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58

It came from the fans of White Wolf's World of Darkness games. "Splat" is another name for the asterisk character ('*'), which is often used as a placeholder or "wild card" in a name by technical types of people. Someone somewhere starting referring to all of WW's various Clanbook/Tribebook/Guildbook/Kithbook supplements for their various games as "*books", ...


32

Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering It's head and shoulders over anything else related to the topic I've ever read in my life. Laws is a master. He also has a blog here. Miles after that, subscription (for free) to Roleplaying Tips is recommended. In particular: The session checklist part 1 and part 2 Also, read non-fiction books. History, economy and ...


23

Value Proposition You mentioned DDI: Even better is the WotC approach with the DDI, you can look up any monster or item or (almost any) rule, in the most recent form, for 3 years at the cost of seven books. I think this is the way to go, even considering the horribly slow character builder. It's true, for three years that is a good deal. But ...


19

The issues involved preclude a simple "yes or no" answer; it's a qualified "It's a bit too early to tell." The various eBook devices are almost all 6-7" diagonal... A few are 10" diagonal. Format Types and Issues The various ebooks to be read on them comprise several different formats. Scanned Image PDFusually print poorly but legibly, non-searchable, ...


18

Play Unsafe. This book helped me get through my GM burnout and learn to have fun playing again. It's a book about applying principles from improvisational theatre techniques to game mastering. It is specifically dedicated to reducing GM stress and increasing GM fun, all while creating a personalized, reactive, and fun game for players.


18

The benefits for owning a book are the same reasons we still have books, and why people still buy books instead of a Kindle or PDFs. The advantage of books comes down to something basic: interacting with them is different to interacting with e-readers, and in the better for a lot of ways. Let's consider the case of a single user, with access to a single ...


15

Most of the books I've purchased have been used, and purchased from eBay. I seem to have the habit of getting very interested in out of print games :) Wait for a reprint? Will that happen? Once a system has been out of print for a while, it becomes practically unheard of for a reprint to happen. The odds are good that if the property has any remaining ...


15

Actually, and technically, Yes. The second printing DOES contain those two mythos. It is every subsequent printing that does not contain them. For the first 1980 printing, TSR obtained permission from Michael Moorcock for inclusion of Melnibonéan material (from his Elric series of books). The Cthulhu Mythos was believed to be in the public domain, so ...


14

The First Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. Yes it's a rambling mess of disorganized thoughts in Gary's purple prose. It is also a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. I've used it in Traveller and Villians & Vigilantes which is probably about as far afield as you can go. For those insistent on world building The Shaping of Middle Earth is ...


13

The Serenity Role Playing Game book is a complete game in and of itself. It's the "core rules" for the Serenity game. You don't need the Cortex System book, and in fact, due to differences between the two, it's only going to confuse things. You probably should get the Big Damn Heroes Handbook. The rules and setting expansion it provides is worth the money. ...


12

No, going by the first amazon review the board game is a 4.0 product, and therefore it cannot be the same as the 3.5 Castle Ravenloft book.


12

The first link is the Player's Handbook 2, which adds many rules, feats, and classes into the game. The second and third are the Player's Handbook, which has the core basic rules needed to play. The difference between those two is whether they have extras in the back.


11

You only need the Pathfinder Core Rulebook to run a game. The GMG is not the equivalent of the old DMGs; the core rulebook is basically PHB+DMG. The GMG has help, additional rules, advice, NPCs, etc. You do not need the 3.5e DMG either. You can see a lot of the content (specifically the rules content) of both the CRB and the GMG on the PRD site to compare ...


10

Noble Knight Games carries OOP stuff, but the prices are premium, and things are not always in-stock.


10

Edit: I've been informed that High Tech goes up to TL8, and Ultra Tech starts at TL9... I assume that the 4e version differs from the 3e version in that respect. Modern technology is Tech Level 7; near-future would be TL8 technology. If you want a very-near-future campaign, you might mix TL7 technology with elements from TL8 (organ transplant, bionic ...


10

I buy paper books because: I can lend the latest player in my group a paper book far easier than I can something on my Kindle. At game time, players on the table can browse different physical books, if they are all on my kindle then we can only look at one at a time. Somewhat related to the above, i find it easier to cross reference physical books than I ...


9

The book that you describe sounds a lot like "Nightmares of Mine" by Ken Hite (published by Iron Crown in 1999; ISBN: 1-55806-367-6), although that isn't specific to Ravenloft or indeed any RPG or genre. This book explores the ins and outs of what makes a great horror story and what it takes to make a great horror story into one of the most memorable ...


9

No. The books are not updated; if you buy them, you are expected take care of the updates yourself, by perusing the official rule update PDFs. The alternative used to be simple: buy a subscription to D&D Insider. However, with the fifth edition coming soon, who knows how long they will keep the 4e sites running...


8

Alibris I bought them there because it was the cheapest place I could find my books. Surprisingly they arrived sooner than when I ordered some other books to Amazon. That was some time ago and I was at Mexico, but I keep this link as my favorite place for used books.


8

These days, I would tell every wannabe GM to read the rules to the indie RPG Fiasco. Why? Because this is an engaging game that doesn't need a game master, doesn't need dice to resolve conflicts, and yet provides clear story structure. I'm not saying other games don't need or benefit from these things, but it's a bit humbling to realize the labyrinths that ...


8

You may want to check out the Transhuman Space books. Very different feel from the Ultra-Tech / Space. Although some of the pieces of technology are high-tech, it feels a lot more realistic than the Space / Ultra-tech options. As far as I know, Transhuman Space is 3e.


8

There's a rule for this! Some 3.0 content is still 'current' for 3.5. The official rule from Wizards of the Coast is that any content that didn't get updated (that is, printed into a new 3.5 book) is still valid and is thus usable with 3.5. Oriental Adventures and Manual of the Planes are indeed two such books, requiring only minor adjustments to the skill ...


8

In a short acronym: DRM. Paper copies have none. Kindle is riddled with it thanks to Amazon's strategy. DRM takes your rights and freedom away. Of course, you can get ebooks that are DRM-free (for example Posthuman Studio's Eclipse Phase) but they are few and far between.


8

I own an ebook, and I find it more comfortable linear reading than in physical books. Also, it's very handy when looking for exact words. But I find flipping the pages looking for something that is not bookmarked or you don't know exactly where it is, (and you don't know what words look for) or doing diagonal reading on several pages much easier in physical ...


7

For used used books I usually start at abebooks.com which is an aggregate collection of used booksellers across the country. Here's the results for 'Dungeons & Dragons' first edition published by TSR before 1990.


7

The Acaeum (OOP collectors' site) has a valuable Classifieds board. And to a lesser extent, Classifieds at Dragonsfoot.org.


7

Right now, I would say the book that has taught me the most about GMing is Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker, because it has the clearest and most explicit procedures for running the game that I have ever seen (not any game, this specific game). I really wish other games were as explicit about what the GM is supposed to do at any given moment as Apocalypse ...


7

Perhaps a painfully-obvious answer (my apologies): The Lord of the Rings trilogy Sets the still un-matched (in my opinion) standard for depth and richness of setting, strength of theme, weight of historical tone, and scale of action. If that doesn't encourage you to work harder to give your players a richer experience with thematic cohesion, structural ...


7

The second printing? Of the original first edition books? As someone who owns multiple copies of both printings, I can definitively say that NO, the second printing does not have Cthulu mythos nor Melniboné mythos.



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