Review: Nibiru, A Game Of Forgotten Um… Memories

Nibiru is designed, in its heart, for my favourite type of player – the “I lost my memories” player. I love them if the player is passionate, and allows you as a GM & player to develop a responsive story to the game.

I want to clarify here that if you pitch this to a player and they are not excited about this – it might be good to consider another system.

The Book

The book itself is beautiful – its visually wonderful to look at and the pictures are wonderful. I want to rip all the pictures out and use them in every single sci fi campaign ever. The whole book is beautifully designed, reminding a little of the genesis system in its design.

The maps are a joy to look at, although quite visceral. They either look like some kind of weapon or the insides of an alien beast, but both are beautiful to look at – I am definitely using these in a one-shot at some point even without the system!

Its incredibly beefy as a book – incredibly detailed with so much backstory. A particularly good feature are the lore bites & other little sidebars – they have such inspiration. I’d say the Tale-Sparks are the sections I’d use the most – little story hooks that could help design a game in mere seconds. Near the end is a full blown one shot/mini adventure that is well thought out and nicely designed as an intro adventure – I found it a nice length for a one-shot.

The System

The game runs itself on d4’s – you know, those little caltrops that you definitely will roll onto the floor, step on and it’ll hurt worse than Lego, but honestly this game is worth it.

The mental health system is a nice feature, but I’m not in love with it. The fact that if you have 3 of the “broken” traits your character is unplayable feels a little 2011 as opposed to 2021 – it’d be nice to have a system to “mend” a “broken” trait. I’ll personally probably houserule a way for characters to recover, or have an ongoing cost to mitigate it (especially as the broken traits are taken from mental health conditions I feel like I’d love to be able to have players work on ways to deal with them like we do in real life). The memories trait is such a beautiful storytelling mechanism – especially with the lack of memories to start with.

The character sheets are lovely, they feel very similar to Numrenera in their aesthetic, but I would love to see a slightly more accessible version – especially in the age of online play, but honestly its such a minor point – it’d take 2 minutes to build out a version in your online spreadsheet of choice!

Overall it’s a fantastic read but it will take you two or three reads to get to grips with the lore. Don’t expect to pick this up at 4pm and be ready for a game the same day – the different factions themselves took me a good couple of weeks of reading to analyse and matchmake.

You can purchase Nibiru Starter set here on DriveThruRPG