I’ve long said that my main reason for not ‘upgrading’ to the latest version of a system as soon as it is published is money. I horde my old books and still use them for running games. It’s not just that I like them but it’s because I have them as well. So with that in mind I was wondering what everyone’s favourite books were. The kind you bought to either add something new to a game or a new campaign setting and just can’t put down.
As a group we never owned AD&D 1e as we’d been playing Rolemaster beforehand so we hit 2e just as it was new to the shelves. The problem with that though is that as a young kid our pocket money only went so far and so we were forced to improvise. In a pre-edwardian shopping gallery called the Virginia Galleries off one of the major shopping streets in Glasgow there was a gaming store that did a vast amount of second hand books. With everyone changing over to 2e there were literally thousands of 1e books available for pennies. I think we picked up Dragonlance Adventures for something like £1.50. Now obviously we were using 2e so things had to be fudged and this was probably around the time we first started creating our own house rules to match the setting with the 2e game books. If you look in the margins of my copy you can just about make out the house rules in pencil from 18 years ago.
I was amazed that within it’s 128 pages there was everything you needed to get started on playing in the setting. My amazement was probably misplaced but I think it stemmed from all the new settings coming in boxed sets with multiple booklets, handouts and maps. The tone of the setting fitted exactly with the novels that had been released for obvious reasons and the novels themselves were written in such a way that it felt like every gaming session we ran. The characters all returning home and meeting up in the tavern to start a new adventure. In fact I seem to recall somewhere saying that the first few books were really just cleaned up transcripts from the initial games they ran.
So as I asked earlier. What source book do you keep going back to for inspiration or to actually play in this day and age of old and new school gaming?