Gamma World question
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:07 am 
 

I'm a tad confused on this, and I assume that since it's by TSR, it's on topic.

I could swear there was a printing of the Gamma World campaign setting dated for 1981, which was (I assume) identical to the original 1978 printing. Both are 1st edition Gamma World.

I remember buying the box set in '81 and playing it, but I'm wondering if that was really a '78 box still on the shelf? It definitely had the cover to the 1st edition set.

Does anyone know if there are any differences between these two printings, ie different art, rules changes, etc and if so, what are they?


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:42 am 
 

Howdy,


Halaster Blackcloak wrote:I'm a tad confused on this, and I assume that since it's by TSR, it's on topic.

I could swear there was a printing of the Gamma World campaign setting dated for 1981, which was (I assume) identical to the original 1978 printing. Both are 1st edition Gamma World.

I remember buying the box set in '81 and playing it, but I'm wondering if that was really a '78 box still on the shelf? It definitely had the cover to the 1st edition set.

Does anyone know if there are any differences between these two printings, ie different art, rules changes, etc and if so, what are they?



From memory: the 1978 1st print was reprinted with different logos through 1981 possibly as late as 1982. This version has the lurid Trampier artwork and goes from the lizard logo, to the wizard (Morley) logo, and finishes with the wizard face logo (the third printing). The printing is indicated at the bottom of the title page on the 2nd and 3rd printing.

The next edition of the game came out in 1983 along with a slew of new products and accesories. Mostly being adorned by Easley artwork. The look and feel of the game changes at this point too. Some think it is a totally different game. The logo shifts to the horribly ugly awful clunky no class Blume inspired business pap politically correct, block logo. (Blech!)

Other than the logo and product listing inside the back cover, I don't know of any real differences in the earlier sets, other than the very first printing did not have a back cover printed on the box but it was a seperate sheet that fit under the shrinkwrap. The latter is often missing.


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:45 am 
 

Paul wrote:

Other than the logo and product listing inside the back cover, I don't know of any real differences in the earlier sets, other than the very first printing did not have a back cover printed on the box but it was a seperate sheet that fit under the shrinkwrap. The latter is often missing.


correct...

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:50 am 
 

I have a 1st which I got with dice - does anyone if this was normal (or perhaps instead added in by the previous owner) ???


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:16 pm 
 

Howdy Mike,


invincibleoverlord wrote:Paul wrote:

correct...

How's it going Paul?


Great to see you around the boards again! It seems we have so many folks coming and going here it's nice to see people come back every once in a while rather than drop out completely.

I'll send you a PM so we don't derail this thread.


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:17 pm 
 

Howdy,


red_bus wrote:I have a 1st which I got with dice - does anyone if this was normal (or perhaps instead added in by the previous owner) ???


Normal.


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:42 pm 
 

cheers :D


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:50 pm 
 

The Collector's Trove wrote:From memory: the 1978 1st print was reprinted with different logos through 1981 possibly as late as 1982. This version has the lurid Trampier artwork and goes from the lizard logo, to the wizard (Morley) logo, and finishes with the wizard face logo (the third printing). The printing is indicated at the bottom of the title page on the 2nd and 3rd printing.

The next edition of the game came out in 1983 along with a slew of new products and accesories. Mostly being adorned by Easley artwork. The look and feel of the game changes at this point too. Some think it is a totally different game. The logo shifts to the horribly ugly awful clunky no class Blume inspired business pap politically correct, block logo. (Blech!)

Other than the logo and product listing inside the back cover, I don't know of any real differences in the earlier sets, other than the very first printing did not have a back cover printed on the box but it was a seperate sheet that fit under the shrinkwrap. The latter is often missing.


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The later Wizard Face logo set also has "Science Fantasy Role-Playing Game" in red under the main title on the box.

The 2nd Edition set (1983) actually wasn't so much a departure from the original rules -- they're about 95% compatible -- as a filling-out and clarification, though regrettably they did drop the neato background essay about the terrorist group Apocalypse. The rules were the same, the America map -- though colorized -- was the same.

I think the divergence Collector's Trove speaks of is the 3rd Edition set (1986). The rules were completely changed, centered around the ACT Table adapted from Marvel Super Heroes. The background was completely jettisoned, and introduced a new ongoing campaign in a series of modules (Alpha Factor, etc, etc).

Nostalgia aside, the 1st edition Gamma World rules set was pretty sparse... Just enough background to get started, mostly combat rules just different enough from D&D to be annoying. The mutations were given some nice detail though.

