Thomas Jefferson says: Just read it you big dumb ape. You’re a character class now!
July 12, 2012
In August I’m planning to start a new Gamma World campaign in the Blasted Jungle setting. One thing I’ve been thinking about is whether or not to make Mutated Animals available as PCs. They don’t jive with how I envision the Blasted Jungle setting, where it’s primarily the jungle and plants that have been mutated by radiation, more so than humans and animals. On the other hand, it’s not really Gamma World if the players don’t have the option to play some animal-based PC.
Then yesterday I read Telecanter’s great play session report and I found a simple solution to my problem: allow Gorilla PCs.
In the Blasted Jungle setting, some gorillas have begun to interact with humans in an uneasy but peaceful manner. The increasingly hostile vegetation of the seething jungle has forced the gorillas to evolve and adapt, resulting in some gorillas developing minimal human intelligence. Interaction with humans has begun, with gorillas visiting villages and outposts on a regular basis to trade, negotiate, and stir things up. Some have taken up residence among humans, learning and working and earning their keep.
The Gorilla PC class has these features:
- Strength has +10 bonus, max 18.
- Intelligence has -10 penalty, minimum 3.
- Gorillas have a hard time interacting with human technology, often with disastrous and/or humorous results.
- They typically don’t use weapons or armor, as it interferes with the effectiveness in combat. Anyways, their hands are made for ripping and bashing, not swinging a blade or pulling a trigger. When they strike in combat, roll 2x d8 and choose the higher value to determine damage dealt. If both dice are same value, add them together (this means the gorilla mauled the victim with its strong, sharp teeth).
- They roll d8 when determining hit points.
- Armor Class is 6.
- Use standard level advancement in Gamma World. In D&D and clones, use the Fighter’s chart.
- Try as they may to speak human languages, they can only speak Gorilla at this point in the evolving intelligence, but they do have Buddy Talk with one human. The gorilla player specifies which human is their buddy and with whom he can communicate freely. The human buddy doesn’t know Gorilla, but understands the unique mix of grunting and dialect that the gorilla PC speaks.
- Gorillas have excellent jungle survival skills and are great climbers, of course.
- Mesmerizing Charge is the gorilla’s special chest-thumping charge attack. The victim must pass a Mental Strength check or save to avoid being “surprised” that combat round.