July 1, 2011

StarCraft Gamma World: Backgrounds, Equipment, Upgrades

Intro & Rules * Tokens & Sample Characters * Backgrounds, Equipment, Upgrades * Starships * The Prisoner coming soon!

Backgrounds, advanced equipment, and upgrades (evolutions, and disciplines) represent the primary mechanics in which characters are differentiated and their major combat powers.

Backgrounds present a culmination of talents, baseline equipment, and major attributes that a character has. Backgrounds fall into three categories: genetic, psi, and technological; with the exception of Commander, which falls into no category. Characters in StarCraft Gamma World are above the common soldier; they are the elite of the elite, and a unique product of the recent contact between three space-faring races. As such, StarCraft Gamma World characters have background combinations that are bizarre, innovative, and over-the-top.

Though many backgrounds and other game mechanics describe strange permutations and combinations, all playable characters are considered to be humanoid in basic shape and function.

During character creation, a player chooses any two backgrounds for his character, gaining the abilities, novice powers, and features of both. One background is designated as the Primary Background, the other as Secondary Background. The Secondary Background selected does not contribute its Overcharge Bonus. A background may not be selected twice.

In all other ways, Backgrounds function as Gamma World Origins.

Download backgrounds here!

Advanced Equipment
Advanced Equipment is a generalized category that encompasses the rare pieces of technology and equipment that is not available for common purchase. Xel’Naga artifacts, lost Protoss technology, and breakthrough Terran prototypes all fall under this category. During character creation, each player may choose any one piece of advanced equipment for their character, however the advanced equipment may not be chosen if it has a Salvage option.

In all other respects, advanced equipment functions as Omega Tech.

Download Xel'Naga Artifacts here, Protoss Technology here, and Terran Prototypes here!

Evolutions, upgrades, and disciplines represent a character’s advancement in a particular field of study. They are permanent benefits to the character which do not change. During character creation, each player chooses any one of these for their character. Characters without a Genetic background (primary or secondary) may not choose evolutions. Characters without a Technological background (primary or secondary) may not choose upgrades. Characters without a Psi background (primary or secondary) may not choose disciplines.

Evolutions, upgrades, and disciplines function as Alpha Mutations, however they do not change between encounters, by rolling a natural 1, or by any means not explicitly indicated. New evolutions, upgrades, and disciplines gained by earning a new level follow the same restrictions as above.

Download evolutions here, upgrades here, and disciplines here!


  1. Why is it set up such that Protoss who want better shields need access to Upgrades, but Zerg who want better regeneration can get it from their own Evolutions?

  2. Protoss is a Race, a specific mechanic introduced to Gamma World here, and has no bearing on evolutions/upgrades/disciplines. Although many people natuarlly associated those three with the three StarCraft races, SC:GW seeks to break down some of those boundaries. For example, the Guardian Background is Genetic (commonly associated with Zerg), although clearly one of the design intents is to provide good defensive options for characters reminiscent of Protoss Zealots.

    So, if you want your Protoss to have amazing shields, look for a Technological Background to pick up to represent his or her involvement in cutting edge, radical, or dangerous new technologies. Likewise, if you want your Protoss character to be naturally strong and aggressive, look to some of the Genetic Backgrounds. It's all about twisting your character ideas in new and interesting ways.

  3. Gotcha, thanks for the clarification!