The Future of RPGs as a collectible?
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Poll: Will RPGs remain a popular collectible with the next generation?

It is generational and will probably decline in the future 71%       71%  [ 44 ]
It is a solid collectible that will hold its value and be popular with the next generation 16%       16%  [ 10 ]
Unsure or mixed feelings 13%       13%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 62

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:01 pm 
 

bombadil wrote:I don't imagine it will persist into the next generation, i.e., people who are in their early twenties now.  

I think those of us who grew up with the game from its very beginning - or shortly thereafter - have the greatest interest in collecting and in the history of the game.  

So, I don't expect any return on the collection I've built if I decide to sell it all off in 10 - 20 years.  But I didn't build it with an eye on future monetary returns in the first place.   :D

My feeling exactly.  In 20 years, there will be very few people interested in vintage D&D.  Those that are will probably already have an extensive collection.  

This is not a wise investment, stick to mutual funds if that's your goal.  :wink:

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:40 pm 
 

Despite its current collectable state, I do not think it will persist. The game will continue to change and soon, if not already, it will not be recognizable. That will have an effect on people who might play and take a stab at picking up vintage items.

By the way, anybody watch the sci fi movie Basilisk. I had it DVRed and just watched it last night. Hilarious little D&D scene included.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:44 pm 
 

Does anyone here, picking up on the comment about whether Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil would spark interest in the original 1e modules (T1 The Village of Hommlet and T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil), think that the same thing could happen with these newer hardback modules like Demonweb Pits -- i.e. would it also increase the interest in Q1 or some other combination in the G, D, Q1, or GDQ1-7??

  

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:14 pm 
 

sleepyCO wrote:Does anyone here, picking up on the comment about whether Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil would spark interest in the original 1e modules (T1 The Village of Hommlet and T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil), think that the same thing could happen with these newer hardback modules like Demonweb Pits -- i.e. woudl it also increase the interest in Q1 or some other combination in the G, D, Q1, or GDQ1-7??


Not unless they did a complete rewrite of those modules. I know this might offend some of my esteemed colleagues, but modern D&D players would take one look at those 8 page G series modules and laugh them out the door.

They were awesome back in the day. But now, they appear no more inviting than a simple hack and slash dungeon crawl (which is what they are; albeit excellent :D ).

There just isn't enought content: player descriptions for each encounter, npcs, background, etc.

The other problem is that the drow were basically new and mysterious. They did not exist until G3. That wow factor cannot be reproduced. Especially when you consider how the drow have been completely ruined as a "monster." While the drow were once feared, they are now loathed - TSR simply wrecked them (that Drizzle character ...).


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:00 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:
Not unless they did a complete rewrite of those modules. I know this might offend some of my esteemed colleagues, but modern D&D players would take one look at those 8 page G series modules and laugh them out the door.

They were awesome back in the day. But now, they appear no more inviting than a simple hack and slash dungeon crawl (which is what they are; albeit excellent :D ).  There just isn't enought content: player descriptions for each encounter, npcs, background, etc.


I don't think that the future of collecting RPGs has to lie with whether people will find them playable. As I said in a previous post, collectors buy for reasons other than wanting to use the item. If this wasn't true, why would a book collector pay tens of thousands of dollars for a first edition, first printing of "the Hobbit" when you can buy a current paperback edition of the book, with the exact same content, for five dollars or less.

One thing that I have noticed about the RPG "Collecting" community is that it has two distinctly different types of collectors - those that buy something because they intend to use it, and those that buy stuff they usually have no intention of using. All value judgments aside as to the merits of either approach, I find that when both types of collector participate in "collecting" discussions the thread tends to bounce between the two perspectives almost to where there are almost two discussions going on. No matter, variety is the spice of life.

I am leaning towards the belief that the future of the collectability of RPGs lies with how much they become a "commodity", crass as that may sound to some. If their future collectability is solely determined by "players who want the material to play it", prices will probably only continue to decline for all but a handful of items.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:44 pm 
 

I get your point, but I don't think it is solid. Take comic books for example. When readership died, so did collectable values.

Also, the book comparison (The Hobbit) is not valid, either. The Hobbit is still printed today...without any (significant) change from the original. So if you read The Hobbit and become a fanatic...bang...go out and buy your collectable copy. That clearly does not apply to D&D, as the current version is practically unrecognizable from the 70s version.

No, I still think as the numbers of players shrink and as the game continues to morph into some piece of crap, collectors will eventually fade away, and with them, the value will drop.


Someone might still pay a crap load for Woody, simply because of its impact on RPGs as a whole, but the tourny mods will not hold that kind of value forever.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:29 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Not unless they did a complete rewrite of those modules. I know this might offend some of my esteemed colleagues, but modern D&D players would take one look at those 8 page G series modules and laugh them out the door.

There just isn't enought content: player descriptions for each encounter, npcs, background, etc.


Very true. Adventures these days are a lot more sophisticated, by and large. I think fun stuff like Castle Greyhawk could be reprinted without a lot of changes (since it's basically one excuse for a bad pun after another, heheh), but the majority of modules just wouldn't really work with 3rd Edition (or even 2nd Edition in some cases).

