Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #29: Mutualists I

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To mangle a paraphrase from John Donne, no mutant is an island -- unless your mutant is an island. And even then it probably does not live entirely alone. Whether you are part of a community or a party of adventurers, Ancient philosophers from the Liver Pool had it right: everyone gets by with a little help from their friends. When two or more different species help each other, the cooperation is called mutualism. The coexistence may be symbiotic, where one creature lives on (or in) the other, like human gut flora; or it may be less intimate, like bees simultaneously feeding from flowers and pollinating them. In some cases, one species domesticates the other, like humans and dogs (or vice versa), while others just adapt their behavior to one another, like some large mammals standing lookout for each other at watering holes. The creatures in this issue illustrate varying degrees of this cooperative behavior, whether living in constant and necessary proximity, or just trailing along, one behind the other, hoping to snag a snack. They are listed as pairs or groups, making it easier to find creatures that operate together.

Wisdom from the Wastelands is dedicated to providing useful information, game content, and ideas to players of modern, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic table-top and role-playing games in general and to fans of Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future RPG in particular. The material it contains are compatible with it and any others that use the "Basic" system introduced in the most popular role-playing games of the early 1970s and are easily adaptable to many other games (especially successor systems, to include those covered by the Open Game License).

Our goal is for each thematic issue of this publication to contain a variety of useful and earnest content that will inspire Game Masters and players alike and provide them with things that they can immediately plug into their games. We very much hope you will find this and subsequent issues of the Wisdom from the Wastelands to be useful and enjoyable!

Written by Derek Holland / Chris Van Deelen