A ref had to have quite a bit of RPG experience to keep the campaign from going Monty Haul. Example: Characters had dozens of hit points, but only 3 ways of healing: Mutations, Artifacts, and good 'ol bed rest. Since bed rest only healed 1 hp per day(!), characters could literally be laid up for several months recuperating after a combat, often derailing an adventure. This was only one of the pressures on the Ref to hand out the candy (artifacts). Only in later editions did support get written in to allow low-tech campaigns to persist for at least a while.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:41 pm 
 

Howdy,


Ah, yes you are absolutely correct. Just going off of memory - shoulda checked. :P


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:53 pm 
 

Gamma World has an excellent following on ebay, if you have never checked. All versions sell very well - first prints get very good dollars. The more common 2nd and 3rd prints also fetch $30+ if they are in good shape and complete.

I personally prefer the first edition of the game - just out of sentimentality because that was the version we played.


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:22 am 
 

The Collector's Trove wrote:



From memory: the 1978 1st print was reprinted with different logos through 1981 possibly as late as 1982.


That makes sense, because the 2nd edition set came out in '83. So basically, each printing has the same art inside, the same layout, etc?

The next edition of the game came out in 1983 along with a slew of new products and accesories. Mostly being adorned by Easley artwork. The look and feel of the game changes at this point too. Some think it is a totally different game. The logo shifts to the horribly ugly awful clunky no class Blume inspired business pap politically correct, block logo. (Blech!)


I like Easley's AD&D art and his Star Frontiers stuff, but not much if any of his Gamma World material. I remember looking through the 2nd edition of GW and thinking it was a totally different game, though I can't even recall the book itself since I never actually owned it.

Other than the logo and product listing inside the back cover, I don't know of any real differences in the earlier sets, other than the very first printing did not have a back cover printed on the box but it was a seperate sheet that fit under the shrinkwrap. The latter is often missing.


Weird! I guess I should shoot for a 2nd or 3rd printing then.

Thanks Paul!  :wink:

Red_Bus wrote:

I have a 1st which I got with dice - does anyone if this was normal (or perhaps instead added in by the previous owner) ???


Yup, it came with dice and a crayon to color in the dice too! A white crayon if I remember correctly. Although it is possible to get a set where a previous owner just threw in some later-produced dice and not the originals, I suppose.

Red Dawn wrote:

The 2nd Edition set (1983) actually wasn't so much a departure from the original rules -- they're about 95% compatible -- as a filling-out and clarification, though regrettably they did drop the neato background essay about the terrorist group Apocalypse. The rules were the same, the America map -- though colorized -- was the same.


I've heard that the 2E rules are almost identical, but for me it's also a nostalgia consideration. Some people actually said they prefer the second edition rules overall. Me, I want to stick to the version I had back in high school. Though I wouldn't mind supplementing it with an extra map, ie the colored one.

I think the divergence Collector's Trove speaks of is the 3rd Edition set (1986). The rules were completely changed, centered around the ACT Table adapted from Marvel Super Heroes. The background was completely jettisoned, and introduced a new ongoing campaign in a series of modules (Alpha Factor, etc, etc).


The 3rd edition is that one with the cover with that fangy beast being ridden by a cyborg-like person? Ech. I saw the original art for that on ebay for $18,000.00. 8O Gimme a break!   :roll:

I remember paging through that and finding it unplayable, or at least not anything like the game I remembered. I did end up trying the 4th edition set (the one that was just a softcover book), but it didn't feel right either. :(  

Nostalgia aside, the 1st edition Gamma World rules set was pretty sparse... Just enough background to get started, mostly combat rules just different enough from D&D to be annoying. The mutations were given some nice detail though.


That's something I actually liked about the 1st edition, and we never really had problems with it becoming Monty Haul, so that along with the nostalgia factor make it a must have.

Finally, Bbarsh wrote:

Gamma World has an excellent following on ebay, if you have never checked. All versions sell very well - first prints get very good dollars. The more common 2nd and 3rd prints also fetch $30+ if they are in good shape and complete.




I've had no luck finding a nice condition, complete one on ebay. I don't always look, and tend to overlook them now and then, but it seems that every time I check, the set is ripped up, incomplete, etc.  :(


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:54 pm 
 

I'm a self-confessed Gamma World nut. I've played 4 out of the 6(?) editions.

I started with 1st edition back in '82, mostly 'cause my bud was the AD&D ref, and I wanted a game to call my own. I remember raiding the AD&D rules for medieval-type equipment and even adapted some monsters when the GW ones ran out. Sadly my campaign did go Monty Haul. *shrugs* I was 12, what can I say?  :)

When 2nd edition came out, we mostly used it as an expansion set for the 1st edition, where it performed admirably.

