Using Books in Your Campaign


Depending on the setting, books can be a common item in the world. Some GMs may decide to give benefits for the PCs who decide to read them. This is how I use them in my campaign settings:

What Do Books Do?

A book can have two functions:

  • Inform
  • All books give the reader Advantage on non-combat rolls that relate to the subject matter of the book. Additionally, there is information that can only be obtained through reading certain books.
  • Prepare
  • Some books can reduce the cost of feats that are available for characters. The particular feat whose cost is reduced by a book depends on the book itself.

Acquiring Books

Books are found by exploring areas or completing tasks. They can also be acquired from merchants.

Reading Books

Once a book is in the PC’s possession, it can be read. When the book is read, the GM may give a description of the book’s contents, and may note how much time has passed for the reader.


Basic Material Synthesis for Galactic Citizens in a Hurry: Vol. 1
By Arthur J. Smiggzie-Glabglorp

  • Description
  • This book instructs the reader in the proper use of the Material Synthesizer found in most hub stations across the solar system.
  • Inform
  • PCs who read this book receive Advantage 1 on all non-combat roles related to Crafting.
  • PCs who read this book know where to find Material Synthesizers at every hub station in the local solar system.
  • Prepare
  • The feat cost for Craft Mundane Item (I - II) is reduced to 1 for PCs who read this book.

(This book would be used in a Sci-Fi campaign setting.)

What do you think?

Feel free to post questions, comments, and concerns in the Replies!

If you have ideas of books for Worldbuilders to add to their campaign, post them here! Make sure to include what benefit they’d give the reader, what genre they’d be used in, etc.


Is the intention to give both benefits (advantage and feat cost reduction) for reading a single book? Or is the example you gave meant to represent 2 different options that a GM could put into the world? I can see a case for both being used.

My GM also put some litterature into his world in the form of lengthy book descriptions that confered a small boost to skills (this was in D&D 3.5) if the player read them. I can see this being used to expand upon the worldbuilding a GM has spend a lot of time on.

Yeah the example is meant to showcase everything I like to use books for.
I like to make every book have the Inform property, and only a few rare books to also include the Prepare property.

I also make sure to have books that relate to potential endeavors the PCs are likely to face. I’m a sucker for foreshadowing. :grin: