Saturday, August 4, 2012

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #10: Monsters That Improve With Age #2'

Expanding on the material featured in Wisdom From The Wastelands #2:  Monsters That Improve With Age, issue #10 of WFTW brings even more monsters (and the lifespan charts that love them!) to the Mutant Future universe.  And these include geriatric beasties, kaiju-class critters, time-lapsed plants, and metamorphic monstrosities.  All in all, there's 7 new monsters, and 2.5 new mutations [see below].

First up under the "Elder Age" banner come the gagelings.  They're techno-savvy rattlesnake-beings with elaborate crests ridged with organic "telepathic wiring".  These guys lose armor and damage output as they age, but make up for it with psionic mojo.  I'd use these freaks in a heartbeat.

Uplift hunters are up next, and they're, um, hunting animals who, er, hunt uplifted animals (from WFTW #6).  They also have the power to strip away mutations at the end of their lifespan.

Dogs that hunt mutants.  Hmmmm...

"If Marvel Superheroes Were Cats" (

The "Kaiju Age" section begins with a bang, because it stats out the colossal sun eater, which happens to be a solar-powered Gamera.  (Not THE Gamera, but A Gamera.  And I'm not even going to include a hyperlink, because if you don't who Gamera is, then we can never be friends.)

A Gamera that grows from 25 to 50 to 100 to 200 to 500 Hit Dice.

A Gamera that can be hand-reared from as a hatchling, which means...

Your Mutant Future PC can become Kenny The Monster Boy.

Yet awesome.
Ridiculawesome, if you will.

I actually like the next monster, the smoking ruin, much better.  They're giant, parthenogenic, smoldering snakes that live in the craters of burnt-out cityscapes.

They top out at only 100 HD.  Whew!  Much more my speed.

The "Plant Age" brings the slick vine and the tap root.  The former is a seaweed that turns its victims into petroleum byproducts (useful!), and the latter is essentially a killer forest.  Obviously, they both get bigger and tougher and nastier as they age.

I'm always on the lookout for more mutant plants, and these show some clever expansions of the rules (almost too clever).  And they're more plot devices than combat encounters proper.

But I likes 'em.

The final creature (under the "Other Age" heading) is the bad juju cow, which is another ridiculawesome beast that finally answers one question that has haunted me for all my days:

What would you get if the Scarlet Witch was born as a calf and blossomed into a full-fledged specimen of cattlehood?

And now I know!

These critters don't really feel all that "Mutant Future-y" to me, but they do crack me up.


At last come the new mutations.

We've seen the Chemical Gland before (in WFTW #7).

Loss Of Trait is a weird little Defect that reads, and I quote, "the mutant has lost a mutation or species trait that is not vital to survival."

I'm clearly missing something here, because I fail to see how, say, being born without wisdom teeth or an appendix counts as a legitimate liability.

That .5 of a mutation I mentioned at the onset?  It's a collection of variants for the core Energy Ray that read like Power Advantages right out of the HERO System's various Big Blue Books.  The Coherence Beam is laser blast that blinds; the Energy Helix corkscrews around barriers; the Oscillating Ray "goes up and down the electromagnetic spectrum" and deals out hefty damage when locking-on its target; the X-Ray Beam bypasses defenses.

Those really don't do anything for me (they lack the elegant simplicity of "Cold Ray" and "Electricity Ray" and whatnot), but I can the allure of using them against the PCs.

As usual, this supplement is a jam-packed 5 pages for only 99¢.  I'm not really sold on the need for age-expanding monsters, because you could do just take any ol' random creature out of the Mutant Future Core Rules and trick it out.  But this issue is worth every penny for the mojo-bovines alone.

(And I'm convinced author Derek Holland must've been seriously hitting the ol' funnybooks before writing it.)

Buy Wisdom From The Wastelands #10 here.

"S" is for "Sandseal"


No. Enc.:  0 (1d8)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  150' (50')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  5
Attacks:  2 claws, 1 (bite)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4 / 1d6
Save:  L3
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  650

Top predators of the desert wastes, the powerful, 10'-12' sandseals glide effortlessly beneath the barren landscape.  

Sandseals hunt in packs, and burst forth from the ground (Surprising on a 1-4 on 1d6) to grab unsuspecting prey, and then drag it beneath the shifting grit.  In addition to taking automatic biting damage each round, anyone pulled under for more than 3 rounds must make a Saving Throw Versus Death, or suffocate.  (Those with proper environmental gear get a +3 bonus to the roll, but must still Save due to clogging and contamination.)  The suffocation Save must be made each round until free of the beast's jaws.

At night, the forlorn barks of the sandseals echo across the badlands.

Mutations:  Echolocation