Recommend me a RPG for reading.

Reynard

Legend
I just got paid for a freelance writing gig and it has been a while since I have bought an RPG just for reading, that I really don't intend to play. So recommend me one!

Rules:
1) It has to be available as a hardcover, but bonus points if you get the PDF along with it.
2) It has to be self contained.
3) It can be a setting but if so it has to be comprehensible on its own.
4) Games I own you might be thinking of: The One Ring, Alien, Blades in the Dark, Numenera, Star Trek Adventures, Mutant Year Zero (all of them), Conan 2d20.
5) Pure rulebooks with no setting need to be either super great or at least really good genre discussions.
6) POD is ok.

Thanks.
 

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aramis erak

Legend
I just got paid for a freelance writing gig and it has been a while since I have bought an RPG just for reading, that I really don't intend to play. So recommend me one!

Rules:
1) It has to be available as a hardcover, but bonus points if you get the PDF along with it.
2) It has to be self contained.
3) It can be a setting but if so it has to be comprehensible on its own.
4) Games I own you might be thinking of: The One Ring, Alien, Blades in the Dark, Numenera, Star Trek Adventures, Mutant Year Zero (all of them), Conan 2d20.
5) Pure rulebooks with no setting need to be either super great or at least really good genre discussions.
6) POD is ok.

Thanks.
Rifts has a hardcover... but many printings are softcover. It's an excellent setting read, but not great mechanics.

I'd recommend The Mechanoids & The Mechanoids Trilogy, as well, as excellent setting work.

Siembieda writes great settings.
 








thullgrim

Adventurer
I’d also recommend Symbaroum since you already have Numenera. Coriolis would also be a contender. WHFRP 4e might also work for you.
 

My go to recommendation:

Spire: The City Must Fall

Great game, great setting, evocative writing, jam-packed with ideas on every page.

Available in hardcover with pdf. Self-contained, though there have been a couple of supplements.

Heart: The City Beneath is also a great read—smart, slightly surrealist deconstruction of dungeon-delving—though arguably better after you've at least skimmed Spire, since the settings are shared/linked.

ETA: Nuts. Looks like the regular hardcover is out of stock, so it's either the PDF or the pricier special edition hardcover (which I have, and it's lovely, but still).
 



Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
I'd suggest you check out the World of Aetaltis: Adventurer's Guide! It's a book written "in character" as if by and for prospective adventurers in the World of Aetaltis. Compiled by the College of New Erinor, it includes both the official information and comments in the margins from other adventurers and experts, voicing their own opinions on the content.

The setting is for 5E, but this particular book doesn't include rules. World of Aetaltis: Adventurer's Guide - Mechanical Muse | DriveThruRPG.com
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

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