Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gamma World Review Pt. 2 - Running Gamma World

I must say that I haven't had a chance to run a game of Gamma World yet.  Living in Japan has its perks, but getting a gaming group together is a lot harder.  I tried to set up a session while I was in Canada, with my family on vacation, but we never got past character creation (distractions and what not due to trying to play on New Years Eve).  However, running this edition of GW should not be much harder than running a game of 4e.  The rules are very, very similar, which makes learning this system a whole lot easier.

The book that is included in the first box contains a modest chapter on how to run the game, covering content such as world exploration and adventure building.  The book also dedicates about 30 pages (about 20% of the book) to monsters which range from levels 1-10 (following the same limitation put on characters in GW).  Finally, the book dedicates another 30ish pages to an adventure called Steading of the Iron King; this adventure covers 8 encounters and is designed for level 1 players. 

I gave the adventure a read and the encounters seem to be fairly well balanced, but there aren't a whole lot of adventure hooks to go along with the adventure, so you might have to figure out how you want to implement this yourself.

I have heard a lot of talk about this edition of GW being used only for one-off games; this may very well be true.  I could probably see myself running a campaign of GW, but it definitely would not be as long lasting as a D&D game.  However, I think you could run small campaigns pretty easily.  I don't necessarily think that GW would get stale after only 2 sessions, but I don't think you are going to be doing a session a week in GW either.  Just by looking at the level cap for the game, the number of creatures in the box, and the depth of each origins powers, it is pretty obvious that things are going to get old pretty quickly.  I would recommend that if you are going to attempt to run a game of GW using this edition of the rules that you make leveling up fast and furious and you do not hesitate to try and kill your players.  In fact, character death and bringing new characters into the game might be the very thing that keeps this game new and fresh.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that character death should be an incentive to play the game, but I would say that you might want to give a players a way to change one, or both, of their character origins, or even play using three of them instead of 2.

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