Friday, April 28, 2017

Consumed by Consumerism


I didn't think I had  problem, until...

Though generally aware I'd been steadily acquiring game books lately, when I realized I couldn't even find enough space on my desk between the looming stacks to fill out a notecard, it was time to take stock. So I piled together every roleplaying volume I could remember buying over the last twelve months, and here's what I got:
   
Covers plenty of floor space, but not as fluffy as a carpet.

Oog. And I probably missed a few. The most ironic part is I'm pretty sure a year ago I entertained aspirations of "evolving" past the need for published materials and even purging my library. Not the first time I've felt that way, and not the first time it faltered entirely.

The thing of it is, my modest buying strictures and habits haven't changed, but I've experienced a dramatic increase in opportunities that match them. I cringe at the thought of paying fifty bucks for a rulebook (or worse, a hundred or more for a boxed set) but I now live in an area with two Half-Price Books and the storefront for Miniature Market which has plenty of discounted games (note many of the volumes in the above picture still have their reduced price tags on them). On top of that, I'm closer to many more game conventions than I used to be, giving me direct access to creators I already follow (there was quite a haul carried back from Gary Con IX). Also I'm more connected through online networks than before, so I'm catching publisher discounts, Lulu coupons and even notable Ebay listings more often. So both physically and online, old curiosities (Middle-Earth Roleplaying, Palladium Fantasy) are crossing my path along with idle interests (Fate, 13th Age) that were previously beyond my acceptable price range. Also, kickstarter is a seductive harpy.

Combine all that with my strong archival instinct and ... well, time to add a new wing to the Library o' Gaming.

Maybe one or two of these books has seen actual use at a table so far, which is embarrassing because I'm often chiding other people for their poor own-to-play ratios. I haven't even fully read most of them, though at least they've all gotten thorough skims.