Setting Background Information.   Posted by GammaKnight.Group: archive public
 GM, 2 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 00:33
Setting Background Information
  Overhead, a rainbow of flickering colors dances across the night sky. The stars glow and flicker through the surreal wash of reds, blues, and greens. A close knit triangle of stars moves rapidly across the sky. They'll be back again in an hour. The guide, stars, forever fixed in place in the multihued heavens, can be located with only a minimal effort.
  Turning, you shamble off into the jumble of cloud towers amid the glow. With an effort of willpower you float over the gaping chasm of softrock and steel. Your large, webbed feet paddle the air slowly.
  Suddenly you detect a dim mind signal. Your antennae twitch back and forth seeking the direction. Knights of Genetic Purity! Their hatred flows into your mind, pounding against it like the surf. Quickly you unholster your weapons, all four arms moving in smooth harmony. Speaking aloud the tongue of the ancients, and drawing the cryptic symbols on its metal skin, you awaken the sun bolt gun. If the air currents stay strong, you might make it across the chasm before they arrive.

  Welcome to Gamma Terra! A world where humanity has caused their own fall whether by design, accident, or apathy, no one alive truly knows. Only the reptilian Sleeth, in their cloistered orders, put forth theories as to such things.

  This is a game more of Science Fantasy, rather than Science Fiction, because the items that can be found would have rusted, melted, and turned to dust long before the start of the campaign. Try not to think to hard about it.
 GM, 3 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 01:10
Many terms of modern society are alien to the player characters. If Gamma World characters see a jeep driving through a field, they wouldn't call it a jeep. In fact they probably wouldn't think of it as a gasoline powered machine intended to get its driver from one place to another. Instead they might see this device as a steel carriage with a person held captive in its belly.

Below are some common terms used in the Gamma World game. These are by no means the only foreign terms used by those living in this strange world. However, this is a good representative list. Different societies might have slightly different terms for the same thing, and other commonly found remnants of the ancient would also have been named by ordinary folk. Try ot use these words when describing scenes, speaking to NPCs, or at other appropriate times.

Adamant: The ancients used a material called duralloy for many of their artifacts. This super tough metal surpasses any other metal or plastic in resilience, hence the common name adamant.

Altered Ones: This name refers to the general class of mutated humans. Any human that has a single mutation is an Altered One, or one of the Altered.

Ancients: The people who lived before the cataclysm.

Artifacts: The generic terms for objects built before the cataclysm by the ancients. They are considered to hold great power, and even the most worthless can be bought and sold for a handsome price.

Bones of the Giants: The metal frame of an ancient building. Frequently all that is left by now.

Cataclysm: Long ago (several centuries), it is the common theory that the ancients fought a war with devastating machines of mass destruction. This was the cataclysm. It is also known as the Time of Troubles or the Time or Terror, and it cast the world into barbarism, from which it is only now beginning to rise out of.

Cloud Towers: This name refers to any large building, particularly skyscrapers, left standing from the time of the ancients.

The Curse/Legacy: Radiation is something that cannot be seen. It is the invisible source of radiation sickness. Therefore, the inhabitants of Gamma Terra do not have a term for radiation, since they can't see it. They do, however, have on for the resulting illness. It is called the Legacy, or the Curse. People do know that the Legacy is the result of the great weapons of destruction used by the ancients.

The Glow: The light shed by radioactive areas at night is called the glow. Unfortunately for the characters, it also refers to the light produced by light bulbs. To the inhabitants of Gamma Terra, there is little difference between a rock that glows and a piece of metal and glass that glows.

Green Folk: All intelligent, mutated plants are referred to as the green folk.

Lightning: This is obviously a common term for the electrical discharge of a storm. However, the inhabitants of Gamma Terra believe, correctly, that the ancients were able to enslave this force to do their bidding. Therefore, all electricity is called lightning.

Live Metal: Most self powered machinery is called live metal. In particular, robots and vehicles are given this name. It refers to the appearance of life in a metal object. The machine moves, walks, talks, etc, so therefore it must be alive.

New Animals: This is a term for mutated animal characters. Any animal that is obviously intelligent is a new animal.

Nograin: Plastic is probably the most perplexing material left behind by the ancients. It bears no resemblance to any other naturally occurring material. It has some of the attributes of wood, ceramic, and resin. Mot notably, it is a material with no grain.

