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Q&A: How Do You Determine What Roleplaying Games To Purchase?

Q&A: How Do You Determine What Roleplaying Games To Purchase?

Q&A: How Do You Determine What Roleplaying Games To Purchase?

Per request of the Mad Cleric, I am continuing our discussion from The Tavern Facebook Group about how we choose what games to purchase, following up my How Do You Determine What Tabletop Games To Purchase? with a discussion on roleplaying games (RPGs). I have been playing RPGs for over thirty years now, so my RPG collection and my passion for the hobby has waxed and waned over the years. For a while I only purchased games my game group would play and got rid of games we weren’t. Recently I have gotten a bit of an itch to collect older RPGs that I really enjoyed and miss having.

Unlike Tabletop Games, I really don’t have a developed set of questions I use for purchasing RPGs because it doesn’t happen as often. I don’t feel as attracted to the new hotness in RPGs as much as I am in the nostalgic elements of the hobby. And, having a small collection of RPG books can run a campaign that lasts a very long time, so new investments are not needed as often. Thus, my RPG purchases are much more sporadic. Here is what usually gets me to purchase RPGs.

  • If my gaming group wants to play an RPG none of us owns, then I am willing to purchase some or all of the books for us to play. We often enjoy playing older RPGs we already own, but sometimes a new RPG catches our attention and we want to try it out. Game Night is special to me, so I am willing to invest my limited funds in games my friends and family want to play.
  • If an RPG is a new edition of one I already love, then I want to check it out. Feng Shui 2 and D&D 5e are two RPGs I purchased instantly because I wanted to see what changes had been made in games I am very passionate about. Both games were totally worth the purchase and have been played significantly since I acquired them.
  • If an RPG is a world I am passionate about, it might get my attention if I feel there is a high likelihood my gaming group would at least play it as a one shot. Adventures in Middle-Earth is a purchase I made because I am very passionate about an RPG in Tolkien’s world. I have not yet played it, but am hoping to do so soon.
  • Regrettably, I went through a significant purge of my RPG collection many years ago (not going to discuss the reasons here). I have now spent years slowly rebuilding my AD&D 1e/2e collection. If I find a book, module, or box set I am still missing, and it is a reasonable price, then I am very tempted to purchase it. I still occasionally run AD&D campaigns, but even if I do not, I like reading these old AD&D books and using them as source material for my current RPG campaigns. There are some other nostalgic games that also get my attention in trades, used bookstores, and on the used shelf at a gaming store.

So now you know the thoughts that go through my head when I hear about or see an RPG I don’t own. That urge to purchases more RPGs is not anywhere near as strong as my urge to purchase new board and card games. Thus, I have the more defined decision process for tabletop games.

I would love to hear your thoughts and practices for purchasing RPGs on a limited budget.

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2 thoughts on “Q&A: How Do You Determine What Roleplaying Games To Purchase?

  1. Daniel Taylor

    I share a lot of the same reasons as you, though there’s one you didn’t list that can pull me in: Art. Sometimes I’ll collect an RPG just on the strength of it’s art. The Dark Eye is a great example of this. While I am now interested in the system itself after reading it, I originally bought into it because of the strength of the art. The most recent edition of the L5R RPG was a close second. I love the world, but I also wanted it and will keep it for the art alone.

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