Excerpts Archive | 9/17/2010
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Overview of Character Creation
Gamma World Excerpts

Your character is your persona or avatar in the D&D Gamma World Game He or she (or it, since you might be a plant or something ) is a combination of the fantastic, super-powered hero or adventurer you imagine in your mind’s eye, and the game rules that describe exactly what that character can do and how the character interacts with the world. What mutations does your character possess? Is he or she strong, agile, or brilliant?

What sort of person is your character— a calculating mercenary, an overly curious scholar, or perhaps a driven bounty hunter? Are you a tribal sage, eager to explore deeper into the mysteries of the Ancients? A mutated pantheroid, whose silent approach brings death to your enemies? An android stranded in Gamma Terra from some more advanced world, determined to drive back the darkness and ignorance that surrounds you? It’s all up to you.

Well . . . not exactly. Now that you have your ideal character fixed firmly in your mind, pick up some dice and start rolling to see what sort of bizarre freak you’re ACTUALLY going to play.

Sorry, that ’s life in Gamma Terra.

Now that you understand how it is, here are the rules for building a character to explore this dangerous world.

The D&D Gamma World game doesn’t really have character races or classes like other D&D games. There are hundreds of different intelligent species, and there’s really only one character class—adventurer.

Follow these steps to build your own D&D Gamma World character.

  1. Roll your character origins (page 34). A character origin is a package of traits and powers that all go together. A D&D Gamma World character is a combination of two origins. Refer to the Character Origin Table (page 34) and roll a d20 to generate your primary and secondary origins. If your second roll matches your first roll, then your second origin is Engineered Human (page 56).


  2. Assign ability scores (page 58). Your ability scores describe your innate capability in six different areas: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each of your origins indicates its primary ability. You get a score of 18 in the primary ability of your first origin, and a score of 16 in the primary ability of your second origin. If the primary abilities are identical for both origins, then you instead get a 20 for that ability score! For the rest of the unassigned ability scores, roll three six-sided dice (3d6) and record the result for each.


  3. Determine skills (page 60). Skills represent the training, lore, and talents your character has gained up to this point in life—for example, Acrobatics, Mechanics, and Stealth. E ach of your origins provides one or more bonuses to specific skills, and you also gain a +4 bonus to one random skill you roll.


  4. Gear up (page 71). You choose your armor and the sort of weapon you’re carrying. You also start with an explorer’s kit and some miscellaneous gear.


  5. Fill in the numbers (page 31). Calculate your hit points, Armor Class and other defenses, as well as your initiative modifier and your attack, damage, and skill bonuses.


  6. Add roleplaying character details (page 64). Imagine details about your character’s personality, appearance, beliefs, and backstory. Sure, you might be a mutated bear, but are you a mutated black, brown, polar, or panda bear? Heck, you might be purple. Extreme radiation does weird stuff to bears.


  7. Draw Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech (page 66–69). Draw a card from your Alpha Mutation deck (or the Game Master’s deck) and a card from your Omega Tech deck (or the Game Master’s deck). As a native of Gamma Terra, you have access to powerful and unpredictable mutant abilities, and the dangerous junk of many different worlds surrounds you. You won’t keep these cards for long, because you’ll find new tech and develop different mutations during the course of your adventures.

Gaining Levels

You begin a game as a novice hero, but as you defeat monsters and complete quests, you gain experience, measured by your experience points (or XP). When you accumulate enough XP, you gain a character level and become more dangerous and tougher: Your skill at attack and defense increases, and you might be able to learn new powers from your character origins. Gaining levels is what it’s all about.

Once you have enough XP, you must take an extended rest before you can move on to the next level. Refer to the Character Advancement table below for the benefits you gain when you level up.

Total XP Level Benefit Alpha Mutations
0 1st Origin traits, novice power for each origin 1
500 2nd Critical hit benefit 1
1,000 3rd Origin utility power 1
2,000 4th Second Alpha Mutation 2
3,000 5th Origin expert power 2
4,000 6th Second critical hit benefit 2
5,000 7th Second utility power 2
6,500 8th Third Alpha Mutation 3
8,500 9th Second expert power 3
10,000 10th Uber feature

Excerpt Schedule

Monday Friday

September 13

What’s in the Game

September 17

Character Overview

September 20

Character Origins

September 24

Gear

September 27

Running a Game

October 1

Monster: Porker

October 4

Monster: Robot

October 8

Encounter