A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

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LoZompatore
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A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by LoZompatore » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:46 pm

Probably this list already exists somewhere in the Vaults of Pandius; anyway, while I was busy compiling the list of obscure locations and populations of Mystara (see here)I also took notice of every rare and arcane / magic book explicitly mentioned by name in the official supplements. Actually there are many more but their names were never explicitly stated, which is a real pity.

The list can be downloaded here (EDIT: updated file as of March, 1st 2018).

It is not a very long list, just some 45 entries (but many are part of a multi-volume collection so the total number of books is greater), compiled to the best of my knowledge. Maybe it could be useful to add flavour to your campaign by providing your players with canon names for the rare books they manage to put their hands on.

;)
Last edited by LoZompatore on Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Mike » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:27 pm

Wow great idea. Very useful when players visit a library.
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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by religon » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:27 pm

Dungeon magazine (28, 41 and 53) mentioned some books in a few other BECMI adventures. (Not necessarily Mystara.)

Age-Old Fairy Tales, by Hussan Ogar (Dungeon #28, p. 44)
Very Important Treatise on this Highly Relevant Subject
The Big Books of Sappy, Drivelly Love Poems
The Text of the Magenmaker
The Root of Evil
Tales of the Faerie Realm

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by LoZompatore » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:49 pm

Wow great idea. Very useful when players visit a library.
My thought as well, so you can add flavour to your adventure with very little effort! :D
Thanks a lot also for the links to the books created by the fan base, I guess they will be a great addition to the list!
Dungeon magazine (28, 41 and 53) mentioned some books in a few other BECMI adventures. (Not necessarily Mystara.)
To me BECMI = Mystara so the books you named (very nice find, by the way!) have all rights to stay in my list, which I just updated. ;)

By the way, I added to the list also a few more books I found in the "Books of Wondrous Inventions" (including the book of wondrous invention itself :mrgreen: ) and all the magical /cursed books foun in the "Book of Marvelous Magic". The list is now some 64 items long. I guess it is more than enough to fill a magic-user PC personal collection!

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:47 pm

This is great!

Some I would include:

Nameh (Gaz2) The book of Al-Kalim

These aren't necessarily books, but it seems that someone might have written them down at some point:

Summer of Leeches | Gaz 8 | Popular Halfling story Sing of a King | Gaz 8 | Halfling song Halfling High | Gaz 8 | Halfling song The Ballad of Nob Nar | Gaz 8 | Halfling song The Song of Halav | Gaz1 | Traladaran legend

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by LoZompatore » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:59 pm

Thanks Havard for the contributions! :cool:
I guess they should be added to the list as well ;)

I'm wondering if I should also include:

- The log book of Rory Barbarosa from X1
- "The Escapades of Draco Stormsailer-Scourge of the Seas!" from X3 (page 12)
- "Bollathar's journeys to the Heart of the Earth" from PWAI (page 174), which should be pure fiction
- "Misha Mananov's Trail Recipes" from the Joshuan Almanac (page 156)
- The Joshuan Almanac itself
- "Wise Mariner's Almanac" from X8 (page 2)

In this case the list would become pretty generalistic, as it will include all named books on every possible subject on Mystara.

What is your opinion on this?

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:19 pm

LoZompatore wrote:Thanks Havard for the contributions! :cool:
I guess they should be added to the list as well ;)

I'm wondering if I should also include the log book of Rory Barbarosa from X1, the "Bollathar's journeys to the Heart of the Earth" from PWAI (page 174), which should be pure fiction, and a couple more books from the Joshuan Almanac (a travelling recipes book and a tome on lore and advices to sailors).
In this case the list would become pretty generalistic, as it will include all named books on every possible subject on Mystara.

What is your opinion on this?
I would say they should be added. Better to be more inclusive and make notes about any problematic issues?

I would also add:
The Poor Wizard's Almanacs and Poor Wizards Alamanac as these are supposedly real books in the setting?
Voyage of the Princess Ark - The Journal of Haldemar of Haaken.

I think the Hall of Heroes also mentioned that some of the previous Mystara novels existed in the setting?

Maybe also the legends of Balthac etc from the module where he originally appeared?

Tome of Translation (Book of Marvelous Magic p 66) - magical item
Book of Marvelous Magic (Book of Marvelous Magic - Back cover) - a tome given to the Wizard Phaedras from his unnamed teacher, detailing all sorts of magical items.


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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:52 pm

I've got one for you that I just noticed earlier:

From Nightrage (HWA2, p. 61):
"...this obscure passage comes from one of the world's oldest books, Prophetic Truths, known to partisan scholars as The Sayings of Madmen.
Sounds like it might be Mystara's version of the Necronomicon.

ETA: Found another one. This one from PC4: Night Howlers (p. 58 of the DM manual) - The History of the Principalities of Glantri, as Pertaining to the Effects of the Spread of Magical Items and Spell research into Neighboring Nations. Pretty long title!
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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:58 pm

I don't think anyone's mentioned the Book of Amon from HWR2 Kingdom of Nithia.

And, from the same source, the Master Plan, a series of magical maps on papyrus scrolls.

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:51 pm

New Books:
  • Thar's Manual of Good Conduct (Gaz10, pull-out)
  • The Tome of Ssu-Ma is an artifact (Master Rules, DM's Booklet), but it is also a book so maybe it should be included here?
  • Duh Legion's Guide to Fungi (Gaz10 p36)
  • Kingdom of Ierendi (Gaz2, pull out section) - Tourist pamphlet with information about Ierendi
More comments:

1. I seem to recall at some point some BECMI source mentioing that special books are required to create Golems and other constructs. Based on this, one of our early campaigns included such books for each type of construct. Does anyone know if there actually was such a reference in a BECMI sourcebook? I've been looking through them today, but haven't been able to find the reference. Am I misremembering this?

