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Kaww
2010-11-26, 03:28 AM
Which books in your opinion a player must read?

Obvious ones are: PHB 1 and 2 and a book/books containing descriptions your character's mindset fits.
Example: dwarven, exalted warrior should read BoeD, RoS, CC and CW.
Casters should read detailed descriptions of their spells etc.

Also one more question: Do you read the short description (feat, spell, anything) indexes provide or the long description a book provides for the same thing?

KillianHawkeye
2010-11-26, 03:39 AM
A player should read the Player's Handbook to learn the basics of the game (core races & classes, the skill system, basic core feats, the combat system, and spells if playing a spellcaster).

Beyond that, they need to read whatever material from another book that they are using for their character (if any). Some additional game mechanics (like psionics, ToB, or incarnum) may require the reading of an entire book, more or less.



Anything containing pure fluff (like in the Races of ____ books) is purely optional, IMO.

Comet
2010-11-26, 06:06 AM
In my opinion? None of them, unless they want to.

When we pick up an RPG, I as the GM fully expect to be able to teach the players how to play the game as we are playing it. For core D&D 3.5 this has worked well enough, but I am not quite willing to expand into splatbooks and such because those would require that bit of extra work we aren't interested in.

There are some exceptions, of course. Sometimes it's fun to play a game where everyone has access to the source material and can play around with the rules with a bit more creativity.

But for the most part, we just want to sit down and have fun with telling a story, without having to read through pages of extra material. This is especially true for games like D&D 3.5 where, for the most part, the books are quite boring to read, since they are mostly just rules stacked on rules with little flavour text in between.

Salbazier
2010-11-26, 06:29 AM
In my opinion? None of them, unless they want to.

When we pick up an RPG, I as the GM fully expect to be able to teach the players how to play the game as we are playing it. For core D&D 3.5 this has worked well enough, but I am not quite willing to expand into splatbooks and such because those would require that bit of extra work we aren't interested in.

There are some exceptions, of course. Sometimes it's fun to play a game where everyone has access to the source material and can play around with the rules with a bit more creativity.

But for the most part, we just want to sit down and have fun with telling a story, without having to read through pages of extra material. This is especially true for games like D&D 3.5 where, for the most part, the books are quite boring to read, since they are mostly just rules stacked on rules with little flavour text in between.

Just want to say that I actually quite enjoyed reading 3.5 books in my spare time, it's quite flavored in my opinion. Now 4E, that's a different matter...

n00b killa
2010-11-26, 07:28 AM
By definition? Just the Player's Handbook

What SHOULD they read? Anything and everything

Myth
2010-11-26, 08:27 AM
You don't need the PHBII any more than UA or the Complete series. Core is PHB, for the DM add DMG + MM. For a player who wants to delve in the mysteries and vastness of 3.5 I'd say read every book sooner or later. Ask for builds. Builds mention their sources. Go read the entry. Rines and repeat until you familiarize yourself with everything. Trying to read the books like you read a texbook or novel will create a giant cluster**** in your brain.

I recommend:

PHB from there:

Casters => Complete Divine, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Unearthed Arcana.

Non casters (aka. peons) => Complete Warrior, Complete Scoundrel, Tome of Battle, Uneartehd Arcana, Player's Handbook II

Items, spells, rules: => Spell Compendium, Rules Compendium, Magic Item Compendium

Extra goodies: => Unearthed Arcana, Player's Handbook II, Book of Vile Darkness, Book of Exalted Deeds, Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Savage Species, Deities and Demigods, setting specific (Faerun, Eberron), Racex of Stone/Wild, Draconomicon, Dragon Magic, Epic Level Handbook, Expanded Psionics, Magic of Incarnnum so on and so forth.

Hanuman
2010-11-26, 08:37 AM
Players don't have to read anything.

Page on character description is probably the most important, its the one that talks about if you have scars or not, ect.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-26, 08:38 AM
Which books a player must read depends on the class they're playing. Wizard players must read the 3 core books, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium, Unearthed Arcana, Complete Champion, and Players Handbook II.

For Rogues my must read list is over 20 books. :smallwink:

Ruinix
2010-11-26, 11:24 AM
cause u not specify, i will say Sun Tzu art of war.


on D&D specific i agree with Myth.

You don't need the PHBII any more than UA or the Complete series. Core is PHB, for the DM add DMG + MM. For a player who wants to delve in the mysteries and vastness of 3.5 I'd say read every book sooner or later. Ask for builds. Builds mention their sources. Go read the entry. Rines and repeat until you familiarize yourself with everything. Trying to read the books like you read a texbook or novel will create a giant cluster**** in your brain.

I recommend:

PHB from there:

Casters => Complete Divine, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Unearthed Arcana.

