What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?
- Your so-called “friends”: It is a deep, dark secret of the gaming world that few will admit to, but the cold hard fact of the matter is that gamers tackle the difficult (for us) task of actually making friends rather than gaming with strangers and weirdos we meet at back alley game stores almost solely so that we can parasitize their game collections when they need money.
- Craigslist: This is like #1 above except for people you don’t know.
- Convention flea-markets: As for the above, but you actually have to get into a room full of ravenous, sweaty gamers – often being forced to actually TOUCH people and even MAKE EYE CONTACT in order to be successful. Absolutely worth it when you find that copy of Steel Deep for $5.00. Shower before and after.
- Used book stores: these are a good place to look, as the owner/operators often don’t have much idea of what the products are actually worth and so may sell them for a pittance. Also has the advantage of giving you access to multiple copies of every Forgotten Realms novel ever published, as well as a plethora of books on how to write scenarios, often disguised as the Fiction and History sections. Finally, unlike fleamarkets, the other customers and staff don’t want to interact with you any more than you want to interact with them, and moreover have dozens of narrow aisles and tall bookshelves to hide behind, so it’s almost as if you are alone except for that moment you have to go to the cashier.
- Friendly Neighborhood Game Stores: WARNING! FLGSs are often staffed by people who will actually charge a reasonable price for their used product. This alone puts them far down on the list of preferred places to shop. One tactic I have been successful with is engaging in an interminable conversation about your character with the staff, holding up the line and doing a great job of casting the equivalent of a sleep spell. However, this must be done with caution, because the staff usually have their own tales to tell, and if your magic resistance fails you may walk out with $1,000.00 plus worth of cards, games, and rule systems.
- Dumpsters: high effort, low yield, but if you absolutely MUST have that Pathfinder product to get your new character build approved by the PFS for the upcoming event, possibly worth it. Be on the lookout especially for people weeping over crumpled character sheets and those who have collapsed from the strain of lugging a physical copy of every splatbook and adventure around with them on a pallet jack.
- Those boxes in the back corner of your basement: you know that there are some gems there you haven’t seen in years. They’re right next to your old comic books. Go look – it will only take a minute.