Gonzo and Post Apocalyptic Roleplaying

So I was inspired to write this blog post by @JustOnyx who told me to blog about “genetically modified lemurs as viable assasination” Which made me think of Gamma World. Specifically wondering why Gamma World players have so fixated on gonzo? That is, nutty, wacky hijinks such as mutants riding nukes skyward trying to keep them from detonating? I know fans have turned on some editions on Gamma World as it tried to be a serious setting.

I learned of Gamma World through reading Dragon Magazine when I was young, my Dad’s old ones from the issue 70-80 range I think. There where some really cool articles on Dragon magazine. I seek out other such things and discover Daybreak: 2250 A.D by Andre Norton, a serious book about looting ruins and surviving years after the fall of civilization that felt very like Gamma World to me. Then I sought out sites on the Internet and discovered that many people find the defining point of Gamma World is the strange mutations & wacky over the top silliness that is termed ‘Gonzo’

Where did this come from? Why is it popular? For me it is all about crawling though the ruins of higher civilization trying to survive.

Bonus: Links to a couple cool Gamma World blogs.

The Savage Afterworld: http://savageafterworld.blogspot.com/ A great source of Mutant Future monsters & the creator of The World of Thundarr the Barbarian for Mutant Future.

Planet Algol: http://planetalgol.blogspot.com/ Gamma World, strange monsters and such.

For those that don’t know Mutant Future is a retroclone remake of Gamma World 1st edition.

BONUS QUESTION: What is the attraction of Thundarr? I tracked down an episode and it was OK. I mean it wasn’t bad for a cartoon but it wasn’t something I immediately wanted to watch more of. It is silly enough that I have a couple of episodes on hand to diffuses me when I get into Angry Snapping Turtle Mode (So angry that I lash out at anything), as I find something safe & stupid helps that.

Anyway, sorry this post is so late, I was feeling uninspired this week. Until Next Time, Stay Geeky!


Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The appeal of Thundarr is more about the setting then the characters themselves.

  2. I’ve definitely run more serious (if sometimes weird) HW games, and I am not one for the ‘android with a potted plant for a head’-sort of character, either.

  3. Um…

    GW, rather, as in Gamma World.

    Oy, vey.

  4. You can actually find it in the 1E GW. The hoop can transmute metal to rubber and the yexil prefer to eat manufactured clothing. You also had suggestions like water soluble skin with skin structure change defect. These sorts of suggestions just seem silly. Of course, all products of the time had silly elements. The DMG had many joke pieces of artwork like the rust monster with the fighter cowering in fear. I remember reading an article about recreating one of Gygax’s or Arderson’s adventures. The author was given access to all the notes from the original. He felt he did a good job but couldn’t capture the humor that was injected in the adventure when originally run. It just wouldn’t fly with today’s fans.

    • Thanks for that information, I didn’t know that. I knew about the joke art in old D&D products, but I’ve never actually read a Gamma World book, just read about it.


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