View Full Version : What Books should I get to Improve my Homebrewing and Game-Mastering?

2016-11-10, 05:58 PM
I am trying to put together my Christmas list for my friends and relations to buy me stuff off of.

This is relevant because I usually ask for RPG books.

What do you all think would be most useful to me as starting points to build on for my homebrew, and to have so I can more easily reference it for people wishing to play in my campaigns?

My tendencies as far as a homebrewer: I tend to build weird monsters with histories of how they came into existence and their role in the world as most of their fluff. I also do spells, magic items, and PrCs (starting ideas are usually from crunch, with any fluff flowing out of that). For further details click the link to my extended signature in my normal signature. I've never done much with Pathfinder, but perhaps I should (suggestions for what of the large body of free stuff on Paizo's site I should start with would be appreciated, in addition to Pathfinder splat books I should buy).

My tendencies as far as a Gamemaster: I tend towards games where the players have to use their brains to figure out what is actually going on so they can solve the problem at the core of an adventure, and also to succeed in combat. I try to make "Kick in the Door" style play something that is suicidal.

SRD including the PHB, MM, and DMG (all three of which I also own physical copies of).
Complete Arcane
Complete Champion
Complete Divine
Complete Scoundrel
Complete Warrior
The Deep (3rd-party book)
Dreadmire (3rd-party book... very nice, but some glaring editing problems... setting book for a specific "cursed" swamp.)
Eberron Campaign Setting
Heroes of Horror
Pathfinder Core Rulebook (...which reminds me, their site has a LOT of stuff on it...)
Races of Eberron
Savage Species (May be a misprinted copy or even badly pirated copy...)
Song and Silence (Rogue & Bard book from 3.0)
Spell Compendium
Tome and Blood (Wizard & Sorcerer book from 3.0)
Masters of the Wild (Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger book from 3.0)
Monster Manual II
Monster Manual V
Tome of Magic
Liber Mortis
Magic Item Compendium
Magic of Incarnum
Warlords of the Accordlands (Yeah... the one based on the CCG that started out as someone's D&D campaign...)
World's Largest City
World's Largest Dungeon

Realms of Chaos
2016-11-10, 06:52 PM
Tome of Adventure Design by Frog God Games? Pretty Hefty Thing right there. Helps to generate villains, campaigns, motivations, creatures, dungeons, etc. (several tables with over 200 items included within).

A Magical Society: Silk Road? (Digital PDF available, if nothing else). good for designing trade routes and creating realistic economies.

A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe: Looks good at at creating cities and nations as they might exist in a world with monsters & magic.

A Magical Society: Beast Builder. Really good for developing creatures (both for coming up with statistics and for realizing how a creature would realistically fit into an ecological niche.

If anyone can find it, Gary Gygax's World Builder is a decent treat.

Likewise, the AEG Toolbox is an oldie but goodie with a lot of random generators in it to help flesh things out. Pretty old and hard to find, though.

AEG Dungeons, while a bit harder to find, is interesting as the precursor to Dungeonscape. Not as useful but has some stuff for players that might be interesting. Likewise, AEG War (early Heroes of Battle) is kind of interesting.

Urban Dressing/Wilderness Dressing by Raging Swan Press are great for bringing environments in your campaigns to life with small little touches.

While I haven't invested in it yet, the KOBOLD Guide to Plots and Campaigns is pretty high rated and supposedly holds a number of essays on campaign development.

Edit: I should also mention the tons of DM journals that circulate around to hold info on everything from NPCs to locations. If organization needs work.

Hope some of that helps.

2016-11-10, 08:18 PM
I rather enjoy the whole Quintessential series by Mongoose Publishing.
Encyclopedia Arcane and Encyclopedia Divine are good series. The Ultimate series is neat, namely U. PRC, and U. Feats, though some of them are kinda doofy, so I would advise having players run parts of those books past you before using them.
Those are all 3.0 though, and to my knowledge they didn't get a 3.5 update. I think parts of quintessential series made it into some of the newer Mongoose books for Pathfinder though.

Ooo, Hyperconscious Explorations in Psionics by Malhavoc Press, is really good I think, and it updates the 2.0/3.0 psychic combat system into 3.5 and its also a 7th level Adventure-sourcebook, though its for Sword and Sorcery, the top of the copy I have has a banner that says "d20 system, Compatable with v3.5 rules".

2016-11-10, 09:30 PM
Kobold Press's "Deep Magic" is excellent. Full of all sorts of fun magic. Rune magic, vril magic, and a lot of potential alternative rules. It is my favorite third party Pathfinder book (actually my favorite 3.PF third party book). It does have a handful of spells with slight balance issues but is generally great.

2016-11-10, 11:39 PM
Thank you all very much, keep them coming people!

One tiny matter if I might get a bit "greedy":
For bonus points, please specify not only why you recommend a book in general, but also if you see it as being more applicable to homebrewing or GMing. :smallcool:

That is just an optional thing. I don't want it to keep anyone from suggesting.