2011-05-10

Under the Broken Moon

Session 1: Ariel's Plea

This past Saturday, me and three of my friends went to our FLGS to play the Gamma World-Thundarr mashup. I had a blast, and, from what my players said to me, they did too. We didn't get through the whole scenario I created, but we have only about an hour left to roleplay - two major encounters. Here's more detail on how the game went.

Character Creation:
I was hoping it wouldn't take more than an hour to create a hero. It took about 1.5 hours to wade through it all. The players had just enough choice to make things interesting for them, but not too much that they were overwhelmed with choices. We drafted Mutations and Omega Tech cards. I also wanted to use the D&D Fortune Cards so I gave them each a pack and we drafted those too.

We ended up with a Mok/Prescient Warrior, a Vampiric/Illusionist Noble, and a Plant/Arcanist Healer. It was a pretty good variety of powers and origins. I was pleased at how the randomness turned out.

The listings of powers I made for each Origin and Calling turned out to be invaluable. It was slightly overwhelming to have that many powers, mutations, and tech to use. Factor in Fortune Cards and the normal strategy of D&D 4E, and it quickly added up to lots of stuff to think about. Almost too much.

Cut-Away:
It should be noted that I have the best players in the world. Their reading of my Cut-away to start the session was amazing. A special award to goes to Paul, who had the hardest part to read: Gemini the Wizard. He delivered the "head-turning" performance with pinache. Thanks, Paul.

Combat:
All the powers and tech oozed atmosphere for the deadly world of Gamma World. Playing in Thundarr's Campaign made the world seem even more real to me. It was a very dangerous place. Gamma World as a system is very deadly. Damage can easily exceed your Bloodied value even for the 6th level PC's we created. The Omega Tech and Mutations are incredibly important because they help mitigate damage even avoiding it all together occasionally with Immediate Interrupts from things like powered armor.

Magic and Tech meshed well; I was a little worried it would feel stilted. It was very Thundarr-ish to me. We had two magic-oriented Origins in the group and their magic spells seemed like just another part of the world.

The D&D Fortune Cards, while cool effects, did not seem to affect the game as much as I'd hoped. They were merely a side note, occasionally coming into play. They were severely overshadowed by the Mutations and Tech. I believe they would be more useful for lower level charcters, though.

The Adventure:
I think my "hook" for this one-shot was a good one. I'll tell everyone about it once we complete it this weekend. The first encounter was much tougher than I expected for the PC's. I did not expect that much damage to be thrown around. Gravity Well is a very cool Mutation, by the way.

My second encounter, at Gemini's Palace, was a bit choppy. With only three players, I had to scale back the onslaught of Gemini's guards, but I think I scared them a little with the blue-bug's dimensional powers.

Conclusions:
1. It was a lot of fun. I would do it again for sure.
2. Might try 1st level next time.
3. Gamma World's mods to the D&D 4E engine are valid and make the game very fun and Gamma World-ish. They have succeeded in that regard.
4. Thundarr is a great place for post-apocalyptic roleplay.

I hope some of my players make comments. I would love to hear what they thought about the game. I'll post more thoughts once the scenario is done.