Friday, February 11, 2005

Gamma World

There are some things that the folks at White Wolf understand about d20 products, and there are some things they don't. The Trinity Universe d20 products were horrible (as can be seen by my trio of reviews on, about Adventure! d20, Aberrant d20, and Trinity d20), Ravenloft was neat, and Gamma World...

...Gamma World was beautiful, mainly because it is a game that has never aimed at being serious. Well, it CAN be serious, true. You can run post-apoc sci-fi D&D dungeon crawls with it, if you want. Or A Boy and His Dog scenarios with it. Its just such an incredibly rich setting, especially with veteran Trinity Universe writer Bruce Baugh at the helm.

But what I really love about it is that it has a 207 page long monster manual that's actually FUN to read. A book where every creature gets a picture, a visual description, and about twice as much info on its biology and actions as it gets on its combat abilities. The book is essentially "The Book of Things That Want To Eat You". Becuase believe me, in Gamma World...EVERYTHING wants to eat you. It is entirely possible that you will be walking along one day and be attacked by a carnivorous piece of granite (which may try to bite you, or it may spew out radioactive nanites that disintigrate you...whatever floats the GM's boat). The book's animal life generally comes into three categories: stuff that wants to eat you, stuff that wants to rule the world, and stuff that wants to be cute, cuddly, and edible. There are plenty of critters that will kill you in one way or another to eat you. There are others that want to kill you so they can use your weapons to take over the town (this includes the 5 foot tall penguins who are pissed off because humans laugh at them...which would be relativly harmless if the penguins didn't have the attitudes of convicted spree killers and stockpiles of fully functional energy weapons). And there are the things who have combat profiles like: "The Watch-cat's main combat strategy is to jump into its opponent's arms and hug him".

The corebook also read pretty well. It was really meaty on the rules, it had to be, but it was powered by d20 Modern rather than Dungeons & Dragons, so it was passable. I'm seriously thinking of picking up more books from this series.


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