4 of the Most Beautiful Tabletop RPGs of All Time



Between first learning to play a game, absorbing all the lore and looking up the occasional rule during a session, players end up spending a lot of time looking at RPG rulebooks. With that in mind, why not make them beautiful? Wheels is here with four tabletop RPGs so beautiful you might just fall in love.

1. AGON by John Harper – https://www.evilhat.com/home/agon/
2. Thousand Year Old Vampire by Tim Hutchings – https://timhutchings.itch.io/tyov
3. Mörk Borg by Free League Publishing – https://morkborg.com/
(and character creator – https://scvmbirther.makedatanotlore.dev/)
4. City of Mist by Son of Oak Game Studio – https://www.cityofmist.co/

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37 thoughts on “4 of the Most Beautiful Tabletop RPGs of All Time

  1. I really want more of the visuals shown, especially when we're told how nice a character sheet is and only see a glimpse of half a page where the design elements are not really visible.

  2. Definitely not the best layed out book of all time, but the art, font and style of Steve Jackson's In Nomine books will always be my favorite RPG to act as a display on my coffee table

  3. Was curious as to whether or not The Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City, by Luka Rejec, was considered. It's extremely new and currently takes a lot of patience to get a hold of, but it seems quite visually and technically impressive.

  4. So, apparently your vision of "beauty" is illegible ransom-note typography and artwork by "your friend who is really good at drawing". It's a choice, I suppose.

    But then so is an anchovy and habanero milkshake.

  5. I can not agree more with your assessment of City of Mist. Flipping through those books is a love letter to the noir fiction genre and classic comic books. I would also highly recommend Star Trek Adventures and Tales from the Loop both published by Modiphius. Star Trek Adventures is printed on shiny paper and harkens very much to the classic displays that are synonymous with Trek. Tales from the Loop on the other hand takes the stark landscapes of Sweden and nostalgia for the 80's and throws in seamless worn out scifi in a bleak beauty that just…. They're both just so pretty. chef's kiss

  6. I was interested in Mork Borg and now i'm even more interested, the book of rumours guy is talking about a kickstarter for Mork Borg soon and I'm definitely getting it then.
    1000 year old vampire looks fantastic too, definitely picking up a copy of that soon

  7. I'd like to throw into the mix the wonderful works of Andy Hopp and his Low Life setting for Savage Worlds: it's a quirky post apocalyptic setting in which players can play cockroaches or animated snack cakes and so much more, but the special thing about it is: not only did Andy create and write the setting, every single illustration was also done by him. One of my all time favourites.

  8. I could've sworn this was "the most recent rpg books of all time"… Kidding aside, these would all make contenders for such a list, but they do happen to be fairly recent, all of them.

  9. So not counting Mork Borg (Which the narrator clearly has some issues with), it's all about narrative ttrpgs. Personally I've found narrative rpgs to be really lacking and often cause more drama and arguments than I care for. I prefer my ttrpgs to have more solid, in depth and clearly laid out game mechanics at their foundation before you start moving upward and outward with adding role-play and world depth and immersion. Don't get me wrong I don't want kludgy mechanics that bog down the fun by any means, but solid, clear mechanics and in depth game mechanics have always been a boon to tabletop rpgs.

    Also while art is important, I also really find good layout, clear fonts and type to be more important. (looking at you The Design Mechanism and your tiny font bad lay out Mythras which makes their book eye fatiguing and basically un-readable). A great example of a beautiful book which nice layout, good fonts and type would be the RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha core book by Chaosim. Really surprised that book wasn't mention though I guess I shouldn't be since it's not a narrative rpg like the PbtA rpgs or Fate based rpgs. Oh and I'm surprised that none of Monte Cook Games books made the cut, those are truly beautiful books and the layout is quite good and makes the books easy to read. (shrugs) Anyhow I guess I'm just out of touch anymore with ttrpg players/gms. 🙁

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