What’s on the Shelf?

MP900422452-1024x688About four years ago I made a list of random book titles and shared it on The Rat Hole as an aide to busy GMs. In most cases, even if you’re running a pre-written adventure, if it features a library the only books that will be named are those that are plot relevant. But we GMs know the players are going to look at other books, right? Right. Incidentally, this list was a companion piece to an article I wrote about marginalia; the two lists together should make the bibliophile in your group very happy.

In any case, I recently started playing in a short Paranormal Inc campaign and my character uses the Bookworm playbook. One of my character’s special abilities is predicated on me naming whatever strange tome or volume I pulled my information from. So it seemed like a good time to rescue my original list from the backlist and share it again.

I present the original twenty five book list, with five new books I added just today. I considered updating some of the titles to better fit the more modern Paranormal Inc setting. But honestly? The stranger the book titles the better, and if these are a little anachronistic in a modern setting, all the better to confuse my fellow investigators.

I encourage you to take this list and use it at your table. And add to it! I would love to hear what strange and wonderful volumes you come up with.

  1. Non-Euclidean Geometry and Its Application to Architectural Design, Vol. II (Vol. I is not present)
  2. Oozes, Molds, and Semi-Intelligent Plants: A Cook’s Guide
  3. My Time Amongst the Vegepygmies
  4. Her Hooves They Shone Like the Diamonds: Collected Love Poems and Songs of the Centaur Peoples
  5. What Colour is Your Gelatinous Cube?: Tips for Using Dyes and Stains 
  6. Elves are from the Feywild, Orcs are from Gruumsh
  7. A Fifty Year Retrospective of the Cheesemaker’s Guild
  8. Inter-City Relations in Post-Scarcity Faerun
  9. The Care and Feeding of Your Buopoth
  10. A Gentleman’s Guide to Bullywug Etiquette
  11. The Collected Minutes of the Ptolus Benevolent Society, Volume XVII
  12. Gold, Beer, and Steel: A Dwarven Songbook
  13. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?: How to Lead Your Own Cult
  14. Half-Orc, All Rage: Tips and Tricks for Anger Management
  15. Calling the Great Old Ones, a Posthumous Publication
  16. Monster Scatology: a Jeweler’s Guide
  17. Whose Bones are Those?: Dice Games of the Planes
  18. Kobold Guide to Trap Design
  19. Predator and Prey: Dating a Lycanthrope
  20. Weather Readings on Mount Thrandor, Common Year 4637
  21. If it Fits, It’s Grits: A Field Guide to Goblin Cuisine
  22. A Barbarian’s Guide to Unleashing What’s Inside (Your Enemy)
  23. Fur-braiding Styles of the Lowland Bugbear Tribes
  24. A Crafter’s Guide to Humanoid Physiology
  25. The Mysterious Case of the Left-handed Flumph
  26. Keep Dragon Your Ass: A guide to Dragonborn Fitness
  27. You Drank That?!, Fermentations of the Lower Planes
  28. Easy Owlbear Tricks to Amaze! (by Franz “One Arm” Higgly, posthumous)
  29. A Fae Guide to Chicago and Environs
  30. Tales of Voracious, by Kate Bullock

That last one is an actual set of stories by my friend Kate. Definitely not monster erotica for the faint of heart, but extremely passionate, well-crafted stories for those that love monsters. Not only can it appear as a book on your in-game shelf, but you can then direct your players to the website to read actual stories. Warning: Make sure your players’ safety and well-being will not be violated by doing so. Safety and consent before sending unsuspecting players to a monster fucking site, please.

Comments? Questions? Amusing Anecdotes?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s