Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you could only keep 10

Brendan from Untimately asked the desert island question “If you could only keep ten of your printed RPG books, which would you pick?

10 books seems rather extravagant to me, considering I could do just about everything with my top 2 choices. I tended toward the books that would allow me to do the widest variety of stuff, rather than focus on one system.

Still, it’s an interesting exercise, and a good topic for a blog post. So here are my choices, in no particular order (after the top 2).

1. Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia
This wonderful tome contains just about everything you’d ever need to run a D+D campaign from start to finish.

2. Star Wars 2nd Edition
Once again, an all-in-one everything you could need to run a swashbuckling space opera.

3 Mutant Future
Nicely compatible with classic D+D, with the weird mutations and post-apocalyptic flavor.

4. Tales from the Floating Vagabond
It’s important to remember that the point is to have fun and not take things too seriously.

5. Vornheim
While I haven’t yet had the chance to use it, the sheer inspirational value makes it totally worth it.

6. Nobilis
Because the answer to “Do you want to be a god?” is always yes. Plus it's the most beautiful RPG book I own.

7. D+D Creature Catalog DMR2
There are a lot of different books of monsters, but I find myself turning to this one more often than others in my collection.

8. Star Trek Deep Space 9 (LUG)
When going boldly, it doesn’t hurt to bring along a rebel fighter or a ferengi trader.

9. Dungeon Alphabet
Pure inspiration, from Michael Curtis' text to the art.

10. Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical
I love this mishmash of random bits of magic from the Forgotten Realms for its inspirational value.

A few things that weren't considered because I don’t own dead tree versions:
Labyrinth Lord

Starships and Spacemen hasn’t been released yet, but it has achieved it's funding goal, and they're working on the first stretch goal. It would probably make the list in place of DS9.


  1. Too much "Science Fiction" in that list for me. I'm strictly "Sword and Sorcery."

    For RPGs? Greyhawk takes precedence, followed by Pathfinder's Golarion.

    See? Great minds don't always think alike! ;)

    1. For as much sci-fi is on my list, I tend to only play it very rarely.

      I didn't include any settings because I was restricting myself to books only, not boxed sets.

    2. I wasn't referring to boxed sets either, though I named settings. I was thinking Source Books. ;)

    3. Ahh, I see what you mean. I'll have to consider the list from a supplements point of view, and see what I come up with.

  2. Like Mystic Scholar I too am more of a swords & sorcery guy, but I can certainly appreciate the desire to have some sci-fi on the list. I almost included Cyberpunk 2020 and Star Wars on my list but neither made the final cut. The new DC Heroes RPG was the only non-D&D book that made my 10. I've never heard of Nobilis but if you've got it on your 10 it's probably worth checking out. See my list at Dungeon's

    1. I've never been much of a super hero person. I like the comics, and the movies, but playing... not so much.

      I also see from your list that you took the totally opposite approach and didn't include any core game books, while mine is mostly core books. I'll have to re-look at my list from that perspective.