RPG a Day – Day 14: Best Convention Purchase

Day 14 of #RPGaDAY

Best Convention Purchase.

Today and tomorrow’s posts are going to be stretching the definition of “convention” somewhat, as I’ve never been to a proper RPG convention.  It’s definitely on my list of things to do, not least now I’ve got a friend living in Atlanta, home of DragonCon.

The closest I’ve come to attending a convention was the first year of Norwich’s Diceni event.  While it was a good event, it’s not something I’ll be going to again due to the organiser’s extremely bad response to people flagging up the fact that using a sexualised image of Boudicca as a mascot for the convention might be off-putting to some potential attendees.  That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you need to explain the issues around to someone more than once…

Anyway, onto the actual purchase itself!  I’ve been a fan of Alternity for a while (and will indeed be touching on it again tomorrow), but I was never able to afford the books as a teenager.  By the time I’d stopped being a student and actually had a disposable income it was well out of print, and anything other than the core books proved exceedingly hard to find.  But one of the traders at Diceni helped with that…


I managed to get my hands on two Alternity supplements I’d wanted for a while – Beyond Science and Mindwalking.  While second hand, they were in pretty much pristine condition and priced very reasonably.

Beyond Science expands the basic FX rules (standing for “Special Effects, and covering anything supernatural) from the core rules, and gives solid systems for arcane magic, faith and divine miracles, and superpowers.  It also covers monsters and other weird creatures, and rules for exotic magic and super-science devices.  It’s a much needed expansion on the bare bones FX rules presented in the Alternity core, and gives you a very solid toolkit for introducing paranormal powers and creatures into a sci-fi game.

Mindwalking is a much more in depth examination of psionic abilities for Alternity, substantially expanding on the core rules, advice on incorporating psionic/psychic powers into a range of sci-fi genres (including both the Star*Drive and Dark*Matter campaign settings), adventure and campaign seeds, and three systems for mental combat.  To be honest, it’s probably a little more detailed than I’d ever use unless I was making psionics the main focus of the campaign, but the book does what it sets out to do really well.

I hope to substantially add to my list of convention purchases  in the near future, but for now these Alternity supplements are two books I’m very glad to have in my collection.



Unfortunately Alternity is out of print, and doesn’t seem to have had a PDF release anywhere, so it’s hard to track down the books.  However, the AlternityRPG.net site has a wealth of material for the game, including PDFs of the quickstart adventures for the game.  Which is something we’ll discuss further tomorrow…


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