Game: Wasteland Fury: Post Apocalyptic Martial Arts
Series: Darwin’s World
Review Dated: 28th, June 2004
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10 [ Really good ]
Total Score: 8
Average Score: 8.00
Two sets of gamers will be attracted to Wasteland Fury – Post Apocalyptic Martial Arts. The first group are the Darwin’s World gamers who’ll grab this as a useful supplement. If you’re playing Darwin’s World as a low tech survival game then the gritty (and bullet free) aspects of martial arts will appeal. If you’re playing Darwin’s World as more of a battle, fighting tooth, sword, gun and robot, then being able to expand into the always popular martial art genre will be welcome. Darwin’s World is the default, but not necessarily exclusive, setting for Wasteland Fury – Post Apocalyptic Martial Arts. The other set of gamers who might well leap on this are RPGObject’s d20 Modern fans. We’ve already seen Blood and Fists, where this martial art system was tried and tested, and it has been very well received – not just by this reviewer, but others. You don’t need Blood and Fists to use Wasteland Fury, though the original book contains rules on creating your own martial art.
We benefit from RPGObjects’ experience in PDF production. Wasteland Fury is smooth and slick. There’s a print version if you want it. There are good illustrations. Easy and clear formatting and functional bookmarks top it off.
This is a supplement for the re-worked d20 Modern styled Darwin’s World. In it we get some new classes – effectively advanced classes as they have prerequisites. The classes offer new bonus feats and masteries as level up specials. Feats and masteries are one aspect of the martial arts. The specific mastery a martial artist can learn is controlled by which style the martial artist practices. Learning a style is both a meta-game and in character issue. It’s meta-game as it’s one of those game mechanics which straddle into the game word (like experience points, they’re handled Out of Character but represent an in character development in the way that a skill roll doesn’t) and they’re an In Character issue because the would-be martial artist actually has to find someone to teach him the style. In Darwin’s World you might have old wise men teach martial arts or you might find a barely functional holographic or robotic instructor running in a buried, ghoul infested, mall somewhere.
When your robot chum Octopus punches the mutant scavenger over to your Pit Fighter to finish with a rusty nail spiked club because you’re saving bullets then you know you’re playing Darwin’s World.
Having a style demands prerequisites and opens up skills, special mechanics, manoeuvres, feats in addition to the mastery moves. There are plenty of styles too; Ancients’ Legacy, Ancients’ Exodus, Crimson Fist, Crimson Shadow, Gemini, Ground Zero, Hydra, Hypolyta’s Hand, Lone Star, Lurker’s Eyes, Octpus, Pit Fighting, Rad Wolf, Sandstorm, Serenity, Silver and Black, Wayfarer’s Walking Stick, Weapon Master and the Whirling Dervish.
There are a similar number of manoeuvres but I’m not going to list them. Instead I’ll go for the much more exciting option and run through the signature manoeuvres. Signature manoeuvres are strict – specific signatures are only taught to the style which uses them (otherwise they’d hardly be a signature, would they?). We have; Below the Belt, Eight-Armed Flurry, Eyes in the Back of your Head, Flying Tackle, Four Headed Attack, Heritage Blade, Man to Man, Man to Many, Maul, Pack Tactics, Pleasure and Pain, Shadow, Shadow Warrior, Silent Kill, Tornado Kick and Whipsaw.
I rarely find combat interesting so being able to inject some action into the dice mess by using the term “I’ll Tornado Kick the scav!” rather than “I kick the scav.” is a real plus.
Wasteland Fury – Post Apocalyptic Martial Arts finishes with a look through some items and of The Ultimate. The Ultimate is, as it sounds like, an ultimate pit fighting championship. Blood and Fists has a similar, but smaller, sample tournament in it. Here we look at the three stages of the fight; Melee, Armed Combat, Man to Man. We’re given four sets of NPC stats.
Wasteland Fury does what it says on the tin; it gives you martial arts for the post apocalyptic wasteland. It does this well. For only $4.50 I think Wasteland Fury is excellent value for money. At that low price I really do think d20 modern players with no interest in Darwin’s World will be tempted to buy Wasteland Fury. I wouldn’t be surprised if people ask RPGObjects to create a fantasy-specific martial arts supplement. It’s good stuff.