Saturday, March 2, 2013

My friend Mark

 One of my oldest friends Mark, GM'ed Gamma world in a way I had never encountered before. The first time I played Gamma World with him (1987) he put a single sheet of graph paper on the table in front of me. It was basically a 2d geomorph of about 4 city blocks.
Imagine a top down view of this:
 Now I had of course seen Dungeon Geomorphs before, but a ruined city! This was new to me. Mark looks at me and points to the lower left hand corner of the map and says "You wake up here, what do you do?" I look down at the map and see what I take to be a Drive-in Theater. A handful of ruined cars and the Snak-shack where my character has awakened. Well before the days of the games like Fallout 3, I find my mutated human Player character with an entire 81/2 by 11 world of unknown to explore. I just want to say that you don't always need a campaign "WORLD". Mark showed me in that instant that even a campaign neighborhood could be just as awe inspiring. It was really the first level of a dungeon when I reflect upon it now. Soon I was to discover the "lower" level or sewers that lay beneath, as well as basements and sub-basements of various structures. Let's not forget the upper stories of many of the buildings as well.

 My character never left that map and still resides there to this day. In my time exploring that single sheet of graph paper I've met a biker gang that held out in a Gas station/garage, flesh eating "crazies" from the sewers at war with gator-men holding out in the water plant. Robot controlled electrical power substation, that I stayed away from. These guys who captured me, dosed me with radiation and threw me back out on the streets with nothing.
 I had later encounters with a smaller party of them and wiped them out! I still think they watch me somehow.

 This is probably my fondest memory of Gamma World as a player. I was always excited when Mark would say he felt a Gamma World game coming on. I have more stories of Mark and his single page Gamma World maps to tell so watch out!

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