My RPG Addiction vs. Minimalism meets ICRPG


Ok, friends, I need a safe place to shout into the maelstrom and I know that here, I can do that. This is part ramble, part wonder, part insanity, part WWXD (what would X do, where X is YOU)…

So, here’s my situation: I have been playing RPGs for over 35 years, 99.9% of the time as the GM. I’ve collected games for over 35 years. I’ve bought, sold, traded, bought, sold, bought so many freaking times that I feel sometimes like I have single-handedly saved the RPG market from collapse in the darker ages of the early/mid 2000s. I know that many of you reading this were probably right there with me, lol. Last summer we had a house fire and lost pretty much everything. Since then, I’ve slowly built my collection back up thanks to some friendly folk (thanks @Alex ) and EBay and Kickstarter and local stores…but here’s my dilemma: I’m an addict. I LOVE reading new games, new systems, visiting with them and pulling them off my shelf. But so many of them might never be played! Or played once or twice. My gaming time is limited right now due to work and book deadlines and life and I get a session in every two weeks (but I’m working on changing that - hoping to get a more consistent game in)…but right now it’s one ongoing campaign (a D&D 5e/ICRPG hybrid) with five of our kids (all teens)…it’s great, don’t get me wrong, and they love it, but I want more…and then, do I do constant one-shots? Change the game and system every time we play? And on top of that, I have this compulsive desire to make EVERYTHING ICRPG because…well…because it FREAKING ROCKS! It’s the most amazing, creative, intuitive system. Yet I have all of these games and I keep saying, “This would be fun” and “this is cool”…BUT I have this desire to streamline…to draw down to a smaller footprint. To have less “stuff” (although the extent of my “stuff” is one of three things: RPGs, board games, or books). I’m 46…I’ll game until I’m 106…but how much gaming will I get in? How many games do I keep? Am I spreading myself too thin? Should I concentrate on ICRPG and keep maybe a handful of others and just build the hell out of them? I’m like Gollum right now, clinging to my precious, and Aragorn, wanting to live a simpler lifestyle.

Thoughts? Besides the fact that I am insane?

Asking for a friend.

  • j


right there with you @Quirkville. i have boxes full of old rifts/ palladium book. a game that has been bought out by savage world and completely remade, to the point that it doesnt even feel the same. i tried having a conversation with the SW rift players and they treated me like a relic.

thats why i like this system, i feel welcomed.

i am a weird guy, and sometimes i rub people the wrong way. because of this i am very introverted im large groups. but i keep trying to learn and grow. i wasnt ready for the what i found, the gaming world is changing . i myself, have in the last few months played in many online game(that is a first for me) i am still struggling to let go of the epic years long stories for a quick one shot. it blows my mind how dm are just planing for one night. i have never done that, and still cant quite wrap my head around it.

i spend way to long making characters. because i was taught over the years that an epic back story and a min-maxed character is the only way to be good at gaming. to the point that even now i get flustered if i have to make a quick icrpg champ. should take 20min 30 tops. i spent 4 hour making and remaking my guy for a game coming up. i re-thought ever point i placed, every item i took and how i was going to mesh with the others in my team. i messaged them to find out what they were planing to make , so i could better make my choice. even thought people tell me it fine to make what ever you want. im still trying to balance the team and not step on anyone toes. it is a hard thing to give up “Balance”

letting go of those ideas and seeing that the simple and basic can very fun, challenging and open you to a bigger experience. thats what gaming is all about . exp… lol

( the weaker you are, the more room you have to grow)

i hope i haven’t just been ranting. the people here are great, welcoming and hell if you want to make an epic campaign, do it. might be alot of fun. i have even seen a few from @Runehammer himself on youtube.

so to answer your questions:

  1. you are not insane

  2. if you like the nostalgia of your gaming stuff, keep it. it is a great resource to pull from.

  3. Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
    We will make amends ere long.
    Else the Puck a liar call.
    So good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands if we be friends,
    And Robin shall restore amends.


@Quirkville Look at every book on your shelf. All are different ways to do the same thing: play make-believe. You love reading them? So read them. All are precious. All the authors had a different vision of how to play make-believe, and they all got it right - for them.

