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I have made quite a few changes today to the tools here for Metamorphosis Alpha (1976) in light of the hardcover book on the horizon. I didn't pitch in on the Kickstarter, as I already have the rules...but I did want to make sure the tools were usable for those who are going to broach this style of gaming for the first time. Mostly what I do here is convert Broken Urthe creatures and robots to be used in this particular setting. I have my own set of 300 creatures along with 100 robots so it works out well since the main rules only had a handful of them. Some changes I made to my generators in this regard is that the creatures and robots now have RAD, MIND, and POISON resists. Although not a part of original rule's monster structure, it was easy enough to incorporate for those game masters that find it useful. Some of my custom weapons have been changed to add elements such as distance and weapon class, along with damage being modified to match the other weapons in this particular ruleset. Traps have also been modified to give the strength for any poisons or the intensities of any radiation effects.
With that out of the way, I did have some thoughts on the game system itself. To begin, I never played this game. I like it overall, and read the rules (it is only a 30 page rule book), but never had the opportunity as of yet. Some of the history around this game reaches the same conclusions. It is meant to be a whacky, gonzo game where everyone is probably going to die during the first session. Probably not a bad thing if you just ran it at conventions, but people generally want a longer running game. The character sheets are super simplistic and the longest part about making characters is the choices of mutations. This makes death a bit more easier to accept since you could get back into the game pretty quickly.
There is no level advancement like there is in D&D style games. Your characters don't really get better unless a mutation happens, but you also have hit points in pretty high range (roll a d6 for each constitution point and add them all together). This is something of a requirement since there are no healers and laser guns will decimate you otherwise. Because there is no advancement, in the traditional sense, you are really just participating in a science-fantasy story on a derelict ship. Which leads to another complaint of the game. You are on a ship! You will eventually explore it all and maybe even take control of it.
These issues are something that a creative game master can easily overcome. One could create an advancement system if they wanted, although not really necessary. As far as the ship itself, a campaign does not have to be so canned (pun intended). The ship is ginormous! There are many levels with many mysteries to explore. Each campaign can have the ship different from the last. One campaign can have the ship almost fully functional where another campaign can have the ship pretty much useless in navigation. If you feel the ship is too limiting after awhile, then just construct a campaign where the ship crashed on a planet centuries earlier and it takes a few game sessions to find the hatch...escape the ship...and explore a new planet.
The game does have some holes for those who are used to a more structured game set, but nothing that would stop one from using them and making up the rest. If you read over Gamma World (1978), you will find a similar rule set with some things explained in more detail. I think with the creation of Gamma World, the Metamorphosis Alpha game really just turned into a campaign setting you could use with the Gamma World rules. Also the Metamorphosis Alpha setting can be used with pretty much any post-apocalyptic rule set. Here at Wizardawn, you can make such a campaign by using the Broken Urthe or Mutant Future rules. It works just fine.
Anyway, this game is a nice piece of history that still functions as a viable rule set even though it was published almost 40 years ago. If you didn't get into the Kickstarter I mentioned, you can get a decent electronic copy of the rules at RPGNow or even a really nice paperback copy at Lulu.
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