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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
 
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2024 13:40:38

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2024/05/retrospective-tsrs-gamma-world.html

There are currently seven editions of Gamma World, all following the same general theme: It is the 25th Century, and the Earth has been nearly destroyed by some global cataclysm. The nature of this cataclysm and the amount of humanity that survived changes from edition to edition.

All editions of Gamma World are credited to James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet. It was based on Ward's earlier sci-fi game, Metamorphosis Alpha. MA would give us Gamma World and the AD&D adventure Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

The remnants of humanity and other beings now struggle to survive in a harsh and mutated world filled with bizarre creatures, dangerous mutants, and remnants of advanced technology.

Like Dungeons & Dragons, players take on the roles of adventurers exploring this radioactive wasteland. They can choose from various mutant characters with unique abilities, ranging from humanoid animals and plant people to cyborgs and psychic mutants.

Characters adventure in abandoned, destroyed cities, looking for the remains of civilization or something to survive in the wasteland.

In many, many ways, Gamma World IS Dungeons & Dragons. There is no magic, but there are high-tech, weird radiation and psychic powers. Making Gamma World into a D&D world is not a stretch. The 1st and 2nd edition rules are similar enough to Basic-era and AD&D 1st editions to make translations easy. In fact, the 1st edition of the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide has conversion guidelines. Gamma World 4th edition is also very close to AD&D 2nd edition to make translations there east too. Dragon Magazine #183 has a conversion guideline for Gamma Word 4th edition and AD&D 2nd edition.

Gamma World 4th Edition

This edition of the game brought it back to its roots, so to speak. It is very compatible with the then-current AD&D 2nd Edition. There are some very interesting design choices here too including a good skill system and a very d20 like combat resolution system with "Ascending" armor classes. In some ways you could adapt this to AD&D for a near AD&D 2.5 edition that shows a good transition between AD&D 2nd ed and what will become D&D 3rd edition, but that is 8 years and a different company in the future.

Interestingly, this edition was also playtested over the GEnie BBS service way back before the internet became ubiquitous.

The art in this edition features some of the best art from the "Four Horsemen of TSR," Jeff Easley, Clyde Caldwell, Larry Elmore, and Keith Parkinson.

Sadly, this was to be the last version of Gamma World to be produced by TSR. They announced they were going to switch gears and do a new version of Metamorphosis Alpha for their new Amazing Engine game line.

Which one should you get?

All things being equal, I would go for the 4th edition rules myself. The 1st and 2nd have a great nostalgia factor for me, and while I have the 1st Edition, I likely go with the 2nd.

The 1st, 3rd, and 4th edition rules are all available as Print on Demand versions now. So that is also in their favor. I understand the 4th edition rules are very clean and a good print. I can vouch for the 1st edition rules myself. The 3rd has some issues, but I am also not a fan of the action table, so I am giving it a pass.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Keith T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2021 00:52:25

Purchased this for my bro for Christmas; I'm VERY impressed with the quality of it! I'll be purchasing a copy for myself so that I can put away my original.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Christopher M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2019 15:29:55

The print copy is great, very sharp printing (very readable.) This version (4e) is my favorite, the rules are easy to grasp, there is a skill/task system and a combat system; once you learn these then the game is easy (and fun) to play. People who like roleplaying more than game mechanics would probably appreciate this edition of Gamma World.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Joe M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2018 02:41:58

PDF and print copy are both very good quality,clear and clean print and images. Bought a second print copy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Gamma World Game Rules (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2018 22:03:48

I don't usually buy print copies of games anymore, but I bought the print of this immediately. This edition is by far the best edition of Gamma World, and arguably the best version of d20, a pre-OGL lighter version. i will be buying the prints of Treasures of the Ancients and others in the series as they are released.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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