#RPGaDAY Day 20: What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?
  • #RPGaDAY Day 20: What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?

    It’s August and that means that the annual #RPGaDAY ‘question a day’ is here to celebrate “everything cool, memorable and amazing about our hobby.” This year we’ve decided to join in the fun and will be canvassing answers from the ENWorld crew, columnists and friends in the industry to bring you some of our answers. We hope you’ll join in, in the comments section, and share your thoughts with us too… So, without further ado, here’s Day 20 of #RPGaDAY 2017!

    #RPGaDAY Question 20: What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?

    Morrus: I have rebuilt much my collection of 1980s RPGs though eBay - old AD&D stuff, boxed sets, FASA games, WEG stuff like the Ghostbusters RPG, the original Judge Dredd RPG boxed set, old Warhammer stuff... tons of it. eBay is pretty addictive when searching for out of print games.

    Darryl Mott: Local used bookstores. While I tend to use eBay or online specialty stores like Noble Knight a lot, local used book stores and thrift stores are much better for finding bargains and surprises. Online sellers tend to know what a product is worth and auctions will tend to rise to the level of the current value. But most book stores don’t focus on the gaming market, so they don’t know if a game book is rare and expensive or something that had two dozen print runs. So you can find stuff worth hundreds for just a few bucks.

    Michael J Tresca: Noble Knight Games for life! After that, Amazon and DriveThruRPG, depending on if I need a print or electronic copy.

    Angus Abranson: Ebay, convention Bring & Buy stands or digital copies through the OBS sites. Sadly most shops in Britain don’t have a second hand section which is a shame as I’ve made some great finds in some the Paris game stores which seem to set aside a unit or two of shelving for older out of print/second hand titles.

    Hans Cummings (ENnie Awards; VFF Publishing): If there's an out-of-print RPG I'm looking for, my go-to place to look is Noble Knight Games in Janesville, Wisconsin. I've never actually been to their store, though, I use their website. They're also my go-to place if I'm looking to sell RPG books, incidentally. They have an excellent selection, I've always found their prices fair, and their customer service is top-notch. Their domestic shipping rates are reasonable and they pay shipping for items they purchase. I like them better than my FLGS; they have a better selection and better service.
    If I can't find something I want at Noble Knight (or I want to try to pay less money), I'll go to eBay. The auction market is pretty volatile, though, and often I don't wait that long and risk a bid sniper winning the auction out from under me at the last minute (inevitably while I'm commuting or sleeping).

    Kevin Watson (Dark Naga Adventures): For wide range of materials, Noble Knight or Wayne’s Books. For the rarer collectible, any Auction run by an Acaeum member, like Frank Mentzer.

    Laura Hoffman (Black Book Editions; Polaris RPG): eBay, conventions and most importantly - the veteran gamers around me.

    T.R. Knight (Freelance Editor): Big shout out to Noble Knight Games. When I get the urge to play something from my past that I don’t have on my own shelves, I check there first. I am amazed at what games they have in stock at any moment. And if they don’t have a game, it is not uncommon for them to find it for you soon after you request it.

    Ken Spencer (Rocket Age; Why Not Games): When I go looking for out of print RPGs I usually go to Noble Knight Games. They are simply the most reliable, convenient, and best priced source I have found. The best source, the one that fills me with the most joy, is the random used bookstore find. You are just walking along, browsing novels, and there, right there, is a game you either have never purchased, but wanted to, one that you used to own, but lost, or the best of all, one you have never heard of and simply have to have. There is no vendor to source this amazing find, it just happens when the dice gods smile upon you.

    Mike Lafferty (BAMF Podcast; Fainting Goat Games): Pretty much everything I’d want to play is now available either in its original form on OBS or has been rebooted/tweaked thanks to the OSR movement.

    Richard August (Conan, Codex Infernus): As a fanatical bibliophile, only possessing RPGs in ebook format isn't an option, so, I go via Shop on the Borderland. An excellent, friendly service, quick delivery and (for the most part) pretty reasonable prices.

    Federico Sohns (Nibiru RPG): E-Bay and Amazon continue to be unrivalled in my opinion, as well as publications in several popular facebook groups (there are lots of folks that sell valuable material through Facebook!).

    Garry Harper (Modiphius Entertainment; The Role Play Haven): DriveThruRPG.

    Stephanie McAlea (Stygian Fox Publishing, The Things We Leave Behind): Amazon or Keep on the Borderlands.

    Martin Greening (Azure Keep, Ruma: Dawn of Empire): For physical books Noble Knight Games often has a decent selection of out-of-print RPGs. Sometimes Ebay, although availability is sporadic.

    Uli Lindner (Space: 1889; Clockwork Publishing): In Germany you have to go to ebay, since there are not that many specialized vedors of out-of-print products.

    Jonathan Thompson (Battlefield Press): I don’t have a single source, but other than Noble Knight Games and Half Price Books, I tend to make the majority of my purchases from other gamers.

    Originally created by Dave Chapman (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space; Conspiracy X) #RPGaDAY os now being caretakered by the crew over at RPGBrigade. We hope you’ll join in, in the comments section, and share your thoughts with us too!
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Simonpaulburley's Avatar
      Simonpaulburley -
      #RPGaDAY 2017: 20) What is the best place to go for out of print RPGs?

      Game conventions. I once saw a copy of Golden Heroes on a stand and asked for a "Designer's Discount". (I was given it free! Ta, mate!)
    1. ArchfiendBobbie's Avatar
      ArchfiendBobbie -
      Find a good grognard group that's been together long enough. You'll find RPG books you never knew possible, hidden away somewhere on their shelves.
    1. Yaztromo's Avatar
      Yaztromo -
      I'm mostly referring to Mystara, that is a out of print RPG that was very popular and therefore it is easy to get the canon material from internet or second hand bookshops and that wasn't supported anymore by whoever owns its rights. I think that fan production in this case was particularly amazing, keeping the world alive and kicking for decades.
      For Mystara the best sources of fan material are the Vaults of Pandius and The Piazza.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      eBay and Amazon for me. My local used bookstores used to have decent RPG sections but they've thinned out tremendously over the years. Noble Knight has a good selection, but I think their prices are too high - especially if you're okay with being patient and shopping around on eBay or Amazon. I've found some great stuff on both lately, as I've sought to pick up old FASA Star Trek modules that I never even had in the first place - found two on Amazon that were still in their shrink wrap with original store pricetags on them, for under $20 for BOTH.
    1. Brodie's Avatar
      Brodie -
      eBay. And Amazon to an extent. Also, if your search-fu is strong, you can find just about anything on the internet through Google.
    1. pickin_grinnin's Avatar
      pickin_grinnin -
      eBay, Amazon, and local used bookstores.
    1. Madmaxneo -
      Amazon and Noble Knight Games (though expensive). Next I would say the larger game conventions like Gencon and you can get them cheap. Though it is getting harder to find rare out of print books nowadays for a decent price.
    1. Jhaelen -
      I wish I knew! (I'm based in Germany, btw.)
      Sometimes you can still find some treasures collecting dust in a game store. But for most I'm already considering myself lucky if I can find a scanned pdf 'somewhere'.
    1. Gardens & Goblins's Avatar
      Gardens & Goblins -
      Google & access to the department's printer & binder.

      One day I'm sure they'll set up individual staff accounts but until then....
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