A few weeks ago I wrote short response to Monsters and Manuals’ “Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About.” At the time, in response to his request for people to write about their experiences with book binding, I said that it hadn’t really been an issue for me before. Mostly, that’s still true.
But, my beloved and beautiful copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade has some issues and I want to vent.
The book is a beautiful material object. It’s wonderfully bound, the paper quality is high and the illustrations are, to my mind, close to perfect; and when it first arrived the red and black ribbon markers were both attractive and useful.
Now, just over two weeks later, these ribbon markers are coming apart into strings of shredded ribbon, the red ribbon in particular.
In some ways it’s a minor thing. The book is still beautiful. The game still looks solid.
On the other hand it is extraordinarily frustrating that a book that I spent a somewhat silly amount of money on is already coming apart.
This frustration is tempered, however, by my realization that this book has already been used far more than many similarly adorned books. I think most books, especially non-gaming books that are of a similar quality and appearance, take far less of a beating than nearly any RPG. I mean, I can’t imagine purchasing anything that looks like V20 that isn’t a coffee table book or some kind of rarely touched holy book.
My copy of V20, on the other hand has already made about ten trips to and from work in bag, has been showed off on a few occasions and has been used as a step ladder by my son. In the future, I plan to take it to the bar I game at for use in a campaign and will likely get food or booze on it while I look up rules.
So, collector’s item or not, it was going to get bruised and battered. I anticipated that. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon and without misadventure. I don’t expect my RPGs to stay pristine. I use them. I am a little disappointed that this one has problems before I could properly abuse it myself.