July 1, 2011

StarCraft Gamma World: Introduction & Rules

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

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The Koprulu Sector is a disastrous mess. With the United Earth Directorate and Terran Dominion defeated, the countless Terran factions squabble amongst themselves across dozens of worlds. The Protoss struggle with unification in the face of centuries-old ancient tribal divisions. Rogue hordes of Zerg scour the planets they infest, directionless without the Overmind or Kerrigan to control their appetite for destruction. More disturbing than any of these events are the whispered tales of those whom have come back from the edge of known space. Dark tales of bizarre Protoss/Zerg hybrids and the dreaded return of the ancient Xel’Naga cast a disquieting gloom over the fate of all.

Through the chaos and darkness of the galaxy, a band of heroes emerge. Enhanced by breakthrough technologies and determined to use this time of chaos for the good of their people, these few brave souls venture forth together to stabilize the warring factions, protect the innocent from the horrors of the galaxy, and recover the lost secrets of the Xel'Naga before it is too late.

StarCraft Gamma World is a rules variant to the Gamma World Roleplaying Game (Wizards of the Coast), immersed in the rich storylines and compelling universe of StarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment). Through the rules and handouts presented here, players will be able to explore new tales of wonder and excitement by exploring and building upon the StarCraft universe. Every aspect of the Gamma World rules will be subtly altered, providing a play experience that is fresh and exciting, yet still feels familiar to the roleplaying veterans of Gamma World and Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.

As a capstone, an adventure will be presented to help launch any newly forming StarCraft Gamma World campaigns. The adventure will utilize the design principles of Fourthcore (Save Versus Death), thrusting the characters into a high-stakes, life-or-death struggle to contain a threat to the entire universe that will test the skills of not only the characters, but the players themselves!

The rules used in StarCraft Gamma World follow the Gamma World rules as written, except as follows:

+ Glossary Additions

(clumsy): A creature using this movement cannot shift and grants combat advantage to all attackers.

Close line [number]: A close line targets creatures or objects in an area defined by drawing a straight line connecting the corners of your square to the respective corners of a target square with a number of squares to you.

+ Race
At character creation, each player chooses a race for their character (Terran, Protoss, or Zerg) and gains an associated benefit. The race selected represents the species the character is most closely manifested as. It is common for characters in StarCraft Gamma World to have traits from multiple races, or even to be considered separate from living creatures entirely. Race selection, however, is an expression of the character’s fundamental being.

Human Ingenuity: Once per encounter as a free action, gain a +4 bonus to a single attack roll or saving throw.

Shield of Aiur: While you are not bloodied, gain 2 + Level plasma shields at the start of your turn.

Regeneration: Gain 1 + 1/2 Level hit points at the start of your turn, if you start your turn with at least 1 hit point.

+ Plasma Shields
Plasma shields are a technological wonder that has been perfected by the Protoss. Though the elder race has mastery over this technology, it has spread to the young Terrans as well. Plasma shields form an invisible boundary around the user, protecting them from minor harm.

Plasma shields act identically to temporary hit points.

+ Skills
Conspiracy (Int) has been replaced with History (Int).

+ Backgrounds
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, able to use any type of equipment.

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.

+ 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.

+ Evolutions/Upgrades/Disciplines
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 Gamma World 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.

+ Gear
Every character in StarCraft Gamma World carries with him or her mundane equipment to fulfill their basic needs. Each character starts with one melee weapon, one ranged weapon, one special ammo weapon, and any one armor type. These all function identically to rules-as-written Gamma World. Characters are also equipped with one explorer's kit and up to five items of their choice on the Gamma World Starting Gear Table. Items must be appropriate to the setting and are subject to Game Master approval.

Characters in StarCraft Gamma World travel to their adventures via commonplace interstellar travel. Each adventuring group begins a campaign with an unarmed scout vessel capable of ferrying the characters and their equipment from world to world.

Characters do not begin play with any Ancient Junk.

Characters wielding a 1-Handed Melee weapon in each hand receive a +2 bonus to damage rolls made with that weapon.

Example Equipment

Light Armor: tough hide, ghost field armor, templar robes
Heavy Armor: marine mechanized suit, hardened carapace, zealot armor
1-Hand, light melee: zealot psi blade, machete
2-Hand, light melee: dark templar psi blade, katana
1-Hand, heavy melee: mechanized fist
2-Hand, heavy melee: uprooted stoplight
1-Hand, light ranged: concealed pistol, dagger
2-Hand, light ranged: marine assault rifle
1-Hand, light ranged (ammo): pistol with heat-seeking bullets
2-Hand, light ranged (ammo): experimental homing rifle
1-Hand, heavy ranged: thrown boulder, javelin, bar stool, marine heavy blaster
2-Hand, heavy ranged: auto-cannon, shotgun, bar table
1-Hand, heavy ranged (ammo): shoulder-mounted bazooka
2-Hand, heavy ranged (ammo): ground-to-air cannon

* All of the artwork and intellectual property are under the ownership of Blizzard Entertainment, Wizards of the Coast, or under the Creative Commons License. This is a fan-based, free project. Don't get all worked up if I use your damned pictures.

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