• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[WIR] Gamma World, first edition (1978)

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
If the forcefields were responsible for the immunities and laser reflection it raises the question of why these properties are not shared by the force field generating mutations. Although the two types of force field might not be the same.
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
The art for the power armor that came in the Gamma Knights mini-battle boxed set was awesome, and I love using it for power armor of other games. It had a distinctive "insectoid" look to the helmets, and you really could see the difference in each of the types of armor. To someone who knows how to put images in their posts, please find them and do so, they are really cool.
Just to make it explicit, the GAMMA KNIGHTS boxed set was for 4e GAMMA WORLD, not 1e. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. :) I actually have a copy of that boxed set somewhere; I'll see if I can find it and maybe throw up an image or two. Thanks for reminding me!
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
If the forcefields were responsible for the immunities and laser reflection it raises the question of why these properties are not shared by the force field generating mutations. Although the two types of force field might not be the same.
They behave differently. The partial force field of the inertia armor halves damage, up to a maximum of 25 hp/round. The (presumably full or total) force fields of the offensive armors negate damage, up to a certain hp total per round (20 to 50). The force field generation mutation (and by reference, the repulsion field) is rated by dice of damage (5d) instead of a hit point total, and once that total is exceeded the force field comes down entirely rather than being replenished every round.

It's all speculation. There isn't enough evidence in the book for a conclusion answer, though the most parsimonious answer is it's a property of the more advanced (alloyed?) armors themselves, rather than the force field. But I do like the force field alternative.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Just playing... using a more modern stat block format to reorganize the information about the the weakest and strongest powered armors in the game (inertia is the most powerful defensive armor, while assault is the most powerful offensive). The general order follows the encounter sequence -- contact distance/methods (sensors), reaction/communication, closing (locomotion), combat (defense then offense), and then miscellaney.

The resist line is based on the observation I made about the attack matrix a number of pages back: Only physical weapons really utilize AC, the energy weapons typically have a flat chance to hit against a wide range of armors, which can be represented as a percentage. Specifically, lasers 65%, micro/mini missiles 40%, vibro dagger 45%, vibro blade/energy mace 55%, and stun ray/whip 35%. The best armors reduce that, slightly -- it only adds significant complexity to the best AC in the game (AC 1). If you just use the attack matrix, delete the line. Also skipped blasters, because they don't quite follow either rule.

Applied the partial force field immunities to the full force field. If you want it strictly by the book, delete the immunity line under powered assault armor.

In the book, the 200 m (jet assisted) is referred to as jumps, not jump, so it sounds like it's supposed to be the overall movement rate per turn, not necessarily the maximum possible distance achieved by a single jump. The leap 25 m on the other hand is singular, so it sounds like it represents a single bound. I didn't resolve the ambiguity. I also didn't resolve the ability to leap without a load, or carry a load without a leap. Or the "etc." under immunities. There are also no stats given for a grenade launcher, so you'll have to guess at the range.

POWERED PLATE
Move 20 m​
AC 3​
Power 50 hrs (1 atomic cell)​
INERTIA ARMOR
Jumps 200 m (jet assisted)​
AC 2, absorb 1/2 damage max 25 hp/turn (partial force field)​
Resist lasers -15% (deflect first hit), vibro/energy -10%​
Immunity black rays, radiation, poison gas, etc. (force field)​
Power 60 hrs (2 atomic cells)​
POWERED ASSAULT ARMOR
Sensors sound, ultraviolet, infrared​
Comm 2 way radio​
Fly 200 m (grav), leap 25 m (carrying 2 tonnes)​
AC 1, absorb 50 hp/turn (force field)​
Resist laser -20% (deflect first 2 hits), micro/mini missile -5%, stun -5%, vibro/energy -15%,​
Immunity black rays, radiation, poison gas, etc. (force field); life support with 72 hours oxygen (doesn't drain battery)​
Melee punch 9d6​
Shoot 2 laser pistols 5d6/5d6 (range 100/200 m)​
micro missile launcher 7d6 within 10 m (range 500 m/1 km, clip/20)​
grenade launcher varies (range ?/? m, bolt/15 grenades)​
Other sub-systems medi-kit (4 treatments)​
self-destruct on wearer's death​
Power 48 hrs (3 atomic cells)​
Surprisingly complex, overall.​
 
Last edited:

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
POWERED PLATE
Move 20 m​
AC 3​
Power 50 hrs (1 atomic cell)​
INERTIA ARMOR
Jumps 200 m (jet assisted)​
AC 2, absorb 1/2 damage max 25 hp/turn (partial force field)​
Resist lasers -15% (deflect first hit), vibro/energy -10%​
Immunity black rays, radiation, poison gas, etc. (force field)​
Power 60 hrs (2 atomic cells)​
POWERED ASSAULT ARMOR
Sensors sound, ultraviolet, infrared​
Comm 2 way radio​
Fly 200 m (grav), leap 25 m (carrying 2 tonnes)​
AC 1, absorb 50 hp/turn (force field)​
Resist laser -20% (deflect first 2 hits), micro/mini missile -5%, stun -5%, vibro/energy -15%,​
Immunity black rays, radiation, poison gas, etc. (force field); life support with 72 hours oxygen (doesn't drain battery)​
Melee punch 9d6​
Shoot 2 laser pistols 5d6/5d6 (range 100/200 m)​
micro missile launcher 7d6 within 10 m (range 500 m/1 km, clip/20)​
grenade launcher varies (range ?/? m, bolt/15 grenades)​
Other sub-systems medi-kit (4 treatments)​
self-destruct on wearer's death​
Power 48 hrs (3 atomic cells)​
Surprisingly complex, overall.​
Nicely done! Very intriguing stuff. By the way, in terms of missing stats, we don't know what damage and radius the armor does when it explodes upon the user's death, though with those 3 atomic power cells being in the mix, it could be pretty horrendous. I shudder to think of what would happen to the PCs fellow party members . . .
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Nicely done! Very intriguing stuff. By the way, in terms of missing stats, we don't know what damage and radius the armor does when it explodes upon the user's death, though with those 3 atomic power cells being in the mix, it could be pretty horrendous. I shudder to think of what would happen to the PCs fellow party members . . .
I thought about that, and came to the conclusion the simplest answer is the armor just melts all the key components into slag, turning it into a statue rather then a bomb. There is also some strangeness with the 1,000 year atomic energy cells being depleted in just a few hours, though that kind of thing is common enough in fiction.

We also don't know what precisely med-kits do, in game terms (you'll get to that in a day or so). whether some of the immunities like radiation and poison gas apply even without the battery being drained (due to a sealed systems and batteryless life support), what exactly a sound sensor is, the range of infra- and ultra-vision, whether the two finger lasers can both be used in a round (I assumed so, because otherwise what's the point of a pair?), accessibility of satellites for the radio, how much you can carry while flying, and what a miss means with a grenade,

The offensive/defensive armor terminology is also strange. The "offensive" scout armor doesn't have any weapons or the ability to punch. The specific categorical differences between the two classes is only the offensive armors have a full force field, anti-grav flight, sensors, communications, life support, a self-destruct unit, and a medi-kit. It's also specifically mentioned their many subsystems must be activated, and there's the statement that they're "like a space capsule into which the wearer must crawl". Overall, that suggests that the "offensive" armors are sealed suits, and they're more robotic/mecha than just suits of armor. Overall, the offensive armors are also more advanced, and sound like they're a lot bigger. The "defensive" armors are probably not sealed (barring inertia armor's partial force field, which has to be at least selectively permeable to keep out poison gas and radiation), and while they do have some enhancements like improved speed and partial force fields, they're probably more passive and just work automatically or with simple triggers, without having to run through a checklist.

It's also odd that the defensive armors are powered and enhance speed, but don't seem to increase strength.

It would be interesting to see the differences reflected in the artifact use tables. If the offensive armors have "various sophisticated subsystems which must be activated before the suit is fully operational", that would be a perfect opportunity to have the PCs roll to see which sub-systems they can figure out. A battle between two sides in assault armor, who have only figured out how to activate certain systems, might be fun -- I can fly and have life support! I can't, but I have a force field and a 2 way radio! Gradually unlocking the better features might take half a campaign. Conversely, the defensive armors might be much simpler, and you might only have to learn how to turn them on, move in them, or replace the battery, and maybe use the jump boots.
 
