Step 1 : Establish a goal. Well it seems I've skipped that one right out of the box. From the moment I started playing I ended up being the Dungeon Master of my group at the time. So it was me buying all the books right from the start. Then I found some great guys who ran a local gaming store, we started playing together, and have been friends ever since. And yes, 'on occasion' they showed me a new cool setting, which I would start buying, and then another and another and well you know where that ends.
The first books I bought however were from the Forgotten Realms setting and this was the focus of much of my first years of buying RPG material. I didn't consider myself a collector at all, I was just buying books.
Then I found Legend of the Five Rings and man was I hooked. I was very big into traditional martial arts at the time and samurai roleplay, oh yeah, all the way up my alley. But finding players or a dungeon master for samurai roleplay, well that turned out to be a different story. So in all those years, I was the dungeon master for a one-on-one game for a couple of sessions until the character screwed up and committed seppuku as a result, and I have played a Dragon character in one single session. Pretty sad for a setting I love so much.
Further along the line Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green made an appearance, along with short stints in Fading Suns, Ravenloft, and Godlike. And of course there was always D&D in the background. I would play Dwarves. A lot. And making fun of them made me upset. Yeah I'm looking at you D&D the movie!!
Then Warmachine and the Iron Kingdoms invaded Europe, and our group started working on the Buccaneer Bass website, something I'm still very proud of. Matt Wilson, Brian Snoddy, Jason Soles, they were amazing and gave us so much support. And even though it hasn't been updated in a long time, it's still being referred to on the Privateer forums. Very cool stuff.
After that my life took a different focus, and suddenly the time for actually playing was gone. But the love for the game never died and neither did my buying habits. It was in these years that I actually started considering myself a collector. But never with any focus other than to complete what I already had bought. So since I pretty much skipped step one of the whole process, I think it's time to define some goals.
- Short term goals
- Keep my Legend of the Five Rings collection up-to-date: The only things I'm missing are the 9 4th edition limited clan books and Imperial Histories. The clan books I don't have yet because for some reason the AEG webshop didn't accept my VISA-card. Luckily for me, the local game store owner has just been able to track down a copy so you'll see them appear in an update somewhere this year. Imperial Histories has only just been released a few days ago and has been ordered already.
- Keep my Godlike collection up-to-date: Still missing the GM's Screen and Black Devils Brigade. They are available at Arc Dream's webshop, I just haven't bought them yet.
- Keep my Fading Suns collection up-to-date: This should be pretty easy since I'm only missing The Shards Volume 1. Apparently that was released in both a hardcover and softcover version, and as a completist that sucks. As a completist I also have to get a new copy of Arcane Tech since the one I have had a printing mistake where the top of the pages were incorrectly cut off.
- Keep my Delta Green collection up-to-date: I picked up the recently released limited edition of Under a glass darkly already. There will most likely also be an unlimited softcover released by Pagan so when that comes out...
- Keep my Pagan Publishing collection up-to-date: Bumps in the Night has been pre-ordered for quite some time now so when it's actually published, it'll arrive in the mail.
- Keep my Frog God Games collection up-to-date: Bill Webb has been a great guy and I completely support this publishing company. I'm a bit behind on the release schedule but we'll work that out.
- Midterm goals
- Pick up the easy-to-find Cthulhu books I'm still missing
- Complete the Forgotten Realms and associated settings like Kara-Tur and Al-Qadim
- Pick up Pathfinder stuff regularly
- Pick up missing DCC modules
- Collect everything Necromancer Games. Biggest challenge will be finding Rappan Athuk Reloaded (1000 copies) cheap since many collectors are after this boxed set.
- Life long goals
- Find the rare Call of Cthulhu stuff
- Collect everything Pagan Publishing
- Collect everything D&D
- Collect everything TSR
I'm not at all saying these are goals I'm able to accomplish but now that they are defined, I actually have something to work on.
Now how about a look at where I'm at right now. I'll try and list different items which are in my excel sheet and how many books I have.
- Birthright: 4 books
- Call of Cthulhu: 204 books
- Dark Sun: 8 books
- D&D (including a handful of small press items): 329 books
- DCC: 59 books (and more in the mail)
- D20: 131 books
- Dragonlance: 30 books
- Dragon Magazine: 91 books (incomplete data)
- Dungeon Magazine: 85 books (incomplete data)
- Eberron: 16 books
- Fading Suns: 42 books
- Forgotten Realms (and associated campaign settings): 182 books
- Frog God Games: 29 books
- Godlike: 8 books
- Greyhawk: 12 books
- Hollow World: 1 book
- Iron Kingdoms: 44 books (includes WM, Hordes, and No Quarter)
- Judges Guild: 20 books
- Kingdoms of Kalamar: 8 books
- Lankmahr: 6 books
- Legend of the Five Rings: 99 books
- Mystara: 1 book
- Paizo: 71 books
- Planescape: 1 book (Well, it's the Planescape Conspectus but I count it anyway)
- Ravenloft: 17 books
- 7th Sea: 30 books
- Spelljammer: 9 books
- Spycraft: 19 books
- TSR Non-D&D: 6 items (Boardgames, Boot Hill, Indiana Jones, Marvel Superheroes, ...)
- Unknown Armies: 11 books
- White Wolf: 16 books
- Others: 32 books (Ars Magica, Free RPG Day, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, OSRIC, Qin, ...)
So that's over 1600 books and doesn't include books for which I have doubles or things I'm not interested in which I picked up cheap for resale eventually.