Cryptic Alliances are the many cults and ideological groups featured in the various editions of Gamma World. The first edition listed examples, but it suggested that referees should change what was listed, and even makeup their own groups.
- 1 Brotherhood of Thought
- 2 Seekers (New Dawn)
- 3 Knights of Genetic Purity (Purists)
- 4 Friends of Entropy (Red Death)
- 5 Zoopremisists
- 6 Healers (The White Hand)
- 7 Restorationists
- 8 The Followers of the Voice (Programmers)
- 9 The Ranks of the Fit (Bonapartists)
- 10 The Archivists (Servants of the Eye)
- 11 The Radioactivists
- 12 The Created (Machineists)
- 13 Peace Brigade
Brotherhood of Thought
This group was founded by a biochemist (known only as Ashinin) who survived the holocaust and was amazed to find that non-human mutations often had brains of a quality equal to or greater than humans. He gathered a small group of followers, and their goals were to unify all intelligent creatures in a world of enlightened coexistence and freedom of choice (noble old thoughts!). They have some ties with other cryptic alliances, such as the Seekers, and oppose the aims of both the Purists and the Friends of Entropy. The Brotherhood of Thought may be found in forests, mountains, and hills, usually in tiny villages. They maintain a very low profile, traveling in groups of three - one pure human, one humanoid, and one intelligent mutant animal or plant, to better spread the word of their cause. In dangerous or populated areas, they use a secret sign to contact each other. This sign is a tracing of the infinity symbol across the forehead as though casually brushing hair.
Later on, they are noted for being pacifists, and very liberal with how they live.
Seekers (New Dawn)
The Seekers are a group of humans and mutants that all appear completely human. They travel and work in large populated areas, trying to get humans and mutants of all types to work together. They consider mutated animals to be inferior, but don't press the issue, and sometimes even accept their help. They are filled with an all-consuming hatred of the technology that brought about the destruction of civilization and seek to eradicate all traces of It from the face of the earth. They can be found among other human factions, or by themselves. The membership is usually very rich, in terms of the local means of exchange (they do not hate domars). Their secret sign consists of scanning the horizon using both hands to shade the eyes.
They are generally portrayed as being Amish-like, but with baseball caps. In later editions, the became more open, even displaying their symbol - wheat stalk against an oval - on their buildings. They also became restricted to PCs, do to their inability to use technology. This was a major oversight, as such a limitation could make for an interesting character hook.
Knights of Genetic Purity (Purists)
“Purists” are Pure Humans who wish to destroy all mutated humans. Unaccountably (or fortunately), they do not realize that animal and vegetable mutants are not “pure” either. “Purists” usually fight with sword and lance, on any available mount. A large number of them also have ancient energy weapons. They are very open about their hatred and wear a bright red square, printed, painted, or emblazoned in some way on the fronts of their garments or armor. Large groups of “Purists” have been known to hire out as mercenaries - as long as the job involves the slaughter of humanoid mutants.
In later editions they became an exclusively NPC organization. Due to their racial hated of humanoid mutants, they are "specifically designed to be the nemesis of the player characters." This was mostly do to the politics of TSR that reenforced the notion that players should avoid playing villains - that and they would kill any PC that happened to be a "mutie". Their symbol is an unbalanced scale on a red field. The Knights of Genetic Purity (also called "The Genites") were seen on TV show Andromeda.
Friends of Entropy (Red Death)
Calling themselves the “Red Death,” their goal is to bring about the extinction of all life and the cessation of all mechanical operations. They are especially interested in destroying all equipment of robotic nature. Theirs is a nomadic society (since nobody wants them around), and they travel in small groups, spying out populated areas to raid or attack. Whenever possible, they steal babies of both humans and mutants and bring them up as the next generation of the “Red Death”. Their secret signal consists of the cleaning of the blade of a dagger with a red cloth, followed by thrusting the dagger through that cloth.
They are based on the "Thuggee cults" from India (also seen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). In later editions, they became restricted to NPCs, due to the fact that they would kill the party in their sleep!
The Iron Society
This is a group of human mutants bent on the destruction of all non-mutated Pure Humans. Its groups are scattered about the world, especially near radiated areas. The Iron Society is very powerful in battle because its members use both mutated powers and ancient weapons of all sorts. They obviously will not mingle with humans, but can be found in societies of other mutants.
They might be hateful of pure humans, or just see them as pathetic and inferior, but most are hateful. Their symbol is a hammer in a circle, usually minted on a coin.
This group consists of non-humanoid, thinking mutant animals, who believe that the time has come for the “beasts” to rule the world. They have a secret police of highly trained, dangerous mutants that terrorize any who oppose them. Fortunately, Zoopremisists attract only a lunatic fringe of the thinking mutant animals, and their power is not yet very great. They can be found secreted in any large mass of mutants. Their agents are all telepathic and signal each other in that manner.
