Time for an RPG post and I think I'll go into my handy hat full of reader suggestions (ooh, almost empty, don't be shy) and I pull out... "Soap". Ok... How do I go about this? Hm...
Two associations come to mind: Cleaning up and soap opera. I think I covered soap opera well enough in Subplots: They're not 2nd rate plots anymore, so I guess I'll have to do the other thing. Let me clear my throat here, hem hem, ok, here we go...
Cleaning Up: Throwing Stuff Away Is Hard to Do
In fact, I find it damn near impossible to do. I don't mean used bags of chips or anything (though I've gamed with someone who actually kept those if you said it was a "gift"), but role-playing products. On occasion, I've sold some second-hand to my gaming store in exchange for something new, or participated in Christmas exchanges on RPG.net (of course, you get as much as you give), and almost always, I've kind of regretted the loss. Even when I didn't play specific game. Even if I never would.
I'm a pack rat. I admit it. And the pack rat's psychology holds that everything can be useful, potentially. And that's how I look at my gaming shelves. Never plan to play Underground? Hey, maybe there are some nice MEGS-compatible builds for that Days of Futures Past storyline! Have an adventure for Weird War II, but not the basic game system? I might convert it into a Dream Park scenario! Am I really going to launch a GURPS Vikings campaign? No, but those Viking proverbs made ginchy epigrams for my essay on Beowulf. What about that crappy Top Secret S.I. boxed set I got for 5$ in the bargain bin? Well, if I never use the Monaco stuff, there's always the off-chance of finding the Top Secret game as a pdf one day and THEN who'll be the master of the world? Huh?! WHO, I ASK YOU!!!
(Settle down, pack rat.)
That big collection of disparate stuff has actually molded my gaming. I'm consistently attracted to "multi-genre" games that allow me to draw on any of those books. Dream Park with its stand-alone scenarios in never to be repeated worlds... GURPS where the wealth of sourcebooks cajoles you into crossing the dimensions on a regular basis... Superhero games, because comics have the same pack rat attitude towards their subject matter. I'll often find myself considering to start a campaign on the basis of how much material (both on my shelves or on the net, I consider fan-made stuff just as good a resource) I can use if, let's say, the campaign goes on for years (they rarely do, but the packrat thinks in terms of potential, not reality).
Does your collection's size affect how you game? How do you feel after culling it? If you have an opinion, the comments section is for you!