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How Do You Reduce Your Collection?

Retreater

Legend
Really quick summary of my situation. Got married, moved into a smaller house, and I no longer have room for everything I've accumulated over the many years I've been in the hobby. Or I should say hobbies because it includes not only RPG books, but also terrain, miniatures, wargame armies, board games, related supplies (paint, brushes, dice and more dice, large rolls of battlemaps, markers - you get the idea). I'm looking for suggestions about how to prioritize what stays, what gets put into attic storage, what gets sold/given away. I might have too much personal attachment to some of these items to make a good decision, and my wife is concerned I might do something rash.

First off, I'm not playing in person in the immediate future. That means everything could at least go into storage, since all my RPGs are on VTT. I do like reading physical books for inspiration from time-to-time, however. So, I don't want to put everything into the attic, and obviously don't want to sell/give away everything.

Here are some categories:

1) Board games my wife and I play together (Wingspan, HeroQuest)
2) RPGs I'm currently playing (Monster of the Week, D&D 5e, WFRP)
3) RPGs I have played somewhat recently, but don't think I'll be coming back to play - at least not for a while (PF2, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, OSE)
4) RPGs I don’t anticipate ever playing – and don’t really read for fun (Fantasy Trip, Palladium, Shadow of the Demon Lord)
5) RPGs I may never play but are at least inspiring to read from time-to-time (Forbidden Lands)
6) Full Warhammer 40K armies (haven’t played in three years, my friends have moved on to other hobbies, everything I have is also out-of-date)
7) Board Games I played once and didn’t like (or don’t see me playing again)
8) Miniatures (I love collecting and painting them, but since I’m not playing in-person, don’t really “need” them for active games); miniature painting is a pretty major hobby for me.
9) Adventure modules I’ve already used (Rime of the Frost Maiden, Tomb of Annhilation, etc.)

What do you think? Shelf? Storage? Sell?
 

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embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
1) Board games my wife and I play together (Wingspan, HeroQuest) - Keep. You are actually getting use out of them.
2) RPGs I'm currently playing (Monster of the Week, D&D 5e, WFRP) - Keep. You are actually getting use out of them.
3) RPGs I have played somewhat recently, but don't think I'll be coming back to play - at least not for a while (PF2, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, OSE) - Store. They can be packed into a book box easily.
4) RPGs I don’t anticipate ever playing – and don’t really read for fun (Fantasy Trip, Palladium, Shadow of the Demon Lord) - Sell. Decide on your hassle threshold. eBay is a hassle but may yield higher return. FLGS is low hassle, will likely yield a lower return.
5) RPGs I may never play but are at least inspiring to read from time-to-time (Forbidden Lands) - Do you have a problem with reading on a tablet? If no, sell and get a PDF copy.
6) Full Warhammer 40K armies (haven’t played in three years, my friends have moved on to other hobbies, everything I have is also out-of-date) - Sell. See 4 to determine eBay vs FLGS
7) Board Games I played once and didn’t like (or don’t see me playing again) - Sell. See 4 to determine eBay vs FLGS
8) Miniatures (I love collecting and painting them, but since I’m not playing in-person, don’t really “need” them for active games); miniature painting is a pretty major hobby for me - Store. They can be packed until needed. Display your favorites on a shelf.
9) Adventure modules I’ve already used (Rime of the Frost Maiden, Tomb of Annhilation, etc.) - Will you replay them? If yes, store them in a book box. If no, sell. See 4 to determine eBay vs FLGS
 


payn

Legend
My hybrid approach to RPG books has become like this, I actually prefer PDF of rules books, but like to have physical copies of setting material to read. So, if I was looking at storage/sell I'd likely take the rule books I'm not using (and can find easily in PDF format) and start with those. I'd store any battlemats, minis, paints cause you'll be glad you got them when/if you start F2F playing again.

