Tuesday, December 13, 2022

OSR Commentary On GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand by Michael Price & Garry Spiegle For Gamma World 2nd Edition.

 "The fearsome Scarlet Knights of Genetic Purity have declared a campaign of terror against all mutants — humanoids and mutated animals!! Your bitter enemies, the Gray Rock tribe, have accused your tribe, the White Feathers, of murder and treachery. Your tribe is now under sentence of death — you and your party have been declared outlaws and traitors. The fate of your tribe lies in your hands. Pursued by an enraged mob of mutants, you must flee across the frozen Parklands of the Ancients to find proof of your innocence." 

It's been a lot of years since the spine of GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand  by Michael Price & Garry Spiegle. The wiki entry on GW3 has some of the low down on this module; "The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand (also known by its catalogue number, GW3) is an adventure published by TSR in 1983 for the second edition of the science fiction role-playing game Gamma World."  GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand  by Michael Price & Garry Spiegle is one of the more important modules in my opinion for Gamma World 2nd edition.  GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand  brings into play the dreaded Knights of Genetic Purity & has some the real details about this group. GW3 has it's action take place on & around the former Yellow Stone National park. There's an American Indian feel to the PC's tribes & NPC's within GW3. This translates to making the Knights of Genetic Purity almost the American government during the 1800's attitude. And  GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand  has a mini campaign feel to it. And this is one of the things that makes GW3 one of the key modules for Gamma World 2nd edition. GW3 has the potential for a lot of action & conflict if played right. GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand  is one of those modules that can easily pick up right after GW2 Famine in Fargo.The PC's have grown up & now moved on too another GW community. And now the PC's are up too their eyeballs in the machinations of the Knights of Genetic Purity. 

GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand has several key encounters & ranges from minor to out death by mutant or robotic horror. This is a solid module to continue the adventure in the lands of Merica on Gamma Terra. This could be because the PC's mutant tribe the White Feathers has moved into it's Winter home in Yellow Stone. And the knights have regarded the PC's tribe as interlopers. The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand features nine linked scenarios, as well new creatures and artifacts. So the DM is going to have to do a bit of research & deal with all of the interconnected adventure elements. The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand works quite nicely at introducing new mutants & horrors to the PC's lives. 

The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand is perfect for introducing or slipping in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PC's into Gamma Terra. There is plenty of room to add another tribe or set of ruins of the Ancients with a portal to another fantasy world. The are adventure elements of The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand that act as both campaign anchor & action lever. The one cavet is that the module is a bit all over the place. According to the module's Wiki entry; Chris Baylis reviewed The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand for Imagine magazine, and warned potential buyers that "All modules need some work of the GM, and GW3 is certainly no exception. The sketchy background and the uncovered contingencies must be thought over with care." And it's these adventure elements that need to be handled so deftly by the DM. Is The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand worth getting?! In a word, oh yes! There's plenty of room within this module for DM customization. And this very DM pivot point allows  the DM to make Yellow Stone National Park  a perfect campaign setting for Gamma World. Because for me & my players our version of Greyhawk's Flan resemble American Indians. The Flan: The generic all-purpose native race, filling in for Celts, hill people, horse nomads, Native Americans or whoever needs to be primitive in the continental Flanaess this time. And these Flan are the cross point into Gamma Terra for our games. The White Feathers & several Flan tribes had compacts & trade agreements. 

This allows the DM to scatter planar portals across the Flan's region of Greyhawk. According to the Greyhawk wiki entry on the Flan;"Pre-migrations Flan are described in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting's Guide to the World of Greyhawk as "hardy and capable hunters but not particularly warlike, and their small and scattered groups made no appreciable civilizing efforts." This is a simplification, for the Flan boast several pre-Migrations cultures, including those found at Sulm in the Bright DesertVeralos on the edge of Rift CanyonTostenhca in the Griff Mountains, and several others." 
And it allows one group of adventurers to cross over to the other setting to adventure on either Gamma Terra's Yellow Stone or the Flan's regions of Greyhawk. 

Back in the Eighties within my Uncle's home campaign of Gamma World the events of GW3 The Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand saw a group of 5 Flan adventurers cross over the dimensional divide to help their White Feather friends. 

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