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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Need help filling an ancient library!

    Hey, all you creative types and aspiring writers!

    In an upcoming section of my D&D campaign, my players will be going to a demiplane that is basically a self-contained treasure vault. In addition to actual treasures, there is going to be a substantial library. Although no one has been to it in thousands of years, let's say that the books and whatnot are magically preserved.

    So, I need suggestions for some interesting books! I KNOW my players will want to poke around in there and I want to have something cool and/or interesting, but I don't have time before the game next weekend.

    If anyone would like to take up this challenge, I'll need book titles and maybe a sentence or two describing what each book is about. Subjects can range from the magical to the historical; stories, legends, monster lore, adventurer's diaries, religious texts, bad poetry, forbidden knowledge, dark rituals, infernal legal documents, whatever.

    Thanks!
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Here are some ideas:

    Naked Came the Ranger: When Gillian finds out that her husband is having an affair, she decides to cheat on him with a variety of men from their neighborhood.

    Gone with the Rend: The novel depicts the experiences of The Scarlett Horror, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to come out of the poverty that she finds herself in after learning the ways of the Barbarian.

    Furious George:George is on a city-wide killing spree when he comes across Chef Pisghetti's kitchen. Once inside George discovers some pasta the chef was cooking and had placed in a pot. He notices that it had been crisp but is now all floppy. He didn't like this. Not. One. Bit.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Hmm this looks fun. I can definitely think of a few things.

    The Nature of Unbeing; Rather large book which appears to be the philosophical musings of a particularly ancient lich. A lot of questions on what being undead is, how it affects existence, and what this particular lich's exiestence therefore means. His conclusion is rather nefarious.

    Mystical Musings; The account of a gnome wizard who was trying to connect to a different plane. At the end of the book it becomes obvious that the gnome was connecting to a demon, and slowly went mad as the demon possessed him.

    Navigating the Pit; A book made of the skin of a demon. It tells of a breed of dark magic that is used to summon, and control, demons. The text itself seems written in blood.

    The Finest Vacation Spots of the Southern Rim; A travel book obviously written about a far-off plane, and where to travel. Details denizens, cuisines, and activities for what seems to be an absolutely marvelous vacation spot. Something seems odd, though.

    A Journey Most Grim; the first person journal of a Horizen Walker who traveled to a plane called the 'Southern Rim'. He heard about the plane from another book, and was intrigued. The plane is controlled by an ancient Aboleth looking for fresh victims, and he barely escaped with his mind, or life.

    To Brew the Old Way; a book on different brews that a family of dwarves has perfected over the years.

    To Trick the Wit; the book of a Bard by the name of 'Wit', and the different riddles and traps that he found over the course of his adventures. Mostly riddles, with encrypted answers.

    (Illegible name); Another book by a lich. Though this one appears to be a lich's notes as he attempts to create a dark ritual.

    Smoke and Mirrors; a book for a beginning mage. It details basic cantrips and how to cast beginning incantations.

    A Game of Thrones; a book about a fictional world and setting called Westeros. This one introduces one to the setting, and the Stark family. (everyone enjoys a good reference like this. Can really be any book your group likes, though :D)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calanon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    The comedic tale of Verdantine: "This is a story all about how my life got flip turned upside down I'd like to take a minute just sit right there I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Strovencait~" This story may seem like an ordinary childrens comedy book but unbeknownst to the commoner this book sows the seeds of darkness and evil in youth. with a Spellcraft check of 30 an evil aligned Wizard can learn the secrets to creating a Lichs Phylactery and 1d8 spells between 1st and 5th lvl. Any child reading from this book upon coming of age suddenly grows an addiction for Arcane Knowledge learning more and more and becoming power hungry. upon qualifying for Lichdom the books pages begin to appear in the now Evil Wizards spellbook replacing blank pages. This book was penned by a Lich named "Loex Doraanar".

