How Do You Reduce Your Collection?

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Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
You seem to have a handle on categorizing, and that's just one step from prioritizing.

I can tell you that I haven't sold a thing, I give it all away. I've shown up for a session with a storage box full of other RPGs and told people to take what they want. I put up a FB post for all my 3.x and 4e stuff, free to any friend of mine who was actually going to use it. (Not a 2nd copy going to sit "just in case".) I mailed a bunch of AD&D (or was it 2e) to a fellow ENworld poster who was going to use them to run for students.

That it was going to someone I knew (or a friend of theirs), to actually get used to play the game, was worth more to me then getting some payback against their initial cost. I've invested in things like M:tG cards back when and those I kept nice and resold. but my gaming (and reading) books get loved to death, aren't mint, and I'd rather just give them away.

Same when I need to purge my library. I go though, fill a couple of bags with books I judge I'm never going to reread, and then ask around for friends willing to take the bag.


5ever, or until 2024
I've been considering selling some old stuff to I have a few things that have crept up to a pretty good price, books that I have never once used. I'm also going to sell all my 5e stuff.

I have had good luck with nobleknight. The problem is that I end up buying from them as well!

And I do still have a few gaps and things I want to add, or get back.

Speaking of which, if something does bring back good memories or have some meaning, keep it.


Baronet of Gaming
I have been in the process of shedding a lot of my collection of books, miniatures, and games. Anything that didn't immediately spark joy was put into the give away/sell pile. I made a rule that only two plastic storage containers could go back into our storage room. I ended up keeping a bunch of miniatures/hobby supplies along with some sentimental childhood things; the rest had to be displayed in my library or given up. I feel a lot better now that there isn't as much clutter and it allows me to focus my collection towards my real passion, Star Wars, in a much healthier way.

That would be how to oxidate your collection. If you want to reduce it, pop it into a vessel filled with chlorine gas.

I regret to inform you that this is not the case. Chlorine is an oxidizing agent as well. ;)

Reducing agents are rare in everyday life and usually extremely flammable (as they are prone to oxidation), and tend to be things like sodium metal (they're notorious for causing the explosions in methamphetamine manufacture, among other things). Sodium borohydride is sometimes used in paper preservation, but has a bleaching effect and could presumably remove the text with enough.


I've culled the collection twice. The first time was to get rid of a whole lot of stuff that I was sure I would never use again - games I'd never played or just didn't like, orphaned supplements, loads of d20 dross, and so on. That got rid of about two shelves of stuff, and left me with a smaller, but higher quality, collection.

The second time was to get rid of all of my hardcopy Pathfinder material (except adventures) - I'd tried it in the interim and decided that is just wasn't for me.

In both cases, I gave my extended RPG group first refusal, and gave what was left to a charity store.

The third cull, if it comes, will almost certainly be to get rid of a lot of old magazines. I'll probably keep Dragon and Dungeon for nostalgia's sake, but the same can't be said for White Dwarf, Arcane, Backstab, and the like.

As others have mentioned: since you have already done the effort of sorting things into mental buckets, it's just the question what to cut. Personally, I would sell or give away everything that doesn't see regular use or has (really) high nostalgic value - from your categories, I would only keep 1 and 2, maybe 5 since you say you like reading physical books; not sure if that's an option for you, but I found that reading RPG texts on a 12.9" iPad works really well for me (it's admittedly a rather pricey ebook reader).


If you sell stuff use the Marketplace function on Facebook. You will get a better price than the local store without the hassle of eBay.


I sold a box when I moved to the FLGS and got store credit. I have another box that made the move, but could sell as well. I sold the older editions of D&D when the new ones come out and are ok with it. Save some of the adventures and supplements on guilds and general concepts that I may read again. If I thought about it I would give to the local high school if they had a club. I gave a couple sets of old golf clubs to the scout camp and know that they have a D&D badge where it is part of another badge of gaming.

I would go through the collection and sell/donate anything not used in the last couple years.

Watch the show Horders.


Back in 1997, I sold most of my RPG collection to a friend of mine. These were mostly AD&D 2nd edition books, and while I don't remember how many books exactly, I was able to stack them about seven feet high. I've also sold various books on eBay over the years. I had the Deadlands special edition bound in leather that I sold to someone in Great Britain for about $250 back around 1999-2000. I've also just given away a lot of games over the years.


If you sell stuff use the Marketplace function on Facebook. You will get a better price than the local store without the hassle of eBay.
Came here to suggest the same thing. It is my selling avenue of first choice, and then, if necessary I go to ebay.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm a pretty aggressive decluterer. In college I ended up giving all of my gaming stuff to a couple I knew from SCA in exchange for a crate of homemade wine and mead, except for a few items in which I was published or which was signed.

