As many of you might know, I’m finishing up a big project that’s both exciting and personal to me, a new edition of the classic Metamorphosis Alpha roleplaying game. The product is late, but despite a few production setbacks I’m really happy and proud about what we’ve accomplished. I’m hopeful this might get a new generation of tabletop gamers onto the decks of the starship Warden for mutant mayhem. But … there was a regret in not discovering MA until the first edition was long out of print. Regret that’s much eased by a very cool announcement! Below is a re-post of an announcement I made to my Kickstarter backers. Check it out!
Confession: I never owned the original Metamorphosis Alpha. This is quite possibly because when it was published I was still in diapers. Like many others in my gamer-generation, I cut my mutant teeth on Gamma World and discovered the existence of Metamorphosis Alpha in references I found in Dragon Magazine, and I had to trace my way back to it. I was fascinated by the concept, but as a kid playing and running RPGs in the mid-to-late 1980s there was no avenue for me to score a copy. It wasn’t until Metamorphosis Alpha to Omega was released in 1994 that I got a sense of what it was and what it could be—though it was very obviously a product that was thrown together from a scrapped Gamma World 4th Edition supplement that stapled itself to the Amazing Engine game system. (I thought AE was great and fun for some of their settings, but this was just a bad fit.) But even with the faults, I saw the tremendous potential and used the setting of the Warden and a rules set I preferred to get my game on. I loved the blend of elements that made MA a unique gaming experience and I feel that’s still true today. But man … I really wanted a copy of the original.
METAMORPHOSIS ALPHA Deluxe Hardcover Collector’s Edition
A while back Jim Ward and I discussed a potential deal for a collector’s edition reprint of the original 1st Edition Metamorphosis Alpha and he very graciously wanted to make sure I was comfortable with it, despite support for older editions being clearly allowed in our contract. (If I haven’t mentioned it, working with Jim is awesome.)
My thoughts? Any deal that helped Jim was good by me. More visibility and excitement about Metamorphosis Alpha in general would be good going by the “rising tide lifts all boats” principle. And I’ll freely admit it … I want one of the hardcovers! Since I never got the 1976 edition, I’m very proud to be a backer as a gaming geek and TSR fanboy from the old days.
Not only does the hardcover edition look drool-inducingly awesome, but they’ve packed a ton of extras in with the stretch goals—including new material in support of the classic system that has that retro look and feel. I want this stuff, and I suspect many of you do as well. But the Goodman Games campaign has only a few days to go, so now’s the time to figure out your pledge level! (I’m so scoring a dice bag.)
Some Old Advice That’s New Again
Another Confession: I did a lot of homework when researching the new edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha RPG, but one thing slipped through the cracks. I only discovered it last night while doing some late-night browsing before bed. There is a three-page article on Metamorphosis Alpha adventures and campaigns in the August 1981 issue of The Space Gamer by Steve Jackson Games. The timing of this discovery is excellent, since I’m doing revisions on the referee advice chapter for our book and I might add a few paragraphs here and there to reflect some of the great inspiration from the article. “The Metamorphosis Alpha Notebook” by W.G. Armintrout is well worth a look, and the issue is available in digital form from Steve Jackson Games for just a few bucks. Click on the image below if you’d like to check it out!
Back to the grindstone for me. I’ll be updating next week with another preview chapter for backers and keep you all up-to-date as we race toward the finish line. It’s encouraging and exciting to see all the love out there for the Warden. I was late to the party, but I’m sure glad I’m here.