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Old 03-11-2021, 11:35 PM   #3
LokRobster's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Republic of Texas; FOS
Default Re: Opinions on Genlab Alpha, Mutant Year Zero?

I picked up and read through Genlab Alpha. It’s an interesting story, I do think I’ll run a GURPS game in the setting. The story/campaign in it is not really a straight “After The End”. To me it’s more like Logan’s Run; a restricted prison/lab environment to be escaped. TL9 Terminator and Reign of Steel type robot guards and energy weapons, suppressing the TL3 Furry Folk makes for a tough start; but could be fulfilling and fun if done right. Once the critters are *out*, then it’s more the “Explore the Post Apocalypse” thing.

The system is odd and not very intuitive on a cursory read-through. Basically rolling D6, more dice for more skill (d6 WEG Star Wars-ish), where each “1” rolled means you succeed and a “6” means you fail. They use nuke symbols and biohazard symbols for the 1 and 6. All other faces are “filler”. So if you roll 4 dice, only the ones and sixes contribute to the result... 16% x 4 , but basically a 50/50 chance on the result being good or bad... or something. “Pushing” was a big thing, rerolling to get a better result while risking failing badly. I didn’t plan on using the system so glazed over the details, just got an idea of stat meaning for character descriptions to convert.

Their game mechanics did give me the idea of Pre-War Artefacts giving weird stat bonuses, like an old teddy bear giving Will bonus. A +1 to skill in GURPS could be a psychological effect from possessing something that the user believes gives them the bonus....

The story campaign really relies heavily on the “Dominate” skill, but in a GURPS conversion any Influence skill would be fine, though Intimidate is closest to the concept. I could see cribbing the Resistance vs Sentinel mechanic almost as presented and actually using it with a group of PCs to plan/execute the Rebellion scenario overview. The authors have a VERY in-depth story and give quite a few variations and ideas in an attempt to not be too railroady, I could see it going ok and working out with my players. I’m curious to see what they’ll do, which is a decent endorsement of a story for me.
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