Artefacts are the most valuable things that the party is likely to get its hands on, conferring great power or wealth in whoever's got them. There's some brief advice to the GM about where (and when) to make them available, and a note about the glyphs they are often covered with. A few are thought to be understood, but nobody's certain about what they mean, let alone being able to read them properly... perhaps there's a 'Rosetta Stone' out there to find?
Then comes a listing of artefacts ready for you to use. Each has a visual description (and often a picture) along with notes on what it can do, limitations or drawbacks... and what skills the party can use to figure it out. But that's not all. There are numerous sidebars that discuss various aspects of artefacts to further enhance your use of them in your game.
Unfortunately many artefacts do their stuff by manipulating energy streams that lie dangerously close to the Dark Between the Stars. For those that do, there's a note of how many Darkness Points are generated for the GM when it's used. If you are too bedazzled by the artefacts presented here to choose which of the over sixty presented here, there's a random selection table to roll on.
There are quite a few healing devices of various levels of power - most will be pretty scary for both the injured person and any bystanders when they are used, particularly if they haven't seen the particular artefact in action before. In fact, many of the artefacts have the potential to scare users...
The second part of the book covers Faction Technology. Unlike the mysterious artefacts, this is the cutting edge of contemporary development, often from hidden programmes of development that each faction desperately wants to hide from all its rivals. They're presented by faction with two or three signature items from each one. Often they reflect the faction's particular interests or strengths. Weapons and armour predominate, but there are ships and the intriguing proxy technology, an immersive alternate reality developed by Ahlam's Temple which they use sparingly for education or to allow experiences otherwise impossible - things like giving disabled individuals the use of the limbs or senses they cannot use in real life. Is this a blessing or a curse?
Providing a tantalising glimpse into both faction tech and the even stranger artefacts, these are items the average party should find only rarely, but when they do it's a reminder of how rich and strange the universe is. The one thing this work doesn't do is assign any values to anything listed here. Perhaps they are priceless. Or maybe it is up to the party to negotiate if they wish to part with the item in question. Maybe it's too dangerous to hawk them around... Whatever, they'll blow your mind. Sometimes literally.
Return to Artefacts and Faction Tech page.
Reviewed: 11 April 2018