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Modern gaming features some of the most creative work in Fantasy and Science Fiction today. From the rich background of TSR's Forgotten Realms to the detailed future of White Wolf's Trinity, gamers and game authors around the world are enjoying some of the most fully-realized fictional settings ever created. If you're looking for innovative ideas and energetic prose, look no further.

Games and game accessories are listed by publication date; most recent first. Where available, links to SF Site reviews are provided. Click on the thumbnail image to get a look at the full size cover.

New Gaming Arrivals: September 1998, Part II
Art: David Seeley
America Offline, PSI Order Orgotek and FSA Sourcebook (Trinity sourcebook)
Bruce Baugh, Rob Heinsoo, James Kiley
White Wolf (gamebook, 144 pages, $17.95 US)
Typical of White Wolf's Trinity product line, this book is extremely well produced, with 48 pages of color and excellent interior art from four artists. It's also done in their patented and deceptively immersive "present tense, up-to-the-minute report" format. If you don't know anything about the Trinity RPG, this is really not the place to start, but if you're a serious player you'll want this volume. Included are details on Orgotek, a megacorp that employs gifted psions capable of controlling electromagnetic energy, and works within the fascist Federated States of America to return the country to democracy and capitalism. It contains tips on playing electrokinetics, including new psionic powers, and detailed info on North American society and politics in the world of Trinity.
Art: D.G Alexander
Renegades (Wraith: The Oblivion sourcebook)
Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea
White Wolf (gamebook, 128 pages, $16 US)
The sub-title for this one is "A Sourcebook About People Who Are Mad as Hell," and it's as apt a summation as anything we could come up with. The lead-in stories, by noted authors P.D. Cacek and Tom Deitz, are a step above much of White Wolf's early creative intros. The rest of the volume is given over to "a cold, hard look at the outsiders of the world of Wraith: The Oblivion -- a complete look at what the afterlife is like on the wrong side of the Code of Charon." It contains details and tactical secrets on life on the outside, the scoop on the mysterious Renegade Council, and instructions for playing a Renegade, from character creation to Byway Robbery to the details of overthrowing Necropoli.
Art: Terese Neilsen
Inanimae: The Secret Way (Changeling: The Dreaming sourcebook)
Rob Barret, Roger Gaudreau, et al
White Wolf (gamebook, 120 pages, $16 US)
"During the Age of Myth, everything in the world was born with the capacity to dream, therefore everything possesses -- or possessed -- the potential to be alive. Vessels of the Dreaming endure in the hidden corners and secret enclaves of the world, remembering as best they can the lost days when every waterfall could talk and every tool was alive. They are the Inanimae, the last children of the Great Slow Empires that now sprawl across the Earth in mute, immobile ruins. Even to most of the changelings, they are a myth too fantastic to have survived." Nobody writes market copy like White Wolf. We're sold.
Art: Mark Jackson
The Bygone Bestiary (World of Darkness sourcebook)
Phil Brucato, Shanti Fader, et al
White Wolf (gamebook, 128 pages, $18 US)
Seven authors and six artists take turns illuminating the critters and creatures of the World of Darkness, encompassing Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming, and Vampire: The Dark Ages. This volume contains descriptions, folklore, and roleplaying hints for dozens of creatures, as well as character creation rules, new Traits and Storyteller suggestions.
Art: Aileen E. Miles
Wendigo Tribebook (Werewolf: The Apocalypse sourcebook)
Bill Bridges
White Wolf (gamebook, 72 pages, $10 US)
This is Tribebook 13 for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, which has to be some kind of special dark landmark. This one includes the history, culture and goals of the warlike Wendigo tribe of northern Canada, with new gifts, rites, fetishes, totems, and weapons. Comes with five ready-to-play Wendigo characters, a 7-page "Legends of the Garou" comic, and more.
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA Game Rules)
TSR (6926, game, boxed set, $24.95 US/$32.95 Can)
The Saga Game rules come to the Marvel Universe in a surprisingly rich and complete package. Included are both basic and advanced rules, an introductory adventure, and Narrator's guide to creating adventures -- all in a profusely illustrated 208-page game book -- as well as a catalog of the superpowers of the Marvel Universe and a roster of select superheroes and villains, with official game stats, in a 64-page Roster Book. Also included are two Fate Decks featuring Marvel characters, used for resolving the action. Bonuses include a compact history of the Marvel Universe and a free comic offer from Marvel. TSR has already produced two supplements for the game focused on the X-Men (above).
Art: Todd Lockwood
Vecna Reborn (AD&D Ravenloft Adventure)
Monte Cook
TSR (9582, adventure module, 64 pages, $13.95 US/$18.95 Can)
The first adventure module to feature the godlike Lich Vecna was the Greyhawk Adventure WGA4: Vecna Lives! by Dave Cook, published in 1990. Since then things haven't gone too well for the despotic tyrant and most fearsome of all liches -- he now rules over a mockery of his former kingdom, scheming against the one who betrayed him, trapped within the mists of Ravenloft. "Vecna Reborn takes players into the dark domain of Tor Gorak, where the traitor Kas conducts a never-ending war against Vecna and Cavitius... the players find themselves in a pitched struggle to stop arcane rituals, insane cultists, and monstrous abominations from granting Vecna, the Chained God, the power to execute his dark schemes." The change in venue from the earlier adventure reveals a great deal about the tone of this one (even though the recommended character requirements are fairly modest: 3-5 characters of level five to seven) -- it involves some of the most powerful and evil figures in the history of Greyhawk, transplanted to AD&D's most relentless setting. Looking for a challenge? Vecna Reborn delivers.
A Guide to the Ethereal Plane (AD&D Planescape Accessory)
Bruce R. Cordell
TSR (2633, 96 pages, $16.95 US/$21.95 Can)
I always pictured the Ethereal plane as much like the last ten minutes of 2001 - lots of mood lighting and eerie music. According to the prolific Bruce Cordell's latest tome, however, it's "an exotic and fascinating place to explore." The linkage between the Prime Material plane and the elemental Inner planes, the Ethereal plane is inhabited by a multitude of creatures, and has links to both the Ravenloft setting and that other popular resort spot, the Demiplane of Shadow. Looking for the complete scoop on one of the most misunderstood locales in AD&D? Everything you need is right here.
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