Nostalgia or Waste of Shelf Space?

Over the years you accumulate many pads of paper and mountains of loose sheets all with important information on them for your campaigns. For the last eighteen years I’ve been keeping every single ship, vehicle, building and character I’ve ever put down on paper safe in a handful of folders.

drawing board

I say very recently because I got home from work the other day and found a drawing of a light fighter I’d done for one of my first Space Master games sitting on the floor behind my front door with many muddy cat paw prints on it. It’s at this point that your heart starts to race and if you know anything about my health over the last year that’s not a good thing. So I moved further into the house thinking to myself that it was only a drawing and it was done when I was 14 or 15 years old so it was no big deal. It wasn’t as if it was actually any good anyway.

I took one step into my living room and found one of the folders open with almost every page sitting loose on the floor, my almost 3 year old son sitting in the middle with a black marker pen in one hand and a pair of plastic scissors in the other. There were nice pretty stars cut out of some pages and ragged strips torn from others. On some of my drawings lovely wee pictures of fruit and Christmas trees were scrawled and on a few character sheets the only hint of what they used to be was top edge of the sheet where I recorded and rubbed out hit point totals as everything else had been coloured in with the marker.

The crappy drawings I couldn’t actually care about as I’d never use them and apart from a few of the character sheets most of them would never see a game again. There were a handful of character sheets though that I couldn’t bare to lose and thankfully they were in one of the other folders but my favorite drawings were in that pile of torn pages. I had my dune buggy style assault vehicle and my Zzoooomer anti-grav landspeeder frames at one point and hung on my parents wall. That’s how good those drawings were and there they were in pieces on the floor.

My heart almost stopped when I realised this but when I seen the look of joy on my sons face none of it mattered. It only took me a second to realise that everything I had in those folders were replaceable. So what if I never managed to draw them the same way again as in all these years I’ve barely used them after the initial campaign finished. So what if all I have is the memories of those characters who’s sheets were destroyed as they were barely more than postcard style reminder of the games of yesteryear.

We spend years collating and hoarding gaming information and apart from the odd house rule or homebrew system almost all of it is disposable even if we choose to ignore that fact.

Maybe I should go through the rest of my notes and weed out everything that will never be used again and is guilty of just taking up space on my gaming shelf.

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2 Comments

  1. Bonemaster says:

    For a variety of reasons, I don’t keep things around. The odd map and character maybe. After a game end, I’ve found that I just don’t have a reason to keep them around. In your case, you did artwork, something I don’t have the talent for really. If you have a scanner, you might be able to scan a bunch of the material just to keep it safe. Over the years, I’ve been looking at doing more and more stuff strictly on the computer with hard copies printed, but almost everything as an electronic document.

    Bonemasters last blog post..Map or Artwork?

  2. Bob says:

    That’s the way I’m starting to go but with three, strike that, two thick binders to go through its a hell of a lot of scanning. I think I’ll be keeping the important stuff and getting rid of the chaff to be honest.


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