During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Which RPG Have You Owned the Longest but Not Played?
This has to be the original “White Box” Dungeons & Dragons. I have not owned it continuously, or in the same form, but it is my first unplayed game. Back in high school, when my friends and I were playing 1st edition AD&D, a copy appeared in our local hobby shop and I bought it. I found it very hard to read. It wasn’t compatible with the version we were playing, so I didn’t even feel like I could mine it for ideas. We considered trying it out for a game session, but never got around to it. We were less analytical back then. I think if I had an experienced group today I might give it a whirl just to see how far game design has advanced. Yeah, I’d likely play it just to riff on how dated it is.
At some point, years later, I sold it for a tidy profit to a collector. When a digital version become legally available, I picked it up out of curiosity and, again, never read all the way through it or attempted to play it. To be honest, I’d have to go digging for it. It’s on a backup drive somewhere with a bunch of other game stuff that I don’t foresee having a use for.
For me it’s kind of like owning an MS-DOS manual, or keeping the instruction booklet for a broken VCR that you keep in a closet thinking maybe someday you’ll fix it because you never know when you might need it. There are newer things that do what it does, better and more efficiently. I’m not a collector, and the PDF isn’t a collectible anyway. I can’t wax nostalgic over it the way I do with 1st and 2nd editions (also books I am unlikely to ever use again), because I never played it.