Saturday, February 22, 2014

Books or Boxed Sets - How do You Prefer your Rulesets?

In recent years, I can only think of the following publishers putting out their rules in boxed sets:

Brave Halfling - S&W Whitebox, Deeper Delving and X-Plorers

LotFP - two editions of Weird Fantasy Role-Playing

North Wind Games - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Precis - Ancient Odysseys - Treasure Awaits

Troll Lord Games - Castles & Crusades "White Box" Edition

I'm sure I missed a few, but as far as I can tell, most RPGs are released as books and not in boxed format.

As a gamer, do you have a preferred format in which to buy your RPGs, and if so, why?

(personally, I like boxed sets ;)


  1. Books. I often buy multiple copies of core books for anything I run long term. Box sets tend to not be worth a second purchase, whereas every extra copy I purchase gets used.

  2. I like the idea of a box set, but rarely can I find everything I want in one. I start sticking other booklets in the box and then the box breaks, I swear. It's a tragic story.

  3. In the UK there's no VAT (Value Added Tax) on books. Put the same books inside a cardboard box and then then you have to pay 20% tax on the whole package. I guess I like books more anyway because that's what AD&D comprised when I started gaming. Even today my main games (Labyrinth Lord and Savage Worlds), come in book form rather than boxes.

  4. PDF; I have access to an industrial printer, so I get the books for cheap AND can print them for binder storage, one binder per game.

  5. Books totally. Though the AS&SH boxed set is sweet.

  6. I think that the promise of a box set is that everything you need to play will be in that box with nothing more to buy or have (such as with MB games like Sorry or Stratego) I have yet to find a boxed RPG that has actually lived up to this promise (unless forced to by going under), so I don't think it actually makes a difference.

    Books are a bit more honest about how much the manufacturers want you to invest. Although it should be said that Box games are more collectible if you can keep the box in tact. Personally, I'd rather play them :-)

  7. I love boxed sets, but so few games come in them anymore. Books are emminently practical....but the boxed set has that extra "something."

  8. The only reason I'd want a boxed set is if it was coming with something rather more than just rules. Dice, cards, counters, maps, minis, that sort of thing - that all warrants a box. Anything else, I'm a PDF man myself.

  9. There's a durability issue with boxed sets. The books get torn apart (almost inevitable to any book used a lot, except the old pre UA AD&D books), the box gets smushed.

    And of course, cats. Cats cannot resist an empty box, no matter how small

  10. There was a special boxed set of Spellcraft & Swordplay out a couple years ago.

    I like boxed sets myself. I really enjoy my AS&SH boxed set.

  11. Anyone else happy that there's that many being produced? This is a TINY hobby after all!

  12. Depends on the box. I don't mind with LotFP because it's a sturdy box, but with StarSIEGE: Event Horizon, for example, that box set wouldn't last many trips in my backpack and I'd always have to place it inside a bag so it wouldn't open during travel. So if the box is sturdy, I don't mind, but more often than not I prefer books.

  13. I like boxed sets, but they increase the price a bit.

    Also, the Spanish retroclone Aventuras em la Marca del Este (http://www.lamarcadeleste.com/) published their game in boxed sets.

    The same for the Brazilian "retrogolem" (not exactly a retroclone, but very compatible with D&D) Old Dragon, with their new boxed set: http://redboxeditora.com.br/loja/br/21-old-dragon-caixa-basica.html?affid=83

  14. I like boxed sets a lot -- call it imprinting from my Traveller & Champions 2e & FASA Trek days. Some PDF games I like so well, I make them into boxed sets.

  15. Books. I really like the idea of boxed sets, but inevitably find books a billion times more practical to consume & use.

  16. That's quite a horde Icingdeath rests on! Is there a frost brand scimitar in one of those boxes?


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