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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #8: Diseases & Medical Options
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2012 11:45:42
Something I feel that's overlooked by most sci-fi settings and systems is medicine and medical conditions. Well, for MF fans, this issue of Wisdom from the Wastelands helps fill in the gaps to give more texture to an element that's sorely lacking for most games that gives a greater sense of plausibility and grittiness: medical science.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #8: Diseases & Medical Options
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2012 08:16:29
I put this one at a 2.5, as it didn't do a whole lot for me.

The plant-based cryptic alliance--I mean faction--is a schizophrenic hodge-podge of 3 disparate subgroups...and the animal one has 4. They don't gel that well internally, and they go for the kitchen sink approach.

The Legion (as in a post-apocalyptic French Foreign...) is a campaign in itself, and could be fun.

The Xenophobes are high-tech exterminators of all things "alien"...whatever that means at any given time.

No rules specifics are provided--initiation rites, secret symbols, membership breakdown by Race--and this may be the first time I've ever wanted more "crunch" over "fluff".

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #3: High-Tech Weapons
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2012 02:38:13
Weapons to make enemies tremble and players weep. This is an awesome supplement in the series. Nothing like a lot of powerful weapons with which to tease players who get a few good hits in before running out of ammo. Then again, these same weapons might be pointed at the characters before they get a hold of them. Oh, the joy a GM can have with these toys. :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #3: High-Tech Weapons
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #1: Artifacts, Manuals, and Toolkits
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2012 02:25:46
I haven't had a chance to get a group together to play Mutant Future, but I sorely want to. This book just increases my desire to play this game. Tools and damaging things just makes it all the more desirable as even in a post-apoc setting, someone's going to try to salvage technology somewhere, and now they can.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #1: Artifacts, Manuals, and Toolkits
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #10: Monsters That Improve with Age 2
by william w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2012 20:03:48
Wow this is issue #10 in the Wisdom from the Wastelands series! It's great to see new product coming out regularly for Mutant Future. Skirmisher has been turning these out quicker than I can keep up.
This is the second issue that features Monsters (Mutants) that Improve with age. I have to say I like this article better than the first one, not that anything was wrong with the first one, there is just more in this one that I can see plugging into my Campaigns. Wanna throw some Rattlesnake mutant critters at your group? Check out the Gageling, Those pesky mutant animals giving your Pure Strains trouble? Then sounds like the Humans need an Uplift Hunter or three! My favorite in this issue is the Bad Juju Cow! The name alone is cool! There are a couple of new mutations to round this issue out, always a welcome sight to me.
All in all I was quite pleased with this issue. : )

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #10: Monsters That Improve with Age 2
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #5: Domesticated Creatures
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2012 16:36:31
After being less than pleased with Issue #4, #5 comes along and cleanses the palate.

You get 10 new mutants (of which 6 are plants, and more monstrous flora is always welcome) and 2 new mutations. All interact with the campaign world in interesting ways, and I'll happily hork some for my own campaigns.

Other than some clunky grammar and a handful of editing mistakes, this is a snazzy supplement, well worth your $.99.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #5: Domesticated Creatures
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Castle Builder Volume 2: Manor Houses
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2012 04:31:24
The first volume in the Castle Builder series provided the basic rules for designing and constructing buildings, as well as an overview of the role of fortifications. This second volume focuses on two specific types of building: inns and secure (but not truly fortified) wealthy households.

After the introduction (reprinted from volume 1), the book gives a general discussion of the roles of these buildings and considerations of their design and how they can be described in game. This is generally helpful if you're thinking about designing and placing such things, if a little repetitive in places.

This is followed by floorplans and details for an inn and a mansion house. The plans are drawn with the basic version of CC2, which is perfectly fine for their intended use, although they aren't top-of-the-range battle maps.

The descriptions that go with them are suited to their purpose, and include some useful ideas for what you might want to put in your own designs. Each room is accompanied with a summation of the design cost, calculated using the rules in volume 1, all of which is summarised and totalled for each building at the end - very useful, considering this is essentially a design book.

There are a couple of problems, however. Firstly, the Castle Builder series was clearly originally intended as a single book with seven chapters, rather than as a ten volume series, and somebody has forgotten to change some of the text accordingly. Thus, the introduction to this book states it has seven chapters (it doesn't), and there are references in the text referring to "chapter one" that are apparently meant to refer to Volume one.

Secondly, the actual design of the buildings, as shown in the floorplans isn't quite up to the level of thought that has gone into the accompanying text. The floor plans don't show windows (why they probably should) but, even so, it's obvious that a number of rooms can't have any, because they have no external walls - something that often seems at odds with their intended purpose.

On a similar note, the inn does seem implausibly large. For example, the innkeeper's bedroom alone has three times the floorspace of my entire house in the real world. I know I'm not rich, but that seems rather excessive, and the rest of the inn is on a similar scale. The mansion is, after all, a mansion, so no such issue there, although I'd also have liked to see something the size of a real-world "manor house" as well (say, 6,000 square feet), which, being smaller than what we do get wouldn't have taken up much of the book.

Having said that, for $2, and 22 pages (excluding the cover) this is a good guide to the general concept of imposing houses/inns in fantasy, and I'll be buying future volumes in the series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 2: Manor Houses
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #4: New Races
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2012 08:06:45
My review should be a 2.5 stars. Not bad enough for a 2, but not good enough for a 3.

I realize right off the bat that I'm being a curmudgeon, but this supplement feels like the 'Unearthed Arcana' of Mutant Future. There's power creep and redudancy (as in "the core classes can cover all this already") a'plenty, and the new races just plain aren't necessary.

I can see players loving this material, but this cranky GM found it annoying.

Buy the awesome Wisdom From The Wastelands #3: New Weapons instead. Great stuff in there!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #4: New Races
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Creatures of the Wastelands: The Thrasher Gang
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2012 00:08:02
This is a cool little product. I like card stock minis as they're easy to use, infinitely reprintable, and they don't kill my wallet. This set comes in two varieties: full color and printer friendly. Having that option is a plus. It not only makes me want to use it, but ensure I can print a bunch of them if needed. Best of all, the art is fun. The characters look a bit on the cartoonish side, but that only makes them even better and are a good reminder of the old days of D&D art that was as much comical as it was indicative of the play in which you were about to engage. Some of the characters play up the tropes found in the post-apocalyptic genre with the humor of the artist's style in depicting the characters. While I do like some of the more "mature" or "serious" art that has dominated in gaming, the more whimsical stuff provides the comic relief needed so the game remains just that. Then again, as a GM, it's when my players stop laughing from the beatdown they're about to get that makes me smile, which is also a great staple of the RPG genre.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creatures of the Wastelands: The Thrasher Gang
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2012 16:45:16
Shadows of a Dying World is loyal to its source material. Excerpts from the novels are used as part of the monster descriptions. I especially like the fact that some of the monsters can be used as characters (using the Racial Ability Scores Modifiers - a hallmark of 3.5e). I'd love to play an 8ft tall four armed green-skinned Thark.

D&D plate-mail doesn't really have a place here, in fact actual clothing is fairly rare in ERB's Martian books. So Appendix III in Shadows' provides us with Class Defence Bonuses - which give players just enough of a level-linked boost to AC so that even when they're standing still characters may still survive the slings, arrows and radium guns of outrageous Barsoom. Loin-clothed barbarian-types are welcome here.

With Feats descriptions and Random Encounter Tables, this product comes over as a succinct, settings based, Monster Manual with extras. It's all generic enough to make the Mars milieu your own. Skirmisher Publishing have also included a document built from select tables and text in the SRD to assist with creature building and modifying what's already provided in the text.

Because this is an OGL product, in theory all you would need is the d20 Source Reference Document and this product to play campaigns on Mars (but if I remember right, the SRD doesn't include character generation so you'll probably enjoy this more if you actually own the rules for Pathfinder, core DnD3/3.5 rule books or d20 fantasy-equivalent).

The many interior illustrations are in a variety of styles, black and white -printer friendly.

For many DMs who are fans of this genre, who use a d20 system, this document will be perfect starting point for encounters with monsters based on adventures from one of the grand-daddies of fantasy.

I'm really grateful that I've had a chance to see this product. It's certainly worth the $6. It is definitely worthwhile considering if d20/PF/DnD/3-3.5 is your preferred system and you're dying to try out some truly classic, but brutal, sci-fantasy. :)

-Billiam B
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/22/2012 20:08:41
Shadows of a Dying World is loyal to its source material. Excerpts from the novels are used as part of the monster descriptions. I especially like the fact that some of the monsters can be used as characters (using the Racial Ability Scores Modifiers - a hallmark of 3.5e). I'd love to play an 8ft tall four armed green-skinned Thark.

D&D plate-mail doesn't really have a place here, in fact actual clothing is fairly rare in ERB's Martian books. So Appendix III in Shadows' provides us with Class Defence Bonuses - which give players just enough of a level-linked boost to AC so that even when they're standing still characters may still survive the slings, arrows and radium guns of outrageous Barsoom. Loin-clothed barbarian-types are welcome here.

