Friday, June 24, 2011

Out Into The Wastelands

First Impressions Of The Gamma World 4e RPG

We managed to have two firsts this week in our gaming group. We finally got Gamma World 4e to the table and it was run by none other than yours truly! I've never actually GM'ed a game before so it was an interesting experience. There was a brief moment in the beginning when the three of them were just sitting there looking at me and it was like "Crap! Now what do I do?!?!?" After a brief moment of panic, I was thankfully able to shake it off and get things moving along.

As for the game system, it worked as smoothly as I'd hoped. I threw in a couple of skill checks early on but for the most part we just focused on the role play element for the first half of the game (and let me say that anyone who says you can't role play in 4e has never tried). As we moved into the second half we got into the crunchier part of the game with few combats and some skill challenges to mix things up. While combats are fully covered in the rules, the idea of incorporating skill challenges is something that they never mention. Overall I think they worked fairly well though they didn't seem to be too much of a challenge as the group passed them most of them with ease (might have to crank up the DCs next time...). Even so they are definitely something that I want to keep incorporating as they add something different instead of just having the group grind through combat.

The one thing that we really did notice was the need for a battle mat which I suppose isn't too surprising. I had decided to try to free form the adventure that they ran through and it worked fairly well for the most part. There were some moments that having things laid out on a map would have been easier though, especially since one of the characters is a pyrokinetic (burn baby burn!). Then again he really doesn't mind setting the other PCs on fire so that's one less thing to worry about (his quote of the night "I hate you all.").

The only other thing that I was kind of surprised by was how quickly the players can potentially level up. After one just one session the group is already up to level two which is what I was hoping for but with the way that the levels are laid out in the game it will be very easy for them to keep moving up the ladder very quickly. Definitely not a complaint as I want them to be able to reap the benefits of higher levels but it was slightly unexpected.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend giving Gamma World 4e a try if you haven't already. The system does work really smoothly and the setting is so wide open that can really do almost any take on the post-apocalyptic future that you want to use, be it something a grittier or just madcap hijinks, Gamma World 4e has the potential to cover it all.

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