Why do you buy RPG books?

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Angelika Tatsu
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Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Angelika Tatsu » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:01 pm

I haven't gamed in a face to face game in over 10 years. I still count myself as a gamer, even though I refuse to play in PBP games. I buy the gaming books because they are fun to read and that they spark my imagination. They also look pretty on the shelves, and having them on display in my family room actually provides something of an icebreaker when I have company. None of my friends locally have an interest in playing, but they like listening talk about my experiences with gaming...the sessions I've played in and the experiences I've had at conventions. I love buying the books because they're fun to read and they look wonderful on the shelves.

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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Starglim » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:01 pm

I'm still buying physical books where I'll need to use more than a couple of pages in play - I don't like playing off a laptop, much less a tablet - and also when I'm definitely interested in a product but find the price of the PDF unreasonable. That might be in comparison to other PDFs, or sometimes in absolute, where the print price can be the same or less.

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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Seethyr » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:16 pm

Over the years my love of reading has subtlety shifted to a love for writing. I still by game books for actual play, but I even get ones I know I’ll never use because they are a constant source of inspiration. They serve as a muse for my writing.
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:21 pm

Angelika Tatsu wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:01 pm
I haven't gamed in a face to face game in over 10 years. I still count myself as a gamer, even though I refuse to play in PBP games.
I'm not sure I would be any good in a PBP game, to be honest. I'm not sure I have the aptitude for it.

You might want to check out online gaming choices, like Roll 20. You don't need to find people close to you there. They just need to be in a compatible timeline. So you have a lot more places to look for players in.

Getting back to the topic, I have bought some books, because I've been interested to see what is in them, but I'm trying to restrict myself to buying things that I might potentially use in a game.

I am primarily a Spelljammer fan, so as well as wanting all the Spelljammer books (the primary sources) I am looking for secondary sources (Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms) that have content that relates directly or indirectly to Spelljammer.

Like Starglim, I don't like PDFs as much as I like dead-tree copies of things. I think that PDFs are very useful as search tools, but a physical book is better for me to read. If I had to read things electronically, I'd probably prefer to have a large tablet to read them on, rather than a computer. (I've seen some folks make sideways PDFs, designed for computers, but I really can't get on with that format.)

There are still things I want to buy, but almost all of them are out of print things, so I'm probably not going to be of any use to anyone running a gaming store, near to me.

And with the small number of in-print things that I am buying, they are all Forgotten Realms products with mentions of Spelljammer. So I'm not buying them off the bat, as I want to find out what is in them first.
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by timemrick » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:17 am

I currently run and/or play in three different systems (Pathfinder 1E, Starfinder, D&D 5E), and starting to learn a couple more (PF 2E, Earthdawn 4E). So I buy books for using in those games, though I do put some limits on what I acquire, for my sanity and wallet's sake.

For Pathfinder 1E, I have acquired more hardcovers slowly over time, until I now own ~90% of them (but only because 1E has stopped production, so I can finally catch up someday). I don't own a lot of PF splatbooks, because most are focused on the Golarion setting, which I don't use in home games, only in PFS. Also, very few have enough material I care about to be worth the expense. (Most of the ones I have bought were because they were useful to a specific PFS character. And because I acquired them used, or in PDF.) I own only a couple of adventures (apart from PFS scenarios) because I prefer to create my own for my home game.

For D&D 5E, I have bought most of the non-adventure hardbacks (though only recently), and only a couple of the adventure books. I bought Tales from the Yawning Portal because I could run it a piece at a time, and Ghosts of Saltmarsh for the same reason, plus the focus on naval adventures (in case I ever run Freeport in 5E; more on that setting below). I normally avoid buying 3 pp stuff (mostly because it was so damn hard to tell what was any good, without getting badly bit, back in the d20 License days), but I do have a handful of 5E books from publishers I trust (Green Ronin, Matt Colville, Kobold Press).

The only published setting that I have ever tried to collect in any serious way is Green Ronin's Freeport; I own all the d20, True20, and PF sourcebooks and adventures for it. It's an exception for two main reasons: 1. I got in when it was brand new (before all of the Freeport Trilogy was out), and 2. I ended up becoming a contributor, so I have a personal stake in it.

I do also acquire a few other games that catch my interest. Most recently, I've bought most of the Fantasy AGE books (but only run a couple one-shots so far), and backed the Blue Rose AGE Kickstarter (but I don't play enough modern-day games to invest in Modern AGE--at least not yet).
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Kythkyn » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:14 pm

Similar reasons. I like them, they inspire and spark imagination. I like a myriad game systems and settings as well, and I feel some systems lend themselves better the certain genres than others as well, so that's also a part.


Now, if you asked my Husbutch why I buy them, she'd probably say I collect them for similar reasons to this:
Angelika Tatsu wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:01 pm
They also look pretty on the shelves
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Dread Delgath » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:51 pm

I just bought stretch to fit fabric book covers for mine. Not that they look pretty (or prettier) on the shelf this way, but because of the wear & tear I put them through every time I lug them around in a satchel to game night. ;)
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:13 am

I confess to having bought far more rpg books to mine for ideas and general reading purposes than I've ever actually utilized in play.
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Artikid » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:42 am

I buy precious few RPGs, and I buy to play. Over the years I have resold any book that didn't see play or that I didn't like after reading it or playing it.
In addition I moved city more or less 9 years ago, the result has been that I've played face-to-face rpgs maybe once a year since then.
After a bad first experience five years ago with online gaming, I finally managed to feel comfortable with it.
Two or three months ago we started to play regularly again with my old group via hangout and I'm loving it so far.
The result is that all my physical rpg stuff (rulebooks, supplements and modules) take more or less two one-meter long shelves. I'm rather happy that I'm not being overwhelmed by books I've no use for.
I do buy an awful lot of digital stuff, though.
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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Tom Bulls Eye » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:35 pm

I only buy the books, because I couldn’t afford them as a teenager. Sort of: “Hey, man! All those years spent studying are finally paying off - You still can’t buy the Ferrari, but at least you can buy the RPG-books you’ve always dreamt of having!”

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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:45 pm

Tom Bulls Eye wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:35 pm
I only buy the books, because I couldn’t afford them as a teenager. Sort of: “Hey, man! All those years spent studying are finally paying off - You still can’t buy the Ferrari, but at least you can buy the RPG-books you’ve always dreamt of having!”
I know this feeling! :D

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Re: Why do you buy RPG books?

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:11 pm

I keep buying 5e D&D books, but I haven't bought any previous edition books in years. There are two main reasons for this; the only game I'm playing is 5e, I haven't played previous editions in years, and as far as I'm concerned, my collection of BX & AD&D books is close enough to being as complete as I care to make it.
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