Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here?

I neglected to mention that in last week's game, we had another PC fatality. (Never bring a bow to a laser fight, kids.) Now, we have an interesting predicament...

There are three players in my game. One of them plays a magic-user from the original campaign world, one plays a former cleric from the same world who has spent his time on Tarraxian learning to be a field medic and tech user, and the last player ran a an elf fighter/druid who is now deceased, and he intends to make a mutant scavenger character. My wife's theoretical character is going to be a native, as is the character of another player who wishes to join. This means that out of a party of five, only two will be from the original fantasy campaign world, and one of those two has abandoned his magic using ways to learn the ways of science and technology. I suppose I forgot to mention the fighter henchman of the late player character, who still accompanies the party. There is barely anything fantasy left in my game, which is now post-apocalyptic science fantasy more than anything else. Though I have dropped hints about a way back the original campaign world, the party seems more interested in looting abandoned labs and military outposts. Hey, I said I was all about player choice, so if they want to stay and play, they can do so... and now that the majority of the party is set to consist of natives, it looks like Tarraxian might be the campaign's permanent location.

This development leaves me wondering... should I just convert the game to Gamma World or Mutant Future and be done with it? I have been drawing heavily on GW 2nd edition for monsters and gadgetry, but I have been trying to make the rules follow the numerical scale of AD&D 1st edition. Perhaps it would be easier to just use GW and find a way to convert (or kit bash) the abilities of the magic-user. Then again, Mutant Future would be an easier conversion since it shares the basic framework the old edition D&D family. The MF saving throws might be more appropriate, since the characters are now on a world where magic is rare, if indeed they find it anywhere at all. I suppose I could also use a mishmash of Mutant Future with some of the "missing" AD&D mechanics... heh, I could call it "Advanced Mutant Future."

I suppose another way to do it might be to just keep using AD&D rules and hope for the best. Still, as things develop, the game continues to be less like AD&D in the traditional sense. (Then again, look at stuff like Spelljammer and Dark Sun...)

If I do end up using GW or MF, it will be the first campaign I've ever run that actually changed from one system to another.

As I type this, I am leaning more towards "Advanced Mutant Future." Of course, I could just run it "as is," since now the entire party consists of humans (with one player wishing to play a mutant), so the race/class divide isn't so important anymore.

This sure is getting interesting.


  1. Sounds like a great game, I'm envious.

    If I were in your shoes I'd talk to the players about the systems switch beforehand, maybe see which direction the wind is really blowing. I'd be a bit annoying to make the switch, then have the players say "Oh, we're going back now." Players are like that you know. :)

  2. Yead, as far as role-playing "dillemnas" go, it seems to me you've been offered a great gift.

    It sounds to me like your game has gone over the "one-hop exploration" into the land of full-on GW. I've seen that happen before in MY old campaigns. Since the players don't seem interested in going back, I wouldn't force 'em...simpy say "this is now a GW/MF game" and give 'em one of two options when they get the hankering for D&D land again:

    - start new characters for AD&D (the old ones are off in the post-apocalyptic dimension)
    - consider the old characters to be in an "alternate dimension/timeline" (when they go back to the old campaign, the elf is back, their levels are reduced to their original level or so, noTarraxian's etc.)...that way you can play as long as you want in Tarraxia and not worry about the conversions

    I should note that when this kind of thing happened in my gaming group we went with option B.

    As for how to best run the system...well, you've kind of dug your own hole with this one. My own opinion is that once you go to a new dimension/"genre"/game all characters should be converted to the new game system and played under that system's rules. Some character abilities don't translate between games (for example, magic spells) and you'd be justified in saying a magic-user's magic doesn't work (or only works to the extent that spells mimic an existing mutation).

    Bur now it seems you're kind of in the "must kit bash" scenario. It would seem that Mutant Future would be the easiest method of conversion (especially now that the AD&D multi-race-class character has died), so I'd propably use that and LL as a starting point for designing your system.

  3. I'll probably end up kitbashing the magic-user; I've already established that magic works (more or less)on Tarraxian, they just don't have any magic-users of their own. Magic was taught to the people of the original fantasy world in ages past by a race of starfaring magi...it's possible that they never visited Tarraxian, or perhaps found them even less suitable for magic than the ancient inhabitants of the players' home world.

  4. Very cool.

    What a 'dilemma'.

    May you have many more like this.