World Wide Game Day: Gamma World

Remember when I said there would still be the odd rant or gaming post on the blog? You guessed it, today is indeed that day. Specifically because of the fact that today was Wizards of the Coast’s World Wide Game Day. This weekend the 4e version of Gamma World was on the menu. It was wanton mutant silliness to an extreme.

Of course the day started with the dog needing to go out around 3 in the morning, followed by the shower and ignoring the shaving part. Really after getting up at 3am with the dog who wants to shave on a weekend? There was also the trip to get bagels for the game, Starbucks (so the GM was awake for the game) and pick up Scott (one of my local players in need of a ride). Normally I wouldn’t provide bagels, but the table I was running first was my Sunday group – most of them anyhow.

For those of you interested in the game, I will give you some of the specifics. We had the socially frowned upon side of the table and the pop culture side of the table.

The Friendless Side

  • Pyrokinetic/Seismic (The Lava Man – complete with a fire aura that hurts EVERYONE) played by Mike
  • Giant/Radioactive (8′ tall glow in the dark guy) played by Blaine
  • Doppleganger/Cockroach (self-multiplying roach) played by Nick

Seriously, are there 3 guys that are less popular out there? One guy you can’t stand next to without taking 5 points of fire damage every turn. They made him ride on top of the mini-tank that the giant pulled as his Omega Tech. The giant (with his 4 charisma) was totally the Lenny character. As for the cockroach, he was named Terminix after the truck that he found with his picture on it. And yes, he did actually roll a truck as part of his gear.

The Pop Culture Twins

  • Electromagnetic/Gravitational (Dr. Tesla, he was dressed in steampunk gear and was his own tesla coil) played by Van
  • Hawkoid/Android (Hoot… he decided he was the clockwork owl from Clash of the Titans) played by Scott

The combinations were pretty staggering. Totally random, but each of them seemed to work. They all fit pretty well. Dr. Tesla started off wearing a Tron costume for armor, but after the first encounter and the pog I was using for him, Dave decided that he was a bit more Steampunk.

The opening encounter helped to flesh them out a bit. Each player was getting a feel for their character’s abilities. Lenny did choose to throw a bowling ball at the first porker (pigman) he attacked as opposed to using his radiation eye beams though. Of course Blaine was the guy who played a full season of Encounters as a fighter without marking a single creature.

Overall, the game was a lot of fun. There was a whole lot of silliness that came up, especially when the party started finding “treasures” – items rolled up from the Ancient Junk table. The group seemed to love finding the kid’s inflatable pool and weed whacker in the middle of an abandoned office building more than anything else.

The encounters did become increasingly more brutal as the game moved on. In the parking garage the Radioactive Giant (Lenny) had mutated with flame wings. He was standing on the back end of a car while one of the roaches with the assault rifles sprayed bullets their way. Needless to say upon leaving the back of the car to fly his direction the fire did blow up the gas tank after the last spray of bullets damaged the tank enough. In other words, the final hit points damage to the car was his flame wings. Yeah, the effect was rather explosive.

The system itself is very streamlined and open to interpretation by the players and GM alike. Lenny’s “heavy ranged weapon” was a bowling ball. The cockroach used a light gun as his ranged weapon without any description as to what it was. You simply pick the type of weapon and the stats are the same no matter what you choose it to look like. Lenny’s two handed weapon was a lamp post as opposed to Hank the Lava Man who may have used an aluminum baseball bat. Same stats, different weapon.

This is definitely a lighter more party-style game. It goes up to 10th level and that is about it (unless this changes in expansions). Although without traditional healer types (clerics and such), the game is definitely more deadly. They tell you not to get to attached to your mutant and they mean it! Not to mention the randomness of the character generation is pretty awesome.

Our current goal is to complete the “Zombieland: Nexus” campaign on Halloween night. Nanowrimo starts the next day. To eliminate the need for me to prep anything during that month the idea is to play Gamma World through until December when we will start Tomb of Horrors. I think it will be fun as hell myself.

And for those looking for them (namely my players, but after Shannon Butcher posted game night quotes to Twitter I felt obligated to include these)…

Gamma World Quotes (mostly inappropriate humor)

  • That’s what he gets for spitting down my throat! (counter attack on the porker who just hit Dr. Tesla with his “Swine Flu” attack.)
  • The Ass Whacker! (Hank named the weed whacker when we commented on rigging it up to an extension cord plugged into Tesla’s butt.)
  • Lenny is impervious to boing. (The mutant rabbitman’s leaping attack.)
  • I totally like it when it’s hard like that! (Blaine/Lenny commenting on the fun of having an encounter where most of the party almost dies.)

There are more from the Sunday “Zombieland: Nexus” D&D game, but I will save those for their own post.

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