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Gamma World Express 
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 2855
Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Gamma World Express
A while back, I picked up the Gamma World box because...well...it looked fun and I always thought it would be a good fit for the powers if the 4e rules. Spoiler: I was right!

So this past weekend was my annual foray to the Michigan clear gutters, put up deer fencing, and generally get the place ready for the coming winter. The trip included my older brother, his son of twenty, my son of nine, and myself. I brought along the Gamma World box set on the outside chance we'd get to play.

We got all the work done before the rains came - but it wiped me out. Of course, my nine-year-old son was still going strong. So I brokered a deal wherein I would help him create a character and then he would give me a chance to crash for a while.

We broke out the rule book and got my dice. CDawg read a bit of the book to get started (and I sneaked a quick break). Then we sat down at the table and he rolled his first origin - a Rat Swarm! He had read the part of the intro that talks about a feline swarm and thought he was on his way...only to roll....doppleganger for his second origin. I have to give him credit; he embraced it. We filled out the character sheet - adding powers, abilities, gear, etc. I think it sealed it for him when he rolled a pickup truck as gear.

After my break, we strong-armed my nephew to create a character - he rolled radioactive and seismic. They got a kick out of his armor and weapon which were basically riot gear, a riot shield, and a lamp post.

Here's where my lack of prep and my general unfamiliarity with 4e came to the fore. First, I go hit points wrong. I know, something that basic, but I shorted my son quite a few hit points. Then, we forgot about his resist 5 versus melee and range attacks (to represent the difficulty of hitting a swarm of rats). Lastly, I did not read the included adventure much. nor the running the game portions. In my defense, my hope to play in these situations rarely comes to fruition, so I didn't think I'd need to read it. But we soldiered on and had a good time, regardless. I will say that it did bring up a few things I would change about the Gamma World set - even if I think the 4e style and the Gamma World setting are a good fit.
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Our intrepid heroes, being new to the hamlet at the base of the Badlands, are recruited to investigate the source of a daily visit of a mechanical nature. More specifically, each day a robot trundles down the hills out of the badlands and bangs its figurative head against the walls of the village. Our adventurers did some asking around and learned some information about some badders (5' intelligent badgers) setting up shop int he neighboring hills.

The swarm and stone face (they never did name the characters) follow the tracks of the robots up into the hills, in their pickup truck, and stumble upon a tower guarded by some badders and some porkers (intelligent mutated pigs). The residents of the tower tell the two to get lost, but the heroes are having none of it - they attack....

...and get creamed. The porkers and the badders are riddling them with crossbow fire. Seismic lopes up the hill and closes the gap, getting his lamp post in play. The swarm duplicates itself (an at-will power from being a doppleganger) popping up next to another porker. But both have trouble and the duplicate gets whacked. Then the swarm gets hit. Again, this is where our forgotten Resist 5 would have been important as the swarm would not have come dangerously close to unconscious - not to mention he had about 12 less HP than he should have.

So the swarm retreats to his pickup truck and starts it up. The porkers close on Stone Face, but his resist keeps him in the fight (funny - his we remembered). Unfortunately, the badders hit the swarm sitting in his truck. The little rats fall unconscious against the horn and the gas - lucky for them the truck was in park. So now the little hollow rings with the sound of the horn and the engine revving.

Cdawg misses his first death saving throw - he's on the ropes now. Stone Face finally remembers his Stomp power and begins to use it to great effect. Cdawg then makes two saves in a row which I rule means he can use his second wind - partially because something bugged me about his HP even if I didn't realize the mistake I had made and partially because I knew he wanted to keep playing and we were just taking the game for a spin...

He comes awake, puts the truck in drive, and starts up the steep hill. He can get close, but can't make it through the last portion of the trail - or doesn't try. I show him the map and tell him he can't fit through without having to check to see if he can control of the vehicle as it goes up on two wheels.
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However, he realizes that he is close enough to stay in the truck and use his duplication power against the badder. I also rule that he doesn't just have superior cover, he's got -7 to their roles because he only needs to peak a tiny rat eye above the dash to see where to put his clone. He uses his power to great effect; Stone Face uses the Stomp.
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In short time, with a turn of the dice (I was rolling out of my mind for the bad guys), the two killed the pigs and badgers and fell to the ground panting.

More to follow after I eat some pizza...


ETA: Followups...

1) My daughter, upon hearing of all of this, created a character last night - an electrokinetic mind breaker.

2) My son, since returning home, has set his sights on the rat swarm felinoid (since he's so into cats). He dispensed with rolling for origins and is just making a character of those two origins.

3) He's been making drawings since we played - even made a piece of cover art for his Gamma World Binder

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Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:47 pm
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Post Re: Gamma World Express
One word comes to mind. Awesome. :D


Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:20 pm
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Location: Peeking from your closet
Post Re: Gamma World Express
Nice report!

I used to think the WFRP Rat Catcher was one of the coolest character occupations. But now you can play a Rat Swarm! That is way cooler. How did your son interpret the 'Rat Swarm' from personality perspective? How did he communicate in-character? Or did you not really get into that in this short game?

Next time how about giving the camera to someone else and getting some Jim Skach in the pictures? :D

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Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:15 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:16 pm
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Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Post Re: Gamma World Express
Thalaba wrote:
Nice report!

I used to think the WFRP Rat Catcher was one of the coolest character occupations. But now you can play a Rat Swarm! That is way cooler. How did your son interpret the 'Rat Swarm' from personality perspective? How did he communicate in-character? Or did you not really get into that in this short game?

We actually didn't get into it too much because it was kind of a test spin. I do remember kind of talking about it before hand - during character generation - as he tried to wrap his 9-year-old mind around a swarm of rats having a single personality. I also recall during the game two specific interpretations that had to do with it. One was when he would use his Double Trouble power from his doppelganger origin. When the duplicate went away, he and I riffed a bit and it ended up that each of the individual rats would kind of pop out of existence separately - with a "plink" and a blue flash. The other was when his character (mistakenly) went unconscious, we riffed a bit and then came up with the visual of a couple of them falling off the pile to land on the steering wheel, thus hitting the horn.

As I allude to briefly, while he did love playing the rat swarm he rolled up, he really is looking forward to playing the rat swarm with felinoid as the other origin. He hasn't decided if he's going to play it as a swarm of rats that takes the form of a panther, or a swarm of small cats. He's been begging to play again which is always a good sign...

Thalaba wrote:
Next time how about giving the camera to someone else and getting some Jim Skach in the pictures? :D

We just got the camera last year. I don't want to crack the lense yet.

_________________
The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

I'm reaching out for something, touching nothing's all I ever do.

If you're interested in GaryCon


Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:39 am
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