We drifted off into other games, so fast-forward to the later '80s, where we tried the 3rd edition. We actually played it for quite a while. I liked the ACT table (very clever) and expansion into mutated plants and PC robots. Organizing the equipment into tech levels was an excellent idea... plus the addition of SO much more artifacts. I was disappointed with the module series that came with it. Not sure why. I look at them now, they don't seem too bad, just not real inspiring. Maybe I was looking for something more epic. Plus the cover art never seemed to match the material inside.

(I'm ignoring the Gammarauders shit. Somebody must like it 'cause it and Factoids sell OK on eBay)

Fast-forward more years later, and we played 4th edition. We liked that too. Very similar to AD&D, 2nd edition. Lots of support for low-tech campaigning, and the modules are pretty good. The introduction of classes/skills was a long-needed adddition.

Never tried the Alternity or D20 GW. I've heard they scaled back the PC races, mutations, etc. When is less better?  :x

Today, I'd probably go back to 1st/2nd edition, and mine the later sets for all the extra material. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?  :)

  

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:05 pm 
 

red_dawn wrote:Never tried the Alternity or D20 GW. I've heard they scaled back the PC races, mutations, etc. When is less better?  :x


I have tried both, Alternity was pretty well done it used point buy for stats and there was plenty of high quality material to play a campaign.

D20 Gamma world was fun for a change but they forgot to properly play test it I am sure.  The system is very lopsided towards mutants and robots.  The new nanotechnology is difficult to understand and use.  There are lots of rules, some seem to contradict each other.  Having said that it was fun to play anyway, I converted some original mods to D20 and we had a blast playing it.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:48 pm 
 

**Probably should be in non-TSR, but I'm reviving an old thread and didn't realize it was originally posted in the General Collecting forums.**

In a 3rd edition Gamma World box set I found this item - it is called the Rules Supplement and was apparently given out FREE.  It serves to address the many inconsistencies and omissions in the Rulebook.

Only . . .  I have never seen one before.  Are they rare?  Did they have to be sent away for?  Were they given to brick-and-mortar stores to distribute?  (It has 16 pages)

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:23 pm 
 

Hey BtB,

I have a copy of this as well but just thought it was part of the box set.  In the lower left corner it has the product code 7010 that matches the box set.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:36 pm 
 

Mars wrote:Hey BtB,

I have a copy of this as well but just thought it was part of the box set.  In the lower left corner it has the product code 7010 that matches the box set.


Yeah, I realize it has the piece code, but other TSR errata follows the same format (even though it was made at a later date).

If you read the beginning paragraphs (I think the second paragraph specifically) it seems to indicate that this is an "afterthought" that is "in response" to criticisms about the 3rd edition set.  It is because of the customer feedback that the Rules Supplement was made.

Now, it could be that it was included in later printings (if there were any), but it sure seems like it is stating that earlier printings of the set don't have this.


As an aside, I have had other 3rd edition sets that were "complete" but didn't have this item.  In fact, I have one right now.  It's 100% complete otherwise . . .  

Quick . . . someone tear off your shrink and check for me!

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:47 pm 
 

Okay,

From Wikipedia:

Unfortunately for TSR, this version of the rules became notorious for the number of editoral mistakes, including cross-references to rules that didn't appear in the boxed set. The errors were serious enough that TSR published a Gamma World Rules Supplement containing the "missing" rules. The Rules Supplement was sent to gamers who requested it by mail, and included in reprintings of the boxed set (Ward and Johnson 1986).


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:53 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:Okay,

From Wikipedia:



Damn, I was going to answer that question, but you beat me to it... by posting a paragraph I wrote for Wikipedia.

(Coincidentally, that's the article that made me give up on Wikipedia. I lost my tolerance for working with anonymous nitpickers.)

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:55 pm 
 

Contrarian wrote:
Damn, I was going to answer that question, but you beat me to it... by posting a paragraph I wrote for Wikipedia.

(Coincidentally, that's the article that made me give up on Wikipedia. I lost my tolerance for working with anonymous nitpickers.)


Yes, well thanks for the clarification on wikipedia, even if it did serve to sour you on the Wiki experience.  Incidentally, did you send away for one of those Rules Supplements yourself?


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:20 pm 
 

Good spot.  I didn't know about this either but it does explain why the 16 page booklet was not listed on the back of the box too.  I only have the one copy of this set so I don't know how rare it is.  

Maybe we should have a poll, I would be curious to know if it is rare or not as well.

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