What books unrelated to TTRPGs are the most useful to you for TTRPGs?

Not a "book" per say, but I've found comics to be an amazing source of inspiration.
My group and I considered running a combat/battle heavy campaign at one point because we weren't interested in a plot that was too involved. My immediate thought was to run to use the original Marvel Secret Wars as a template for the game. Never happened though. Maybe someday.
Wikipedia has made all of that obsolete,
I went back to college in Fall of 2005. At that time you weren't allowed to use Wikipedia as a reference or citation for papers, when I graduated in 2010 it was almost expected.
 

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Greg K

Legend
I tend to reference the following books depending upon my needs:
Daniel Boxberger (editor), Native North Americans an Ethnohistorical Approach
de Bulj, Muller, and Ninjman, The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography
Ember and Ember, Cultural Anthropology
la Croix and Tansey, Gardener's Art Through the Ages 18th ed 1 Ancient, Medieval, and Non-European Art
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel
Fred Kleiner, Gardner's Art Through the Ages Non-Western Perspectives 13th ed

Oswalt and Neely, This Land Was Theirs: A Study of North American Indians
Stein and Stein, The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft 3ed (I just realized my copy is missing from the shelf)
von Sivers, Desnoyers, & Stow, Patterns of World History v1 to 1600
Werner, Myths & Legends of China

Michael Echanis, Basic Stick Fighting for Combat
Michael Echanis, Knife Self Defense for Combat
Leo T. Fong, Choy Lay Fut Chinese Art of Self Defense
Leo T. Fong, SIl Lum Kung Fu The Chinese Art of Self-Defense
Jane Hallander, The Complete Kung Fu Fighting Styles
Joo Bang Lee, The Ancient Art of Hwarang do vol. 1-3
Peter Lewis, The Martial Arts Traditions A Beginner's Guides to the Techniques of Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo, and Ninjutsu
Peter Lewis, The Martial Arts Origins, Philosophy, Practice
Willie Lin, TIen Shan P'ai Kung Fu
A. Pluger, Karate Basic Principles
Scott Shaw, Hapkido Korean Art of Self Defense
Bruce Tegner, Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Karate Second Revised Edition
Doc-Fai Wong and Jane Hallander Shaolin Five Animals Kung Fu
Douglas Wong, Deceptive Hands of Wing Chun,
 

Greg K

Legend
I went back to college in Fall of 2005. At that time you weren't allowed to use Wikipedia as a reference or citation for papers, when I graduated in 2010 it was almost expected.
I am back in school for a new degree. While most of my instructors do not allow Wikipedia as a reference, I was surprised that one instructor allowed it as a primary source while two or three other have allowed Wikipedia as a secondary reference after a set number of academic or other acceptable primary sources
 

I am back in school for a new degree. While most of my instructors do not allow Wikipedia as a reference, I was surprised that one instructor allowed it as a primary source while two or three other have allowed Wikipedia as a secondary reference after a set number of academic or other acceptable primary sources
Seems odd to me that its still not allowed as much as I thought it was. I may be misremembering then. The information on Wikipedia is pretty heavily vetted from what I understand. I always hated not being able to use a calculator, closed book tests. etc considering that there's not a boss on the planet that's going to say, "I need you to get me an answer, but no book, no computer and absolutely no calculator".
 


Ulfgeir

Hero
Seems odd to me that its still not allowed as much as I thought it was. I may be misremembering then. The information on Wikipedia is pretty heavily vetted from what I understand. I always hated not being able to use a calculator, closed book tests. etc considering that there's not a boss on the planet that's going to say, "I need you to get me an answer, but no book, no computer and absolutely no calculator".
I had back in the day an exsm on a simulation-course at universitet college where we were allowed to use everything except communicstion device, computers, and human consultants. They used the same exam every year. And ut only had 3 question, though one question had two parts. Part a: make a model fo a certain something, and part B: make a better more refined version. One guy had bought with him the papper someone else had written in s previous year (and had passed with excellence on). As time ran out (we had 5 hours, and more than half uof all students used all of it), he simpy adttachade that prior exam answer and handled it in as his answer. He passed (though not with excellence).
 

I had back in the day an exsm on a simulation-course at universitet college where we were allowed to use everything except communicstion device, computers, and human consultants. They used the same exam every year. And ut only had 3 question, though one question had two parts. Part a: make a model fo a certain something, and part B: make a better more refined version. One guy had bought with him the papper someone else had written in s previous year (and had passed with excellence on). As time ran out (we had 5 hours, and more than half uof all students used all of it), he simpy adttachade that prior exam answer and handled it in as his answer. He passed (though not with excellence).
Im pretty positive the person in your example learned nothing if they just used or stole someone elses work. My point was whether its academically, professionally or recreationally sometimes knowing how and where to find a piece of information, come up with an answer and having the tools to do so is just as good as committing it to memory. Obviously though there are going to be situations where you arent going to have that luxury.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
Im pretty positive the person in your example learned nothing if they just used or stole someone elses work. My point was whether its academically, professionally or recreationally sometimes knowing how and where to find a piece of information, come up with an answer and having the tools to do so is just as good as committing it to memory. Obviously though there are going to be situations where you arent going to have that luxury.
The point of an exam isn't teach something, and in a real situation, you will have access to tools. The question is rather do you understand the task and the information.
 