    Embalming Tale: "My First encounter with Undeath" : This book tells the tale of a famous Necromancy whom created Flesh Golems on his eternal quest to procure the perfect bride. Each Golem he created was imperfect and flawed until one day he made the perfect Golem; He soon married this Golem and loved her dearly. His failed creations saws this and grew angry and violent and in the night slaughtered his Wife, taking her skin and eatting it. The next day when he awoke to see his wife he saw only a bloodied mess in her place wandering around his mansion he saw his wife... all of them and when he uttered the words "I love you" they all charged at him screaming "You cheating pig!". This book contains the knowledge for making Flesh Golems and functions as a Flesh Golem Manual. The Author of this book is thought to be the very man mentioned in this book however when interviewed the man wore only a mask so this can only be speculation at best.

    The Burial of our Kin: This is the tale of a Noble family of Necromancers. upon hearing of the death of there soon to be family leader request the help of his adventuring party to put his soul to rest. During the Arrival of this group they notice many strange things going on around the mansion from ghost haunting the halls to undead wandering the grounds at night, the family tells them its nothing to worry about and the group puts it behind them. On the day of the burial they realize there purpose for being there and discover that they are to be sacrifices for the return of this nobleman, not to Life but to a state of Undeath. Yes, the family intends to bring the Nobleman back as a Lich. Realizing this the party must find a way to escape from the castle before the ritual is to begin. This book once opened sucks the reader into the book... literally. they Reader must than play the role of one of the party members and escape before the ritual is complete should the Reader fail in this endeavor the readers soul is trapped in the book as the trap the soul spell until someone can free them by completing the quest. The author of this book is Unknown, however perhaps this is for the best...

    thats all i got for now...
    Last edited by Calanon; 2011-10-10 at 04:46 AM.
    Cult of the Playground est. 2011

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    Cult of the Playground Highly endorses the ideals of the Tippyverse, World Optimization and "Paradise". its Clerics are encouraged to Optimize everything that they set there sights on. Perfection is our goal.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    "101 ways to preserve books through the ages"

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    The Fall of Silver Halls: the account of the siege of Silver Halls, an old fortress in a far world, with detailed descriptions of magical and mundane siege tactics and options.

    The Farming of Death Roses: the research book of a nameless herbalist on the farming of Death Roses, a deadly semi-sentient plant.

    On the Seven: the weird theory on the importance of the number seven in the long forgotten culture of the Drocca's Empire

    Steel & Coal: a blacksmith workbook for novices, with basic knowledge on smithing and forge maintenance.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calanon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Quote Originally Posted by B!shop View Post
    On the Seven: the weird theory on the importance of the number seven in the long forgotten culture of the Drocca's Empire
    If you don't mind me asking what the Drocca's Empire is/was Idk why but for some reason I can see some players being deeply enthralled by this game.

    Note: If you just made it up on the spot I'll just borrow that book from the library write in it as I go along
    Cult of the Playground est. 2011

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    Cult of the Playground Highly endorses the ideals of the Tippyverse, World Optimization and "Paradise". its Clerics are encouraged to Optimize everything that they set there sights on. Perfection is our goal.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    If you don't mind me asking what the Drocca's Empire is/was Idk why but for some reason I can see some players being deeply enthralled by this game.

    Note: If you just made it up on the spot I'll just borrow that book from the library write in it as I go along
    Feel free to use whatever you want!

    The Drocca's Empire was a nation in an old campaign I DM'ed.

    It was an arabian-like emirate focused on astrology and numerology that fell under my player's armies.
    Droccans were obsessed by numbers, and the number seven was the most important of all. They had seven provincies, seven castes, a pantheon of seven deities and other similar thing I don't remember right now.
    If you want I can look for my notes on that caimpaign for you :)

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calanon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Quote Originally Posted by B!shop View Post
    Feel free to use whatever you want!

    The Drocca's Empire was a nation in an old campaign I DM'ed.

    It was an arabian-like emirate focused on astrology and numerology that fell under my player's armies.
    Droccans were obsessed by numbers, and the number seven was the most important of all. They had seven provincies, seven castes, a pantheon of seven deities and other similar thing I don't remember right now.
    If you want I can look for my notes on that caimpaign for you :)
    I would be eternally grateful if you did. would you mind PM'ing me it?
    Cult of the Playground est. 2011

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    Cult of the Playground Highly endorses the ideals of the Tippyverse, World Optimization and "Paradise". its Clerics are encouraged to Optimize everything that they set there sights on. Perfection is our goal.
    to join simply copy this.

