My pledge for this year is to only buy RPG products for actual play, for active campaigns that are already up and running. Since right now my only active game is Dave's new Feng Shui campaign, I just bought myself a copy of the corebook. I'm now officially cold turkey on my RPG buying until I get some actual games going. If I get my Home Team campaign up and running again with the Mutants & Masterminds rules, then maybe I can buy myself the screen and maybe Bruce Baugh's PDF on disasters in supers games. If I start my own Silver Age campaign using MnM, then I can allow myself to buy Omlevex. If I end up running a d20 Modern campaign for my nephews, then I'll probably want Green Ronin's d20M screen. I like screens. Can you tell? If Pat ends up running his embryonic D&D idea under the 3.5 rules, I guess I could get a Player's Handbook. And maybe that new Complete Adventurer thingy I saw recently. It's the first new thing from Wizards that's interested me in quite a bit. And theoretically if my Blue Rose Fast Play gets off the ground and goes really, really well then maybe I could get the corebook when it comes out. Should I actually run an Everstone mini-campaign, then I can buy the Lannith Companion PDF.
But all those purchase ideas are highly theoretical right now. I am currently only playing in a Feng Shui campaign, and since I'm not particularly interested in the rest of the FS line my purchases are pretty well curtailed. Maybe the player's goodie book, Golden Comeback, is worth a look-see. And I could maybe get Guns! Guns! Guns! and use it to whip up some stats for favorite gats of mine. Not that guns in FS are stat-heavy.
A corollary of my resolution is that I can't really buy games that are completely new to me. I either have to be in someone else's campaign (like in the case of Feng Shui) or there needs to be a free version of the game, whether a true corebook (as in the case of the SRD or Risus) or a start-up version (like previously mentioned Blue Rose or T20 Lite) . It's kinda wierd, but I now find myself in the position of wanting to run a Risus campaign of some sort just so I can allow myself to buy the undoubtedly excellent Risus Companion!
If I stick to this resolution, it also means that my days of collecting Traveller material are at an end until I can get a Trav campaign going again. I don't know if I'll be able to go indefinitely without scratching that Trav itch. There's still so much good stuff out there. Startown Liberty and Wanted: Adventurers from Gamelords. The Traveller Adventure and the Spinward Marches Campaign. The Far Future JTAS reprints. Bits and pieces of the GURPS Trav product line. Old FASA stuff of all sorts. The list goes on and on. And although neither are technically Traveller products, I'm not sure I want to get my Uncharted Space campaign idea off the ground without copies of Star Hero and GURPS Aliens.
But I don't need all that crap. That's the point of this resolution. I've got more gaming stuff than I will ever need right friggin' now. A large percentage of my purchases sit on a shelf unused. That's money wasted. And the constant influx of new games distracts a short attention span guy like myself from keeping focused on the current campaign. If I can get through a good, hard year of controlling my purchasing impulses both my wallet and my gaming will be the better for it. And if I'm good maybe I can splurge on Traveller goodies in '06.
The big challenge for this whole plan is whether or not I will be able to make it through Winter War without blowing it. Each Winter War I make at least one incredibly stupid purchase that I usually come to regret. If I can get through the con without breaking, then I'll be off to a great start on keeping myself under control.
And hell, if I do end up running a bunch of mini- campaigns just so I can make some guilt-free purchases, at least I'm frickin' running some games!