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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #48: Unique Superscience Artifacts IV
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2014 09:27:36
This issue of Wisdom From The Wasteland continues the previous series of 'Super Science' building guidelines and example for relics and artifacts that are very highly advanced. This issue places a selection of artifacts right in the DM's hands for your old school post apocalyptic campaigns. And the guys a Skirmisher do a very nice job of balancing these items out. But this relics should be very carefully used. Seriously these are high level relics and might easily find their way into a post colony science fictional space based game as well.
This is one of my favorite of this particular series of WoW issues and its done with wit as well as style. There are seven high level artifacts and relics that can make your wasteland encounters particularly deadly. These range from the Area to the Splatter Gun and are easily slipped into the background setting of an adventure as mini encounters unto themselves. I can see these items appearing in a multiplicity of post apocalyptic games from a Metamorphosis Alpha style game of post colony generation ship hi jinks to a full blown Stars Without Number style campaign.
The items are high level, interesting, and very well done. That being said I can also see these items being campaign wreckers or starters depending upon how they are used and where they are placed within an adventure.
The last bit in this issue is a mutation that goes right along with the vibe of the super science artifacts of this issue, Environmental Adaptation is perfect for those inter system or interstellar colony mutants. A great way to get a 'Logan's Run' Style Dome city colony upon the Exo planet of your choosing. A nice addition to a great issue of WoW, are the other issues necessary to have? No but this article will make far more sense if you do have it. This issue presents a nice set up of 'super science' relic options on the table for memorable adventure construction in the post apocalyptic world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #48: Unique Superscience Artifacts IV
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2014 11:17:07
I admit I've been a bit reluctant to get into issue #6 of Wisdom From The Wastelands, the reason is simple. I used to play a ton of Gamma World and Cryptic Alliances are a very iconic part of the game. This issue focuses on Factions which are basically Alliances with their serial numbers filed off but updated and expanded with the Mutant Future game in mind.
The Gaians are a group of mutant and genetically altered plant based mutants made up a group of at least four different cells that each have their own agenda. And this is one of the facets of this product vs. the old Gamma World second edition style of articles from TSR and Dragon. These factions have cells within them that each has their own agendas. Some of the these cells actively work for or against each other. And we're not really given a huge amount of detail because this product is being made as a genric old school post apocalyptic set of really guidelines.
The Gaians for example have an outline to their agendas, goals,etc. and then the DM is expected to fill in the rest. This approach is one of the hallmarks of this particular product and also one of the flaws that marked the old Cryptic Alliances. The fact that details were filled in and it really didn't let DM's fill in what or who was needed for their own campaigns in the post apocalyptic wastes. The Gaians are done in a such a way as to highlight the ecological nature of the group and put the 'alien' nature of these plant beings at the fore front.
Mutant plants can be a head ache or a boon to a DM depending upon how much detail is put into them. There are reasons why old school games have glossed over the gross bulk facts of these mutant flora in games. The reason is simple these mutants like many of them are entire campaigns unto themselves.
The Legion is another group that has a whole ton of potential and doesn't get into more then a write up. This faction takes up the ideals of the 'French Foreign Legion' and brings them to the wastelands. There's an entire campaign's worth of material right in this one entry and that's the beauty of it. The DM has the power to DYI his own custom version of this concept into his game and campaign world leaving the details and such in his court.
The Uplifted a whole other end of the animal mutant spectrum with a complex social politic axis going on as four cells are dealing with each other and everyone else in the wastelands. These guys can give a DM more heart ache then the characters in 'Animal Farm' and that's where the Faction aspect of issue #6 comes in handy. The author has outlined things so that a DM can easily compartmentalize and take advantage of the adventure potential of these Factions instead of outlining the mutant forces for the Mutant Future equivalent of 'War & Peace'. Unless that's what their into.
