Rules Changes

Rules changes

This wiki is not set in stone. There will be many things not allowed at the beginning of the campaign that will gradually be introduced through play, so updates to this wiki will be common. It is also nearly impossible to cover every rule and game aspect. With this in mind, changes can be made to the rules without prior notice, should an unforeseen rules conflict arise.

The first and most notable change to the rules is the elimination of all arcane backgrounds. There will be none to start the campaign, and there will be none introduced during play. There will be fantastical elements introduced through the course of the campaign, but none of the rules for arcane backgrounds (psyker, doomsayer, etc…) will be used.

There is no ghost rock. Weapons, devices, and equipment that operate on ghost rock also do not exist. Easy enough.

There are no harrowed.


Skills Changes

Many skills have slight modifications made to better suit them to this campaign. They will be listed here.

Shootin’: Shootin’ will be broken into two separate skills: Small Arms and Energy Weapons. Shootin’: Small Arms will remain a Deftness skill, and will cover the exact same weapons as shootin’ did (bow, pistol, rifle, shotgun, smg, and man-portable machine guns). Shootin’: Energy Weapons will be a Cognition skill, and will include the laser pistol, laser rifle, plasma pistol, plasma rifle, and gauss rifle (as well as some unrevealed weapons). No character may start the campaign with more than 1 rank in the Energy Weapons skill (energy weapons weren’t perfected until after the Gamma Team was frozen), and they may not have any concentrations in it. Characters also may not purchase energy weapons at the start of the campaign.

Area Knowledge: All area knowledge skills are pre-war. Gamma team members will be completely unfamiliar with local wasteland terrain and culture. This modification applies to all skills that select a specific group of people or an area of terrain.

Drivin’: Battlesuit: Like energy weapons, this technology was not perfected until after the team was frozen. Characters may not purchase ranks in this skill or purchase battlesuits as part of their starting equipment.

Tinkerin’: Tinkerin’ is no longer a skill. The Trade skill will cover all of the manual labor type skills (such as auto mechanic, carpenter, electrician, and so on).


Edges and Hindrances

All Gamma Team members, upon time of selection, were in perfect physical and mental health. However, some “errors” in the cryo process have been noted (both positive and negative). As such, it is possible to select many of the normal edges and hindrances. Restricted or modified rules will be listed here.

Background: Operation Damocles Soldier: All characters must purchase the modified version of this edge – Background: Operation Gamma Soldier.

Background: Operation Gamma Soldier: Like Damocles, this edge costs 5 points. This edge gives the character the Soldier background (he may choose his area of specialty). This edge does not give the 3 free skill ranks or increased Strength. Nor does it give the character the rad intolerant hindrance. It does, however, give each character a -5 point oath to restore the US/civilization, 5 points of belongin’s, and each character gains the doubting Thomas hindrance. All players will also have a medchip implanted within them at no extra cost to them.

Background: Soldier: This edge may not be chosen, although it is included in the Operation Gamma Soldier background (above). Soldiers (including special forces) do not have to draw on the soldier background table, since all Gamma Team members were selected from the fittest candidates. Armored Infantry may not be chosen as an area of specialty. Special Forces no longer gains Academia: Occult as a skill. Also, minimum age is not 41, but 24.

Enemy: Since Gamma Team members do not know anyone outside of their group, this hindrance will not be allowed at the start of the campaign.

Friends in High Places: Again, Gamma Team members do not know any locals. This edge will not be allowed at the start of the campaign.

Gift o’ Gab: This Edge allows your hero to pick up spoken languages very quickly. Given a few minutes of conversation in a new language, your brainer can speak it as if he has an effective skill of 1. This doesn’t give your waster any skill in writing the language.

Kid: All Gamma Team members were of a minimum age. This hindrance will not be allowed.

Librarian: Librarians in this world are simply Gamma Team members that have been assigned the duties of gathering any and all sources of information and knowledge, and preserving it. They are not a secret society and do not gain any special abilities. With this edge, the character starts the game with a palmcorder and a 2-point obligation: librarian hindrance. Brainers with this edge are almost always science team members. NOTE: This is the only way for a character to gain a palmcorder, and the palmcorder is the only portable computer available.

Luck o’ the Irish: Brainers with this Edge now simply get to draw an extra Fate Chip at the beginning of each session. (This edge also now costs 5 points).

Night Terrors: This Hindrance was a pain in the keister to keep up with. The new night terrors works lake this. Make an Onerous (7) Spirit roll at the beginning of each session or lose your lowest Fate Chip. If you do lose a chip, however, your character receives a vision from the Hunting Grounds as before.

Outlaw: Gamma Team members have not had any interaction with locals at the start of the campaign. This hindrance will not be allowed at the start of the campaign.

Rank: No character may purchase rank at higher than level 3. Furthermore, only one member of the team is allowed to purchase rank at level 3, and only one character may purchase rank at level 2. All others must have rank 1 or rank 0. Players should work this out amongst themselves as to who will be in command. More info as to the building of your team will be covered in the Character Creation wiki.

Renown: Not allowed at the start of the campaign.

Veteran o’ the Wasted (and Weird) West: Not allowed.


