Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Magical Writings

The Sign of the Frothing Mug by Josh Perldeiner has an excellent post on fictional magical writings from a variant earth timeline where magic is real. These tomes will make excellent additions to some sorcerer's library. Josh's collection reminds me of the many fictional books in the Cthulhu Mythos. Call of Cthulhu did a nice job creating lists of those with thumbnails of contents, publication history, etc. Most of my players are avid CoC fans so If I get motivated I'll dig through my CoC rules and create an expanded book list adding in Josh's creations.

Josh's post also reminded me of a series of posts called "Off the Shelf" that Black Vulmea posted on his Really Bad Eggs blog. Each list has 20 brief entries based on a topic e.g. Fencing Manuals, Military Manuals, Atlases, Mathematics Texts, Law Books, etc. I've used BV's lists to provide color to NPCs and as a different sort of "treasure" for the PCs. Knowing what's on an important NPCs bookshelf may provide clues to their education, interests, and even their plans. Plus books are cool. 

The picture at the top is an odd, six way book binding from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens in six different directions, each way revealing a different book. The book, which comes from the Rogge Library in Strängnäs, Sweden, features devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s (including Martin Luther’s Der kleine Catechismus). Each of the books is held closed with its own ornate metal clasp, and was probably far more decorative than useful. You can find more about the book and additional pictures here.

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