Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #11: Optional Combat Rules'

I gotta say, I had MAJOR trepidation about this issue.  Just a cursory glance at the text of the front page and the table o' contents induced visions of D&D-ian Feats and HERO System-y OCV/DCV modifiers and all manner of combat-bogging-down-ful complications.  

And I HATE combat-bogging-down-ful complications.

But you know what?  I really, really liked these rules additions.  I've run a Mutant Future campaign, and while I certainly appreciate the speed and simplicity of combat, I have to confess there have been sessions where "You swing.  You miss.  Monster swings.  It misses.  You swing again...." just bored everyone to tears.  That's always been one of the perils of our beloved To Hit charts.  

So, I'm the last guy that wants more rules, but these jazz up the proceedings.  Hell, I'd use almost all of 'em.

The supplement includes some nifty bits, such as...

) All-Out Attack:  grants +3 To Hit, and +3 (total) damage; -2 AC and loss of DEX-based AC bonuses

) Bursts:  area-effect attacks that elegantly divide total damage evenly-ish amongst the targets

) Combat Modifiers:  all-purpose bonuses and penalties, for all your combat needs! "Attacking From Behind!"  "Firing Into Melee!"  And even "Attacking Blind!"  Some of these are obvious and redundant from the Mutant Future Core Rules, but this master list of modifiers is convenient.

) Disarming:  A genre staple, and full of dashing AND derring-do.

) Limb Breakage / Loss:  These are nas-tay.  AND AWESOME.  "Any strike doing damage equal to 20% of the creature's total hit points breaks a limb, which is unusable until this damage is healed."  And if a limb sustains 40% of the HP total?  It's blown off!!!  Fun, fun, fun!!!

There are plenty of other rules and subsystems (why, oh why, is Grappling always so problematic in OSR games?), but I'm not listing them all, because I want you to buy the supplement here.  It's that good, and I remind you that this is coming from  guy who likes fewer rules, not more.

It caps with a new Mutation, Ambidexterity, which prevents off-paw penalties.

One other thing of note:  Author Chris "Outlander" Van Deelen uses the feminine pronoun throughout the examples.  This is the first time I've noticed it in a WFTW supplement.  Well played.

Buy it.  Now.

Gen Con, HO!!!

I'm heading out at an ungodly hour for Indianapolis, and will do my dangedest to regularly update on the wacky hijinks.  I'm particularly excited to slang dice again at Our Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman's table, as he runs a helluva Mutant Future game.

I've also got a melange of material scheduled to auto-post throughout the weekend, so stay tuned, true believers!

(And if you're going to be at the show, hit me up via email.  We'll figger it out on the fly.)