When I got back into the hobby I started accumulating more stuff than I could foreseeably play in the near future, so I've cut back on purchaing physical stuff since I'm mostly playing on line. Most of my gaming money now goes to VTT subscriptions, patreons, and digital items. I still have a small hoard of minis, terrain pieces, physical battlemaps, etc. But I'm holding on to them because eventually my job situation will change and I plan to start playing in person. Currently, they are just in storage.

Board games were tougher for me, but I force myself to cull. I have to remind myself that I'm a player not a collector. For games that that the kids grew out of or games that I don't play often because nobody in the family really likes them, I donate them to the community gaming library as a local FLGS or give them to friends and family who might enjoy them.

One thing I regret is that a couple of years ago I backed Bit Box on Kickstarter and replaced a bunch of game boxes with Bit Box storage. First, I eventually realized that the boxes mean more to my enjoyment of the games than I thought and I regretted tossing many of them. But also, while it saves space, it leads to more clutter in the sense that you can't easily give away games that don't have boxes and I don't like the idea of just throwning them away so they just stay stored away in Bit Boxes.

I still have a crazy amount of gaming "stuff" by the standards of a non-gamer, but I don't hoard and collect stuff I don't or won't likely use.


More than about money for me, it's space. And even more than space, it's a feeling that I'm hoarding something someone else might enjoy

For my extra board games that I simply wasn’t playing, on boardgamegeek there was a forum for my area where people were selling boardgames. I posted them as free if they came to a shopping plaza a short walk from my house ( I don’t like strangers coming to my house) and zero effort on my part. it wasn’t even 30 minutes and I had over 50 takers and had to do a lottery on who would get the different games. It freed up space, and people who wanted to play got it,

sure no money exchange involved but you could offer nominal charge of $5 each to take the wife for dinner once all sold. But if money isn’t the issue and just want it off your plate fast, then free. And some overlap with rpgers that some rpg books might be of interest there too as long as noted as outside the scope of bgg

I have gone over to pdf only, and periodically throw away portions of my remaining hard copy game collection. A year ago I gave away a complete set of Fading Suns books, which cleared two feet of shelf space in a single act.

The best way is to get pdfs of what you will use again, and throw away everything you will never use again.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I have gone over to pdf only, and periodically throw away portions of my remaining hard copy game collection. A year ago I gave away a complete set of Fading Suns books, which cleared two feet of shelf space in a single act.

The best way is to get pdfs of what you will use again, and throw away everything you will never use again.
I've done that with books in general. I only keep books that I find beautiful and interesting to look at, or that I have a nolstalgic attachment for, or books that are useful reference material in physical form. Unfortunately, that describes many of my gaming book. :)

For example, many of the Frog God Games Lost Lands books are HUGE. So big as to be impractical to run games from, especially if you need to truck them to a game store or friends house, and extra especially if you want to reference multiple books during a game. I rely entirely on PDFs and the World Anvil version of the Lost Lands setting guide. But I still love having those books on my shelf. FGG prints quality books and I love to page through them occasionally even if I use digital version when prepping or playing sessions.


Staff member
Once upon a time, my RPG collection was somewhere around 125 different games and systems. I’m currently around 70. I kept the ones I played most often, the ones I mined for ideas most often, and the ones I thought were particularly good for some reason or another. Got rid of games I had no particular use for, including a few D20 variants that ranged from OK to bad, and had mainly been purchased to expand my monster/feat/class/spell resources.

Some of what left went to Half-Price books- a local chain book reseller. Others, I donated to organizations and charities that would appreciate them, like DAV and the USO.

I havent accumulated many board games, so I haven’t gotten rid of any of those.

Minis? Ummmmmmm…next topic.😅

OK…I’ve been buying minis since 1977-8, and many of those are stored away in my attic, while others are stuffed in Chessex boxes or Sterlite stacking drawers. I haven’t even been able to get rid of the worst sculpts I own.


You're thinking of this the wrong way. You should be Googling "DIY bookshelves".
totally agree, never ever sell a book again. still sad about selling my becmi/adnd 1e /2e 30 years ago (i was young kid, please don't spank me)
my proud collection is going to near 400 (and growing) books of rpg and will be my legacy to my not playing sons, but hope for grandchildren (when I have any!)



One of my motivators when trying to figure out what to get rid of is to ask myself "would someone else get more out of this than me?" The answer is usually yes. That thing you're not sure whether to keep could become someone else's favorite thing .

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
@Blue is exactly right.

Pay it forward. If you're not going to use them, don't sell them or have them end up with a collector. I always love old and tattered RPG books, not pristine ones, because those have been used and loved.

Find people that are playing, or interested in playing. I know it's harder with COVID right now (maybe hold out), but local groups, whether it's at schools or libraries or the FLGS are a good place to go. But find people who want to play! Those are the people to whom you should give your materials.


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?

Board games actually take up more space than RPGs from what I've seen. I have a TON of boardgames though, and a dedicated space in my house for them (actually two dedicated spaces).

I'd say keep 1 &2.

Put in the Attic 3, 5, 8 & 9.

Dump everything else.

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