Rules Clarifications

Many aspects of the rules have been changed over the course of the game and this section of the wiki will cover how our group will be handling these situations.

Fate Chips and Bounty: No character may ever have more than 10 chips in his possession. If the player earns new chips and already has 10, he loses the excess chips. He may, however replace lower value chips he already has for higher value chips that he just drew. Chips may be traded in for bounty points only between sessions, and bounty points may only be spent between sessions (in-game expenditure may be allowed under special circumstances).

Unskilled Checks: Instead of using your Trait with a -8 penalty, you now roll one die of your Trait with a -4 penalty. This change was made for those who looked at their ld12 search skills and wondered why they wouldn’t want to always roll their 4d12 Cognition instead – even with the -8 unskilled penalty – because their chances of going bust on the roll are much lower.

Movement: A hero’s Pace no longer has to be broken up evenly between his Action Cards. He can move some, all, or none of it on any particular card, but he is still limited to a maximum movement each round equal to twice his Pace. A hero is considered to be running on any action in which he moves over his base Pace and he suffers the -4 running penalty.

Weapon Speeds: This is the big one. We eliminated weapon speeds for small arms and melee weapons. Speed 2 weapons were simply too much of a pain to keep track of and players generally forgot to apply the -2 hip shootin’ penalty anyway, so we decided to get rid of them. This means that a loaded weapon can now fire up to its ROF on each action. The ROF for typical weapons is listed in the ROF Table.

Weapons with an ROF of 2 can doubletap. These are two shots in rapid succession at the same target. As described in The Wasted West, a successful roll to hit with a doubletap means a single round hit. If your brainer gets a raise, the second bullet also hits.

Massive Damage: The updated massive damage rules that appeared in Iron Oasis had the desired effect: They made explosions much more deadly – perhaps a little too deadly. Since we feel that the new rules are more realistic (no more Wile E. Coyote type explosions), rather than change them again, we thought we’d tone down the damage caused by some of the explosives in the game and bring them in line with the new rules. The new damages are listed below in the Explosive Damage table. If a weapon doesn’t appear on this table, its damage remains unchanged.

Weapon Damage
Frag Grenade (Thrown) 4d10
Frag Grenade (40mm) 4d10
Frag Grenade (20mm) 4d8
HEDP Grenade 4d10(AP2) / 4d6
M-200 4d12 / 3d6



Some items in the Gear section have either been removed or have been modified for this campaign. Below is listed some of these changes.

Ghost rock, as well as any item having to do with it, are non-existent.

Characters may pool their wealth to purchase vehicles (including upgrades), but may not share wealth amongst themselves. They may purchase goods and give those goods to whomever they please, but they cannot transfer any of their own character’s pre-game wealth.

While battlesuits and power armor are not available at the beginning of play, normal armor is (including the land warrior system and the infantry battlesuit).

Palmcorder: Palmcorders may only be gained by taking the Librarian edge (see above). Palmcorders are wrist-mounted computers used primarily by Librarians (think of the pip boy from Fallout 3 or the wrist computer from the Final Fantasy – Spirits Within movie). Each palmcorder given to Librarians are a basic model, although the player may upgrade this by spending money. The palmcorder has three main components: the processor, information storage, and input/output devices. The basic palmcorder has a 1-slug processor, 1-slug storage, and has 1 slug reader port.

The processor determines how many programs and databases the palmcorder can have open at once. Each program also has a slug size. The palmcorder can run any combination of programs with a combined slug size less than or equal to its slug rating. These programs can be pulled off a data slug, or called up from storage.

The palmcorder’s storage is rated by the number of slugs of data it can hold. Each slug is approximately a terabyte of info. If the palmcorder is damaged, roll 1d20 against the number of slugs worth of data and programs it has stored. If the result is less than or equal to this amount, a random program or database is corrupted and destroyed.

A palmcorder has a number of options for inputting and outputting data. As far as input goes, all sensory data can be recorded and stored (audio and visual). Data can also be entered by data jack, radio, or slug reader. Slug reader can be upgraded to a total of 3 ports. Programs can be downloaded into memory or run directly off an inserted slug. If the palmcorder is ever damaged, roll 1d4 against the number of slugs currently plugged into it. If the result is less than or equal to this number, one randomly selected slug is destroyed. Data can be output to the brainer’s HUD, through a datajack, radio, or to a blank data slug.

Component Price
CPU $1000/slug
Storage $500/slug
Slug Reader $500/port (3 max)
Blank Slug $200
Database $500 +

A database is simply a compilation of data and the software needed to manipulate it. It could be anything – a compilation of road maps, a list of non-classified US military bases, a complete set of Encyclopedia Brittanica, or even a specific language translator. The Marshal determines the price and size of the database (multi-slug sizes possible).

Losing your jeep: What can I say? Things can happen in the 200 years following a thermonuclear war. That said, most characters that are created at the start of the campaign will most likely not lose any gear. Those created after the start of the campaign, or those characters that weren’t submitted for GM approval, might be subject to 200 years worth of wear and tear.

Rules Changes

Operation: Gamma MichaelPerry