Richards

Legend
My worst college exam was a statistics course I took. We were allowed to use calculators, so no problem, right? The problem came when the solar-powered calculator I had been using - and which worked perfectly fine in the classroom in which all of the classes had been - didn't get enough power from the diffused lighting in the large auditorium in which the final exam was being held to actually work. So I had to take that exam without the benefit of my calculator, frantically doing all of my calculations by hand on the backs of the exam papers. It took so much longer that way I ran out of time before finishing all of the questions....

Needless to say, my score on that exam was not as high as it could have been, and I went out and purchased a battery-powered calculator later the same day. Lesson learned, the hard way.

Johnathan
 

My worst college exam was a statistics course I took. We were allowed to use calculators, so no problem, right? The problem came when the solar-powered calculator I had been using - and which worked perfectly fine in the classroom in which all of the classes had been - didn't get enough power from the diffused lighting in the large auditorium in which the final exam was being held to actually work. So I had to take that exam without the benefit of my calculator, frantically doing all of my calculations by hand on the backs of the exam papers. It took so much longer that way I ran out of time before finishing all of the questions....

Needless to say, my score on that exam was not as high as it could have been, and I went out and purchased a battery-powered calculator later the same day. Lesson learned, the hard way.

Johnathan
Wow, what a horror story. I took statistics, statics, physics and a few other math based courses and had alot of trouble with them. In fact I took all my math for that curriculum backwards from the advice from my guidance counselor no less. Im not good at math to begin with but I couldnt understand why I was having so much trouble. Without a calculator Id never have passed, and wouldve walked out of that exam if that had happened to me.
 



Ulfgeir

Hero
As a teacher, you are wrong.
Well, that exam was explicitly NOT to check that we knew facts,, but rather how we would obtain the desired result, and understanding how we thought. And we had already done a rather large project on the course, which we had already handed in. And reusing your own or someone elses material is a staple in IT (nowadays, at least. Might not have been so back in the early/mid 90s)...
 



pming

Legend
Hiya!

Any "book on nature". Seriously...nature has the absolute BEST ideas, as well as the WORST ideas. Everything in between is pure 99% creation-juice!

Also, almost any "religious book". Religions of the world have some really interesting and 'out there' ideas about the "big picture". You have your nature books for 'mundane campaign world stuff'...so grab the nearest religious bible you have and dig into a wonderous well of 'multiversal campaign world stuff'.

Lastly, books on "supernatural" stuff. Books about ghost hunting, or 'recorded history' hauntings, and just plain ol' wierd "we-have-no-explanation" stories. The "Missing 411" series by David Paulides. There's a guy on Youtube who relays many of these stories and he does an AMAZING job at it. Fascinating, disturbing, and downright terrifying sometimes! Here: "MrBallen".. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtPrkXdtCM5DACLufB9jbsA

Those are the "broad brush" categories of books I read (or stories I listen to) in order to get ideas and a better understanding of what might be believable, fantastical AND interesting all in one.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Lastly, books on "supernatural" stuff. Books about ghost hunting, or 'recorded history' hauntings, and just plain ol' wierd "we-have-no-explanation" stories
Definitely interesting stuff to mine for D&D and other RPGs. In the 80s me and my buddy used to laugh at the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown books series commercials. They were hilarious, but the books were great. Paranormal shows are a dime a dozen on cable these days, some better and more believable than others.

The Curse of the Crying Boy Paintings has been on quite a bit recently.

The Crying Boy - Wikipedia
 

MGibster

Legend
Seems odd to me that its still not allowed as much as I thought it was. I may be misremembering then. The information on Wikipedia is pretty heavily vetted from what I understand. I always hated not being able to use a calculator, closed book tests. etc considering that there's not a boss on the planet that's going to say, "I need you to get me an answer, but no book, no computer and absolutely no calculator".
As an undergraduate, our instructor assigned us an article on Wikipedia about the Battle of Cowpens and critique it for accuracy, balance, etc., etc., and we found that it was well written. While Wikipedia wasn't a valid secondary source for a history paper, it's not a bad place to learn a little something about a subject you have very little knowledge of and it's great being able to mine the article for valid sources. I've found that most of the articles on Wikipedia are accurate but your really have to take care about controversial subjects.

And Wikipedia is a great place to find inspiration for gaming material. Just try to look up articles about archeological grave sites without being inspired to put something into a game. And there's plenty of fodder for inspiring a PC or NPC.
 


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