Non casters (aka. peons) => Complete Warrior, Complete Scoundrel, Tome of Battle, Uneartehd Arcana, Player's Handbook II

Items, spells, rules: => Spell Compendium, Rules Compendium, Magic Item Compendium

Extra goodies: => Unearthed Arcana, Player's Handbook II, Book of Vile Darkness, Book of Exalted Deeds, Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Savage Species, Deities and Demigods, setting specific (Faerun, Eberron), Racex of Stone/Wild, Draconomicon, Dragon Magic, Epic Level Handbook, Expanded Psionics, Magic of Incarnnum so on and so forth.

Antonok
2010-11-26, 11:31 AM
Only ones you really need to read to pick up the game is the Player's Handbook to play in a game, and the DMG if you plan on running a game. Outside those I recommend reading all of them because they all a little bit of something (Feats, classes, etc).

Grommen
2010-11-26, 11:35 AM
I would not expect a new player to read the Players Hand Book cover to cover, but if they read the basic game concepts, and combat I would be geeked.

And the more books they read at first, the harder it is for someone to DM for them, cause they get all the crap mixed up, confused, accidentally turn into a power gamer, make the assumption that if it's printed it's a rule. Confuse gameing physics with real life.

Wait. That is all the players I've played with. DAMM!:smallfurious:

Honestly all I want my players to know is their character's stuff. Like what their spells do, how their feats work, etc. Way to much stuff for a DM to read anymore, so players need to help out, be honest, and fair.

Ruinix
2010-11-26, 11:49 AM
I would not expect a new player to read the Players Hand Book cover to cover, but if they read the basic game concepts, and combat I would be geeked.

And the more books they read at first, the harder it is for someone to DM for them, cause they get all the crap mixed up, confused, accidentally turn into a power gamer, make the assumption that if it's printed it's a rule. Confuse gameing physics with real life.

Wait. That is all the players I've played with. DAMM!:smallfurious:

Honestly all I want my players to know is their character's stuff. Like what their spells do, how their feats work, etc. Way to much stuff for a DM to read anymore, so players need to help out, be honest, and fair.

maybe i was on the opposite end and i had a lot of players who the only knowlege they come to the table was something like "D&D is about dragons right ?"

so i prefer they got a confused knowlege instead non.

also, if they read handbook it's mean they had real interest in the game and mostly "be a good player" wich give everyone enjoyment and is the ultimate goal of the game

Foryn Gilnith
2010-11-26, 11:55 AM
cause u not specify, i will say Sun Tzu art of war.

Indeed; I would easily point any player to The Art of War before the Book of Exalted Hypocrisy. I find the intersection of D&D book fluff with actual games to be less than perfect, especially in the case of anything talking about morality.

Warlawk
2010-11-26, 02:45 PM
A new player should come to the table with a basic understanding of mechanics. How to roll attacks, skill checks, saving throws etc. Aside from that, nothing is "required".

Ideally I would like to see them page through the "complete" books relevant to their character and maybe get an idea of a PrC they want to work toward. This can really help give a new player a sense of purpose and direction. Also, having them read over the short regional section for their characters home is good. Really though, we don't require much other than basic mechanical understanding, the rest will come with time.

randomhero00
2010-11-26, 02:59 PM
i think everyone should read the campaign setting. It will make roleplay a lot easier and just a general sense of the world that your character is in. I think this gets over looked a lot, but its one of the most important books to read.

nedz
2010-11-26, 03:27 PM
The PH and the DM's background notes.

Anything else is optional.

randomhero00
2010-11-26, 03:39 PM
The PH and the DM's background notes.

Anything else is optional.

You think its not a big deal if they're clueless of the world they're on? Like what about clerics? They *have* to know the setting so they know if they can worship an ideal or a god. The other thing is where players souls go after they die can make a big difference between settings.

Warlawk
2010-11-26, 03:50 PM
You think its not a big deal if they're clueless of the world they're on? Like what about clerics? They *have* to know the setting so they know if they can worship an ideal or a god. The other thing is where players souls go after they die can make a big difference between settings.

Those things can easily be learned during character creation and play. Same goes for learning the setting.

Now, I'm not actually disagreeing with you. I would much prefer that the players be familiar with the setting. However, I would not consider it to be "required reading." It's good, but you can play without it and let it develop as the game goes on.

Dr.Epic
2010-11-26, 03:52 PM
PHB
DMG
any of the Complete (Warrior, Arcane, Divine, etc)
Unearthed Arcana
any of the MM's

randomhero00
2010-11-26, 04:03 PM
Those things can easily be learned during character creation and play. Same goes for learning the setting.

Now, I'm not actually disagreeing with you. I would much prefer that the players be familiar with the setting. However, I would not consider it to be "required reading." It's good, but you can play without it and let it develop as the game goes on.

I think its important for OOC feeling as well. Even though we play IC we FEEL stuff OOC as we are actual people living on Earth. Know what I mean? Anyways, my point is, in this case its good to metagame. It actually enhances things if you know the environment your character is in even if its OOC.

