Appendix Lit: New Book Club Rating System and Discussion Questions.

l started this book club so l could get new inspiration for my games and also broaden my reading experiences. It’s been a little over a year and l have read some really cool books and some that l struggled with. I have been negligent in doing reviews on the books beyond the discord converstaions. I realised part of that was becuase the questions l had originally come up with were a little more judge-the-book rather than draw-from-the-book. I wanted to focus a little more on the original intention of the books too—gaming inspiration. So l have cleaned up the questions a bit. The new list is below.

I’ve also come up with a rating system that is a bit more game focused. The starts can be so personal and abused. This system judges how i am likely to use it in my games, not if I liked the book. We might discuss that but I am not going to rate a book based on enjoyment when it is such a personal thing. That’s what discussions are for.

The dice rating system:

The caltrop d4, the die most likely to deal foot damage. You rarely use it, yet you need it in your set. A d4 book might have the odd NPC or environ idea, though there wasn’t much else pulled from it. It is also possible this book just wasn’t for you and another GM might love it.

A d6. This dice is one of the most used and versatile. Similarly, these books are likely the kind almost everyone will enjoy it—does that make it a classic? Maybe? These books are easily drawn from for quick references or easy staples in your games.

D8s. These dice are some of the coolest looking and most satisfying to roll. A d8 book is one that satisfies an itch other books don’t or can’t. These are often solid niche books that are big in small circles. They provide new settings or different ways of approaching old tropes.

Oh the d10. Good for support in some games, and then are core to the system in others. These books are like a mix of a d6 and a d8 book. They are special and might be ahead or behind its time to shine. These books often leave you wanting more. They provide a good dose of material to draw from.

The d12. One of the most underutilised, oft overlooked, and coolest dice. These books are the same. Once you read one you don’t know how you hadn’t before. There is lots to draw from in a d12 book be it environments, new settings, or characters.

Meet d20. The powerhouse of the dice and tabletop gaming systems currently. These are books you are fairly certain you can make an entire adventure from. Possibly even non playing characters that can drive further plot however, like the dice, these books can be a little overused.

Full set. With a full you get everything you need. These books are the some. You might not use everything all the time, yet you’ll have everything you need when you do. A full set book make you want to be and adventure writer and you can draw full campaigns from a book.

The new questions:

  1. What did you like best about this book?
  2. What did you like least about this book?
  3. What feelings did this book evoke for you?
  4. What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing this book? What ideas were being put forward? Did you get the encoded messages while reading the book or learn it after?
  5. If you could hear this same story from another person’s point of view, who would you choose?
  6. If you were running this story as an adventure, where would it be difficult to allow the players to progress the plot without being pulled along?
  7. What role playing game system would you use? Is there one that best suits the style of the book?
  8. If the characters were Player Characters what would their race, background, and class be?
  9. Which of the characters do you think you could make into Non-Player Characters, and how would you use these NPCs in the game?
  10. Which places in the book would you most like to visit?
  11. What scenes or chapters could you turn into encounters in your adventures?
  12. Did you think the book was too long or short? Were you able to see some pacing opportunities for your own stories?
  13. If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast?
  14. Did this book make you think of a style of music at all? Create a book group playlist together!

Do you have any others that could be added?

This list is based from Teresa Preston at bookriot.com then modified to the gaming geek vibe that I was hoping to have for this club.

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