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Machines and Mutants (GW 6e)


The Wildlife of a Ruined World

Once, not so long ago, scientists played with genes like toys, and created computers that thought and dreamed. Then came the Final Wars, and the rise of the Gamma World. Now, new species of plants and animals fill the places humanity once ruled, and things that were once tools prey on the descendants of their makers.

Machines That Think and Hunt

pThis first supplement for the popular Gamma World campaign setting covers things both animal and mechanical that roam the post-apocalyptic future. Youll find descriptions of mutated creatures and of electronic "Species,' with rules for use as both monsters and as player characters.

Gamma World books are published under license with Wizards of the Coast and are 100% compatible with d20 rules.

Product History

Machines & Mutants (2003), by David Bolack, Gareth Hanrahan, Patrick O'Duffy, Chuck Wendig, and David Wendt, is the second core book for d20 Modern Gamma World. It was published in November 2003.

About the Title. Machines & Mutants was originally titled "Mutants & Machines", but sometime before publication the two words got switched around.

Continuing the Gamma World 6e Line. When White Wolf got the rights to publish Gamma World for d20 Modern (2002), they decided to release a core series of three books, to match the core books for D&D 3e (2000). That meant that a Monster Manual was needed following the publication of Gamma World Player's Handbook (2003) … except the name didn't seem quite right for a science-fantasy game. So they picked the alliterative Machines & Mutants instead.

A Different Sort of Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast's Monster Manuals (2000-2007) of this era tended to be alphabetized tomes of monsters, but White Wolf decided to instead sort its monsters by category, highlighting the different sorts of things found in the Gamma World. Machines & Mutants thus contains different sections for made life, machines, nonsentient natural life, sentient natural life, and environmental templates.

Machines & Mutants also makes some slight changes to the standard monster formatting of d20 Modern. Each monster includes two new stats, environment and organization — the latter reprising the popular "# appearing" attribute from books of old. In addition, Machines & Mutants adds a number of monster types: aware constructs and ooze constructs each supplement the construct type; evolved animals, mutant plants, and mutant vermin vary animal, plant, and vermin types; mutant beast replaces the magical beast type; and mutant humanoid replaces the monstrous humanoid type. It's an interesting example of how easily the d20 system could be modified for dramatically different settings.

Somewhat inexplicably, this Monster Manual also includes a small section for player characters. It contains new feats as well as six new advanced classes (agent, hybrid diplomat, messenger, robot's bane, scrutinizer, and trapper). These unexpected PC options were typical of the Gamma World 6e design pattern, which had a multitude of authors piecemealing together individual articles to form complete books.

Monsters of Note. Machines & Monsters has a mixture of new Gamma World critters and old favorites. Among the resurrected classics from a variety of older editions are the barl nep, blight, blood birds, cal then, carrin, dabbers, gators, gren, hissers, katkin, menarl, obb, podogs, serfs, and sleeth.

The gonzo-ness of some of the monsters in Machines & Mutants is surprising. When the 6e Gamma World Player's Handbook appeared, it offered a much more serious take on a post-apocalyptic world. With Machines & Mutants, however, the craziness of earlier editions returns. Some of this weirdness is the result of the designers giving serious attention to the backstories of classic monsters, which often read like they were randomly generated. However new creatures like the cheguins, who are forever plotting flightless-bird revenge, and the fire eater, which spews flame retardant, are pretty gonzo too!

Future History. The next Gamma World release was Out of the Vaults (2004). White Wolf wouldn't finish their core set of Gamma World 6e books until the release of Gamma World Game Master’s Guide (2004) in March 2004.

About the Creators. White Wolf's Gamma World 6e was overseen by developer Bruce Baugh. Each of the books had individual sections written by a variety of authors — here including David Bolack, Gareth Hanrahan, Patrick O'Duffy, Chuck Wendig, and David Wendt.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Thomas M November 10, 2018 5:35 am UTC
I just noticed that when you download this book, that the cover is a blank white page with some text at the bottom of the PDF. Fix this please! Previously when I downloaded the PDF, the cover would show as normal, like it is viewed on this page. Not sure what changed since there is no notification of an update on this page.
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PATRICK H February 13, 2018 5:42 am UTC
You cannot play D20 Gamma World without purchasing either D20 Modern or DND 3.0 by Wizards of the Coast. The Players handbook is useless without one of those books. The "DM" guide is mostly campaign setting information. You cannot make a character with the 'Players Handbook'. Basic stats tables and character class stats do not exist in the book.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 18, 2015.