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    Default Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    The title of the thread pretty much sums up the topic of the thread. Note that I'm not asking for an argument on which book is the best, just suggestions as to which ones are good. Basically, which third party books are comprehensive, interesting, and worth buying?

    I've heard that Untapped Potential, Hyperconscious, Secrets of Pact Magic, and Bastards & Bloodlines are all good. Does anyone have opinions on those?
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiji View Post
    The title of the thread pretty much sums up the topic of the thread. Note that I'm not asking for an argument on which book is the best, just suggestions as to which ones are good. Basically, which third party books are comprehensive, interesting, and worth buying?

    I've heard that Untapped Potential, Hyperconscious, Secrets of Pact Magic, and Bastards & Bloodlines are all good. Does anyone have opinions on those?
    The first three are normally among my top recommendations, and even though I'm not a huge fan of B&B specifically, Green Ronin does good work.

    If you're into monster books, Necromancer Games' Tomes of Horrors are a lot of fun - lots of traditional monsters like leprechauns and sea serpents, plus older editions' staples like nilbogs (snilbog?), flail snails and froghemoths, and other out-there monsters in the same spirit of the older games (my favorite examples are a maneating land-clam and an undead tornado with fists to punch things). Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary is also very useful on the monster front - it's essentially a full length monster manual-type book filled with templates.

    The other book that really filled a useful niche was Bastion's Into the Green, which is a Sandstorm/Frostburn/Stormwrack-type environment resource about forests and jungles.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-29 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    The first three are normally among my top recommendations, and even though I'm not a huge fan of B&B specifically, Green Ronin does good work.

    If you're into monster books, Necromancer Games' Tomes of Horrors are a lot of fun - lots of traditional monsters like leprechauns and sea serpents, plus older editions' staples like nilbogs (snilbog?), flail snails and froghemoths, and other out-there monsters in the same spirit of the older games (my favorite examples are a maneating land-clam and an undead tornado with fists to punch things). Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary is also very useful on the monster front - it's essentially a full length monster manual-type book filled with templates.

    The other book that really filled a useful niche was Bastion's Into the Green, which is a Sandstorm/Frostburn/Stormwrack-type environment resource about forests and jungles.
    Thanks! Into the Green sounds especially interesting so I'll make sure to check that out.

    What Green Ronin books, in particular, would you suggest?

    EDIT: Flail Snails sound hilarious, I'll have to try and obtain that book.
    Last edited by Blueiji; 2012-10-29 at 08:58 PM. Reason: To add a tidbit concerning Flail Snails
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Book of Erotic Fantasy is a great read. It is exactly what it says on the cover, but done quite well.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Book of Erotic Fantasy is a great read. It is exactly what it says on the cover, but done quite well.
    Nooooooo.....

    Here's a quote that summarizes my thoughts on this book quite well:

    BoEF has a lot of content that's maturely-written, balanced, or useful in an actual game. Pick two.
    Though it does have one of the funniest lines in a gaming book ever:

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    Really though, you're looking at a shapeshifted angel of some sort getting all Discovery Channel about how exactly Friendship Is Magic.

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    It is fairly hard to render a body into a form a necromancer can't do SOMETHING with it. They are the Martha Stewart's of spellcasters.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Well, the base classes all suck, (No pun intended) but the PrC's in there are well balanced and decently written. The Feats are about as useful as Heroes of Horror's, and the sample adventures are pretty epic.
    Oh, and the spells are good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Well, the base classes all suck, (No pun intended) but the PrC's in there are well balanced and decently written. The Feats are about as useful as Heroes of Horror's, and the sample adventures are pretty epic.
    Oh, and the spells are good.
    But how many times are you going to use those prestige classes in-game? For the same amount of money you could have gotten a book that's full of great content and is much more likely to be allowed.

