The landscape of our future, populated by barbarian mutants with raided laser weapons and shields made from street signs. That is the post-apocalypse of Gamma World.
I was introduced to the 2nd edition of the game when I was a teenager, as our AD&D characters met their first WarBot. I bought every edition of the game, from digging up the first edition through to the d20 re-write of the whole setting by White Wolf (and the wild and wahoo d20 version of Omega World in Dungeon / Polyhedron.
The second edition is probably the “cleanest” and smoothest of the editions. It runs well and sticks to the tried and true concepts from the 1st edition. There’s also a sweet character sheet made for 1e that also works for 2e made by Mad Irishman that you can get here.
But enough rambling, I think I hear a mutant trilobite begging to be rolled up.
Ability score generation is a classic 4d6-L for the six attributes. However, unlike D&D, hit points start at a number of dice equal to the character’s Constitution stat. The most “unbalanced” thing though isn’t just the random stat generation or random mutation generation, but the determination of the number of mutations the character starts with (1d4 physical and 1d4 mental – so one mutant could start with 2 defects and no beneficial mutations, while another has 8 beneficial mutations).
Stat generation gives us a tough character who’s next notable attribute is his dexterity, he also (typically of 4d6-L generation) has no serious weakness, stat-wise. His mutations however really reinforce his defensive benefit from his high Constitution, with Kinetic Absorption, a Force Field and enhanced Constitution and Strength. I decide the Kinetic Absorption is his hard and irradiated trilobite shell, and he walks around on two legs like the trilobite mutants in Fallout 3.
With his meager 70 gold in starting funds, he picks up a suit of chainmail, a flail, and will pick up extra goods with his remaining funds depending on what the adventure has in store for him and who his companions are.
Name: Iron Joe
Character Type: Mutant Animal (Trilobite)
MS (Mental Strength): 11
IN (Intelligence): 14
DX (Dexterity): 15
CH (Charisma): 13
CN (Constitution): 17
PS (Physical Strength): 18
Hit Points: 60
Heightened Physical Attribute – Constitution: +34 hit points, Con is treated as 18 vs Radiation & Poison
Heightened Physical Attribute – Strength: +5 PS, Lift 108, Carry 72
Kinetic Absorption: Absorbs first 25 physical damage. 1/2 Damage from piercing (no absorption).
Multiple Body Parts: Extra arm growing from lower back (like a tail)
Force Field Generation: 25 point forcefield, regenerates every 20 minutes. If knocked out, cannot use conscious mutations for four hours.
Time Distortion: Move and attack at triple normal rate for up to 1 minute once per day, take 1d6 damage / 10 seconds.