Getting Started | Basic Rules | Character Creation
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Campaign Log | Player Handouts
While each character's life story is unique, you can assume that each of you...
...knows each other and what mutations each person has.
...doesn't actively dislike either purebreds or mutants, having lived in a community with each type.
...doesn't actively dislike any of the other characters.
...has heard stories of the Golden Age before the Bomb and knows that we all live in an age of suffering and destruction.
...has heard stories of armies of robots out to kill all living things, of peaceful lands where people of all kinds live together in harmony and prosperity, and of hidden relics that will give whoever finds them godlike power.
...knows what a gun is and generally how it works, but have never fired one.
...can neither read nor write, but understands that the Ancients captured their speech in mysterious marks that some people today can still decipher.
...knows what's vaguely north, south, east, and west of where the campaign starts.
...knows that green glowy stuff makes people sick.
...thinks the world is flat and that the stars are little lights way up in the sky.
...has occasionally met strange and wonderful travellers from distant lands.
creating a character
Each character has 4 stats and 12d to split up between them. Each character can allocate as little as 2d to each stat, but no more than 4d to each stat. Obviously, you don't always want all your stats to be 2d, 3d, or 4d. You can break a die up into three pips. This will give you the following die codes in Stats: 2d, 2d+1, 2d+2, 3d, 3d+1, 3d+2, and 4d. As an example, if you set your character's Knowledge to 3d+1 and Strength to 2d+2, you've used 6d.
But before you allocate dice to your stats, you have to decide if you're going to be a Purebred or a Mutant.
Purebreds are your typical humans in a post apocalyptic world gone mad. Mutants are humans who have been exposed to wacky science-fiction radiation or are offspring of a Mutant. Mutants get any number of Mutations, but also have to take Defects to counter the Mutations. Additionally, Mutants must devote at least 1d of their starting Stat dice to a special stand-alone stat called Control Mutation.
Control Mutation is a special type of stat -- only Mutants have this stat. Unlike your other stats, you may have as little as 1d in the stat. You may still only begin with up to 4d in the stat. Under Control Mutation, you would list your Mutations (and Defects) as normal skills. These you can increase through game play, just like any other skill. When using your mutation, you'd use the control skill -- sometimes it's so you'll be able to have an effect, sometimes it's to keep an effect from happening. More in the Mutations section. Purebreds can gain mutations as the game goes on. Again, more in the Mutations section.
Everyone, mutants and purebreds alike, have the following four stats -- Dexterity, Knowledge, Perception, and Strength. (Mutants have one additional stat -- Control Mutation).
If you are unskilled in something, it defaults to the base stat. For instance, Jericho has a Dexterity stat of 3d+1. That means his Dodge skill is 3d+1, his Throwing skill is 3d+1, and so on.
You have 7d to allocate to skills. These can be split up into pips, if you wish. To allocate 1d to a skill, add 1d to the stat and write the result next to the skill name on your character sheet. Back to Jericho, he allocates 1d to Dodge. His Dexterity stat is 3d+1, so his Dodge skill is 4d+1. No skill may be increased by more than 2d when creating a character.
If you think of a skill that isn't listed here that you would like your character to have, you can create your own skills. All new skills are subject to GM approval.
Mutations and Defects listed under Control Mutation are also considered skills. You may allocate some of your 7d to your Mutations.
Just a quick note for those of you who don't want to get writer's cramp: Because all skills start with the same die code as the parent stat, you don't need to write out every single skill that you don't increase.
a basic skill listing
brawling parry - defending yourself without weapons
melee parry - defending yourself with a weapon
melee - attacking with a hand-held weapon
missle weapons - attacking with a ranged weapon
dodge - getting out of the way
throwing - throwing something accurately
beast riding - ability to control a beast
area knowledge - you know about areas far away from the village you grew up in
near history - knowledge of recent events. nothing before the Bomb.
technology - you're good at figuring out how things work.
survival - you can survive in hostile environments
medical - first aid, basically
willpower - your strength of mind
intimidation - bully people around
bargain - for all sorts of haggling
command - get others to obey you
con - trick others
gambling - win at games of chance
hide - try to not be seen
search - find all sorts of things
sneak - try to not be heard
brawling - attack without a weapon
hardiness - resist poisons, toxins, and radiation
jumping/climbing - pretty much jumping and climbing anything remotely difficult
lifting - lifting and carrying heavy items
stamina - avoid fatigue
swimming - keep from drowning
specific mutation or defect - trigger or supress a mutation
mutations and defects
Radiation in Gamma World isn't real world radiation. It's the radiation you see in science-fiction movies and television shows: it glows in the dark; it makes people instantly develop strange, crazy powers; it can kill people if you're exposed long enough, but if you get away from it you'll be just fine in a few hours.
