Random thought experiment: What would happen if you removed stats from Gamma World?
First, the why: I’m thinking about this because I think they’re the biggest hurdle in the system – they complicate what is otherwise a fast, simple character creation system by demanding a range of modifiers and middling bonuses rather than fast resolution. So, bottom line, the goal of any such change would be to speed up and simplify things.
Ok, so given that, what would it do.
First, attack bonuses need to make up for the missing +3/+4. I don’t really feel too obliged to replicate the chance of an occasional +5/+5 but I’m ok simplifying things into +4/+4, which is to say, just call base attack bonus +4. Done.
Second: Skills. Similarly, let’s just cut to the chase – class skills and bonus skills get you a +8. Done. I actually have another thought about that too, but we’ll get to that in a second. Figure some sort of default for everything else (say, +2) and you’re good to go.
Third: Hit points. Treat everyone like they have a 15 con for hit point purposes. A little generosity because, frankly, it’s a brutal game.
Fourth: Defenses. Same logic as Attacks. +4 as the virtual “dex” mod for AC. Figure a 4/3/2 (dealer’s choice) for other defenses.
Fifth…Well, hell, I think that’s it.
There are a few odds and ends to think about. GW has an an interesting model for weapons that splits between light weapons (that use int/dex) and heavy weapons (which use str/con), but that mostly exists to solve the problem of strange stat distributions. The problem is that, really, weapons in Gamma World are a matter of style. We’re not looking to _accurately_ represent the damage of an old stop sign or a razor sharp x-box controller thrown like a batarang. As such, just use whatever weapon stats you want.
So, the thing is this could all work. It’s a little samey-same, but it’s functional, and the assumptions is that the novelty would be coming in from the templates. But what intrigues me is that with a little work, you could do up one more set of templates to speed the process of creation and provide for a little variety in these bonuses.
Tweaking some of the ideas above (going back to +4/+3 and setting up a skill default idea) and you can end up with a template like:
Powers attack: +4 (Or +4/+3 if you really want)
Powerful Attack: +3
Quick Attack: +4
Skill Bonus: +2 (the bonus for any untrained skill)
Bonus Skill: Science (+8 – +12 if trained from template)
EDIT: Weak Skill: Acrobatics, Athletics or Perception (see comments)
Hit Points: 15
Quick Junk List: Magnifying glass, Half a dozen specimen Jars, Spiffy lab coat.
Do one of these for every skill – maybe even multiple ones to get other themes – and I think you may have something. No longer are you merely a radioactive cockroach, your a radioactive cockroach ACROBAT!.
Anyway, just a thought.