Out with the Old

Too super to sell!

My friendly local game store, The Crazy Squirrel, is holding a used game swap this weekend and I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to clear out some space in my garage. I’m not selling any board games, but I did pack up a few boxes of RPGs and related source material. It hurts my head to think of the money spent on this stuff that I am now selling for pennies on the dollar, but I have to remember that it took me over 30 years to accumulate all that material.

Why am I selling it instead of just storing it or better yet, putting it in a bookcase? Honestly, most of this was in a bookcase for more than a decade, and I read all of it, even if I didn’t actually play some (most) of the RPGs or adventures. I just don’t need this stuff anymore. Maybe someone else does. The idea of having an RPG library just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. At some point in my 40’s, empty space became more valuable to me for some reason.

I’m not going to list or talk about the items I put up for sale; however, I think it would be interesting to talk about the items I decided to keep. I think I went through nearly 200 items and decided to keep just a few.

  • The original Dungeon and Dragons Dungeon Master Screen: I don’t even use a DM screen on those rare occasions that I run games, so why did I keep this? I just felt there was something iconic about it. The art on the exterior is from a simpler time, and I think I might frame it. It just looks retro and cool to me.
  • Star Frontiers was a space opera RPG released in 1982 by TSR, and I remember being really intrigued by this at the time. This was one of those items I remember being excited about buying and I do remember playing it a few times long long ago. I think that with the right group of old nerds, this would make for a very fun evening.
  • I packed up all of my rule books and source books for GURPS with two exceptions. GURPS Time Travel is a fascinating resource for anyone who loves the time travel genre. After I purchased this, I ended up reading most of the books that were listed as source material. GURPS Supertemps was a resource for GURPS Supers. I held onto this one because it was written by my favorite gaming rocket scientist. It’s a very clever collection of super-human characters that actually do things other than punch people through skyscrapers.
  • I decided to keep my original box set of Cyberpunk 2020. This was published by R. Talsorian Games back in 1990, and it captures the whole cyberpunk concept without adding in too much extra material. This is another game that I think would make for a great evening with the right people.
  • I held onto my copy of Tunnels and Trolls. This one very nearly made it into the sell box, but I remember this RPG being very stupid and yet very fun. I also kept my copy of Uncle Ugly’s Underground Doom and Sorcerer Solitaire. Who knows? I was on the fence about this one, but it’s a pretty small book, so what the hey?
  • Villains and Vigilantes was one of those games I remember buying “with my own money” back in 1979 and I kept it just for its nostalgic value. I don’t remember anything about the system, but it has some great art.
  • I decided to keep my copy of the Toon RPG, even though I have never tried playing it. I think that this game’s time has finally come. This may be at the top of my want to try list right now.
RPG Nostalgia
Too cool to sell

Sure, I have other stuff that I kept. I’m not going to give up my original blue box Dungeons and Dragons, my copies of The Fantasy Trip, or my microgames.

Do you have old games that you’ve held onto for decades? I would really like to hear what they are and why you still feel a connection to them. Is it the nostalgia of the game itself or does it relate to the time period when you first purchased the game? Does it remind you of old friends?

2 thoughts on “Out with the Old”

  1. Oh, this post spoke to me! Yes, I also have hung onto a number of games from my youth, even though I’m unlikely to play them again. (Ordinarily I’m pretty mercenary about selling off or trading away games that aren’t in rotation anymore.) The nostalgia is rarely about the gameplay itself, but instead remembering the times I had playing them with my brother or friends.

    Some I can quickly recall…

    GEV – My first hobby game, a Metagaming Microgame from the foldover (not ziplock!) baggie era. Purchased for $3 from the hobby store in my small town, amid many plastic models of planes (that’s why I originally went here) and even more doll heads and styrafoam shapes for crafting. I’ll be happy to try someone else’s megaversion of the game in the recent Kickstarter explosion (Ogre), but have a soft spot for the tiny game we played over & over.

    Richtofen’s War – After I bought most of the microgames at the hobby store, I looked longingly at the fancy Avalon Hill bookcase games that were available at a bigger town with a real toy store. Too pricey for me, but I got this and another for Christmas. Probably my first interest in anything historic, too. We played plenty of this, and I also read books about WW1 aces.

    Traveller – I hope I still have a few of the original books, which I’m certain I’ll never play again. They were just cool with their modern, minimalist look (black cover with simple white text, and red line).

    Justice, Inc. – Unless I sold it already, I might as well hold onto this one. Thanks to a couple literary friends in high school (and Raiders of the Lost Ark’s release our sophomore year), our young group had a surprising interest in Sam Spade, Doc Savage, Raymond Chandler, etc. The game designers were west coast guys, so we got to see them at local conventions.

    Like you, I’m going to keep my copy of Supertemps (and Super Scum), too. Besides helping to pay the rent over a summer during grad school, this was a great experience for me. Even better, I was able to enlist the help of some of my old high school gaming buddies, as we collaborated on the books despite nearly 2000 miles’ separation in a pre-Internet, pre-email world.


    P.S. Our group made good use of the Villains & Vigilantes. It was the first superhero rpg system we tried, and though we quickly moved systems to Champions, we kept referencing V&V for its good modules, including Jeff Dee artwork on covers & counters.

    1. I put my Traveller stuff on the sell pile. It was difficult, but I priced them high so that if they do sell at least I make some money. If they don’t sell, then I will be happy to give them to you in order to show my support for the space program. 🙂

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