Okay, I’m headed out the door in entirely too short of a time. Hopefully, tomorrow evening will be broadcast from my apartment, instead of on the road somewhere. But, to make this a useful and quick article, I thought I should share five books that I think are good for DMs to check out. So let’s go!
First on the list is a non-fiction. Likely the only nonfiction on the list. And I can’t tell you much about it, as I haven’t read much of it myself. But what I did read made me feel like it was something I needed to check into further. The Art of Game Design is the title and its all about the pieces that go into making a good experience for your players, no matter the medium, the tools you have or who you’re trying to reach. I’ll have to get a copy before I can fill you in more, but it looks like the type of work that I’d add references to in a lot of articles
Second on the list is The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. Okay, technically this is four books in omnibus form, but each of them is pretty incredible and very different from the others. This is a great book on teaching you how to use fairy tale tropes, but in a subverted manner, so you can see the reference, but not have it reveal your story. I keep wearing out the spines on my copies, so I need a new one.
Third on my list, let’s go with Jhereg by Steven Brust. This book is on most of my lists of recommended books, because I love it so much. Think of it like a reverse murder mystery; instead of a detective trying to find out the victim was killed, the main character is an assassin trying to figure out the best way to kill a victim. Witty writing, excellent world building, swords, sorcery, it has everything!
Fourth on my list, let’s move into gaming books with The Lazy DM by Sly Flourish. While I no longer adhere to its precepts as closely as I once did, it is a great book to break you out of your older DMing habits and brush up onn your improvisational skills. When my players suddenly throw me a loop, I can close my notes, grab my dice, and still run a great game.
Fifth and final for today, Xtreme Dungeon Mastery, by Tracy Hickman and some others, is an amazing book. It has a great section on learning how stories work, from how to deceive, how to generate a plot, and exactly what your dice mean. Knowing what the dice actually mean is very important to running a good game.
This ain’t an exhaustive list, as any book makes you game better, but those are the ones I can think of here and now and they’re all the ones you’re getting tonight.
See ya at home.