Monday, November 24, 2014

Gammarauders (Extremely Tiny) Roleplaying System, Redux

Back in March of this year, I posted scans of the Gammarauders (Extremely Tiny) Roleplaying System, which was written by David "Zeb" Cook.  In that post, I commented that it would be nice if someone typed up and re-formatted the rules.

No one did. Until now.

Last week I needed a break while grading papers. I took the scans from issues 1, 3, & 4 of the Gammarauders comics and sat there with one window open in my comics reader and another in a minimal word processor and went to town.

In typing this up, I realized:
  1. This isn't truly "extremely tiny."
  2. You really need to read the comic to understand a lot of the references.
  3. For a ruleset, it's rather incoherent.
I'm sure there are useable rules in here, but man, there is a lot of worldbuilding backstory that clutters the rules. It really needs to be stripped down to just the useable bits, which at its heart is an rules-light free-form d6-based mechanic. Quite frankly, this is an "anything goes" sort of game that embraces player agency. What I love is what Zeb says in the opening section on character creation:
. . . the first thing I’m supposed to do is explain what roleplaying games are all about. It’s simple—roleplaying games are make-believe. If you remember the Gammarauders and Slugnoids or cops and robbers you played as a child, roleplaying is just like that—with more rules. The rules are supposed to tell you who shot whom and settle arguments and the like.
So, yes, these rules are extremely light and extremely flexible, but I don't know if they are actually playable in their current form. You have to be a serious Gammarauders fan to even try. I might take a pass at editing these into useable form by separating the backstory from the mechanics and clarifying rolls with tables, but that's not going to happen for a while. Someone else is more than welcome to give it a shot.

The following file is a straight transcription; I have not edited the text to make it coherent or useable. Notice, for example, that the name for the DM changes from The Boss to The Keeper in the "second installment", there's a freeform mix of Arabic and Roman numerals, there's inchoherent use of italics and underlining, etc. I guess DC or TSR couldn't afford an editor for comic book text back in the day.

Anyway, here it is on Google Drive, with commenting enabled:

Note: I've corrected a few embarrassing typos in the raw transcription.