Languages in Gamma World Role Playing 1st Edition.

I am embarking on a bit of nostalgia trip by running a short campaign in the original Gamma World RPG. The rule book as you know leaves A LOT to be detailed and judged by the game master. In my campaign the world is fragmented and I am expecting some language barriers. I needed a way to determine if the players know any additional languages and since I expect a brutal campaign with a lot of player deaths there won’t be much time for back stories like why the mutant porcupine speaks Esperanto. While the details of what languages are spoken will still need to be worked out I have in typical gygaxian style created a chart!

Base Intelligence for this chart is 10. For every point under 10 subtract 4 from the roll and for every point over 10 add 2 to the roll. Raised in a band -10, Raised in a tribe -5, raised in a village +0, raised in a town +5, raised in a city +10

00 – -38 Dumb – Can only communicate with grunts and gestures
01 – 40 Illiterate
41 – 50 Functionally Illiterate
51 – 59 Read and Write Local Language Barely (1st Grade)
60 – 68 Read and Write Local Language Basic (5th Grade)
69 – 70 Read and Write Local Language (High School)
71 – 76 Read and Write Local Language + Sign Language
77 – 82 Read and Write Local Language + Speak 1 Animal Language (mutant & stock)
83 – 87 Read and Write Local Language + Technical Manuals
88 – 92 Read and Write Local Language + Scientific Texts
93 – 97 Read and Write Local Language + Academic Texts
98 – 102 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Language
103 – 109 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Language & Speak 1 Animal Language
110 – 115 Read and Write Local Language + Polyglot – Speak any language that has been exposed to for over 1 month
116 – 121 Read and Write Local Language + 1 Foreign Languages, Speak 1 Animal Language & Sign Language
122 – 126 Read and Write Local Language + 2 Foreign Languages & Speak 2 Animal Languages

Empire of Imagination

Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons

I recently got a chance to read Empire of Imagination which is the Gary Gygax Biography – which I would be surprised if you were here AND had not yet heard of this book. I had not paid that much attention to the turmoil at TSR at the time as there really wasn’t that much news readily available to your average high school nerd in AZ about it anyway. I did know that Gary Gygax was no longer involved in creating 2nd Edition D&D when it came out which made me shy away from the system. Not to mention that it felt like I just had saved up enough money to buy used copies of both the Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures books. There was plenty of new material for my friends and I to explore without having to buy these new rule books!

The book is a quick read and finished up the last half of it this weekend. It recounts his life and important events using a fictional narrative based on facts and research. It was surprisingly informative and gave me a lot of history some that I suppose that I should know by now and other that I would have never found out without reading this book. I can’t help shake the feeling that this knowledge has left me a disillusioned with the early days of TSR and Gary Gygax. Knowing how things turned out for Gary made it difficult to root for him as the underdog in the story as you already know their isn’t a chance that he is going to win. This is a must read for anyone who is a serious D&D geek or needs to have something special up their sleeve for the next Nerds That Drink Trivia Night, but for many others I think they will find it tragic.