… walk into almost anywhere.
I had three players for my OMEGAZONE game at Endgame today. We generated characters randomly and got…
A Cuddly Monster/Brain-in-a-jar with Psychic Trickery
A Mundane Atomic Construct with Radioactive Vampirism
An Igneous Arthropod Chimera with Psychic Teleportation
(I had players draw their characters, but I only seem to have wound up with Brook’s portrait, so I won’t single him out. But the portraits were very cool)
One thing that people should note – it is totally possible to get approaches over +3 with the character creation system in OMEGAZONE. This is fine, since it simulates that sort of Gonzo post-apocalyptic mutation universe popular with Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha, but GMs should make note of it when preparing games – mooks may need to be toughened slightly in order to provide a decent fight against +4s. Another thing (and this I didn’t notice until after the game) – the order of approaches listed in OMEGAZONE is not the same as the order of approaches listed on the FAE character sheet. Not sure why that it. It might be worthwhile for Brooklyn Indie Games to put out an online character sheet, or at least make extra copies of the card-based character sheets from the deck available for purchase. In the event we just put the stats down in the order listed on the FAE character sheet and it didn’t seem to make much difference.
I generated three pieces of equipment for the party. I treated these like one-use boosts and they were available to everyone, though the party member with possession of the item got veto power for using it Brook got the psi scanner, KLAR-7 got the proximity alarm, and Scorpio got the Omegaforce codebook
After a brief overview of the Omegazone, we went right into combat. The party was hanging around El Barrio when their neighborhood was attacked by MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS! (Ominous organ music). These were mysterious creatures that appeared to be brains made out of riveted metal with old camcorders for eyes. After a flashy, but not particularly challenging battle the neighborhood was saved, the MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!! (Ominous organ music) were defeated, and the party discovered that they were, in fact, nothing more than piles of riveted metal with old camcorders for eyes and no obvious power source, internal wiring, electronics, or anything else.
I intended the MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!!! (Ominous organ music) to be just another weird mystery of the OMEGAZONE but my players, bless their hearts, were so willing to grab hold of any potential plot hook that they almost took off before I could get them to the scenario! The Guardians of the Reach, who showed up to help fight off other MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!!!! (ominou…. OK, OK – the joke’s over already) took the protagonists back to Reach HQ for a debriefing, commended them for their bravery and offered them a job that had nothing actually to do with the … those things they had fought. A member of the Guardians had recently lost a neutron blaster pistol after crashing in the Omegazone, and it was believed that Baron Junkpile had gotten his greedy mitts on it. The Guardians wanted to quietly get it back, and wanted to hire the protagonists to do it rather than go themselves. There was a bit of haggling back and forth about payment, which Scorpio eventually ended by offering to throw in the Omegaforce codebook if the Guardians would fix one of their items up front. So the psi scanner stopped being a boost and became an aspect that could be called on.
The protagonists headed off to the Heap, one of the vast junkyards that Baron Junkheap rules, and found the goblinoids there all in a tizzy. After some persuasion, some negotiation, and a far bit of threatening, it came out that Baron Junkpile was missing! He had last been seen at the Rocket Garden, having a meeting with Big Tony the gorilla. After a bit more persuasion, some additional threatening, and a whole lot of flattery towards one goblin in particular*, the party managed to cadge an old Chevy Pinto and headed off for the Rocket Garden**.
At the Rocket Garden (I confused the Rocket Garden with the Ollywood Bowl – thus blowing totally my knowledge of the OMEGAZONE and ruining my chances of this game becoming canon) the party met with the Maitre’d (one of those brain on a drinks trolley sorts), and in good PC fashion intimidated, threatened, and harassed him until Big Tony showed up with a half-dozen gorilla thugs. This intimidated them into thinking about negotiating for a few minutes, until Big Tony started playing hardball with them, whereupon they decided that it was easier to throw a tablecloth over his head, threaten to stab a screwdriver into his brain, and set the restaurant on fire instead. There was, in fact, a great scene in which KLAR-7 grabbed Big Tony and took him hostage – only to look around and discover that at the first sign of trouble Scorpio had teleported away and Brook had sprinted out the front door. “OK guys, I have Big Tony hostage and… guys? GUYS???!?”
