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.
[4 of 5 Stars!]