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    Killing a God, By Tippy
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    I would be eternally grateful if you did. would you mind PM'ing me it?
    This sounds mightily intriguing... could I get in on that deal as well (approximate amount of extra work: 5 seconds )
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    "The book of nimble fingers"
    A green book, though the pages seem to be covered with brown specks. Once you open it and go through the pages, the book closes itself forcefully, thereby crushing the fingers.
    If you can avoid this, your fingers are really nimble.
    What can change the nature of a man?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Encyclopedia Reptilica: a book on the culture of several lizarman tribes.

    By the king's sword: an overall military guidebook (from drafting to on-field tactics) as told by King Kanron, the conqueror.

    Tales from the Walker: strange, interesting stories by a human wanderer from all over his continent, written in novelesque style. (i.e. fun too read but not entirely true and accurate)

    You can find several books that might fit in the vault in Neverwinter Nights 1 (everywhere througout the game), all with a title and a page long summary.
    Even if you don't have the game, I'm sure you can find these on a wiki or bioware forum.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Here's a little program to generate random bookshelves; allows to generate per subject or per author libraries.
    Last edited by Cicciograna; 2011-10-10 at 07:44 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    The Dragons Picnic: Volume 4 The continuing misadventures of our favourite Red Dragons as they strive to create the perfect picnic

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talya's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Tan-Lo Nidda's Guide to Basic Wizardry.

    (in it, include the modified text of another TLN's guide to being a certain billionaire vigilante.)
    Last edited by Talya; 2011-10-10 at 06:49 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    boomwolf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Old School joke will be "Sealed fate", a book that is halfway written, about the adventures of the party itself.

    Other options

    "The impossible truth" a book about the meaning of life, with dire conclusions that life is nothing more then a game for higher being beyond our understanding.

    "The bright side of the dark arts" a book describing all the "good" uses of necromancery, and recommending it to be used in every household.

    "The keyless locket" a romance story about two elves who are deeply in love, yet never meet directly. end of the story reveals that it is actually a single doppelganger with split personality...

    "Truth and dare" a magical book that answers every question written into it, but often subtracts critical information thus leading to confusion and mistakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cormag81 View Post
    2117: No matter how good a debater I am out of character there is no way to logically get out of falling after your paladin kills his patron god.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calmar's Avatar

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    The Necrology of Aristides a fundamental work on study of the living dead. This huge book is a collection of the scholar Aristides' writings concerning all types of walking corpses, such as the barrow wight commonly found in the North, or the ghoul of the desert, as well as the study of insubstantial spirits such as the unseely wraith or the restless ghost.

    The Saga of Sjorl Strongarm Gunnirsson, Conqueror of Skr - An epic poem from the Northern lands, depicting, not surprisingly, the adventures of Sjorl Strongarm Gunnirsson, slayer of the goblin warlord Oldsh the Filthy, thief of the two golden rings of the dwarven king Gnurri the Cunning and Conqueror of the realm of Skr, hitherto ruled by his own brother Ragnar the Ursurper.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Chronomancis Variata - a heavy, black, leatherbound book with a lot of silver and bronze circles embellishing its cover. Seems to be an arcane study on the theoretical arcane energies required to perform shifts through time. However, for anyone accustomed to moving only in three dimensions and only in one direction on the fourth dimension, it seems a confusing array of changes in tense - past, present, and future versions of words are often used in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence - and whilst it's written longhand by Altides Badarin, the longhand is written in different forms of cursive. As if the author had randomly added pieces to its paragraphs at far-divided moments in his life.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    I would be eternally grateful if you did. would you mind PM'ing me it?
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingScanian View Post
    This sounds mightily intriguing... could I get in on that deal as well (approximate amount of extra work: 5 seconds )
    I'll do even better: I'll put all the info on this thread for you and everyone interested :)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    You could always borrow some of the somewhat famous books from D&D (not sure which system you're playing, but going to go with 3.5 as an example.)