Purebreds don't start out with Mutations, but might get some if exposed to radiation long enough. Actually, they'll probably get a Defect, but who knows? Your character might suddenly grow two more arms! See? Radiation is wacky goofy fun.
No comments from the scientists out there.
Mutants start with at least one Mutation and at least one Defect. Each mutation has a value. If the value of all the mutations your character has is 10 or less, you can get another mutation if you want to. If the total is 11 or more, you stop with the mutations. Now you get some defects to balance out these mutations. Like mutations, defects have values. Your defect value must equal or exceed your mutation value when creating a starting character.
Mutants must list all their mutations and defects under the Control Mutation stat the same way you would any other skill. Treat mutations and defects as skills when allocating skill dice. Each mutation and defect has a different effect. If you have a mutation that acts as armor, you would add that mutation's die code to the armor check in combat (more on combat later). If you have a mutation that you can use as an attack, the die code would be what you roll when you attack with it. Or, it might be the damage the attack does. If you have a defect, the die code might be what you roll to supress the effects of the defect.
If a Purebred gains a Mutation or Defect, the player records the new radioactive gift under Control Mutation and instantly gets a Control Mutation stat of +2. As in 0d+2. As in zero dice, plus two pips.
Mutations and Defects will be rolled randomly. During the assigning of Mutations, you may refuse one Mutation, but you'll have to accept the next roll. During the assigning of Defects, you may refuse one Defect, but you'll have to accept the next roll. If the Defect roll makes your Defect value total four or more greater than your Mutation value total, you may ignore the Defect and roll again. Mutants must have at least one Mutation and one Defect. Mutants roll for mutations and defects before assigning stat and skill dice.
blindsense - pinpoint creatures within 30ft. based on auditory clues; skill to pinpoint
chameleon skin - blend into surroundings; add to hide skill
climbing hooks - add to climb (only) skill
fleet feet - skill to avoid running penalty
furry - add to hardiness skill to avoid cold damage
iron liver - add to hardiness skill to avoid poison/toxin/alcohol damage and effects
keen ears - add to perception stat for auditory checks
keen eyes - add to perception stat for visual checks
keen nose - add to perception stat for scent checks
prehensile tail - can use tail as an extra arm; add skill to lift skill
radiation resistance - add to hardiness skill to avoid radiation damage
tentacles - adds to strength stat for holding onto something; add to brawling skill
tremorsense - pinpoint movement within 30ft. by feeling vibrations in the ground; skill to pinpoint
blindsight - pinpoint creatures within 60ft. based on auditory clues; skill to pinpoint
dual brain - add to willpower skill
empathy - always senses feelings of others within 30ft.; powerful emotions may stun mutant; skill to supress mutation
gills - can breathe underwater; add to swim skill
healing factor - add to strength roll for natural healing
horns - damage in brawling is strength plus die code
leech healer - skill roll to transfer a level of damage from target to yourself (if you're fine, you can change another from mortally wounded to incapacitated and move you from okay to stunned)
overpowering stench - when adrenaline kicks in, you smell; -1d to everyone (except you) within 10ft. if they fail opposed hardiness check; skill to supress mutation
pincers - use brawling skill -1d to attack; damage in brawling is strength plus die code
quills - can fire quills that do 1d+2 damage; use skill to resolve attack.
