I'm currently reading my way through the Dresden Files novels as a background to playing the game. (Related: Should I read the Dresden Files fiction before I get the RPG?). I now want to know how many of these books feed directly into the rpg core books, and would so be "spoiled" by reading the rpg books if I moved on to them too soon.

So, my question is, from which Dresden Files novels do "Your World" and "Our Story" pull materials?

What I've found out so far:

  1. The Wikipedia article on the Dresden Files rpg does address this question, but what it says is confusing to me:

    Evil Hat brought in Genevieve Cogman to do the research on the six Dresden Files that had been written by that time in 2004, as well as the ten more that were written by the time Evil Hat decided to put a cap on what the game would cover several years later.

    I find this confusing, as to date (June 2015) only 15 Dresden Files novels have been released, so there were not 16 novels in 2010 when dfrpg was published.

  2. The Wikipedia article also makes reference to the book "Designers & Dragons", but I have searched that book for all references to Dresden Files, and not found an answer to my question.

  3. Someone with a similar problem to me posted a question on the rpg net forums but I find the answers there unsatisfactory, as they refer to "the books" in an undifferentiated way.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Not really an answer, but for what it’s worth, I read Your Story prior to reading any of the Dresden Files, and it prompted me to read the books. I’m now a pretty big fan, and I am generally extremely spoiler-phobic; Your Story didn’t ruin the books for me. It has spoilers, no doubt there, but none of them unduly ruined my enjoyment of the books. I cannot speak to Our World, unfortunately, nor can I pinpoint which books were spoiled by Your Story. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 19, 2015 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Short answer: the first two sourcebooks (Your Story and Our World) reference events and characters up through Small Favor, and there's sprinkles of foreshadowing and hints for several things that happen later. The most-recently released third book (The Paranet Papers) covers up through Changes.

Longer answer: The RPG books are written as though Dresden, Bob, and Billy had gotten together and created a reference manual for dealing with the supernatural in their own world, under the cover of an RPG game so that the information would have a chance at spreading out before the actual monsters caught on and held book burnings (inspired by another book that pulled a similar trick, nearly wiping out a race in the process). So a play-by-play plotline of any of the Dresden books is not going to be in your face at any time.

What does show up often enough is monsters and characters, and occasionally a magical concept, that you wouldn't know anything about in the books going in, and there can be enough information there to spoil what might be a surprise on a first read. The monsters included run up to Small Favor as described above, and I won't mention which ones for obvious reasons, but there is no mention of one of the major antagonists in Turn Coat that I can find (which is a new type of foe and makes quite the impression), so I'm confident that's the cutoff. References to actual events is typically limited to the many many in-character comments and editing notes as the heroes figure out what to include and what not to, so they are there, but usually lack context (but are typically either hilarious or highly enjoyable when you have it). The RPG covers a lot, so unless you're memorizing the whole of it you may not recognize a serious bit of info without the context of the plot.

There is some canon wiggle-room as Dresden shares things with Billy in this writing he probably never would in-character (in fact, makes a point of telling him to remove a few entries), but since the RPG is quite faithful to the books it hardly matters if you see something you didn't want to yet.


According to the RPG's website archives, the RPG was released in late June/early July 2010. They probably finalized the text no later than late 2009/early 2010, before Changes was published in April 2010. This means that, assuming the RPG people didn't see Changes before the rest of the public, the absolute latest novel the RPG could spoil is Turn Coat.

My own (somewhat faulty) recollection is that the RPG covers either up through Proven Guilty or Turn Coat (books 8 and 11, respectively). I remember thinking that a lot of things changed or got revealed in the Dresdenverse in the novels that came out after the RPG. The blurb on Jim Butcher's website announcing the RPG notes that it had been "four years in the making", and Proven Guilty came out in the spring of 2006. If they kept the RPG timeline anchored around roughly the timeline of the books when they started working on it, and maybe added the next book or two, that would be in line with my memory of the RPG covering up through Proven Guilty or Turn Coat.


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