Sky Chariot: A common term for airplane or any other flying craft. Roaring condor is another term used, emphasizing the noise of the engines.

Softrock: Concrete crumbles and deteriorates much faster than natural stone, hence the term softrock.

Sun Bolt: This is the name coined for blasts of energy. Usually it refers to visible beams, such as those produced by plasma guns, conversion beamers and the like. Strangely, laser beams are rarely given this name, probably because the beam itself is invisible.

True Men: These are the descendants of the ancients, also known as pure stain humans. Their bodies and minds are sturdier than those of the Altered, but they lack the advantages or powerful mutations.
 GM, 4 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 16:33
Cryptic Alliances
As with our own time, being will coalesce into groupings of beings of similar ideology naturally (that sounded sagely didn't it?). Hence the Cryptic Alliances and, as the same in our time, there are traditional and reform followers. A PC may select a Cryptic Alliance to be a part of, but expect to have requests and responsibilities to be a common thing.
 GM, 5 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 16:34
Cryptic Alliances - The Archivists
This primitive alliance, also know as Servants of the Eye, worships the artifacts of the ancients. Its members are usually ignorant and uneducated folk, poor both in mind and in bony. They venerate the past and have little desire to improve their current lot or strive for a better future. Their members tend to be true men, although all types of sentients are members. Groups of Archivists are sometimes bullied into servitude by Followers of the Voice.

Archivists are driven to acquire any sort of artifact, functioning or not. They offer their finds to the deactivated robots they worship as gods. A typical temple is a shrine filled with artifacts, most of which are worthless. On occasion Archivists are able to capture and deactivate a robot. They then mount it upon an alter as a new god to be venerated.

Members of this organization tend to keep their alliance secret. The locations of their temples are never revealed to a stranger. Such places are bound to be looted if discovered by outsiders.

Traditional: These members hunt down robots and active machines, believing them to be inhabited by evil spirits. They deactivate these machines by any means and cart them off to a temple.

Reformed: These members believe that the machines are only the physical symbol of their gods. These members only seek or take artifacts that are not being used by others or have ceased to function naturally.

Symbol: An eye within a triangle. It is usually worn upon jewelery and kept out of casual view.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:49, Sun 26 Mar 2017.

 GM, 6 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 20:13
Cryptic Alliances - The Brotherhood of Thought
The legends of this alliance hold that if was formed by a true man known only as Ashintin. Most sleeth historians believe that is a pseudonym and not the man's true name. According to the legend, Ashintin was a survivor of the cataclysm. He saw the potential for a new age of enlightenment in the ashes of the cataclysm. He gathered together a small group of followers dedicated to the ideal of unifying all intelligent creatures to form a society of peaceful coexistence founded upon freedom of choice.

The two pillars of the Brotherhood are nonaggression and personal choice. Their concept of personal choice borders upon anarchy. The Brotherhood has weak ties to the Seekers and the White Hand. It opposes the work of alliances such as the Purists or the Friends of Entropy.

There is little organization in the Brotherhood. Each member does as they please. Most merely go about their lives trying to live up to the ideals of the alliance. Some wander the land, trying to convince any sentient creature to join their ranks. Such wanderers usually travel in groups of three or four. They like to have one member or each basic genotype: a true man, an altered one, a new animal, and a green folk. However, their ideals do not seem to appeal to plants as often as to the other genotypes, so frequently there are only three members of the group. They are quite open and honest about their alliance membership.

Traditional: Sometimes you have to use violence to stop violence. These brothers are reluctant to use this option, but will hurt or kill a sentient creature if necessary to prevent even greater destruction.

Reformed: A radical brother will never strike a sentient creature, even to save his own life. He will never prevent anyone from doing as he chooses, although he might try to persuade such a person verbally to the Brotherhood's view.

Symbol: Members trace an infinity sign in the air or on their foreheads as a symbol of their alliance.
 GM, 7 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 20:36
Cryptic Alliances - The Followers of the Voice
According to the Programmers, the entire world was created by a computer. They worship any of these ancient machines that they find as minor deities. Always they search for the creator computer. What they intend to do if they find it is a secret known only by the grand high systems operator.

There are many cases where Followers have been easily enslaved by an active computer. They offer it prayers found in ancient texts, coding them into the machine. Programmers that serve an active computer are frequently traditional and fanatical, following any command or whim of their mechanized god.

