Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #17: Artifact Conditions'

Killing mutants and taking their super-sci-fi artifacts is part and parcel of post-apocalyptic gaming.  And watching players figger out how they work—if they work—can be great fun, if the gadgets are wonky and the PCs are clumsy.  [It can also be soul-crushingly tedious, if you've ever used the old Gamma World artifact flowcharts.  Ugh.]

But the Mutant Future Core Rules give short shrift to the artifact discovery process, providing only a tiny chart that ranks Conditions in descending order from 5 ("functional on a 1-19 on 1d20") to 0 ("nonfunctional").

There's no Irving Cohen bouncy C.  And no way for Mutant Lords to unleash their inner sadist.

So thank The Great Reactor that author Chris Van Deelen gave us 5 pages of tabular mayhem for all your artifact needs!

The Primitive Firearms Ammo Chart provides options for duds, jams, and unexpected ignitions.

The Primitive Firearms Chart adds more jams, weakened parts, and "warped barrels" (which immediately conjured images of Bugs Bunny tying Elmer Fudd's shotgun into a pretzel).

The Advanced Melee Weapons Chart adds loose components, powers surges, and overloads.

The Power Sources Chart adds increased energy usage, damage to the artifacts themselves, and meltdowns.

The Foodstuffs Chart adds nutrion-lessness, poisonings, and bite-sized—and pissed—mini-mutants.

Each chart ends with results described in one awesome word:  CATASTROPHIC.  (And, gleefully, none of the above words like "ignitions" and "warped" and "overloads" and "meltdowns" actually count as "catastrophic".  Something worse than a meltdown? AWESOME.)

Rounding out the supplement is a page on repairing the above artifacts.  And as the Core Rules only dedicate a half-page to repairs (which are also marked "optional"), WFTW #17 outright doubles the useful content.

I've mentioned multiple times that I'm unabashedly a "less crunch, more fluff" critic.  But this crunch-a-licious material is Good Stuff, and it's got a place of honor in my Big Custom Mutant Lord Binder O' Majesty.

Buy it now, right here!