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Recommended DnD supplement books
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TOPIC: Recommended DnD supplement books
#46887
Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
I find myself perusing ebay for yet more books for my ever growing collection. Recently my gaming interests have gone back to where I started with DnD basic (except this time using OSR sources like Swords and Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, and DCCRPG which is close enough for me).
I am looking for the coolest or most useful supplements (not rule books or campaign settings) doesn't matter if they are official TSR/WOTC or third party published. Any edition is good as I find you can pull good ideas from anywhere.
Here are some of my favorites from the various DnD editions, what are some of yours?

Original DnD: really I just mine old issues of The Dragon and Judges Guild stuff. Probably the most useful are Judges Guild Fantasy Reference Sheets. I like reading through material from this age because it is so unpolished and raw by today's standards. Really gives you a sense of where our hobby started, in the garage and basement of other gamers!

Advanced DnD: hands down my favorite supplement is the World of Greyhawk. Not a lot of info in the gazetteer booklet but I spent a lot of time just gazing at those two wonderful hex maps, imagining the possible happenings. If you don't own a copy, get one!

Second Edition: the Volo's Guides. Very useful even today for picking ideas to bring your cities and towns to life.

Third Edition: Tome and Blood by WOTC. It really inspired me to want to play an arcane caster, more than any other book ever did.

DnD 3.5: I really like Skirmisher Publishing's Experts. Great stuff there for fleshing out your NPCs. Also, they published a book called Tests of Skill that had some cool encounter ideas plus a dungeon that was mapped entirely using Dwarven Forge! To my knowledge that is still unique. Troll Lord published a line of books for building a fantasy world. Gary Gygax's The Canting Crew and Living Fantasy were books from this line.

4th Edition: I really couldn't say.

Pathfinder: Open Design's Kobold Ecologies and Paizo's Misfit Monsters Redeemed put a new spin on old monsters. Great books.
Arcarius2001
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#46888
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Ptolus!

yes, its a campaign setting in a sense, but OMG - a city has never been done better, period!
Harneloot
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#46889
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
I would be curious to know which of these books have the best caverns and dungeons to inspire our DF builds :)
jgardner44
Please produce more ice, lava, and elevation tiles
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12x cavern ks sets
6x lava river ks set
5x lava cavern ks sets
1x wicked cavern ks set
1x stalagmite cavern set
12x hellscape #1sets
10x hellscape #2sets
2x resin ice cavern sets
6x gametile ice cavern sets
4x ruins sets

Hoping for more lava and ice tiles in the future!
 
#46890
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Harneloot wrote:
Ptolus!

yes, its a campaign setting in a sense, but OMG - a city has never been done better, period!


That goes without saying! Everything about that book is awesome, amazing quality. Monte Cook's Malhavoc Press put out some other great stuff too. However I doubt that Ptolus will ever be equaled. That was a labor of love from a small independent publisher, not a giant project from a WOTC or Paizo where lots of staff have input. He posted some pics on his Ptolus blog showcasing some of the Ptolus games using Dwarven Forge. Awesome stuff!
I have some signed copies of some of Monte's work. The Books of Experimental Might, The Book of Hallowed Might. Wish I had my Ptolus signed. Maybe someday....
Arcarius2001
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#46891
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
I should have listed The Dungeon Alphabet in the original post. That may be the best book in my entire collection. Published by Goodman Games near the end of 3.5 era, it is slated for an expanded rerelease soon. It is totally system neutral and worth buying just for the old school style art! Plus it only sold for $10, you can't beat that!
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#46892
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
jgardner44 wrote:
I would be curious to know which of these books have the best caverns and dungeons to inspire our DF builds :)


TSR's Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide for 2e
WOTC's Book of Challenges
AEG's Dungeons
Legend & Lair's Dungeoncraft

All are good books on dungeon mastering and encounter building that have interesting maps and scenarios that would look great using DF!
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#46894
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Grimtooth's Traps have seen good use in my dungeons over the years...

The new Frog God Games Tome of Horrors Complete (updated for pathfinder)

Judges Guild Island, Castle & Village books.
Harneloot
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#46922
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Some of the best have been out of publication for years, but sometimes you can luck out and find them.

Arduin Grimoire Vol I-VIII, by Dave Hargrave. A high entropy campaign world full of danger and excitement from a master storyteller. Much of the information is also found in The Compleat Arduin Book One and Two, and now as Arduin Eternal.

The Black Company Capmapign Setting, by Green Ronin Publishing. Glen Cook's dark and gritty fantasy world has always been a favorite, and the campaign book includes an amazing set of rules for magic and for weapon/item quality.

The Slayers Guides by Mongoose Publishing. Each covers a different monster race, enhancing the flavor and depth of those creatures. I particularly liked The Slayers Guide to Hobgoblins, the militaristic mavens of the goblinfolk.

RuneQuest Cities has a set of random encounter tables in urban environments that can provide endless fun.

The Central Casting books from Task Force Games. Originally written and illustrated by Paul Jaquays, they provided a set of tables for character backgrounds. Central Casting - Heroes of Legend covered swords and sorcery fantasy, while Heroes of Tomorrow covered sci-fi, and Heroes Now covered modern RPGs. Central Casting - Dungeons provided a cool way to generate random dungeons.

