A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #11: Optional Combat Rules

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #11: Optional Combat Rules is a role playing game supplement published by Skirmisher Publishing for use with the Mutant Future system. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This is part of the Wisdom from the Wastelands series of new material for the Mutant Future game; this issue has various options for combat.

This is a bookmarked PDF which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $0.99. It is also included in the Wisdom from the Wastelands Issues 1-52 Bundle for $27.74 but it was actually purchased as part of a special bundle for only $0.01. This is a six page PDF of which one page is the Open Game License and front matter.

The supplements starts with a host of new combat options, presented in an alphabetical order.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #11: Optional Combat RulesAll-Out Attack increases a character’s offence at the cost of defence.

All-Out Defense is a mirror to the previous one, increasing defence but being unable to attack.

Area Fire allows a character firing multiple shots to target an area.

Burst, which is paired with the Rate of Fire rules in the supplement, allows a character to attack a group of targets with one hit roll.

Combat Modifiers has a number of different conditional modifiers for combat.

Cover allows a character to gain increased defence from cover.

Critical Hits/Misses provides new options for natural rolls of 1 or 20 on a d20.

Disarming is self-explanatory, and uses the Targeting Specific Body Locations rules from the supplement.

Limb Breakage or Loss also uses the Targeting Specific Body Locations rules and covers large amounts of damage breaking a limb or, worse, severing it.

Firing Off-Hand covers firing with the secondary hand of a creature, unless they are artificial entities or mutants with the ambidextrous mutation, detailed at the end.

Firing Two Weapons gives the modifiers for shooting two pistols at the same time.

Rate of Fire, mentioned earlier, expands the fire rates from the core book.

Grappling provides extensive rules on grappling.

Grenade Scatter gives rules for what happens when a thrown grenade misses its target.

Injury decreases effectiveness based on the percentage of injury suffered,

Modifiers to Hit Based on Creature Size makes it easier to hit big creatures and harder to hit small ones.

Targeting Specific Body Locations, mentioned earlier, allows a character to target a specific part of a foe, with a modifier.

Finally, New Mutation, Ambidexterity, mentioned earlier, means that a mutant possessing this will be able to use any appendage as a primary one.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #11: Optional Combat Rules in Review

The PDF is decently bookmarked for its length and it also has a hyperlinked table of contents. Navigation is above average for a short supplement.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. The illustrations are Skirmisher’s standard of stock images and tweaked photos that are somewhat relevant to the text. Presentation is therefore okay.

The new rules provide a whole host of options for combat, making it a lot more complicated. Some rules can be used by themselves, but some depend on other rules in order that they can be used. It is possible to pick and choose which rules are used to a degree; not all of them need to be used.

If all the rules are used, this makes Mutant Future combat a lot more complex, getting closer to Pathfinder levels of complexity rather than the more simple OSR style from the core rulebook. This may or may not be appreciated, depending on the group. Groups who prefer the OSR simplicity of Mutant Future are unlikely to appreciate all of these being used, but those who miss the complicated combat of such as Pathfinder are more likely to appreciate these.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #11: Optional Combat Rules does give a lot of interesting new rules which may or may not be to personal taste, and it can be found by clicking here.


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