Saturday, June 21, 2008

Found the treasure! Or, a visit to Half Price Books in Dallas

I've been an energetic patron of Half Price Books since my first visit in years past. It's a super cool store with a great mission, plus they invariably have a great selection of gaming books and graphic novels. Pricing is intuitive: Everything is half-off the cover price.

Well, I dropped into what I soon learned was the flagship store and corporate headquarters of Half Price Books today while in Dallas for business. Here's the setup: The day's work was finished, and I was cruising Park City in a rented Malibu. The auto powered its way over a hill - and then I saw it. A huge red sign looming over the freeway, inviting me in with promises of out-of-print books and CDs.

I stopped in and browsed for a goodly while. They had a ton of old D&D stuff, including a good half-dozen books with spine credit by Gary Gygax. Cool stuff - to bad it was sort of falling apart. The next shelf held a bevy of oddball games from the beginning of the 21st century, when the Grim Meathook Future started looking more and more likely and movies like The Matrix glamorized the idea of firing off thousands of bullets in a heavily populated city. Gritty, street-level urban games; I saw Underground, Heavy Gear and a glut of World of Darkness titles. Mmmm, darkness. I love a good dark game.

I ended up walking out with a barely used copy of the Tribe 8 core book. Tribe 8 has been my elusive quarry for many years: I've known about it for a good while, and I've sort of mentally reserved a space on my post-apocalyptic shelf for it. In the past, I kept running across the splat books, but never the real thing. Today it is mine! It actually wasn't marked with a price, and I was bracing myself to cough up $15 if the clerk decided it retailed for $30. But he surprised me with a svelte $5.98 price, which I paid gladly.

Next up for me: Gamma World, Darwin's World, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Redline and Unhallowed Metropolis. And A|State is available on PDF now...


trollsmyth said...

If you're ever in Austin, the Half-Price stores here usually have very well-stocked RPG sections, especially the central store, near the UT campus, and the South Lamar store. And Steve Jackson Games has been known to raise petty cash by dumping box-loads of unsold books at the local Half-Price stores.

- Brian

The Gamer said...

Man, I love visiting the corporate HPB when I'm in Dallas. They have no HPB where I live, sadly. I think I need to engineer a trip to Dallas soon!

Of course, I think Gencon is going to be like a 50% off bonanza for d20 stuff, so between that and Hirst Arts I may be blowing my budget anyway. :)