Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gamma World 4e

When I first heard about the upcoming Gamma World 4e release (that is D&D 4e, not to be confused with the 4th edition of Gamma World which was published by TSR in 1992), I was excited but also had a lot of trepidations. With D&D 4e's strong emphasis on planned character builds and the use of the Character Builder tool to help sort through all the options, I was pretty sure that the random char gen that is so integral to Gamma World would be dropped.  Looks like I was wrong!  Here is a link to a series of tweets from D&D Experience 2010 (Wizard's in-house D&D convention) about the new version of Gamma World, aggregated in one spot at

Color me excited!  Not so much about the collectible mutation cards that are only fifty cents apiece in random booster packs, but about random character generation and mutations and high-tech that could be easily used in regular 4e games.  So far it looks like Gamma World 4e will use a stripped down, rules-lite version of the 4e ruleset at its core, with random mutations and char gens bolted on.  One interesting thing is that each day a player draws from the mutation deck to get a random mutation for that day!  I will definitely be picking this up, especially considering it will be a boxed set!  I love me some boxed sets, I am so glad that Wizards is returning to this model!

Oh yeah - and a re-release/re-vamp of the classic Gamma World module Famine in Far-Go!  Bring on the mutated chickens!


  1. Holy hyper addictive Gamer Crack Batman D&D gamma world CCG! WTF! I will be buying this I might even get started now on a campaign.

  2. I love post-apocalypse games but I've never liked Gamma world.

    A world after a nuclear war should be dark and dangerous place. Where as Gamma World seems like a post-apocalypse movie starting the Muppets.

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  4. Ugh.

    Mutations that change on a daily basis? I hope that's merely a (marginalized) option. Part of the joy of Gamma World and similar games is that there can be one guy out there who can do a certain thing that makes no sense. I'm happy to accept singing, pyrokinetic lichen... but rotating mutations sound dumb.

  5. My first thought was right in line with you comment Stuart, but then I realized that if done correctly it could be really awesome, for example the mutations that you draw each day could be significantly weaker than the ones granted naturally to player characters, or they could be single use versions of existing mutations or weakened versions of existing mutatios so that there is always a distinct advantage to having any mutation naturally. For example I draw the teleport mutation card, now my character can teleport once that day to be used at my discretion. That would be a really cool save your ass type card but it wouldn't diminish the usefulness of another character who can teleport whenever he wants to somewhere AND back. Seems like if done right it could be a fun addition to gameplay and ad variety.

  6. @ tregenza
    I agree to an extent, But fact is I've never mad a campaign that I didn't want to just basically lift the ruleset from and make my own Universe and Inhabitants and take what look like mundane muppety characters and give them a back story that makes them seem like something Lovecraft Rather than Henson might have dreamed up :)

  7. I have a love-hate relationship with 4E, but have found myself liking the game more as I've played to its strengths and dump some of the extra baggage it has in the form of rules on milestones, XP awards, etc. I think Gamma World has the potential to be an even better fit for the structure and form Powers take in the game since some of the wackiness (the Wuxia like elements) of them in D&D fit much more naturally with the wackiness that is inherent to Gamma World. The fact that they're releasing Famine in Fargo, which is my favorite of all the original GW adventures, is just a bonus.

    Now the collectable side of things is an odd decision which I can't help but find stupid but given the small # of cards, not to mention that you can pretty easily trade them within a small community of gamers, it's not too onerous. It also will take about 30 minutes before you'll find self-made versions of the various powers online or scans of them which is another of the reasons why I really wonder why WotC is going the collectable route for a game where having the "official" cards is meaningless - it's practically encouraging the piracy of the cards.

  8. @mj harnish - that is exactly why I am not worried that much about the cards. This isn't MtG where having the official card matters. I think you are right that 4e is a better fit for Gamma World than traditional fantasyy roleplaying.



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