Let’s go down the list one by one.
#1 The Player’s Handbook. Uh, yeah, no brainer, but should be a honorable mention, kind of like how many people give Tifa the honorable mention due to being too awesome (althro if we at Icygeek ever make that list, Tifa would at best rank #3) Make this a HM
2. The 1st Edition DMG. Uhh, maybe, but it is hardly one that everybody must have; only if you play 1st edition. Take it off the list.
3. 1st Edition Dungeon Survival Guide. Never owned, so maybe, but I think the 1st Ed. Unearthed Arcana added more to the game.
4. 1st Ed. Oriental Adventures. One of the few 1st Edition books we at Icygeek own. It’s surprising that 2nd Edition never really did much for Oriental campaigns (for that matter, 4th did even less). The 3rd Edition was disappointing with the lack of ninjas. It has some overpowered parts (I had a 2nd Edition ninja built from the Dragon $189 rules have Eagle Strike from this book, allowing it to do an unarmed 3d10 damage, and that was before backstabbing bonuses) but still if you like Oriental settings, it is a must have.
5. 2nd. Ed. Tome of Magic. I also own this, and this is also a very good book. It allows you to play elementalist mages and chaos mages.
6. Complete Fighters Handbook. I have owned all the PHBs. There were better PHBs but because the fighter in 2e was so basic, it meant you could use much of the info on any other character class, especially the kits.
7. Al-Qadim. I also own this book and several of the other books tied to the series. Yes, I can recommend this one too.
8. Book of Vile Darkness. If you are truly a mature person this book was ho-hum. It titillated like the Book of Erotic Fantasy but both books were a big deal about nothing.
9. 3.5 Spell Compendium. I can see why this is on the list, but I also own all the 2e Spell compendiums, and other publishers made similar books cataloging a host of spell. Meh.
10. 5th DM Screen. You know, I’m not sure if I ever owned one or not.
So, I downplayed several of the books. What would I replace some of them with? Well…
- Complete Psionics Handbook (2e) If you wanted to playPsionics in 2e, you had to have this book, and even with broken mehcanics it was better than its d20 replacements
- Dark Sun: Dragon Kings (2e) One of the few epic-level books ever officially published.
- Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalog (2e) Inside is made to look like a mail-order catalog set in Faerun, but there are lots of interesting objects to buy here, including a vial to restore hit points and several AD&D conversions of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions.
- The Planeswalkers Handbook (2e) Built for Planescape, but with fairly little crunch and a lot of nice fluff, making it easy to convert to 5e
- [amazon text=Naughty %26 Dice: An Adult Gamer’s Guide to Sexual Situations &asin=0970218966](d20). The one item on either list that is not an official book by TSR/WotC. If you want to add sex to your campaign, this is the book to do it in, and is easily altered for any RPG system, and not just d20.
With the ones I recommended both on the original list and my personal replacement list, you can’t go wrong.