Out of Print Role Playing Games

How many of you play out of print games?  I once considered myself a collector of games but that is not really the truth.  After coming across +Moe Tousignant on G+ I realise that I am merely reminiscent  of old game systems that I have played and enjoyed.  Moe is a collector of games and his game cave is the ultimate place to be.

A recent discovery in a chest in my garage made me think about this a little.  I found a copy of Tank Girl the RPG box set (an early to mid 90’s movie based on the comic) in near mint condition.  I still haven’t really looked into it but I thought about how sad I was for collecting all this stuff.  But then I realised that the game actually had a sentimental value to me.  it was given to me by a good friend for helping him move a big bunch of stock from a store that was liquidating 200 Km away to his own store.  I am sure when he gave it to me that he thought it would get some play but I was heavily into Shadowrun and Earthdawn at the time so it got packed away to bide its time.

Such an iconic cover to a game book

Then +Morgan Weeks said to me that the collector in him applauds me but the gamer in him wishes the box had shown years of gaming wear and tear and I kind of agreed with him.  It was sad to see such a rarity in such fine pristine condition.  Morgan, by the way runs the Panda Gaming Grove which is a blog on games (and a lot of Earthdawn which I love) which largely made me want to start blogging on games.  Check it out!

I then realised that all the gaming systems I still had were games that have sentimental value to me or they are games I play.  So I began to wonder, when I sell my games (as I often do when I run out of space) do they go to people who are collectors or do they go to someone who is going to play them?  I had a think about this and I realise that the only out of print game I truly play is Classic Traveller (CT).

Thanks Wikipedia for the image!
Let’s see what archaeological
treasures we dig up!

This was a very random thing for me to take up.  +duncan mcphedran was looking for a GM because he didn’t want to read the rules (and they are a bit dry) and I had (you guessed it) a sentimental link to the game, although it was Mega Traveller I played, not CT.  So I ran through a short session of about 5 posts where I convinced myself to GM the game for Duncan and have not looked back.  It is probably my most popular online game as I have around 8-9 players that could show up every fortnight (though I generally get 6-7 at any given stage).  And guess what, most of them have sentimental reasons to be there to.  If I had a $1 for every player I heard say “This reminds me of high school” I would be a professional GM by now.  I even got pulled up in the street by a gentleman who reads my blog that I had no idea was a gamer talking to me about his CT days.

So is it sentimentality driving people to pick up my old game books or are there a bunch of people out there playing out of print games.  I can understand people that play games that have become out of print because the game moved one edition ahead but games that are older or more than two editions out of print?  Hit me up in the comments if you play old games on a regular basis.  Let me know if ti is for sentimentality or just because it is a great game.  I’d love to know what games out there are still being played today even though they have gone out of print because they are great games.  Even more importantly, if you are still playing Tank Girl definitely let me know!


  1. Sometimes I don’t even realize that a game is out of print when I get a game going – only when the players indicate that they are having trouble finding the book (oops). While I would never say that I do so on a regular basis, a great game is still a great game, even when looking at it through rose-colored glasses; just as you said.

    With the ready access of pdfs, it is becoming ever easier to acquire games that were previously out of print, even get a physical copy through POD. Just look at what White Wolf is doing with their back catalog. Even WotC is bringing back the classics in a lush new printing. Not all games are like this, a lot due to licensing issue. With a little tenacity and time, the idea of a game that can no longer be legally acquired may be a thing of the past.

    What I’m really getting at with this is: it is a great time to be a gamer. Also, if you are having fun with a game, that’s awesome. Even if it’s the silliest of fun (I still love to break out Palladium’s TMNT for a spot of over-the-top, wacky fun), that’s just awesome.


  2. We had a one or two session game of Tank Girl back when it came out. Still have my copy in my collection. I remember it was wild and crazy and we all had a good time.


  3. My group still plays 1st edition and was trilled by the new covers. We use a lot of OSRIC and Goodman stuff and 2e stuff for the gameworld. And modified combatn to 2e style move then attack rater than original attack then move. We did Castles and Crusaders but went back. I think its simplicity of the rules and the DM being the focus of any rulings not the rule books that appeal to us more than anything.


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