Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Playing The Roles: Gamma World

Hey everyone and welcome to a constructive installment of the Dispatch!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I recently picked up the new Gamma World boxed set. Since then, I've gotten some players together, we've rolled up some characters, and we're all set to start exploring Gamma Terra! But its a big world out there so just where should you begin?

Making Realty A Reality
World Building For Gamma World

As I mentioned before, the boxed set does come complete with an adventure so you really can just crack open the box and dive right in. I considered doing this but as my group of players had been looking to be two people at the time (its since grown to four) and that adventure is designed for five players, I decided that I should really look elsewhere for inspiration for now. Looking at the upcoming releases (and remembering something about the original releases from all those years ago) it looks like the campaign boxed sets are going to be centered around the northern midwest of the United States. Famine In Fargo was set in and around Fargo, ND and the Legion of Gold took place on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. Admittedly they might be headed in a completely different direction this time but it seemed like a safe bet so I decided to run with it.

Since Famine In Fargo is the next release, I decided to look at opening the campaign in North Dakota but the question was where? It was when I was flipping through the rulebook that inspiration struck. One of the creatures in the is serf or thought master. These are domineering little bastards that want to have their own little kingdom to rule over which struck a chord with me. Instant villain! Well, after a fashion at least. In my mind Gamma World is a place of greys so having someone like this in charge just makes him a little darker than your average Joe.

Reading on, it says that serfs gather badders, hoops, and porkers around it as followers and try to establish a stronghold of its own. So what is the modern day equivalent of a stronghold? Military base came to mind first but a quick Goggle search didn't turn up anything of note. Then I thought prisons! These are designed to keep people in and out, would have a large number of "barracks" available, and as luck would have it there was one right in Bismarck, ND! Perfect! Now what else was in Bismarck?

For this, I opened up Mapquest and looked for places and attractions of note. Universities, malls, hospitals, etc. Within no time, I was able to find not one but two good sized malls, three different colleges, zoo, the state capital building, and the municipal airport. Zoom in somewhat, copy the image, touch it up a little and bam! Instant players handout and a second one for my own reference as well.

Next, I went over the locations that I picked out and fleshed them out with some details. The Gateway Mall became the town of Gateway (isn't that where everyone usually hides out in the post apocalypse movies?), the State Capital Building became the Noh Dakta Complex, the Kirkland Mall became the Kirlad Bazaar, and so on. This gave me the key parts of my setting, so now I just had to figure out how they relate to one another but more on that next time.

The Parting Shot...

Another short and sweet one for Gamma World but I don't want to give away too much about my overall story as I have some other ideas percolating right now but I want to get the game moving forward before I show too much of my hand. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them here on the blog or you can also email me at Plus, still on Facebook and all that stuff, so go there and like it! Until next time...


Jon said...

How did you remove or obscure the labels on the map? I've been toying with something like this too and that's my biggest issue.

Sin City Snowman said...

I actually found the image that I wanted on Mapquest, copied it, and then loaded it into a paint program that I have (one of the Corel paint series), and used the clone brush to take the labels off. After that, it was easy enough to print up and put my own labels on it.