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I’m going through my collection and reboxing my games for yet another move. In the process I’m looking at what I’ve got and wondering why the hell I have it. So here’s my top 5 surprises from this latest sort of my ancient RPG collection:


Seriously, I have three copies of deadEarth. dead fucking Earth. Three. It’s unplayable except as an adventure in character death during creation. And I have three copies. One is even pretty well worn – the binding is in rough shape and I cut out a page from it back during the deadEarth craze on RPGnet so I could scan the firearms list (because the second edition of the game doesn’t have firearms dealing damage, just stun… brilliant!). What do you do with three copies of the rules? My best guess is you use two as missile weapons before closing into melee combat using the third copy.


I’ve tried running and playing Rifts. In fact, I ran a decent urban game of it back in the day before all the new megadamage RCCs were added to the supplements (so once you were in town, just about everyone was down to SDC arms and armor, and the glitterboy was less useful than the majority of the characters). But I haven’t played it in years, and I pretty much revile the system. So someone please explain to me how I have a dozen Rifts books, including two copies of the main rule book AND a copy of the hardcover edition (Rifts Ultimate Edition). Ultimate Edition came out years after I last played this game, and I have no idea how I managed to get one in my collection. I swear these books have been either reproducing, or are part of an underground railroad to smuggle unwanted RPG books into my storage locker.

Top Secret

I love Top Secret. This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been reading this blog. But once again, I find myself wondering where all these books came from. I’ve got four copies of the main rule book, five copies of the introductory adventure (Codename Pisces), and three copies of the Top Secret Companion, plus a pile of modules including the Administrator’s Screen. The screen is a real surprise for me, because I know I’ve been looking to buy one from the land of eBay for the past few years, and I don’t recall ever successfully getting one. In this case I’m pretty sure I can blame my players for adding their copies to my collection. No one I know likes this game anymore, and everyone I know is aware of my obsession with it. Good thing I noticed the screen before spending real money on one.


I picked up Shadowrun 1e during the CyberPunk craze days. But I much prefer CyberPunk and have no place for elves and magic in my dark future. Like many CyberPunk refs, I’ve pulled out the old 1e SR book occasionally to run through the Stuffer Shack scenario in a cyberpunk game. But that doesn’t explain why I own five Shadowrun core rulebooks through four different editions. I have not played this game in any form since giving up on SR1e, although I do have a vague recollection of buying 3e and testing out the combat and magic systems after making a few characters. I’ll blame this one on compulsive cyberpunk RPG collecting.


The grand-daddy of all the WTF moments was finding a perfect-bound copy of FATAL in a box. It has a CD sleeve on the inside cover with the PDF edition on it. Seriously, more than anything else in my collection, what the fuck am I doing with an actual printed copy of this abomination in my collection? I bet the other games in that box are all traumatized by the experience of being in contact with it (“ok Cyborg Commando, show me on the picture where the creepy game touched you”). I’m boggled by this piece of horror. Where did I get this? Why do I have this? Has it been anally raping my Dark Conspiracy game for years without my knowledge? What the fuck is going on here?!