Monday, July 21, 2014

Mutant Future Review

Having picked up quite a few post apocalyptic RPGs over the last few years (Mutant Future, Mutant Epoch, Darwin's World, Aftermath, Atomic Highway, Barbarians of the Aftermath, Metamorphosis Alpha, OctaNe, Other Dust, Post Apocalyptic Hero, Retrocalypse, Exodus, Broken Earth, and probably a few I'm missing...from the recent acquisition list, I'm not counting classics like After the Bomb or Gamma World), I thought I should start reviewing what I like and dislike about each. So first up, is Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future.

I won't be discussing game mechanics so much in these reviews, since everyone has different preferences for game mechanics, and those aren't my main interest in each game. Instead I'll be discussing the options and choices of each, how they relate to the setting, and what points I like and dislike. Admittedly, some game mechanics aspects may come up, depending on how they affect the choices of play in the game.



Likes:
  • Revised edition cover.
  • Some of the mutant monsters are really good inclusions to a post apocalyptic mutant setting, especially the Accipitoid, Ant Horror, Hideous Boar, Brain Lasher, Brain Plants, Burn Leech, Canisoid, Castoroid, Cockroachoid, Encephalized Coyote, Death Bird, Domer, Electrophant, Eloi, Eye Dog, Fishmen, Flame Plant, Fungal grove, Gamma Sloth, Gamma Wyrm, Glue Flower, Goliath, Hemofowl, Homo Erectus, The Irradiated, Jellyfish Plants, Kanga, Kelper, Leech Rabbit, Lobstrosity, Mansquito, Mant, Mummy Vines, Narcolp, Night Glove, Night Goat, Pantheroid, Pigmen, Piranha Butterfly, Porcine Devourer, Pufferoid, Pumpkin Man, Quicken, Rabboxen, Radiation Whales, Rock Shell, Screech Bush, Scuirinoid, Serpentoid, Carnivorous Sheep, Skin Steel, Skinner Tree, SPIDERGOATS!, Sporer, Suidoid, Tripod, Vampire Star, Ventrilovine, Vomit Fly, Wailer, Xeno Cattle, Zap Vines, and Zunicorn.
  • The Aftifacts have a nice basic selection and work well as treasures.
  • The basic "racial" options well represent a good PA mutant setting.
  • The mutations have drawbacks as well as advantages and are broken down well into physical, mental, and plant categories.
  • Generally good adventuring and basic setting support.

Dislikes:
  • Original edition cover.
  • Not enough "racial" options to play, sure this is kind of a basic RPG game, but I want more options available.
  • There's only a limited number of mutations (IMO) which require one to go elsewhere (such as Metamorphica or the various Skirmisher Publishing offerings) for more mutation options. Especially since drawbacks seem to be so prevalent in the random rolls. The basic setup is more D&D retro-clone than Gamma World retro-clone, making the setting of Mutant Future more like D&D and less like a post apocalyptic setting.
  • Some of the monster offered are too much in the D&D fantasy vein, especially monsters like the Black Pudding, Carcass Scavenger, Gray Ooze, Green Slime, Kamata, Men (all), Ochre Jelly, Purple Worm, Rot Grub, Flame & Frost Salamanders, and Yellow Mold. The Medusoid gets a pass as it has a post apocalyptic feeling makeover. There's too many basic animals, I can give passes to giant, dire, and cave variants. Insect Swarm is a fairly useful entry. The various mutant animals types are well included (even if I don't particularly care for them). But most of them aren't really useful, even as base stock for mutant animals.
  • The gold piece standard for currency. I realize why they did it, but it still feels to fantasy setting, not enough post apocalyptic setting.
  • A very limited "junk" table to scavenge from, though this is possibly one of the most minor details, as there are dozens of easily available scavenging lists and tables out there to choose from.
  • Lack of improvised, "junk" weapons and armor.
  • Limited setting information and options, like "Cryptic Alliances" or cults, or raider gangs, or restorationist groups, etc.
  • Limited selection of non-android robots. In the mutant future there are always robots, lots and lots of robots.

Luckily, Skirmisher Publishing's Wisdom from the Wastelands series (as well as their other offerings) help to flesh out a lot of the missing ingredients that really make Mutant Future great. AND, you can pick and choose which options you wish to include.