I began playing GAMMA WORLD in Winter 1980/81. The group which I joined used the first edition rules (of course), and was composed of High School classmates. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to shell out my own money for my own copy. This was the first RPG I ever owned.
The friend who introduced me to the game described Gamma World as "where nature ran riot". So I decided to make my first character a Mutated Diplodocus. This sounded properly wild-and-wacky to me. It had the Radiated Eyes mutation. I never decided if it was dinosaur-sized (20 meters long) or human-sized (2 meters tall). The GM let me treat it as if it could grow and shrink at will. Alas I do not remember a whole lot about its career. Our group began at a new city near the ruins of Memfiz and traveled north along the Mizippi River. We had a random encounter with a group of Terls. I invented the microwave oven by using my Eyes to fry one that was trying (with Cryokinesis) to freeze out our campsite. (The rest of the Terls ran - flew? - away.) We decided to build a raft and pole it upstream, that being safer than getting ambushed on the shore. After a little while of slow progress, it occurred to me that, being dinosaur-sized, my character could wade in the river and tow the raft along behind. As I put this suggestion to the group, the GM was looking through the list of Creatures and read the description of the Herkel (a piranha). You can guess what happened next. My character DID make it out of the river, but was in no condition to continue.
It was time for a new character. Eventually I rolled up the character who became Me. He is known for his Heightened Balance and Skeletal Enhancement. This particular combination of mutations allowed me to jump out a fifth-floor window, land on my feet, and walk (all right, limp) away. Which sort of thing I did, with great vim and vigor. He also has led groups of new player-characters into the Wilds to have a week's worth of Random Encounters. One time, the other players thought to cache the bodies of the beasts we had defeated. My character gained a livelihood: he now renders down animal bodies into their usable byproducts. For instance, Soul Besh (giant mosquitos) can be made into poison antidote.
I have purchased each new edition of GAMMA WORLD rules - now at 5 volumes - as they came out. I bought the interesting adventure modules as they came out. During 1999-2000 I discovered eBay and was able to get a copy of all the things I had skipped over at initial release. I can claim to have every adventure, rule book, and supplement that has been published for GAMMA WORLD.
For the last few years, I have been writing my own GAMMA-WORLD -as-a- background rules booklet. I also have an electronicized map, based on the volume 1 release map, which took me a year to clean up into readable form. Due to copyright laws (which are reasonable) and Wizards of the Coast's third-party-use policies (which are not), I cannot publish either of them for profit or public consumption. I'm mentioning these items here just to tweak WotC and torment you, the reader, with the thought of the good things you cannot have. :-)
As things stand, I use a kitbash of v2 and v4 Gamma World rules. I use background materials from the first four volumes plus homebrew material. During 2001 I will be integrating the good stuff from v5 (the Alternity campaign setting) into my home rulebook.
I hope to see "GAMMA WORLD volume 6" in the future, where the background will be restored to something like its original and the playing mechanics will be brought into alignment with the D+D 3e rule system. This can only happen if WotC thinks there will be player interest in it. Please ask, write, e-mail, and generally bug them to begin work on this project. Thank you.
PENTACON is the annual gaming convention for northeast Indiana. (It has a website, just run a search on the name.) I have been running a GAMMA WORLD campaign during the convention since 1992. Most of the adventures have been set near the Vegaz ruins. They are the basis for the material on Vegaz elsewhere on this site. I usually make up my own adventure plots but I have been known to adapt published modules. Most years I am gifted with a half-dozen players. You, the reader, are also welcomed to come in, sign up, and play. Bring your own character or I can provide some if needed. My report on the 2000 adventure can be found in volume 3 of The Apocalyptic Post, an e-zine for Gamma World. (Again, run a web search on the name.)
Today (Jan 2001) I am keeping busy contributing to the GAMMA WORLD section of the Tamerthyra website and doing prep work for 2001's PENTACON. I also am preparing material for Wayun (Ft Wayne IN) and vicinity, with an eye to placing an adventure here. This pleasant activity I must balance against the necessity of holding down a real job, so progress is spotty.
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