Resources For Every GM: References Part 8

Today I have three completely random reference books that I think every GM should have. Well, I guess that in itself isn’t random. What is random is the topics of the books, because today does not have a real theme. Instead it is three books that could really help you…in certain scenarios. Listen if you like adventures, campaigns, or lands to have specific themes than one of these books might be good for you. If not, there are seven other parts that might have something up your alley and, of course, more always to come!

The Complete Illustrated History of Knives, Swords, Spears & Daggers

This book is for the combat and arms lovers out there. It shows more variety of weapons than you could ever imagine from all eras of history and many cultures. Within the book you can find two main sections after the introduction. The first considers knives, daggers, and bayonets. Of course that is general terminology and you find things like dirks, stilettos, and more. Following that half of the book is a section on swords and sabres. The great thing about this, is that it also includes a great deal of polearms along with things like greatswords. The only thing that might make this book better is a companion featuring other types of weaponry. That being said, the two main sections of the book are divided further into two halves. The first is a written history of weapons, predominately focusing on the movement from early stone and bronze age versions to the classic world into medieval periods in Europe and up into modern history. After that it covers weapons of cultural significance and uniqueness from Africa, India, Japan, and more. The second half of each section is a dedicated section focusing on photos and what these weapons looked like. In these directories are dozen upon dozen of photos of real-world weaponry, names, features, and details. If you are into weapons and don’t have this book you need to get it. Maybe even the hardcover version.

Smithsonian Nature Guide: Stars and Planets

There are tons of books out there about the sciences. All the sciences, the sciences in combination, the sciences alone. The history of science and full detailed treatises on a science or subject therein. But that is a bit much for most GMs. Instead we need more condensed and helpful books like this one. This book is, essentially, a field guide to space. Want to know about the sky? Tools people have used or still use today? More about our solar system? Beyond? This is definitely the book for you. It includes all of that and more. Honestly any amateur astronomy student needs to get this on their shelf and any Gm who wants to make use of the night sky should too. It has basic explanations of many things but does not shy away from the science explaining things like the angle at which the zodiac sits. It will tell you how an eclipse works or what is in a nebulae. There is even a sidebar on taking good pictures through a telescope. This book can also help you discover what you might see in the night sky and guide you through each month of the year. In both northern and southern latitudes! There is just so much to take from this book and that’s without considering the dozens and dozens and dozens of pictures that could be useful alone.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs

I had to include this book on at least one of these days. I love dinosaurs. I mean, who doesn’t?! Seriously though, there is so much more to dinosaurs than most people know even with awesome links in social media to teach you new findings. Regardless of how many of those links you have clicked you probably still think of dinosaurs the way my brain (very stubbornly) does. They are giant reptiles that roamed sky, sea, and land way back when. But they are so much more and that usage of dinosaur is, well inaccurate and general. But that’s okay! This book will help you uncover all kinds of awesome dinosaurs and, if you pay attention to the introductory section, even provide you with classification and evolution. From anatomy to likely diets and family life, this book as a lot to offer. More than that it separates the book into period sections. Don’t get me wrong dividing the around 60 million year long Jurassic into only three parts is not well broken down accurately describing a land lost to time, but it does help you if you want some accuracy. Maybe your world is full of dinos but each region or continent features different periods? This is the book for you. Aside form the hundreds of new dinosaurs with illustrations you can use to have fun with at the game table, this book is super informative. The only thing you might want to keep in mind? Many of them probably had more feathers than the pictures. We’re learning more and more every day!

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