    Libris Mortis: This rather large, leather-bound tome seems to contains everything you could possibly want to know about necromancy.

    Draconomicon: Contains details on the various dragon-kinds0, some you've never even heard of and their society.

    The complete books: This book seems to be full of useful advice for a <insert class here>

    the Monster Manual: This scratched, scorched and somewhat smelly book makes you wonder if the author ever regretted tracking down the Tarrasque...


    And so on, sorry for the not so good descriptions, but I'm in a rush. And I'd obviously settle with possibly one or two like this, but references can be fun. :)

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Sorcerer Blob's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    How to Sell Your Soul for Fun and Power in Five Easy Steps by Gilderoy Demonpact, Warlock, Esq.

    I think the title is pretty self-explanatory for this primer on how to be a Warlock. I actually use this book as a running in-game joke (for myself, not sure my players pick up on it every time...) I'd love to have a player who uses said book though, the idea of it being sold in local bookstores in the self-help section just is too funny to ignore.
    Last edited by Sorcerer Blob; 2011-10-10 at 08:22 AM.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Theory Of Arcana 3rd edition
    A leatherbound tome published by the Kharatrope's University Arcana's reasearch division detailing the latest theories about the source and applications of arcana. It makes extreemly dry reading.

    The Book Of Good News
    A black leather tome which details the history of a currently well known religion.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kurgan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Well...if you don't mind ponies too much, over at the pony thread we made a dating guide chock full of terrible advice. Here it is, just click the second link labeled "bonus material".
    Happy Trixie Appreciation Day!



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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Banned
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    Carving Rocks: Or How I met your mother.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Poorly Written Fanfiction based on characters from a mythology that has since been long forgotten.

    Volumes upon Volumes of it.

    Other Books
    The Draconic Debates: A series of incredibly long satirical novels written by a pair of feuding Dragons over the course of centuries. Each Dragon would write novels mocking the other.

    They're Apparently Hilarious if you're a 500 year old dragon. The humor tends to be lost on everybody else.

    The Mischevious Spellbook:
    Designed by an Archmage as a test for his apprentices, this spellbook seems to contain genuine magical formula for a series of incredibly powerful spells, like a 1st level Fireball spell that can be shaped to the whim of the caster. However, upon close examination, every spell in the book contains some fundamental flaw rendering it useless.

    My Time As a Dragonslayer: The Autobiography of noted Dragonslayer Olaf Skenaldson. Olaf apparently didn't feel his life was epic enough for him, so it's about 30% Truth, 20% Exaggeration, and 50% outright Fiction.
    Last edited by BRC; 2011-10-10 at 09:32 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    On Comparing the Respective Cults of Kord and Tempus: A rather dry and large tome written by a planeswalking cleric of Annam, doing exactly what the title of the book says: comparing and contrasting Kord and Tempus and the dogma of both religions.

    Romance of the Alexandran Academy: Recalls the love between a prospective Paladin and a woman from the nearby town, as well as his romantic rival, who turned into a death knight after being scorned. Written as historical fiction.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    "Stay Away"
    The biography of Berd "Stay Away" Riggins, a halfling bard. He had some sort of strange ability to keep everyone at a distance. When someone tried to get close to him, he would get mind-zapped and started walking the other way.

    "The Book Of Books"
    A magical book that is in fact a catalog of all the other books in the library. When a new book enters the library it is inscribed on this book. However, TBOB includes even books that are present in the library, and not a part of it.
    So imagine the PCs finding the name of a powerful book on necromancy written in TBOB. Naturally they will seek it out. But the book will not be in the library, it will be in the possession of a powerful necromancer who just happened to be in the library at the same time.

    "How to create your own artifact: Part 1"

    This books describes the details and ingredients required to perform a powerful ritual to create an artifact (sentient item). On the last page it says that the actual ritual is on Part 2. What the players won't know is that all copies of Part 2 are destroyed.
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    Neutral Good Human Druid/Sorcerer (1st/1st Level)

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    In D&D 4e I am a Chaotic Good Eladrin Bladesinger. Yep, simple as that. No test, at all. I just am.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

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    "Caves and Cavemen." A description and ruleset for a collaborative storytelling game, wherein the participants imagine what it would be like to live in ancient times. Includes an appendix of corrections, and a compendium of treatises arguing whether or not dinosaurs should be included along with saber-tooth tigers, as well as the relative merits of "Warrior" versus "Shaman."

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calmar's Avatar

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    The Ecology of the Giant Chicken - This work of twelve volumes gives lengthy descriptions and instructions about the nature of giant chicken, their qualities, advantages and disadvantages as layers and mounts and the methods of breeding thereof.

    The Trebuchet in Modern Siege Warfare - A recent manual about state-of-the-art high-tech siege machinery.

    The Book of the Silent Killer -This compendium is authored by an anonymous assassin guildmaster and offers detailed accounts about various kinds of toxins and poisons for every occassion, from swift murder to gruesome revenge to hilarious (and unhealthy pranks).

    The Royal Family of Cardovan - This huge book contains the biographies of all 476 members of the royal family of Cardovan from the founding of the kingdom until the reign of Queen Caitlynn II the Bold.

    The Dialogue between Duty and Consciousness - A philosophical work from the world of Ortho about the benefits and limitations of respectable lawful behaviour.

    The Book of Amorous Affairs - "A truthful Account of the exciting and the shocking Dalliances of the Nobles and Courtiers of the Imperial Palace of Nu"- vast collection of cheesy love stories that is widely considered to be complete rubbish.
    Do you use the mechanics to play the game,
    or do you use the game to play the mechanics?


    My opinion on paladins

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Need help filling an ancient library!

    I once included a library investigation in my Exalted game. Here are the named books (all written by a necromancer):

    A Beginner's Guide to Brain Surgery: How Not to Use a Pickaxe - Despite the title, this book is definitely not for beginners, containing methods for altering personality and erasing memory, up to the combination of two separate minds into one. On the other hand, it's a useful read to anyone who wants to learn the quickest way to brain a humanoid foe with a pickaxe.

    Pressure Points and You - While this starts out being a self-help guide to traditional Chinese-equivalent-culture medicine, it somehow (d)evolves into a manual for hokuto shinken. In Exalted, it counted as a teacher for learning Dark Messiah Style; in 3.5, I'd say it'd let a wizard scribe an arcane spell variant of the Stygian Touch power.

    Better Living through Demonology - This book details a theory on how to trap demon inside handheld, wafer-thin plates, about the size of a playing card. Due to the ease with which this would allow the transport of demons, even simply putting the card in one's pocket, the author coined the term pocket demon, or pokemon for short.

    Facial Reconstruction: A Practical Guide - A guide to plastic surgery and dentistry.

    A Beacon of Hope: A Deconstruction of Death Essence - A book specific to the Exalted setting: "The book, much like the one Rita recovered before it, seems to be a basic breakdown on the theory of how Essence Flows can be redirected and puts forth that Death Essence is simply regular Essence forced in upon itself. Potentially if one were to apply enough force to it, it could rebound into regular Essence again. He notes that despite his control over Terrestrial Circle Sorcery and Shadowlands Circle Necromancy, he has been unsuccessful in converting a single mote. In the trailing pages are diagrams for what seems to be a gravitational generator."

    First Age Repair Basics - Artifact repair

    Magitech for Everyone - At first glance, an item creation guide, but anyone with experience in the field would notice there are several glaring errors.

    1,001 Recipies for Chiaroscuran Delights - An award-winning cookbook, though any chef using it must be careful not to upset whomever s/he's feeding, as the food has an unusual tendency to coalesce in the form of demons or long-dead relatives. Someone familiar with the mechanical or magical arts will notice that something's not quite right about the recipies, and when used in tandem with Magitech for Everyone, it reveals the coming Reclamation (a major plot point in Exalted) and also the existence of a secret bunker under the manor where the library is located.

    Transhuman?: Cybernetics for the Current Age - In Exalted, an essay on the possible integration of Alchemical Charms into other Exalt types; in D&D, warforged grafts.

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