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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 I
Art: Todd Lockwood
Empires of the Shining Sea (AD&D Forgotten Realms Campaign Expansion)
Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan
TSR (9561, boxed set, $29.95 US/$39.95 Can)
The latest campaign expansion for the Forgotten Realms has a fine legacy to live up to, and it doesn't disappoint. This boxed set takes an expanded look at the empire of Calimshan and the Lake of Steam (which first appeared in FR3, Empires of the Sands), going farther and deeper into the southern reaches of the Forgotten Realms than ever before. Included are two full-color poster maps of the region and a 192-page book packed with details on the 8,000-year history of Calimshan, the mysterious Land of the Lions, the volcanic Lake of Steam, and more.
Art: DiTerlizzi
The Bestiary (DragonLance Saga Rules Dramatic Supplement)
Steven "Stan!" Brown
TSR (09564, gamebook, 240 pages, $24.95 US/$32.95 Can)
A lengthy and extremely well-illustrated (in color) guide to the animals and creatures of the DragonLance Saga. As usual for work in the DragonLance canon, it's done in a unique and creative manner, penned from the viewpoint of Caramon Majere, Hero of the Lance. It includes details on the creatures' habits, diets, lairs and legends, and comes with a creature catalog, habitat guide, and dozens of story suggestions. While it's most useful to players of the Saga game rules introduced in the DragonLance: Fifth Age boxed set, there's plenty here for anyone interested in adventuring on the world of Krynn, or the Saga rules in general.
Wizard's Spell Compendium: Volume 4 (AD&D)
Compiled by Mark Middleton
TSR (2177, gamebook, 288 pages, $24.95 US/$32.95 Can)
The fourth and final volume in the Wizard's Spell Compendium tome collects spells from Sq to Z, bringing the total pagecount to 1152. Ah, gone are the days when you could read the D&D manuals cover to cover. A pity. This series describes every wizard spell in the AD&D game, collecting them from literally hundreds of sources dating as far back as 1975. The earliest entries -- taken from some of the first game modules ever published by TSR -- have been updated to be more usable, and to conform to 2nd Edition rules. The interior art, by Glen Michael Angus and Arnie Swekel, is decent but largely uninspired. At the end are over a hundred pages of Appendices, including lists of Cantrips (zero-level MU spells), lists of spells sorted by school and specialty, and official errata for the first three volumes.
Art: Dave Johnson
X-Men Roster Book (Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game)
Steve Miller
TSR (06927, Saga Game Rules, 144 pages, $17.95 US/$24.95 Can)
I spent almost an hour flipping through this book, brushing up on the fascinating details of over a hundred characters in the X-Men Universe, from team members to associates to villains. I'd have to give it a thumbs up as a decent sourcebook for anyone interested in the comic, as well as a significant resource for players of the new Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. Contains details on the all the various teams, including the Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur, Generation X, Alpha Flight, and others, with game statistics and lengthy descriptions for all. Fully illustrated in color by Marvel artists.
Art: Steve Skroce
X-Men: Who Goes There? (Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game, Adventure #1)
Mike Selinker and Teeuwynn Woodruff
TSR (06928, Saga Game Rules, 48 pages, $8.95 US/$12.95 Can)
Contains seven adventures (and mini-adventures) for use with the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game, drawing on characters in the X-Men Roster Book. The adventures presented are a pretty diverse assortment taken from a variety of plotlines, featuring the sinister alien Brood, Arcade's Murderworld, Sentinels, and a flashback to the original X-Men. As an added bonus the book includes a complete entry for Lockheed the Dragon, somehow overlooked in the roster book.
Art: Kevin MaCann
The Star Cairns (AD&D Greyhawk Adventure)
Sean Reynolds
TSR (9579, adventure module, 48 pages, $11.95 US/$15.95 Can)
TSR's long-suffering webmaster appears in print with the first volume of a new adventure trilogy, The Lost Tombs. "Derro swarm in the Abbor-Alz. The Doomgrinder windmill's blades approach their zenith. Strange sightings in the Hardby and rumors of a bandit empire in the mountains have commoners and nobles concerned. The Circle of Eight hopes that the key to averting this disaster can be found in the mysteries of a group of five ancient crypts, the Star Cairns." Designed for a quick evening's distraction, or as the beginning of a lengthy campaign, the five linked adventures are designed for 4-8 characters, levels five to eight. The Lost Tombs series continues with The Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad and The Doomgrinder.
Art: Fred Fields
A Paladin in Hell (AD&D Adventure)
Monte Cook
TSR (9586, adventure module, 64 pages, $13.95 US/$18.95 Can)
The cover of this thick adventure module will be instantly recognizable to old-timers -- it's clearly inspired by the classic illustration in the first edition AD&D Players Handbook. Ever wonder how that poor sap got in that predicament? Wonder no longer -- now you can role-play him! "To some, justice is more important than glory... The great paladin Klysandral was such a man. But even the sleep of death, at the end of a long lifetime spent battling evil, did not bring peace to Klysandral. During his funeral, the entire Temple of Neheod was dragged by terrible magic into the Nine Hells, along with the soul of Klysandral and scores of living mourners!" Some guys never get a break. For 4 - 6 characters levels fifteen to (gulp) twenty.
Art: Frank Vohwinkel
Dataware (Alternity Game Accessory)
Wolfgang Baur
TSR (2811, gamebook, 96 pages, $16.95 US/$21.95 Can)
Alternity is TSR's newest RPG system, a rich and detailed science fiction role playing game which has met with considerable success. Game systems stand or fall on the strength of their product support, however, and TSR hasn't been negligent in this area. The latest Alternity accessory is an attractive reference guide to all things digital: robots, AIs, software, hardware, and "clean, easy hacking." Includes rules for robot and Artifical Intelligence design, new careers for gridrunners, and new computer hardware. Interior art, by Mark Nelson, is sparse but excellent.
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