Post by geneweigel on Dec 21, 2016 15:36:06 GMT -5
The 4E one was not as bad but the new art was low end stuff (seen in later B&W Monstrous Compendiums and other supps) and the color pages were from the AMAZING STORIES calendar.
I keep mixing up "GAMMA KNIGHTS" with "GAMMARAUDERS". Both were shitty boardgames with vague associations with GAMMA WORLD but "Knights" had the official logo. Even in GAMMARAUDERS the cyborg creatures could have easily featured the wolverine borg animal from the painting but didn't. The GAMMA KNIGHTS was less Gamma Worldy in feel even though it had direct content (power armor battles) but the other game had Cryptic Aliances that were totally nerd dreck (Jeff Grubb maker of D&D crap). There was even a DC comic that I did not buy and I was buying everything at that time.
GAMMARAUDERS seems like a missed opportunity then, since it doesn't directly tie into and support GAMMA WORLD. So strange that its new Cryptic Alliances had no reference to the ones in GW. I can't help but notice that, although a boardgame, this came out the same year (1987) as CYBORG COMMANDO by New Infinities Productions, Inc. I guess 'cyborgs were in the air' in 1987...?
I've never read GAMMA KNIGHTS but the idea of a supplement that expands upon power armor is intriguing. Evidently there was even a Choose Your Own Adventure book to support this called "American Knights"?!? And another Choose Your Own Adventure book supporting the GW setting called "The 24 Hour War"! And what do you know, they both use recycled art.
Post by geneweigel on Dec 22, 2016 17:17:45 GMT -5
I just did an inventory of all the GW stuff that I have. I have two sets of GW 2E (one is Taylor's no box), 1 4E book, Mutant Mastermind a 4E module, OVERLORD OF BONPAR a 4E module, FAMINE AT FAR-GO a 1E module, LEGION OF GOLD a 1E module, 2E game masters screen, 4E supplement TREASURES OF THE ANCIENTS a few characters then two sheets of scribbled monster stats the Moon Men and "Robocop" with a few sketches. I could have sworn that I had a "new" GM log of stuff. "Exterminators" were written out in there from the Dragon article I recall.
All NPCs, maps, notes, 99% of made material (stats, etc). I think this is the "monster" that stops me from reapproaching. I'd have to accurately remake all that.
Also missing was a layout for a flying ship that I did for a trip around the world.
When I burned out on GW I fell right into RIFTS. That DM in Albany kept compulsively talking and talking about it so I was like, "YEAH, YEAH, YEAH! BIG EYES! BIG EYES!" so I was buying this shit just to clam him up, "YEAH, BEEN THERE DONE THAT!" Still didn't stop him from talking about thats when I realized he had problems. Anyway, dumped his game almost immediately (5 or 6 sessions, hey, I gave him a chance.) then I'm browsing through this RIFTS thing and its like what the hell are they talking about? Next thing you know I've got a 4 foot stack of PALLADIUM books. Thank god, Kevin Long left Kevin Sienbieda. This guy is making all this cool shit and Siembieda doesn't know what to do but cut and paste over and over do a lot of talking. Megadamage. Megamoron more like it!
As a follow up on my New Years drunken mead discussion of GAMMA WORLD with my friend Taylor (who took turns GMing with myself and others) we have established that the only contact with cryptic alliances were as enemies through the modules GW1 LEGION OF GOLD (he GMed) and GW2 FAMINE IN FAR-GO (another friend GMed) otherwise I was on my own with my own post-apocalypse takes that stood in for cryptic alliances. He might have started on the 1st edition but as a GM he was familiar with the 2nd edition and we agreed that the "status" system of the 1983 edition (2nd ed.) destroyed the flow of the interest in the game.
Honestly? Its one thing to have nostalgia for these games as it relates to the Gary Gygax era but once it translates then its "porn".
For instance, we did have "zombies" in our Gamma World games but this was because we were using it for our own ends.
If I was going to play a post-apocalypse game session today. I don't think GW would make the cut. MA influenced shit like "Chaosium products", "Arduin", "Villains & Vigilantes" and others with its rolled character charts but looking back I think it was a bad influence. MA eventually evolved "out of the spaceship box" into a "(Gamma) World" because it couldn't grow under that complex random characters with no place to go outlook. You could always forget a spell but random fixed character aspect combinations is something no GM could have ever playtested for.
A game for sci-fi play would have to be exactly like D&D with the power of "mutancy" being reexamined.
Last Edit: Jan 2, 2017 12:40:03 GMT -5 by geneweigel
I have nostalgia for GW because when I first got into D&D I was actually more of a science fiction fan and a comic book fan (big into the Byrne/Claremont run on the X-Men) than a fantasy fan (I was just getting started), and GW was the "science fiction version of D&D" (in my mind) and had mutants with "super powers." Also, the early 80's was still in that era of the Cold War when mutually assured destruction was on everyone's minds... Remember the WORLD WAR III miniseries (1982) and THE DAY AFTER (1983)? I guess that's why the images of mutants with super-powers (including some emitting that psi-energy the way John Byrne drew it) and guys with power armor and blaster rifles, exploring the rubble, keeps drawing me back.
The TAARNA sequence in HEAVY METAL (1981) always struck me as being in a Post-Apocalyptic GAMMA WORLD-like setting, as well. And that sequence was influenced by the "Arzach" comic strips by Moebius, but I don't think I've ever read any of them. I like that image of riding a pteradactyl-like creature across this landscape of metal pipes and industrial ruins and stuff you're not even sure what it is.
