Hello everyone and sorry for the delay (again). Today’s reference books follow the theme of the mysterious thanks to a bargain bin at Barnes & Noble! Of course, in some cases we are looking to explore and explain the mysterious and in others we can only guess, probe, and wonder. Regardless of what kind of help or inspiration you need, one of these may be of help to you.
The Secret Language of Star Signs (Jane Struthers)
First we have a book about astrology, a topic that tries to reveal information about how the universe works in all its mysterious ways. This is a book all about the Zodiac, specifically the classical zodiac of the Greeks. It contains all the information you could ever want to include the Zodiac and its varietal meanings in your campaign world, or as a jump point to create your own. There are sections for each of the different astrological signs and in these are described the personality traits of men, women, and children born to them. Additionally there are sections on things like health, work, relationships, and food which provide you with information on specifics for a sign. What are the spending habits of an Aries? Well, this book has the answers!
The Secret Language of Fortune Telling (Sarah Bartlett)
Next is a book about trying to decipher the hidden meanings of the world and predict the greatest mystery of all: the future. I love this book because it provides you with a source of methodologies from around the world. No need to rely on making up or glossing over details in game or avoiding the presence of fortune tellers in game. With this book you can have fortune tellers of all kinds from around the world in your city willing to take some coin and reveal the future of the PCs. In fact, the book is detailed enough that, for example, you could do a fairly well informed palm reading of the player’s hand as if they were their character. Or prep one of their PC making assumptions about the spacing of the lines of their palms, giving an air of legitimacy whether you want the fortune teller to be the real deal or not. Examples of techniques in the book include intuition, tarot, runes, numerology, and tea leaf reading.
Unsolved Mysteries (Joel Levy)
Now this book is actually all about mysteries, if you couldn’t guess that yourself. In it is a collection of actual things that still plague our minds today. It is broken down into four major sections which cover places, events, artifacts, and sightings. Fantasy worlds are full of extraplanar creatures, magic, and gods. Sci-fi worlds are full of strange technology, aliens species, and galactic oddities. Use some real-life mysteries as the basis of weird events in your world and pieces of history and discussion. This book will give you plenty to work with from big foot to UFOs and El Dorado to lost Roanoke. Let the real world inspire you!