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A question suggested by

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What's the oldest or most obscure item in your gaming collection?


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The most obscure is probably one of the first-ish run of Braille d20s from DOTS RPG. They're becoming a bit more common now, which is totally awesome, but I dig this old thing.

It's huge and the dots aren't easy to read, but it was a great proof of concept.
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Phil Dutré
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Entire gaming collection?

Oldest:
Probably original copies of Little Wars and Floor Games.

Most obscure?
Probably a copy of WehrSchach, a 1938 game made for the German Wehrmacht.
Perhaps Shambattle, but reprints have been made.

Really obscure?
A complete run of Schimmen & Schaduwen, a Belgian roleplaying game of which only a few 100 copies were printed, all included. But then, I was one of the original authors ;-)
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Peter Robben
Belgium
Antwerp
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I guess the entire run of Unspeakable Oath?
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Just another Steve
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I have a TSR Lizardman belt buckle. I guess they were some sort of gift for the staff. I got mine as a gift from a local game shop back in the early 80s I think.

Actual game item is probably a print copy of Wings of the Valkyrie which I bought off the shelf before the recall was issued.

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Chad Bowser
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Constraining this to only RPGs. I probably have some board games from early childhood locked away in a closet somewhere...

The most obscure might be Rüs. Apparently a lot of people hadn't heard of this little diamond in the rough in the rough.

Oldest might be King Arthur Pendragon (1st Edition). It's not terribly old, but it is inscribed by Greg to me.
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Stephen Pennisi
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Me.
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The 1943 edition of Fletcher Pratt's Naval War Game, I believe, and also some copies of his club's newsletter.
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Mark Wilson
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On the board game side, in ~2013 I bought a 1981 copy of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases off of EBay, before it was reprinted in recent years and easier to find.

I used to have some 1e D&D manuals, but they ended up with my older brother. At least a couple of them were originally his anyway, so it was really just returning them to their original owner.

{edit} Oh! I have the Dark Sun Boxed Set from 1991. That's definitely my oldest RPG item.
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Most obscure:
Various issues from German rpg fanzines, I guess. Small print runs, never widely known.

Oldest:
I don't think I own anything older than 1984, regarding rpgs.

My gaming collection at large: I own some encyclopedias of games from the late 19th century, and 32-sided glass dice from the first half of the 20th century. Nothing special, to be fair.
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If your entire collection is logged on RPG Geek, the "games by year" view from BGG doesn't discriminate on domain or item type. Take a gander at your oldest things. Might not handle reprints. Definitely doesn't handle item versions as I'm certain the Apple Lane PDF I purchased a few months ago wasn't made in the 70s.

For me, the oldest items are the D&D basic set and monster manual from '77.

Most obscure is a hard one. I've got so much stuff that I never hear anyone talking about or I'm the one who entered its data and am one of the only owners of. Something modern like Uprising: The Dystopian Universe? Something significantly older like Strange Frontiers? Just plain weird like Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja Educational Preparatory Super Elementary Fortress 555?
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This is the oldest thing in my collection


It is older than me and I have absolutely no idea when/how I acquired it
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Shadowrun (1st Edition)
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Clark Timmins
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Oldest is The Strategic Review (Volume 1, Issue 1)

Most obscure is probably something I forgot about? I have a lot of really obscure stuff. Let's go with Player's Handbook 3 (D&D 4e)... nobody bought that...
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I've told this tale before... It's Wrestling Warriors and Advanced Wrestling Warriors.

I met the designer, Walt Spafford, at Gen Con in 1992. I noticed that there was a pro wrestling RPG event and walked over to check it out. At that time, I was working on a text based pro wrestling computer game. It turned out that we had similar ideas; in retrospect, not very good ones.

I bought his game, supplement, and newsletter on the spot. Every expense was spared in the production. It was more or less a dot-matrix printout stapled together; it wouldn't even be an ash can by today's standards. Check out the cover:



The game was just a combat simulator held together by (optional) roleplaying. His newsletter was entertaining. Like I do, I lost all interest in a few months.

I know there were other people who owned the game, but I'd bet it didn't hit double digits. I'm still the only one here who claims ownership. I'm pretty sure I still have it in a folder somewhere.



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tdphillips wrote:
If your entire collection is logged on RPG Geek, the "games by year" view from BGG doesn't discriminate on domain or item type. Take a gander at your oldest things. Might not handle reprints. Definitely doesn't handle item versions as I'm certain the Apple Lane PDF I purchased a few months ago wasn't made in the 70s.


