The Special Shelf

task-managerSo, here’s what I keep on my Special Shelf1.
Actually, doing a post for each entry should keep me busy for the next few months.

Just a note – what makes a gaming book go on my Special Shelf?
It’s not that straightforward – some of these are the books and settings I enjoyed the most. Others are my basic reference when thinking about games, sort of a consulting library.
Some have been with me for a long time, others are relatively recent acquisitions.
I guess all in all the list gives a good idea of what my tastes (or lack of the same) are in terms of game systems and settings.

Anyway, here they go.

D&D and other sins…

  • Factols_Manifesto_Cover_largePlanescape (almost complete) – for my money, the best setting ever produced for AD&D, and a winner despite some silliness injected here and there

  • D&D 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes

  • D&D 3rd Edition Portals and Planes handbook

  • The Races of Renown volume about Aasimar & Thiefling 

  • The D&D Rules Cyclopedia – one book to rule them all

  • The Pathfinder Core Rulebook – wonderful, and to me the true last incarnation of the old D&D gamegrr1903_453_1024x1024

  • The Eberron Campaign Setting – great setting with a sword & sorcery feel

  • The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport – possibly my fave of the latest settings

(now this selection would make for quite a nice set-up for a campaign, don’t you think?)

Science Fiction

  • West End GamesStar Wars, Second Edition – the Star Wars game, in its definitive incarnation.

Spaceship_zero_art* Spaceship Zero – frigging unbelievable!

  • Trinity – my SF game of choice

  • Blue Planet – great setting, debatable rules, hard SF at its best

  • Metabarons RPG – Jodorowski’s take on a Dune setting done for the D6 system. Very good.

  • Fading Suns – renaissance-tinged space opera, highly entertaining and flexible


  • Etherscope – great science fictional, gritty steampunk setting for the D20 system

  • Castle Falkenstein – beautiful, innovative steampunk fantasy game, way ahead of its time

  • Leagues of Adventures – my current system of choice for Victorian adventure

  • Unhallowed Metropolis – dark and cruel, gorgeous book

  • Forgotten Futures – scientific romance system, very lightweight but capable of handling almost anything (including children and dogs)


Chill* Chill & Chill Companion – probably the oldest entry in this list, and still a winner

  • The Army of Darkness RPG – for a little fast fun on Hallowheen

  • L’Appel de Cthulhu – to me, the definitive edition of CoC and one of the most beautifully produced games I ever saw

  • Call of Cthulhu anniversary edition – just for the swag

  • The Esoterrorists – small chilling little game of modern horror and investigation

Other Fantasies

qin* Qin the Warring States – wuxia fantasy gaming, great look, unusual setting

  • Fireborn – urban fantasy done right, great contemporary and ancient setting, unusual rules, great value

  • Lace & Steel first edition boxed set – I just love this unusual, elegant Australian game, it’s absolutely wonderful

  • Barbarians of Lemuria – Conan-esque rules light game, highly entertaining

rpgcover-large* The Mouse Guard roleplaying game – yes, mice with swords, and there’s nothing cutesy about it

  • KataKumbas – the only Italian game on my special shelf, and still one of the greatest.

  • GURPS Arabian Nights – because everything’s better with Djinns

(which goes to prove that I don’t like straightforward tolkienesque fantasy)


  • Adventure! – one-stop package of two-fisted adventure and pulp goodness

  • West End Games Riders of the Lost Ark & Temple of Doom sourcebooks for the Masterbook line – Indiana Jones for gaming, great value, a pity the series died before they put out the third bookhex_cover

  • Hollow Earth Expeditions (complete set, including the absolutely amazing French supplement Raiders of Adventure) – the mother of all pulp games, this is absolutely gorgeous and fun to play

  • Jess Nevins’ Strange Tales of the Century – nominally for the Spirit of the Century game, this is an incredible resource on the genre.

I don’t care what genre this is, just let me play it

Feng Shui cover* Feng Shui, first edition (but eagerly waiting for the new edition) – the ultimate kickass game of kung fu, guns, monsters and cross-time warfare.


  • Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition – obviously

  • Basic Role Playing – like an ancient tome of wisdom

  • XDM – because I am an Xtreme Dungeon Master

  1. Please notice that The Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds have their own separate shelves. 

Categories: Special Shelf Games | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “The Special Shelf

  1. Wow… You surely have got amazing stuff on that shelf!! *_*
    I envy you Castle Falkenstein and Arabian Nights most of all… And I’m really curious about Qin and that fighting mice thing! 😀
    Hollow Earth is great… I just got a free PDF copy on Valentine’s Day thanks to Exile Game guys! ^_^


    • The advantage of spending thirty years gaming and sharing the hobby with my brother is, we put together a huge collection 😀


  2. Pingback: Special Shelf – Etherscope | The GreyWorld Blog


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