Last Friday, I had my first taste of Gamma World when a group mate of mine, Bryan, who bought the boxed set, decided to let us have a go at it. So me, and four others of various levels of experience with 4E would be playing as characters while the group mate who bought the game took the honours of being the ever dutiful GM (I guess you call them the Gamma-Master?).
When I arrived, the group were already in the early process of character generation but I managed to pick it up quickly due to the similarities it had with 4E. It was interesting to see that some of the other players who had only relied on the Character Builder when they started playing 4E, was having a hard time understanding the process.
I rolled an Empath Felinoid (which I named Mind Catrol) on the origins and had below average stats except for Wisdom and my origins ability scores. It was pretty nostalgic to roll random stats with 3d6 again. The whole process took us about an hour and a half, as we went through the 'eehh' and 'ahh' moments when trying to figure out how the process works.
Our gaming group for the session. That's me at the far right, in white. Bryan, our GM for the night, is the one in orange on the left.
After that an Empath Felinoid, a Seismic Giant, a Speedster Yeti, an Electrokinetic Telekinetic and an Android Cockroach were on their way to investigate the source of some robots rumbling down a hill to fire missiles at our homes before self-destructing for good measure.
It was here that me and everyone on the table knew that this game was not to be taken seriously even by chance. So we just had our fill of making quirky quotes, roleplaying our characters in the funniest way we think it would be appropriate and just went along with the weird whacky fun.
Combat encounters started easily enough outside the tower where the robots were coming from but once we got in, it showed that we weren't the toughest party except for the Giant who was taking most of the hits unscathed thanks to her Resist 5 to physical damage.
It was probably the first time that I saw the players didn't plan their strategies and tactics in-combat than while playing 4E, so we were just going with the flow of what we wanted to do and combat moved pretty fast. The game was so random, especially with the Alpha Mutations and Omega Tech cards, that we just wanted to try out what we had instead of planning to best ways to attack the enemies.
Unfortunately for our Speedster Yeti, he suffered a terrible irony where the only thing he was fastest at was dying (he also rolled the lowest initiative for all combat). But he was able to quickly generate a new character while we were still in combat and wade in a few rounds after that.
Our Speedster Yeti died the fastest in the group. At least he has fast at *something*
The session ended after the group managed to destroy a machine at an underground level underneath the tower and killed a group of crossbow wielding badgers with a couple of them having psychic fear inducing abilities which managed to knock most of us bloodied with one hit. My character, the Seismic Giant and the Speedster Yeti were dead after that encounter but we had our fill of crazy whacky fun during the game.
Overall, I like the randomness of the game as it feels like a different pace of the 4E rules. The random Alpha Mutations and Omega Tech at every encounter is the cause for all kinds of laughter we had that night and it just pushed us to go for that whacky idea in combat. In my mind, those cards alone were good motivations to roleplay in combat than I could ever achieve with D&D 4E.
This one just opened a whole can of laughs when one of us drew this.
However, I don't know if I can see myself running this in the long term, or if it was meant to be used for a long term campaign. It's a good break after all the sometimes stressful math crunching and combat tactics of the 4E system and it's definitely seems to be meant as a more humorous and lighter tone of 4E.
I will admit that I'm still pretty unclear about some of the rules after the session, other than the ones from 4E but with my character dead, I'm not sure if I really want a second dose of this. Still, it was a fun game nonetheless and some of the other players are eager to continue on with the adventure. I would recommend this if you want to have a some crazy whacky fun game night.