Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands' #8: Diseases & Medical Options'

Like finding a sealed and intact pharmacy in a ruined post-apocalyptic hospital, Wisdom From The Wastelands #8:  Diseases & Medical Options provides a grand sampling of odds and ends regarding all things biological, both ill and benign.  I'll break it into chunks, because there's a ton of material and rules tweaks to cover.

) First comes the Modified Constitution Table,  which expands the core rules stat block to ranges from 3-30, with corresponding Saving Throw bonuses.  The table also adds daily bonuses to healing--the higher your CON, the more extra HP you heal per day.

As a GM, I'm not that fond of the increased stat ranges—I mean, really, a 30 CON?—but the bonus healing sure is useful from the players' side of the screen.  I'd allow it.

) Next comes Rules Option:  Negative Hit Points.  This is your typical section on not dying when your PC reaches 0 HP; instead, you die when you reach a score equal to your negative CON.  Nothing fancy here, but again, useful for players who don't keep enough character sheets on hand.

) Rules Option:  Bonus To Daily Healing.  Oh, I already mentioned that above.  Move along.

) This next section is where things get a bit crunchy.  Rules Option:  Medical Compatibility introduces the Genotype Medical Compatibility Table and the Medical Incompatibility Table.  These two tables determine IF Ancient medical devices / treatments / substances work with particular PC Races (including the new races found in WFTW #4) in the first place, and how badly they damage the recipient in the process.

Here's how it works.  Roll 2d6.  If you're, say, a Mutant Animal, any given device works on a roll of 2-6, with a -1 modifier per mutation.  Then, if it fails, roll d100 to find out if you suffer half-effect, no effect, poisoning, stat reductions, genetic damage, lost mutations...or outright death.

Every Race has their own baseline, with Pure Humans ALWAYS benefitting, and Mutant Plants NEVER being impacted.

As I said, CRUNCHY.  And I honestly have no idea how I feel about it (but the sadistic GM in me thinks it might be fun).

) Next comes about a full page and a half of Disease Symptoms and their in-game effects:  tinnitus, blurry vision, fatigue, headaches, lesions / pustules, nausea, and more.  These are fun.

And I have to give the Skirmisher Gang their due:  Man, those sunnsabitches are THOROUGH.

) New Diseases follow, and they are a hoot AND a holler:  Blood Melt (turns victim's blood to acid...GRODY!), Rhino's Curse (super-callousing), Ghost Flesh, Predator's Gift (induces rot-stank), Rage.

) Two small sections close the 5-page supplement, New Medicine (with 2 new options to trick out the standard Filter Dose artifact) and a new mutational drawback:  Transparent Skin.  Ugly + increased laser damage = misery!

There is something for every Mutant Future fan in this issue.  While I don't know if I'd use the more complicated options—because we've already established that I'm lazy—much mayhem can be dished out towards the players.

And that's always a good thing.