2018 has been quite interesting rpg-wise. I played many different games and fell in love with some of them. Most of the games I loved playing came from Sweden. Therefore, I think 2018 is the Year of the Swedes in roleplaying games.

There were so many great games released this year, not to mention all the sourcebooks, modules and what-not. I tried to keep up, but there were simply too many. However, I got to try some of these new games and read even more. Some games I fell instantly in love with, while other games, sourcebooks, updates or modules left me wanting.

When I look back I can’t help but feel that the Swedish publishers outshine the rest, at least for me. There are so many great games coming from Scandinavia right now, and from where I stand, 2019 will probably be just as good.

Here’s my top five list of games I played and books I read in 2018. These are all games, sourcebooks, modules or anything rpg related that I’ve bought with my hard-earned money. Of course, this is just a one man’s opinion. Anyway, here it goes.

top five rpg books, Top five RPG books in 2018 – The Year of the Swedes, Yawning Portal

1. Forbidden Lands by Fria Ligan

Ah, man! Ok, first of all, I’m forty years old and I’ve probably been playing for way too long, especially if you ask my wife, but Forbidden Lands is simply awesome. The system is great, the setting very interesting and it brings back all the right nostalgic feelings while staying true to modern roleplaying. Also, the books are superb, and not in your regular RPG size, but as any other book and bound in leather. If you like fantasies with high player advocacy, games about exploration or if you’re just an old dog like me looking for a game where you can enter that state of awe and wonder once more, this is it. If I’ve ever found a replacement for my D&D fix, this is it. This is a game I highly recommend.

top five rpg books, Top five RPG books in 2018 – The Year of the Swedes, Yawning Portal

2. Emissary Lost by Fria Ligan

If you like space operas, Coriolis – The Third Horizon should be something for you. Emissary Lost is a campaign recently released by Fria Ligan for Coriolis. I’ve been reading through this and it is so promising. It contains everything you need for a great game of Coriolis and I can’t wait to run it. The book itself is also beautiful and contains more than enough information for you to use in your own games. This is one hell of a campaign and more than your money’s worth.

top five rpg books, Top five RPG books in 2018 – The Year of the Swedes, Yawning Portal

3. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist by Wizards of the Coast

This is a great D&D module. It is original, offers the players so many chances to shine and become the stars of the show. What makes this module even better is the fact that you can play it at least four times, each time with different faction as the main antagonist. I must admit, I haven’t been all too keen on how WotC have in their modules used tried and tested tropes over and over again, but Dragon Heist is the first module where I feel they let go of the past. I know many gamers like WotC‘s approach to re-use and re-skin older plots and modules and I totally respect that, it’s just not for me. However, Dragon Heist sure is great and if you are thinking about buying a D&D module, this is the one I’d recommend.

top five rpg books, Top five RPG books in 2018 – The Year of the Swedes, Yawning Portal

4. Lexoccultum by Riotminds

Lexoccultum just started shipping recently, but I got my pdfs earlier this year. First of all, I really like horror-intrigue games and been an avid fan of games like Call of Cthulhu. Lexoccultum is just right down that alley, set in Europe in the 18th century. The game is dripping with occultism, secret societies and other horrors. It uses the same mechanics as Trudvang Chronicles. If you like skill-based intrigue games, with a firm foot in history, check this one out.

top five rpg books, Top five RPG books in 2018 – The Year of the Swedes, Yawning Portal

5. Black Atlantic by Sixmorevodka

This game and the artwork, the layout and the setting! Degenesis is a great game and each of the three module books have been visually stunning. Black Atlantic is incredible. The artwork and the layout are at least five pay-grades above what you usually see in rpg books. Buy these books if for no other reason than to experience this great setting and the astounding beauty of them.

There were of course a few games that caught my eye, but didn’t make to top five, like Vampire the Masquerade V5, the One Ring’s The Laughter of Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4E and D&D‘s Mordenkainen‘s Tome of Foes just to name a few. In fact, this year has been great for any roleplaying enthusiast. I sure hope 2019 will be just as fruitful.