So with the announcement of a new edition of Gamma World being slated for release this year, there has been a bit of excitement. I always enjoyed the setting. I never managed to get a game in for the 1st edition, but played 3rd edition years later in college. I just liked the wacky influence of wild high tech weapondry in a near medieval setting (a D&D side note, expedition to the barrier peaks was one of my favorite modules). Throw crazy mutations and radiation into the mix and you’ve got a fun game. I guess a serious post-apocalyptic game would be a rather depressing theme, yet the sheer silliness of Gamma World made it flighty.
One announcement about the new edition of Gamma World, is that it will incorporate decks of cards for mutations and high tech items. There is a plan to expand the game, releasing booster packs of random cards for each of the decks. So there will be a collectible card aspect of the game.
This has gotten a lot of folks in an uproar. Some folks are fine with it. Others are vehemently crying that WotC is making a money grab. Some folks are still sitting on the fence about the whole deal. Me? I keep thinking about a webcomic and the type of gamers out there.
Dork Tower is a cute webcomic depicting a few gamer and tech geeks. Two particular characters are Matt and Igor. Matt is a huge fan of a plethora of games. He genuinely enjoys dipping into a variety of roleplaying and CCGs. Igor however, is the alpha geek of the gang. This is the guy that must accumulate every possible card/edition/book/toy out there. He rabidly digests rules, becomes a min-maxing guru, and quickly moves on to the next big thing.
From what little official info I’ve read by WotC. Gamma World will be a boxed game. Everything you need to play will be there. If you choose to expand the game, stuff will be provided as random packs. How boring will the game be without buying the expansions, no one knows. But it looks like the random card packs will be completely optional.
So I can see how some people are completely worked up about the random booster packs for Gamma World. If you are the type of person that jumps whole heartedly into a new game, and want to get just about everything out there related to it (Igor-type). I can see some people feeling burned. Yeah, it would be nice to just buy 2-3 things and have the entire set of cards. Now these folks will have to spend a lot of money working through pack after pack, getting a complete tech or mutant deck.
But if you see the entire merchandise packaging as something optional, that you could possibly pick up a pack or 2 (or none!), and still enjoy playing the game, well maybe this is not a bad thing. Maybe you will be excited that Gamma World is coming out. That the portability of 4E D&D monsters into the game should be a snap, reducing the GM prep-time. That there will be tons of tokens for players and monsters, and that you can get an entire RPG in one box. Maybe if you are that type of gamer (Matt-type), this news does not want you to sign a boycott WotC petition but rather have a little excitement for a new sci-fantasy RPG coming out this year.
So for folks with strong opinions either way with the new Gamma World, I wonder… are you Igor? Or are you Matt?