The next day at the con I didn't get there as early. The only big event of the morning was a new table in the flea market, where some guy set out a staggering amount of old out-of-print RPG stuff for sale: original D&D hardcovers, obscure modules for even more obscure games, you name it. I called Allan at home and asked him if he wanted me to look for anything in particular; he named one of the old D&D books and described the cover art so I'd get the right edition.
Gaming and collecting have been tied together since way before Magic: the Gathering - some people collect leads, others have collections of role-playing materials that go back all the way to when Dungeons & Dragons was just a digest-sized mimeograph (put out by a tiny wargame company that thought this boardless-adventure-game thing might be an interesting oddity to sell a few copies of on the side). Enthusiasts of any particular RPG, particularly an out-of-print one like Torg, typically have tales of the one optional expansion book that they took a pass on when they first saw it, only to search and pay top dollar for it years later. Collectors of all kinds, in all fields, are geeks of a sort. There's probably lots of psychological research on it, that I still haven't checked out.
Myself, I hunted down an old Paranoia module. Paranoia is the one RPG I've ever had success with as a gamemaster - perhaps because all you really have to do to run Paranoia is make the players laugh, then kill them. (Paranoia is set in a future dystopia where a benignly malevolent Computer watches over everything and the characters are its footsoldiers, generally sent on runarounds by incompetent bureaucrats. Bad puns and absurdities abound. If Douglas Adams were a drunken circus clown, he might write something like Paranoia.)
text and drawings © copyright 1999 Mike Sugarbaker