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.
Once again, WFRP fits the bill for #RPGaDay. I still remember going into this small gaming store on Bank street here in Ottawa. I can’t remember the name of it, but my buddies and I used to go here for all of our metal warhammer army miniatures. It was about a block away from what is now the Comic Book Shoppe. In fact, I think that it was in the same building as the ‘Shoppe’s first location. There was a convenient pizzaria next door.
A big thing was convincing my folks that this game didn’t have anything to do with dungeons & dragons and was free from the negative labels of the Satanic Panic of the 80s. It was a tough sell, but it worked. Of course, later on, I was lucky that my mom never perused the Demonic spell list…
I think that it was the first time that I was happy that I was acquiring a book the size of a Science textbook for school. It was HUGE, about half the thickness of a phone book. The illustrations were really cool and detailed, the career system: fascinating.
I miss that gaming store, actually. ‘Had a lot of fond memories of that place. The owners were real nice and supportive: a lot more approachable than the old grognards at Fandom II (at the time, anyway).
Man growing up is weird. We were just teenagers, pre-smartphone, pre-internet (well, not really, but the web back then was hardly the same as now and was real limited in functionality- there was NO social media other than text forums). Things were really different back then.
Once again, this one is pretty easy to answer for me. The first game that I played was also the first one that I GM’d.
I still remember the Oldenhaller Contract, in which the heroes had to venture into a gang’s hideout only to find that they had just had a big fight with another gang. Eventually, the heroes found their way into a cave and then faced down cultists who summoned a demon of Nurgle. A real grotesque one that could kill the party rather easily.
My fondest memory was the front door. Depending on whichever way you turned it, there was a 50/50 chance that it would trigger a trap door. Our friend Patrick’s character actually DIED from this trap early on and its still a recurring joke (whenever his characters, regardless of game system or campaign, would come to a door, we still ask him which way he turns the handle).
Good times! Great game.