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Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE? 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
From the latest Troll Lord communication:

"...Embark on a Journey of Adventure! James M. Ward and TLG partner once again! But this time the past meets the present. Metamorphosis Alpha and the SIEGE Engine. We'll reveal the Starship Warden like never before...as Mr. Ward himself envisioned it. "

Sounds awesome.

I hope it's a "complete" version of the rules, and not just a conversion slipped into a Warden adventure, though to be honest I'd buy that too.

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:17 pm
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Mist Elf
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
This is good news!

I was not impressed with the very late "reboot".

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
The Jamie Chambers one?

BTW, there's a community for MA here: http://www.metamorphosisalpha.net/phpBBv3/ which discusses all editions, and Mr. Ward shows up there from time to time. Though would be nice if we could discuss MA SIEGE here when it arrives or is ready for playtest.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:28 am
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
If this is a full set of rules for the game then I am all in. Just tell me who I have to bribe to get a copy.


Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:11 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Aergraith wrote:
The Jamie Chambers one?
...


Yeah, That one. A good example of how to bork a Kickstarter and ruin your reputation with - what was - your customers.

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
How many versions of Metamorphosis Alpha are currently in print?

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
I'm not exactly sure what it means to be converted to the Siege Engine, but I hope it means that it will be compatible with other TLG products like Castles & Crusades and Amazing Engine and Victoious rather than being compatible with Star Siege. Anyway, fingers crossed....

Buttmonkey wrote:
How many versions of Metamorphosis Alpha are currently in print?
Not a simple question. Here's my best answer:

MA 1E = 1976 TSR version = in print in PDF and through Goodman Games, along with a lot of product support.
MA 2E = Amazing Engine version = dead, dead, dead.
MA 3E = 25th Anniversary 3d6 version through Fast Forward games = out of print
MA 4E = Basically 3E expanded through Mudpuppy Games = not sure, but I think it's out of print again.
MA 5E = Jaimie Chambers Signal Fire version = in print, but no support yet.

I have issues with 5E that I really shouldn't to hash out here, but basically I think that the original 1E is your best bet since there is a lot of product out there thanks to an earlier Goodman Games kickstart and a second Epsilon City kickstart (also through Goodman Games) which should be sending stuff out very soon. Basically, MA is finally getting the support that I wish it had gotten in the 1970's.

Hopefully a Siege Engine version will be competitive and hopefully it will be compatible with MA 1E style products.

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Count me interested!

:)

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:45 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
One possibility I thought of was something like one of the Dark Outpost, Dark Colony, Dark Visitor, etc. books from Eldritch Ent, only with C&C SIEGE stats converted from the Eldritch Ent generic format. In other words, a hardback Metamorphosis Alpha-ish adventure (well, strictly MA, as it mentions the Warden by name), with some packaged C&C/SIEGE rules and stats.

If it's going to be a full realization of the rules, I think the 4e ones are the best I've seen. A lot of tables and things can just be replaced with simpler SIEGE and BtH formulas. But it'd be better still to just start over, and keep it simple, only using what is necessary.

Now, no one will ever say any version of MA is "balanced" and it is known that Mr. Ward cares not for the idea; balance if desired comes from the all-powerful GM.

But I do hope that the rules are consistent with one another, so that everything works within the spirit of the system and similar things are handled in similar, non-astonishing ways, so that switching between C&C and MA is smooth and one can apply one's knowledge of one system to the other.

I also hope robot building isn't something one might be tempted to make a spreadsheet for, but is just as sloppy and random as being a mutant.

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:21 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Ok I hate sounding like a nob ...but .... what is Metamorphous Alpha ????

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Does anyone know when we might get more concrete information on this? I am just all a tingle to know more.


Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:48 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Aergraith wrote:
One possibility I thought of was something like one of the Dark Outpost, Dark Colony, Dark Visitor, etc. books from Eldritch Ent, only with C&C SIEGE stats converted from the Eldritch Ent generic format. In other words, a hardback Metamorphosis Alpha-ish adventure (well, strictly MA, as it mentions the Warden by name), with some packaged C&C/SIEGE rules and stats.
I'm a big fan of Jim's "Dark" series from Eldritch Ent. I would enjoy seeing them updated to C&C-like stats when MA gets released.

