Desert Island Dice

You find yourself somewhat inconveniently stranded on a desert island. Drifting up onto the beach with you are two crates. One contains the bare necessary equipment to make a shelter and find food. The other contains just four books.

One is the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Because there’s always a Complete Works of Shakespeare, that’s why.

Two are role-playing books of some kind along with dice, paper, etc. But no internet access, laptop or iPad. Sorry.

The last one isn’t.

What are they?

Here’s mine: The two RPGs are the Classic D&D Rules Cyclopedia and Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition. Between those two I don’t need any other. If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing I won’t need to explain why :)

The last book would be De Bellis Antiquitatis, probably the best (not to mention most fun) wargames rules around. The rules themselves take up just 16 pages and the rest of the book provides historically accurate (or at least, historically accurate enough) army lists and campaign setups from 3,000BC to 1500AD. It’s easy to play solo too, so I won’t need to teach a passing dolphin how to wargame.

Give me the DBA rules and enough palm trees to carve myself a few armies and I’ll never want to leave that desert island. When I’m not pushing armies around I can create domains, dungeons and adventures in Classic D&D, or invent superheroes and villains (or explore any other genre, for that matter) in M&M.

That’s mine.

What’s yours?

12 Comments on “Desert Island Dice”

  1. Mine would be the Rules Cyclopedia too, but the third book would be a 500lb. ringbinder (filled) with one of those loop pens tied to it so I could ACTUALLY WRITE DOWN THE STUFF I COME UP WITH!!!

  2. Oh, and the 4th book would be the largest playboy magazine printed evar!! Cuz you dint say how long i’d be stuck on that desert island with NOONETOPLAY those games with!!! God bless that old-skewl, analog porn!!


    1. LOL!

      By the rules of the island the RPGs come with paper ‘n’ stuff, but I guess it would be ok for you to forego having another game book to have a really, really huge stock of paper.

      As for your 4th choice….. can’t argue with you there :D

  3. I’m totally with you on the Rules Cyclopedia for my first choice. The second book would be West End Games’ Star Wars 2nd Edition Revised core book. The third would be The Hordes of the Things miniature game rules, which are based on the De Bellis Antiquitatis system. Being stuck on a desert island, I’m less inclined to care about historical accuracy.

  4. DC Adventures RPG (why have M&M 3E when you can have it in hardcover with the stats for DC Heroes – two birds, one stone, best of both worlds, etc.).

    Star Trek, The Next Generation RPG by Last Unicorn Games (Partial to TOS but that first book in the series was the best laid out visually and most clearly organized. I can run any type of Star Trek game with that book).

    The last and most updated edition of The Star Trek Encyclopedia. I have never read through any Star Trek RPG book for ideas half as many times as I’ve read through my ST Encyclopedia. Single best reference source for running Trek ever.

  5. DC Adventures and Strands of FATE in hardcover, and … well, if I’m going to be totally honest, a Bible. Between that and the Complete works of Shakespeare I shouldn’t have any trouble coming up with inspiration for plot ideas, and it’ll be comforting when I inevitably need it.

    Sorry to get all serious on your question :)

  6. Hmmm- Rules Cyclopedia and Star Wars 2nd Ed Revised are hard to top.

    The 4th book would have to be the most appropriate Army field manual for the island :P

  7. I suppose the RC is a good choice for a full RPG in one volume.
    Mythus GME is a necessary second choice as I’m completely alone with no one to play with.
    Finally How to escape a Desert Island in Five Easy Steps would be my last book.

  8. My books would be:

    RPG 1) AD&D 2nd Edition PHB (as it is MY game, i.e. the one I grew up with, the same way Peter Davidson was MY Doctor);

    RPG 2) AD&D 2nd Edition Monster Manual;

    Other) for me, probably a blank book and a pen, so I could write my own stories, rules, and so forth… either that or a novel I would happily read over and over again (maybe The Child Thief by Brom, as I love that book).

  9. RPG 1) M&M 3E
    RPG 2) 3.5 Monster Manual
    Other) A custom printed book containing all the the World Fantasy Award Short Fiction Winners (even better would be all the nominees, but I’m not sure the binding would hold).

    I’m turning a bit blue here attempting to hold my breath in anticipation of the Single Power Superhero post.

  10. The last book would be Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. It’s got plenty of random resource material for most any kind of idea I’d need. The first RPG would be a printed copy of the 3.5 SRD in a ringed binder and the second book…hmmm. I think It’d be a printed copy of the fan made PnP Fallout RPG. I’ve got two complete games, one fantasy and one modern, and one book of interesting mythical and historical tidbits.

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