A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #30: Nanotechnology II

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #30: Nanotechnology II is a role playing game supplement published by Skirmisher Publishing for use with the Mutant Future game 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. The Wisdom from the Wastelands series introduces new options for the Mutant Future game and this is the second edition focusing on nanotechnology.

The supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow for $0.99 but it is also included in the Wisdom from the Wastelands ‘Nanotech’ Bundle for $1.99, which contains all the nanotech issues and was how it was purchased, as well as the complete Wisdom from the Wastelands Issues 1-52 Bundle for $27.74. This is a seven page bookmarked PDF. One page is the Open Game License and front matter and one page is an ad for other supplements.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #30: Nanotechnology IIThe first Wisdom of the Wastelands supplement that considered nanotechnology introduced new rules and had four examples of nanite swarms. This supplement gets straight into new swarms, so Nanotechnology I would seem to be a bit of a must for using this particular supplement.

There are thirteen new nanite swarms, both robotic and organic as was introduced in the first supplement. These have a range of uses, both beneficial and detrimental.

Ageless reverses the ageing process, restoring the host to their physical prime, although it doesn’t reverse mental and fertility issues caused by age. As long as the nanites are in the host, the ageing process is halted.

Assemblers are nanites that are used to build things from a programmed list using available raw materials. It doesn’t seem to fully consider whether or not the nanites have safeguards to prevent them from using the wrong sources of raw materials.

Better-U make the host physically more attractive by removing various blemishes, scars and growths from the host.

Defenders protect the host against other nanite swarms; they can be programmed before use to ignore beneficial swarms already in the host.

Gen-Scram are aggressive nanites intended to inflict genetic defects on the host.

Heal Augs permanently augment a host’s ability to heal themselves, by altering the body to triple the healing rate.

Hyper Antibodies boost the hosts immune system permanently.

Rad Scourers repair the damage caused by radiation and improve the ability to resist such damage.

Regenerators give the host the regeneration ability and they can even regrow lost limbs.

Self-Medis create drugs inside the host’s body for later medicinal use.

Sterilizers sterilise the host.

Tough-U improves Strength and Armour Class by building a dense layer of muscle.

Traumalize stabilise the host should they fall below zero hit points.

Finally, there is one new piece of equipment, Nanite Ammunition. This simply means that any nanite – probably offensive ones – can be loaded into a weapon as ammunition.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #30: Nanotechnology II in Review

The PDF has some bookmarks but really only the pages are bookmarked, rather than the individual nanites and items. The short table of contents is about the same level of depth. Navigation could therefore be better.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. There are a number of illustrations, most of which appear to be stock photographs that have been tweaked with Photoshop filters to make them appear more like illustrations.

This is not really a standalone supplement. Nanotechnology I is really required for the game rules on nanites in order to use the new swarms. There are also references to more issues of Wisdom from the Wastelands: #3, #4, #6, #8, #9, #11 and #13, with #8 being the most often referenced. Some of these references are more important than others; a reference to a weapon introduced in a previous issue that can be used to fire nanite ammunition is less important than rules on the effects of pain and injury. Nanotechnology I stood by itself; Nanotechnology II doesn’t.

With only four nanite swarms in the first issue, seeing more types described is welcome. However, and this seemed to be a potential concern in the first issue, some of them look a bit overpowered. Some of the nanite swarms provide permanent, beneficial and essentially irreversible physical changes that boost the host’s abilities. Others provide a permanent unless and until the swarm is eradicated beneficial ability. These have the potential to be a bit destabilising; either tweak them or use with caution.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #30: Nanotechnology II provides some interesting new nanite options all the same and can be found by clicking here.


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