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 Single Book RPG Recommendations


Making wizards funky again
Validated User
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Witchcraft (and pretty much any Unisystem corebook)
Unknown Armies (2nd edition)


Wave Man
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While I of course hope folks buy all of John Carter of Mars, you have everything to run with the core book.


Active member
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Was just skimming 13th Age, as it was a recommendation here, is it a part of the d20 system?
13A was made by the lead designer of D&D3 and the lead designer of D&D4, who agreed that the games they had WANTED to make were too constrained by the project as-specified by WotC.

So they made the game they WANTED to make... which looked a lot like 4eX3e - stuff they hadn't wanted + other stuff they had wanted.

The Unshaven

Registered User
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A lot of what I'd suggest is already here, so I wanted to flag the addition of Breakfast Cult by Paul "Ettin" Matijevic.

It's an evocative, imaginative setting with fantastic art, inclusive art from inclusive artists, and made me laugh a great deal reading it. It's also one of those educational books which periodically uses an example casually, like it's not a big deal, that completely changes your understanding of what can potentially be done with game mechanics you thought you understood.


Overprotective Angel
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13th Age looks pretty stand-alone from what I remembered reading of it so far. There are nice supplements and third-party support, of course, but the core rules seem solid.

I think 13th Age might be considered a D20 game, but it’s somewhat different in some various ways. But I’ll let the 13th Age fans describe it in much better detail.

There is a 13th Age SRD if you want to check out of some of the the basic rules. I think this is the link:

While I of course hope folks buy all of John Carter of Mars, you have everything to run with the core book.
Wait, are there more JC stuff coming up (or was released)? :D


Member in Good Standing
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Numenera 1 nailed the 1-book deal.

I'd argue that Numenera Discovery still does. Destiny is a 2nd core book with additional classes and options, but not at all necessary. Discovery has setting, character generation & advancement (plus rules to make your own options), mechanics, GM advice chapter, bestiary (NPCs & creatures), and even contains 3 adventures AND appendices with optional rules and features. Literally has everything in one volume.
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