Friday, February 29, 2008

Gamma World

How cool is Gamma World? When I think of the most super bad 80’s games, I think of that cool box with the old school art, of a band of pure strains getting ready to explore a bombed out city, and the black and white rulebook contained therein. I really only played the darned game a half dozen times, we were all so wrapped up in AD&D back then, most games were considered amazingly good if they were ever played more than once.

I just have such fond memories of the ‘feel’ of Gamma World. I must’ve read the rules cover to cover a handful of times. I stole some ideas from Gamma World for my D&D campaigns more than once. I always had grand plans to run a penultimate Gamma World campaign. It just never happened. I’m not sure my fellow D&D Grognards shared my enthusiasm for Gamma World, though.

I feel as though I have lots of unfinished business with Gamma World. Recently, I tried to find my Gamma World box. I’m afraid it’s long gone (along with my Holmes box I think).

I’ll have to try to get a copy from eBay one of these days, just so I can add it to my somewhat haphazard, scattered collection (hmmm, there’s a direct relation between my gaming collection, and my blog posts). To what end? Just because it’s a super bad 80’s game! I’ll never have a chance to do that penultimate Gamma World uber campaign…but just maybe I can start designing it, for fun.

Maybe it’s the comic book geek in me, but radiation-mutation and sci fi tech (ala Forbidden Planet) just ring true with me. It’s really just science fantasy in my eyes. It’s D&D in a post apocalyptic future. As a matter of fact, I have been considering a Gamma World portal in my mega dungeon, way deep down, of course, probably not to be found in the first few years of my campaign. I’m just so utterly geeked up about Gamma World.

Maybe it’s best if I never get a copy of it, my recollection is probably better than the game itself.


I’ve never played that older TSR sci fi title, Metamorphosis Alpha. Back in the early 80’s, in the after school D&D Club, MA was to GW as OD&D was to Holmes. There was a definite rift between us younger 9th and 10th graders playing AD&D/Holmes and GW, and the older 11th and 12th graders playing OD&D and MA. They scoffed at our choice of games. All of those older editions held some mystery to us youngsters.

Years later, when we were the 12th graders, we scoffed at the youngsters with their Moldvay/Cook D&D.

I wish I had been more open to all of the games back then. Maybe it was because none of us could afford to buy ALL the TSR products…I’m not really sure. Many of those older guys ended up playing AD&D just as we did, we never seemed to make the backwards step into Moldvay B/X, though.

Those were some truly transitional times, with generational rifts. They were very short generations, but I do remember the walls the different editions created in that old club.

Maybe I need to track down a copy of Metamorphosis Alpha instead.



maxam said...

Definitely track down a copy of Metamorphosis Alpha if you can (I still wish I had mine).

I started with MA and then got GW later and another GW after that, and I've got to say, although I liked both versions of GW, my heart still stayed with MA. There's just something about the world within a ship that just does something for me.

Sham aka Dave said...

I've checked eBay a number of times since posting this, but have not seen MA for sale. The best thing I have found is the pdf. I should go ahead and grab it since six bucks is nothing...but I'd really enjoy having an actual copy of the original game. MA and GW for that matter. is for the $5.95 pdf.

Lee said...

Wow. Stumbled upon your blog and it's as if you were reading my mind. I've had that feeling about GW for a long time. Only a few of us played, but that post-apocolyptic(sp?) world where anything goes always had an appeal to me. Guess that's why I like movies like Road Warrior and Living Dead. Sadly, I have a hard time believing I'll ever play it again.

Sham aka Dave said...

Lee: Since I wrote this last year, I've tracked down a copy of 1e GW on eBay. I think I paid 10 bucks for it, sans box. Good copies with the box go for crazy amounts. I also received a nice clean copy of Metamorphosis Alpha.

Sadly both are simply good reading material these days but I'm happy to have both in my gaming closet now.

I'm hoping that my old GW box turns up one of these days.