Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

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Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:36 pm

The father of GAMMA WORLD, Metamorphosis Alpha will receive a new edition face-lift (probably published next year). From what I've read, it will be converted from the original Metamorphosis Alpha rules (along with hints of various GAMMA WORLD editions such as mutated plant PCs) to the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition ruleset. You can read more at http://www.signalfirestudios.com/?p=96. :)

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by dulsi » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:09 am

Awesome news. Hopefully it won't disappoint like Gamma World d20 modern. My 4E players, however, may hate this material. Granted they have hated at least one monster per session so far.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Hugin » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm

My feeling on this is that 4E would lend itself very well to Gamma World. My preference is to use something pre-4E for a fantasy genre game (and that is my preferred genre) but I think a 4E Gamma World game would entice me to join a game.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:08 am

dulsi wrote:Hopefully it won't disappoint like Gamma World d20 modern.
Well, they have Cam Banks as lead designer. He was working for MWP on many of the 3e Dragonlance books. While I might not agree with absolutely everything in those books, my disagreements are on a trivial level, because you can tell that those books were all crafted by people who were fans of earlier material and who wanted to be true to the setting.

I'm sure that Cam will bring the same sort of attitude to this project. I don't know Metamorphosis well, but I can imagine fans having debates about very small differences (rather than seeing the 4e MA as another Spellplagueised setting).

If I was a MA fan and a 4e fan, I'd be getting ready to order this.

EDIT: They have Jamie Chambers onboard too. This is definately going to be good! :D
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by dulsi » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:54 pm

Anyone heard anything about this? They were shooting for a January 2010 release date in the original press release.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:02 pm

I've been keeping my eyes and ears open for any updates, but I haven't seen or heard anything. I hope the project hasn't died. :(
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Havard » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:03 pm

Great news! James Ward, Jamie Chambers and Cam Banks! I will definately be looking into this. Cam is registered here, so maybe we can get him to comment?

James Ward has his own Q&A thread at Dragonsfoot so you can ask him for additional information too I suppose :)

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:53 pm

It looks like Signal Fire Studios will be splitting its product support between Cortex (which Jamie Chambers was lead writer and designer for) and D&D 4th edition.

Both Jamie Chambers and Cam Banks were MWP staff. (I don't know about the third founder: Digger Hayes.) I'm not sure if this means that the two have left MWP or are doing this as a side project.

Anyway, Metamorphosis Alpha for D&D makes a lot more sense that the separate (partially compatible) d20 Modern system did.

With any luck, 4e fans could use this book as a sourcebook to use to bring technology to a non MA game. Maybe this might even work with something like the 4e Blackmoor book.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by dulsi » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:58 pm

Signal Fire Studios is accepting pre-orders. They have been developing this for so long I think I'll wait for it to be released. I really want the product and hope it does well but from 2009 announcement until now there has been very little information from them.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Tom Kalbfus » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:31 pm

I never read Metamorphosis Alpha. My question, and I don't know if anyone knows the answer, is what happens when the Starship Warden arrives at its destination? If one wants to do a setting based on a generation ship, it might be nice to have that generation ship approaching its destination, so that after solving the mysteries of the starship, the characters may then explore the planet below.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Boddynock » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:01 am

That apparently happens in Metamorphosis Alpha to Omega (1994) for the Amazing Engine. It misses the original planet, but does find one to terraform and colonize. The reviewer of the original Metamorphosis Alpha game found here: ( http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_6154.html ) admitted a distaste for the more hopeful ending and enjoyed the more 'doom-and-gloom' uncertainty that the ship will die, and everyone on board will succumb eventually. I like the A to O idea that there is hope that the residents will find a planet to colonize instead of just rotting on a dead ship. So I support the idea Tom of an end where the players find a planet and get to explore, though also bringing the danger of the mutated fauna, flora, and robots onto this planets surface.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:55 am

You could always try a take off of the Non-stop novel by Aldiss...
The Warden automatically returns to Earth after encountering the "event" due to some emergency protocol, but by the time it arrives, civilization has been destroyed. Anyone leaving or landing sections of the ship arrive on Gamma Terra.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by dulsi » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:14 am

