Which RPG features the best writing?
This seems to be another way of asking which RPG do I enjoy reading the most, and there are a few which top the list. I have enjoyed reading Shadowrun RPG material over the years, because they use the conceit that what you are reading is a BBS/Forum post. So the books are peppered to a greater or lesser extent with comments from characters in the Shadowrun world, and was such a cool way to immerse the reader in the world.
Currently I enjoy reading material for The Laundry RPG. The layout and sidebars help reinforce the bureaucratic nature of the game setting, and the excerpts from Charles Stross’ The Laundry Files helps set the tone very nicely. I’m also in the middle of my annual re-read of the original Volo’s Guides, which are still my favourite supplements for any game setting.
What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?
I’ve found Noble Knight Games to be my best bet for finding something out-of-print. I have a few other places I’ll check if they don’t have the thing, like Troll and Toad or Ebay, but generally if NK doesn’t have it it’s not available. Or at least not available at a price point or in a condition I want to buy.
That said, if all I want is the information, not the physical book itself, then DriveThruRPG is my go-to resource for finding a clean .pdf copy I can read. Yes, I know I could likely find a free .pdf to download with just a Google search. But I always check DriveThru RPG first, because if they have it it means the company is getting some of the money from it’s sale, and I like keeping my hobby healthy by supporting game companies. Only if I can’t find it there do I search for a scanned .pdf, as my assumption at that point is that the company has no interest in making money off the product.
And I think I may have suggested it before, but check out sales at your local library. My library has a book sale of donated items every couple of months or so, and I can pickup soft cover books for $1 and hard cover books for $2. The last time I made it out to one, I walked away with 38 sourcebooks for $38, which is a pretty sweet price however you measure it. I just grab whatever I can find, because a sourcebook has to be pretty bad that I can’t get at least $1 worth of material from it, regardless of the game it’s for.
Which RPG does the most with the least words?
There are a number of really great one-page RPGs which do a yeoman’s work, but my current fav is John Harper’s Lasers & Feelings. The mechanics are incredibly simple, and yet tell you everything you need to know about not just the character, but the setting. And the game is super friendly to GMs who are low on prep time, with a simple yet evocative adventure generator. If you’re caught short on game night and need something quick and easy to play, bring this up on your tablet or laptop and get playing.