Post by geneweigel on Jan 30, 2017 17:24:08 GMT -5
How accurate are the Pitz Burke and Allegheny maps anyway? I was looking through the box the other night trying to remember my campaign flipping through the box and was stirred up a memory of thinking back in 1985: Why did they choose Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania if TSR was in Wisconsin? Its obvious now that it was probably the campaign of David James Ritchie but I do recall thinking that at the time.
They're accurate. On the Allegheny Area Map I live 1 1/2 hexes NW of 'Zilver.' Scott lives about 3 hexes SW of the P in Pitz Burke. That square north of downtown is Allegheny Center, where I spent a huge amount of time in the 80's, and this map always inspired me to imagine it overrun with mutant bikers, mutated animal-monsters, radioactive vines, etc. Even with power armor, I was lucky to get away...
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2017 18:52:00 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Post by geneweigel on Jan 30, 2017 22:18:52 GMT -5
I recall looking up the Romero locations a while back.
I just checked it looks like "Evanz" is the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) cemetery and somewhere between "Kinzburke" and "Pitcar" is the DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) mall.
In my Gamma New York, I had a crater in the "Estriv Valley" (East River) of course most buildings were still there with the excuse that they were fortified futuristic materials. I definitely had the OMEGA MAN (1971) feel down pat. I think that is probably why I didn't want to ever see the Will Smith version. Anyway a lot of what I did was a fusion of watching a lot of horror and monster movies so it was kind of different in that I had the notion that nows my chance to do this. Lots of original stuff but most of it was tied to HEAVY METAL style with an emphasis on making it have a rated R feel so a lot of it didn't survive the 80's. All material with drawings were either stolen or I deliberately hid them and lost track because it was a lot of nudity. I do have some character sketches and one battle that was drawn quickly but thats about it.
Post by geneweigel on Feb 15, 2017 11:10:24 GMT -5
Alright, I've been comparing "levels" in METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA (1976) to GAMMA WORLD original (1978) to GAMMA WORLD second edition (1983). The third edition is way too busy as Ward was trying to undo everything with added on "skills" (spend xp on) and "talents" (goes up when "rank" goes up).
MA: No experience whatsoever
GW: Experience with random accruing of bonuses
GW2: Experience as "Status" to raise "Ranks" with distinct bonuses in Charisma boost, item purchase availability, borrow equipment by price (100xrank), research -2 to die roll for each rank, and at 3rd join Cryptic Aliances which have different effects on status.
Combat the biggest thing is DEXTERITY:
MA: DEX like D&D/AD&D GW & GW2: DEX (DX) +1 to hit every point over 15 Combat in:
MA: Weapon based even monsters have to find a weapon to match the attack versus armor. mental combat
GW: weapon based combat chart expanded and redone; new HD based separate chart for monster attacks; mental combat similar but over flowing weak and harder in parts. Fatigue for extended combats affect "to hit" (melee turn "11").
GW2: Same except HD attack chart for physical attacks has been spread out by attacker's HD per level it looks air tight between the two. Loses the Fatigue factor for extended combats.
I don't think I've ever mentioned it online before, but Randy Johns, the creator of several GAMMA WORLD monsters published in the "Mutant Manual" in DRAGON Magazine #98, is a semi-regular in our gaming group. He created the Blade Whales, Hogarts, Mountain Men, and Sifoners. I went to high school with him, and he was a year ahead of me. He is highly intelligent, and a very nice guy.
One of these days, I'd like to kill his character with one of his own monsters.
Last Edit: Apr 15, 2018 17:54:53 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Why did they choose Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania if TSR was in Wisconsin? Its obvious now that it was probably the campaign of David James Ritchie but I do recall thinking that at the time.
I just looked it up: David James Ritchie grew up in Canton, Ohio but went to Grove City College in Western PA, which is where he met his wife. That GAMMA WORLD area map looks like it could encompass many road trips from Grove City to Pittsburgh. Sad to say it looks like he died young, at age 58, in 2009.
The kids in Connecticut had local areas as their campaign base which were forest forts over overgrown wilderness and I didn't even know the "nuked name" references. Thats when I was GMing it was easy NYC landmarks and oversexualized future material. Sort of Times Square as I knew it vomited over the landscape.
Yeah, I'm sure the rated R, oversexualized, future style of HEAVY METAL is a factor in GAMMA WORLD as well... at least it should be! I think that was the zeitgeist in the late 70's: the "swords & blasters" genre in a post-apocalyptic setting, like the "Taarna" sequence or the aliens doing drugs in the HEAVY METAL movie. Looking back on that time, it's difficult to believe KAMANDI wasn't an influence on GAMMA WORLD, also, since it has all of that animal-headed wackiness. And that in turn leads back to PLANET OF THE APES. Another Kirby comic book I liked was 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, based on the movie but also very wacky and set in the distant past and future as well, introducing the Machine Man character.
Looking at that area map of Butler County, most of the villages, monasteries and other sites are clustered around Grover (Grove City) in the northern part of the map... So that could very well have been where Ritchie's GAMMA WORLD campaign or playtesting was set. The only city on the map is New Arndale (Cranberry) in the center... Perhaps the players started out in the north with occasional trips south to the city and into the ruins of Pitz Burke (Pittsburgh) on adventures. Zilver (Silverville) is about a hex southeast of where I live (Sarver). Buflo (Buffalo) Creek is in the region where I've put in many miles biking, part of it along the Butler-Freeport Trail. Widnoo would be almost exactly where I lived for the first ten years of my life, although I can't figure out what Widnoo is supposed to stand for in real life? The trail it is on is Route 8. It looks like it is where Cooperstown in Middlesex Township is.
Those "nuked names" wear thin fast.
Last Edit: Apr 17, 2018 11:59:02 GMT -5 by GRWelsh