Do you buy/read RPG supplements for fun?

I brought this up in the Watchya Reading thread and thought it might be an interesting question. I buy and read lots of RPG manuals and books for games I will probably never play. I haven’t played a non PC RPG since the 90s but I have dozens of rule and source books for Gurps, D&D and other games because I enjoy reading about settings, Characters etc. Does any one else do this?

I have Paranoia, Star Wars, James Bond 007, TMNT, Top Secret, GURPS Autoduel, and maybe some I’m forgetting.

I had planned to start up an RPG BBS…

Of course!

I bought Way Of The Dragon for the Book Of Five Rings system even though I have no experience with that system. The book had a neat cover, looked interesting on flip through, and was only a dollar. I read it and loved it and found much I could use in D&D, or Masquerade. Then, I loaned it to a friend who lost it (or so he claims*). I found another copy for $7 at a going out of business sale.

I bought a module for Dark Conspiracy at a sale. It looked like fun. I own no other products from Dark Conspiracy.

I bought Lords Of Chaos at a stop at roadside bookstore. It’s a wonderful book even though I own no other Runequest (or is it Heroquest) products.

  • Said individual still has my copies of Way Of The Dragon, 2nd ed D&D Manual Of The Planes, and the novel Fat White Vampire Blues. I’ve gotten new copies of the books. My trust is lost forever.

I’ve bought four different editions of the GURPS rulebook. I’ve never played a game of GURPS; I just enjoy reading them.

And, GURPS has (had?) a long history of publishing excellent sourcebooks, to the point where many people bought the sourcebooks just because they were interested in the subject matter. I have several GURPS sourcebooks (such as Wild Cards and Vorkosigan Saga) that I bought for that very reason.

Not often, he wrote sheepishly.

Years ago, I used to subscribe to Dungeon magazine, which was a collection of AD&D modules. I usually managed to find something useful for my campaign in each issue, but also enjoyed reading things I’d never get to run.

I bought GURPS Horror on sale at a Barnes & Noble. I bought Warehouse 23, Who’s Who volumes 1 and 2 (for those who don’t know these are books of actual people who really lived, given stats for play in GURPS. Different stats are given for the people during their lives. Optional stats are given in case you want to give say Aliester Crowley real magical powers. Great books)

One I’d forgotten about – I bought a reprint of the original Villains and Vigilantes RPGrulebook a couple of years ago, with no real intention of playing the game.

The game’s creators, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, did a crowdfunding campaign a few years ago, to reprint the original book, and to help with paying off some of the lawyer fees they’d run up from a long legal fight with Fantasy Games Unlimited over the rights to the game.

It’s a fun book to read, as a time capsule for what RPGs were like back then, but it’s not a great set of rules, and I don’t plan to ever play it.

Back in my younger days, certainly. I especially enjoyed reading material for In Nomine, Paranoia, and HOL.

In a similar vein, I enjoy reading strategy articles on Boardgamegeek about games that I haven’t played, often have no intention of playing, and don’t understand much about.

Oh, not as many as I used to, but I’ve done that through all 5 editions of D&D.

I haven’t in probably a decade. But I had tons of shit I probably was never going to play. GURPS ftw. Steve jackson games makes the best stuff to just read. Though I have played it a ton in the early 90s.


I’m not even sure you can get any sort of reasonable game out of GURPS IOU (maybe some sort of one-shot), but it’s a fun read.

I’ve got a good chunk of the old ICE Lord of the Rings stuff, West End’s Star Wars, FASA’s Star Trek/early Battletech/Dr Who, Scarred Lands. Never played any of them, probably never will, but really enjoyed reading them.

I’ve got every first edition Clan book, rulebook and setting splatbook for Legend of the Five Rings. I even have the Ryoko Owari box set. Never had the opportunity to run or even play the game. I also got a huge *Deadlands *trove, but I did run a game of that once. In the 1920s. For 30 minutes.

I own HOL and its supplement, Buttery Wholesomeness. They are awesome and hilarious books.

I’ve never run or played a game. I’m not sure I’d like to. But they are really fun to read.

the top secret si series had some really detailed books on real espionage cases and really specific info on terror groups in the 80s and 90s (rumor has it some of the authors were “consultants” from CIA/MI 5/6 and Mossad")it was fasciniating to read … we never ran a game just made some character sheets…
I had 80 percent of the shadowrun novels but never got to play game of it … in fact i think infovore writes the new ones them occasionally

Even if you don’t play 3rd edition D&D, the section of Tome of Magic on the vestiges is great reading. A thief who stole his own soul from the afterlife, an architect who designed a prison so secure that even he couldn’t escape it, not even in death, a lich who tried to bond his essence to an entire plane of existence, but failed: There’s some good stuff in there.

Not super often, but I have. I bought the Everquest D20 books for the extra lore and to see how they converted the monsters, magic items and other stuff. I bought Bunnies & Burrows just for the fun of it and continued to buy the Wraith: the Oblivion source books long after it was obvious that I’d never be seriously playing it just because I liked the setting and found the skills/powers interesting (in theory). Actually, I bought the Atlanta campaign setting and Legionaries W:tO books at Half-Price Books a few months ago.

Not being the most outgoing person, I never made a whole lot of effort to seek out actual games back in the day. But reading about this spell you could cast or that mech you could pilot was absorbing.

Back in high school I must have bought the Codex for every Warhammer 40K faction. The drawings had aesthetic quality, the descriptions were good in terms of atmosphere and humor and it was fun to play around with the possibilities, speculate about strategies. I’ve had similar fun coming up with team compositions in X-com multiplayer.