Saturday and Sunday I checked out the vendors at North Texas looking for something to buy. Next to playing games the most fun I have with RPG's is running my fingers over new adventures looking for something I can use in my current games. There is also the nostalgia punch I get when I see an old copy of a product I once had. At a con though everybody is in the know so the chance of finding a diamond in the rough, while likely, will be priced to grab a high price for the vendor. I pulled down an SPI Dragonquest box and the price on it was $149.00. As much as I know where I was when I bought my original Dragonquest game and the hours of adventure I and my friends had with it, the system isn't that great and it never produced any good adventures. I did have a hunger for some high fantasy so continued to comb old D&D modules and Judges Guild I drilled down through their Traveller supplements I found in the bins looking for a sci-fi fix. I decided while I got a lot of joy looking at all these old classics I was sure I was not going to get game content I would be satisfied with. But I really want to buy some game stuff.
So I punted and felt over the one rack in the place which had old fantasy and sci-fi paperbacks. It wasn't much but at fifty cents to a dollar I felt I couldn't go wrong. Anything with REH on it was three to five. At Gencon I got Quelong for five dollars. Kennith Hite for a fiver? That was awesome, and he signed it! How James was able to sell this excellent adventure so cheap, well, I didn't ask him I just gave him five bucks and went looking for Ken. Can I repeat this here at the paperback rack. Not likely, but I would get, I was sure, what I was really after. Adventure material for my games. The games come from the stories, the source material. It what always fired me up about playing RPG's. There is always a story in mind behind any game I'm in.
My five dollar haul (it was really $5.50, but the young kid said he'd only charge me $5.00, what an awesome little dude) was Police Patrol: 2000 A.D., Time's Last Gift, Lacy and His Friends, Conquerors From The Darkness, and David Starr, Space Ranger. I now had reading material for the plane and enough fodder I was sure I could pull adventure ideas, npc's, campaign concepts, from these pages for my current games. While players are all familiar with many of the adventures which are out there they sure are not going to see I'm pulling stuff from late sixties stories. You file off your serial numbers and noone will know there Center City from their Vythain. I don't need to even keep them when I'm done. As cheap, disposable fiction they won't linger on my bookshelves. They either have good ideas or the don't. And I don't have to feel like I paid a king's ransom for garbage.
I wouldn't say no to more used fiction racks at a gaming convention. Concentrated on books which spurred our favorite games and adventures. But I know that is not for everyone as a fun gaming purchase. And maybe this is only attractive to game masters? Maybe players don't need to find a continuous stream of material to keep their game going so it isn't such a burning need? But if you got used paperbacks you are selling at the con you can be sure of getting my fiver.