Monday, March 4, 2013

Planning A Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition/Carcosa Mash Up

Metamorphosis Alpha

 I've been contemplating a Metamorphosis Alpha/Carcosa mash up for quite awhile now. I looked into some of the Appendix N of MA and their are some pretty strikingly interesting ideas in some of the following books.
Fiction with a similar background as M.A. include:
* Orphans of the Sky (Robert Heinlein)
* Non-Stop (Brian Aldiss)
 * Captive Universe (Harry Harrison)
Rereading the back of the reprint booklet I get very nostalgic for the games of MA with my best friend. 
Have you ever encountered a moose with quills? Or a teleporting woodpecker with a double brain and a poison beak? How about a nearly invincible jaguar, complete with the ability to change its body density and emit a sonic shriek, but which fears birds? These are but a small sampling of the mutations which could inhabit the many worlds of METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA.
A vast starship, a virtual world in itself, carrying colonists, livestock, and the flora and fauna of Terra is struck by a cloud of an unknown form of radiation while enroute to a distant star. Chaos reigns when the radiation kills most of the crew, and in the ensuing madness the knowledge of what the ship is and where its destination lies is lost to the survivors - and there are many survivors. Intelligent mutated animals and plants now populate the vessel, and these compete or perhaps cooperate with the humans aboard.
In METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA, you are aboard the stricken starship and struggling to survive, trying to gain knowledge of the strange devices and mechanical apparatus of the vessel, attempting to learn the secrets of the strange world you inhabit. As a player, you may be a human or mutant - human or otherwise. Your course is up to your skill and imagination.
METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA is a role-playing game in the grand tradition of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. If you enjoy the worlds of medieval swords and sorcery, you will love what you find in the fantastic and fascinating worlds of science fiction!"

1976 ... 32 pages ... TSR SF18-R / 3001 (later printings)
The description from MA comes from right here
 The reprint is available right over here HERE
 One thing to remember about Metamorphosis Alpha is that it takes place in the 24th century. The echoes of it ring throughout Gamma World especially The Albuquerque Starport" and written by Paul Reiche III. The module was a reminder of the bizarre world of Gamma World where a complete space port still lurked under the New Mexico desert complete with working shuttle ready to take the characters off to the ruins of a space station floating above the Earth. 
A space station that is haunted by the victims of the "Canopus plague". The module is now largely forgotten but between the artwork of Otis and the kick ass one shot adventure. This was a world that felt squarely within a twenty fourth century gone very wrong. As if the WW III from Star Trek had gone on and the timeline continued to sputter until we got to Gamma World. 
It always felt like Gamma World 1st and 2nd editions were half games and that there was a monstrous" Post Apocalyptic Space Opera" just lurking in the background. Recently I've been rereading some of the "Gamma World" issues of Ares Magazine and Polyhedron.

 This pretty much brings me to Carcosa. I'm planning on taking a bunch of Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition PC's and dumping them into the wilds of Carcosa.
City Of The Ancients has some ideas in it along with a location for introducing OD&D PC's into the  Carcosa setting. The Dungeon From A Distant Star is an excellent one shot for getting the PC's into the spirit of the Carcosa location. Both adventures, along with some very interesting house rules are all available right over HERE
Jack Shear is really to blame for some of this madness as well. He's got a different take on the setting along with new drugs, ritual rules, some ideas on the function of tribes within the setting, and so forth. You can read about his take right over HERE
Jack's World Between setting even has doorways that lead into Carcosa from his world's post apocalytic fantasy land known as Scar. The descriptions of which remind me of the war torn ruins of Poland from Clive Barker's Damnation Game. Shattered buildings, weird megadungeons, and strange weird monsters. Everything is just waiting to slice into PC's.
 This is all right now simply in the planning stage but I've got players who want to play this game or short campaign right now. One location that I really want to get into this up coming game is this one. 

The Citadel Skyscraper Fortresses of Nyarlathotep in hex 0211, you can read more about the uses of these locations right HERE


  1. I can't wait for the campaign updates. This sounds great!

  2. Yeah I'm looking to a few of your creations Justin to deal with a couple of players. This is only an outline at the moment for a campaign but I'm going to have this fleshed out in a couple days. Hang in there man and thanks for the comment! We've got more coming up.


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