Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Organization Madness

I haven't been too active on the blogosphere lately. I've been working (when I can) on my SWN/Alternity/D20 Future mash-up, but time has been short on that front lately. Hopefully, after this weekend, I'll be able to devote more time to getting those rules finished up and then dive into writing setting details and performing conversions. However, I've started another undertaking that's chewed up way more of my scant free time...yes, I am a glutton for punishment.

I've begun to re-organize and catalog my gaming material. Like many gamers, I tend to buy a lot of gaming material, way more than I'd ever use even if I spent every weekend rolling bones. Then I've also scoured the internet and saved a ton of material that I find interesting from fans the world over. I've organized things fairly well, but I'm finding I've got duplicate files in various folders and sometimes I just can't find what I'm looking for because I filed it away in an incorrect folder accidentally or my thoughts on what the book really was has changed over time. All of this has lead me to the conclusion that's it's high time I catalog my collection.

The catalog is a simple spreadsheet listing Title, System, Genre, Product Type (Adventure, Core Rules, Races, Characters, Bestiaries, etc.), Product Line (general D&D, specific settings, etc...), and Notes on the file/book (if needed). Most of my collection is in pdf's these days. They are just more convenient to having a dead tree copy sitting at my desk...for the most part. When at play, I tend to print a lot of stuff, so I guess I'm not really saving that many trees. I just like being able to carry my collection around with me on my laptop or a flash drive. Plus, it saves precious shelf space in my cramped and cluttered man cave. I've spent more than I care to think about at RPGNow.com, though that has slowed down since I've become a father. Anyway, this process of cataloging has also turned into a process of rediscovery of things that I downloaded on a whim and I'm looking back through, which makes it more fun and also more time consuming. I'm making all sorts of notes to go with many of the files about cool monsters to convert to this system or that and other thoughts to help remind myself why I should take another look at a product.

The other part of this Organization Madness is changing how I have things organized. Now, I have things broken down by system by and large. D6 material under the D6 folder, D20 under the D20 folder, and so on. However, I'm going to move things into a specific lines and then by genre, so all my sci-fi stuff will be under the Sci-Fi folder and all the Fastasy lines will be grouped under Fantasy. I've gotten to the point in my gaming "career" that I have my favorite systems that I use for specific genres. Marvel Super Heroes for anything supers, Swords & Wizardry for D&D style gaming, SWN/Alternity for sci-fi and so on. Since I'm so conversion happy, I'm to the point where I'd like everything organized by the genre. I haven't actually started on that aspect of the Great Organization Project, but it's definitely something I'm leaning towards.

Cataloging my gaming material has got me wondering, how much more stuff do I really need? My wishlist at RPGNow is still hovering around 400 items ranging from super-villains to bestiaries to rules that sounded interesting, but I just could justify spending the money on at the time. Every now and then I'll go through and buy around $20 worth of smaller items just to knock it back and to add more fodder to the conversion fire, which in reality I'll read through the file and then likely not look at it again for a long time. For me, I think the issue is that I'm a collector at heart. Well, that and I like to be exposed to new takes on aliens, races, classes, settings. Still, when do you say enough is enough? Due to my buying habits lately, I've hit that point due to necessity. However, I still add items to my wishlist and I still check ENWorld for news about new material coming out, so I'm still interested in possibly picking up more stuff in the future. It's a sickness!

Anyway, that's enough of my sleep-deprived ramblings. Hopefully, I'll get the organization and cataloging done soon and I can focus fully on my sci-fi home system. The same old routine: far too many irons in the fire...

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