Monday, February 11, 2013

Gamma-RIFT-Critical-Future Crawl Classics

There is some development of a Gamma World hack of DCC RPG going on over at the G+ community Gamma Crawl Classics. They are doing some good work over there, but with so many cooks in the kitchen, it's bound to take some time. Plus, I think they are trying to make a complete standalone thing, so there's a lot of work involved there.

Interestingly enough, the two games I'm currently running are DCC RPG, and Gamma World (first edition). In both games I borrow heavily from other game books, so I'm pretty comfortable with mashing a bunch of stuff together. I thought the project was very neat, so I decided to cobble something together real quick for anyone that might be saying to themselves, "That's awesome, but I want to play it NOW!"

Without further ado, I present you with Gamma-RIFT-Critical-Future Crawl Classics (or GRCFCC for short).

Required Materials
  • Mutant Future (get it free here)
    Use it for poison class table (p. 50), radiation class table (p. 51), monsters, equipment, artifacts.
  • Encounter Critical (get it free here)
    Use it for its many lovely charts, the warlock spells, and the monster listing.
  • DCC RPG Reference Sheets (here)
    Use it for crit tables, medieval-style equipment, adjudicating combat stunts via the mighty deeds tables, corruptions, etc.

Optional Materials
  • Gamma World. I like some of the charts from 1E Gamma World, like the esoteric weapon class vs. armor class table, and the poison and radiation tables. These are unnecessary, but nice to have.
  • Full DCC RPG Rulebook. You may want to use other stuff from DCC like spells and whathaveyou.
  • RIFTS. Great setting inspiration and lots of fun equipment, cybernetic/bionic upgrades, and so forth.
  • Carcosa. More mutations, robot generator, and a great hexcrawling resource.
  • Booty and the Beasts. An amazing one-stop shop for monsters and treasures. Most monsters have a ton of hit dice, so they work great for this sort of game.
  • TMNT and Other Strangeness. This book has some great random animal tables in case you are interested in using that sort of thing. There is also a few interesting pieces of equipment, and a nice selection of NPCs which you can use to build adventures around.

The seven attributes are rolled 4d6 drop lowest, in order. If you get an 18, roll percentile dice.

 Score   Modifier   Die Type 
   3        -3         d2   
  4-5       -2         d3   
  6-8       -1         d4   
  9-12      --         d6   
 13-15      +1         d8   
 16-17      +2        d10   
18/01-50    +3        d12   
18/51-75    +4        d14   
18/76-90    +5        d16   
18/91-95    +6        d20   
18/96-99    +7        d24   
 18/00      +8        d30   

The Seven Attributes and some of their uses:
  • Strength [STR]:
    Add die type to physical damage rolls. Die type is used by itself for unarmed damage rolls.
  • Dexterity [DEX]:
    Die type is your attack bonus die in physical combat. Modifier does not affect AC. However, unarmored characters may use their DEX score as their armor class.
  • Constitution [CON]:
    Score indicates number of d6 hit dice rolled.
  • Psychic Power [PSY]:
    Add die type to mental attacks. Add modifier to PSY score to get mental defense rating (I know, it's weird).
  • Intelligence [INT]:
    Influences ability to figure out tech artifacts, and determines spell capacity for PSH wizards.
  • Charisma [CHA]:
    Modifier affects NPC Reactions and number of followers. (Base number of followers is 4.)
  • Luck [LK]:
    Die type is the "crit die" that is rolled whenever a critical hit is scored.

Players may choose to play a pure strain human (warrior or wizard sub-type) or a mutant.

Pure Strain Human
Choose One:
  • Wasteland Warrior
    +3 to STR/CON/CHA and add CON score to hit point total. Score crit on 19-20.
  • Gamma Wizard
    +3 to INT/CHA, and the ability to cast one spell per point of INT above 12.
Both PSH types are immune to most mutations.

Player may choose if the character is a humanoid (mutated human) or an animal-based mutant. Details should be worked out with the GM.
1d4 randomly-determined physical mutations
1d4 randomly-determined mental mutations
(Mutant Future mutation chart recommended, since it's both comprehensive and free.)

Use any XP system you like (such as the one in Mutant Future). Personally I just give a level and a roll on the table to each surviving character at the end of each session. I might be inclined to grant a bonus roll for completion of an important goal, or playing in a particularly clever and entertaining way. If an attribute score is already 18/XX, and you get a +1 to that ability, you get to reroll your percentile dice and take the new result if it is higher. If the roll is lower, just keep what you currently have.