Programmers have been known to associate with Archivists and the Created. Most other alliances, particularly the Restorationists, oppose them. The Followers of the Voice keep their existence secret. They fear that outsiders would want to harm or steal their computers.

Their secret bases tend to be in the ancient ruins where the old computers might still be found. They are usually well equipped with artifacts from before the Time of Troubles.

Traditional: Anything the computer says or communicates is the literal truth. It must be obeyed instantly and precisely. These Programmers will lay down their lives proudly if the computer asks them to do so.

Reformed: The ramblings of the computer god are to be interpreted in light of the current social climate. It is often thought that the computer is intentionally cryptic in order to test the skills of its followers.

Symbol: The Followers have many symbols, but the most popular are the chip and the disk. They are frequently tattooed in places that are not visible in public.
 GM, 8 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 21:12
Cryptic Alliances - Healers
This monastic order, founded by a great healer from the Shadow Years immediately following the cataclysm. The White Hand are dedicated to healing the sick and the injured of any race or alliance, even non sentient creatures.

Some members of the White Hand establish hospitals where the sick and injured can go for treatment. Others wander the land healing any and all creatures that cross their path. Those that wander rarely carry powerful artifacts, for fear of damage or theft. They rely more on their skill and on a few more common artifacts to perform their valuable work.

The members of the White Hand always try to respect the wishes of their patients. For example, when among the Seekers, they use only primitive healing techniques, such as salves, ointments, and splints. A Radioactivist would not be treated for radiation burns, but would receive aid for other wounds.

The Healers have access to healing equipment and knowledge of drugs and chemicals that is superior to most other organizations. They make no secret of their alliance membership. Anyone caught stealing from the White Hand is refused the benefit of their services.

Traditional: Traditional Healers will help any creature, sentient or not. They will risk life and limb to give medical assistance to another. This does not mean they they must aid a creature that is certain to kill them, however. There must be a chance of successfully treating the patient before they will take the risk.

Reformed: Many reformed Healers demand payment for their services, although they will sometimes perform charity work. They tend to help non sentient creatures only occasionally.

Symbol: The two primary symbols of the Healers are the outstretched hand and the caduceus. These are usually painted on their caduceus. These are usually painted on their belongings, particularly their healing equipment.
 GM, 9 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 22:01
Cryptic Alliances - The Iron Society
This is yet another group founded upon fear and hatred. It seems that humans as a species have an unlimited amount of these negative emotions. Ony altered humans can be a part of this alliance. Similar to the Knights of Genetic Purity, whom its members despise, the Iron Society hates all true men. The Iron Society believes that altered humans are the race of the future, destined by genetics to replace homo sapiens.

Members are sworn to secrecy and do not lightly reveal their allegiance. The society has a special branch of telepathic mutants called the Thought Police that tracks down traitors and destroys them.

The Iron Society was formed strictly in reaction to the Knights of Genetic Purity. AS the Purists began to hunt down and slaughter larger and larger groups of new men, militant mutants formed their own reactionary group. The struggle between these two cryptic alliances has been going on for over a century. The Purists have the advantage of technology, while the Iron Society has the advantage of powerful mutations.

Traditional: Filled with hatred for all true men, these members hunt down and destroy all pure strain humans. They actively seek to better their position by eliminating all true men. Note: PC members are not allowed to hold the traditional point of view.

Reformed: These members are not blinded by their hatred. They only despise the Knights of Genetic Purity, not all true men. In their eyes, true men are merely pathetic inferiors. They tend to work to promote the condition of new men throughout the world.

Symbol: A hammer in a circle is one primary symbol of the Iron Society. The Society has minted a coin with this image that is sometimes passed between members for identification.
 GM, 10 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 22:27
Cryptic Alliances - Peace Brigade
Not long ago, a group splintered off from the Restorationists. This group decided that civilization needs to be preserved and nurtured wherever it may be found, and that its members were just the sentients to do it.

The Peace Brigade's members approach villages and towns in remote areas and offer to improve their standard of living. This usually involves education and improved public works. Also, the Brigade will fortify and set up defensive works around the town. In exchange, the Brigade expects to levy a very reasonable tax. Many villages accept this offer. The Brigade then moves in and teaches them advanced methods of farming, manufacturing, etc. Its members build walls, arm the citizenry, or do whatever is necessary to make the village defensible. Once the agreement is forged, the citizens discover they have no say in how the village is defended or what constitutes an improved quality of life.

