Monday, June 2, 2014

Review of Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Grab It

When I first saw this book from Skirmisher publishing back in a couple of years I wanted to dive into it and see what options it lays on the table for post apocalyptic gaming for Mutant Future. This fifty four page supplement for the game doesn't disappoint. This book is basically an expansion of the rpg in directions that allow the DM to take monsters, PC's, and their abilities and rarefy them in such a way to allow one to customize in random and unexpected ways. In other words more of the DIY old school mentality fitted into a solid set of guidelines.
 Most folks would look at this and say that this is another monster book and that's simply not true. This book brings more to the table by providing the DM with a simple idea. Mutant monsters evolve and change in very unexpected ways.
The book is very well done in my humble opinion and players are not going to be happy when a DM uses one monster to generate a huge  number of variations to torment his players
Let's take a deeper look into the book. 

Drivethrurpg blurb: 
Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution is a guide to developing a more vibrant post-apocalyptic campaign setting by constructing families of related mutants, and is full of both suggestions and examples of how Game Masters can accomplish this.Mutational Evolution is fully compatible with Mutant Future, as well as Labyrinth Lord and other games that use the familiar and easy-to-use "Basic D&D" rules introduced in the 1980s.
This book includes:
* A Foreword by Mutant Future role-playing game creator Daniel Proctor.
* Four different sample families of mutants - including the House Sparrows, Stinging Nettles, Feather Shrubs, and Giant Yellowjackets -  that trace their mutational evolution through as many as seven different generations of mutation and which can serve as templates for Game Masters wishing to create their own families of mutants.
* More than 100 new creatures within the four families, including the Ruin Dweller house sparrow, a selection of Stinging Nettles for every environment, the martial Green Warrior feather shrub, and some of the most bizarre outcomes of yellowjacket mutational evolution conceivable.
* A how-to section of essays explaining how to implement the processes used to create the sample families and monsters for other creatures and settings of the Game Master's own choosing.
* Several new mutations associated with the creatures presented in this book.
* Detailed family trees that show the relationships between the members of the four sample families that can serve as examples for Games Masters who opt to create their own families of mutants.
* Original illustrations by fantasy artist William T. Thrasher.
Mutant Future Poison and Radiation tables for ease of reference.
Author Derek Holland is an invertebrate zoologist who has brought his extensive training and experience from the field to this and other books in the Creatures of the Wastelands series of supplements to the Mutant Future role-playing game.
This book is fully bookmarked and designed to be printer-friendly and easy-to-use and includes low-resolution screen-friendly and high-resolution printer-friendly versions of both its cover surfaces and its interior pages.

Most of the material 

Using Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution
For Your Old School Campaigns 

Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution

Creatures of the Wasteland can be used to generate adventures as well as PC's and monsters. The authors have woven into the background of the book an entire method of taking creatures and evolving them into new and unexpected directions. Quests, searches, and expeditions  could be used to find a rare variation of a monster or as a menace as a starting point for adventure. 
The suggestions and random tables allow a DM to cause all kinds of mayhem for player and because of the random factor this can be varied from week to week. And used to keep a game of Mutant Future or your old school campaigns fresh. 
Another variation on using this book is as a cross over point for your old school fantasy games. Because of its labyrinth lord roots this book can easily be slipped into the background of an OD&D or the like world to create very dangerous and even one off monsters. 
Because of its random nature the book is a gem when it comes to dealing with jaded and troublesome 'I know what that is' syndrome at the table. A few random rolls and you've got a brand new monster for your table. That's really the heart and soul of this book. All in all I was very impressed with this book and enjoyed it immensely. 
Grab a copy and dig right in!  

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