332 Unloading Gaming Gear

“Since @Sean has been unloading stuff. Talk about collecting, curating, culling your collection. What mentalities do you both have in regards to stuff you keep vs. stuff you toss. Restrict it to physical - it’s too easy to have everything in PDF and that makes the conversation muddy. (Unless maybe you say that having the PDF of something you’ll never play makes it easier to let go of the physical.)

And don’t give me any of that fake-zen shit about holding it in your hand and asking if it brings you joy. :wink:

You might also talk about regret. Things you regret letting go. Why? Because you really want to hold it/read it again? Nostalgia? $-value? Because you want to play it?

Maybe the concept of a top-shelf or pride shelf? What 3 linear feet of books will you never ditch? But that comes close the ole’ desert island question. In fact, I think this would be better poised as an episode about “letting go” than one about holding on.”

Thanks to @rayotus for the above.

Talking live Monday night, March 9th at 8pm CT

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it’s all 404’rd sir

That’s because we haven’t recorded it. :slight_smile:


Listening now and there are a lot of small audio skips. Is that just my download? Redownloading …

Nope. Still skipping. Also … what the hell?

(Serious about the skipping. Not about the logo. Been wanting to do that for a while to see what it would look like. LOL) For checking it was particularly bad right around 20:00 to 21:30. During the “tits & ass” portion of the show.

I’ve done this twice. Once when I realized my RPG collection had consumed two entire bookshelves, I cut it down by half. Then last year when we moved, I trimmed my collection down to three shelves. (One is various boxed sets.)

I looked at each item.

  • If I use or reference it semi-regularly, I put it in the ‘keep’ stack.
  • If I haven’t really looked at it in 10 years or more, and can’t imagine something coming up where I would use it…I put it on the ‘sell’ stack.
  • I go through the ‘keep’ stack again, culling out those items I lied to myself about the first time.
  • Then I go through it again, and even if I reference it from time to time, I ask myself if I don’t have another resource that serves the same function, if so, it goes on the ‘sell’ stack.
  • Find anything that I keep out of hopes I’ll use it, but haven’t in years. Can I find a PDF copy? If so, it goes on the ‘sell’ stack.

(None of the above applies to my 1st edition Deities and Demigods with Cthulhu, Melnibone, etc. Nor does it apply to my boxed Jorune or Runequest RPGs. Those stay. Period.)


Well that’s peculiar.

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Just uploaded a revised version of the show. In case your podcast catcher has two versions. Listen to the latest, unscrewed version.


I collect more than I should – cassettes, CDs, RPGs, board games, computer games, comics, Lego… it does feel really good to cull.

Cool episode, I do have one strategy I’ve found effective: if you’re stuck on the nostalgia thing, take pictures with your phone. I did this with a bunch of old VIC-20 and C64 era disks / games, and early PC games. I will literally never, ever play them again, but it sure is fun thinking about those times. With pics, you can get those same memories without hanging onto the physical artifacts.


I really liked this episode. It was cool that you talked about the gaming culture vs. actual gaming.

I really appreciate that @sean talked about his challenges about balancing minimalism and small living vs. the need and/or desire to collect games and accessories.

I also had to deal with this dilemma. We’re a “pre-middle-age” ( :grin: ) couple with a dog and decided to downsize from a big 4 bedroom house in the suburbs to a small 2 bedroom apartment in the city. A lot of things had to go.

But there was a big positive with this change: spending less time maintaining that huge house allowed me to game more than ever. It meant being closer to gaming stores and people. I never had such a thriving gaming life!

I did fall back into the collecting “trap” but my choices are very intentional: DCC ( :heart_eyes: ), CoC (my intellectual side) and 5e (for the masses). Another important discovery was Appendix N literature but I only buy used for the pleasure of the"hunt" and the cool factor.

Just when I thought I couldn’t go smaller, my wife and I packed up every before the pandemic (November 2019) and shipped our camper to Europe. We’ve traveled from France to Turkey and all parts in between including a 3 month confinement in Morocco (where I incidentally discovered GaBS).

I only brought a few books. Gaming was minimal on a few occasions with travel friends but all the reading, podcast listening and reflection made me realize at which point I enjoy this hobby and the relationships I made around a table.

I look forward to my return home where I plan to add a “RPG table”, even if my room is small, because in the end, what happens at the table is all that really matters.


I feel personally attacked by this episode. (joking)

So, I am absolutely a person who lets things accumulate. I don’t think I’m generally a collector per se. I grew up in the rural midwest, space was plentiful, stuff wasn’t always. There was a lot of making things work, using something to get by. And that is still a mindset I have to overcome. I don’t need all the coax cable I have laying around. I probably don’t need 3 parallel cables since I’m using zero and the printer is a network printer. I don’t have to save every bit and bob.

But I do accept, I do collect gaming books and comics. To the point brought up about completionism, which is probably not a word (but maybe… autocorrect didn’t flag it) but that’s not an issue for me. There are runs in comic series where I didn’t buy a couple issues because I didn’t like that artist. I probably have literal tons of comics, and to date, I have ONE complete run of a comic (Knights of the Dinner Table).

Anyway. A few random thoughts in there. Yes, I struggle to “clean house”, possibly more than most.

And @Fafhrd , sorry about your Groo. I have a lot of love for Sergio Aragones. (I actually have a friend who’s last name is Grue, that still spell Groo. Because Groo.)


I am in a similar boat @LaramieWall. I’ve gone two major “purges” in the past (plus a few small ones) and while it did feel good to clean house in the onset, I later began to miss the products I once had. Regret became a real thing. A lot of those products eventually found their way back into my collection over time which is huge at this point. 11 full-sized shelves and counting. I am a game hoarder and I know there is no way to play all of those games. Odds are good I may never play most of them ever again. The “letting go” part is my hurdle.

But this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently.


I forgot to mention my regrets: D&D red box (my first) and D&D Cyclopedia (perfection). :confounded:


Ouch… Those are definitely on my list of items I will never let go. They’ll pass to one of my kids when I kick the bucket.


Just one minor clarification to something @sean said in the episode, during the “get any gaming in?” segment. The White Lies espionage game we played is based on Swords & Wizardry White Box, not OSE. Two rather different animals, as White Box flows from 0e D&D and OSE from B/X. White Lies has some pretty spiffy, sleek, and unified mechanics IMHO, but you won’t find them in OSE if you go looking.


Maybe a list of simple questions would help:

Will I ever play this? IF no, THEN
Will I use this for source material? (If you just answered yes, think again) Really? Will I? IF no, THEN
Do I have plenty of room to store this without cramming it into a shelf or double-stacking, etc.? IF no, THEN
Am I keeping this because it has $ value or is just beautiful or is it personal (a gift or reminder of a person I like)? IF no THEN
Let it go, man! Let it GO!!

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You can change the words or make up your own, but then use the damn questions, don’t rationalize around them. And be honest.

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And maybe write on an index card why you are keeping it and stick it in the cover, so you can laugh at yourself next time you evaluate it.


I have begun downsizing. Not necessarily because of this episode but because it is something I have been pining over for a year now. I’m just using this episode/thread as a motivator to do what I’ve known for a while I should have been doing.