    Also, I reccomend anything by dreamscarred press (the guys who did untapped potential). The company was partly co-founded by 3 very famous optimizers of the old WOTC boards. This is why the content is much more balanced than is normal for 3rd party.
    Last edited by 123456789blaaa; 2012-10-29 at 09:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Really though, you're looking at a shapeshifted angel of some sort getting all Discovery Channel about how exactly Friendship Is Magic.

    Please don't ask questions like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fouredged Sword View Post
    It is fairly hard to render a body into a form a necromancer can't do SOMETHING with it. They are the Martha Stewart's of spellcasters.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    I rather like Guildcraft for a more urban adventure.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I rather like Guildcraft for a more urban adventure.
    Thanks, I'll check that one out too.

    Does anyone know of any third party books devoted to Incarnum or Martial Initiators?

    Or perhaps even an entirely new subsystem? That would be cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    But how many times are you going to use those prestige classes in-game? For the same amount of money you could have gotten a book that's full of great content and is much more likely to be allowed.
    I don't know about you, but if I didn't get the book banned with my Cleric Hammer build, I would use Metaphysical Spellshaper all the time!
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Well, the base classes all suck, (No pun intended) but the PrC's in there are well balanced and decently written. The Feats are about as useful as Heroes of Horror's, and the sample adventures are pretty epic.
    Oh, and the spells are good.
    Actually, my group has had some positive experiences using the BoEF. Analyze Ancestry is actually a really useful spell in a feudal society when people start trying to mess with the succession. Throw in Voice of the Prophet, and do the big reveal in open court, makes for a pretty compelling scene actually.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    BoEF has some nice stuff, some interesting stuff, and some not so nice stuff.

    It's definitely aimed at a niche market within the PNP RPG market though. Unless your group is reasonably mature and fairly comfortable in their sexuallity, simply bringing it to the table can cause a bit of a row. Definitely way more suited to a group of close, long-term friends than your FLGS group.

    I'm not big on 3rd party stuff for the most part, but if you wanna try a more political campaign (and are fond of feudal Japan) the d20 rokugan books are kind of interesting. Monsters of Rokugan can work in any game though, and one of the water-demon thingies lets you do the "Dark Link" fights from legend of zelda in a game.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiji View Post
    Thanks! Into the Green sounds especially interesting so I'll make sure to check that out.

    What Green Ronin books, in particular, would you suggest?
    Pretty much the ones oriented toward DMs. The Advanced Bestiary I mentioned is probably their best and most applicable. Following that, Book of Fiends is well done in the vein of the Fiendish Codices, but I should probably qualify that by saying that its writers did go for a gross-out factor. Beyond that, it's pretty much just a question of whether you're into the premise of a campaign setting; if you are, GR usually has pretty good production values and adequate coverage of a setting to provide backstory, interesting plothooks and to answer any questions that might arise.

    The major weak point in GR's materials is usually their player content. The classes just tend to be dry and somewhat weaker than related WotC material (in the case of casters, that's not a bad thing; when their Paladin-like classes crop up, it can be a problem).
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-30 at 12:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Well, the base classes all suck, (No pun intended) but the PrC's in there are well balanced and decently written. The Feats are about as useful as Heroes of Horror's, and the sample adventures are pretty epic.
    Oh, and the spells are good.

    It is true base classes all are just a very small spin on something you already have, by I used water down Tantrist, for PG-13 games, as a blood mage. IT has worked out well so far.

    Just think of it this way, when your g/f or b/f gets in the mood, bring out your BOEF and say to them with a straight face.

    " How about we LARP tonight"
    Last edited by silverwolfer; 2012-10-30 at 09:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    But how many times are you going to use those prestige classes in-game? For the same amount of money you could have gotten a book that's full of great content and is much more likely to be allowed.

    Also, I reccomend anything by dreamscarred press (the guys who did untapped potential). The company was partly co-founded by 3 very famous optimizers of the old WOTC boards. This is why the content is much more balanced than is normal for 3rd party.
    By any chance do you know who are they?
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    It is true base classes all are just a very small spin on something you already have, by I used water down Tantrist, for PG-13 games, as a blood mage. IT has worked out well so far.