springing legs - add to jump (only) skill
thermal vision - can see heat signatures up to 60' as well as normal range of sight; skill to switch between vision modes
acidic bite - use brawling skill -1d to do acid damage; damage is mutation die code
claws - damage in brawling is strength plus die code
rush - move twice as fast as normal when running, running penalties apply; skill to activate
scales - add 1d to strength for armor checks only; does not impose dex armor penalties
shapeshifter - can shapeshift for ten minutes; skill to shift
telepathy - can read and speak to others within 60ft mentally; skill to do so
acidic spit - use missle weapons skill -1d to do acid damage; damage is mutation die code in acid damage
force field - can generate a 1d force field which adds to strength for armor checks only; does not impose dex armor penalties; skill to activate
light warp - light bends around mutant; add to dodge for ranged attacks only; skill to activate
lightning touch - use brawling skill to do electrical damage; damage is die code
psychic double - you can project as a visible ghost; your body remains where you left it; skill to maintain
psychic healing - can lower a level of a character's damage; skill to activate
regeneration - skill to use stun damage table instead of lethal damage table when taking damage
extra arm - add to strength score when doing damage in brawling for one attack each round; you've got three arms
levitate - can levitate 30ft max, can move up to 10ft every round; skill to activate and maintain
poison bite - use brawling skill -1d to do acid damage; damage is mutation die code plus poison
telekinesis - can move up to 125 pounds up to 20ft each round; skill to activate and maintain; can violently push or attack using skill check; skill to activate
time slip - disappear for up to 5 rounds, then two of you appear for same amount of time you were gone, then one of you vanishes; skill to activate*
wings - you can fly your running speed; skill to maintain
brain bite - psychic attack within 30ft; use willpower to attack; damage is mutation die code in psychic damage
cryogenesis - psychic attack within 30ft; use willpower to attack; damage is mutation die code in cold damage
ghost - you and all you're carrying and touching becomes incorporal; skill to maintain
life leech - do willpower stun damage to all within 15ft; roll willpower on natural healing table if at least one person takes stun damage; treat all results of 8 or less to be "no change"; skill to activate
pryogenesis - psychic attack within 30ft; use willpower to attack; damage is mutation die code in heat damage
energy leech - during brawling, add to strength for stun damage; every time you touch another living being, do mutation die code stun damage; if target is KO'ed, improve your damage level by one; skill to supress
leech strength - during brawling, if attack or parry is successful, opponent loses 1d strength and you gain 1d strength for one hour after damage is determined; skill to activate
extra arms - add to strength score when doing damage in brawling for up to two attacks each round; you've got four arms
light slip - you, and all you're carrying becomes invisible; skill to maintain
sonic blast - you can make a sonic attack that affects everyone in a 30ft cone; opposed by stamina check; does mutation die code stun damage; skill to activate
distinctive odor - you smell bad; skill to supress
poor respiratory system - you fatigue faster than others; when doing anything strenuous, make a stamina check if you fail a "skill to maintain" check; make "skill to maintain" checks every two rounds
sensitivity to acid - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to cold - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to electricity - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to fire/heat - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to poison - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to radiation - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
sensitivity to sonics - skill to supress or these types of attacks do +1d damage against you
slow - you move at three-quarters speed; skill to supress
heightened metabolism - must drink after 5 rounds of combat or make stamina check; disease and poisons do +1d damage against you; skill to supress
stiff motion - you always act last; skill to supress
really slow - you move at half speed; skill to supress
frenzy - every two rounds of combat, make a skill to supress -- if failed, GM rolls on the "go bonkers" table to see what you do; reset after combat
fits - every two rounds of combat, make a skill to supress -- if failed, fall to the ground having a seizure; subtract 5 from the difficulty number of the failed test, make fits checks against that number every round to end the fits; if second check is made, character is stunned; reset after stunned
poorly trained - starting characters only: you only have 5d to assign to your starting skills.
terrible vision - cannot see clearly past 15ft.; all opponents targeted with ranged or thrown weapons get +1d Dodge; skill to supress for one round.
weaker - starting characters only: you only have 11d to assign to your stats.
crude hands - -1d with all handheld items; skill to supress
fear response - -1d on all combat skills; skill to supress; reset after penalty taken; cumulative
mutation and defect notes
"Skill to activate/supress" becomes harder as the day goes on. The first time it's a very easy task, then it's an easy task, and so on to impossible. Resting for the night resets the skill check to very easy. "Reset" means to reset the skill check to very easy after the reset condition has been met.
"Skill to maintain" means that the mutant has to make progessively harder skill checks every four rounds (approximately every 30 seconds). The first time it's a very easy task, then it's an easy task, and so on to impossible. If not maintained, the mutant returns to normal. Resting for the night resets the skill check to very easy.
"Skill to activate/supress and maintain" means that not only does it become harder to use the ability as the day goes on, but the mutant has to make progressively harder skill checks. The second time the power is activated, the first check is an easy task, the second is moderate, and so on. The fourth time the power is activated, it's a difficult task, the next check four rounds later is a very difficult task.
* This one is a bit tricky. Here's what you see: You jump forward in time a little bit. Your future self is there. Then, when you've been in the future for that little bit of time, time catches up to you and pushes you back that little bit again, patching any paradoxes you might have caused. You're there with your past self. When that little bit of time passes, your past self vanishes. Here's what everyone else sees: You vanish. A few seconds later, two of you show up. A few seconds later, one of you vanishes. This is a fun way to double the number of grenades you have.
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