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RPG Designer’s Reference Library

In an earlier post, An Inventory and Inspirations, I talked about some of the RPG’s I recently picked up for review. I also talked about how my design & writing process involves enmeshing myself in source material. Well, that brings up one of my other major bits of source material, my reference library. A few years ago I began amassing a reference library to inform my game design and science fiction and fantasy writing.  I collected books on several subjects: Medieval History, Ancient History, Weaponry & Warfare, Magic, Mythology, Monsters & The Paranormal, Nanotechnology, Space Travel, and World Building for Science Fiction & Fantasy.

My collection, arranged by subject is listed below.



  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England – Nigel Saul
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings – Peter Sawyer
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe – George Holmes (Editor)
  • The Middle Ages – Morris Bishop
  • 1066 The Year of Conquest – David Howarth
  • Anglo-Saxon England – F.M. Stenton
  • *The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology – various


  • The English (Peoples of Europe) – Geoffrey Elton
  • The Bretons – Patrick Galliou; Michael Jones
  • The Norsemen in the Viking Age (Peoples of Europe) – Eric Christiansen
  • The Celts – Nora Chadwick
  • The Druids – Stuart Piggott
  • The Ancient Celts – Barry Cunliffe
  • The Anglo-Saxons – James Campbell (Editor)


  • Power And Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe – Peter Spufford
  • Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales and Folklore – Carl Lindahl, John Mcnamara, John Lindow
  • Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages – Richard Barber; Juliet Barker
  • The Medieval Underworld – Andrew McCall
  • Medieval Travellers: The Rich and Restless – Margaret Wade Labarge
  • Medieval Heraldry (Osprey Men-at-Arms series 99) – Terence Wise; Richard Hook; William Walker
  • The Knight in History – Frances Gies
  • *Life in a Medieval City – Joseph Gies; Frances Gies
  • *Life in a Medieval Castle – Joseph Gies; Francis Gies
  • *Life in a Medieval Village – Joseph Gies; Francis Gies
  • *Life in Medieval Times – Marjorie Rowling
  • Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages – Frances & Joseph Gies
  • The Year 1000: What Life Was Like At the Turn of the Century – Robert Lacey; Danny Danziger
  • Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne – Pierre Riche
  • Women in the Middle Ages – France & Jospeh Gies
  • The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages – Sherilyn Kenyon
  • Celtic Daily Life – Victor Walkley



  • The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece – Robert Morkot
  • The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome – Chris Scarre
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic World  -John Boardman; Jasper Griffin; Oswyn Murray
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World -et al
  • The Punic Wars – Adrian Goldsworthy
  • The Peloponnesian War – Donald Kagan
  • The Spartans – Paul Cartledge
  • The Penguin Encylopedia of Ancient Civilizations – Arthur Cotterell (Editor)
  • Eyewitness Books: Ancient Rome – Susan Mckever (Editor)
  • Eyewitness: Ancient Greece – Anne Pearson
  • Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome – Lesley Adkins, Roy A Adkins
  • Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece – Lesley Adkins & Roy A Adkins




  • Warfare in the Classical World – John Warry
  • *The Complete Roman Army – Adrian Goldsworthy
  • *Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World: 3000 BC – Simon Anglim, et. Al


  • Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World: AD 500 – Matthew Bennet; Jim Bradbury; Kelly DeVries, et al
  • Medieval European Armies (Osprey Men-At-Arms series #50) -Terence Wise; Gerald Embleton
  • *Medieval Combat: A 15th Century Illustrated Manual – Hans Tollhoffer; Mark Rector
  • *Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques – John Clements
  • Renaissance Swordsmanship: The Illustrated Book Of Rapiers And Cut And Thrust Swords And Their Use -John Clements


  • FM 5-25: Explosives and Demolitions – Department of the Army
  • FM 31-21: Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations – Department of the Army
  • FM 5-31: Boobytraps -Department of The Army
  • FM 5-15: Field Fortifications – Department of the Army
  • TC 23-14: Sniper Training and Deployment – Department of the Army
  • ST 31-204: Hand To Hand Fighting (Karate/Tae Kwan Do) – US Army Institute for Military Assistance
  • Vietcong Mines & Boobytraps Gained From Operational Experience in viet Nam – Department of the Navy
  • TM 31-210: Improvised Munitions Handbook – Department of the Army
  • FM 23-9: M16A1 Rifle and Rifle Marksmanship – Department of the Army
  • TM 31-201-1: Unconventional Warfare Devices and Techniques: Incendiaries
    Department of the Army
  • Sniper Counter Sniper -Mark V. Lonsdale
  • The Elite Forces Handbook of Unarmed Combat – Ron Shillingford
  • The Poisons and Antidotes Sourcebook: 2nd Edition
    Carol Turkington


  • Arms & Armor (Eyewitness Books) – Michelle Byam
  • Weapons: An international encyclopedia from 5000 B -Randal Gray; Diagram Group
  • *The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms and Armour from Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry – R. Ewart Oakeshott
  • Arms and Armour in Antiquity and the Middle Ages – Charles Boutell
  • Brassey’s Book of Body Armor – Robert Woosnam-Savage & Anthony Hall
  • *European Weapons and Armor: From the Renaissance to The Industrial Revolution -Ewart Oakeshott


  • *The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible: Volume 1 – Steve Alley; et. al.
  • *The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible: Volume 2 – G. Fred Asbell; Tim Baker, et. Al.
  • The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible: Volume 3 – Tim Baker, Paul Comstock, et. Al.
  • Bows of the World – David Gray


