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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #3: High-Tech Weapons
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2012 19:45:32
I think Skirmisher is beginning to get into the groove by this issue. Overall it is worthwhile for any Mutant Future game to add more weapons for the characters (and adversaries) arsenal. The weapons presenters were varied between energy and projectile (or somewhere in between or just different) and the mechanics seemed sound for the most part.
My biggest criticisms I have for this particular issue is that the sections for each weapon seemed unbalanced, with some having paragraphs giving a historical perspective on the weapon while others had maybe a sentence or two. Personally less is more in this type of periodical because the space could have been used to perhaps pack in an additional weapon or two. For particular weapons, the flamer is probably the most verbose and the mechanics seemed a bit much, treating it as an area affect weapon but then requiring the attacker to roll individually for each target that failed the saving throw. It would have made more sense to do one or the other, not nessarily both.
The Micro-missile gun was my favorite, with such a variety of makes and models and ammunition types as well as accessories. If the whole issue was about this single weapon and even more accessories and ammunition types, it would have made it my favorite of the Wasteland issues.
Overall this issue is well worth the cost and for any mutant lord looking for additional means of tearing apart monsters or PCs this issue is a must. As with most of the wasteland issues I have seen so far the images are random stock photos that may somehow relate to the items in the articles. A little more originality would be well worth it here, even line art drawings of what the author is visualizing while writing up the weapon would be more useful than some of the stock pictures used.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #3: High-Tech Weapons
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #2: Monsters That Improve with Age
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2012 19:00:11
The concept behind this article is interesting and follows the idea that as monsters get older they become more dangerous. However, after explaining the idea the article is then broken down into four example creatures. The four monsters listed could definitely be integrated into any Mutant Future game as is (following the general MF monster stat block) with the addition of charts based on the relative stage and age of the creature.
The writing and the images work well together (the older looking line art matches the feel of the MF artwork and I like this more than the other graphics Skirmisher tends to use for these articles) and the article is worth the cost (either individually or as a bundled pack). My biggest issue is that the article does not really deliver on the initial premise given on page one. I think it would have been more fitting to give some charts and direction on the general process of aging creatures rather than just providing examples and expecting mutant lords to be inspired by the examples given.
So if you are looking for a system of aging monsters this article really doesn't deliver, but if you would like a few new monsters with a lot of variety and perhaps some inspiration to create your own age charts then this issue is something that may be of interest.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #2: Monsters That Improve with Age
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #1: Artifacts, Manuals, and Toolkits
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2012 18:34:59
Definitely as well thought out article (I have purchased many of the these from Skirmisher and they are well worth the price) that definitely enhances the Mutant Future core rules. Coming from the old school Gamma World (2nd edition) mind set, Mutant Future rules on figuring out artifacts seems too watered down to me and the rules additions in the article work well with that system between the modifiers for overall familiarity with like equipment or weapons and the option of finding and using owner's manuals or tech manuals for ancient equipment. The random chart for failure results is especially helpful in filling a blank spot in the original rules and makes the MF rules of discovery a little more palatable.
The manuals section is interesting, especially on the condition of the manual and the bonus provided based on the condition. The only issue I have with this section is that on page 2 in mentions that if the manual matches the equipment the character automatically figures out the item and if it is a similar item then the bonus is only 30%. On page 3 it goes into the condition of the manual and for a grade 5 manual (mint condition) then the bonus is 100%. If the condition is less, the bonus is less. My question is, does the 30% for similar items percentage scale with the condition as well? Also, the manual type chart is pretty general, my guess is that the mutant lord will roll on the chart in section 7 of the mutant future book once the general manual type is chosen.
Toolkits section is pretty straightforward and definitely something mutant lords should consider using if they have players that like to try and repair their own items.
Item Strength and Saving throws
Although the core rules do not have definitive rules on breaking things, I do not think the optional rules in the article really suit the MF game as it seems too d20ish with DRs (or hardness in the d20 lingo) and hit points per inch. The item saving throws provided by item condition grade are usable as long as the mutant lord doesn't mind adding the extra chart to the game. The damage modifiers provided make sense. But again, the mutant lord must then track and implement another chart.
Overall this issue of the Wisdom of the Wastelands (as its first) was a good stab at trying to add to the Mutant Future rules and it does help in plugging some holes if the mutant lord decides to implement them. I can see using the chart on what happens when a player fails a technology roll and the possible use of manuals could make an interesting treasure or even an adventure or plot line (characters could be working for a newly established library and it is their job to find books of the ancients that can be translated for the new society). The same goes for tool kits, and if anything the list could be expanded to included automated or advanced tool kits (possibly even robotic in nature). As far as the sections on materials damage and saving throws, it was an interesting try but not nessarily something that meshes with the core rules of Mutant Future.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #1: Artifacts, Manuals, and Toolkits
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #13: Medical Devices
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2012 12:41:00
This supplement adds plenty of much-needed healin' mojo to the deadly world of Mutant Future, and it's chock full o' dandy gadgets. One of my favorite of the 'WFTW' series.

