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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    I've been looking to expand my library, but it's tough to know what would be the best choices for my rather limited budget. Obviously "best" is subjective, so let me outline what I'm looking for. And of course you can always just talk about what you like and why, maybe I'll get some ideas I didn't have before. :) I'm mostly thinking of 3.5 DnD, D20 Star Wars, WFRP, and Dark Heresy here.

    I am most interested in skilled/rogue-like characters (or improving those type of characters) and non- or less- Vancian casting systems.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hirax's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Complete Scoundrel, for luck feats and skill tricks
    Races of Stone, for feats, some races (check out the whisper gnome), and some misc. equipment.
    Oh, and the Magic Item Compendium. You'll find lots of useful things in there.
    Last edited by Hirax; 2010-09-02 at 03:06 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    I love Magic of Incarnum, just because I find the mechanics fun. Plus, Totemist is so cool.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly View Post
    I've been looking to expand my library, but it's tough to know what would be the best choices for my rather limited budget. Obviously "best" is subjective, so let me outline what I'm looking for. And of course you can always just talk about what you like and why, maybe I'll get some ideas I didn't have before. :) I'm mostly thinking of 3.5 DnD, D20 Star Wars, WFRP, and Dark Heresy here.

    I am most interested in skilled/rogue-like characters (or improving those type of characters) and non- or less- Vancian casting systems.
    For non-vancian casting I'd recommend Tome of Magic. However, only 2/3rds of it are really worth it. This book presents three new magic systems, pact magic, shadow magic and truenaming. Pact magic is very well-done with the fluff and mechanics interacting very well. The shadowcaster is a bit weak and the flavor and mechanics don't quite match up. The third section is the truenamer. And despite absolutely wonderful flavor, the mechanics are completely borked. At most levels, truenaming is much too weak, and this continues until 20th level where you then get what amounts to Gate-at-will. But pact magic is so well done that book is almost worth it just for that. And the shadow magic is ok. So I'd recommend this book as the best 3.5 non-Vancian systems out there.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Complete Mage, Arcane, and Scoundrel are books I use over and over and over again. Spell Compendium and Magic Item Compendium are also used a fair bit, but those are more expensive.

    Dark Heresy is an excellent choice as well, if you're looking to branch out into non D&D systems. The setting is awesome.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

    "World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimization."

    New: Tyndmyr has a game shop!

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Random NPC's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Inb4TomeOfBattle

    great melee splatbook filled with goodies for everyone! Swordsages are nice skill monkeys
    Image by Rich Burlew

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    I consistently find myself returning to Monster Manual V, Player's Handbook II, Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, Magic of Incarnum, Unearthed Arcana, and Complete Scoundrel.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Oddly enough, Im not a big fan of MMV. It's the most expensive currently of the MM line(and more expensive than most other 3.5 material as well).

    Plus, there's only so many monster themes, yknow? If it wasn't printed in 1-4, odds are pretty good it wasn't a great concept to begin with. A lot are very similar in theme to earlier stuff. Im not saying it's worthless, but probably not a great splatbook buy.

    I must agree with UA and ToB, though. Both very unique, and add many options.
    Last edited by Tyndmyr; 2010-09-02 at 03:25 PM.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

    "World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimization."

    New: Tyndmyr has a game shop!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keld Denar's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium, and Tome of Battle. Between these three books and Core, you are boosting nearly everything up.

    I'm also partial to Magic of Incarnum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
    _________________________________
    A beholder’s favorite foods include small live mammals, exotic mushrooms and other fungi, gnomes, beef, pork, colorful leafy vegetables, leaves, flower petals, insects, and birds.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Oddly enough, Im not a big fan of MMV. It's the most expensive currently of the MM line(and more expensive than most other 3.5 material as well).

    Plus, there's only so many monster themes, yknow? If it wasn't printed in 1-4, odds are pretty good it wasn't a great concept to begin with. A lot are very similar in theme to earlier stuff. Im not saying it's worthless, but probably not a great splatbook buy.

    I must agree with UA and ToB, though. Both very unique, and add many options.
    MM-V does things with monsters no other MM did, and the monsters in it are interesting, thematic, and very well-designed (with the exception of the shaedling).

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Expanded Psionics handbook.

    Magic of Incarnum.

    PHB II.

