Collecting Limited Editions of Roleplaying Games
Limited editions of roleplaying games are worth collecting, especially if you enjoy well-made, beautiful books. People collect RPG limited editions because most of them feature special artwork on the cover, and sometimes the covers are leather. At the very least, you can expect a limited edition rulebook for a roleplaying game to have a hardcover instead of a softcover, and often these editions will be numbered and/or signed. As a general rule, limited editions only have a print run of 500 copies or less. (500 is the number I see mentioned most often.)
Usually the covers for these special editions are “leatherette,” which is a fancy way of saying “imitation leather.” The books usually include a cloth bookmark too.
Below are some examples of these special edition roleplaying game books to consider adding to your collection.
Buffyverse Limited Edition Roleplaying Game Rules
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Roleplaying Game Limited Edition
In 2002, Eden Studios published the first core rulebook for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Roleplaying Game. The limited edition of this book was limited to 1000 copies. It has a cream colored cover with a red Buffy the Vampire Slayer logo. This edition also comes with a red cloth bookmark.
I was able to find several copies of the limited edition Buffy the Vampire Slayer core rulebook for sale at Amazon. A new copy was listed for $85, and a couple of used copies were available for $55. As a collector, I’m more interested in brand new condition books, so I’d pay the extra $30 for that copy. The descriptions of the condition of the used copies were vague. But $85 isn’t exorbitant, and it’s within my budget for such a thing. If I had to choose between and $850 copy and a $500 copy, I might make a different decision. (I might also find something else to collect, for that matter.)
Monster Smackdown was also released in a limited edition of 1000 copies. Like the core rulebook, this has a leatherette cover, although this one is black instead of cream colored. I found a copy of the limited edition on eBay for $60. I also saw a copy for sale on Amazon for $100.
The Slayer’s Handbook was also released as a special edition, and it looks very similar to the core rulebook–same cream colored leatherette cover, same red cloth bookmark, and a similar red foil logo on the cover. I found a new copy of The Slayer’s Handbook special edition on Amazon for just $78.
Angel Roleplaying Game Limited Edition
Eden Studios released the Angel Roleplaying Game in 2003, and they produced a limited edition core rulebook for that game as well. Only 500 copies were printed as part of this edition, and the book features a black leather cover with an abstract artistic design on it.
I saw a copy of the limited edition Angel roleplaying game book for sale on eBay for $100.
A Game of Thrones Roleplaying Game and Resource Book Limited Edition
Since the launch of the HBO series Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin’s intellectual property has become sought after. A special, limited edition of A Game of Thrones Roleplaying and Resource Book was published by Guardians of Order in 2005. (Don’t confuse this with the newer RPG based on the same license from Green Ronin. It’s not the same game.) This edition had rules for playing characters set in Westeros using both the d20 system and the Tri Stat system. I found a new copy for sale at Troll and Toad for $200. I’m not sure if the price will hold up for long, but if the series continues to be popular on HBO, it might well continue to command inflated prices for several years.
The limited edition book includes a foil-stamped leatherette cover and a dust jacket. It also has a cloth bookmark.
The Dune Roleplaying Game Limited Edition
Last Unicorn, who was best known for publishing Star Trek roleplaying games, was acquired by Wizards of the Coast in 1999 or 2000. Since Last Unicorn owned the licensing rights to Frank Herbert’s Dune, WotC was able to publish a special edition of the Dune Roleplaying game. They had intended to publish a d20 based system later, but they lost the rights, so the limited edition game became the only Dune roleplaying game ever published. I found a copy of the limited edition for sale at Noble Knight for $225.
Special Edition Roleplaying Game Books to Collect
The examples listed in this article are meant to be representative, rather than comprehensive. Other games are also available in special edition or limited edition format to collect. Some of these games are more collectible than others. For example, several limited editions of the Call of Cthulhu rules have been published. But since it seems like Chaosium will continue to produce a new special edition for every five year anniversary, each additional special edition is worth less than the last one to the collector.
Most RPG collectors are probably only interested in the limited editions for the specific game or games they collect. And not every roleplaying game gets a special edition release anyway. But if you’re a committed and die-hard collector, keep your eyes peeled for possible acquisitions.