Best Five RPG Books You Own


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Nebulous

Legend
My top five (in no particular order)

1. 4e DMG 2
2. Ptolus
3. Cthulhu d20
4. 1e Fiend Folio
5. 2nd edition Midnight campaign guide
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
1) d20 Call of Cthulhu. I haven't played this in years, but I still read portions of it from time to time. The GMing advice is among the best ever written, and the rest of the book ain't nuthin' to sneeze at neither.

2) Monsternomicon. The first monster book that was easy to pick up and read cover to cover, and which, incidentally, I've done more than once.

3) 3e Unearthed Arcana. Somewhere within its pages is a solution to almost every concievable problem with 3.5. Plus, plenty of new options to just play around with.

4) 3e Manual of the Planes. I loved how this book was presented as a bunch of elements for kitbashers to play with. Pretty much everything in it is modular, and well done.

5) Fiendish Codex 1: Hordes of the Abyss. My favorite pseudo-setting book to read. Tons of great ideas all through this volume.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Huh. Heh. I didn't realize this was thread necromancy. Looks like I answered this two and a half years ago, and had a similar answer. Thee of the five are the same ones I picked then; since then one of my honorable mentions moved up to rank.
 

I think it was 2 years ago that I posted in this thread. Paranoia and Feng Shui are still in my top 5 and I'm still not sure about the other 3 books(assuming we don't include the core 3). There are a number that I could put in there but I'm not 100% sure which ones to go with.

Olaf the Stout
 
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The Green Adam

First Post
Roughly and in no particular order...

Star Trek: The Next Generation RPG by Last Unicorn Games (I'm more of a TOS fan but the TNG book is just easier to read and utilize).

Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition by Green Ronin

Champions 4th Edition (George Perez Cover) by Hero Games

Faery's Tale Deluxe by Firefly Games/Green Ronin

Star Wars, The Role Playing Game 2nd Edition by West End Games

Runner Ups include but are not limited to: Ars Magica 3rd Ed., Traveller / The Books (Classic Reprints by Far Future Enterprises), InSpectres by Memento Mori, Sketch by Corsair Publishing and Mekton II by R. Talsorian Games.

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Barking Alien
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
I can pull any of these books off the shelf and read them for pleasure and inspiration. They are some of the handful of books that survived the Great eBay Purge of 2007.

Call of Cthulhu, fifth Edition
Shadowrun first edition
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Revised Core Rulebook
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide
Vampire: the Masquerade, first edition
 

weem

First Post
1. Rules Cyclopedia (bought it when it came out, just for the heck of it... very glad I did).

2. The oldies on the bottom left here.

3. All my Planescape stuff

4. Wrath of the Immortals

5. The Complete Book of Thieves


...all for nostalgic reasons.
 


Sunking

First Post
Anniversary Edition Leather Bound Call of Cthulhu Rulebook: Squamous green leather with a red elder sign. This is the one to have if I could only chose one book to keep.

Expanded Psionics Handbook: So much goddi and it works as part of the system now.

Planescape campaign setting: all the great settings in one

Tome of Magic (Ad&d 2ed.): from this i have gotten so much, specialy worth mentioning the wildmage.

Lef: A danish RPG that realy does both tabletop and larp good.
 

Paradox

First Post
In no particular order:

1. 2nd Edition AD&D Campaign Sourcebook & Catacomb Guide. It's THE book that tells you how to be a DM. Up to that point there was no advice in the DMG or any other book telling you how to handle difficult players, for example. The DMG told you how to run a D&D game, CS&CG told how how to host a game. It didn't have as much hard crunch rules, but plenty of sound advice on how to build a campaign world, handle table rules and so on.

2. Aurora's Whole Realms Cataloge. It's more than just an equipment list, it sells you on the items. A very stylish in character book, and the authors would be happy to know, my copy is well worn and loved.