    Though I guess it would really be a death match between XPH & PHB II.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Tome of Battle, Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    It doesn't so much as demean the celestial monkey's existence, so much as fulfill it. Without the ability to be summoned to set off traps, retrieve objects from dangerous situations, and all and all be a party's guinea pig, the Celestial Monkey would languish in obscurity in the MM and do nothing more legendary than eat celestial bananas.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    RotD, DrM, DroE, and the Droconimicon. Guess why.
    Avatar by Crimmy

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Darklord Xavez's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Splatbook? Huh?
    -Xavez
    My name is pronounced "ZAH-vez"
    Avatar by Dashwood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    But you can't ride in a pack saddle unless you're an object. So better switch to Female.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Tome of Magic, Tome of Battle, UnEarthed Arcana, Complete Arcane, Magic Item Compendium, Spell Compendium.
    “Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us, come because we actually deserve them? So now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe”- Marcus Cole

    This has become my philosophy!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    MoI and ToB, for their awesome subsystems.

    Magic Compendium, for many great revisions* and cool new booty.

    *Though there are a few not-so-cool (looking at you, Parrying).

    For skillmonkey lovers, Dungeonscape has the Factotum, as well as a handful of fun ACFs (Trapkiller, Dungeon Crasher…).

    [Edit]: Sharn, the City of Towers is also cool despite the crunch being mostly supbar.
    Last edited by Greenish; 2010-09-02 at 04:48 PM.
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    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    The 2E Tome of Magic is a favorite of mine.

    But in terms of what you could actually use, how about PHB2?
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Darklord Xavez's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    So a splatbook is...
    -Xavez
    My name is pronounced "ZAH-vez"
    Avatar by Dashwood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    But you can't ride in a pack saddle unless you're an object. So better switch to Female.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darklord Xavez View Post
    So a splatbook is...
    ...an add-on book. The term originally derived from old book listings that marked non-core material with an asterisk (*) which looks sort of like a splat on the page in certain fonts.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Darklord Xavez's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    ...an add-on book. The term originally derived from old book listings that marked non-core material with an asterisk (*) which looks sort of like a splat on the page in certain fonts.
    Thank you. I am distressed that I had to ask twice.
    -Xavez
    My name is pronounced "ZAH-vez"
    Avatar by Dashwood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    But you can't ride in a pack saddle unless you're an object. So better switch to Female.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darklord Xavez View Post
    I am distressed that I had to ask twice.
    I am surprised you did not just Google it or go to Wikipedia.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Let's see...

    Favourite Rules: Tome of Battle (3.5). Tome of Battle is a close second.

    Favourite Fluff:
    In the Cage: Faces of Sigil (AD&D). Planes of Chaos is great as well. For 3.5, I like the monster books, like Lords of Madness or the Draconomicon.

    Interestingly, I don't like Complete Scoundrel very much. Most Skill Tricks are, in my opinion, things every character should be able to (try to) do without investing points in it.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-09-02 at 05:11 PM.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Darklord Xavez's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    I am surprised you did not just Google it or go to Wikipedia.
    Because not everything is on either site.
    -Xavez
    My name is pronounced "ZAH-vez"
    Avatar by Dashwood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    But you can't ride in a pack saddle unless you're an object. So better switch to Female.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darklord Xavez View Post
    Because not everything is on either site.
    -Xavez
    That's why I found out by clicking Random on TVtropes.

    That said to the OP's question:

    Favorite Fluff: Draconomicon and Races of Stone.
    Favorite Crunch: that's harder; the more I see of it the more I like Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, and even Magic of Incarnum (I don't know how it works yet). I (due to a love of dragons) also like Dragon Magic solely for the Dragonfire Adept within it.
    For Skill Monkeys: I don't know exactly. Both of the aforementioned Tomes and Magic of Incarnum have characters that can fill that role, and I guess there's Complete Scoundrel.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    The-Mage-King's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    • Tome of Battle
    • Expanded Psionic's handbook
    • Magic Item Compendium
    • Spell Compendium
    • Oriental Adventures
    • Unearthed Arcana


    If I need melee, I turn to ToB, OA, and UA.

    If I need magic, well...
    Avatar by Ceika.
    Steam account. Add me to argue about philosophy whatever!
    Advertized Homebrew: Fire Emblem 4's Holy Blood as Bloodlines
    Extended Signature.
    Using a different color of text for sarcasm is so original.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zephyros's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    If you liked Dark Heresy, and don't know how to expand on it, may be you should check out Rogue Trader and Deathwatch.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Pale Designs (Non-WotC).
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    I love Sandstorm. It actually accounts for all sorts of environmental hazards and how people and creatures can thrive in such wastelands.

    It also holds on of the most overpowered PrCs in 3.x Can't do much better than that :)

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by DementedFellow View Post
    I love Sandstorm. It actually accounts for all sorts of environmental hazards and how people and creatures can thrive in such wastelands.

    It also holds on of the most overpowered PrCs in 3.x Can't do much better than that :)
    Ooh is it the one that turns you into a dry lich?
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What are your favorite splatbooks, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Ooh is it the one that turns you into a dry lich?
    Indeed that would be it. I always wanted to play a Walker in the Waste, with the voice of Christopher Walken. Walken in the Waste.

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