Discussion: Do you ever buy RPGs you won’t get to play?

I have been guilty, on occasion, of buying games – almost always roleplaying games – that I know I will have a hard time getting to the table. These days, I don’t get to game nearly as often as I would like, having moved to a much larger city some 9 years ago (Important note: In larger cities it is much easier to find people that share your interests, but much harder to actually plan anything when people have to drive 30 minutes to an hour instead of 10 to 15 minutes). So, I wanted to post to all of you this question: Do you buy RPGs strictly to play, or have you – in the past – bought RPGs knowing that you will probably just read it and, very likely, never get it to the table. It’s worth noting that I don’t even think it is a waste to buy an RPG just for reading purposes. I love rule systems and a good portion (admittedly less, but good) of my joy from RPGs comes from seeing how I designer is able to take a rule set and do something with it that I hadn’t ever considered doing before. Games like Spirit of the Century, Dogs in the Vineyard, Hollowpoint, and Fiasco have all challenged the way that I – at that time – thought that a roleplaying game was supposed to work. It’s an endless process of discovery. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would much rather be playing the games, but if I get an interesting rule set and several nights entertainment out of the book, it’s hard for me to call it a loss.

So, how about you? Do you ever buy an RPG book with the knowledge that it likely will never get to the table? What games have you picked up, loved, and never gotten to play? I’d love to talk about it down in the comments! Done here? Check out the related links below or go to a random page on Futile Position!

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About Michael

Michael is an enthusiast about a lot of things, including indie games, roleplaying games, board games, and comic books that wanted to help create a place where he could bring things to the attention of those with similar interests. Futile Position is a true labor of labor, which he hopes continues to grow through the support of the great readers who have come upon this page.

28. August 2012 by Michael
Categories: RPGs | Tags: , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. I absolutely have bought RPGs that never got to the table, but I don’t think I always realised that was what I was doing at the time. Sure, I’ve got some I seriously considered playing “if I could get a group interested” and haven’t — yet. But I’ve also bought some that I’m pretty sure I’ll never play, and just like to read for the rules, for the fluff, or just to inspire me.

    Amongst those are some old, obscure indie games I’m sure nobody has ever heard of; anyone familiar with Taiga or Manhunter? Both of those adorn my shelves, and are perfect for late-night read-a-thons when I want some creativity — although neither are particularly amazingly written, they work as great inspiration. Likewise, SLA Industries (much better chance of having heard of this one) is a great game for reading, though it’s a bit too metaplot and Big Effin’ Guns for my liking.

    That said, I’ve also come back to some of these games that I never thought I’d touch (though always wanted to) and actually gave them a shot, the most recent of which is my Ghostbusters International game. Surprise twist: both rules and setting work, at least for what I wanted.

    Long story short, if I kept talking about all the games I’ve never run this could maybe be featured as a (slightly boring) guest article, not a comment. 😉

    • Yeah, SLA I think I’ve heard of, but the others less so. I’ve heard good things about Ghostbusters International before, but now I kind of want a copy. Ghostbusters, pro wrestling, and Mega Man basically defined my early childhood (probably Star Wars, too). I’ve got a copy of Wild World Wrestling that I want to play like crazy, but that’s a niche within a niche. Still, I’ve certainly enjoyed it as reading material.

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