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Wondering what to do now?
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TyCaine
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Joined: 16 Oct 2009
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Location: Florida, US

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Wondering what to do now? Reply with quote

Ok, prepare for a ramble, mainly because I feel the need to let this out...

Some of you may know me better than others, but as a crash course in what it is to be me, I grew up in the United Kingdom and have been playing and collecting roleplaying games since the early '80s, I was originally introduced into the concept when I was in my early teens with classic D&D, and from there (having found the rules somewhat not to my taste) moved onto Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay which had been released as a supporting line to the Warhammer Fantasy Battle and 40K lines by the British company Games Workshop (which to a young British lad meant the books were easier to get a hold of than most).

From there I collected and played Cyberpunk 2013 & 2020, I collected and played the FASA products Shadowrun and Star Trek. Somewhere during those years I stumbled upon Star Wars D6, Twilight 2000 and Dark Conspiracy, along with other Games Workshop products like Judge Dredd, not to mention Aliens by Leading Edge Games... So overall I've been collecting and playing for the best part of 30 years, and had collected probably several hundred books of different games, if not more, I don't think I ever counted them.

The advent of better computers, and the internet meant electronic versions of files using Word and other products came into being, and that gradually progressed into Adobe PDFs files and the state of things as they are today.

I've collected a LOT of games, and scanned many of them for my own personal use as things became more computer centric, and then as laptops and tablets (not to mention smartphones) became prolific I started re-buying or sourcing many of my game books in electronic format so that I could access more of them at better qualities, wherever I was, not unlike many of you.

In the last 10-15 years electronic formats have become even more prolific, and with a move across the pond to America many of my books were boxed up and placed in storage in the U.K. (the intent being to eventually get them shipped over to my new life) for which I've been paying for storage for a long while (just never had the time or funds to get them shipped, since I was grandfathered in with a good storage rate!).

I've been over here (in the USA) for over 15 years now and have been arranging for the occasional shipping of a book here, or a couple there, and I very occasionally pick up a real book, more for the feel of it than anything, so I have a few carefully boxed up (much to my wife's dismay) and stored in various closets, while any actual games are played using the PDFs...

So, I've known my books, and all the childhood memories they hold, have been available if, and when, I needed them...
That was until just last week... I received a notification from the company who was storing my stuff and was told there was an electrical fire in the storage unit and 80-90% of my books have been completely destroyed, any remaining books have suffered smoke and water damage and are virtually destroyed. To their credit, the company was very apologetic, and thankfully no one was hurt, and they are arranging (with some input from my extended family who are still in the U.K. and can actually see the damage) to pay compensation for the loss.

However, considering the replacement costs of the books these days, and the availability of some of them (or lack thereof), I doubt I'm going to get close to what I would need to replace them all and, quite frankly, I'm torn as to whether to even try. I mean after all, the books I had owned included all the hand written notes, the memories, and everything that went with them when I was growing up with those books, 95% had been bought brand new and had no owners other than ME, it just feels 'off' to consider trying to replace them all now considering most will be used and will already be burdened with another person's memories...

So, what would you do if you were me? Try and replace? and try and replace all or just a select few? Or let bygones be bygones and stick with electronic versions?

I think I'm coming to terms with the loss of books (more so than the loss of memories), and I think I know what I'm going to do which is maintain backups of my electronic files (I have 4 backup locations which cover 100% of my files at least twice, and about 50% of them more than twice) and continue on with them and MAYBE source one or two books just to have them, but otherwise accept they're gone.


Anyway, would love to hear others thoughts, hear what others do as far as their books (real or electronic), and would also love to hear how long some of you have been in to Roleplaying games as well...
Thanks for reading this!


T.C.
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garhkal
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Joined: 17 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man that sucks.

If it was me, i would try to get the paper versions of the most commonly used books you had. SO which ever game you play the most i would focus on replacing those.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T.C., I'm very sorry to read about this loss. I have a large personal library of books (mostly non-RPG, thankfully almost all readily accessible on my bookshelves). I would devastated if they were all destroyed. I do not have digital copies for most of my game books - Even though I have tablets and such modern tech, I prefer good old-fashion paper books to read.

You could use some of the settlement money to replace some of your favorite books whether they be for current use or nostalgia's sake (from what's available), and use the rest of the money for new books or whatever else you may want/need it for.

Best wishes.
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Barrataria
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Joined: 28 Dec 2005
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Location: Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:50 pm    Post subject: very sorry Reply with quote

I think all gamers (at least slightly neurotic ones like me) always worry about this.

