A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #31: Nanotechnology III

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #31: Nanotechnology III 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 with some of it being considered Open Game Content as a result. The Wisdom from the Wastelands lines introduces new options for the Mutant Future game and this is the third issue 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 of which one page is the Open Game License and front matter and one page is ads for other supplements.

This supplement is another that focuses on new nanite swarms, using the rules introduced in Issue #28: Nanotechnology I and goes straight into new swarms, making Nanotechnology I pretty much essential to use this edition. Both robotic and organic nanite swarms are covered.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #31: Nanotechnology IIIAuto-Resinq is a swarm designed to counter the effect of terror swarms such as Converters and Drainers by restoring an individual, using stored information, to the form they had prior to being affected by one of the swarms that change them.

Boosters increase one of the hosts stats as long as they are in the body, providing a useful secondary benefit as well. The benefit is dependent on which stat is changed.

Controllers are used to control the host using the pleasure and pain centres of the brain.

Converters are designed to convert the host into a robot from their organic form over several stages. The robot then goes out and tries to infect more creatures with the swarms, spreading the infection. There are also stats for one type of Converted, one who has been turned into a robot.

Drainers are intended to reduce a target’s physical or mental abilities. Each swarm will target one stat.

Drinkers will drain the power from energy weapons and devices.

Memcorders record the hosts memories and transfer them wirelessly to a central computer as a backup.

Neural Intensifiers increase a host’s mental abilities as long as they are present. Their destruction might cause brain damage in the host.

Scroungers are designed to assemble parts from raw materials. They are programmed not to damage organic or robotic lifeforms.

Scrubbers is an exterior nanite swarm that is designed to improve the user’s appearance and reduce the likelihood of them being affected by toxins.

Spreaders are another terror weapon, this one designed to reactivate dormant viruses in the target, giving them new diseases which can then be spread.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #31: Nanotechnology III in Review

The PDF is bookmarked, but only to the level of each page. The short table of contents is at a similar level. Navigation could therefore be better, by bookmarking each nanite swarm, table and creature individually.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. There are a number of illustrations; these would appear to be stock photos or similar that have been tweaked using Photoshop filters, or similar, to make them appear more like illustrations.

As with previous issues, there are more than a few references to other issues of Wisdom from the Wastelands, making this supplement tricky to use by itself. The majority of the references are to the prior two nanotechnology issues, but there are also references to issues #1 and #8. At the very least, the two other nanotechnology issues should really be purchased to use this one.

The nanite swarms appear to be more balanced than seen in Nanotechnology I and Nanotechnology II. Physical and mental benefits are not permanent; they only last as long as the nanite swarm is active in a host. The Scroungers are specifically stated as not going after living material for parts, something that wasn’t considered with a prior swarm. The only potential problem is with the Converters, which have a definite hint of technology-based-zombie apocalypse to them. As the Converted spread the infection by biting, this has the potential to rapidly get out of control. Fortunately, it takes several days to convert an individual.

Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #31: Nanotechnology III adds some new, and probably better and more balanced, nanite swarms to the game and can be found by clicking here.


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