Yeah? That would be great. We're still playing "Masks of Nyarlathotep" and a good way through it, although not quite finished. But Ray would have no problem writing you in -- he recently did let Randy join as an NPC. I think Ray wants to take a break from GMing after we finish this campaign. And then maybe we can go to the idea we've discussed in the past: rotating GMs and try out new games or reuse old games. Gamma World is one of the old games I'd like to try again.
My interactions with Jim have been a quick 'hello' in person, and a few Greyhawk question. He's always been cordial with me and with others that I have personally witnessed. I've heard a few third party, 'This one time at a convention...' kind of stories that reflect badly. That interview has seemed to fire a lot of people up, but, while I don't agree with everything, I don't see anything that bad,
I've never met Jim Ward and the only Jim Ward story I know is the one that Mark tells: in the early 80's Mark went to a game convention, I think in New Jersey, and got in on a Gamma World session that Jim was running. At some point, the player characters were each able to choose an "artifact of the Ancients" out of a pile of power armor, weapons, and other old artifacts, for use in the adventure. Mark chose the highest ranking ID cards available. The other players chose armor or weapons, most or all of which had some sort of flaw... One player chose power armor -- but it didn't have a helmet. He did well with it until he went into the water and the water flowed into the suit and electrocuted him. In the end, the characters all died or ran away when Knights of Genetic Purity with high powered weapons showed up and started kicking everyone's ass. Mark seemed to imply that a major theme of the adventure was Jim testing the intelligence of the players, and Mark felt like he passed the 'intelligence test' -- when he chose the high rank ID card, he said that Jim nodded as if in appreciation of that choice, over some of the powered armor and artifacts that each was described as having some minor flaw. Unfortunately, the other players weren't as perceptive, and most made poor choices, which resulted in the party failing miserably... it wasn't a scenario that they were going to be able to simply push through with brute force. But that is what most of them tried to do.
Gary loved him as a GM. Most of the trash talk I've read seems to come from people looking to hate on him. I recently saw an obvious mental lapse turn into a 4 page bash fest. Maybe he's been a dick in the past, but I've never seen it. I've heard people bash Gary, Ernie, etc. too, and they've been nothing but cool to me.
Heh, for that THUNDARR documentary link those Ruby/Spears guys emphasize and/or insinuate that the comic artists were work-for-hire after it was developed. Thats a shame because Jack Kirby once again is getting swept under the carpet. His material added so much that they remind me of his stay at DC Comics in the 1979's with KAMANDI (1972-1976), OMAC (1974-1975), and various other early 1970's Kirby titles (DEMON, NEW GODS, ATLAS, etc.).
The dialogue sounds like Kirby as well so I don't know if they're just holding out that they did something profound. What a shame. At least Marvel caved-in and gave him due credit for creating Silver Age Marvel.
Well, at least they mentioned Kirby. They didn't even mention Steve Gerber, that I noticed, and he was co-creator of the show. As far as I know, the initial design work was done by Alex Toth (i.e., the look of the main characters), but then Kirby was brought in later to continue design work (created the look of a lot of the villains and monsters). My favorite part of the show was the weirdness of these science fantasy wizards and all of their strange contraptions. I remember one episode that was about wizards having a race, and each of their race teams had some kind of odd, high tech vehicle... one was like a giant wheel!
Yeah, Kirby always got the shaft because his art had dynamics with liner notes and the "writer" adds a few interconnective parts and forgets Kirby built the foundation, the action and the conclusion. That was the problem with Kirby he wasn't greedy for credit ever. Toth is definitely present but he is ever present in so many other things (SPACE GHOST, HERCULOIDS, etc.) that its easy to see the Kirby-isms here. For example the episode where Thundarr rips off the mast that is just is something that you would see in a Kirby comic. There are other artists present all over it but Kirby is the action guy and you can tell. I read something with Jack Kirby commenting on the show and he was in full blown Kirby-madness mode so its definitely Kirby.
Here it is on this blog with cutouts from from FANGORIA #9 (NOV 1980):
Yeah, you're probably right about Kirby -- after taking another look at the Thundarr show, he probably contributed more than he truly got credit for.
DC sure got a lot of mileage out of his creations. The other writers of the DC universe certainly seem to appreciate his work. They've incorporated the New Gods and Demon Etrigan into the DC Universe, front and center. With the recent relaunch of the Justice League comic book (in The New 52), they made Darkseid the primary villain. Kirby characters appear throughout the various animated shows as well, like "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited." I remember reading some "New Gods" comics when I was a kid. I think it was just supposed to be a mini-series, but had such a huge impact on the DC Universe!
The US map in the third pic is a photocopy of the original GAMMA WORLD map. I think it was later because most of the photocopies from back then were horrible. (I threw out droves of shitty photocopies which I now regret.)
I believe the area wouldn't be too hard to write about as its essentially the Lake Geneva area. I recall Gary saying he came up with the Melf spells from DRAGON #67 (NOV 1982) so it can't be too intense of Luke Gygax contribution.
Post by geneweigel on Dec 19, 2016 13:34:52 GMT -5
I was thinking about my old 1980's GW campaign the other day and it just hit me: Why does my D&D keep coming back to the table and my GW just doesn't have interest for me?
Its as if D&D I could distance myself from the fantasy characters but in Gamma World, the better the players played the more it is awkward to reapproach.
Sure there was some titillation with D&D sessions but Gamma sessions went even farther by taking "our world" and turning it into a distortion then everyone playing bombing the hell out of everything in sight with no regard for anything. You just don't have a center in Gamma World. Its pure land of wilderness artifact detonation and "time to make a new character".
Maybe that's because Gamma World is supposed to be insane. It doesn't have a center because it is the antithesis of stable foundation. And, it just doesn't have the depth of mythology and sources of inspiration that D&D has. D&D can draw from almost anywhere in history or legend. Gamma World draws upon Post Apocalyptic fiction which is only a relatively recent subgenre of science fiction. I do occasionally get Gamma World inspiration, like when I saw MAD MAX: FURY ROAD or the recent PLANET OF THE APES reboots -- those movie franchises might be the closest to being "mythologies" for Gamma World. But in a Gamma World campaign, what can the end goal ever be? It's about the end or at least the de-evolution of mankind.
Cryptic Alliances might be the best feature of Gamma World to build upon, to be more than mutant animals with crazy powers self-detonating after pressing the wrong buttons on artifacts.
I remember crumbling up all "dungeon" maps that I did for GW because they were always destroyed the same session they were introduced. Forget about skyscrapers it was like 9-11 every time that I featured a skyscraper. I eventually made no continuity at all because every character was dead and every area was destroyed. The last game I had was a trip to the moon that never happened. They blew up the rocket. I had come up with lunar mutants and featured a "Robocop" friendly NPC that they killed.