You find yourself somewhat inconveniently stranded on a desert island. Drifting up onto the beach with you are two crates. One contains the bare necessary equipment to make a shelter and find food. The other contains just four books.
One is the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Because there’s always a Complete Works of Shakespeare, that’s why.
Two are role-playing books of some kind along with dice, paper, etc. But no internet access, laptop or iPad. Sorry.
The last one isn’t.
What are they?
Here’s mine: The two RPGs are the Classic D&D Rules Cyclopedia and Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition. Between those two I don’t need any other. If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing I won’t need to explain why :)
The last book would be De Bellis Antiquitatis, probably the best (not to mention most fun) wargames rules around. The rules themselves take up just 16 pages and the rest of the book provides historically accurate (or at least, historically accurate enough) army lists and campaign setups from 3,000BC to 1500AD. It’s easy to play solo too, so I won’t need to teach a passing dolphin how to wargame.
Give me the DBA rules and enough palm trees to carve myself a few armies and I’ll never want to leave that desert island. When I’m not pushing armies around I can create domains, dungeons and adventures in Classic D&D, or invent superheroes and villains (or explore any other genre, for that matter) in M&M.
My answer is this:
I’m totally with you on the Rules Cyclopedia for my first choice. The second book would be West End Games’ Star Wars 2nd Edition Revised core book. The third would be The Hordes of the Things miniature game rules, which are based on the De Bellis Antiquitatis system. Being stuck on a desert island, I’m less inclined to care about historical accuracy.
Go give your answer!