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Once again we have that virtual smorgasbord that we like to call the links page. It is the usual mess of hi-tech, high fashion and the highly bizarre.
If the weird and wonderful is your bag, then take a peek at Anomalies -- the Strange & Unexplained a database of paranormal (and allegedly paranormal) events, objects, and people, compiled from a variety of sources and traced back to their earliest reports. From Cryptozoology and cattle mutilation to The Mystery of David Lang, there is plenty here for Call of Cthulhu, Conspiracy X or Kult fans. Sometimes life is a whole lot scarier than fiction.
It was too much for Traveller and since then most other games haven't bothered
with it but if Science Fiction is on your mind, here a few resources that give
you that heresy of modern astronomy, a 3D universe.
is a neat little utility for 3D stellar visualisation. You can add your own
information on the stars and set up various stellar empires too. You could boot
it up on your laptop during a game and use it as the PCs' nav-comp.
"Mr Sulu, what's our ETA at Geidi Prime?"
SolStation.com is much more sophisticated but only online. It has a 3D viewing applet with rotating star fields and is linked to a stellar database with much useful gaming information for those near-Earth settings such as 2300AD. For example, although Epsilon Eridani is almost sunlike and probably has planets, it also has a much more dense dust cloud surrounding it than our sun indicating the likelihood of high numbers of comets, which is not so good for life. But a planet with a skyline constantly full of comets is a powerful image...
The Internet Stellar Database has similar information to the last two sites but allows for online searching of the database, without the nice but expensive graphics. It also carries a good primer on astronomy and stellar evolution.
Next up is the regular haunt of Paul MacKintosh, a contributor to this issue. It's GUGS, the Glasgow University Gaming Society. Aside from the lovely graphic of a cute little Gug, it has a number of scenarios for Everway, The World of Darkness and Invisibles, plus the obligatory links.
If haggis and whisky aren't your bag then how about some Gallic charm. Prax is the extensive RuneQuest site of Runemaster Greg, an associate of our French ally, Rappar. For all you francophones, there are some translations of The Book of Drastic Resolutions: Prax, loads of background material and even a competition (in French and English) to mark the publication of the Gloranthan RPG, Hero Wars . The new game is quite unlike the RuneQuest of old and will be showcased at the forthcoming Convulsion in the UK in July. And yes, that is me with a playtest credit.
A fresh new face on the RPG net scene is Ian O'Rourke. His home site, TCN - Imaginative Gaming carries a number of essays on various aspects of gaming and life in general. Much like this illustrious site, his topics range all over, from the skill of GMing, to what to do with stiffs, to how to create a surreal campaign. Ian's work also recently appeared at the Gaming Outpost.
More English madness and hard work is at Freeplayers by Brendan. If you find yourself stuck for ideas, there are traps, puzzles, plots and links mostly aimed at fantasy players but with plenty of scope for other uses. Brendan also has his own game under development to which you can contribute.
Our final English site promises one day to be enormous. It is Fiction-Fantasy , maintained by Gary Thompson. He attempts to have a page on every in print game on the market (not to mention books, videos and computer games), along with discussion boards, news, reviews and links. This may appear to be a pipe-dream but Gary is very dedicated and has contacted all of the publishers for the latest information. If you would like to be a part of this then get in touch with Gary. He is always on the look-out for good help.
Carrying on with our European round, from Belgium we have an English portal to Les Cités Obscures , a wonderful series of graphic novels produced since 1982 by François Schuiten and Benoît Peters. The 12 graphic novels chronicle tales in a world dominated by bizarre cities that are part Kafka, part Borges and whilst evoking our European metropoloi they remain strangely distant. Only a few volumes have been translated but as a master piece of modern urban fantasy, these books, and this website, provide a wealth of roleplaying inspiration.
Finally, should you need to know about authentic medieval costume for your Ars Magica game or perhaps a few photographs of Victorian gentlemen for a Call of Cthulhu handout, then look no further than The Costume Gallery's Research Library . If want to know what Steve Darlington would have been wearing at the Grand Ball in 1770 (Answer: a tiara, definitely. Ed) or what was considered de rigueur in Georgian England, then this should be your destination.
Found a hot new site on the net? Discovered the missing link? Let us know here.
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