Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fistfuls of loot at the fall gaming auction

Last weekend was the fall auction at Games Plus, Chicago's gaming mecca. Enthusiasts from near and far emptied out their closets and bookshelves, filling the halls of Games Plus with much-loved gaming books, miniatures, board games and accessories.

Each day had a particular theme. I stopped by for Saturday (the tabletop RPG book day) and Sunday (the miniatures day). Once the bidding commenced around 11 a.m., it didn't stop until about 8 or 9 p.m. The Games Plus team went non-stop, auctioning items fast and furious—and frequently switching out auctioneers when a particular volunteer's voice started to fade.

Most lots went for less than $10, and plenty of great deals could be had for as little as $1 or $2. The auction featured several jewels from the hobby's early days. In particular, I saw near-mint copies of Phil Edgren's "The Book of Monsters" and "The Book of Demons"—both circa-1976 unofficial supplements to D&D and other first-generation fantasy RPGs. I admit that I didn't really know what they were when I saw them sitting atop a pile of books. But a quick flip through the musty pages confirmed their old-school cred. They were published through Little Soldier Games. I couldn't find much reference to Edgren or the publisher on the Web, but there's this.

Interestingly, throughout the day, the D&D 3.x core books received much higher bids than the 4e stuff in the auction. One 4e PHB with a starting bid of $10 didn't even sell! But none of the current generation of fantasy games proved as popular as the Pathfinder core book. I saw just one copy go up for auction, and bidding ended somewhere around the actual retail price for the book.

And I spotted this just before I left, so I couldn't bid on it. But I would have!

So what did I get, you ask? I scored a copy of Fantasy Flight's "Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation" 2-player board game, and a I won a lot of 6 AD&D books, all by Gygax—two of which were immediately earmarked for The Reverend, an occasional commenter on this blog and a real-life fellow gamer here in Chicago.

On Sunday, the miniatures day, I spent about $35 and walked away with a nice pile of assorted miniatures, rulebooks, terrain and some static grass. I had entered some of my own stuff in the auction too; later this week I'll find out how much cold, hard store credit I'll be getting from that.


AnthonyRoberson said...

Good grief. I had a 4E Player's Handbook with a starting bid of $10 in the auction. I guess it didn't sell. I'll find out on Thursday...

Anonymous said...

It's considered bad form to bid "-$5" at an auction, right?

Patrick W. Rollens said...

@AnthonyRoberson: Sorry man! I definitely saw more than one 4e PHB in the auction, and I didn't stay thru the whole event on Saturday. It might not have been yours...?

the Reverend said...

Oh those two beautiful slices of RPG history have life in them yet.

Also, I have decided that along with GenCon this is something I need to attend next year. I am saying it right now, I and I expect you to hold me to my word, with violence, if necessary.

Patrick W. Rollens said...

It was definitely an endurance event at some points during the day. I mean, there would be entire hours where nothing of interest would go up for auction...and I'd be sitting there with a numb rear end, paging through my Savage Worlds book and waiting to pounce.