Longer review here: http://afieldguidetodoomsday.blogspot.com/2012/12/radioactiv-
e-review-wisdom-from_21.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #13: Medical Devices
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #12: Parasite Mutations/Transformations
by Justin S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2012 12:51:29
Great little supplement that adds plenty of funky creepy-crawlies to your campaign. Recommended!

A more in-depth review here: http://afieldguidetodoomsday.blogspot.com/2012/12/radioactiv-
e-review-wisdom-from.html

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #12: Parasite Mutations/Transformations
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Castle Builder #1-3 Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Ken B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2012 16:51:01
This is good reference material on Castles, Strongholds, Manor houses with illustrations and sketches. Great information for designing and building your own structures for your terrain.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder #1-3 Bundle [BUNDLE]
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The Noble Wild
by Michael A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2012 10:25:54
When Savage Species came out for the main 3E D&D system it truly opened the door to play any character you want! When
Noble Wild debuted I was ecstatic. Noble wild presents many types of animals for you to play as a character class, but keep in mind with the rules presented here you will need to follow the spellcasting system and class progression. However, remember that you can always use what ever you want!
Keep in mind that there are two versions of these products, one updated for the Pathfinder System....and this base one that is OGL d20.
Also try to look out for the Web Enhancements, sadly these extras did not make it into the Pathfinder version.
I really enjoyed the book a lot, I just wish there were more animals to choose from!!!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Noble Wild
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Castle Builder Volume 3: Moathouses & Pillboxes
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2012 07:36:25
The third in Skirmisher Publishing's series on fortifications and construction focuses on small fortified structures, such as might be used to guard one end of a bridge, and on "moathouses". The latter are defined as regular buildings surrounded by a wall and moat, which means that (houses having been covered in the previous volume) this is really about curtain walls.

There are 18 pages in total, three of which are splash art, and two cover contents and credits, leaving 13 pages of content (including a 1-page map). The first two pages cover the basics of the series, and are duplicated from previous volumes, but, even if you want to discount that, $2 for 11 pages isn't bad. After that, there is a general discussion of the role of the two building types described. There is some repetition here, but, in general, it's a useful checklist of things to think about - one of the main purposes of the series.

In general, the standard of proofreading is very high, and the format of the book is, like others in the series, well done, with minimal use of printer-hungry colour. The book at one point refers to "chapters" it doesn't have (it means the other volumes in the series), and, on one page, the header incorrectly states that this is volume 2. Otherwise, there's little to complain about here, and there are less such issues than there were in volume 2 itself.

Once again, this is not a book of floorplans. The final section of the book describes the curtain wall and attending fortifications around a (presumably otherwise unfortified) manor house, but the intent is to describe an example of the design of such a place, rather than to provide quality battle maps. Colour maps are included, but they're very basic, and not wholly to scale (2' thick walls are shown as about 6" thick on the maps), and are intended only to show the general layout. The plan of the pillbox shows the arrow-slits, which is useful for a defensive structure, but it might have helped if the plans of the towers did the same.

Considering that they're only protecting a manor house, not a full-blown castle, the walls are pretty impressive, but, aside from that, they're much more plausible than the inn in volume 2. For example, they're (just) within the upper range of real castle walls for thickness, and fair enough for a fantasy setting.

In summary, this is a useful booklet that achieves what it sets out to do, and that could be of use to somebody thinking about the basics of fortification. Although there are still some issues, it also shows a noticeable improvement over volume 2.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 3: Moathouses & Pillboxes
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Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by Stefan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2012 12:47:50
This book provides good information for introducing diseases into any RPG. However it is written from a modern perspective, so insights in how healers of the Middle Ages viewed diseases and would have treated them are not included. That has left me a bit disappointed, but it wasn't promised.
The author also has a very high powered world as default setting, where fifth level clerics are abundant even in small communities and fifteenth level clerics common enough for the Heal spell to be considered a standard treatment. As such all magical healing is focused on what really are powerful spells being abundant and no magical treatments short of these spells are included. Again, nothing else was promised, but it's an opportunity lost.

The shortcoming that made me consider giving the product a lower rating was the complete lack of diagnosis section; sure, symptoms are discussed, but some guideline of how likely a doctor is to diagnose the disease correctly or how he could miss-diagnose it would be useful. Likewise treatments for some diseases like Malaria are listed as poisonous, but the health effects of that poison are not discussed.

As such the book falls short of being the definitive work for diseases in fantasy settings, but it remains the best work I have found to date.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
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Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by Brendan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2012 17:29:01
Insults & Injuries is one of those rare 3.5 supplements that, instead of adding outlandish one-off mechanics to the game, actually makes a game world feel more like a living, breathing world. Disease is a major part of our daily lives, it's in the news, and I'm currently getting over a head cold. Yet its a vastly under-developed concept in most fantasy games.

