Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands' #4: New Races

Nasty, brutish, and short review:  Ugh.  New PC classes.  Power creep and utter needlessness abounds.

The five-page Wisdom From The Wastelands #4: New Races introduces 7 new PC races (synonymous with other games' character classes) for Mutant Future, along with some new Robot/A.I. interaction rules.

The additions include:

) Ancients:  Healthier, smarter, and prettier time-lost Pure Humans.  d8 HP.  Start with 1d3 non-defect Mutations justified as pre-Apocalypse cyberware.  Technologically savvy. Vulnerable to current diseases and poisons.

) Aquatics:  Pure Humans (not Mutant Humans, oddly) who've been all Patrick Duffy'd up, with various degrees of beneficial related mutations.  d8 HP.

) Body Masters:  Mutant muscleheads who've bred out the Mental Mutations and Physical Drawbacks from their line.  Can trade up physical stats while reducing mental.  d6 HP. Improved physical-ish Saves; diminished energy-ish ones.

) Exotics:  Body-modded, anime-styled Furries.  Still considered to be Pure Humans, but gain up to 4(!) at-will "cosmetic" Mutations.  d8 HP.

) Humans, "Regular":  Like Pure Humans, but weaker.  Mutation-prone.  Begin with d8 HP, but shift to d6 upon gaining Mutations in play.

) Insectoids:  Bug PCs.  Mutation-heavy.  Increased Strength and Willpower; reduced Intelligence and Charisma.  d6 HP.

) Mind Masters:  The inverse of Body Masters.  d4 HP.

After the new races come the optional A.I. Recognition rules.  They flesh out how Robots and/or A.I.s will interact with PCs, with a table listing modifications based on Mutationsthe more freakish the PC = the worse the interaction.  Innocuous.

I get why players love new options.  More options = theoretically more chances for Fun-with-a-capital-F.  Who doesn't love Fun?

But this crusty GM doesn't see the need for the kind of options presented by WftW #4, as almost everything  is already embodied in the Mutant Future Core Rules.  

Want to play an Ancient or Regular Human?  Fine.  Tweak your standard Pure Human.

Want to play an Aquatic, Exotic, or Body/Mind Master?  Just ensure you roll well (*snort*) on the Random Mutation charts.

Want to play an Insectoid?  You already can, if you pick a buggy Mutant Animal at character creation.

And not only do these classes overlap with what's already available, but they are inherently "better".  Better HD.  Better Mutations.  Better modifiers.  Better odds at not ending up like these iconic UHDs ("Utterly Hopeless Dudes"):

So, sure, I understand why Players might want this material.  The new classes come with plenty of perks not available by rolling up your random Mutant the ol' fashioned way.  You get to streamline your character into something predictable and, even better, playable.

But my gut reaction to this supplement was the same as when I first read Unearthed Arcana wayyyyy back in the day:  Why would a GM inflict this on himself?!

Mutants In The News — "Well, We Know What To Feed The Pythons" Edition

Florida is fast becoming the Australia of the U.S.  And by that, I mean every animal there wants to kill you.