best RPG supplement


we haven't had a urvey in a while, so let's do a survey:

What's the best RPG supplament you've ever had?
1. What was the best one to read, and why?
2. What was the best one to insert into your gaming sessions and what did it add to the playing experience?
3. What book had the best art?

consider splitting you answer among these categories:
WotC product / D20 supplement / overall best-thing-ever

Hard to answer. I don't have a quick one-off response, though I will say that certain GURPS worldbooks (GURPS Low Tech, GURPS Fantasy 2, GURPS Aztecs, GURPS Arabian Nights) have been some of the best RP-related books I've ever spent money on. I use them constantly, and not just for the use for which they were published (as GURPS supplements).

As a general rule, I tend to think of whole systems that really blow my mind: Call of Cthulhu 5th edition, Skyrealms of Jorune. I hate to say it, but most supplements I find just aren't as 'good' for my purposes as the big books of house rules/setting presentations I write for myself.

well, if you have the time and inclination to create such books, great.

for those of us who don't, my question still stands.

BTW, what did you think of GURPS space? or the new GURPS fantasy?

GURPS Space is pretty good. I haven't seen the 4ed GURPS Fantasy yet.

This is skewed to my tastes, of course...

I think the 2nd Edition Planewalker's Handbook for Planescape is probably the best supplement I own. It does a good job of covering all pertinent topics without spending too much time or too little on any given subject. Lotsa variation...written in the style of the setting...and so forth.

A close 2nd would be the Monstrous Compendium -- while somewhat generic, it's probably "the" monster book to have if you're wanting to cover all the basics and then some. And, whether you like 2nd Edition or not, the monsters are described in sufficient detail that they can be ported to other rules sets (if so desired).

Thus far, the Book of Eldritch Might by Malhavoc Press has been one of the better insertions into my campaign -- mostly because it was an unknown quantity. After years of 2nd Edition spells, most of the players had kinda "seen it all"...until some new wizards pop up with a whole net set of spells. It's a quaint book that can add a twist to something that's already established...without disrupting it (well, not in the wrong way).

Best art...well, maybe I should just say that Wayne Reynolds is probably my favorite fantasy artist these days. His pics seem to want to jump off the page and engage in battle -- they're done with a "modern" fantasy style...spikes, straps, drool, whatnot...but not in an imposing kind of way. Arnie Swekel and Tony D get the runner-up prizes...and, due to years of great service, Elmore and Easely shouldn't be overlooked -- they did it first...the Jack Kirby's of D&D art, if I may be so bold.

I like the "GURPS: Steampunk" and "GURPS: Prisoner" supplements becasue they give you places to start and not so much rules and numbers. The artwork really sucks in both of them, though.

The Everway supplement "Spherewalker" was the best read. It really captures your imagination and gives it a good shake.

An honorable mention to the old 2ed AD&D Arrabian Adventures stuff. What a rich world for exploring, and lovingly crafted with colorful things to do and see. I enjoyed playing in that universe - even if it was for all too brief a time.

what did you think of the everway game overall?

I am very fond of Everway, it is visual, ephemeral and generally well suited to both small group, RP-heavy gaming as opposed to rule-driven systems. I enjoy playing Everway with my wife as the player since she likes to explore and find and do, whereas i like to dream and act and create. Its a good match.

When we have friends over to play it gets a it gets tricky becasue I have to explain why <>this card means that it didn't go well and that card meant it succeeded more often. I also get the question 'What card do I need for success' a lot.

Overall it is a kinder, gentler way to RP with less hard-rolling, blood, gore, and hack-n-slash than the usual. I have been meaning to try a war-zone game soon to see how it would fare in a 'you die, she dies, everbody dies' scenario, but I have yet to find a story that drives through that sort of a world that won't trap the characters in the conflict.

has anyone else got favorite supps?

The best adventure-in-a-book supplement I've read are the "Caravan to Ein Ares" (Probably miss-spelled) from GURPS and the Challenges from D&D 2nd Ed.

Caravan was originally in the back of the GURPS 2nd ed. Basic book. I think 4th ed. lets you download just the adventure for free from the GURPS website. All GURPS adventures are written to test a myriad of skills, not just combat. Caravan has political intrigue, desert survival, spies, combat, maidens, merchants...

Fighters Challenge I & II, Thieve's Challenge, and Cleric's Challenge wer all written as one-shot, single character (of the appropriate class) adventures. However, I have written whole campaigns around one or more of these adventures with groups of people and had a very exciting time because of it.

The best one to insert into your gaming sessions would be Fighter's Challenge I. You rescue a princess from a tower, fight your way through the mountains to get her home, bring her before the king, and there next to him is the princess. You THINK you have the real one but how do you prove it?

The best artwork? I don't know. I can't remember the last time I saw good artwork INSIDE a supplement. The covers however, are usually pretty cool.

"If the shoe fits, kick somebody."

The best RPG supplement I've ever read is still The Book of the Righteous, from the Green Ronin stable. I had always run fairly low-religion campaigns, as I'm not the most religious person in the world, and I hate getting jam in my peanut butter.

After picking up this book, that all changed. It was a joy to read, and I really *wanted* to insert these deities into my home-brew game world. The creation myth in the flavor text portions of BotR dovetailed very nicely with my much so that it still seems creepy how close the two myths were. The pantheon in my world was quite piecemeal, with different gods with different names all over the place. BotR gave me a way to keep all those local religions, while putting a strong spine behind the whole thing (where the palyers couldn't see what I'd done to make religion REAL again)

In the end, it drove the majority of the campaign I was running at the time, without becoming an over-arching add-in. Rather than seeming like an overlay (oh great...Scott has a new book he's pillageing for ideas), it filled out all the areas that I had neglected to do on my own...which in my opinion is exactly what a good piece of source material is for.

It takes the cake for all the categories suggested above...except for art. While the art is fantastic in BotR, it can't compare (and very little can) to Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. That is the best internal RPG art EVER.

Ah, scrap all that. The best supplement ever was Portable Hole Full of Beer.

I forgot to mention the absolutely beautiful artwork in the D&D world of Dragonlance. Mostly full-scale oil paintings, this was and is the best art in roleplaying that I've seen.

"I'm not a geek. I'm a 14th level Palladin."

What's the best RPG supplament you've ever had? A Game of Thrones RPG by Guardians of Order
1. What was the best one to read, and why? Artesia Adventures in the known world. I read the comics and the art and writing is done by the guy who created the books. Incredible background and history, a complete setting in one book.
2. What was the best one to insert into your gaming sessions and what did it add to the playing experience? Game of Thrones, it rehashed the D20 system perfectly.
3. What book had the best art? Artesia Adventures in the known World.

Council of Wyrms, Spelljammer, Darksuns dragonkings hardback "dont remember exact name" Ravenloft, Greyhawk, forgotten realms and Dragonlance were all really good supps.