In later editions, right-wing Zoopremisists are militants, while left-wing Zoopremisists are outright terrorists!
Healers (The White Hand)
This is a quasi-monastic order, founded by a medical technician during the Shadow Years (the time leading up to the apocalypse). They wander continually, caring for the sick and wounded without regard for race, creed, or biological origins. The membership is both human and mutated and all have a mysterious ability to approach and befriend non-intelligent creatures. They use many medical devices of the Ancients, as well as any number of natural herbs and medicines. Healers are so respected by all (except the "Red Death"), that they are rarely attacked, even by the most bloodthirsty creatures.
Their symbol is a white coat, the caduceus (☤), with outstretched hands. Traditionalists are pacifists, who go out of their way to render medical treatment, while Reformist Healers demand payment for their services - only doing occasional charity work.
These are a group of primarily human and humanoid mutants who have recovered large amounts of information about the past and are seeking to rebuild the lost civilization. Restorationists are usually armed with weapons from the past and frequently have robotic units working with them. They shun the other moderate cryptic alliances and work single-mindedly towards their goal. Their symbol is a rising sun over the ocean.
The Followers of the Voice (Programmers)
These are beings of all types who worship computers, believing that machines created the world and can again restore peace and order. They are always encountered near installations that have computers whose logic circuits agree, at least in part, with their philosophies. In some instances, the large computers, such as the think tank, have taken over their followers, and rule with dictatorial powers. Roving bands of the Followers of the Voice are occasionally encountered as they roam vast areas in search of computers and similar machinery to use as “shrines” for their strange religious rituals.
Their "holy symbols" usually take many forms, as they are usually made up of different, unrelated sects. Star Trek is the best example of this type of cult, as the Enterprise encounter them quite often (Kirk was well known for taking down even the most powerful supercomputer with a "logic bomb" - it was any wander he could even order a cup of coffee, without crashing the ship's computer).
The Ranks of the Fit (Bonapartists)
This is a military-religious order, bent on controlling the world. Any means to this end is acceptable. It was founded by an enormous mutated bear, who wrote the organization's guidelines after reading certain history books, and possibly Mein Kampf, Animal Farm, and several biographies of Napoleon Bonaparte. All forms of life may join, but only mutated intelligent animals may hold positions of power. Seeking to establish a form of Code Napoleon throughout the world, The Ranks of the Fit have brought large groups of people and several cities under their well organized military fist. Although their armies are equipped mostly with crossbows and spears, no independent corps is allowed to operate without some very heavy weapons of the past, and the members will fight to obtain more. Their banner is the French Tricolor (blue, white and red) with a gammadion (swastika with shorter outer bars) superimposed.
The Archivists (Servants of the Eye)
This group is generally made up of various small humanoids who believe that all artifacts are sacred. These they store away in deep caves, where the artifacts are polished and worshiped. The members usually possess strong attack and defense mutations and will not appear in groups of less than 10. They will seek to buy items that they consider valuable, but are not above stealing if the price is too high. They especially like robots, which they deactivate and mount as statues of gods to protect their underground temples.
Their symbol is an eye in a triangle (eye of providence), which they carry as jewelry, but out of view.
These are worshipers of a radiation god which they reverently call the “Radiant Divine Glory”. These cultists are those with high radiation resistance and many are mutated, as initiation requires that they spend a week in a radioactive area. Radioactivists are often seen traveling the desolate areas of the world, searching for new “holy lands”.
Their symbol is the radiation hazard symbol. Traditionalists seek out holy sites (radioactive area), while extremists what to bath the world in radioactive fallout!
The Created (Machineists)
This is a special cult, open only to androids. Its members believe that only machine-created “life”, such as computers, cyborgs, robots, and androids are worthy of continued survival. Of course they believe that androids should be the ruling class, even in the world of machines. Androids often pass as humans in human and humanoid societies, subverting their efforts and stealing technological devices for the “Created.”
They identify themselves with a clenched fist, raised shoulder high. Members usually assume that any machine or android is also a member, or at least agrees with their goals. Because Gamma World did not have playable androids and robots, they were off-limits to PCs.
This group splintered off the Restorationists. They actively seek remote, primitive communities, so they can build fortifications, train troops, and improve their standard of living. Even if the community cannot be persuaded to cooperate, the Peace Brigade will impose the urban development by force. Their core believe is that strong defense makes a community better, but they overlook that thick walls tend to isolate the community from the rest of the world.
Their symbol is a crossed shovel and sword set on a blue field, which they post on the walls they establish.