What’s on my Shelf 4: Trad

It’s taken me a while to get to posting about the bottom shelf of my gaming collection but, for the most part, it’s where you’ll find my trad games. It’s also the portion of my collection that has shrunk the most over the last few years as I have condensed it down in response to multiple moves and a dramatic reduction in how often I game.

There are two main blocks of books amongst all that – Legend of the Five Rings and the original Torg. As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog my first real exposure to tabletop RPGs was through Torg but not until it had long gone out of print. I’d just started my PhD and for the first time in my life had a regular income (and quite a good one for a PhD programme) so it probably wasn’t surprising that I started to hunt down books on ebay. At one point I probably had ~75% of everything that had been printed for the game but I’ve trimmed it back considerably since then to the main setting books and the big centre piece adventure trilogy that kickstarted the living campaign. I’ve managed to hold off diving into its reboot, Torg Eternity, simply because I have no idea when I’ll ever get a chance to properly play the game. Maybe one day.

The second big collection is Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition (and the starter set for 5th Edition over on the right). This is one of those games that I am deeply conflicted about. Having been introduced to it by an amazing GM I’ve grown to love the world building and setting of the game. I’m also, however, aware of the extent to which the game only exists due to cultural appropriation of Asian cultures and I’m ashamed to admit how long it has taken me to really appreciate that. I’ve not picked up any more of 5th Edition even though I’d like to properly check the new system out.

Dotted amongst those collections are a range of books. There’s 2 WEG Star Wars books, the original game and the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook. I picked those up as part of a bulk collection in a charity shop but again, most of them have since been sold on as I’ve moved towards a focus on core books only. Masks (not the superhero PbtA game), from Engine Publishing is one of those books that has earned its place many times over given my preferred role as a GM. How? Well it’s a collection of generic NPCs separated by genre that includes names, descriptions, backgrounds and story hooks. Invaluable for when inspiration is lacking.

You might also note the cardboard folder sticking out on the right hand side. That’s the one non-trad game on the shelf – a physical copy of Time & Temp by Epidiah Ravachol. You’re probably more familiar with his games Dread and Swords without Master (which is in Worlds without Master Issue 3). Time & Temp is a game of time travel that in over a decade of ownership I’ve yet to get to the table despite being so intrigued by it that I paid to have a copy shipped over from the US. One day I’ll actually find a group interested in trying it.

So there you have it. My little collection and not a dragon in sight.

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