    Just think of it this way, when your g/f or b/f gets in the mood, bring out your BOEF and say to them with a straight face.

    " How about we LARP tonight"
    Even personal experiences with doing that aside, that sounds like a terrible idea. The last thing I want to do is being thinking about DnD. Heck, with my ADD I'm more likely get distracted by a optimization idea than getting anything done.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    hahah, I can just see someone having BOEF and a Trojan Catalog, trying to get the best items and stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    By any chance do you know who are they?
    Tempest Stormwind, Radical Taoist, Bacris and DisposableHero were responsible for Untapped Potential. Later books tend toward less familiar CO names.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-30 at 04:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Also, I reccomend anything by dreamscarred press (the guys who did untapped potential). The company was partly co-founded by 3 very famous optimizers of the old WOTC boards. This is why the content is much more balanced than is normal for 3rd party. anything written by WotC.
    Fixed that for you.
    Last edited by Rejakor; 2012-10-30 at 10:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    If you want to give Untapped Potential a test drive, most of its content is available on the DSP wiki for free:

    http://dsp-d20-srd.wikidot.com/

    Some of the other books' content (like Mind Divine) is there as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I rather like Guildcraft for a more urban adventure.
    As a lover of urban adventures I have to ask: what is in Guildcraft? From the title, I'd assume rules for running guilds and businesses, which I don't really think I need, but is there anything else good in there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    hahah, I can just see someone having BOEF and a Trojan Catalog, trying to get the best items and stats.
    It's not funny!

    ... okay, it's really funny.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    A great Spell from BoEF is a 6th level Cleric Spell: Body to Body. Cast upon the party at the begining of the day, Get your Persistent Spells cast on you, and spread them to the party as well. Need to heal that injured party member, cast a heal spell upon yourself, and it will heal everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Fixed that for you.

    Oh I don't know. I think Tome of Battle and the binding section of Tome of Magic were both pretty good in terms of balance.
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    Really though, you're looking at a shapeshifted angel of some sort getting all Discovery Channel about how exactly Friendship Is Magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    Oh I don't know. I think Tome of Battle and the binding section of Tome of Magic were both pretty good in terms of balance.
    Eh... ToM.... once brokenly bad class, one mediocre, and one T3. So like 1/3 balanced.
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    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Eh... ToM.... once brokenly bad class, one mediocre, and one T3. So like 1/3 balanced.
    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    Oh I don't know. I think Tome of Battle and the binding section of Tome of Magic were both pretty good in terms of balance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Really though, you're looking at a shapeshifted angel of some sort getting all Discovery Channel about how exactly Friendship Is Magic.

    Please don't ask questions like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fouredged Sword View Post
    It is fairly hard to render a body into a form a necromancer can't do SOMETHING with it. They are the Martha Stewart's of spellcasters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I derp and I herp. Sorry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Tempest Stormwind, Radical Taoist, Bacris and DisposableHero were responsible for Untapped Potential. Later books tend toward less familiar CO names.
    Wow. I feel like I've been living under a rock for not having heard of this before now then.
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Does Secrets of Pact Magic actually have more stuff for Binders, the class?
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    Default Re: Best 3.5e Third Party Books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I'm not big on 3rd party stuff for the most part, but if you wanna try a more political campaign (and are fond of feudal Japan) the d20 rokugan books are kind of interesting. Monsters of Rokugan can work in any game though, and one of the water-demon thingies lets you do the "Dark Link" fights from legend of zelda in a game.
    Is the Rokugan stuff the same as the Oriental Adventures sourcebook?

    So the current list of good third part books to acquire seems to amount to the following.

    - Hyperconscious
    - Untapped Potential
    - Secrets of Pact Magic
    - Tome of Horrors
    - Advanced Bestiary
    - Into the Green
    - Guildcraft
    - Book of Fiends

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