Resource Review: Books and Libraries (RPGPapercrafts): 5 Stars
“Let me commend you on your first step into the magical world of books and libraries from Faerûn and beyond! My scholars and I have compiled this tome to record and categorize our knowledge of books and libraries. No small task I must say, for the lore of the Forgotten Realms is enigmatic, expansive, and still shrouded in mystery and wonder.”
“What books do I find?” I’ve always hated that question when my players search a library–a relatively common occurrence in a High Fantasy setting. “It’s a library–there’s literally every type of book. What book don’t you find?” I always think (but don’t say). I’ve always fallen back on “what do you want to find?” (a dangerous question to ask any player). Now, with Books and Libraries, I no longer have to be scared for my players to encounter a library. This product is a nearly perfect resource that not only provides tools for relatively quick generation of a library, but introduces several types of new and interesting books to both help and challenges your players.
Options. Books and Libraries presents a delightful amount of options for generating over a dozen different types of books, as well as their “state”, cover, language and script. This can all be done with tables or by choosing what fits best in your campaign. The options range from beneficial (skill guides), to the mundane (compendiums), to the sinister or dangerous (mimics). The versatility of all these books, as well as the combinations for covers, state, and language, means that you will have more combinations of books that you will ever need, especially if you’re creative and come up some specific variations by yourself.
Ease of Use. Books and Libraries is incredibly easy to use. The tables, placed all throughout the book, allow for quick generation of content if you don’t already know what you want. The book is laid out in easy to use sections that provide pre-made content as examples you can insert. The layout is beautiful and the art brings to life the content so the DM can easily explain what is going on. The author has accounted for nearly every situation and gives the DM every tool they need to painlessly use this in any session.
Content. The different types of books within this product are brilliant. Fun for the the DM and the players, they provide amazing opportunities for roleplay and new mechanics, and give the DM the tools to directly customize situations to the party. My favorite are subliminal books, basically ones that hypnotize you to a trigger condition. When the trigger condition (sunlight, wooden doors, gold coins, etc.) occurs, you perform the hypnotized action (usually various irresistible roleplaying urges). While some of these effects of minor to moderate mechanical effects, they mostly make for hilarious and engaging roleplay opportunities.
What Didn’t Work
Power. The author makes no secret that the things in this product can break the game if you’re not careful. It’s true, this supplement is filled with powerful, potentially game changing books. A DM or players that aren’t careful could use this product to detrimental effect. This doesn’t necessarily detract from the quality of the product, but the Dungeon Master must be continually aware of the choices they’re making when using these books.
Books and Libraries is an expertly produced resource that gets 5 Stars and is a Must Have tool for any DM’s library (see what I did there?). You’ll use it. It will be fun. There’s endless possibilities for shenanigans. Pick it up by clicking through the picture below.