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Essential system/edition independent books

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
So I'm currently playing PF2 and I have the books I need for that system. However I really want some good reading that will hopefully enhance my campaign.

So are there any books you'd recommend that could do this, either system neutral ones or maybe even books of a particular system that you find that useful they transcend that system?
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So I'm currently playing PF2 and I have the books I need for that system. However I really want some good reading that will hopefully enhance my campaign.

So are there any books you'd recommend that could do this, either system neutral ones or maybe even books of a particular system that you find that useful they transcend that system?
Heroes of The Feywild is an excellent book for imagining adventures in Faerie and characters from there. The mechanics don’t matter, and it’s just a great read.
 

Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog - for the prices on random widgets and whatnots
Madeline Hale's Table Fables I & II - for when I need a random bit of treasure, NPC, book, or hook
The Dungeon Alphabet - always good for inspiring me when I'm stuck
Grimtooth's Traps - for when I'm feeling mean and need a gonzo trap
 


Nytmare

Adventurer
I don't know how much of it you'd be able to port into your world, but I always push any edition of the Scarred Lands setting.

In the same vein, I think that the new Spire book by Rowan, Rook, and Decard is absolutely brilliant, but that one will be even harder to shuffle into an existing campaign.

Michael Prescott's free and Trilemma one page Adventures are really great. Have you looked at those? Trilemma Adventures
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
While they are not strictly system neutral Stars Without Number (or Godbound), Blades in the Dark, and Apocalypse World Second Edition are common reference material when I am running something more traditional. These games really shaped the way I approach game prep and are incredibly useful aids to me when laying out threat maps, factions, and sandbox content in general. I would also recommend Sine Nomine's Red Tide setting. It's written for BX (Labyrinth Lord), but has great material for creating dungeons and fantasy cities.
 


Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog - for the prices on random widgets and whatnots
Madeline Hale's Table Fables I & II - for when I need a random bit of treasure, NPC, book, or hook
The Dungeon Alphabet - always good for inspiring me when I'm stuck
Grimtooth's Traps - for when I'm feeling mean and need a gonzo trap
I'm curious how do approach using grimtooths traps? Do you convert it into the system you are running and allow the characters to make relevent checks to spot and disarm the trap, or do you just drop in enough hints and hope the players work it out?
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Some great suggestions here, and even though I count myself a gaming veteran, I'm ashamed to admit there are a lot of products I've not heard of, certainly some food for thought :)
 

A bit of column A, a bit of column B? I do convert them to whatever system I'm using, but I find that Grimtooth's Traps are meant to be outsmarted rather than just resolved with a single check. But I also tend to prefer the traps that are obvious and require player thought to get around, rather than just the "gotcha, sorry, your PC is a pile of paste" ones.

I'm curious how do approach using grimtooths traps? Do you convert it into the system you are running and allow the characters to make relevent checks to spot and disarm the trap, or do you just drop in enough hints and hope the players work it out?
 

pming

Adventurer
Hiya!

(1) DMG 1e (or, if you can find it, Hackmaster GMG 4th Ed [not the newest version, the first one]).

(2) Dungeoneers Survival Guide & Wilderness Survival Guide, 1e (great for ideas and rule tid-bits you might get inspired by)

(3) Veins of the Earth (for Lamentations of the Flame Princess or a B/X game; absolutely choc-full of cool, creepy and dark stuff for any trip your PC's may take underground).

(4) Talislanta (all the books; just about any version, but the 2nd seems to be most 'adaptable', in an imagination sense, to any D&D version...not the rules, just the overall presentation and feel).

Those books are ones that I keep close at hand no matter what game, or genre, I'm running. Just great reading and info all around. They never cease to give me ideas or insights!

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 


The Citybook series is filled with some creative ideas, NPCs, and locations. That the first volume came out in 1982 is all the more impressive. Sure, City-State of the Invincible Overlord gets the credit for being the first city sourcebook, but this was, as far as I know, the first supplement to give you the means to bring your own city to life.

Flying Buffalo's Citybook series is superb. Varied NPCs and establishments written by the likes of S. John Ross and Dave Arneson. Full of plot suggestions and ways to link different entries together. There are seven in the range (and more non-Citybook titles in the Catalyst series), broadly themed.
 

Voadam

Hero
I like the statless Cults of Freeport. I am a fan of Cthulhu and D&D crossovers. I also loved the old World of Warhammer visual encyclopedia book as flavor and inspiration reading. I also enjoyed the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting Book, Rokugan d20 Campaign Setting Book, Dragonlance Campaign Setting Book, and Book of Fiends as a dark spirit sourcebook.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
(3) Veins of the Earth (for Lamentations of the Flame Princess or a B/X game; absolutely choc-full of cool, creepy and dark stuff for any trip your PC's may take underground).
If you haven't read it you should pick up Into the Wyrd and Wild, which could be described as Veins but for Wilderness play. I plan to use the books side by each for a campaign. I actually find ItWaW more useful than Veins, top to bottom. Both are immensely atmospheric though, and in a way that they pair really well.

This can also be taken as a strong positive recommendation to the OP. (y)
 


pming

Adventurer
Hiya!

If you haven't read it you should pick up Into the Wyrd and Wild, which could be described as Veins but for Wilderness play. I plan to use the books side by each for a campaign. I actually find ItWaW more useful than Veins, top to bottom. Both are immensely atmospheric though, and in a way that they pair really well.

This can also be taken as a strong positive recommendation to the OP. (y)
It's now on my "Want List" at Noble Knight. Hopefully I'll be able to pick one up at some point!

PS: As another two... "Frostbitten & Mutilated" is pretty accurate in terms of portraying the icy north, and "Vornheim" is a really interesting take on building, and most importantly running, a city-based game.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 


aramis erak

Adventurer
I remember this book! Ads for it were all over Dragon magazine back in the day. Looks like it's super out-of-print now and quite pricey, alas.
From what I understand, the person formerly known as Paul Jacquacys is still around under a different name. They really should see if they can get their TFG work up at least in PDF. The whole series were excellent... and would be an excellent "fire and forget" dribble of income for the IP owner.

Unfortunately, the only way most will get to read it is via pirate sites, as it currently sits.
 

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