  • Gun Digest 2003 – Ken Ramage; Various
  • The Illustrated Book of Guns – David Miller
  • Complete Reloading Guide – John E Traister & Robert Traister
  • The Vital Guide to Combat Guns and Infantry Weapon – Chris Biship; Various
  • Military Small Arms of the 20th Century, 7th Edition – Ian V. Hogg & Sean S. Weeks
  • Muzzleloading how to load and shoot flintlocks, caplocks and in-lines – Toby Bridges
  • *Complete Reloading Guide – John E Traister & Robert Traister
  • *Cartridges of The World – 9th Edition – Frank C. Barnes


  • A Knight and His Weapons (2nd Edition) – Ewart Oakeshott
  • *Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight – David Edge & John Miles Paddock
  • *The Book of the Medieval Knight – Stephen Turnbull


  • Swords and Hilt Weapons – Michael D. Coe
  • The Book of the Sword – Richard F. Burton


  • Castles: Their Construction and History – Sidney Toy
  • The Medieval Castle: Life in a Fortress in Peace & War (Penguin Classic History) -Philip Warner
  • Inside Story: A Medieval Castle – Fiona Macdonald
  • Castle -David Macaulay
  • Eyewitness Books: Castle – Christopher Gravett
  • *The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts, and walled – J.E. Kaufmann; H.W. Kaufmann



  • Magic, Witchcraft and Religion: An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural (5th Edition) – Arthur C. Lehmann; James E Myers
  • Magic in the Middle Ages – Richard Kieckhefer
  • The Black Arts – Rich Cavendish
  • The Encylopedia of Witches & Witchcraft – Rosemary Ellen Guiley
  • The Magicians Companion:  A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism  – Bill Whitcomb
  • The Complete Book of Amulets & Talismans -Migene Gonzalez-Wippler
  • *The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, & Brews – Scott Cunningham
  • *Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, & Metal – Scott Cunningham
  • *Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs – Scott Cunningham



  • Celtic Myths and Legends – T.W. Rolleston
  • Celtic Myths & Legends – Charles Squire
  • *Celtic Myth and Legends – Peter Berresford Ellis
  • *The Kalevala – Elias Lonnrott; Keith Bosley
  • The Iliad: By Homer – Robert Fitzgerald (Translator)
  • The Odyssey: By Homer – Robert Fitzgerald (Translator)
  • The Aeneid: by Virgil – Robert Fitzgerald (translator)
  • Mythology – Edith Hamilton
  • The Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings – Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics) – N.K. Sandars
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion – Simon Price; Emily Kearns (Editors)
  • Dictionary of Classical Mythology – J.E. Zimmerman
  • The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology -Joseph Campbell
  • The Golden Bough: The Roots of Religion and Folklore – James G. Frazier



    • Spirits, Faeries, Leprechauns and Goblins: An Encyclopedia – Carol Rose
    • The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, 2nd Edition – Rosemary Ellen Guiley
    • Vampires & Vampirism: Legends From Around the World – Dudley Wright
    • The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead – J. Gordon Melton
    • *Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encylopedia – Carol Rose
    • *A Field Guide to Demons, Faeries, Fallen Angels, and… -Carol K. Mack; Dinah Mack
    • *The World Guide to Gnomes, Faeries, Elves, and Other … Thomas Keightly
    • *Half Human, Half Animal: Tales of Werewolves and R – Jamie Hall
    • *Encylopedia of Things That Never Were – Michael Page; Robert Ingpen
    • Unexplained!: Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences – Jerome Clark
    • The Directory of Possibilities – Colin Wilson (editor); John Grant (Editor)
    • The Encylopedia of Unsolved Mysteries – Colin Wilson; Damon Wilson



  • Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology – K. Eric Drexler
  • Understanding Nanotechnology – Scientific American
  • Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics – Douglas Mulhall



  • Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization – Robert Zubrin
  • The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space -Gerard K. O’Neill
  • Living in Space: A Handbook for Work & Exploration Stations Beyond the Earth’s Atmosphere – G. Harry Stine
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension – Albert A. Harrison
  • New Earths: Restructuring Earth and Other Planets – James Edward Oberg
  • Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel – Louis Friedman
  • Space Travel: A Writer’s Guide to the Science of Interplanetary and Interstellar travel (Science Fiction Writing Series) – Ben Bova: Anthony R. Lewis
  • The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer’s Guide to Interstellar Travel – Eugene Mallove; Gregory Matloff
  • Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing – Stanley Schmidt & Robert Zubrin (editors)



  • Writer’s Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe – George Ochoa; Jeffrey Osier
  • World Building: A Writer’s Guide to Constructing Star Systems and Life-Supporting Planets (Science Fiction Writing Series) – Stephen L. Gillet
  • Aliens and Alien Societies: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Extraterrestial Life-Forms – Stanley Schmidt
  • The Science of Science Fiction – James Gunn
  • Borderlands of Science: How to Think Like a Scientist (and Write Science Fiction) -Charles Sheffield
  • Time Travel: A Writer’s Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel – Paul J Nahin
  • The Fantasy Writer’s Companion -Tee Morris (Editor)
  • The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference: An Indespensable Compendium of Myth and Magic – Various
  • The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy: Volume One – Darin Park (Editor); Tome Dullemond (Editor)

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