Saturday, December 15, 2012

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #12: Parasite Mutations / Transformations'

In the months I spent prepping for October's mega-movie event, the gang at Skirmisher Publishing released a plethora of products that I let slip through the cracks.  Then there was that whole kidnapping-by-alien-primates-from-space thing, which delayed my reviews even further.  (And there may or may not have been a whole lot of Other Stuff in between, which was draining and distracting and just not too pleasant.)

So lemme apologize to the dandy chaps at Skirmisher:  Sorry, guys.  I've been lax.

This is me getting back on track, and making things right.  You all have every reason to be surly, and I grovel profusely.

But enough of that sheepishness.  There's reviewin' needin' doin'!

Succinct Review:  Wisdom From The Wastelands #12 : Parasite Mutations / Transformations freaks me the hell out.

There.  Done.


You really expect me to talk about this, don't you?

Fine.  Be that way.

Why does it give me the jibblies, you ask?

Because when I was a wee one, a relative—yes, really, a relative...NOT ME—had a horrifyingly disgusting infestation of real-life creepy-crawlies, and it was a two-week blur of bleach and plush animals stuffed in trashbags and a haggard mother and me stealthily blocking up the gap under my door at night and rampant paranoia that every little itch meant I WAS INFECTED, TOO.

If only these had been around in kiddie sizes in the '70s.
And had dinosaurs printed on them.

In fact, to this very day, my honest-to-gods very first thought each and every time my skin tickles is:  I've got parasites.  I wish I was joking.  My subconscious is a sadist.

So, here's a supplement about MUTANT parasites, and the gross creativity and squirmy graphics and sheer Cronenberg-ness of it all make me break out in the fidgets even as I'm typing this.  Seriously, I've been scratching the whole time.

Which I reckon means that author Derek Holland did his job just way, way too well.

WFTW #12 starts off with a general one-page overview of parasitism in general, and how it works in the Mutant Future framework.  It's standard GM rulebook stuff.  But then come the mutations themselves, and, wow, are there some doozies.

Here's the ones I particularly like (and by that, I mean "find absolutely nauseating, but in a good way"):

) Crimson Leaf:  Burrowing insects that turn your Mutant Plant PC into a fire-flinging force of ferocity.  Sure, it SOUNDS cool, but it's just wrong.

) Red Tusk:  "A centipede that lives in the host's neck...." kinda says it all, doesn't it?  *SHUDDER*

) Skull Slug:  You like more Mental Mutations, right?  And you really don't need all that spinal fluid, do you...?

) Snothorn:  Nasal fungus that spreads across the face and turns you into a size-shifting Rudolph The Reindeer.  AWFUL.

Then there's the Transformation section, where conditions with names like Ant Colonization (it's as grody as you think) and Ghost Form (I can now add "space-spiders" to my list of irritation-related nightmares) and Roachling Curse (it's EXACTLY what it sounds like) turn your PCs into a walking, talking critter-condos.

Each gets a detailed, half-page description of benefits and drawbacks, so you can really come to terms with the hideous freak you've become.

I may or may not have mentioned fantastic parasites on this very blog before as a form of self-therapy, but those came from The Silver Screen.  These, however, come exclusively from the minds over at Skirmisher, and it's clear that they're not only well-versed in biology and SCIENCE! (which means the material reads  a tad dry, despite its ickiness), but they're also sick, demented freaks in need professional help.