Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have the cure for Gamer ADD

1. Have financial woes during a economic slowdown. Mix in paying for high school, fixing vehicles, granddaughters and the Harley tax.

2. Continue running your campaign, but use what you already have or rely on free stuff.

3. Realize that you don't need to buy the latest/greatest, that this stuff works as-is, that your game still rocks.

Viola! Your ADD is cured and you can move on to a bright, shiny new world using what you have already - because there is a TON of good ideas and inspiration already there on your shelf.

(It also helps if you are still in that financial crunch and your mindset is starting to go into frugal mode.)

I think my days of just buying it because it's the latest/greatest blogoland flavor are over. I'm not shelling out anymore treasure or gold on RPG products, until I've wrung out all that I can on what I already have. I think I greatly appreciate the Depression-era thinking that my grandparents had.

Has the economy affected how you use your gaming materials? Have you become more frugal?


David The Archmage said...

I don't see that as helping gamer ADD at all, it just slightly limits what you focus on. There are so many free games and supplements out there that it's entirely possible to indulge your Gamer ADD without spending a dime!

I've definitely cut back on my gaming purchases of late, but that has more to do with increased expenses (buying an older house a couple of years ago) than the current economic climate.

Patrick W. Rollens said...

I've trimmed my purchasing down to 3 times annually: the twice-yearly auction at Games Plus, and GenCon. Here and there I'll pick up the odd PDF supplement or miniature or whatever, but I try to balance those purchases out by selling a similar amount of unused gaming stuff on ebay. So I'm close to being "cost neutral" in my gaming hobby.

Pontifex said...

I was bored, so I started writing my own game. Now I have plenty of entertainment and a near endless list of tasks to complete.

And I can't complain about crappy design anymore either.

been over 6 months since I bought any RPG books, over 1 year since I bought a video game.

Anonymous said...

We've definitely seen a screeching halt in the auto industry over the past five years. I still make a living at it, but I can't buy the things I used to. So, I've found ways around it.

Lately, I've been painting mini's in exchange for some gaming materials. I've done this for a local business owner to acquire a couple of World of Darkness books. I also painted a couple of mini's for a friends campaign in exchange for some extra books he had.

I've thought about making my own system, but my campaign uses the 2nd Ed D&D books. And since I already have like every hardback and softback 2nd Ed book, we just stick to what we know.

Robert Morris said...

I'm definitely in frugal mode! Outside of a few pdfs and replacement paints, I haven't bought any new gaming material in months. I have also gotten rid of lots of things I have already mined for ideas and don't play or use anymore. Yet I still have enough material to run my game and develop new stuff to send out through the golden tubes of the interweb. I definitely understand what you're saying.

marjasall said...

I'm still getting mileage out of the original TSR books. I know they aren't as readily available to some people, but just speaking for myself, that's what I use.

Scott said...

I don't know that my financial situation is linked to the economy writ large - it's not like people cook less meth or rape each other less in a bad economy, so I have a ghoulish sort of job security - but I'm definitely tightening the belt because of personal circumstances.

I also sold a ton of my gaming stuff a while back, so my options are fairly limited. I definitely think having a more limited budget and gaming library has spurred my creativity and helped my focus.

I read somewhere about a particular Referee who had a very limited budget, and would therefore look at a gaming product he thought he wanted, decide what he thought was so cool about it and why he felt like he needed it, and then use that as a guideline to homebrew something similar himself. I think this is just about a perfect way to both limit spending and develop one's own material.

Anonymous said...

That would narrow it down, but I already own a lot of RPGs already. I even get gamer ADD just between editions of D&D I already have.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Scott - that's an awesome idea and one I'm going to take to heart.

@Patrick - another good idea.

My last RPG purchase was the S&W Whitebox box set. That's it and I'm not buying anything else this year.

Between the first 5 issues of Fight On, the first 3 issues of Knockspell, the S&W clones, OSRIC - I'm full up. I've got OD&D LBBs, AD&D, Holmes and some modules. If I can't come up with campaigns on that and have awesome games, supplemented by what I read on the web, then I'm really not trying hard enough.

I really don't think there's much else right now that says "I gotta have it" and that's true from big publishers and the small fry.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

(And to be honest, I didn't need the Whitebox box set, I bought it because Mark Allen's artwork deserved the cash and I wanted the Whitebox rules so people could look at them if/when I run OD&Dish games. If the Whitebox box set came out now, I'd probably pass.)

Allandaros said...

As a student with worrying loans (and a lousy cashflow before the loans) I've been going frugal for many years.

I think the last RPG purchase at full price I made (not counting a Chessex battlemap) was the Dragon Magazine 250 issue archive, maybe seven or eight years ago. Everything since then has been free, used books, or somesuch. I'd love to buy the shiny new stuff (whee! LotFP boxed set! Whitebox! B/X Companion! Dragon Age! All those issues of Fight On! Oodles more dice!) but I don't need it, so I hold off. I do try and pick up good books used, so that's a lot of looking around.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Allandros - I'm buying a lot more used these days - not just books/games but everything. I buy most of my add-ons for the Harley used. I buy used clothes and such. That's a lot more greener than alot of things these days.

poly hedron said...

I absolutely agree. I'm not buying as much as I used to, due to a recent lay-off, and especially not because it has a certain branded logo on it and its new and improved. I'm adapting more of my older "resource material" to the newer rule sets we use in my campaigns (dnd/pathfinder)

I'm also making more props, game tiles(just did a video series of making your own dwarven forge like water tiles on the cheap, elevation markers from dice boxes, etc. Most of the stuff i'm working on is using supplies I've had laying around the house for awhile now and have been meaning to do something with. No excuses now!

Not only is it saving me money, it keeps me happy because building models and props is a hobby of mine as well as the gaming itself!

-david c.

Arkhein said...

You make a good point. My attention does tend to wander to the next, latest, greatest book or supplement, with some hope that it will make me a better GM and send the players into a tizzy of delight at playing in such awesome adventures. But yeah, my shelf is already full of books with great ideas that I maybe have cracked open only once - at the book store.

Regretfully, I am addicted to minis right now, so the possibility of saving money, time or attention is nill. I'm screwed. :)


Jay said...

I see what you're saying, but my ADD is from just too many interests! I like Scott's post--in fact I've sort of fallen into that method.

Honestly, I can say that everything I've bought I did so because I really perceived a need or future use. If I can get a used copy that's my first choice.

I've caved of course--Dungeon Alphabet and White Box--but those are rare (and understandable!!) circumstances. ;)

Jesse Carter said...

Yeah, my spending has been curbed by my partner being unemployed at this time and the downturn. Oh well, if I can't run OD&D w/just the 3 books+supps that I purchased PDFs of last year, then I suck as a GM.

I did, however splurge on Blokus for a game that we can play with my parents at holidays besides Scrabble.

Seth Drebitko said...

My purchasing has trimmed down a bunch. When I do make purchases it is primarily used books, or pdfs.
I also try to purchase things I know I will be able to use independent of the system they are designed for. I think being able to stretch supplements over as many systems as possible is one of the biggest things for me.

The Halfling said...

We have limited down to the two cons we go to each year, Gamestorm and Orycon though we did just splurge on 4th edition books vie for much less then the cover price (and the books were virtually new). Other then that I use a variety of fre eonline products like gozzy's maps online and if you are looking for a couple new to you rpg books I would check out as there a several rule books for free there. I have a review Legendary Lives 2nd edition (for free on haunted attic) that I have been running since the mid 90s.
Thank goodness gaming takes more imagination then cash, one hobby that isn't hit too hard by the economic downturn.