This past Sunday was the final session of the Gammatoba mini-campaign I’ve been running as a break from the Storm Point D&D campaign that’s been going for about two and a half years.
When we last left our heroic mutants, they had just entered the Karney Key Library, after overcoming the ark defenses. The dying ark leader laughed at them and said that they Librarian would take care of them. We opened this session with the heroes opening the doors of the library and seeing what waited for them.
Now, I haven’t been very strict with making encounters in Gammatoba. I just throw a number of cool monsters together, and run things off the cuff. For this game, I came up with the Librarian – basically, I reskinned the Eater of Knowledge Mindstrike from Pyramid of Shadows as a cyborg-centaur kinda thing, with a couple of new tweaks. For the rest, I threw in a double-handful of ark minions and some interesting terrain.
The first room had some sandbag fortifications and over a dozen of the ark minions. The looks from my players – all seven of them were present – were worth the price of admission all by themselves. They were hoping the arks were minions, but they didn’t know for certain, and I’d told them that I planned to leave a few of them dead on the floor this session. They took those out in very short order, with the last three fleeing into the main reading room of the library, where I planned the final combat.
I had expected the group to take a short rest before pressing on, but they didn’t – they just charged after the fleeing arks. So, I started placing every figure I had brought with me1 on the balconies and behind the shelves, ready to open fire. I used a sword spider figure for the Librarian, and rubbed my palms together in anticipation of the mutant blood about to be spilled.
The players were scared, which was the right reaction. They knew they were going to die.
And then they proceeded to completely dismantle the encounter.
A lucky draw from the Alpha Mutation deck got one of them machine control, which he threw at the Librarian because I had described it as a cyborg. It only gave him one round of control, but it also kept him dazed for a few rounds. Then the stun whips came out, and the Librarian was repeatedly stunned. Meanwhile, the bulk of the characters concentrated on taking out the ark minions, keeping them off the backs of the mutants taking turns putting the boots to the Librarian.
I got one round out of the whole combat (about eight or nine rounds in total) where the Librarian could attack. He blasted the brains of the group, and then used a special power I had given him to summon in some defensive data constructs2, but went down before his next turn came up.
Still, it was a tough fight. The group fought smart and used their resources well, but the sheer number of the minions and the damaging aura that the Librarian had almost did for a couple of them.
At the end of the fight, they were all still standing.
I had thought about a skill challenge kind of thing to hold the building until the Ishtarian forces arrived to take possession, but it was getting a little late, and I judged it to be kind of anticlimactic after taking down the Librarian and his minions, so I had the fish-warriors of Ishtar drop in on columns of light and erect a force dome over the library. The group got the crystal charging device they had been promised, wrenched the flying saucer out of the ground again, and flew home to Fort LoGray as heroes – the Fort LoGray Legion’s First Airborne Wing.
That’s where we closed the game.
I want to thank all my regular players for indulging my desire to take a break from D&D to try Gamma World, and to thank Cody for sitting in and playing with us. I had fun.
Now, it’s time to get back to the Storm Point game. I’ve got plans for that one.
- Well, almost every figure. I didn’t place the chuul figure that I had been using for the warrior-accountant giant crayfish.
- Basically, some more minions to mess things up.