Chris Van Deelen has guidelines as bonus content that allow a DM to really get into the backdrop and details of the Factions. Even to the point of creating whole new Factions for your games right HERE
The Exterminator faction is one that has a huge amount of potential and can be used extensively as heroes or villains or a bit of both. The idea here is a group of xenophobic wasteland survivors armed to the teeth who are willing to go down fighting and will work toward ridding the wastelands of the various mutant menaces. Well depending upon how ruined your wasteland is & what its infested with. These guys might be your party's best friends or the cat paw of a greater group of vile mutant hating super science adventurers. A good example might be the old Knights of Genetic Purity from first and second edition Gamma World.
Bottom line here is there is a ton that can be done with Factions and I've seen various other retroclones use such systems to their advantage. This is a simple issue of Wisdom From The Wastelands with a ton of potential but as with all things your mileage may vary. Personally I think that this is a pretty damn fine issue and its one that I've used in the past. I think for the price of a hamburger this is a nice addition to the post apocalyptic tool kit of a DM.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #6: Factions
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Cardstock Characters™: Quactica Sample Pack
by Roberto d. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2014 19:11:43
I love these card stocks, good art, and really help (cheaply) fill out a game session. I live out of the US and so finding minis is very very difficult. These help bring the session to life!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cardstock Characters™: Quactica Sample Pack
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
by Clint S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2014 14:31:50
I enjoyed Shadows of a Dying World a lot! As a huge fan of Barsoom, I was especially pleased to see the attention to the source material, as well as to some of the less well known creatures of the world. Although it is OGL and compatible with versions 3.x of the world's most famous RPG, it would not be difficult to convert its contents to other games, using SoaDW as a guide.

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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Adventures in Wonderland: A Sourcebook for OGL Roleplaying Games
by David F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2014 23:18:42
Adventures in Wonderland is a D20 book by Michael J. Varhola, Shane O’Connor, and the Skirmisher Game Development Group. The book covers the world of Alice in Wonderland and other works by Louis Carol. The book is 60 pages long with two pages of ads and 14 pages of color plates. The layout is clean and easy to read, there are numerous line drawings detailing the characters, creatures and situations mentioned in the series.
The authors have taken the time to detail how a character could get to Wonderland as well as a description of Wonderland animals and a template for creating your own
Being a seasoned (In my opinion)DM I immediately turned to the monster section. The book details creatures like the Bandersnatch, Card People, Wonderland Caterpillar, Cheshire cats, Chess Piece People and more. Most of the monsters checked in at about 4-5 CR with a couple in the double digits and one coming in with a CR Rating of 18 (The Jabberwocky). The monsters were well written up with at least a couple of paragraphs for each one going into powers and how to use them. In all cases the stat blocks seemed correct and I felt confident enough to use then as is.
Next part of the book I looked at was the skills, feats, spells and magic items, this is where my players look because they want to see if they can find an edge. The feats, skills, magic items and spells are not necessarily tied to the Wonderland setting and would easily port over to other campaign settings, with few problems.

Where the book shines is in the adventure hooks. I think these would work well to ease the characters into the setting and give them something to do. The adventure hooks are much better than the typical "old man in the corner with a quest." Some of the adventure hooks will take more than just brawn to get the characters through them.

Overall a good buy.

DM Fitzgerald

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Wonderland: A Sourcebook for OGL Roleplaying Games
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #47: Underwater Rules
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2014 23:46:54
Issue #47 of Wisdom From The Wasteland is a must have for those who like to use the extensive world of post apocalyptic under water adventuring.