Sweet. I don't think I've ever seen that function, and I have no idea how to access it (apart from your link). Thanks!

Sorted that way, my collection (regardless of type/ domain and ignoring versions, just by "year of origin" or whatever we want to call that date) is mostly from 2009-2015. Those are my "bulk years".
Some print stuff I haven't yet tracked on Geekdo, some PDFs are, but definitely not all of them. The list doesn't cover rpgissues - those would be interesting, too.
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pdzoch wrote:
What's the oldest or most obscure item in your gaming collection?

Oldest: Empire of the Petal Throne boxed set (minus dice) & War of Wizards (complete, I believe).

Most obscure: hmmm, I can't say. I have a number of non-english language items that are probably quite obscure, but I guess it depends on the audience.
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My most obscure? Domination.

My oldest? Metamorphosis Alpha.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Not much left that's obscure or old. I used to have a pretty good collection of obscure stuff, patronizing small companies at Origins and GenCon throughout much of the '80s. But in the mid-90s I had to sell it all off to afford much-needed dental work, alas.

Probably the rarest RPG-related thing I have left is:



It's my only remaining memento of the trial - I used to have some of the books that were marked as evidence, but they've all been all auctioned off.

Edit: the oldest RPG-related items I have are all magazines. Some early Space Gamers (which is older than Dragon Magazine, BTW) and some early Sorcerer's Apprentices. I think the oldest book I still have is Monsters! Monsters! (2nd Edition), though I used to have many older.
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Oliver S
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I think the oldest thing I have is Solo 01: Buffalo Castle. I don't think I have anything particularly obscure, though.
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Hans Messersmith
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jasri wrote:
tdphillips wrote:
If your entire collection is logged on RPG Geek, the "games by year" view from BGG doesn't discriminate on domain or item type. Take a gander at your oldest things. Might not handle reprints. Definitely doesn't handle item versions as I'm certain the Apple Lane PDF I purchased a few months ago wasn't made in the 70s.


Sweet. I don't think I've ever seen that function, and I have no idea how to access it (apart from your link). Thanks!
Me neither, also thanks! That is pretty cool.

I suspect the oldest/most obscure thing I have in my collection is The Fellowship of the Ring, which is neither particularly old nor particularly obscure.
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Chris Abbott
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Oldest is En Garde! from ‘75. Had to dig around for its errata.

Most obscure is probably the Rivets microgame from ‘77. Never met anyone else who owned a copy.
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Rebus Carnival
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NightLife (3rd Edition) is probably the most obscure of mainstream RPG items I own. I have a good amount of ephemera from the OSR blogosphere which may or may not be obscure in the present company. Oldest RPG stuff is probably 79 or 80 d&d books, an incomplete set.

For boardgames, I have a ill-defined collection of weird stuff.

On the RPG adjacent side, I have a nice copy of Lords Of The Middle Sea, a post-apoc steampunkish hex n counter set in an underwater USA. The setting/map would make good a Gamma World setting.

My Phil Eklund collection is pretty robust, the oldest/obscurest I have a copy of Luftschiff.

I recently got a copy of Dreamspell which is a divination tool that has a listing on BGG. It is pretty trippy and worth a read; I would not do justice to the theory presented but it is influenced strongly by the Mayan calendar. The "game" element is essentially applying to the tool to each persons birthday and using the charts to divine their future.

It really is a neat piece and I guess I might frame it at some point. It ends with the Mayan calendar (2012 or earlier?) and so can't really be used today.



I have the boards for Nectar Collector and Save the Whales framed in my game room. There are two or three other games by this small hippy family but the boards are not as frame worthy.

And more. I mostly just go with what catches my fancy. So much strange stuff out there.
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Caroline Berg
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Washington
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Oldest is the Council of Wyrms box set. I have no idea how obscure it is...
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Brian M
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I'm pretty boring...

My oldest is the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rulebook (First Edition) from 1977. Probably pretty common.

I have no idea what most obscure is - I'm curious to sort my collection by number of RPGG owners, but I'm not seeing a way to do that.

When I was a kid, I had the little plastic dinosaur set that included the thing that was clearly NOT a dinosaur that inspired the D&D Rust Monster...but it was thrown away long ago.
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