Wednesday, January 12, 2022

2022 Character Design Challenge 12) Gamma World 4th Edition

 Day 12 of the #charactercreationchallenge gets cryptic! Cryptic Alliance, that is....

In the same way I want to run an epic Twilight 2000/Psi-World/Cyberpunk game, I have had a chance to run a single session of my Reign/Gamma World crossover. In case you were wondering why these games were sorted this way on my shelf. I've never felt Gamma World has landed quite right in any of its systems because the initial concept of the game – the PCs are as tough and powerful as they are going to get and their goal is recover lost treasure and rebuild their communities – never translates to the mechanics used for the game. Everyone ends up leaning into the gonzo elements, which is fine, and fun, but I think is missing a trick of doing a bit of both. 

Anyway, this is the edition of Gamma World that looks like 2nd Edition AD&D. It's a smooth enough and clean enough system as far as it goes, has some technical improvements over AD&D 2E such as Ascending Armor Classes, etc., but it swings way away from that original design of the PCs not improving their personal power inserting a class/level system. Still, this is the one I have on hand (borrowed from a friend, along with the Jonathan Tweet _Omega World_ rules that are the first stab at D&D 3E inspired Gamma World that I won't be using for this challenge), so here we go. 

First up is picking a genotype, and in a longer campaign I'd probably go Pure Strain Human but for this, totally Mutated Animal. Picking Flying Squirrel as my base animal. This gives me some pre-set Physical Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution bases that are improved by a 2d4 roll (including whopping base 15 for Dexterity!). I end up with 12 PS, 23 (!) Dex and 11 CN. As good as I could have hoped. The other stats are 4d6 drop low and I end up with Mental Strength 11, Intelligence 13, Charisma 5 and Sense 12. Time to start wondering why my Squirrel is so disliked….

Mutations come next. Everyone with mutations gets 5 in this version, and a d6 roll is used to split them up. My squirrel, Doreen (I asked my daughter what she would name a mutated flying squirrel and she opted to borrow Squirrel Girl's secret ID.) is already somewhat mutated, being 1 meter long, with full speech capabilities and bipedal stance (so no bonus power for not being not at all human-like), and I end up with 4 Physical Mutations and 1 Mental. This is in addition to the Flying Squirrel template already having the Air Sail mutation and a 1d3 damage bite. 

Mutation rolls are Ultravision (see all energy types), Enhanced Senses – Hearing (double range and sensitivity), Size Change – Larger (50% increase in size, +5 STR, -5 DEX, and now she's 17 STR and 18 DEX and 1.5m high), and Carapace (um, what? OK. The dice say this covers her front and back and gives her a base AC of 17). Mentally, she has Telekinetic Hands, which have a 14 Dexterity and 5 Physical Strength. 

OK, so visually she's now a 5' tall flying squirrel with air sails between her limbs but a protective carapace on her back and torso. I'm imagining that as being much more flexible than a tortoise shell, something closer to mottled green snakeskin, but still doesn't extend to her head and arms, which are brown fur. 

Time to pick a Class, and I think the high dex and low charisma lend to the classic Laconic Scout. Doreen doesn't talk much, which some find off-putting. I mark down the Scout class bonuses, and evenly divide the points she has for class skills as they all look important. I've always been a sucker for the Ranks of the Fit cryptic alliance led by the mutated bear Napoleon, so as a mutated animal she's a shoe in for their 'reformed' branch. Picked some basic equipment  - knife, hatchet, and blowgun with some poison as weapons- and I think Doreen is good to go! 

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