Tom Kalbfus wrote:I never read Metamorphosis Alpha. My question, and I don't know if anyone knows the answer, is what happens when the Starship Warden arrives at its destination? If one wants to do a setting based on a generation ship, it might be nice to have that generation ship approaching its destination, so that after solving the mysteries of the starship, the characters may then explore the planet below.
The general premise is that it won't arrive in your character's lifetime. The ship is a huge mega dungeon that you can spend an entire campaign exploring. Assuming you do arrive, you make something up. Just like if your playing in some other setting and your players cause a huge change. (Destroy the preserving spell in Hollow World. Get a working forge for warforged in Eberron. Destroy Loth in the old drow modules. Find and take control of the Spelljammer.)
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:51 pm

dulsi wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:I never read Metamorphosis Alpha. My question, and I don't know if anyone knows the answer, is what happens when the Starship Warden arrives at its destination? If one wants to do a setting based on a generation ship, it might be nice to have that generation ship approaching its destination, so that after solving the mysteries of the starship, the characters may then explore the planet below.
The general premise is that it won't arrive in your character's lifetime. The ship is a huge mega dungeon that you can spend an entire campaign exploring. Assuming you do arrive, you make something up. Just like if your playing in some other setting and your players cause a huge change. (Destroy the preserving spell in Hollow World. Get a working forge for warforged in Eberron. Destroy Loth in the old drow modules. Find and take control of the Spelljammer.)
How big is this starship exactly? I assume it rotates for gravity, and the reason it exists is that people at the time did not have FTL drives when they launched it. What if that premise changed?

Lets say for instance Warden arrives at the planet Volturnus of the Star Frontiers setting, and the Wardenites have to then deal with all the space going inhabitants, pirates Sathar, Vrusk, humans, and others. Basically unleashing all these mutants into this Space Opera setting. We'll assume that the Star Frontiers setting requires an actual FTL drive (Hyperdrive?) rather than just reaching 1% of the speed of light as sufficient to "slip into the Void" as the original box set states.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:17 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:How big is this starship exactly? I assume it rotates for gravity.
In the original sourcebook, it is fifty miles long, twenty-five miles wide, and eight and a half miles high, with seventeen decks stacked on top of each other like dungeon levels (and it's vaguely oval in shape). The fact that it isn't radially symmetrical indicates that it doesn't get its artificial gravity from centrifugal force. Maybe it comes from inertia, and travels with the "top" facing forward.

In the original sourcebook, Warden passed its destination centuries ago, and it says that it's only a matter of time before the systems fail and everyone on the spaceship dies. The book also says that the ship's computer wants to help the humans aboard it someday reach a safe planet, but this is now impossible. So it wasn't James Ward's original intention for them ever to reach a planet, except perhaps by crashing into one, killing everyone aboard. It was a pretty bleak game.

However, I can easily see a Metamorphosis Alpha campaign in which the PCs eventually gain the knowledge they need (probably from the robots) to repair the ship, battle to seize control of the control room from hostile tribes, access the navigation system and direct the ship to a planet that's reasonably inhabitable but within the ship's remaining power range.

You could also run a campaign in which a group of aliens (or far-future Earth descendants) discover Warden. The player characters could either defend the ship from hostile aliens or help protect the alien explorers from hostile Wardenites - or both. That campaign might end with a group of friendly aliens helping to steer the ship toward a relatively friendly world.

The Skyrealms of Jorune RPG apparently originated as someone's Metamorphosis Alpha campaign (but became completely different), and it has a nice mix of exotic aliens, uplifted Earth animals, and general weirdness, so it might be an appropriate place for the starship Warden to land, discovering the descendants of other human colonists 3,500 years after they were stranded there and changing the political balance of the planet with a new infusion of Earth natives and technology, plus mutants and things.

There's an object very much like Warden in Greyspace (described in the Spelljammer supplement Greyspace) called the Habitat. The Habitat looks pretty much exactly like Warden, except it's (apparently) much smaller (only a mile long) and it seems to be dimensionally removed from the rest of Greyspace, so it's impossible for humans or gods to touch. It seems to definitely be an homage to Metamorphosis Alpha, though - one somewhat wacky campaign idea might involve Warden phasing completely into Greyspace (and growing to full size from the perspective of other people there) and flying into Oerth's orbit - or the orbit of some other D&D world. Gary Gygax wrote about a crossover between the Greyhawk campaign and James Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha in Dragon #17, so there's some precedent.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Tom Kalbfus » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:28 pm

I guess they wanted to turn Metamorphosis Alpha into a television series, that's why the "artificial gravity", as the topsy turvy world of centrifugal force would have been just too hard and expensive to do the FX for at the time. I don't know, if it was a Worldship, generating artificial gravity just to hold people to the floor seems like a waste. One thing artificial gravity could do is allow for much higher acceleration of starships than is currently possible, one could accelerate to near the speed of light in just a day, by accelerating at 365 times Earth's gravitational acceleration over a 24-hour period, one could reach Alpha Centauri subjectively in mere days, there is no real reason to need a Generation ship if one has artificial gravity generators.

