I think that in the life of every GM, a few books will come out that you ended up never really using. Whether by virtue of a bad purchase (along with the accompanying Buyer’s Remorse,) or the fact that you’re the only one who actually liked it in your group. Even with the advent of the net and the easy availability of reviews regarding pretty much anything, we still get stuck with books we’ve never used or have only used once, before banishing them to the far corners of the bookshelf.
So far, here are the RPG books that I’ve gotten but have insufficiently used
- Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed - I keep hearing good things about this book, but I have not once been able to run a campaign with it. I managed to get some of my group to try character generation, but it ended there.
- Adventure! – White Wolf’s pulp game had everything in spades, but like most of my efforts to run the pulp genre this one went up in smoke. To be fair I ran at least 2 sessions for the ill-fated “Z is for Zeppelin!” campaign
- Engel – Another White Wolf book that fell under the radar. The setting is fantastic, and the whole religious post-apocalyptic setting (and the lovely little plot twist inside) is great… but the D20 implementation failed to impress.
- Werewolf: the Wild West - Shamans and Werewolves who revere the spirits. I picked this off in the old “Devil made me do it Sale” when they first released Demon: the Fallen. I’m a sucker for westerns, but I’ve yet to successfully run one. When I tried to run this all my players opted to play Mages in a western setting instead… and that didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted to either, but that’s another story.
- White Wolf Dark Ages Series – The Dark Ages series for oWoD rocked. I loved the moodiness of Dark Ages Vampire, adored Dark Ages Mage… and was kind of put down by Dark Ages Werewolf. I would have gotten Dark Ages Fae to be honest, but by this time I was out of college and looking for a job to pay for my books. Sadly I was not to run any of these games, but maybe if I convert them to nWod…
- The Red Star RPG from Green Ronin – I loved the Red Star Comic book. The stories, magic and technology blew me away, but I was never able to get the game take off primarily due to the stigma against the D20 implementation in my group. Ultimately I had to sell this book off to someone else.
- D20 Modern – the Layout sold me on this book, but the rules made me sell it off. While the ideas presented were cool… the rules felt too clunky to be a true “Generic” modern day ruleset. I liked where they were going but they didn’t go far enough.
Ultimately my number of books unused hasn’t quite reached the same number as the books that I have used, thankfully, but if anything at least they make for good side reading and perhaps a source for mining ideas. I’m curious actually to hear from other RPG gamers, especially GMs who have similar dead weight cluttering their shelves…