Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Books Of The Wastes" Review

While at Gen Con, I also wanted to keep up with the usual Mutant Future posts and news. Before I left for the Con, Chuck Rice of Vigilence Press was kind enough to send me a copy of his latest Mutant Future offering, Books of the Wastes for perusal. Thanks Chuck!

Books of the Wastes is a small six-page micro-tome that offers the Mutant Lord a series of long-forgoten texts their PCs might stumble upon in their adventures. What kinds of information can the Ancient Words impart to the wasteland wanderers?

Books of the Wastes also introduces a new "learning" concept normally seen in RPGs such as Call of Cthulhu; that is, by reading and researching, the PC can expand his own knowledge and skill set. Review robot repair? Watch your tech ID level increase. Read up on gunsmithing, and your To Hit percentage gets better. On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer, but it's a nifty little way to introduce a bit of over-the-long-run character development. Chuck explains in the opening of the piece that it's his way of adding "feat-like" abilities to the game, but under the control of the ML.

The books introduced in this six-page offering (the last two pages are the OGL...) include:
  • Alice's Gun Almanac
  • Better Living HIGH Magazine
  • "Big" Bill Hutchison's Guide to Business Influence and Success
  • Chairman Mao's Little Red Revolutionary Handbook
  • Mr. Fixit's Handy Dandy Advanced User Manual
  • Mr. Fixit's Handy Dandy Robot Repair Manual
  • The Laze
  • U.S. Army Robot Combat Manual
  • U.S. Army Field Medic Guide
  • Little Pathfinder's Wilderness Survival Guide
Each entry is afforded a paragraph or so describing its contents and there is a nice cross-section covering several subjects that will be of interest to the players. My only complaint is I wish this were bigger! It's a great concept and I wanted to see more Works of Forgotten Lore. But the book-learnin' concept is solid enough to work into your campaign. Sniderman says "Check it out!"(See, it's a pun, because you "check out" books from a library, but it also means... never mind.)

Books of the Wastes is only 99 cents and is available for download at RPG Now.

Here's someone who knows all about
post-apocalyptic book reading.

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