The later adventures handle more of the dungeon details, whereas in the old letter series, you count yourself lucky if you get a full room description ;)

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:32 am 
 

Taking an optimistic note... A good classic D&D-based movie 20 years from now -- or Tri-D, or whatever it'll be --  could have an energizing effect on the hobby.

Much as the Lord of the Rings trilogy sent MERP values through the roof. The game was already out-of-print by the time the first movie came out. RPGers ignored the official schlock Lord of the Rings RPG, and went straight to the MERP books.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:50 pm 
 

I am bumping this with a question:

When I posted this last year, there was a pretty strong view that RPGs would decline as a collectible in the future. However, it seems to me that there has been a strong increase in interest and prices this year. In the Australian market, the number of collector bidders competing for old RPG stuff has increased substantially. The same appears true in the US market. I used to be able to get bargains quite frequently and could then justify the shipping to Australia, but this happens very rarely now. The prices on lots seems to have leaped upwards too. Any thoughts on this? Would anyone change their vote based on the state of the hobby this year?

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:08 pm 
 

The RPG collecting hobby will continue to grow over the near future.

The equations in effect at the moment are:

1968 +16 = 1984

16+25 = 41

1984 + 25 = 2009

To explain:

The gamers who encountered AD&D in the mid-early 80's will be looking back over the past decades and seeking to collect their old gaming items.

I have arbitrarily chosen 1984 as the mid-point of the 1st edition / 2nd edition era.

I have postulated a high school sophomore from the era.

I have added 25 years.

I predict that RPG collectors will be highly active for at least three more years...through 2010.

The availability of AD&D products will decline as collectors stock their hordes and time diminishes the survivors.  Sellers seeking to liquidate their hordes will drive up the market over the years 2009 to 2010 as they "get out of the hobby (we all know there is no escape  :lol: ) and sell of their collections hoping for a profit.

There will be another burst of collecting activity starting  in 2021.  My equation for that collecting binge is:

2001 + 20 = 2021

Presuming that 3rd edition and OGL players were slightly older in 2001 than gamers in 1984, and postulating that the readily available resources of the internet and whatever takes the place of Ebay will reduce the lag time for collectors by at least five years....the next collecting phase will begin roughly in 2021.

The range of D20, OGL, 3.0, 3.5 materials will be much more broad because of the large number of publishers who glutted the market.  It will be fun to try to collect the more obscure of those publications.

Almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about, doesn't it?  8)

Mark   :D


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:44 pm 
 

Interesting calculations and hypothesis!  :)  I think there is one major flawed assumption however. Your model assumes that only those people that played the game during those peak times are getting into the hobby and foresee three waves. The OD&D 1968 group, the 1st 2nd ed, 1984 group and the 3rd ed 2001 group. I get the impression however that a lot of younger people involved in roleplaying today are starting to get into the older material. If paper and pencil role playing remains a strong past time, this could see continuous demand on particularly OD&D and 1st ed.

Thoughts?

(I like your elegant model though  :) )

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:31 pm 
 

HermitFromPluto wrote:Interesting calculations and hypothesis!  :)  I think there is one major flawed assumption however. Your model assumes that only those people that played the game during those peak times are getting into the hobby and foresee three waves. The OD&D 1968 group, the 1st 2nd ed, 1984 group and the 3rd ed 2001 group. I get the impression however that a lot of younger people involved in roleplaying today are starting to get into the older material. If paper and pencil role playing remains a strong past time, this could see continuous demand on particularly OD&D and 1st ed.

Thoughts?

(I like your elegant model though  :) )


The pool of collectors for this particular hobby will get smaller and smaller as years go on....most collectibles face this sort of attrition.  With online and computer gaming getting even more and more popular, we'll soon come upon a generation that will never play pen and paper games, except in declining numbers. No matter what publisher of these sorts of games come up with (4th edition? 5th, 6th?) it will continue to be trumped by technological advances.  Plus, as time goes on, more and more OOP or rare items will become available through more and more formats....we'll see the day when a pdf of ST1 is freely traded through internet channels. Hell, nowadays counterfeiters are making bills that are incredibly realistic....as time goes on and technology gets cheaper, some enterprising soul is going to start printing up their own copies of hard to find items...that is, if they haven't started doing it already!!!  8O
  But while the pool of collectors may decline, I think the prices will stay constant..for awhile.  Mark is probably pretty close to the mark...we'll see a mini decline in the next few years, following with stagnant prices, then a small climb, etc.  I'll give you just one example....Early dragon magazines were going for huge prices when I first got online.....then the numbers declined dramatically when the Dragon cd came out (I purchased most of the ones I needed at this time for about $20 each, incluidng all of the 'teens).  They have slowly begun rising again....but what if, in the future, another edition of the Dragon cd rom is published?  Who knows.  What if a Dungeon cd rom gets published someday? etc etc.  Should be an interesting next few years though.....

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:13 am 
 

Good thoughts all round.

