Free GM Resource: Google Books


Free GM Resource: Google Books
Today's Free GM Resource is one of those things you may know about, but probably overlook even if you did because it's "there", but not heavily advertised.

Google Books is a great online resource for research and sometimes even for graphics if you're the type to comb through old public-domain works. Google has been working on digitizing old books for some time now and their results can show up in just about any old "regular" search, but most likely get glossed over.

I find it fascinating the kind of things you can uncover if you dig just a little bit. Today, for example, I found an old history book covering the formation of the county I went to High School in (and my folks still live). You'd think there is little to be learned from early 1800's that translate well to my OSR fantasy game.....but one of the things listed in the assorted townships of that county are the number of fraternal organizations and even partial rosters. Since I also have population data I can guesstimate what is an "appropriate" number of organizations, officers, and even members based on population size.

This actually answers a few questions I haven't even come up with yet for an upcoming project..........but it is just an off-the-cuff-example.

One thing you can do is limit your search to a particular date series or just a century. If it is public domain you can probably download a pretty good PDF of the book to comb through offline. Since I usually look at really old books that's where my experience lies....I would suggest that after your initial search you use some refinements to narrow down your results.

1 comment :

  1. Interesting. I didn't realize Google Books had such things.