Underwater adventuring has always been a staple of post apocalyptic old school adventuring and this issue of Wisdom From the Wasteland puts the underwater world at center stage for your old school mutant parties to explore and navigate through this extensive area for adventures. The rules here are concise, simple to use and are easily adapted to Mutant Future or any old school retro clone. This issue covers diving through ruins, creating your old school underwater adventures, and getting into the deep end of the post apocalyptic under water world. The Skirmisher publishing group nails this issue easily and its well worth a download for adding yet another aspect to your Mutant Future or any old school post apocalyptic retro clones. A very nice little download in the best of the old school tradition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #47: Underwater Rules
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The Mythos Society Guide to New England
by Rick N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2014 13:54:08
I love this book. The writing is good, the ideas are fun, but one of the coolest things about it is the depth of the research behind it. Real history provides so much weirdness and hints at both horror and adventure, and this book gathers that all up with glee. Of course, not everything you read in the book actually happened - it's a Lovecraftian game supplement, after all - but probably a lot more than you expect is true, if expanded on to suit the purpose of the book. If you like well-researched history retasked for horror gaming, you're gonna love this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mythos Society Guide to New England
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La Baionnette No. 47: Nos Marins (The Bayonet No. 47: Our Marines)
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2014 18:21:36
La Baionnette No. 47: Nos Marins (The Bayonet No. 47: Our Marines) is a great artifact of historical interest to war gamers and role players alike. This piece is a cleaned up version of the venerable French magazine La Baionnette No. 47: Nos Marins (The Bayonet No. 47: Our Marines) that is a window into the past of a world that will never be again. WWI is a one of the strange bridge gap wars that still echoes through history. The importance of WW I can not be little ever. The sacrifices of the soldiers, the horrors of that war and the conflicts are still studied by scholars even today and many modern advances on the battlefield had their start in WWI.
La Baionnette No. 47: Nos Marins (The Bayonet No. 47: Our Marines) is a great reference point for WWI from the perceptions of those who lived in center of the conflict. Every single reference could be potentially used as a potential hand out for either a horror or WWI themed role playing game. Its nice to have a cleaned up version of this magazine. Wait till this one goes on sale then grab it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
La Baionnette No. 47: Nos Marins (The Bayonet No. 47: Our Marines)
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Creatures of the Wastelands: Random Encounters
by Raul D. L. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2014 08:33:18
Lists of creatures for your Mutant Future games. Most of these creatures do not come from the core book but from other Skirmisher Publishing publications.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creatures of the Wastelands: Random Encounters
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Aegean Regional Map (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2014 19:23:44
If your into the old school Swords of Kos sword and sorcery setting then this one is really a no brainer. This map shows in great detail the world of the campaign and allows a DM to see as well as design their own adventures using the whole cloth of Kos as fodder. This is not our Earth but an alternative world with its own distinctive flavor drawn from the mythology and legends that the designers have come up with.
Kos has plenty of room for a DM to customize and stake out who, what, where they wish to stake out in their own campaign. Everything is laid out in very nice detail within the cartography of Kos and shows all of the locals that the Kos line of products has produced. There's a nice distinctiveness with this map and its a really nice little piece of artistic fluff that allows a DM to pitch their own campaigns within the confines and use this map as both a campaign resource and as a palette to set down their own old world mythological adventures in one sold product.
Maps such as this one can also serve a higher purpose as both a hand out and as reference to give credence to the DM's vision for his or her own campaign. There are several things that I really like about this map. One the colors are not exploding off of the page but reflect Kos's Agean grounding. Second thing is the level of detail is just enough to explain but not over state campaign bits and pieces. The third thing is that there's plenty of room for customization and just enough places to fit a plethora of adventures across the area. Not too bad of a piece of artwork that actually has real world gaming applications.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aegean Regional Map (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #46: High-Tech Weapons 4
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2014 09:33:07
Now this is exactly the type of Wisdom From The Wastelands that I love to see done from whole cloth. An issue chalk full of the weird and wonderful weaponry that makes Mutant Future a lovely classic retroclone system. This is the type of issue that you can sink your teeth into as DM, plenty of military cutting edge madness to pepper your old school post apocalyptic campaigns with and tempt your mutant adventurers with as well arm your NPCs to the teeth.
But really that the obvious use for this sort of high tech military madness that comes from this issue. Other uses are to equip your high tech robots, androids, drones, etc and let them loose upon the wastelands. This is exactly the sort of use that these systems were designed for and as the real world edges towards full 'Robotic War' these are the sort of semi weird systems that will be appearing.More often with the Wisdom From The Wasteland issues there are all kinds of applications for an issue such as this one.
NPCs behind several of these weapons systems can make for entire mini campaign goals into themselves. The idea of weapon designers and arms super scientists as bargaining chips as well as resources with the post apocalyptic bounds of adventures have become a reality because of the cybernetics of Mutant Future. This issue has a plethora of seemingly cutting edge super science that can easily shift the entire balance of a campaign within the wastelands making this and the other issues of the High Tech weapons series a must have for any waste land DM. All in all I really love this issue and this series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #46: High-Tech Weapons 4
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The Mythos Society Guide to New England
by Tom H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2014 23:36:54
I have been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and this book provides a wealth of well researched knowledge for both gamers and non-gamers alike. The ties to Lovecraft and the Mythos aside, this book stands on its own merit as a reference for the interesting interesting and atmospheric settings of New England. Mr. Staples attention to detail and feel for the genre are apparent even at first glance. Well written and engaging source material like this is hard to find and even harder yet for a genre like horror. A good investment at an extremely reasonable price. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mythos Society Guide to New England
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The Jester Dragon's Random Cult Generator
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2014 13:35:10
I love this generator!
With a quick look over of this old school resource there are hundreds of options where this product could be used to stimulate your campaigns. From allies to foes where this generator could be applied. From the lowest Lovecraftian cults to the highest of highest of the hollies for your fantasy campaigns. This is a product where a set of tables can fill in whole swaths of campaign and adventures. Cults and gods have always been a dark corner within old school games. Because of the major focus of this generator's properties there are a myriad of uses for this one from science fiction, fantasy, pulp, horror, and science fantasy.
All of this is available for one dollar or what you want. There are a ton of ideas just waiting under the surface for the enterprising DM to use this product. For a random generator this is one of the most useful ones to come down the pike from Skirmisher Publishing. Grab this one and get the ball rolling on a cult of fanatics to dog the heels of your adventurers today.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Jester Dragon's Random Cult Generator
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The Mythos Society Guide to New England
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2014 09:22:46
This is a massive 142 page tomb of knowledge & New England lore from essentially the heart of Lovecraft country. Writing and designing this sort of supplement is tricky business because Lovecraft wove both the imaginary & factual into his material. The Skirmisher crew did a great job with this one but for the Call of Cthulhu DM this book is really nicely done. The design and layout is easy on the eyes and the author knows his material very well.
I really don't think that the Call of Cthulhu crowd has given these books or product line a second glance. That's too bad because their missing out on a very well done piece of Cthulhu rpg reference that includes not only the Mythos but a large chunk of New England lore as well. This book is a really bold stroke by Skirmisher and Mr. Staples does a great job capturing the flavor and feel of New England in these pages.
Your going to want to pick this book up if your even remotely interested in the Cthulhu Mythos or New England lore. I enjoyed reading the PDF but I'd love a print copy even more.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Mythos Society Guide to New England
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #45: Mutant Dinosaurs
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2014 11:46:27
Issue #45 of Wisdom From The Wasteland presents mutant dinosaurs, let me let that soak into your post apocalyptic wasteland of Mutant Future. This issue presents the DM with all kinds of opportunities for mayhem and incredibly creative adventure ideas for Mutant Future. The issue is only meat and veggies for those ideas but its very well put together and thought out Mutant Future primeval madness.
The everything is right there for a DM to create his or her own 'lost world' of mutants adventure. The Skirmisher crew has been doing these for a long time and knows what the hell their doing with WoW and here's another fine example. There's a ton here to use if the DM angles this and other offerings of this issue then this could well be a very nicely done Mutant Future campaign corner stone for only a dollar.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #45: Mutant Dinosaurs
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