... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Table, No Book

Randall's got a good post up at RetroRoleplaying, asking "Why does every D&D player at the table need a copy of the book(s)?" As he suggested on G+, he's kind of preaching to the choir: most of the old school believes in books for players as an option rather than a requirement.

So I'll go one step further: Why do you need any book at the table at all? If you are using very simple rules that you can internalize, making on-the-spot rulings for anything else, why do you need anything more than a DM screen or a couple photocopied tables?

My ideal for any RPG is a book you read once, to learn the rules, and then never read again except between sessions, for inspiration rather than reference.


  1. I'd prefer that my players had at least one PHB on their side of the screen. MM and DMG are solely my references during play. A lot of the info that they need for playing is either on the character sheets or their side of the screen but things like spell descriptions are nowhere else to be found but in the PHB.

  2. I wrote the rules for my current game, and tried to keep it pretty light. We don't have a book, but its up online for my players to reference when they need to. So we're on a sort of half-book system. No book, but someone can slip out a phone to double check rulings or common prices.

  3. I recently started playing (DMing) again after many years and the only book I still had was my old 1st edition DMG. My players are almost all totally new or haven't played in a long time either. We played our first few sessions without any books at all. I just printed out the first level spell lists (for the spellcasters). For our last session though I printed out parts of the LotFP rule book for reference.