Roll d8 at each level gain:
  1. +1 STR
  2. +1 DEX
  3. +1 CON
  4. +1 PSY
  5. +1 INT
  6. +1 CHA
  7. +1 LK
  8. Player choice
  • Attribute Scores do not increase beyond 18. If a player already has an 18, and they get something that increases the score, they may roll percentile dice again to see if they get a higher number. If they roll lower, the score stays the same.
  • Attack Bonus Die: In most circumstances, it's the DEX die that you are rolling with your attacks. However, in some cases, the STR die might be more appropriate - especially when attempting a STR-based combat stunt like a body slam or something. Also, if you want to add another twist, use the Luck die for attacks with energy weapons. If the Luck die comes up 1, that's when you can have them run out of ammo/batteries/gun explodes/whatever.
  • Saving Throws: There are no base save bonuses by class as there are in some other games. If the referee determines a character is entitled to a saving throw, the player rolls a d20 and adds the modifier from whatever attribute is most relevant (CON for poison/radiation, PSY for mind-affecting attacks or fear, DEX for dodging, LK if it doesn't fit anything else, etc.) Generally the target number to succeed is 15+, but the referee will let you know if it's something different.
  • Combat Stunts: They work the same as DCC's "Mighty Deeds of Arms™", but a 4+ is required on the attack die rather than a 3+.
  • Crit Tables: Gamma Wizards use Crit Table I. Mutants use Crit Table II. Wasteland Warriors use Crit Table III. There should probably be a separate crit table just for energy weapons, but I don't know of any off hand. Any suggestions?
  • Burning Luck: Luck points may be permanently burned in order to add the die type (prior to burn) to any roll. All 18's become 17 when burned. Optionally, to encourage the burning of luck points, you may have everyone roll a d20 at the end of each session. If they roll over their luck score, they get to add a point to it.
  • Mental Combat: Psychic attacks are made with the attacker rolling a d20 + their PSY die type against the defender's PSY score + PSY modifier. If you don't like that, just use the mental attack chart in Mutant Future (page 55), or whatever else you may fancy.
  • Spells Known: PSH wizards know one spell per point of INT above 12. Print pages 20-21 from Encounter Critical and number the spells 1 through 16. Have the player roll a d16 as many times as they need to in order to determine the spells the wizard knows. Spells from any source may be used of course, but the EC ones are nice because they fit on one page and offer True Scientific Realism™. The player can just circle the ones they know, so it's easy as shit! Additional spells must be gained through adventuring (or cash payments to the GM).
  • Spell Casting: Spells are cast much the same as in DCC. A spell check is made (1d20 + level + INT modifier). If using DCC spells, just go by the chart. If using the Encounter Critical spells, use this as a guideline: Natural 1 is a corruption. 2-9 is failure and loss of the spell. 10-11 is failure but spell not lost. 12+ is success, and the referee may grant improved effects for a high result. A natural 20 is a crit, and the LK die type may be rolled and added to the spell check result. If a save is allowed, the DC is equal to the spell check result. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just make up your own system, but make sure to include something where the wizard can fumble a casting and have horrible shit happen to them.
  • Tech Artifacts: If you don't have anything else, you can just use the artifact rules from Mutant Future. However, I'd recommend trying to get your hands on one of those fancy flowcharts from Gamma World or Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
  • Armor: We are using ascending AC here (unarmored = AC 10) so make whatever conversions are necessary. I recommend capping AC at 20 to keep things sensible.
  • RIFTS Power Armors: These are cool as shit and you will eventually want them in your game. Problem is (for me at least) I have no fucking clue how to play RIFTS. No matter. Rather than introducing the complexity of mega-damage and all that other shit into your game, just assign each armor an AC bonus and some extra hit points that come off before the character's hit points. As a quick example I'd probably give Dead Boy armor like 50 hp and 18 AC, whereas Glitterboy armor would be 150 hp and 20 AC. I'm not claiming these numbers are any good. You'll just have to play it by ear and use your own good judgement.
  • RIFTS Mega-damage Weapons: Pretty much same as above. Unless you want to deal with M.D.C., you just have to convert the damage to either a handful of d6's, or perhaps a number of d6's x 10. Whatever feels right to you at the time. Just make sure to write it down somewhere. (Yeah, right!)
  • Zero-Level Play: If you want to replicate the character funnel from DCC, just have each player roll up a handful of characters. Instead of CON score x d6 for hit points, just have them use their CON score as their hp total. Give them each a knife, a bow and a few arrows, and one or two pieces of random mundane gear from the DCC equipment list. Send them off on an adventure, preferably somewhere that they can find lots of cool stuff and die trying to get it or figuring out how to use it. Survivors of the first adventure can roll hp using the normal method, and continue with further adventures.
That's really all I have for now, which should be more than enough to get started. I could expound on these ideas for days, but that goes counter to the entire point of this exercise. Enjoy!


  1. imho mutant characters should roll 1d3 + 1d16 to get their attribute scores for a more mutant-y array with the possibility of super high and super low stats

  2. I LOVE it! If I wasn't already running both an original D&D (LBB) campaign AND a Classic Traveller campaign, I'd be all over this. As it is, I'll link to this post, and probably download all the resource material you mentioned. Thanks!

  3. Wow that looks impressive! It is like a smörgåsbord of RPG awesomeness!

    I highly recommend using the Metamorphica for mutation rolls and the like. I would give you a little work being system neutral and all, but it is extensive, free as a download, and the booklet is dirt cheap!

    Its good to see someone making good use of that Strength-based Base Damage Die rule. =D

  4. Replies
    1. You can either try the "Print/PDF" button at the bottom of the post, or use the old COPY/PASTE method.