A monster on the verge of eating an adventurer.

2015 in Books

by Ramanan Sivaranjan on January 02, 2016

Tagged: osr

At the start of the year I had a goal to buy no more than one RGP book a month. This is less about money and more about actually making sure I have the time to really sit and enjoy the books I buy: it’s easy to collect RPG books for the sake of collecting. Anyway, I didn’t really come close to my goal. (I actually did worse than the previous year I tried this experiment.)

The bulk of what I buy continues to be books from the OSR for use with D&D, but there were a few exceptions. I grabbed Ryuutama’s PDF when it was put up for sale, and then quickly upgraded to a hardcover. The game looks like an SNES manual, and doesn’t remind me of any other RPG I’ve played. I backed The Warren on Kickstarter because I thought Bully Pulpit’s previous game Night Witches was well done. That book arrived at the end of the year and looks to be the game about rabbits I didn’t know I wanted to play. I finally bought Dungeon World, after enjoying Perilous Wilds so much.

There are lots of cool zines and small modules being put out by individuals in the OSR now. A Pernicious Pamphlet and In the Woods are stand out examples of this sort of work. I am hoping to make a zine from bits and pieces of my Carcosa game this coming year.

I only bought one book from Wizards of the Coast. The stuff they put out isn’t really of interest to me. I wish they had an indie-imprint doing more interesting work. Out of the Abyss is an enjoyable read, but it’s also large and cumbersome, and I can’t imagine actually using the book to run a game.

If you were curious what books are in the running for The Ramanan Sivaranjan Awards for Excellence in Gaming for 2015, here you go:

  RPG Date Category Format
1 Beyond the Wall January OSR PDF
2 Sol February ??? Print
3 The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem February LotFP PDF
4 Yoon-Suin: The Purple Lands February OSR PDF
5 Infernal Realms‡ February P&P PDF
6 The Pale Lady¥ February LotFP PDF
7 Kingdom March Indie PDF
8 Microscope March Indie PDF
9 Fire on the Velvet Horizon April OSR Print
10 Perilous Journeys April DW Print
11 Ryuutama June Japan Print
12 A Thousand Dead Babies† June OSR PDF
13 Hark! A Wizard!† June OSR PDF
14 Neoclassical Geek Revival† June OSR PDF
15 Rampaging Monster† June OSR PDF
16 Scourge of the Tikbalang† June OSR PDF
17 Trail of Stone and Sorrow† June OSR PDF
18 Gem Prison of Zardax† June OSR Print
19 Beyond the Wall - Further Afield July OSR PDF
20 The Warren August SG Print
21 A Pernicious Pamphlet September OSR PDF
22 Out of the Abyss September WotC Print
23 The Hell House Beckons October OSR PDF
24 In the Woods October OSR PDF
25 The Price of Evil October OSR PDF
26 False Readings November OSR PDF
27 Cthonic Codex‡ November OSR PDF
28 Obscene Serpent Religion December OSR PDF
29 Dungeon World December DW PDF

‡ Gifts from authors
¥ Bonus Kickstarter reward
† I won all of Zzarchov’s modules, including the then unreleased Gem Prison of Zardax, which I own as a giant pile of paper

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