Old board games you dont play/like anymore can be nice white elephant secret Santa or whatever gifts.
 


univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
My hybrid approach to RPG books has become like this, I actually prefer PDF of rules books, but like to have physical copies of setting material to read. So, if I was looking at storage/sell I'd likely take the rule books I'm not using (and can find easily in PDF format) and start with those. I'd store any battlemats, minis, paints cause you'll be glad you got them when/if you start F2F playing again.

Old board games you dont play/like anymore can be nice white elephant secret Santa or whatever gifts.
This is sensible. For a module or something of that nature I want the paper copy because of all the flipping back and forth needed but for something referenced less often I only need the PDF. I also never crack a bestiary or monster manual anymore. Always relying on google and multiple tabs for the monsters.
 

One thing I've discovered is that Past Ralif could be pretty terrible at estimating what Future Ralif would want to have on his shelves. I've ended up re-purchasing a couple books over the years. These days, the only things I get rid of are books that I have a hard aversion to, generally because the creator is actively being a goon. Mild goonery will probably send it to one of the boxes in the basement (overflow of stuff I don't really use much, but don't want to get rid of just yet). If they are a moderate goon, I donate them to my FLGS so that they may at least benefit from it. If they are an extreme goon, the books go in the trash.*

But regardless of being wrong sometimes, Past Ralif used the following criteria when clearing up his shelves:

Core Rulebooks: generally stay - even if I'm not likely to play 3e or 4e again, I figure I ought to keep the basic PHB, DMG, MM set. When I got rid of my 3e books, I actually just kept the PHB, and sure enough, ended up re-purchasing the DMG and MM later on.

Splatbooks: generally go, unless there's some interesting lore; if I come back to a game, I'm generally not going to want to revisit the bloaty parts of it.

Setting books: will probably keep, because I find that stuff inspiring, and you never know when an obscure bit of history will be fun to track down or be useful in a current game.

Stuff that I have a lot of nostalgia for: hard keep. Even though I don't know that I'll ever run LC3 Nightwatch in the Living City again, I wouldn't dream of getting rid of because it was the start one of my favorite 2e campaigns. And even though I'd probably use OSE these days, I couldn't bear to get rid of the original BECMI Books from when I was a kid.

Stuff that I never played and don't have any vested interest in: sell to my FLGS for store credit. I picked up the Mongoose Runequest release, read it, and then it sat in a box for years until I decided to clear it out.

*A certain extreme goon has given me the dilemma of whether to throw out their books or sell them to Noble Knight Games, because they actually go for a large deal of money. Enough that putting them in the circular file isn't as easy of a choice.
 


univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
One thing I've discovered is that Past Ralif could be pretty terrible at estimating what Future Ralif would want to have on his shelves. I've ended up re-purchasing a couple books over the years. These days, the only things I get rid of are books that I have a hard aversion to, generally because the creator is actively being a goon. Mild goonery will probably send it to one of the boxes in the basement (overflow of stuff I don't really use much, but don't want to get rid of just yet). If they are a moderate goon, I donate them to my FLGS so that they may at least benefit from it. If they are an extreme goon, the books go in the trash.*

But regardless of being wrong sometimes, Past Ralif used the following criteria when clearing up his shelves:

Core Rulebooks: generally stay - even if I'm not likely to play 3e or 4e again, I figure I ought to keep the basic PHB, DMG, MM set. When I got rid of my 3e books, I actually just kept the PHB, and sure enough, ended up re-purchasing the DMG and MM later on.

Splatbooks: generally go, unless there's some interesting lore; if I come back to a game, I'm generally not going to want to revisit the bloaty parts of it.

Setting books: will probably keep, because I find that stuff inspiring, and you never know when an obscure bit of history will be fun to track down or be useful in a current game.

Stuff that I have a lot of nostalgia for: hard keep. Even though I don't know that I'll ever run LC3 Nightwatch in the Living City again, I wouldn't dream of getting rid of because it was the start one of my favorite 2e campaigns. And even though I'd probably use OSE these days, I couldn't bear to get rid of the original BECMI Books from when I was a kid.

Stuff that I never played and don't have any vested interest in: sell to my FLGS for store credit. I picked up the Mongoose Runequest release, read it, and then it sat in a box for years until I decided to clear it out.

