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Radioactive Wonderland

Jared, Helma, Tazio, and I began making our characters after we "volunteered" Ross to be GM by stepping back simultaneously more quickly than he did. Then we met to finish them, e.g., mutating them by drawing cards, and to clarify any questions.

We are playing Gamma World, specifically the 7th edition of the game which uses a slightly simpler version of the D&D 4th edition concepts and rules. It provides another useful data point regarding randomized elements of game preparation, as we've discussed across several titles so far. In this case (meaning this game), it's a matter of rolling two origins for your character, from a single list. Also, in this case (meaning us) we are using the Famine in Far-Go supplement as well, offering the chance to get both origins from the core book, both from the supplement, or one from each.

The characters include ...

  • Geiger, a radioactive engineered human with glowing green hair who has apparently just clambered out of her people pod (Tazio)
  • Diskette, basically a cute humanoid displacer beast, I kid you not, via doppelganger + felinoid (Jared)
  • Layka, doppelganger (as well) + telekinetic, a creepy psychic person with cockroach feelers and way too good at technology (Helma)
  • Ockmah, seismic + exploding in a bravura optimized combo, a dull red statue/rock person with an extra arm

So, the fairly cartoony and combat-blasty content for this game has a lot of charm. The real question is whether it offers more than just set-'em-up fights to admire the blasts. I think it does, although requiring a little bit more input and a little bit less inspiration along those lines than I might like ... but that may be just first impressions. Gamma World has traditionally offered just enough room for biting satire,as opposed to merely gaudy hijinks, and even a little somber brooding upon the past (meaning actually us). I think this thing might have it in there.

The embedded video is our preparation session, and it includes Tazio sketching and coloring too, for a first look at Geiger.

Department: 
Actual Play

Comments

Ron Edwards's picture

It's mainly about getting our system feet under us via an ambush-y combat attack, including a lot of "finding this detail" in this or that rule. It was just enough to see my initial thoughts of giving my naked rockman character a farmboy type personality get expressed. He came a lot closer to being obliterated than was comfortable, but that's a good discomfort because it let me know I liked him. I may play a bit less imperturbably presumably-impervious now that I know how non-impervious he is.

Here's the direct link to the session inside the playlist.

Ross's picture

I'm not coming to this with a vast gamma world hinterland and so am struggling a little with hitting the "right" tone in terms of the content I'm bringing as prep.

Gamma World has traditionally offered just enough room for biting satire,as opposed to merely gaudy hijinks, and even a little somber brooding upon the past (meaning actually us). I think this thing might have it in there.

I'm also not sure that satire is my natural medium, and maybe this is additionally complicated by attemps to be satirical across borders - I'm not sure what satiric targets would be meaningful to all the people playing. I'd definitely be interested in anybodies thoughts about how best, as a group, to bring these flavours into play, rather than just inflicting my sense of humour on people. 

Helma's picture

Upon reading up on the game before I decided to sign up it was the "cartoony and combat-blasty content" together with the possibility to finally play a d20 system that made me hop on the wagon without second thoughts.
I’m open for anything anybody will throw at me and do my best to hang on and learn as quick as possible. So far it has gone reasonably well, with a little help from my friends.
When it comes to building up "biting satire", because it would look nice on this game – I see a couple of problems there, both our different cultural backgrounds, including what would be called satire in any of the places we come from and the fact that English isn’t the first language for some of us. I do not mean that we cannot express ourselves but that some details may get lost that are crucial. An example may explain what I mean. In the last session a group of supremacists thinking humans are the pinnacle of creation and mutants suck showed up to wreak havoc on a place we happened to be in. When Layka asked Ockmah if he thought they should “join the party” that had a deliberate double meaning on my part. The problem is that I suspect everybody assumed it was by accident and that was just a little witticism, far from being satire which I think is much more difficult to achieve.
The little I’ve seen so far we will hit a satisfying level when we don’t force it and I look forward to a couple more sessions with this game and group.

Ron Edwards's picture

I think I put a little too much preferential pressure into the mix with my thoughts on satire. You're right that it's the kind of thing which is best treated as inspiration in the moment, without planning or deliberate messaging.

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