(This was a potential TPK situation here – Big Tony is not someone to be messed around with. But it was a one-shot and everyone was having fun, so I let them get away with it, only scaring them a little. But they aren’t welcome in Vinland now).
Eventually, Big Tony negotiated for his life and admitted that he had kidnapped Baron Junkpile and sold him… TO THE KREEN! (Dum dum duuuuuuum!) Big Tony was interested in moving in on the Heap’s operations and wanted Baron Junkpile out of the way. But in exchange for promises of payment from the Guardians – and assurances not to get a screwdriver shoved in his ear – he agreed not to make more trouble…. for now.
And so we got to the big battle at the crashed Kreen flagship. Disintegrator beams flared, Brook shot down Kreen warriors with arrows, KLAR-7 pummeled Kreen with his piledriver atomic fists, and Scorpio faced off against the insidious Lieutenant Nert***. Eventually the party broke into the room where the Baron was held captive and Scorpio retrieved him and the neutron blaster pistol. But Lieutenant Nert had taken a fearful toll on him – beaten, nerve-disrupted, and partially disintegrated, Scorpio conceded on the condition that the others could escape with Junkpile and the blaster. It was an awesome climax to the fight, so I just had to say “yes!”
In the aftermath, Baron Junkpile was freed, the remaining protagonists got paid what they were owed by both the goblinoids and the Defenders of the Reach, and Scorpio returned as a brain-on-a-drinks-trolley, with no memory of how he escaped from the Kreen
And they got to keep the Pinto.
So, what do I think of OMEGAZONE?
The game was a lot of fun. I had good players – they were imaginative and wacky in correct measure, and willing to try stuff and push the plot along at any cost, even if it meant throwing a tablecloth over a gorilla mobster and setting things on fire. So kudos to all three for a game well played.
The card-based character generation is good. It makes for nice, quick character generation which means that for conventions and other one-off events you can actually do character generation and still get in a game within a four-hour time slot. Like most players, I prefer to generate characters rather than play pregens, so this is great as far as I am concerned. The card art is evocative, the stunts seem good, and the gear makes for a nice extra addition that creative players can use for a boost or a story point. I give the product high marks, and intend to use it again in the future. The only critique I have of it (besides the odd ordering of approaches on the cards) is that I would really like more – more character cards, more mutations, more equipment, more subplot cards, more of everything! More, more, more! Don’t make me send Big Tony after you guys – seriously. More.
* Note to self: new location for Omegazone. The front office of the Heap nearest to the Black Pits is now run by a lieutenant of Baron Junkpile named Lieutenant King King (formerly King Lieutenant King). He dresses like a mismatched monarch and orders other goblinoids around imperiously. They generally don’t listen, but they don’t whack him in the head with a wrench either, so he appears to have some sort of authority.
** Note to any artists out there who want to make me happy: an illustration of a scorpioid driving a beat up Pinto with a fake raccoon tail tied to the antenna through the streets of OMEGAZONE Los Angeles, with a robot in the passenger seat and a sasquach sticking out the rear hatch would make me extremely happy.
***”Lieutenant Nert” and all associated representations, merchandise, concessions, food products, costumes, apparel. and makeup items (including but not limited to lipstick, cologne, bath salts, and chitin wax) not already subsumed under the OMEGAZONE copyright are copyright Edmund Metheny. All rights except those I don’t actually have reserved. No challenge to existing copyright intended except those specifically established in the Kreen justice system. “Lieutenant Nert and the Heroes of the Kreen” expansion pack, coming soon to Kickstarer! Watch for “Servant of the Sub-Emperor”, volume 1 of the exciting new “Lieutenant Nert” series, coming in 2015 from Kreen Imperial Press.