Review of Gamma World Box Set: Playing with Kids

Scene Opens

A young woman is sitting at her computer, browsing the internet with glazed eyes. Around the room, there are scattered heaps of half-knitted sweaters and stacks of gaming books. A tall young man approaches:

Young Man: “Whaddya want for your birthday?”

Young Women: (opens amazon wishlist and points to Gamma World boxset) “IwannaitIwannaitIwannait!!

Young Man: “OK.”

 I am the lucky young woman and my older brother obligingly purchased the newly released Gamma World box set for my birthday. I just received it yesterday and ran my first game that evening. OK, so maybe it was because I roped three of my younger siblings into playing, but hey, a game is a game. The player gen was…let’s just say that when I wasn’t quite sure of the numbers, I either erred towards the higher numbers or ignored them. Turns out you can fudge like crazy if none of your players have ever played before. I can work on this.

 Our line-up of freaky mutants included

  • Grumble: the stone yeti with the strength of 20, played by our family artist
  • Zuko: The doppelganger hawkoid, played by our gentle and very undeceptive D
  • Azula: The gravity-bending giant, played by the youngest girl who I suspect really wanted to be some kind of catwoman.

Yes, we’ve been watching marathons of Avatar at our house. Don’t judge ’em; they’re kids.

I ran the opening scenario out of the handbook and it went mostly smoothly. I really had to push them to use any of their cards or powers. They usually just wanted to hit the porkers or badders with their hammer, rock, bazooka, etc. My only complaint, which could be my fault, is that the fight took too long. I probably should have removed one of the badgers but instead, let them die before their time (ie: before their HP actually ran out).

 Oh, and everyone ended up with canoes. Seriously. We incorporated the 1D4+1 roll on the table of random gear and everyone seemed to end up getting a canoe or keelboat or something boaty. That was a bit weird.

 What was most interesting was dealing with the fact that this was the first time any of them ever played an RPG. It was funny to simultaneously tell them that they couldn’t say “I run up and kill him!” (my sister) and watch them incorporate video game ideas into it. They instinctively wanted to ‘save up’ their cards, I guess for the future, just like you stockpile that big weapon/power for the boss in a game. Grumble the yeti even noticed the space for utility powers on his sheets and immediately wanted to know what that meant. I told him that he got one of those when he leveled up, by killing stuff.

Grumble: “How many guys do I have to kill???”

Heh. I guess we’ll see.

October 20, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.