3. Decks of Encounters. There were two deck of encounters for 2nd edition. Yeah, it's not a book, but having short summary adventures on index cards was a throwback to the days of the red boxed set where a short paragraph was used as a springboard to start adventures. The decks did a great job at bringing back the "springboard" idea.

(For the next two, it's not so much about the book's contents.)

4. Denizens of Earthdawn, Volume 1. I love Earthdawn. It's one of three of my "top shelf" favorite settings. (The others are PlaneScape and Eberron.) And, I love my books. I'm very picky when I pick out a book at the store. (I've seen books on the shelf that are in rough shape- before I even buy them? Ugh.) At any rate, I take very good care of my books. I don't break the spine, I don't lick my fingers to turn the pages, and I certainly don't use a pencil or pen to read along the lines.

A very good and trusted friend asked to borrow this book for the week so he could read up on his character's race. I was a bit hesitant, but what the heck. He's a friend. Friends loan stuff out, right?

The book came back to me the next week utterly destroyed. Whole sections of pages were falling out. (Think 1e Unearthed Arcana. Those of you that have had that book fall apart on them know exactly what I mean.) He apologized and swore up and down that his kids didn't do it, nor did they go near it. Well, what the hell happened then? "Must be the poor quality of the book."

So, later that evening we're playing and he asks to look at my brother's Earthdawn campaign book. It was paperback, just like the book I lent out. He opened to the page he wanted and tired his best to flatten the book so it would lay open flat on the table. He cracked the spine. I knew then EXACTLY what happened to my book.

These books aren't spiral notebooks. They're soft cover paperbacks. You have to take care when reading them. Sorry, they DON'T lay flat. Deal with it, don't destroy other people's property.

Could I/Should I have forced him to replace it? Perhaps. But I wanted to keep it to remind myself NOT to EVER lend out my stuff to ANYONE. I don't care who they are. I don't care how careful they promise to handle it. If a friend can shamelessly and actively destroy books, I don't want them near mine.

And I think the experience traumatized me beyond just one destroyed book. I don't like handing out my books during any game session. "Can I have that book, I want to look something up?"

Ugh... So painful to see some of the above abuses being visited on my stuff. (As in, using a pencil as a reading guide, licking fingers to turn pages, flipping pages while eating, using a pencil/pen that's ready to explode as a bookmark, turning pages roughly (and I know you've seen someone who just has no respect for books. They tend to dog ear, bend, tear, flip pages violently, etc.) using the book as a writing table thus leaving a permanent impression of whatever they wrote on the cover, and the list goes on.

It also makes me slightly nervous when someone sets the book just handed over "for a quick second" right next to them, as if they owned it. Games can be chaotic, and books forgotten at cleanup. (And yes, I do mark all my books to tell which ones are mine for just such a situation.)

(Quick note to my current group - the list is accumulated from many, many gaming years. I'm not suggesting anything, but if you think you're engaging in such behavior, it's appreciated if it stopped. :D)

(And so you all don't think I'm a complete jerk, I refuse to borrow other people's things as well, just to be fair.)

So, for me as far as usefulness, the reminder to not let anyone touch my books; that one goes a very long way.

5. 1st edition Oriental Adventures. I thought it would be a neat book to have. I didn't like it. I never used it either. But rather than return it, I kept it as a reminder that I don't need to buy every single D&D book that comes out.

I even made it a point to avoid Oriental Adventures when it game out again in 3e. And there were plenty of other books in 2e and 3e that I didn't pick up.
 

wolfpunk

First Post
Unearthed Arcana, just some great variant stuff.

Expanded Psionics Handbook, better magic than magic in my opinion.

Deluxe Book of Templates, your party never has to face the same creature twice, ever again.

Star Wars Saga Edition core book, as streamlined as system as I want to play.

AD&D Oriental Adventures, my favorite campaign setting of all time.

Honorable Mentions go to the Rogue Trader core book and strangely enough, D20 Modern core book.
 

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