Tabletop RPG Review: Mutant Crawl Classics

Mutant Crawl Classics cover
Mutant Crawl Classics takes on the classic Gamma World in much the same way Dungeon Crawl Classics took on Dungeons & Dragons.  Mixing old school Mid-Century, hellzapoppin Science Fantasy, the fickle fiend of luck, and the vibe of early tabletop role-playing with somewhat more modernized (read: smooth) game mechanics.  This isn’t the kind of role-playing game where you get deeply invested in your characters, where you worry too much about motivation or ultimate plans. This is more the sort of thing where you make choices based more on entertainment, on what’s going to make the most spectacular death or surprising success.

This is set in some post apocalyptic future, though not a specific one.  Could be Earth, could be any of a million others. What’s important is that there was a technologically advanced society and it collapsed thousands upon thousands of years ago.  The world has become a hothouse jungle with villages of primitive humans, mutants, and plant people. From their little villages, they rove out into the chaotic world of monsters, radiation, and ancient artifacts of super-science.

As far as the system goes, it’s very similar to Dungeon Crawl Classics.  Ultra-powerful, potentially insane A.I.’s serve as gods and demons, so the ‘magic’ is different.  But otherwise, it’s very similar.

Like Dungeon Crawl Classics, it has a nice Level 0 adventure in the back, because like DCC, you’re expected to run a bunch of redshirts through a meat grinder until only the strong survive.  It’s expected that 20 or so nothing characters will go in and only a handful will come out to reach Level 1 and start adventuring in earnest.

I think this could make for a good palate cleanser between more serious games.  You’ve played a massive multi year game of Ars Magica and want something a bit mindless?  You’ve just wrapped up a heavy role-playing game of Fading Suns?  Here you go.


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