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The Black BookThis book is actually a fantastic creation of a very talented artist (who I sadly can’t find right now) and it’s my goal to one day have props/books this brilliant to use in my own games.

As I have often said several times on this blog, there is one thing that can’t be beaten at a gaming table and that’s physical props. Unfortunately, it can often be hard to acquire, outright expensive or just time consuming to make your own tomes/books (like the header image). Thankfully today I was linked to a really fantastic resource called Dark Books, which has a wide collection of PDFs of public domain old spell and occult books. Of particular interest to those of us keen on Cthulhu, is an “English Translation” of the Necronomicon by John Dee. This is the sort of thing that even if you only print off a few pages to use, can really enhance a game and give your players a much higher feeling of verisimilitude. It’s also just a fantastic resource to mine for ideas on describing mythos spells and similar, here is a sample after the jump:

Necronomicon Page Sample

I personally think the above is really useful and again, you can just go to the previous link and download the thing to have a read through for yourself. Note the ambiguous description of the elder sign as protecting one from the “Old Gods”. I actually liked the implications in here that it draws the attention of “The Watcher”. This creature helps fortify the Elder Sign circle, but is just as prone (like most mythos entities) to attack the summoner as it will anyone (or anything) else.

Aside from this book, I also found some other interesting reading material also from John Dee. Another tome called “Grimorium Imperium” has a lot more potential mythos magic related ideas within it also. This is a fantastic place to start if you want your game to use a symbology based magic system, which I’ve been employing in my recent Trail of Cthulhu game to great effect. Giving players a tangible idea of how these symbols and magic “interacts” really can spark the imagination in my experience. So books like these, with plenty of good ideas to take a bit of the initial time investment out of setting it up are really valuable.

If I find anything else of particular note and interest, I’ll be sure to share some more of my discoveries with you on the blog! Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments too!