I like to run a down-to-earth, nitty gritty game. My player characters aren't super heroes, and I really like for them to feel vulnerable to the world around them. Disease and injury are one of those things that I've always wished I could do more with. Any athlete, be they recreational amateur or full blown professional knows how hard it can be to perform at their best when feeling under the weather, and to me a well trained fighter should be no different. Players that run around with un-healed hit points just because they feel they are at an arbitrary "safe" threshold are essentially running around with open wounds. I've had splinters turn into nasty infections, I can't imagine what would happen to some of the gaping wounds my players have run around with for extended periods in a dungeon environment.

Insults & Injuries handles injuries and diseases of all sorts, and it's pretty clear that it is being written from the perspective of a practicing medical doctor - which is a pretty cool perspective in a book like this. The descriptions avoid being dry or over technical, and they do a good job of making the content relevant to a fantasy game - the real life medical anecdotes are a nice touch too. The book covers so many types of disease that it would be tough to give my opinion on all of them in this review, but suffice it to say the book is very thorough.

All in all it's very easy to recommend this book, it's well written, the content is intelligent, and the material is useful in almost all fantasy settings and situations.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Insults & Injuries: A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies
by william w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2012 19:45:37
First off I want to say I recieved this product for free. Skirmisher didn't officially ask me to review it, but after reading it, I wanted to do so. I work in healthcare in real life so the book's topic was of interest to me. It basically adapts real world maladies, diseases and illnesses to the OGL. The author is a real world MD and from my perspective it shows. The diseases are quite true to their real world equivalents, at least as much as adapting a disease to a game can allow. It also includes some real world drugs, so if you want/need rules for what Cocaine, Cannabis and Opium can do to your Campaign's PC's and NPC's this books has that info also.
Pros: Allows you to insert some real world diseases and maladies into your games.
Cons:
Some folks might not want such a high level of real world afflictions in their fantasy games.
Also the art wasn't for me, it seemed to be mostly of the old medieval medical text book variety, which while conveying the books content didn't really inspire me.
Rules for creating Fantasy Diseases aren't in this book, maybe he will do a future tome that has that, I'd definately buy such a product and feel the author would do a good job at it.
Overall: I'm glad I was sent this, I will definately use some of it in my games, but not sure I want to go all out on some of the diseases.
Thanks for reading!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Jester Dragon's Guide to Defects
by Richard B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2012 22:32:02
“The Jester Dragon’s Guide to Defects,” is a must-have resource for d20/OGL players. Feats are wonderful ways by which you can distinguish your character from someone else’s but all that really accomplishes is telling you how that character is a badass in his own right and what niche of badassery he fills. But characters without flaws don’t have, well, character. This book fixes this and is a well designed product that provides a great way to make truly unique characters. This book fills in what I would say is a major hole in the 3.5/OGL rules set. Other game systems have rules for assigning characters disadvantageous qualities that give you a bit more oomph when building stories. Somehow that got overlooked with OGL games. Not only will this book make you laugh, it will provide you with some great tools to take your game to the next level of storytelling. To help lighten the mood, the art is as humorous as the defects. One of my favorite entries being “Skyclad” with a Amazonian woman with her naughty bits covered by a flying cat. William Thrasher did a great job making the art as fun as possible. Given some of the levity that the use of defects could bring without the inclusion of some comedy, it’s a perfect complement to the material.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Jester Dragon's Guide to Defects
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d∞ (“d-Infinity”) Volume #4: Dark Future
by Matt L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2012 22:02:50
In this D-Infinity we have a lot of good material. I found the interview with John Simmons to be enlightening because I knew next to nothing about Comicpalooza. Now I want to go in 2013. But I would have to say the Alien Ship layout is my favorite part. I have already used the design in both Sci-fi and fantasy settings. The Four winds bar gives GM's some simple atmosphere for any campaign, including adventure hooks. My favorite part of this article has to be The Biology of a Fantasy Setting. Which basically gets world builders to look at the world as a living growing being. HUH? Does your world only have superficial creatures? Or do you know what your Jckelope eats?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d∞ (“d-Infinity”)  Volume #4: Dark Future
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Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
by john f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:58:53
There are many preceeding five-star reviews for this product, all well-earned by an excellent company that is providing important research and background material to GM's who want to create real atmosphere for their players. I bought this entire series (Castles and Communities both) and am quite happy with it. Definitely read my fellow gamers' reviews to get more dirt on the details. I'll just say briefly:

This particular supplement is one of the finest I've seen; kudos for the excellent treatment of different kinds of structures, their placement and purpose as well as historic and cultural connotations connected with these structures. Furthermore, everything is presented so that the GM can digest it and implement it in her or his game without reading for hours. These folks are quite good at distilling what they're bringing to you without watering it down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
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City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
by john f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:53:30
An excellent series, and a very interesting treatment. For the vast part, it's reasonably complete; however, I would like to have seen greater detail given to the hierarchies and organizational character of each type of criminal organization presented. For example, specific ranks, punishments, some traditions.

There could have been more discussion of comparison of such organizations with Rome's Collegia, although I do give credit to the writers for the fact that they did mention the Collegia as an example of an underworld 'guild'.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
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