This past weekend I finally got a chance to run a session of the new Gamma World game from Wizards of the Coast. All in all, I had an excellent time. Part of that is that my group is fairly awesome, but part of it does come down to the fact that the Gamma World rules are just fun. Character creation was relatively fast and simple -- and after a number of years of playing games where character creation takes hours and is all about making multiple painstaking choices, it was nice to run a game where dice are rolled and characters come together randomly.
I must admit that as much as I have always loved Gamma World, I've never envisioned Gamma World as the dark and serious place that a lot of old-school Gamma World lovers seem to. I suspect that this is because my first exposure to the post-apocalypse genre was not "The Road Warrior" or "Star Man's Son" but rather Thundar the Barbarian. The most recent edition of Gamma World is in many ways a Thundarr the Barbarian RPG -- and I'm just fine with that.
In fact, I'd like it to be even MORE of a Thundarr the Barbarian RPG than it is. What I'd like to do is incorporate some more D&D elements into the game. It's easy enough to pull in monsters -- 4e's monsters seem directly compatible with the game, so throwing a dragon or a beholder at my players shouldn't take a lot of work on my part. But I'd like to incorporate more of the traditional D&D classes and races too. I'm not the only one with this idea - Mark at Dice Monkey has been posting his thoughts on envisioning some D&D races as Gamma World Origins, and he linked to some work that was done at Chaos Grenade to imagine some D&D classes as Gamma World Origins as well.
I really like this idea for -- it makes it easier to do the kind of Thundarr the Barbarian/post-apocalyptic TORG/Rifts-light game that has appealed to me since I was, oh, probably 8 years old. So I'm going to put some effort into this and see what I can come up with.