This actually hits home for me because in several years my wife and I will have to relocate, hopefully to Europe, and I have to figure out whether my books go to storage, which ones I try to keep, and where the heck I will keep them (we haven't decided whether to keep a US place, or try to have two small places and shuttle etc., so I can't really do anything specific, and we're just in the planning stages of all this). Actually, as I write this it occurs to me that my stuff is already on this side of the Atlantic and I will have to pare it down regardless. Drop me a pm and maybe we can chat about what sorts of stuff you had in your collection. I have been planning to sell a pile of things for months and haven't got around to it. I'm not quite ready to part with most of what I have, but in part I haven't gotten serious about the issue because I don't enjoy playing the salesman.

Which leads me to actual advice, which is: be opportunistic and reasonable. Prices on ebay and amazon can range from ludicrously cheap to outrageously expensive. I got a couple SW books I have wanted for a long time (Alien Encounters, and a d6 System book) for not very much at all in the last couple of months.

I guess my recommendation is do the opposite of what I've got to do with my game and general books. Think of the books you love and read frequently (if you do that) and the game books you most need and use most often. Then think if they're worth paying through the nose for, if you have to.

Then make a list of your must-haves, hopefully a small list, and start trolling ebay, set up searches for those terms and place low bids on any of those things that come up for sale. Basically what garkhal described, start with the stuff you used regularly at table (or would if it was on the same continent with you).

In the course of doing that, you'll probably come across some more marginal things that you can get for not too much, and maybe lots where you can swap some books you don't need for other things.

Also, I don't know where you are but you should start regularly trolling used book stores, especially Half Price Books if you have them. If they're independent used stores, talk to the store manager/buyer and let them know you're in the market. Maybe even your FLGS, if one exists, some of the employees or regular gamers might want to get rid of some stuff.

I have basically run out of space for regular books, and game books, and with digitizing I've come to realize I don't need as much in hard copy as I thought. I like SW books, for instance, in hard copy, but a lot of D&D and other things I really only read here and there for reference (2E) so electronic is really more than sufficient.

So, best wishes and do drop me a line.
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cynanbloodbane
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get your settlement, use the cash to fund a gencon trip to locate your must have items and build some new memories playing some of those old games.
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DougRed4
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Joined: 18 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sorry to hear about your loss, Ty.

My advice will be similar to what's already been floated. Just replace the stuff that is nearest and dearest to your heart. I'd add that stuff you haven't really 'needed' in the last 15 years might be mostly stuff you don't actually look through or revisit that often. I know I've tried to pare down stuff a bit in recent years (though not much of my RPG stuff). Like some others, I prefer actual hard copies I can hold in my hands.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have collected RPG books since my preteens, and can not even begin to imagine how I would feel were I too suffer the depth of your loss. Many of the titles you mention I not only recognize, but either own, or once owned. Knowing the values of some of the collectible older books (especially if you had any of the Rogue Trader era of 40k hard bounds) I shudder to read this.

My deepest condolences, one RPGer to another.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some doubles of a couple adventure journals. Are you accepting donations to help rebuild your lost collection? I know it's not much to offer... but...
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TyCaine
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to thank everyone for the thoughts and comments, as well as guidance. I've come to terms with the loss of the books, though many were physical manifestations of links to my past that were able to trigger recollections with a touch, however, I have come to realize that I still have the memories of the good times, great roleplaying and quality time spent with friends whether I have the books to hand or not. The books acted, it seems, like holocrons, links to ancient lore...

After a thorough inventory it is quite daunting to realize just how much was lost, many of which have become incredibly hard to find over the years, and if/when found incredibly expensive. I'm also coming to realize that although the company are happy to compensate me for (at least some of) the loss (the policy has limits), it's going to take a while to get the money, and it's not going to be close to what's needed to replace everything at today's prices...

With that said I think I'm going to follow the advice of several people on here, in that I'm going to slowly source just a few books, maybe one or two core books from this system and that system, to give me something in hand, and for the rest where possible I'm going to continue to rely on, and build up my collection of, PDFs.

I have a family, I can't afford to spend what it would take to replace everything in physical form, so I'm not even going to try, I'm going to just get past this and just get a couple of books here and there to help reconnect with the past, while embracing the electronic future.

To those who have offered some of their own collections, believe me when I say I'm honored to be considered for that, however, with the value of things nowadays I could not, with a clean conscience, accept such charity. Please hold on to what you have and enjoy them, because you never know what's going to happen. I wish I'd kept my own collection closer...
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