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Real World Books in Fictional Libraries


matrix3
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When your PCs happen upon the Mad Doctor's library, are there any real world volumes present? Or, when you are fleshing out the background on your gadgeteer/scientist, do you ever say he was published in real world journals?

 

I've included classics like first editions of H.G. Wells, or a handwritten manuscript of Jabberwocky. I've also included textbooks with interesting titles like Nonlinear Dynamics of Chaotic and Stochastic Systems and Conformal Field Theory, and some collected journals like Biological Cybernetics and Cybernetics and Systems Analysis.

 

What real world books populate your fictional characters' libraries?

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

Oh yeah, I've done it. In a mad scientists labs:

Methods of Digital Computation.

Differential Equations and Boundry Value Problems

Physical Chemistry

 

All the above were text books in classes I had in Chemical Engineering.

 

The Silmarillion was in a dark lords tower once. (he considered it a "what not to do" book)

 

There were more, but I can't remember them.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

It just so happens that I'm writing about a villainous librarian right now, so i have actually considered this a little bit. Of course, specific subjects will vary by villain and/or villain type, but one book that should be in every mastermind's library is Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Same for Machiavelli's The Prince. The Raffles books would be apropos for any aspiring thief. I can see a Dr. Moreau style mad scientist having an original edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. What aspiring crime boss wouldn't have The Godfather on the shelf? That's a start :sneaky:

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

Of course,someone who was trying to reanimate the dead would have a first edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,a vampire lord would have a copy of Dracula,and an alien invader would also pick up H.G.Wells The War Of The Worlds and The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

Critique of Pure Reason. A well-thumbed copy. On the "refreshment station" reading stand. Because' date=' you know, that's the time when you need something light and amusing, that doesn't take much concentration.[/quote']

Ha! A good way to underline you are dealing with a superhuman intellect.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

The complete works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, and Asimov are good for the personal library of any mad scientist or would-be world conqueror, if only for appearance's sake.

 

And of course if you want to really make your PCs (and players) think about what they're seeing, you could throw in Where the Wild Things Are.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

One immortal villian had a scroll witten in Hebrew in his trophy case. When the PC's investigated' date=' not only was it the biblical Book of [i']Joshuah[/i], but it appeared to be the rough draft.

There was a campaign a friend was in where the villain had procured original works by Yehudah ben Bezalel Levai, the rabbi who supposedly created the Prague golem. He intended to use them to create an army, but couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work, so was kidnapping rabbinical scholars, which is how the PC's got involved. Not as old as the book of Joshua (~16th century AD vs. what? 15th century BC?), but still a pretty cool idea, I thought.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

I had an aspiring Dark Lord collecting the works of Freud, Kierkegarde, Fromm, Jung etc and annotating them, mostly with 'LOL' or 'ROFLMAO' comments. While His collection of the Blue, Brown, Green fairy story books were used as training manuals for his officer corps. What not to do and how to get out of trouble if it does happen.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

I had an aspiring Dark Lord collecting the works of Freud' date=' Kierkegarde, Fromm, Jung etc and annotating them, mostly with 'LOL' or 'ROFLMAO' comments. While His collection of the Blue, Brown, Green fairy story books were used as training manuals for his officer corps. What not to do and how to get out of trouble if it does happen.[/quote']

I'm not familiar with the blue, brown, green fairy story books. links?

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

I have a vampire with the entire (so far) Twilight series, then again she is something of a fangirl when it comes to that particular subject (Vampires, not Twilight.)

 

I have an 'eccentric' (your only mad if you fail) scientist with Arthur C. Clarke's 'Profiles of the Future' (both editions). He uses Clarke's second law ("the only way we can know the limit of the possible is to attempt to move beyond it into the impossible") as his personal maxim, and enjoys the list of 'esteemed scientists' who said something was impossible only to have themselves proved wrong by reality (proving Clarke's first law: "If an esteemed scientist says something is possible he is most likely right, if he says it is impossible he is most likely wrong") it gives him a reason to call those who doubt him 'fools', he has historical precedent.

 

I haven't used it yet but I plan on having a master villain who carries a copy of 'Master of the World' by Jules Verne.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

The Prince (Il Principe above) annotated by Catherine de' Medici in October of 1563

 

Bartie Patersoune's Manuscript, recovered after his execution for Witchcraft in 1607

 

The Voynich manuscript with translation.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

The Prince (Il Principe above) annotated by Catherine de' Medici in October of 1563

 

Bartie Patersoune's Manuscript, recovered after his execution for Witchcraft in 1607

 

The Voynich manuscript with translation.

But the mystery of the Voynich Manuscript has been solved (spoilered for space):

 

 

voynich_manuscript.png

 

 

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

How about Ben Hur 1860 3rd Edition with duplicated line on page 116 or a Chevalier Audubon 1840 - the full set' date=' of course?[/quote']

Nobody would. There isn't such a thing.

 

EDIT: Of course, you could throw those in there as references. Along with original works by S. Morgenstern.

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Re: Real World Books in Fictional Libraries

 

If you had a "world's smartest man" character' date=' he could have a book titled "Ramses II" next to his computer just in case he couldn't think of an adequate log-on password.[/quote']

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the graphic novel give both Ozymandis and Night Owl a lot more credit than the movie by requiring Night Owl to know that Ozymandis was another name for Ramses on his own, instead of trying to make viewers believe that the "world's smartest man" needed a reminder of his password right next to his computer?

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