Sunday, July 26, 2015
I put adventure in quotes up there because this is an adventure in only the loosest sense. It's really a set of notes that I used to run the adventure from. There are no stats, no numbers, no charts. Unique monsters, NPCs, and hazards are mentioned without any guidance on what they look like or what their abilities are. The whole thing is only 8 pages, including a cover and two-page map, and the map is only a schematic; it shows where places are in relation to other places but doesn't include doors or hallways.
That's how I enjoy running adventures at NTRPGCon—I rough out a general plan and then have the greatest fun riffing off the players' ideas and interactions. That goes double for Gamma World—I have a core group of terrific players who make it to my GW game every year, and they never fail to amaze me with their inventiveness and humor. With a group like that, the adventure practically writes itself.
I use 1st-edition Gamma World rules for these sessions in Dallas, but any post-apocalyptic game will work for Rendezvous with Ruinator. Mutant Future from Goblinoid Games and Broken Urthe from Wizardawn Entertainment are both fine, free, OSR alternatives, if you don't have a copy of Gamma World lurking on your shelves anymore.
A bit of background might help GMs get into this. My Dallas GW adventures are all based around the framing story of Professor Monkey, a super-intelligent chimp who roams Gamma Terra at the helm of the lumbering "Radium Powered Lab." Think a CDC emergency-response laboratory on legs, built in the wacked-out 23rd century. Prof. Monkey is part altruistic world-saver and part megolamaniacal empire-builder. He's assembled a crack team of lab assistants (who are always busy doing science at the Radium Powered Lab) and go-fers (the "#1 Fetch-It Squad"), who do the dangerous work of venturing out into the irradiated wilderness to investigate enigmas and bring artifacts back to the lab. Those are the PCs. With Prof. Monkey as a patron, the characters can start these adventures well-equipped and with a definite mission—which usually is, "find out what this funny blip on the Scan-o-Tron 360 is and bring me back something I can use from it."
Ruinator is a gigantic war machine a third of a mile long with a complex, thoroughly dysfunctional society living inside it. You could be forgiven for thinking that an adventure set inside an ancient war machine might lean heavily on the combat lever, but this is actually one of the most diplomacy-rich settings I've ever concocted. There's plenty of opportunity for whipping guns out of holsters and slicing off arms with vibroblades, but in the end, talking is what's going to win the day inside Ruinator.
And that's enough talking from me. Download Ruinator and have fun!