Last edited:

ogier300

Registered User
Validated User
Way back when I first played GW 1e in my youth, I took the space capsule comment fairly literally, and imagined all the assault armors as pods with WALDOs, I guess like the Gundam Ball mechs.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Way back when I first played GW 1e in my youth, I took the space capsule comment fairly literally, and imagined all the assault armors as pods with WALDOs, I guess like the Gundam Ball mechs.
I'm not sure quite what to make of them. The offensive armors are clearly humanoid because the attack and assault armors have forefingers (lasers), helmets (micro missile launcher), shoulders (grenade launcher), and they can punch. They also have "wearers". Which suggest you actually wear them, as in they fit you and they respond to your body movements. But that conflicts with the crawling inside like a space capsule idea, which suggests you sit in them and pilot them, like the pods.

The stats waffle about whether they're a quantum jump in power. Offensive armors only have a minor incremental improvement in AC -- you can get hurt with lasers and knocked out by stun guns in scout and battle armor, exactly as easily as if you were wearing inertia armor, and the 1 point improvement of attack and assault armor isn't that huge -- which doesn't suggest they're these massive armored tank-things. And with one exception, they use the same 50 pounds of batteries (two 12 kg atomic energy cells) as inertia armor. But the full damage absorption of the force field is a big leap, and the ability to lift a couple tons with the "hydraulic system" and a punch more powerful than even a blaster rifle all suggest massiveness.

I think I prefer the pod interpretation. It makes them qualitatively different from the regular armors. But the canon answer is probably closer to light suits vs. heavy suits.
 
Last edited:

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I suspect you're all reading too much into the "space capsule" phrasing, and it was simply to indicate the suits were self-contained environment systems. The bulk of such suits would be more substantial than normal armor (as I suggested, the Heinlein model was that they made the wearer look like a gorilla) but there's no reason to judge anything regarding that as referring to the shape of the armor.
 

s/LaSH

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The offensive armours sound like they're just a bit bigger than traditional articulated armour. Iron Man style armour is slim enough that you need different pieces for head, chest, shoulders, waist etc. But these offensive jobs are probably so big and thick that the whole head and torso is a single rigid piece. Arms are still articulated, albeit probably kinda stumpy-looking due to great thickness.

A good example might be the Terran Marines, from Starcraft. They have helmets, but they're clearly just big domes welded to the shoulders; they have arms, but the armour is so bulky that their hand only comes up to the middle forearm, so the suit's fingers are operated via linkage. Oh, and most users are welded in, because they use convict "volunteers".

*

Atomic batteries should totally last longer, especially if they're the mass of a tactical nuclear device. These suits have been on standby since the Big Oops and seem none the worse for wear. Obviously the battery duration is there for game balance; Gamma World is not a zero-to-hero game from what I can see, and PCs start powerful and stay that way. Artifacts are temporary power-ups that might help out for a scenario or two, but are then discarded. I don't know if that's intended, but it feels that way.

But if you want to play more realistic with the armours, perhaps say that the suit capacitors have a 72 hour charge or whatever. Under normal operations, you'd return to base, dock the suit in a cradle, and sip on a martini until base systems have recharged the caps, supercooled the main power bus with liquid helium, downloaded the realtime combat telemetry logs, etc. You'll be breathing fresh air for 2-3 hours before the suits scrubbed and ready to ride.

Absent the base, however, the suit goes into field mode. Its atomic batteries will last for centuries, and can top up the capacitors, run basic cooling, even prioritise memory dumps... but it's been a century or so already and the batteries are running slow as half-life picks away at their efficiency. So once you run the caps out, the suit won't move again for a couple of weeks.

A battery reprocessing facility would be a real treasure, because every atomic battery in the Gamma World is running at the same level of nuclear depletion. Reprocess a couple of old batteries into one new one, and boom - actual full power, for the first time in a century...
 
Top Bottom