Metamorphosis Alpha Complex

I attended Dragonmeet in London at the weekend. I had intended on meeting up with Graham Bottley of Arion Games – as I recently published ‘The Sward and The Stone‘ for the Maelstrom system, and hoped to promote it with him. However, Graham couldn’t make it in the end – pressures of the real world. So, I went along alone for a wander and a rummage.

Delays getting into London meant I missed the first round of scheduled games, and needing to leave by 5pm at the latest made it impossible for me to join the second wave of games. Annoying. So, instead I wandered around the various trade stands and took a look at what they had to offer. I had a look at Cold City and Hot War from the guys at Contested Ground on the Collective Endeavour stand, and got my copy of ‘Trail of Cthulhu’ signed by Ken Hite and Robin Law. I purchased a Security Clearance range of gem dice from Chessex and purchased an Explorer’s Edition of ‘Savage Worlds’ from Triple Ace Games.

I also had a chat with Matthew Sprange on the Mongoose stand. I glanced over the PARANOIA range available – including the brand new ‘Big Book of Bots‘ and noticed a lack of ‘The Underplex‘. I asked Matthew about it – and was relieved to find that it hadn’t been forgotten… they’d just sold out. I stood over a copy of the new ‘Dragon Warriors’ for a very long time, angonising over whether to pick up a copy… but, in the end I decided my original six book of the game would suffice for the time being! They’re hard to come by these days.

My final find for the day was picking up a game from the Bring and Buy stand. I found a copy of ‘Metamorphosis Alpha‘ – the hardback 4th edition – signed by James Ward and going for a very reasonable price. I had seen a copy at Game 2008, and the book got my attention because Jim Holloway had done all the interior art and the colour cover. I’m a sucker for Jim’s stuff. However, the parallels with PARANOIA don’t end at the artist. A ship in the depths of space runs into a cloaked asteroid filled with alien pirates essentially. The collision fills the ship with lethal radiation, killing the crew outside of stasis and sending a lot of the systems and robots haywire. When the Starship Warden starts to recover from the accident, first robots, then androids, and finally human crew emerge. The ship has been invaded and the effects of the radiation have caused mutations. You can’t tell whether the androids or robots have been effected by the disaster until they turn on you. The systems on the ship have security related to different coloured rings or individual working roles, so the players characters can’t necessarily get to where they need to go without a lot of potential danger. Danger, excitement, radiation, mad robots, infilitration by the enemy, hidden mutations… oh, and did I mention the core AI systems that should be in control of everything, but don’t work quite right anymore…

I’m looking forward to playing this game real soon!

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