Monday, October 27, 2008

Critical Encounters on Planet Gamma

One fan we met at a convention later sent us a letter to ask if we'd be designing a game for westerns, for example, or one for spy adventures. Our answer: we already have! Encounter Critical can be used for any sort of role play adventure; simply limit which races and weapons you allow (for example, no mutations and Wooky characters in the wilden west) and the game provides those tools you need for play.
-Introduction to Encounter Critical (Second Corrected Edition)

For my next EC con game at Winter War my plan is to dust off an old Gamma World module which I've done some half-ass conversion notes for. (Full Ass conversion notes would probably be contrary to the spirit of how I run Encounter Critical.) 'Round this time last year I posted some rules for making your own pregen, which several players used to their advantage. The wooky pugilist utterly wrecked the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, for instance. So I figured I'd attempt the same thing again. Here are the draft rules.

1) Roll dice for stats as per the book. Cheaters will be subject to public ridicule.

2) Any race in the corebook is allowed, along with the races in Asteroid 1618, the extra races floating around the files section of the EC yahoo group, and Mike's seven races.

3) All characters are Mutated, with your choice of one, two, or three randomly generated mutations.

4) For your random mutations you can use the chart in the book, Rondo's Severely Messed-Up Mutation Chart, and/or the file "EC mutation expansion" found in the Rules Expansions & Variants files of the EC yahoo group. Alternatively, you can use pretty much any published random mutation chart providing you bring along a copy of the chart and the accompanying rules. You must roll at least one mutation on the chart in the EC rulebook. That way any PC might have edible poop.

5) The poor mutant bastards on Planet Gamma are so backward they have forgotten how to cast spells, so no Warlocks allowed. All the other classes in the rulebook are available, as are the Mad Scientist, Biker, and Wrestler from the yahoo group. The variant classes Pugilist, [non-Mad] Scientist, and Ninja are not allowed. (Yes, I know I wrote the Pugilist. The class is overpowered. When I made it I just didn't give a crap about game balance.)

6) All characters get 3,142 experience points to reflect past adventures. If you want two classes you get 2,094 xp to split and one of the selected classes must be Pioneer. If you want three classes make more than one character.

7) Take the maximum starting gold allowed your [primary] class and double it for your equipment budget. Higher tech items are all considered ancient artifacts that might malfunction when used. Also note that play begins in a radioactive desert, so dress appropriately.

8) All PCs will receive one miscellaneous random item at the beginning of the adventure. Some of these items might even be useful.


  1. That pugilist at the con game (Chewbali?) did kick a disproportionate amount of ass. I could see not allowing that class. You ever think of tinkering with it to nerf it a bit?

  2. Going from memory here, but I think the main step to de-powering the pugilist is changing the way mulitple attack chances are calculated, and probably lowering the unarmed damage. Divide the attack chances in half if the player wants to attack twice and you've made the class significantly less deadly.

    Also: Man, I'm seriously thinking about taking the train down to C-U for this dang con...

  3. Doug Atkinson6:37 PM

    Yeah, when I made Chubali, I started out by rolling my stats and then set out to find the most broken racial combo I could, and cave wooky fit the bill (since I was starting with a strength of 16 or so). The pugilist class was a natural fit, but I didn't use multiple attacks as much as I could have because I basically couldn't miss on a single attack. (I'll make something less broken next year. :)

  4. I'm finding that high strength characters can be really deadly, that's for true. Once I noticed that you take no damage on a Saving Throw that succeeds at less than half the percentile rating it made the Frankenstein PC in my PbP game less dominant.

  5. All characters get 3,142 experience points to reflect past adventures. If you want two classes one of them must be Pioneer

    If I make a Pioneer/SomethingElse do I get 2,094 experience points instead of 3,142 on the assumption that I've been a two-class character since the beginning?

    Oh wait; now I remember; I can't show up to play anyway :(


  6. Thanks for asking, S. John. I'll revise the post to make that clearer.

    Sorry you can't make it, man. Colorado is a long way away.