TRANSLATION: I'll be playing in a Metamorphosis Alpha game run by James Ward himself at Gary Con in March. Mutant RPG mayhem run by the guy who invented mutant RPG mayhem? Yeah, I'm super-stoked.
This booklet allows players to choose to play a human, mutant or mutated animal and provides descriptions of mutations and defects. It also provides rules for working out the mysterious and sometimes dangerous technological devices found throughout the Starship Warden.
There are descriptions of all 17 levels of the Starship Warden, a 50 mile long, damaged vessel with some real problems for it's inhabitants. Mutants galore! Weird and wonderful mutated animals, mutated plants and some things that still have a few strands of human DNA in them, somewhere...
This game was state-of-the-art in 1976, and will be of interest to enthusiasts and collectors alike. Forget having to lug half a dozen books around to play this game. Its all here in this little book, without the need for supplements. This is classic Old School gaming from before anyone even knew what "Old School" was.
This revised edition includes grammar and spelling corrections, additional errata, and a short adventure.The reprint is available at Lulu for $15 (a bargain indeed!) The PDF version is also available at Drive Through RPG for $5.95.
And here are my answers:
1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
My Apocalyptic Stormfront MEGA-Table. I've heard from a lot of folks that have used in their games as well as basing adventures off it.
2. When was the last time you GMed?
At Gen Con last year. Dear Lord, has it been that long?
3. When was the last time you played?
Played in a pick-up 2e AD&D game about a month ago at my FLGS.
4. Give us a (three)-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven’t run but would like to.
A group of amnesiac PCs find themselves involved in a whirlwind adventure. As the game progresses, they realize they have similar powers and abilities. Eventually, they discover they're the same person, albeit different versions from alternate dimensions and times.
5. What do you do while you wait for players to do things?
Stack my polyhedrals one on top of another. For extra giggles, I start with the d4.
6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
I pound energy drinks and coffee.
7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
Hell yes. (See previous answer.) I do not sit down behind the screen as I'm usually acting out the NPCs, making updates to the battleboard, etc.
8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
Playing a wimpy 2nd level illusionist. Was involved in a combat with a goblin army I had no business entering. Rolled a natural 20 to hit, and killed a goblin. Swung at another. Rolled another nat 20. And again. And with my fourth STRAIGHT natural 20, the DM decreed that my character had been possessed with a bloodlust-infused berzerker rage. When the smoke cleared, I had offed 20 or so goblins with nothing but a dagger and 3 HP remaining. Epic.
9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
I'm all about the gonzo. I don't do "serious," but I do play it straight. But it always gets wacky. Prefer it that way.
10. What do you do with goblins?
Slaughter them by the dozens. (See previous answer.)
11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
Been reading a lot of historical trivia as I'm been getting reacquainted with Timemaster. Amazing how one small event could affect major historical occurances. Anyway, I discovered that a purchase at a produce stand saved the lives of millions of people and changed the course of WWII. Will be using that moment in time as a Timemaster adventure base for a game at Gen Con.
12. What’s the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
Friend was playing a kender thief named Willie armed with only a dagger. We met an ogre who swiftly trounced everyone but Willie. As the only one left conscious, he knew he was the only thing standing between us and a TPK.
"I run between the ogre's legs and stab him as I dart through!"
The guy playing Willie meant to say he was stabbing at the ogre's LEG when he ran through, hoping the ogre would drop to the ground where he could fight it better. Instead the DM assumed Willie was stabbing UPWARD as he ran through. The DM rolled the dice.
"OK, you run through his legs and stab up and under his loincloth as you do so. His groin takes 4 points of damage."
Howls of laughter erupt. Willie's player smiles.
"OK, I do it again!"
The ogre takes a swipe at Willie, missing handily, and Willie darts through its legs again with a called shot to the ogre's plumsack.
"You stab it in the nuts again, and it takes double damage. The orge screams, and staggers a bit, but it's still on it feetgr
Half of us are on the floor, laughing ourselves sick due to the absurdity of the fight.
By the time the fight ended, Willie was successful and the ogre was dead due to multiple called shots to its junk. That day, Willie changed his name to "Nadstabber."
13. What was the last game book you looked at–aside from things you referenced in a game–why were you looking at it?
Just nabbed Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition today, in fact. Primarily to throw some support to James Ward, but also because I hope to play in a game at Gary Con
14. Who’s your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
Erol Otus and Jeff Dee.
15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
No, I don't think so. Ran a few games of CoC and Chill back in Ye Olde Dayes that were "unnerving," but I'm not really a fearmonger. I like the "overwhelming odds" scenario, so that can be tension-inducing.
16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn’t write? (If ever)
Games of Paranoia always rock. The canned adventures, specifically Alpha Complexities, are always a hoot to run.
17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
Any finished rec room basement with plenty of Funyuns and Mountain Dew, just as we had back in Ye olden Dayes. Nothing wrong with the classics.
18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
Toon and Kult
19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Saturday morning cartoons (ala Hanna Barbera) and anything directed by Lucio Fulci.
20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
Attentive. Contributing. Great improv skills.
21. What’s a real life experience you’ve translated into game terms?
Eeep. I can't think of anything here.
22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn’t?
I'm writing it right now, so I'll keep this one private.
23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn’t play? How do those conversations go?
My wife doesn't get RPGs at ALL. But she listens attentively and with feigned interest. I do the same whenever she goes on and on (and ON) about last night's episode of Army Wives.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday that it has moved its "Doomsday Clock" to five minutes to midnight.
The group says inadequate progress on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and continuing inaction on climate change are the reasons for the change.
The clock had been set at six minutes to midnight for the past two years. It was previously set at five minutes to midnight from 2007-2010.
The group says in a statement that two years ago, there was reason for optimism "that world leaders might address the truly global threats we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed."