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Old 01-08-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
Acolyte
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle
Default Re: My Book Recommendations

I would rank the books as follows (note that I am not including the recent e23 material, as I don't have any of them):

Critical:
  • The core (obviously), which I would recommend picking up hardcopy on eBay (regardless of its design flaws), because unless everyone brings a laptop to the game, you'll want a hardcopy to toss to a player who wants to look something up. GURPS or 666 depends on your playstyle/familiarity (I prefer 666, but that's a me thing).

Almost Critical:
  • Angelic Player's Guide and Infernal Player's Guide. Celestials are foreign creatures and hard to RP for IN newbies, and these books are endlessly helpful for getting into the mindset of your character, as well as clarifying important rules.

    Liber Castorellum does an amazing job of showing how Superiors act on Earth and how to set up an area for you to game in. The most important thing in an area are its Tethers, and focusing on Tether issues is the easiest way to make an IN campaign when you first start out.

Extremely Useful:
  • Ethereal Player's Guide and Corporeal Player's Guide, which let you make things other than celestials fleshed out and interesting.

    Liber Servitorum gives you excellent, ready-to-use NPCs that are practically plot hooks in their own right. No idea what to do for a session? Crack open this book, select an NPC, and have him or her arrive in the PCs' town. Session planning done.

    Game Master's Pack--not because of "Feast of Blades," which isn't particularly good, and certainly not because of Litheroy's write-up (as his Dissonance restrictions make his angels annoying to play). Alaemon's writeup is interesting, but the real gem there is the DM Screen, which organizes a lot of relevant information in one place far more efficiently than even a bookmarked pdf. I never actually use it as a Screen, but it's an excellent reference. Hard to find, though.

Useful:
  • Liber Reliquarium and Liber Canticorum, in that order, provide useful supplemental information, but I would put them way down the list for a new GM, as there are certainly enough Songs in the core, and relics are far less important to IN than magic items are to your average RPG.

Interesting:
  • "Superiors" books. They might be more important if your campaign focuses around their themes, and they provide interesting plot hooks and VERY interesting advice on playing the Archangels, but their relevance can be either really high or virtually nil.

    "Revelations Cycle" books. The Marches is useful but outdated with the EPG, and the others are primarily good for the Superior expansions. I am personally annoyed by metaplots, and I am not overly fond of the adventures therein.

Buy Only If You Are Rich Or Are An Obsessive Collector:
  • The Game Master's Guide provides very few useful tips or advice on rule interpretation, which is what a GM guide should. Instead, it focuses on things like tone and campaign planning, which can't be learned as well from a book as by actually playing. There are useful things there, just few and far between.

    IN: Anime is a waste of money unless your players are interested in that sort of thing, in which case it might be a worthy buy. However, it has no useful info for people playing a more conventional game.
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