I think that one factor which will affect all this is whether people will continue (or re-start) to game into their retirement.  If these pastimes are completely forgotten by then, then over time the collectible market will decline (although I think that there will always probably be a market for some of the older iconic stuff, e.g. Dragon Mag. #1 etc.. albeit a small one).  On the other hand, if people use their increased leisure in retirement to game (or start gaming again), then I think that the collecting market will stay very strong.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:39 am 
 

I think D&D collections have a very good future in the long-term

'Gaming' - by which I mean mostly PC & Console gaming and in its broadest sense encompassing things like The Sims, Second Life - is set to become the dominant pop culture entertainment this century.

D&D has directly influenced the development of computer gaming from the very start, and the Roleplaying ethos can be seen in such mainstream pursuits as chatroom personas and the adoption of avatars.

In time gaming will be seen as a legitimate and interesting cultural phenomena rather than a sideshow for geeks, and the artefacts at the root of this flowering  - D&D modules for instance - will become more and more collectable.

I've been gaming since I was 7 in 1981 when, in the UK at least, it was still fairly underground. Now the PC RPG Oblivion is advertised on the side of London Buses.

With gaming in the mainstream the (relatively) rare and naive physical artefacts that personify its roots - D&D modules for instance - will become progressively more valuable.

I don't think that electronic copies are a threat to the paper orginals. It'll be about owning an artefact, not reading the text.

I'm talking over a 50 year period or so! :)

Well that's the way I see it anyhow. What d'ya think?

cheers
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:11 pm 
 

I agree almost completely with the theory of everything Mark said above, although I suspect that the times that he lists are probably a bit to short.  

I just can't see there being much of a market(with the exception of very few items like woodgrain sets) really extending beyond those who were younger than the age of 7 in 1985 and so I would add another 12 to 15 years to Mark's model.  I would say that once those folks who were in the age range of 7-10 years old around 1985 hit their late 40's and fifties, the market will substanitally start to turn downwards meaning arond the year 2020 to 2025 as that puts those who were around 10 years old in 1985 around 50 years old in 2025.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:22 pm 
 

I can draw a comparison to an area I know a bit about: ham radio.

Amateur radio operators are a rapidly aging group of hobbyists with almost no new participants these days. Think about it; when was the last time you heard of someone under 40 who was a ham? In these days of the internet and global-coverage cellphones, talking to someone halfway around the world on a static-filled radio connection isn't nearly as exciting as it was 30 years ago.

As a result, I've noticed that secondhand radio gear from the last 20-30 years is often selling for less than it did 5 or 10 years ago. My theory is that most everyone who's a ham either already has this stuff or doesn't want it, thus, rather slack demand.

On the other hand, older radios from, say, the 1940s-60s still command CRAZY prices (particularly in good condition)...even though they're vastly inferior to modern gear. Why? Nostalgia. They're the radios that today's greyhaired hams first used when they were teenagers.

If you can compare oranges to tangerines, I think something similar might happen in the D&D market as time goes by. The collectible stuff that dates from the peaks of its popularity will maintain value, but the overproduced stuff from the years where interest wasn't so high won't. And the real early stuff will always have value, just because it's scarce.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:12 pm 
 

I'm not so sure about that far of a decline--it seems that it is far easier to collect today than ever, largely because of eBay (among other sites), and the Internet in general, than even ten years back.  Far easier to find information about specific items now than "back then".

Just look at this site and where the posters are from . . . who thought when most posters (that are in their 40's) could talk to people from around the world about D&D/AD&D, back when a fair number of us on this site were teenagers?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:26 pm 
 

Something else occured that makes me lean toward the generational thing: Back in the early 80s there was a backlask against D&D by the Christian right.

I don't know how much impact it had in other parts of the country, but here in the south it was fairly profound.

There were extreme cases -- groups burning D&D books -- and other, less drastic episodes that I remember vividly.  I had friends at school who simply quit playing the game, and knew of parents who wouldn't allow their kids to play the game.

These incidents may have taken a number of copies of OD&D and 1E material out of circulation, and had an impact on the availability of material now.

Just a thought ...
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:56 pm 
 

I voted unsure.  

While there are good arguments for it being generational, my family (mother) and others that I know have made very good money from things that were around in the late 1800's.

These things were dolls.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:01 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:Good thoughts all round.

I think that one factor which will affect all this is whether people will continue (or re-start) to game into their retirement.  If these pastimes are completely forgotten by then, then over time the collectible market will decline (although I think that there will always probably be a market for some of the older iconic stuff, e.g. Dragon Mag. #1 etc.. albeit a small one).  On the other hand, if people use their increased leisure in retirement to game (or start gaming again), then I think that the collecting market will stay very strong.


Picking up on this comment. I watched a documentary on the evolution of the toy market in Japan. Because of declining birth rates in wealthy countries, the toy / game market in general has declined. In Japan, companies started producing toys and games for retirees. It is the largest growing market in Japan - really booming apparently. People are living longer and have a lot of time on their hands. In the past people in retirement homes twiddled their thumbs, watched TV and did crosswords. In Japan, retirement home residents are buying games specifically designed for older people, including computer games. Perhaps, in the distant future us collectors will actually be able to 'play' our games rather than just collect them!  :)

  
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