As we approach the end of the 30 day challenge, the questions become more and more dull. The imagination of whoever wrote these questions didn’t reach very far. Oh well, we knew that going in.
Anyway, my favorite non-magical items are books. Of course, there are many magical books, tomes, librams and manuals in the game, but regular books can be just as much fun.
Spellbooks: Can be found in adventures when the bad guy is a mage, or when adventuring in a library. Found spellbooks are the most common source of spells for PC mages to add to their own spellbooks. For the DM, they’re also the best way to introduce new spells into the campaign.
Exposition: Books are a good way to fill in your players about certain aspects of your campaign world, or, if you’re into that kind of thing, the plot of the adventure. For this kind of books handouts can be nice, representing interesting pages in the book and detailing one of the campaign world’s forgotten legends, or pages from the vampire’s diary.
Traps: Books make great traps, because when PCs find a book, they’ll want to read it. Any book kan be firetrapped or inscribed with a sepia snake sigil. The adventure “Ex Libris” from Dungeon Adventures # 29 had Abishai devils imprisoned in its books that were freed when a book was read. The letters on a page can be an entity existing of ideas, that jumps into the reader’s mind as a parasite, or they could be a spell that casts itself.
Mythos Tomes: Books that slowly drive you mad while you try to decipher the mad ramblings of the writer are always a favorite. These books are somewhere between a spellbook and exposition. Realms of Crawling Chaos from Goblinoid Games has a good system for reading Mythos Tomes and learning spells from them. And the Madness rules from Call of Cthulhu are actually in the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana, which means they’re available through the OGL.