Unfortunately, even if the village cannot be persuaded to cooperate, the Peace Brigade may move in and do its work anyway. Armed guards oversee the construction of protective walls, which may or may not run through fields and houses. Buildings and homes are leveled and replaced with more modern equivalents.

AFter all of this chaos, the Brigade leaves. The following year, it returns with an armed force and extracts a tax from the citizenry. This tax is higher than the one that might otherwise be levied if the Brigade had been allowed to do its work with the village's cooperation, but is still not a severe burden to the population.

Traditional: Rather than force themselves upon villages, traditionalist begin a program to change the society. Their goal is to convince the people  that progress of any sort is good. They are willing to wait an entire generation to change the minds of the people.

Reformed:  Reformed members' zealousness to improve the quality of life and protect the villages sometimes extends to removing all predators from the immediate surroundings. Alternately, they might force the people to live in underground dwellings, the ultimate in defensible positions. In general, they go to extremes when determining how best to protect a village.

Symbol: A crossed shovel and sword set on a blue field. It is typically emblazoned on the members' equipment and on the walls or other structures they leave behind in the villages.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:51, Sun 26 Mar 2017.

 GM, 11 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 23:12
Cryptic Alliances - The Radioactivists
This strange group believes in the "divine radiant glory". Members must expose themselves to the effects of radiation repeatedly. They then crawls off to wait for a possible mutation to affect them. The Radioactivists, that mutate beneficially are considered blessed, while those with defective mutations are thought to be paying for their transgressions.

The vast bulk of this cryptic alliance are new men, although there are some new animals in it. Members keep their membership secret from anyone not in the alliance. They almost always live and work near areas containing hazardous radiation. This gives them ample opportunity to practice their beliefs.

The overall goal of the Radioactivists is to spread radioactivity throughout the world. They do not seem to realize that this would mean the end of life as we know it. Somewhere there is rumored to be a supreme leader that has been mutated almost beyond recognition. He is supposedly directing the entire alliance's efforts toward its grand goal.

Traditional: This branch of the cryptic alliance wants to establish shrines in currently radioactive areas where the devoted can visit. Traditionalist would not bath the entire Earth in radioactivity, but rather maintain existing areas. They want to go public with the creed.

Reformed: At the opposite extreme, the reformed Radioactivists want to increase the amount of radiation in the world. They engage in a crude form of fortune telling by capturing innocent creatures and subjecting them to radiation. If the creature dies, it is a bad omen. If it lives, it is a good omen. If it mutates, then favor is truly shining upon the issue.

Symbol: The triple triangle arranged in a circle around a dot is the symbol of the Radioactivists. It must be either yellow, orange, or red. Members of the alliance emblazon it in hidden corners of their clothing or on their belongings.
 GM, 12 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 23:37
Cryptic Alliances - The Ranks of the Fit
To so called Emperor Napoleon I, a mutated bear, founded this cryptic alliance. In the early years, he conquered vast territories with his large armies. Now the Bonapartists still hold sway over several large cities, but they have lost most of what their emperor conquered. Each city is ruled by a supreme high commander. These iron-fisted monarchs spend much of their time trying to unite the ranks under their individual command.

The creed of the ranks is based upon several ancient texts, which were once revered by Napoleon I himself. The names and contents of these books is known only to the supreme hig commanders. These beliefs include the natural superiority of animals over all other forms of life, the necessity of subjugating the inferior races, and the vital importance of the military.

Anyone can become a Bonapartist, but only animals are allowed to have positions of authority (ranks of major or above). As a result, few humans or green folk can be found in their ranks. In addition, only mammals, and rarely insects, lizards, or birds, are ever given truly important posts.

Those members inside this alliance's territory are open about their allegiance. However, they have many spies and operatives in other places that keep their identity a secret.

Traditional: Many members of this branch hate humans. Traditional Bonapartists want to crush all human resistance and establish a supreme military government with humans as slaves. Mammals would, or course, be more important than other animals in this new scheme.

Reformed: This wing of the alliance believes that the military must serve the common good of the people. They want to conquer the world so that they can establish a government where the military and civilian elements rule equally. Animals are, of course, predestined to rule the military half of the government.