*A certain extreme goon has given me the dilemma of whether to throw out their books or sell them to Noble Knight Games, because they actually go for a large deal of money. Enough that putting them in the circular file isn't as easy of a choice.
I got so close to re-buying a couple 3.5 books last year. So glad I didn't as after the year long slog of running a 3.5 hexcrawl, I was asked myself why I didn't just use Pathfinder 1e. I feel I finally killed the idea that 3.5 had specific things I preferred over Pathfinder. It doesn't. My love for the game was purely aesthetic or sense-memory related. And while that can be valid if that aesthetic inspires me as the GM, I've now been able to lay that to rest.

The only Nostalgia books I am going to keep are my Bubblegum Crisis books as that was the first game system I ever ran properly. Most games before that living in the childhood realm of "Chuck dice, pretend to reference book, make something up." I had been doing before.
 

ART!

Legend
My family has way too much stuff, and I have an absolutely awful time going through and getting rid of stuff, but for some freakish reason I have much less trouble with my gaming stuff.

Some questions/approaches I use:
  • Have I ever played it?
  • How long has it been since I played it?
  • Do I know someone else who would get more use out of it than me?
  • Donate to a charitable organization. They might raise money by selling it at their store, keep it for public use in a daycare or recovery house, etc. Someone else might actually use it and maybe even love it.
  • Donate it to the public gaming space at a local gaming store.
  • Can I donate/store it at the central place where my gaming group usually plays?
  • Am I tired of moving it?
  • Is it valuable enough to bother selling it on eBay or the like? You can get a higher final price if you choose the option where some or all the proceeds go to charity.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
How hard/easy it is to get into attic storage may also be a factor between keeping handy and putting away.

Not to rock the boat, but there are too many things I got rid of during or after moves in the past that I find myself going to look for in my collection and am disappointed to remember is gone, so I am hesitant to get rid of stuff now. Sometimes I can buy a new copy but for the older stuff replacing it is too costly (and I am not into PDFs). In other words, you wife is right and tread carefully when getting rid of stuff.
 
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Some stuff, yeah, it's never going to be missed. Sometimes it's okay to say "I liked this at the time, but I don't anymore." I had so much 3e and 4e stuff and the vast majority of it I don't miss one bit.

Nostalgia on the other hand, is something I fall prey too quite easily. If it hadn't fallen apart, I probably would still be holding onto my first dice bag as a memento.

I got so close to re-buying a couple 3.5 books last year. So glad I didn't as after the year long slog of running a 3.5 hexcrawl, I was asked myself why I didn't just use Pathfinder 1e. I feel I finally killed the idea that 3.5 had specific things I preferred over Pathfinder. It doesn't. My love for the game was purely aesthetic or sense-memory related. And while that can be valid if that aesthetic inspires me as the GM, I've now been able to lay that to rest.

The only Nostalgia books I am going to keep are my Bubblegum Crisis books as that was the first game system I ever ran properly. Most games before that living in the childhood realm of "Chuck dice, pretend to reference book, make something up." I had been doing before.

Though I can say that I probably have only reacquired about 5% of the stuff I've sold over the years, the cost to do so has probably equaled the amount I got from selling everything in the first place. But really, I always knew it was about freeing up space (for more RPGs) than the money. Not that the money and store credit wasn't nice at the time...

Not to rock the boat, but there are too many things I got rid of during or after moves in the past that I find myself going to look for in my collection and am disappointed to remember is gone, so I am hesitant to get rid of stuff now. Sometimes I can buy a new copy but for the older stuff replacing it is too costly (and I am not into PDFs). In other words, you wife is right and tread carefully when getting rid of stuff.
 




Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Last year I gave away 95% of my collection. I just wasn't using it, and it was taking up space. So I gave it to someone I knew could appreciate all those old books and games. Yeah, it was hard, and I had nostalgia, but it was just sitting there
 

darjr

I crit!
Either play using them until fall appart.

Or take them to Gary Con and donate them to either the library or charity auction.
 


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