dark_towhead (dark_towhead) wrote,
dark_towhead
dark_towhead

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On a Future Full of Mutants

I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic gaming. Not necessarily the realie-dealie school of simulation, but the whacko school of Beneath the Planet of the Apes meets Road Warrior (or Road Hogs, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness/After the Bomb supplement from many moons ago) meets Ellison's A Boy and His Dog.

Of course I'm talkin' about Gamma World (Shut yo mouth!).

Gamma World. The role playing game of post-apocalyptic zaniness . . . Where players can take on the roles of mutants animals, mutant humans, mutant plants, androids, or boring old normal humans and adventure in dangerous lands of badders (pissed off mutant badgers), dabbers (pissed off mutant racoons), hoops (pissed off mutant rabbits) and more (pissed off) monsters! Where the question, "I wonder what this does?" can kill your character in no time flat. Gamma World. *sigh*

Surely GW is the most maligned game in RPG-land. Gamma World is the Wile E. Coyote of Role Playing Games. It's the little game that sure as hell cannot seem to succeed, but it keeps on trying anyway.

Gamma World was initially released as part of the TSR years of Original Dungeons and Dragons, and it didn't do so good. Died off relatively quickly. It returned some four or five times over the years, coopting every system under the sun (from a DnD knockoff, to a color chart thing, to the DnD 2nd Edition rules set, to the Alternity game engine) before TSR was swallowed by Wizards of the Coast. Then, the property was farmed out to White Wolf (which did a fun job, in an anime style spin on the setting, less zany than cheerily nasty) for adaptation to the d20 Modern rules set. Each time it's appeared, GW has died after six or so releases. However, like the rose, it's a perennial. Seasons pass and it returns.

I hear there's a new edition coming out from Wizards of the Coast. Something involving collectible cards. Sounds just as doomed, but I'll give it a try!

And then there's Mutant Future (from Goblinoid Games). It's a step back. Waaaay back. It's a recreation of the original GW rules set, and it's available for free. It's done through the open license thing, so it's legit. And it looks hella fun. Wish I had time to play it.

Instead, it's spontaneous poetry time!

Gamma World!
My heart yearns
for dual-brained crab monsters
and soaring Death Machines
and cities swarming
with psycho-psychic turnips
for death dealing relics
black energy beam cannons
medical kits
that "do no help"
Gamma World
Oh, Gamma World
When Will You Die?


The answer to that is Never, of course. Perhaps Gamma World is more like Oregano than a Rose. Whenver the lawnmower of inability-to-succeed-in-the-marketplace runs over the latest patch, Gamma World is never truly lost. It just appears somewhere else in the yard. Or maybe in the neighbors yard.

While leaving a pleasant smell . . .
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