I Love Charity Auctions

I’ve written before about the joy of going to a convention and finding that booth in the vendor room selling old stuff – AD&D modules from the basement collection, weird games that only like three people ever played, and, you know, stuff like that. I’ve also written about my nostalgic sadness over how this has become more and more rare over time. Old stuff in the gaming industry now comes in two forms… Non-existent or Expensive. But sometimes you still get a gem. And for me that often happens at convention charity auctions.

This past weekend was Marscon – a truly fun event every year and one that I look forward to every year. It’s usually a weekend of Battletech, music, and a few carefully chosen panels. Had a fun time sitting in on a panel about Creative Commons this year and learned about some resources I’d never heard of before.

But one of the highlights of the weekend for me is always the charity auction. Marscon supports the Heritage Humane Society, or, as they like to say, “the puppies and the kitties.” It’s a cause I can get behind. And this charity auction has been a lucky one for me. A place where I still get that collector’s thrill of finding something that I’ve been looking for without resorting to the internet.

A few years ago at the charity auction, I got my hands on a full set of the original 14 “unseen” battlemechs from Battletech. Along with a set of other mechs, all in good condition, those were an amazing find and I felt lucky to pull out the winning bid.

red_steel_(boxed_set)This year, it was a completely different animal. One thing I can say about my D&D heyday is that it really came into focus for me in the early 90s when AD&D 2nd edition was going strong and when the Black Box D&D basic set came out, supported by a bunch of Thunder Rift products. TSR may have been a financial disaster but they were riding a creative high with all the crazy ideas that came out of 2e. I lapped those up. But one of them eluded me. I never got my hands on an original Red Steel box set.

No longer. Thanks to the Marscon 2019 charity auction, I have finally gotten my hands on it.

Now, I know that I could easily have tracked one of these down by now. The internet is a wonderful thing. But just like getting my hands on the last of the Thunder Rift adventures – also found at a con – it’s just a different thing when you find it “in the wild.”

So, it was a fun con weekend, and I got to indulge in that nostalgia of dealer’s room finds and auction luck. It may not be everyone’s thing but I still get a warm fuzzy out of finding my old gaming stuff this way.

Anyway, so this post is a bit of fluff, but as con hauls go – I’m really happy with this one.

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