Sunday, October 13, 2013

Limited Roleplaying

For many of us we gather roleplaying games simply for the gaming. A new core book comes out, we grab it and game with it. The same with some of the supplements. There are also a lot of people out there that collect roleplaying games in order to read them as they find them fascinating, often I fall directly into this category. The third category that I've talked about before is the collector and all too often I fall squarely into this category as well.

Now not all collections are equal. Some collect complete game lines, some samples of everything and some rare and limited editions. Now I am a bit of a collector, but I don't have a huge range of the limited and rare editions. However I would like to share with you those that I do have.

Dune RPG

First up is possibly the greatest pride of my RPG collection, a copy of the Dune RPG from the late Last Unicorn Games. This was produced in a limited run of only 3,000 of which most were sold at GenCon 33 in 2000. A few hundred copies made their way overseas and were sold in conventions in Europe and Asia, but in very limited numbers. No one knows exactly how many for sure, but it's estimated that 150-200 copies made it to the UK (where I used to live) and were sold at the UK GenCon while it still existed.

Now I didn't get my copy there, I picked mine up about six months later on eBay for a sum that, well lets say it was squarely in the middle of the number Shannon Applecline quotes in his wonderful reference work Designers and Dragons. The funny thing about it is that I lived in Canterbury at the time, a small city of about 60,000 people, many of which are students. Despite being a small city representing maybe 1/1000th of the UK population, I knew of about 18 copies in that one city among the role-players there. It must have been some kind of Dune RPG nexus.


Those who frequent this blog are probably quite aware that Shadowrun is a particular favourite game of mine. I've been playing it since it's first release and though I once sold my entire collection of it, have managed to rebuild to have an approximately 98% complete set. A couple of titles still elude me. 

Within Shadowrun I have the hard to come by and usually pretty expensive Universal Brotherhood. In addition I have four limited edition rulebooks;
  1. Shadowrun 4 Limited Edition
  2. Shadowrun 25th Anniversary Limited Edition
  3. Shadowrun 5 Limited Edition
  4. Shadowrun 5 Deluxe Limited Edition
And no, you can't have any of them.


Traveller is one of those games where most of the books appear relatively cheaply in the usual places, eBay, Abe Books etc, and generally most of them aren't that hard to get hold of. The real rarities of the collection, the ones that go for the highest price and are most treasured by Traveller fans simply because of their sheer amazingness (yes it is a word, see it's written right there) are those produced by Digest Group Publications (DGP.) Yes, pretty much all of them. DGP were to Traveller what Pagan Published are to Call of Cthulhu, their products supplemented and exceeded the original publications they intended to support.

Now I don't have them all (if you have a copy of Solomani and Aslan you're willing to sell, I'm willing to talk) but I do have a few. I have a complete set of the Traveller's Digest and am missing only 1 Megatraveller Journal. However the pride and joy have to be Vilani and Vargr and especially Starship Operator's Manual Vol 1. If you ever get a chance to read Starship Operator's Manual, take it, it's one of the best supplements ever written for an RPG. Added to this are 101 Vehicles, World Builder's Handbook and The Flaming Eye campaign.

Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader, not to be mistaken for Rouge Trader the game of makeup sales, was the second of the Warhammer 40,000 RPGs produced by Fantasy Flight Games. When it became available I remember refreshing the site to see when the limited edition would go on sale and managed to snag a copy. They sold out pretty quickly, within 2 hours I believe it was which was slower than the limited edition Dark Heresy. 

Anyway I managed to get a copy of this and it's a great collectors item. It comes in a rather large box covered in star charts and sealed with some nice ribbon and metal clasps. Upon opening the box you are presented on one side with a section containing your personalized Warrant of Trade authorizing you as a trader in nice calligraphy (printed obviously,) complete with a fake resin seal of the double headed eagle from the High Lords of Terra.

On the other side in the main section of the box is a set of airlock doors, that are kept closed with small magnets (nice touch,) is a massive leather bound copy of the Rogue Trader rulebook with a printed silver Navigators symbol on the cover. The book contents (other than being numbered out of 1,000) are identical to the regular rulebook but is printed on much heavier stock, is silver edged and comes with a nice bound ribbon bookmark. Unfortunately the box is slightly damaged, one lower edge split a little in shipping, but it's slightly fragile and by all accounts none of them made it through the postal system intact. Fantasy Flight did offer to replace boxes for people, but I didn't see the point as I thought the same thing would just happen again and the damage is minor. It's not like I collect them to sell on at a later date.

Call of Cthulhu

Call of Cthulhu has it's share of rare items and sadly I have very few of them. I do have the original Horror on the Orient Express which has never been read and is in great condition (box slightly knocked) but the bottom dropped out of that market when they announced the new version. 

The best items in my CoC collection are probably some of those produced by Pagan Publishing, publishers of the best RPG supplements ever (even better than Starship Operator's Manual mentioned above by DGP.) Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the Golden Dawn (again if you have one you're willing to sell for less than the price of a new Aston Martin, let me know) but I do have a good if incomplete collection of original run The Unspeakable Oath's. None of the magical original 4 unfortunately, but from 6 onward my collection is almost complete (missing 11 for some odd reason.) 

The other nice items are copies of the original Eyes Only chapbooks for Machinations of the Mi-Go and The Fate. I've talked about these in my review of the collected Eyes Only book. Delta Green, the best RPG line I've ever read, and I have it complete. Mwahahahahahaha. 

Additional items are the self published small press Tales of Terror collection of 48 scenario ideas from Steve Haterley. A copy of the Japanese version of Call of Cthulhu, Cthulhu D20, Beyond the Mountains of Madness plus the Antarctic Expedition Kit. 


Other less notable items in the collection include the original hardback edition of Aces and Eights, a copy of the Aliens Adventure Game by Leading Edge Games, the old Chameleon Eclectic (most people haven't heard of them) Babylon Project the first Babylon 5 game. Additionally I have a full set of Orpheus (which I must get around to reading at some point.) 

I have a reasonably decent collection of the original West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game, perhaps 70% complete. One of the most unpretentious and sheer fun RPGs I've ever played in my life. Also a pretty (80%) complete set of the FASA Star Trek RPG. 

Not really RPG games, but really relevant and quite sought after are the two original Games Workshop Realms of Chaos books. Superb books from before the days when GW started to turn its attention to making their games suitable for young kids and back when they were still partially a roleplaying games company. They're probably my other main pride and joys. 

So come on, boast away, what rare and/or limited items are in your collection?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Kickstarter - The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits

Some of you may recall my review of The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, a book on Japanese yokai and it's use in Legend of the Five Rings games. Well I'd just like to give a shout out to Matthew Meyer and his new Kickstarter, a follow up volume entitled The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits.

If the product is anything like the original volume, it'll be a delight with great inspiration for any fantasy game, especially an eastern themed game. So go on, pitch in a dig deep. Matthew is a very talented individual (no I've never met him but I really like his work.)