Review: Famine in Far-Go

Famine in Far-Go is the first expansion for the new 4e based Gamma World RPG. It’s primarily an adventure with secondary considerations being a – limited – sourcebook for the Far-Go area, a plethora of additional character origins and more tokens and maps.Background
Far-Go was the ‘promised land’ some while back and an exodus of people and things (the things are also people) was lead there by the prophet, eventually setting up their town in the ruins of the old and raising farm crops. Of course, this being Gamma World nothing is quite what it seems and the very fecundity of the land turned out to be the problem with it, turning many of the crops into dangerous antagonists. That’s not even the worst of it, gangs of mutated chickens walk the land, armed to the teeth and out for blood. Combine the crop problems with the chicken problems and you have a major problem for the otherwise progressive and enlightened people of Far-Go.

The mini-book provided with the box provides additional origins, old-world junk, secret society information and new opponents. These are all welcome additions to the game – particularly the origins – though I would have thought they would have added some more common origins, rather than some of the esoteric ones hat they do. Some of the origins seem a bit out of whack with the zany sci-fi setting of the game as well, ghosts and divine scions, I’d rather have seen a canid or ursinoid option added than those.

Famine in Far-Go actually gives you more of a handle on the world of Gamma Terra than the original does, providing you with a – sparse – setting in which to base your games and going into more details about the surroundings of Far-Go. This is by no means a game atlas or an incredible amount of detail, but it’s something, which is a damn sight more than you get in the original box. Being adventure and mechanics the rest is fairly dry and the adventure presentation doesn’t do a lot to engage you in any atmosphere of the place, but it is – nonetheless – an improvement.

The artwork in the book is a bit more sparse than in the first book and in the same cartoonish style. Some variety would be nice. I’d love to see Dave Allsop unleashed upon some of these monsters and mutants, for example. That would be nice to see. The extra maps and tokens are welcome, the book layout is functional and my only real annoyance is with the box it came in. Not as sturdy as the main game box and opening at the top, rather than sliding off. It was a pain in the arse to open and to get the contents out and not a terribly good design – in my opinion.

An adequete supplement to the main release. The adventure really#updatedoliverwendellholmes isn’t that great but it is a big advance on the one in the base set with some opportunities for actual RP. The main value comes in the extra origins and the secret societies, which manage to add some genuine meat to the game.

On the plus side

  • Useful rules expansions.
  • More tokens and maps.
  • The beginning inklings of an atual gameworld.
On the minus side
  • Crappy box.
  • Adventures are still, really, just a string of fights.
  • Some more conventional origins aren’t covered while esoteric ones are. Seems wrong.
Style: 4
Substance: 3
Overall: 3.5