With Feats descriptions and Random Encounter Tables, this product comes over as a succinct, settings based, Monster Manual with extras. It's all generic enough to make the Mars milieux your own. Skirmisher Publishing have also included a document built from select tables and text in the SRD to assist with creature building and modifying what's already provided in the text.

Because this is an OGL product, in theory all you would need is the d20 Source Reference Document and this product to play campaigns on Mars (but if I remember right, the SRD doesn't include character generation so you'll probably enjoy this more if you actually own the rules for Pathfinder, core DnD3/3.5 rule books or d20 fantasy-equivalent).

The many interior illustrations are in a variety of styles, black and white and printer friendly.

For many DMs who are fans of this genre, who use a d20 system, this document will be perfect starting point for encounters with monsters based on adventures from one of the grand-daddies of fantasy.

I'm really grateful that I've had a chance to see this product. It's certainly worth the $6. It is definitely worthwhile considering if d20/PF/DnD/3-3.5 is your preferred system and you're dying to try out some truly classic, but brutal, sci-fantasy. :)

-Billiam B
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2012 00:58:46
This is a cool book. There are several things going for it that enhance not only the thematics of the volume, but also its usefulness for anyone not familiar with the Martian Tales by Edgar Rice Burroughs. One of the things that's nice about the creature entries is that the descriptions are lifted from the text, so that the supplemental material provided by this work's author adds to the translation from literary construct to a usable game component. As a writer, I can't think of a higher compliment; as an avid reader, this is a great way to invite people to read the novels by sampling some of the text and exposing a new audience to the works being transcribed for play.

As to the art, I'll be honest. The cover isn't my taste, but like the interior artwork, it's a great nod to old school play. One of the fun things here is the way the sword-and-sorcery pulpy roots of gaming are used to draw out the pulp feel of the Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels. In many respects, it's the perfect homage to gaming's roots and these classic sci-fi tales. The author and artists of this book have done their due diligence, making it worth its price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
by william w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2012 19:24:47
One of the many things I loved from original Gamma World were the Cryptic Alliances, in just a few lines we got a glimpse into some cool (& sometimes twisted) groups to use to mess with our player's characters.
WW#6 Factions allow you to inject a bit of that into your Mutant Future Campaigns. Want some serious Eco-Terrorists! Go with The Gaians! Or maybe you need a bit of a Anthropomorphic slant ...how about the Uplifts! I'd have gone with a 5 star but for the art, course going with better art would drive up the price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #5: Domesticated Creatures
by william w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2012 19:12:40
It's always nice to have more mutant critters, monsters and such for your PA RPG's, but not every encounter should necessarily be with some horrific monster that will outright slay the party. That's where Domesticated Creatures from WW#5 comes in. Some interesting mutant beasts,plants and such that can be discovered by your players in use with various NPC's, villages and such. I can see myself using "Philly's Stone" a mutant cactus that will shatter any weapon used to strike it in some cool encounters, and the Lemming Grass, that's just so outright bizarre that I think its kinda cool.
So if you need a few beasties to add some interest to an NPC or village ya might want to check this issue out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #5: Domesticated Creatures
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #4: New Races
by Randy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2012 12:49:29
I haven't had a chance to read through (or review) all of these issues, but I wanted to be sure that this issue got some props.

New Races is a great addition to Mutant Future (and any other similar PA-type game). It takes the basics and kicks them up a notch...several in some cases. They all fit well and will easily drop in to any game you have in progress as well.

There are seven races discussed, 6 of which are variations of the human genome, but much more detailed and well thought out. The 7th is insectoid. They are: Ancients, Aquatics, Body Masters, Exotics, Regular Humans, Mind Masters, and Insectoids. The first four are different spins on genetically enhanced/engineered humans. Each of these cover a specific form of modification as well as their original intention. The fifth, Regular Humans, gives everyone a glimpse into the true origins of mutant humans. Basically, they are the "true" stock in that they have not had any enhancement or modifications. Think of them as you and I. From this pool, the mutants were spawned. The last 2 are mutant varieties of human (Mind Masters) and Insect. Each of these are pretty much self explanatory.

What I like about these new races is their "out-of-the-box" usefulness in a game. Players can select any one of them and run with them without needing a separate book to describe their traits. Each is also detailed in that a background history for the characters should be easily (and plausibly) derived by a few moments of thought.

They all seem well balanced and will easily fit right alongside the standard Pure human-mutant-android list already in place.

If you want to add some variety and flavor to your campaigns or just create some cool new NPCs, pick this issue up today! Great stuff!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #4: New Races
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