I was not a fan of D&D4e, however I love Gamma World. So when this came out end of 2010 early 2011 I eagerly tracked it all down and bought it up.
Overall I like this version of the game, Character creation being one of my favorite things and the use of the "Junk" system for trade and barter instead of using a monetary system. This version is to me very Miniature (or token) heavy, with Battle Maps and all things DnD4e.
Anyhow, I got stuck in and readied myself to run this latest version of Gamma World. I had missed Game Day that year by a month or two but decided to give Gamma World Game Day a go at my local Comic/Game shop on Sat. Feb. 26th 2011.
I would like to thank Kerry Jordan, who supplied me with some hard to get items for this event. I was prepped and ready to go! On the day I had a whopping turn out of ..... zero players. Ugh! I guess the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament kinda trumped my silly RPG. Of the 3 players who signed up none showed. I blame real life, who knows what may have befallen them, but anyway.
I did get a single player, a young kid from the Yu-gi-oh tournament that was going on as I was setting up.
He was interested in how you make up the characters and asked about the different dice.
If that's all you got to work with, you mold 'em! So we rolled up a character for him, he got Radioactive Android. He seemed excited by this as his response was "YEAH!" when I said he rolled Android.
He named himself MODEL X-J3, chose light armor and a shield. For weapons he went with a sword and a throwing axe. Besides his explorer kit I gave him the D4+1 rolls on the junk table as well. He got a tube of Super-crazy glue, a wool cap, 6 pack of Sludge cola, a Whiteboard, and a Canoe.
We started off in the Parking garage map. I told him his systems had just come back on-line after an undetermined amount of downtime. He could only see a 3 sq area around himself and was surrounded by the equipment and junk listed on his character sheet. He quickly asked if he could assemble some type of light giving device? Like what I said.... He proceeded to the nearest parked car and tore stuffing from the seats, stuffed it in a tin can and set it alight with his flint & Steel.
COOL! Clearly thinking outside the box is no problem for this kid! OK, I say but you hear skittering noises and see two dark shapes moving about in the flickering shadows! He rolls his makeshift torch out into the center of the garage and sees the two cockroachoids take cover behind other vehicles! He can now see the exit ramp as well. "I DO NOT want to fight those things alone, I'll head for the ramp out of here." After finding the ramp blocked by a closed and locked gate and the Klickies closing in behind him he activates his Omega-Tech, the Chameleon Shield and goes "Predator". He sees the klickies are scavengers and ends up trading his bedroll for a Kaliedescope and gets the Klickies to help him open the gate. I reminded him that unlike a Video game, you do not have to fight and kill everyone/thing you meet.
Emerging above ground to find himself in the ruins of a Shopping complex that is now surrounded by swamp he decides the canoe is pretty useful. A sudden beeping noise gets his attention as a lone electro-bot approaches and says "Unknown unit, identify!", X-J3 decides to fast draw his throwing axe and destroy this bot! A quick battle ensues with X-J3 suffering a slight elctro-jolt before he smashes the bot! Using his whiteboard as a paddle he heads off into the swamp in the direction he thinks the residential areas would have been.
After a few miles of swamp paddling he sees a flock of bright red birds in a tree...moving in for a closer look the flock takes flight and try to radiate him to no avail.... He decides fighting the birds would be a moot point and chooses instead to fell their tree with his axe!!! He finds a football in the nest... "For a post apocalypse game the treasure is sure weird." He says, "But I guess I'll keep it."
A few miles on he comes upon a village of swamp people having a bar-b-q. He approaches and asks if they can direct him to more civilization. "Where you been son, under a rock?" asks a swamp-billy. "You could say that." he responds..... He joins the swamp-billys for Bar-b-Q and gives the football to the swamp-children after showing them how to play! The swamp-billy elder gives him a grappling hook and tell him he's the kindest feller ever came out of the swamp. The swamp-billys point our Hero eastward and away he paddles....
eventually he leave the swamp and is travelling along a canal that opens into the intercoastal waterway (our game is taking place in Gamma Florida by the way) where he sees the reamins of ancient ships and boats. Ahead he sees a coastal village with signs of life and heads towards it. A guard in a watch tower from the village begins to wave at him frantically. Looking closer he sees the guard is pointing at him, Xj3 looks behind himself in time to see something approaching his canoe just below the surface!!!! A Fen leaps out of the water stabbing Xj3 with his sword spear and disappears below the surface! "I am waterproof aren't I?" Of course I say. Xj3 dives into the water and gives the Fen a taste of Radiation eyes!!!! The Fen scores a "20" to hit and brigs our Hero to below bloodied! His max HP was 38. Xj3 uses his second wind, avoids a hit, then gives the Fen a machine grip! Dispatching the Fen Xj3 climbs back aboard his canoe and paddle to the coastal village. He pays his mooring fee with a canteen, gets a cot for the night at the flop house for the wool cap. And trades his 6-pack to a boat captain for a 20lb dumbbell. The whole no money thing is not stopping this kid at all. The boat captain asks if he is interested in a job as it looks like he could be handy in fight and such. Sure says Xj3 what do you have in mind?
There's tale of a secret bunker full of O-tech on P-nut Isle, but that is in the middle of Fen spawning grounds. Dangerous, but possible if we are sneaky.....
Xj3 says, "I'm game lets do it!"
At this point his mom showed up and he had to go, but asked if this game might be a purchase in his future. She said they could talk about it.
If nothing else, I feel I opened his eyes up to world of gaming he didn't know existed and allowed him to use his CLEARLY already existing ability to think on his feet and do things in a "game" that were never possible in Video-games, or the CCG's he has played before.
After this I tried out the game on my friends, which I will talk about in upcoming posts. I hate that this version of the game is no longer for sale as it has soured my enthusiasm for trying to run it again in a public setting. It kind of sucks for the new player and the Game shop when they can't have the item to sell.