Lurker wrote:
Ok I hate sounding like a nob ...but .... what is Metamorphous Alpha ????
Metamorphosis Alpha is a scifi RPG that originally came out in 1976 and was written by Jim Ward. (The same guy who did the Gods, Demigods, and Heroes supplement for OD&D.) Timelines of the era are a little hazy, but it is believed that MA came out before Traveller and thus became the first ever science fiction RPG on the market. Many of the basic ideas were revised later on to become Gamma World.

The basic premise behind Metamorphosis Alpha is that a generation ship to another star system had a mishap and was thrown off course. The mishap involved radiation. The ship (named the Warden in Jim's game) is huge -- several miles long, several miles wide, and around 20 levels deep. It is essentially a dungeon crawl in space, with the beasties being mutated versions of the animals which were supposed to be around for colonization on the new world. It is also a wilderness hexcrawl in space, with large expanses of forest and plains dotted with villages and primitives. There is also a large city (Epsilon City) in one level and a giant lake in another, at least there were in Jim's concept of the ship. Each WardenMaster can make up a ship design of his own, or one can follow along a general model that Jim provided in the rulebook. Technology is often limited, but there. Access to certain areas of the ship can only occur through use of color-coded wristbands. There are many robots in the Warden -- agriculture, repair, security, whatever -- but many of them cannot be controlled without wristbands. There are some high-tech weapons, but these are typically rare and hard to find. MA games can be run slapstick but mostly I've seen them run serious and the rules typically encourage serious play, as opposed to Gamma World which everyone classifies as "gonzo" somehow. Jim likes to run a Warden which is very deadly, such that characters might expire on a whim by doing something stupid like wandering into a radioactive zone or blundering into a nest of nasty creatures. (Jim particularly likes spores of various types.) These characters often have mutations of their own, some good and some not-so-good.

As I posted before, there are various incarnations of Metamorphosis Alpha. Editions 1, 3, and 4 are pretty similar in style and have a decent crossover potential. Edition 2 was written for TSR's failed "Amazing Engine" rules system and as such my copy serves as a sourcebook but I never do anything useful with it. The newest 5th edition has a brand new rules system attached to it, but I've been unable to acquire my copy and thus don't know much about it. The 1st edition has undergone a recent resurgence through Goodman Games and there are a lot of products now out there with more on the horizon.

Hope that helps. I've been a MA player since the 1970's and think it's a lot of fun.

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
finarvyn wrote:
MA games can be run slapstick but mostly I've seen them run serious and the rules typically encourage serious play, as opposed to Gamma World which everyone classifies as "gonzo" somehow.

I strongly disagree with this point on Gamma World. Not everyone classifies Gamma World as gonzo. Every session I played of Gamma World back in the 1980s was run "serious". The modules (at least the ones I have read) all treated the game as serious. I'm sure there were GMs and groups who ran GW in a very silly or gonzo way, but that definitely does not describe how everyone played it.

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Buttmonkey wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
MA games can be run slapstick but mostly I've seen them run serious and the rules typically encourage serious play, as opposed to Gamma World which everyone classifies as "gonzo" somehow.

I strongly disagree with this point on Gamma World. Not everyone classifies Gamma World as gonzo. Every session I played of Gamma World back in the 1980s was run "serious". The modules (at least the ones I have read) all treated the game as serious. I'm sure there were GMs and groups who ran GW in a very silly or gonzo way, but that definitely does not describe how everyone played it.

I'm glad to hear it. I never felt like GW should be a silly game (indeed, I feel that games that are "supposed" to be silly are often stupid; I get enough silly from my characters in my serious games) but a lot of folks seem to bill it as such. I always felt like my "serious GW" campaign was in the minority....

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
I bought 1st edition GW when it first came out, and we played it pretty straight, but I guess you could play it really goofy if you wanted to. I've seen discussions on a potential SEIGE engine version of GW on various boards, and I wonder if this updated MA can be translated into that (I've never played MA). Maybe just change the setting from a spaceship to a post-apolyptic world?

That really funky flow diagram for figuring out how artifacts work needs an overhaul though :lol:


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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
thanks for the summary of the system/setting, and now I can at least put it into context - as a pre-gama world / mutant - sci fi game.

With that, it should be easy enough to convert into a siege based game, and therefore the game if re-written for SS should meld well with any of the other 'modern' siege games.

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Yeah, I've been a supporter of the Goodman Games revival of MA, and am seriously looking forward to holding the Epsilon City book in my hands. I am definitely curious to see what TLG is looking to do with MA.

