Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back To The Wastelands

Its time to hope on the role play tour bus to start looking at some of the ideas that I've got floating around.  The first stop on this little whirlwind expedition is Gamma World.

Though it's been months since my group sat down for our one (and unfortunately only) game of Gamma World, we have been looking at bringing it back to the table again with a few modifications.  When we first did it, the players had a really hard time with the completely random nature of the character generation system.  Random equipment is one thing but random everything made it really hard to get their heads around the characters so I've decided to make a few changes.

The first thing is the whole random origin system.  Not even being able to choose your origins made developing a character concept really hard for my players so I've decided to introduce some free will to the process.  Instead of using the random tables, I'm going to let the players pick their origins so they can get into the character's heads a little easier.

Next up is the rolling the abilities themselves. According to the rules you roll up most of the stats in order using 3d6 which is all well and good but it leave you with a really erratic bunch of scores.  Instead I'm pulling in the point buy system for abilities from D & D 4e as it gives the players more control and puts most of their scores at a minimum of 10.  The characters are supposed to be heroes after all so it only makes sense that they wouldn't have a bunch of scores that are below average.  How the origins relate to the abilities has been tweaked as well.  Instead of giving them an auto 18 in their primary and 16 in their secondary I've changed it to a +2 and a +1 for each so that it fits better with the point buy system.

I'm also not a fan of how the skills are handled.  According to the rules, you have a +4 in skills relating to each of your random origins and a +4 in another random skill.  Again its all just a little too random in my opinion.  Instead each origin gives a +2 bonus to their related skills and then giving the player eight points to apply as they see fit.

Last but not least (as far as character generation anyway...), we are going to choose the alpha mutations instead of randomly drawing them.  We did this in the other game and the players really like having control over at least that one aspect and really helped them start to develop characters a little.

Overall I'm really hoping this will help my players get more into their characters as I've got a few ideas for Gamma World campaigns that I'd really love to run.  Just what are these ideas?  Well I'm glad you asked!  Right now I have three different setting/campaign ideas that I kicking around.

1) The Wastelands Campaign: With the Kaiute tribes moving south into the United City States of Texas, its only a matter of time until the new south of Merica erupts into a massive bloodbath.  Preparing for war, the future looks grim until a lone wanderer staggers back from the wastelands to the west with stories of tombs of the Ancients.  Could this blasted land hold the secret to their salvation?
This campaign is actually the one that we had already started and is the most fleshed out.  Basically its a mix of wild west and post apoc all rolled into one.  Can't go wrong with that, right?  This gives the region a somewhat lawless feel while still having some semblance of  civilization.

2) The End of Times Campaign: Life is almost idyllic in the Dah-Koh-Tah territories of old Merica until rumors begin to circulate about an ancient menace coming from the north. Is it just idle chatter or have the evils of the End Times returned to finish the job they started all those years ago?

This was actually my original idea for our Gamma World campaign though I didn't get it as fleshed out as the Wastelands idea.  I was also trying to set it in the region of the published adventures so that I could easily pull those in if I wanted to.  Nothing like having a published adventure on hand just in case your feeling a little lacking in the creativity department.  Even so these are just fall backs as I've already got some pretty solid ideas for this one as well.

3) The Rise of Empires Campaign: While most of Gamma Terra struggles to maintain some kind of order, the self proclaimed Empire of Humanity has risen out of the ashes to the east. Is this a benevolent power that can restore order to the broken land or just another tyranny that will threaten the world with its grab for power?

I went seriously old school for this idea as I've pulled a lot of the initial concepts from the old After The Bomb supplement for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG from years ago.  I'm definitely going to tweak it to give it my own flavor but this is a setting that has always been near and dear to my heart.

So which one will it be in the end?  Well, I'm not sure.  I've sent off the three ideas to my players and right now I'm just wanting on some feedback from them as to which one interests them the most.  Hopefully they'll let me know soon and then I'll be sure to pass along the good word.

That's about all the radiated goodness for now but there is more to come as the ideas just keep bouncing around my noggin.  Until next time...

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