In the end it boiled down to two good reviews for Blood & Treasure (B&T) by Tenkar and Brutorz Bill and a Black Friday/Cyber Monday 30% off coupon for Lulu. That's why I bought a copy of the Blood & Treasure Complete Game Softcover from Lulu.
I've bought other games from B&T author John Stater, namely Mystery Men and Tales of the Space Princess. I enjoyed their blend of retro-clone fun and a willingness to adapt modern influences as well. The above reviews pointed out the blend of D&D editions that is the framework of B&T, and I realized that this what I was looking for. A bridge between editions that I can make monsters and magic that can easily be converted for other editions. Plus, I like how flexible the character classes are with plentiful examples of variant classes that expand the roleplaying possibilities.
Even without the coupon, B&T is a great value for the money. The 380 page tome is chock full of fantasy role playing goodness. The print is very small, but I work with small print so this isn't much of a problem for me. But you have pages and pages of spells, monsters, races, magic items and even monster templates from across the d20 SRD. Too use an old cliche, this may be the only book you'll need to run some great fantasy adventures.
It just hit me-I could use Blood & Treasure for a Fantasy Space game ala Spelljammer. I could use the naval rules in the book, say their for space travel, make up some weird space ships. There are plenty of monsters to use as aliens and encounters. I can use the planar rules for planets. I can call it Galaxseas...
Or I could just grab a few friends and pillage a dungeon. Sounds like fun.
Check out the Blood & Treasure page at John Stater's Land of Nod blog.
Check out Tenkar's B&T reviews here.
Check out Brutorz Bill's B&T review here.