The Primal Order was a capsystem for deities published by a tiny little company called Wizards of the Coast. Sadly, once WotC started M:tG they dropped the line as an unprofitable venture.

All the World's Monsters Vol I-III had some cool critters which could be updated to whatever edition you prefer. Examples include Kill-Kills, pale green shrew-like critters that swarm in the thousands.

Sword & Sorcery Studios trumped WotC with their Creature Collection, releasing it before the 3rd edition Monster Manual hit the shelves. You'll find some nice critters to throw at your players.

AD&D 2nd edition had a host of cool supplements that would work in any edition. Examples include the Castle Guide, The Complete Book of Necromancers, Creating Campaigning, and the Campaign Sourcebook/Catacomb Guide.

I always loved Mordheim, the skirmish level version of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The setting was in the ruined city of Mordheim, where roving bands battle it out for treasure. Adapting that to RPGs is a snap.

Similarly, Cadwallon is a cool place, based on another miniatures battle game called Confrontation. Great minis, great setting, and an interesting RPG, though you could easily run it with D&D rules of any edition.

These are just a few of my favorites.
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#46986
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Its not DND but for inspiration I've really enjoyed the 1st edition WFRP books -- rulebook, Warhammer City, campaign books, and so on.

There are different styles of gaming. I like digging in to older books, even if it might be one or two interesting things. Its kind of funny because on one hand you can get really cheap old RPG books on Amazon, but the rare in demand ones cost as much as a DF set. Generally I'll look for pdf versions of the out of print books online first, and if they are really good I'll buy a copy or two off Amazon.
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Morgoth's Revenge
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#46991
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Hail and well met fellow adventurers!
I would like to throw my 2 cents in on this subject if I may.For me when I think of dungeon design I think of that old School House Rock saying "Knowlage is Power!" So here are some fun books .


dnd books 008 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr

This book has already been mentioned for good reasons.The Maps are in the 3d style originally used in the Ravenloft module.


dnd books 002 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr

Anything Module Mr.Gygax wrote. I find most players I meet today do not know anything about DnDs rich lore and adventures of old.Taking the time to update one of these Modules is well worth the task. Seriously Who wouldnt want to play the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl using Dwarven Forge Ice Caverns?There is so much Epicness in these Modules everytime you run one we keep it alive!

dnd books 006 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
Knowing your monsters is a great way to make the adventures more real and keep the villans from just being another stat block.If your pc has been biten by a Warewolf instead of "you start to change in 6 days type of thing" Why not over those 6 days add a little flavor by discribling one of the 5 steps of transformation each day?Knowing as much as you can about the monsters for me helps make the game come alive.
dnd books 001 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
Dive in to your environments The deep is a great underwater source! What happens when you cast fireball or lightning bolt or cone of cold while the party is submerged a mile below the water?These is some great stuff here.

dnd books 003 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
The Worst of Grimtooths Traps! All those great traps updated to 3.5 and in a handy Hardcover with all that great art!

dnd books 009 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
How to be a Villain. by Neil Zawaci.This is not a rpg book but it hysterically tells you all the ins and outs of how to be a villain and how to defeat all those do-gooders.Check it out and work on your Evil Laugh today!

dnd books 007 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
Riddle Rooms!If you want fun riddle rooms for a change of pace here are some decent encounters.

001 by VladdTaltos, on Flickr
Nothing Inspires adventure ideas better than a good book! My advice is NEVER Judge a Book by its MOVIE! With that I hope this helps and thanks you for looking.
VladTaltos
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Room setX2,R&P set,DoEWA,WA,WA2,WA3,Ruin set,NarrowPassage set,Cavern rm x2, Cavern Lake,Cavern river X2,Cavern Passages,DDoERoomX2,MBX2,MBE,ORS,open water,WoodlandX2,ABS, CatacombsX2,Fantasy flr, Cavernous lake exp,Cavernous Chasm X2,DoeHS X2,HS expX2, Ice cavernX3.Accessories and individual pieces
 
#47015
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Kradlo, thanks for the tip on the Central Casting books. I had never heard of them before and seeing they were originated by Paul Jacquays really caught my interest! A quick ebay search shows them priced at $75 and up, so they're not cheap but sometimes the hunt is half the fun. I have many of the other books on your list. Maybe I should get the last three Arduin books, just to round out the collection. Plus, Arduin rocks!

Vlad Taltos, who publishes the Riddle Rooms book?
Arcarius2001
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#47016
Re:Recommended DnD supplement books 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Harneloot wrote:
Grimtooth's Traps have seen good use in my dungeons over the years...

The new Frog God Games Tome of Horrors Complete (updated for pathfinder)

Judges Guild Island, Castle & Village books.


Grimtooth is one sadistic troll...some of those traps can TPK!! TOH Complete is great, wish I had bought the limited Swords and Wizardry version as well. You backed the Rappan Athuk Kickstarter, yes?

I have not seen the Island book of the Judges Guild series. I'll havevto keep a look out for that one.
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