Symbol: Members of the military all wear uniforms with tricornered hats. Secret operatives usually carry a symbol with a stylized dagger thrust through a triangle.
 GM, 13 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 23:53
Cryptic Alliances - Restorationists
The members of this cryptic alliance are primarily humans, both pure and new. However, any sentient creature is welcome to join their ranks. The Restorationists work to recover the ancient technology and restore Gamma Terra to its previous glory. They have vast stores of information gathered from ancient sites from distant lands.

As a rule, animals and plants are not interested in restoring the old ways. They would rather build a new civilization than restore the old one. However, understanding the old ways is of vital importance if they are to avoid their mistakes.

The Seekers in particular hate Restorationists for their love of machines. The Restorationists do not actively oppose any single group, although any cryptic alliance opposed to rebuilding civilization is dealt with cautiously. Such alliances as the Followers of the Voice, the Zoopremists, and the Archivists stand in the way of the Restorationists' goals.

The Restorationists influence many large towns. They are very aggressive in their goals, hiring mercenaries to explore, seek out, and recover ancient artifacts and knowledge. While well armed, they have never been known to attack without provocation.

Traditional: The traditional view holds that only complete dominance of an area will secure it so that it can be restored. The technology of the ancients must be used to control the populace if any progress is to be made.

Reformed: These members believe that society must be restored by peaceable means. They even advocate making treaties with such groups as the Seekers and the Knights of Genetic Purity.

Symbol: The rising sun over the ocean is the symbol of the Restorationists. They bear it proudly on flags, but rarely carry it on their persons.

This message was last updated by the GM at 23:54, Sun 26 Mar 2017.

 GM, 14 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 23:54
Cryptic Alliances - Zoopremists
Originally the Zoopremists were dedicated to serving all sentient species of animals. Their alliance was to be a common society in which the new species of Gamma Terra could mingle freely. Since that time, ti has splintered into two groups, neither of which follows the old creed of the original Zoopremists.

The current thinking of the Zoopremists is that the thinking beasts of the world are its rightful heirs. They believe themselves to be superior to humans, including the New Men. The Zoopremists do not want to kill humans, merely make them their servants. Sentient plants are not thought to be of any consequence.

Young animals seem attracted to this cryptic alliance. An alarming number of them join their ranks. Fortunately, as they mature into adulthood, many leave the Zoompremists. Those few that do stay tend to comprise the leadership ranks. Their young followers are quite zealous and devoted.

The Zoopremists secretly oppose the Ranks of the Fit. It galls them that a significant group of animals believes that it is possible to live with humans, even altered ones. The Zoompremists act as a secret organization to prevent the plots and activities of the Ranks of the Fit, seeking to discredit them in the eyes of mutated animals everywhere.

Left: Leftist Zoopremists have formed a secret society devoted to destroying anything and anybody that stands in the way or new animal supremacy. They wholly embrace the tools of terrorism.

Right: These new animal rights activists are interested in furthering the role of animals in the new worlds. They are militant but not a terrorist organization. They do not advertise themselves, but do no go to great lengths to keep their cryptic alliance secret.

Symbol: A bull's head is used to symbolize the Zoopremists' organization. Members use a secret sign with the thumb and forefinger curved to look like an animal's horns.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:23, Mon 27 Mar 2017.

 GM, 15 posts
Mon 27 Mar 2017
at 00:11
Cryptic Alliances - Unavailable Alliances
The Created, Knights of Genetic Purity, and the Seekers are the only cryptic alliances that are unavailable to player characters. A short description of each follows.

The Created is a cryptic alliance that only holds synthetic men and robots. Thus no living being may be one.

The Knights of Genetic Purity believe that true men are superior to all other life. Some groups actively search out mutated people for destruction, others simply stay to themselves allowing others to live in relative peace, others still use the altered ones, new animals, and green folk as slave labor.

Seekers, or the New Dawn as they are also known as, live simple lives devoid of any ancient technology to the point that only simple machines and natural power is used or even tolerated.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:28, Mon 27 Mar 2017.

 GM, 24 posts
Tue 28 Mar 2017
at 01:37
The Main Book
If anyone needs the book, you can find it online from various places. I suggest you buy a copy, but it is not a requirement. You might find it out there for free, but I don't encourage it.