This comes from experience. I used to play without reading any of the settings. Now I do and it makes a big difference for me at least. I see the races and the cities and so much more real.

zyborg
2010-11-26, 04:05 PM
If playing a Lawful Good character, they must read at least one of the Discworld's City Watch books to know that there is more than one kind of Lawful Good. :smalltongue:

However, in terms of rulebooks - I've gotten through my first ever game without ever picking up a rulebook, so I'd say just the PHB.

Warlawk
2010-11-26, 04:24 PM
I think its important for OOC feeling as well. Even though we play IC we FEEL stuff OOC as we are actual people living on Earth. Know what I mean? Anyways, my point is, in this case its good to metagame. It actually enhances things if you know the environment your character is in even if its OOC.

This comes from experience. I used to play without reading any of the settings. Now I do and it makes a big difference for me at least. I see the races and the cities and so much more real.

Like I said, not disagreeing with you. I think it is important, and a very good idea. What I am saying is that neither myself or our other DM would tell a player they couldn't sit down to the table without reading the campaign setting. It is recommended reading, but not required reading. You wouldn't be barred from playing with us if you had not read Dark Sun for instance. You would likely get a 5 minute primer on the world and region, then be expected to pick it up as we go, and we would likely keep the setting materials within your reach so you could page through them during a lull in the action, or when another player is doing something and you aren't there. That sort of thing.

Just a distinction between required and recommended.

So if you had a great player that you liked, who had not read the setting, you would deny them a place at the table?

nedz
2010-11-26, 04:37 PM
You think its not a big deal if they're clueless of the world they're on? Like what about clerics? They *have* to know the setting so they know if they can worship an ideal or a god. The other thing is where players souls go after they die can make a big difference between settings.

Yes, of couse, but it should all be in the DM's Pre-Campaign Notes.

They are in mine at least !

How much they know about the setting should depend upon their character's background. If they read the whole background then they will know too much and find the IC/OOC divide much harder to play.

randomhero00
2010-11-26, 04:42 PM
Like I said, not disagreeing with you. I think it is important, and a very good idea. What I am saying is that neither myself or our other DM would tell a player they couldn't sit down to the table without reading the campaign setting. It is recommended reading, but not required reading. You wouldn't be barred from playing with us if you had not read Dark Sun for instance. You would likely get a 5 minute primer on the world and region, then be expected to pick it up as we go, and we would likely keep the setting materials within your reach so you could page through them during a lull in the action, or when another player is doing something and you aren't there. That sort of thing.

Just a distinction between required and recommended.

So if you had a great player that you liked, who had not read the setting, you would deny them a place at the table?
Touche. You are right of course. I guess I wasn't disagreeing either. I wouldn't stop a good player from playing just because he hadn't read the setting. But I'd strongly urge him too, and lend him books if needed.

The Big Dice
2010-11-26, 08:13 PM
Setting books are always good for players to read, though as a long time L5R player, I like the idea of a primer on the world you'll be playing in rather than dumping a 300+ page hardback on people and saying "Read this!" Games should be about having fun, not doing assignments for homework...

When it comes to D&D, I don't see why players need to look in the MOnster Manuals at all, nor do they need to look in the DMG.

Sindri
2010-11-27, 01:20 AM
If the first thing you say to a potential new player is "here's the stack of textbooks you need to memorize" I can guarantee that you won't have a new player.
First explain the setting and tone, then ask what kind of character they'd like to play. Help them through generating that, explaining as you go what the numbers they're writing down mean (in general terms, and the basics of how they're used--not every detail). Answer all questions, without getting exasperated at repeating yourself (when was the last time you memorized a bunch of rules perfectly the first time you heard it?).

Let them know where they can learn more, but don't push the issue; some of the best gamers I've ever know never opened a book, whereas every munchkin wants to read them all.

Grendus
2010-11-27, 03:02 AM
The only book I would say is 'required' is the phb, and even that can be fudged if you take the time to explain the game mechanics to them. Once they cut their teeth on core, then expose them to things like the completes and spell compendium. By that point, the mechanics should be easy enough that they will be able to handle the new rules and abilities without being overwhelmed.

Fizban
2010-11-27, 03:21 AM
I'd say they should read as many books as they can, and if they don't like reading DnD books then I'd be skeptical as to how much they wanted to play. At the very least, if they haven't read enough of the PHB to know how their character works, then I wouldn't want them at the table. Basic things like attack rolls, skill checks, and your actual class features are required. If they can handle their character and play well with the group then that's enough, though if they start struggling mechanically then the first thing I'm going to suggest is more reading.

Edit: I suppose I should note that this doesn't apply to absolute newbies. If you're never played a pen and paper RPG then learning at the table is fine, but with someone who's played one before, I'd expect them to come prepared. And if the newbie doesn't do their homework in the first week or two, then they don't want to play.

grimbold
2010-11-27, 08:44 AM
PHB 1 and most of DMG are musts
also the short description of the spell/feat is what pulls me into that spell/feat