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[WIR] Gamma World, first edition (1978)

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Hope things get better.

Another option for the medi-kit is to just steal regeneration -- you heal 1 hp per 5 kg per day. Which you could convert to 15 hp if you want a fixed number, or 3d6 if you prefer dice. Retain the per day, and it'll enhance your normal healing rate instead of feeling like a wand of cure light wounds. For poisons, use the antitoxin rules: If administered within 2 rounds, a D result turns into 2d6 damage. For radiation, tough luck: "There is no known antidote for radiation" (p. 29). You could make an argument that's unrealistic, because while radiation damage is cumulative, even today we have ways to treat the symptoms. But this is also GW1, where there is no such thing as radiation sickness or burns, you either die, take damage, or get a positive or negative mutation.

To determine whether it works on a humanoid, use the simplest solution: A coin flip (50%). Mutated animals might need 2 coin flips (25%), and it would make sense for mutated plants to be out of luck.

The 4 treatments per problem is a stickier issue, because there are common things a med-kit should always be prepared to handle, like lacerations or bacterial infections, and very rare ones, like antitoxins for specific venoms or drugs for specific diseases, so the flat number doesn't make a lot of sense. I'd normally say problems should be pretty specific, because you don't take the same drugs to treat cancer as you would for a common cold, and that's broadly true across many different diseases. But many problems have the same solution, e.g. the kit should probably administer antibiotics and anticoagulants for everything that involves a wound, and it's 25th century tech so panaceas aren't just possible they're likely. A long list of ailments with 4 check boxes next to each is probably impracticable, so we need a simpler solution anyway.

One option is to give each kit a percentile rating. When full, it's at 100%, and it decreases 5% per use. That's the chance you'll be healed today. Alternately, if you roll within 20%, it works at half power, healing half as many hp, and using the base chance of success for the wrong antitoxin to determine if it cures poison (50%). A more Gamma World-esque solution might involve an intensity and a lookup chart, with various lettered results with various effects, including a chance of further injury.

Or you could also do what we always did: Medi-kits cure everything (all hp, poisons, etc.) 4 times and they're gone. It's simpler, but very healbot-y.
 
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DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
A healing device with no actual rules mechanics for healing, who woulda thunk it? Funny thing Metamorphosis Alpha's equivalent pice of tech says it gives "a speeded heating action to any wound" but no further details, like how speeded?

I think we always just had GW medkits heal everything four times and then they were done. In MA I think we doubled the healing rate, which was still painfully slow.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
And I think I can say for everyone that no one is going to hold it against you if real life makes your output in this thread slower, DJC.
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
And I think I can say for everyone that no one is going to hold it against you if real life makes your output in this thread slower, DJC.
Thanks, gents. I'm doing okay--just some stressful transition stuff. But in my neck of the woods spring has come with a vengeance; almost like summer. The sunshine definitely helps.

Just for the hell of it, I tracked down my old copy of GAMMA WORLD that has my house rules for the medi-kit:

1. Heals 8d6 hp per day (Pure Strain Human only) or cures poison (roll 3d6 to determine MAXIMUM intensity that can be cured) if administered within one round.
2. Only ONE treatment of EITHER sort is possible per individual per day (otherwise death will result from system shock).
3. Each medi-kit has 4 treatments of hit point restoration AND 4 treatments of poison neutralization.
4. There is a 20% chance medi-kit will not work on a humanoid mutant with NO anatomical mutations (i.e. extra limbs, dual brains, etc.).
5. There is a 40% chance medi-kit will not work on a humanoid mutant WITH anatomical mutations.
6. There is a 60% chance medi-kit will not work on a mutated animal.
7. If the medi-kit does not work, there is a 5% chance it will CAUSE 3d6 damage.

Nothing special, but there you go. I have to admit, one thing I love about the 1st/2nd generation of RPGs is that they necessitated this kind of thing. :geek:
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Eh, I'll be honest and say I think that early on that many RPGs were simply undercooked; not all of them, but enough that I kind of expect better of people who were adjacent to wargame rules writing of the time.
 

DJChallix

Gygaxian Gen-Xer
Validated User
Eh, I'll be honest and say I think that early on that many RPGs were simply undercooked; not all of them, but enough that I kind of expect better of people who were adjacent to wargame rules writing of the time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that the scarcity of detailed rules was a deliberate feature. It clearly was the result of shoddy editing and low production values (which slowly began to improve as we neared 1980). I'm just saying I like it in a strange way. (y)
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that the scarcity of detailed rules was a deliberate feature. It clearly was the result of shoddy editing and low production values (which slowly began to improve as we neared 1980). I'm just saying I like it in a strange way. (y)
I suspect from discussions over the years about Gygax and other people that in some cases it wasn't even shoddy editing per se, so much as "Of course people will do it this way; isn't it obvious?" Heck, you sometimes see that in modern designs. But its still odd to have a game that goes into detail about the damage everything does, but then is mum about how the high-tech healing device works. But it'd hardly be an isolated case; as I've noted before, the original description of Magic Missile in OD&D said that it "hits like a magic arrow +1" that made any number of people think it used a to-hit roll, where in fact that was a reference to its damage. So this sort of thing was sort of what you came to expect with the first generation of games as you note; it was kind of shocking when things like Traveler came along that tended to actually, well, spell things out for the most part.
 

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
When you are writing instructions for people who already know what they are doing it is easy to leave a lot out without even realizing it. I think early RPG design was like this. They were being written by gamers for gamers. There was also a strong component of DIY and hit the books for research in the hobby then. Research is almost a side hobby for many wargames.

There are some interesting lacunae in game rules. I helped playlets a set of English Civil War rules that allowed pikemen to function at full efficiency in forests. This was because the author and most of his other play testers were ECW enthusiast and in some case reenactors and they all knew that pikes simply do not go in the woods. It simply never occurred to them to write a rule about something that of course no one would ever do.
 
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