Sunday, April 27, 2014

Books I'd use for RPG prep

I did Edgar Johnson's OSR Survey, having seen it linked on G+, and it had one question that really intrigued me: If you had to run a game tomorrow, what books would you use for prep?

This is the list I came up with.

  • Original D&D booklets
    • These are really for the treasure charts. I might substitute another core rulebook but I'd probably have Monsters & Treasure handy anyway.
  • Dungeon Masters Guide (Gary Gygax / TSR)
    • I usually use this for gems and jewelry - really only for referencing the values and deciding what the types are. I also reference the dungeon dressing stuff from time to time.
  • Ready Ref Sheets (Judges Guild)
    • This is for Startling Statues, Precious Pearls, the charts for determining ruin types, and the chart for determining what you find if you search.
  • Dyson's Delves (Dyson Logos)
    • If I had to run an adventure tomorrow, I'd steal one of Dyson's maps.
  • The Dungeon Alphabet (Michael Curtis / Goodman Games)
    • More charts. The charts in this are fun.
  • The Random Esoteric Creature Generator (James Raggi / Goodman Games)
    • I'd probably roll up a monster to be weird.
  • Isle of the Unknown and Dungeon of the Unknown (Geoffrey McKinney / Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
    • This is for stealing weird monsters, statues and encounter ideas. And rolling up a glop, I love those things.*
  • Swords & Wizardry Monstrosities (various / Frog God Games) or Adventures Dark & Deep Bestiary (Joseph Bloch / BRW Games)
    • This is for stealing "normal" monsters. Both of these books are pretty freakin' massive. I might grab another monster book but you can't go wrong with those two.
* Yes, I know the RPGPundit made his notorious review of Isle of the Unknown recently. Screw that. I like Geoffrey's weird monsters.

So, dear readers, what books would you use for these purposes?


  1. Raggi's book is the single greatest thing to come out of the OSR and I would be lost without it.

    I also use google images and Monster Brains to call up weird monsters as inspiration.

  2. With the caveat that most of my books are pdfs...Swords & Wizardry Complete Rules, Pars Fortuna, Monstrosities, and Tome of Horrors Complete.


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