2. Gaz3 mentions something called an Alchemist's Codex, but it does seem to be more of a type of book used by Alchemists rather than a unique book.

3. The Companion Set DM's Guild p48 lists "Book, Rare" as an item to be found in a treasure. Their value ranges from 10-1000 GPs.

4. Gaz 3 p 66-67 has details on the appearance of rare books

5. "How to manuals" on how to host themed parties (Gaz 3 p 43)

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by RobJN » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:39 pm

Havard wrote:This is great!
These aren't necessarily books, but it seems that someone might have written them down at some point:

The Song of Halav | Gaz1 | Traladaran legend

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Jasna notes, of the Song of Halav "Honestly, they insisted on fixing it in writing six hundred years ago, you would think the Thyatians would actually take the time to learn it.” The Handmaidens' First Quest takes place around the turn of the year 998 AC. Further historical notes place the writing down of the Song about a century after the events of the Dragonlord trilogy. Because product tie-in.
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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:40 am

Havard wrote:1. I seem to recall at some point some BECMI source mentioing that special books are required to create Golems and other constructs. Based on this, one of our early campaigns included such books for each type of construct. Does anyone know if there actually was such a reference in a BECMI sourcebook? I've been looking through them today, but haven't been able to find the reference. Am I misremembering this?
There is a Manual of Golems in AD&D, but I don't believe that one was ever required in BECMI. Could that be the one you are thinking of?
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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Havard » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:58 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:1. I seem to recall at some point some BECMI source mentioing that special books are required to create Golems and other constructs. Based on this, one of our early campaigns included such books for each type of construct. Does anyone know if there actually was such a reference in a BECMI sourcebook? I've been looking through them today, but haven't been able to find the reference. Am I misremembering this?
There is a Manual of Golems in AD&D, but I don't believe that one was ever required in BECMI. Could that be the one you are thinking of?
It is possible that this was something we borrowed from AD&D. I could have sworn there was an aside reference about possessing a special book in order to create a golem being required, but I can't find anything about it now. I guess I must have been thinking about the AD&D thing. The RC states that you need to be 18th level in order to create Golems and that special components are needed only.

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by LoZompatore » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:00 pm

Ok guys, so let's go with a list of every book with a proper title (or kind of) found in canon material! :mrgreen:

I updated the list (check the link at the top of the thread) adding all the formidable contributions by Havard, Cthulhudrew and ripvanwormer (by the way, cool findings, guys! :cool: ) the only exceptions being the halflings' ballads and the legends of Balthac and co. While I'm sure they should definitely have been written down somewhere, I'm still not sure if they should be mentioned in the list as separate entries, as they were never proper referenced in any in-game book.
Just let me know what do you think about this. ;)

Moreover, I added some more books I found here and there in various canon sources:

- As Havard pointed out, "Hail the Heroes" boxed set offers a real trove of books (not less than 12) including the in-game version of two Mystaran novels ("Dragonlord of Mystara" and "The Dragon's Tomb") written by two co-stars of the novels, which is a pretty funny thing. :mrgreen:

- "Trolek's Tome" (an important spellbook) from one of the cards of the DM's Survival Kit

- "Travel Journal of Dar Inberlon" from Glantri:Kingdom of Magic

- As Havard pointed out, there is an "Alchemist's Codex" and also a "Book of Necrology" and a "Book of Runes / Glyphs" for the mages of Glantri initiated to the Secret Crafts of Alchemy, Necromancy and Cryptomancy. While it is stated that each mage has its own jealously-guarded book it is also said that copying and stealing information between initiates is a very common practice, so I guess that such books actually share most of the information therein. For this reason I assumed they should be assigned a single entry each with the warning that many different and "custom-made" versions of every book exist on Mystara.

- Again, Havard correctly remembered that all golems need a book of instructions in order to be created. This is stated in the Companion Set, DM's manual page 21, where a "Book of gargoyle creation" is explicitly mentioned, too. I added a generic entry related to golems, with the assumption that there is a different construction book for every possible kind of golem. Drolemns, on the other hand, are more difficult to create, as stated in the Monstrous Compendium: Mystara Appendix, where it is said that more than a book is needed: one for the general rules of construction, plus other books detailing the rare (and possibly magical) ingredients needed in order to complete the construction. ;)

- Three books found in X11, "The Journal of Denolas", the "Black book of Landryn Teriak" and the "Book of Essurian Runes"

- A book from CM7, the "Treaty on Basic and Advanced Arithmetics" used by Moorkroft Elvenbane

- The logbook of Akobaan the Merchant from X9, although the information therein should be mostly outdated.

The list has now 44 entries more, for a grand total of 108 entries (not counting that many entries describe multi-volume books)

Assuming that most of these books exist in more than one copy I believe that now it is definitely possible to give the player characters plenty to read even in case they enter very large libraries such as those in Glantri City, Serraine, Metropolitan Alphatia or even the Lighthouse in the Hollow World! ;)

It is even possible to start building a sizeable personal collection of magic tomes for a wizard (useful for magical objects creation) just by using only the books listed above.

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by oleck » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:15 am

Very nice information thanks a lot

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Re: A list of magic and arcane books from canon Mystara

Post by Robin » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:30 am

very useful list...I will use it for sure (and link towards it where I use it).
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