RPG a Day 2020, Part Eleven – My RPG Reading Stack

I have a stack of books on one arm of the sofa. Sometimes it gets moved over to the coffee table or the little end table next to the sofa. They’re all on my reading list and some have been there for a while. They’re a good reminder of what I need to go through. At the moment they include Misspent Youth, the second Yellow King book, Fellowship’s three tomes, Hillfolk, Girl Underground and Heart.

My pile of books on the arm of the sofa.

Some of these are recognisable from my wishlist of games to run. I’ve actually already read Heart and Shadow Operations in PDF form, I’ve even done a readthrough of Heart on Twitter but the physical book’s different. The texture of the cover’s nice, even though it’s not the fancy edition. The smell of the book is evocative. It brings back memories of the smell of the AD&D Player’s Handbook which I used to own. I finally finished reading Yellow King: Paris to a level where I feel I’ve processed the information, so that’s gone back and been replaced by The Wars. I reckon I’ll get through all the books and then revisit them when I run a campaign. Hillfolk was a rare charity shop find which is cool. It was £10 a book for it and the expansion. The PDF is a real sod to read as there are many columns and the sidebars aren’t defined enough. I want to read it as the scenarios look really interesting, but I feel I’ll need to go through this physical copy to better deal with the layout. As much as I like the look of Trail of Cthulhu, I had similar problems with focusing on the PDF and need to get a hard copy of that, too. Fellowship was all done on DriveThruRPG when there was a sale and looks really interesting. Girl Underground’s the only physical ‘ZineQuest 1 title I bought and I’m pleased as it’s small and lovely looking. Then there’s Misspent Youth which was from Robert Bohl’s closing down sale. Again, it looks gorgeous in the physical edition, but mainly for the scrappy style it has.

Seeing the books out in a stack definitely helps prioritise them compared to the books on my iPad. I can kind of keep up with the library on my iBooks, but things drop off quickly, especially if I’m using a few PDFs to run a game as those end up taking precedent. Then when other things get added it creates a block of titles which push everything else down, such as when I picked up the Star Trek Humble Bundle. I’m writing this a couple of days ahead, so I can’t even tell what’s going to be the recently read items in iBooks. Let’s have a look…

My virtual stack. You’re lucky as you’re seeing this without all the cracks my ipad has.

Let’s see… I was talking about Belonging Outside Belonging descriptors to an old GM when defending my dislike of stats in the ‘height’ and ‘weight’ fields in traditional RPGs compared to more narrative looks. I realised I hadn’t actually downloaded the preview copy of Venture, which is why that’s there. Star Trek Adventures is a 2d20 System game which I bought on a Bundle of Holding as I’ve been in a big Trek mood. Sanctum, like Venture, I owned but hadn’t got round to downloading yet. Cartel’s a late arrival but I’m curious about what it’s like. Root’s from Free RPG Day, there’s a third party Quest adventure as I want to see how people are using it. Cortex Prime’s another PDF that’s conquering me slightly like City of Mist, but I’m eager to work my way through it. Finally there’s Wanderhome, which I’m trying to resist backing just because I’ve been backing a lot of projects.

I love having most of my roleplaying game collection on my iPad, even though it’s horrendously cracked, but there’s something very nice about leafing through a physical book.

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