The initial description of Warden seems rather hard science fiction until you read further, I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody who wrote screenplays for Hollywood movies and TV shows probably designed this starship.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:42 pm

Technically, moving in one direction fast enough generates artificial gravity. The problem is when you slow down.

Also: getting to Alpha Centauri in a few days is great, unless there are no suitable planets orbiting Alpha Centauri and you have to go much further. If your intended colony world is 1,000 light years away, being able to accelerate to near light speed isn't enough. Various things may render closer worlds unsuitable: they may be already claimed, for example.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Tom Kalbfus » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:44 pm

If you could accelerate without regard to one's ability to withstand such acceleration, a starship could shoot out of the Solar System like a cannon, with the proper inertial gravity controls, the occupants of the ship would feel a thing, a second could elapse for them, and then the ship would slow down again almost instantly again using inertial gravity control to insulate the starship and its occupants from the sudden deceleration and the ship would be there in 1 second, while 1,000 years passed for the rest of the Universe - that is Einstein's Relativity Time Dialation. Of course without gravity control, we can't do this, we can only accelerate at a few multiples of Earth's gravity at best. A 1,000 light year journey would probably take about 10 years of subjective ship time, and a little over 1,000 years from the point of view of the rest of the Universe.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:07 am

Well, I don't know the exact numbers, as far as time dilation goes (it depends on how near light speed you are), but I think it's still safe to say that it's possible to go far enough that you'd need a generation ship even at near light speed. The universe is a big place! If traveling 1000 LY is experienced as ten years, subjectively, then traveling 100,000 LY would be experienced as 1,000 subjective years, yes? Maybe there was a really great, uninhabited planet exactly 100,000 LY away! Just go with it.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Dragonhelm » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:39 pm

Big Mac wrote:It looks like Signal Fire Studios will be splitting its product support between Cortex (which Jamie Chambers was lead writer and designer for) and D&D 4th edition.

Both Jamie Chambers and Cam Banks were MWP staff. (I don't know about the third founder: Digger Hayes.) I'm not sure if this means that the two have left MWP or are doing this as a side project.
Just an update (and a bit of clarification, to the best of my knowledge)...

Jamie Chambers is no longer with MWP. Cam Banks is very much with MWP still. I seriously doubt Cam had anything to do with MA. I'm not sure if Digger was ever on staff with MWP or if he was just a freelancer. He was Jamie's brother-in-law. I guess there was a divorce in there somewhere.

I also doubt that SignalFire can do anything with Cortex, as that is MWP's proprietary system.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:54 pm

Jamie Chambers has been posting a bit online about the new version from Signal Fire Studios. Since Wizards of the Coast has announced a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Jamie decided to veer away from the 4th edition ruleset and Signal Fire Studios will use its own system for Metamorphosis Alpha. I believe he is also planning on starting a kickstarter project for MA this month.

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by dulsi » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:18 pm

Aahz wrote:Jamie Chambers has been posting a bit online about the new version from Signal Fire Studios. Since Wizards of the Coast has announced a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Jamie decided to veer away from the 4th edition ruleset and Signal Fire Studios will use its own system for Metamorphosis Alpha. I believe he is also planning on starting a kickstarter project for MA this month.
Can you include a link? That's disappointing to hear. If they aren't going to use 4E D&D ruleset, it won't be of much interest to me. I'd still like to get the newer Metamorphosis Alpha games but I doubt I'll play any in the near future so they are low priority.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:56 pm

dulsi wrote:Can you include a link?
He's posted several things on the official MA forums, but this is the thread where he stated he was moving away from D&D 4e...
http://www.metamorphosisalpha.net/phpBB ... 72f31a8760

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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:43 am

Aahz wrote:
dulsi wrote:Can you include a link?
He's posted several things on the official MA forums, but this is the thread where he stated he was moving away from D&D 4e...
http://www.metamorphosisalpha.net/phpBB ... 1a8760[
I'm getting this error message, Kerry:
www.metamorphosisalpha.net wrote:The board requires you to be registered and logged in to view this forum.
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Re: Metamorphosis Alpha/D&D 4e

Post by Aahz » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:48 am

Big Mac wrote:
Aahz wrote:
dulsi wrote:Can you include a link?
He's posted several things on the official MA forums, but this is the thread where he stated he was moving away from D&D 4e...
http://www.metamorphosisalpha.net/phpBB ... 1a8760[
I'm getting this error message, Kerry:
www.metamorphosisalpha.net wrote:The board requires you to be registered and logged in to view this forum.
Yes, you have to be registered to access the forums. (Registration is free.) I posted the link since dulsi requested it.

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