclear war that finally did civilization in… only common forms of radiological mutation such as say… cancer… were glossed over in favor of slightly less common mutations… like mental blasts and giant bird wings. You can play sentient plants, animals, mutated or pure humans, and look like anything you can justify within the very liberal sweep of the rules system.
Gamma World has been created six times now. I played the original for a long time and the second edition very briefly. (Better art, worse game.) I confess the third through sixth iterations almost completely escaped my notice.
But now, WotC is taking another pass at my beloved, wacky game. The seventh edition Gamma World boxed set is in the design stages now, and best of all, it is using the 4e rules set, which I think is (finally) perfect for it. Character creation will be very quick, allowing everyone to jump right into the best part… the gaming itself.
If you ever saw Wizards! or read Stephen King’s Gunslinger series, you have a good idea of the kind of experience Gamma World offers. Mysterious, dangerous, and lots of room for adventurey fun and humor. There’s still plenty of time for WotC to screw this up I know, but 4e and GW seem like peanut butter and chocolate to me. This is one worth keeping your eye on.
If the game I am running hasn’t finished by the time Gamma World releases, I’m thinking Lesser Earth may suddenly become embroiled in a nuclear firestorm. Yeah… the supercomputer beneath the poles go crazy and start blowing up the world… and hundreds of years later the PCs descendants reunite as weirdly mutated savages…
Get on it y’all. That lich ain’t gonna kill hisself. Again.