If your family is anything like us, you take gaming seriously. My husband and I have an amazing group of friends with whom to play games, but none so dedicated as our D&D group. We’ve been campaigning for about two and a half years, now, and I’ve got to say, I never imagined it could be so fun. After a few sour attempts at 3.5, I had very low expectations for 4th edition. But I absolutely love everything about it. Even more amazing, our fabulous group started as a pick-up D&D group at our local game store, Sci-Fi Genre, and now they’re all fast friends.
Anyway, while 4th edition is an excellent gift, I wanted to suggest something else in the D&D realm for this particular day. Gamma World is a funky, funky take on D&D, a fourth-edition re-imagining of the original. The short story to explain the setting is that an accident at the Large Hadron Collider sent all the various multiverses merging into one. As a result, all the worlds have gone crazy, and the rules for, well everything, really, no longer apply. It’s trippy, wonderful, and enticingly weird. It’s not designed for long campaigning, or for players who are precious with their characters (this took a lot of getting used to for me, since I concentrate more on character creation and portrayal than just about anything else). But it has a ton to offer.
First, it’s quick. You can roll up and play a character in under an hour. And the process is both hilarious and fun. In Gamma World, everything is wonky. You can be a rat swarm, a burning bush, a cockroach. It all depends on how you roll. Then, you go right into combat. Beware though: dying is part of the game.
I never played the original Gamma World, so I can’t really compare. But as far as the D&D realm goes, the ease of play and the hilarity that ensues makes it a top pick for me this past year. Not only that, but it definitely helped all of the players in our group branch out into characters we normally wouldn’t pick. Personally, I will fondly remember my giant and his most awesome gun that shot rolled-up books (the gun was lovingly called Steve Gutenberg) and I look forward to the next encounter (even if it means my poor character will end up as a bloody smear on the wall…)
You can purchase Gamma World at your local game store, or online.