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Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Spade Marlowe wrote:
That really funky flow diagram for figuring out how artifacts work needs an overhaul though :lol:


I'd have to check my copy, but 2d Edition I believe did away with the flowcharts. One of the many improvements that make 2d Edition the best version of the game.

And on a side note for anyone interested, Traveller was released in 1977, making Metamorphosis Alpha the first sci-fi RPG. However, the two games are at completely different points on the Mohs Scale of Science-fiction Hardness.

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Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:35 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Traveller wrote:
Spade Marlowe wrote:
That really funky flow diagram for figuring out how artifacts work needs an overhaul though :lol:
I'd have to check my copy, but 2d Edition I believe did away with the flowcharts. One of the many improvements that make 2d Edition the best version of the game.
My memory may be faulty on this, but I think those flowchart diagrams were in Gamma World and not Metamorphosis Alpha.

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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Read Spade Marlowe's full post. You'll see him mention Gamma World 1st Edition. :)

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Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:24 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Actually, the flowcharts did a pretty good job of mimicking attempts on figuring out how something works - if you succeed, how long it takes, possible failures (you broke it, you shot your eye out), plus just deciding after awhile to forget the whole thing and try another time. It just really stopped the game with all those rolls. Thinking more about it, there's a couple of ways to go with that using some SIEGE checks.

But getting back more to MA - since I never played, how similar is character generation and advancement in the original MA to how it was done in Gamma World? Maybe because I played GW and not MA, but I really liked the GW setting, and would love to be able to play it as a SIEGE engine game, and it seems like this version of MA might fit the bill.


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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Aergraith wrote:
The Jamie Chambers one?

BTW, there's a community for MA here: http://www.metamorphosisalpha.net/phpBBv3/ which discusses all editions, and Mr. Ward shows up there from time to time. Though would be nice if we could discuss MA SIEGE here when it arrives or is ready for playtest.



Haha, I have an account there I haven't used in ages. I have always loved the MA setting. I have a soft spot for "generation starship" stories. This is very cool! Seems a bit odd, though, as Ward is actively producing adventures and materials for classic MA, isn't he?

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Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:51 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Last post here was nearly a year ago? Has anyone heard any updates on this project? I know I'd support a Siege-based MA rules set...

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:46 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
In one of his Facebook posts around Christmas, Jim Ward mentioned that he's working on a "huge Metamorphosis Alpha mapping project" for Troll Lord Games based on his notes from 40 years ago. This doesn't sound exactly like a Siege Engine version of MA, but I could be wrong.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:34 am
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
finarvyn wrote:
Last post here was nearly a year ago? Has anyone heard any updates on this project? I know I'd support a Siege-based MA rules set...


Its Trolls. It will likely be another 5 years before we actually see anything.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:54 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Liked GW though I didn't get into it until 2rd ed and it was not really GM friendly per se as opposed to other games at the time. Likewise on running it as a serious campaign though. The crowd I was around in north WA- Puget Sound region actually considered MA more gonzo than they did GW given the many convo's overheard and part of at various cons.

And I think Amazing Engine got the short end of the stick. The core rules and concept were fairly solid. It was the majority of the world books that really caused it to tank. Bug Hunters is a great Alien's concept type genre to run once you flesh it out a bit more (which I did by scabbing Traveller 2300 and Twilight 2000 stuff together)

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Go0gleplex wrote:
I think Amazing Engine got the short end of the stick. The core rules and concept were fairly solid. It was the majority of the world books that really caused it to tank. Bug Hunters is a great Alien's concept type genre to run once you flesh it out a bit more (which I did by scabbing Traveller 2300 and Twilight 2000 stuff together)
I agree that the concept behind Amazing Engine was good, but somehow the game fizzled for our group. I think if the system had more D&D-like my group would have loved it more, but the notion of taking a character from one setting to another was clever.

The settings were innovative in concept, IMO, but a lot of the writing of the books just never grabbed me. After all, they had an assortment of MagiTech, Metamorphosis Alpha, King Arthur in space, the Alien-like bug hunter setting, and so on. Should have been awesome, but I bought them and somehow never played them.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Metamorphosis Alpha for SIEGE?
Steve is doing a seminar at Gary Con to go over TLG's plans for 2018. Metamorphosis Alpha is specially called out in the event description, so expect news on MA from Gary Con.

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