The most recent RPG purchase that I’ve made is Dead Names: Lost Races and Forgotten Ruins by Kevin Crawford of Sine Nomine publishing.
It is mostly about creating cool, weird and interesting alien ruins for players to explore. But for a better description, here’s how they describe it on DriveThruRPG:
- Tools for creating intriguing and alien denizens of the distant past and decayed present. Transhumans, synthetics, extraterrestrials, and metadimensionals are all given unique traits and qualities to make life easier for a GM in need of strange antagonists or potential allies.
- A framework for quickly and easily designing ruins and ancient edifices for your players to explore, helping a GM to create a steady supply of mystery and excitement to whet the adventurous impulses of heroic explorers.
- Guidelines for creating new relics and artifacts to beguile and baffle your players, with tools for fabricating everything from one-shot devices to eldritch artifacts and their inexplicable functions. Twenty new single-use devices are included as examples, along with another twenty freshly-made artifacts to stock your ruins.
While it was primarily written for the game Stars Without Number (by the same writer and publisher), it, like many of Kevin’s works, is just rules-light enough to be suitable for any game or setting. Most of the tables contain descriptions and tags.
Just like some of his other works, this one is an invaluable addition to my collection. Especially since one of the key features of my Dungeon World campaign setting (Koru: Island World) is the thousands of ruins of the Old Ones dotted about. Mine won’t be quite as sci-fi in flavor and theme, but still, I’m drawing a lot of inspiration for what “works” in a gaming supplement.
I still haven’t finished reading it yet (hence it is still in my promo “Currently Reading”), but I’m very pleased with what I’ve absorbed so far.
Sorry if this sounds like an advert for this book (and for Kevin Crawford in general) but… well I love these books so much that I eagerly and shamelessly recommend these books to anyone in this hobby.