Metamorphosis Alpha: The Warden Armoury is a supplement designed for Metamorphosis Alpha: Fantastic Role-Playing Game of Science Fiction Adventures on a Lost Starship. The first Science Fiction roleplaying game and the first post-apocalypse roleplaying game, Metamorphosis Alpha is set aboard the Starship Warden, a generation spaceship which has suffered an unknown catastrophic event which killed the crew and most of the million or so colonists and left the ship irradiated and many of the survivors and the flora and fauna aboard mutated. Some three centuries later, as Humans, Mutated Humans, Mutated Animals, and Mutated Plants, the Player Characters, knowing nothing of their captive universe, would leave their village to explore strange realm around them, wielding fantastic mutant powers and discovering how to wield fantastic devices of the gods and the ancients that is technology, ultimately learn of their enclosed world. Originally published in 1976, it would go on to influence a whole genre of roleplaying games, starting with Gamma World, right down to Mutant Crawl Classics Roleplaying Game – Triumph & Technology Won by Mutants & Magic from Goodman Games. And it would be Goodman Games which brought the roleplaying game back with the stunning Metamorphosis Alpha Collector’s Edition in 2016, and support the forty-year old roleplaying game with a number of supplements, many which would be collected in the ‘Metamorphosis Alpha Treasure Chest’.
Metamorphosis Alpha: The Warden Armoury details the content of both caches. In the Secret Military Armoury Cache can be found four types of weapons. These are Bio-Heavy guns, Gamma guns, Kinetic guns, and Plasma guns. They all include grenades, pistols, rifles, throwers, blasters, and artillery. The Bio-Heavy guns fire spheres of bio-material, which when it explodes paralyses and then kills anyone who breaths it in or is touched by it; Gamma guns fire spheres of radiation; Kinetic weapons fire pellets at high velocity; and the Plasma guns, balls of well, plasma. This is a somewhat underwhelming start to the supplement, the weapons being deadly if not all that inspiring and possessing a similar feel. How some of them are fired is slightly more interesting, such as the helmet which has to be worn to fire the Gamma Blaster. Similarly, the suits of mobile armour are not that interesting, although the inclusion of various types of drone provides more of a contemporary feel.
Physically, Metamorphosis Alpha: The Warden Armoury is cleanly presented. The illustrations are decent, but the writing is sparse in places.
In a roleplaying game like Metamorphosis Alpha where there no Classes or Levels, and the only way in which the Player Characters get more powerful is through acquiring more mutant abilities or bigger and better weapons and armour, there is always going to be a call for a supplement such as Metamorphosis Alpha: The Warden Armoury. So there is no denying that the supplement is useful, although it does mean that the Player Characters may be capable of dealing out huge amounts of damage whilst wearing armour cable withstanding similar amounts, ultimately upping the scale at which combat takes place. So this may well be a supplement for later in a campaign when the Player Characters are ready to face bigger and deadlier threats.
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