I've run two one-shots, one as a Google Hangout game and the other one as a convention game. I've also played in a Hangout game.
The thing about Jim Ward's games is that, if you can't kill something in one or two shots, you're probably better off not fighting it. That's especially true in MA. Everything tends to have a good number of hit points, so combat is a lengthy process and attrition gets deadly. But with the right mutant powers or high-tech weapons you can neutralize a lot of threats.
Generally the most fun we've had was the pure exploration parts. It's fun to sort of comb through an area and find all kinds of stuff, and use trial and error to see what it is and what it does. The rules oversimplify the process a bit, but I can understand why you'd want to switch to that in a lengthier game.
If you want to get into a good MA game quickly, the Round House Modular Dwelling Unit (RHMDU) is a perfect structure for the PCs to explore. It's small enough to contain just enough for an adventure, and the booklet "The House on the Hill" has terrific tables for stocking it that the players will have a lot of fun with. My default recommendation for someone interested in MA is to whip up an RHMDU, make a mutant creature to live nearby, and detail out a robot in the house. It's a simple setup for an adventure but works really well.
I got my copy of Metamorphosis Alpha in the 1970's when I went to visit the DUNGEON HOBBY SHOP in Lake Geneva, WI. My friend already had the OD&D rules, so rather than buying another copy I decided to spend money on a different RPG and MA is what I picked. So, for a while he was the "fantasy guy" and I was the "scifi guy" when our group wanted to play something.
Cadriel has hit the nail on the head with his "The thing about Jim Ward's games is that, if you can't kill something in one or two shots, you're probably better off not fighting it" comment. Jim likes to say that he never kills characters, but instead players kill characters. MA is a game about exploration and making mistakes and then paying for your mistakes. Characters die a lot, sometimes even when they are extra careful.
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2017 7:07:37 GMT -5 by finarvyn
Marv / Finarvyn Earl of Stone Creek / C&C Society Member since 2003 I'm an author of the S&W White Box Master of Mutants -- MA 1E Since 1976 OD&D player since 1975 Member #0004 on this board.
These forums are for the discussion of Old School Fantasy Adventure Roleplaying Games. Specifically the play of these games and the homebrewed approach to the rules aka guidelines. The primary focus is on the Original Three Little Brown Books of Dungeons & Dragons published in 1974. That focus includes other games specifically designed to be compatible or nearly so with OD&D ("clones" and such). It includes a multitude of resources from supplement to magazines to fan made materials. Real game play, that is house ruled gaming is a thing here. Other Old School Games are included such as Arduin, Traveller, Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha and many other games. This will be a place to vet house rules and discuss them before springing them on the unsuspecting players. We will post new monsters and all types of new material for our campaigns; including, but not limited to, setting ideas, setting/world building, and the like. Tips on how to run a campaign, how to ref/DM a campaign, world building and other related topics are also welcome. We are here to support (MIY)"Make It Yourself" campaigns which are the straight 100% use of primary sources and to support (DIY)"Do It Yourself" campaigns which are a variable mix of chosen sources. This forum is to complement and spur more creativity. The focus is on using and adapting the rules to your personal campaign. The ability to focus specifically on the practice of play and the make-it-yourself ethos rather than the archaeological and/or Talmudic approach of most forums warranted a new forum where it could be noted from the beginning that that is what the focus is so that a new and different discussion could be created. If this is of interest to you, please join us in this joint creative effort to harness the synergy of sharing ideas and mixing them to get more old school goodness out of many minds than what one mind working alone could accomplish alone.