Now you get to decide what’s right for you. Maybe you’ll set out on a quest to play every damn game you own, which would be frikkin epic by itself, but then you could give away your copies of the games you want to prune from your collection to a player. Pass the torch, so to speak. Or maybe you’ll align with two or three systems, and use all the rest as supplements to inspire settings and mechanics (ICRPG is really good for this). To quote S. John Ross of Risus fame, “There’s no wrong way to play.”

What matters is when you get to 106, you look back and say, “Hell yeah.”

I’ll end as @Lakins did, with poetry, this an excerpt from Anis Mojgani’s Shake the Dust:

" So, grab this world by its clothespins
And shake it out again and again
And jump on top and take it for a spin
And when you hop off shake it again
For this is yours, this is yours"



  1. You are not alone… I have more games than I will ever have time to play.
  2. I have decided to listen to the voices in my head (and Hankerin’s) and convert everthing I play into ICRPG. Obviously. Sometimes for the sheer pleasure of writing it and also because I want to play it and no one will write it for me.
  3. And they will bury me with my worn d20 in my cold dead hand!

Welcome to Gamers Anonymous. My name is Ezzerharden. I have a gaming problem.
There is not enough time in lifetime to play all the games I want to play!!!


I am feeling with you, and you are not insane, neither alone!

I “just” game since 13 years, and life as a student kinda limited my financial ability to buy all the games I wanted. And also my fiancée is the voice of reason in many situations.
Still… I already have to many TTRPG’s to actually play all of them simultaneously (except the occasional one-shot with some of them).
But I love to read these book, to delve into all these different worlds and let me dream all those adventures, stories, tales and characters. I then try to take all these impressions, these inspirations, and integrate them into my current regular game (wich is our home brew fantasy world with ICRPG).
For example: the lost ruins of Symbaroum gave me a great foundation for an upcoming session. A short story within the (german) core rule book of Shadowrun 5 inspired a very fun city adventure (and an awesome chase sequence)…
So, even if you don’t actually play the games, they can still be a part of your regular gaming.

At the same time: my shelfs almost reached their spacial limit. The way I try to deal with the urge to purchase new, awesome, stuff: I have a “wish & think list”, with the following “ranking”:

  1. Stuff I really want
  2. Stuff I want
  3. Stuff I kinda want
  4. Stuff I wanted
    [ 5) Stuff that is currently in the making, and sounds really amazing; this category is mainly there to have an overview what lies ahed in case of new publications or upcoming crowdfundings]

I write everything in there (mainly at the top), and then I take my time and think about it (Is it part of a RPG I already own?, Do I already have a System that kinda covers the new thing of interest?, How much does it cost?, Does it add something significant new to my collection?, etc.). Usually, over the course of a few weeks, most of the stuff slowly goes down the list. When it reaches 4. it can sit their for a while… but usually gets deleted. The stuff thats sticks to point one, I normally get sooner or later. But it is way less than I would get by buying it at sight. Also, discussing possible purchases with my fiancée is also very helpful… as sad: my voice of reason.
General advise: Take your time and don’t get new stuff based on impulse.

Also an Option: A very good friend of mine has the rule: I only buy something new, if I sell something old (he seems very happy with it).

But in the end, it is on you: The most important thing… when you look at your collection, are you happy?; does anybody gets hurt by you having this collection (financially, emotionally,…)?
As @Andreas sad: can you “[…] look back and say, ‘Hell yeah’.”? If you can say “Hell yeah”, you are all right!

And also, @Andreas again: Maybe give some of your stuff to your kids, let them delve into those worlds. Maybe they want to take the GM-Seat at some point?


Thank you all so much for your sound advice, opinions, shared experiences and poetry! I really appreciate you each taking the time to read and lend your thoughts. Trust me, it was all VERY helpful, each in its own way. You helped me process and consider healthy ways to handle this seeming “overload” of RPG material, from categorizing, to conversions, to source material, to good reads, and finally, to some light purging/gifting.

It’s nice to be among such wonderful gamers. Thank you!