The most useless RPG-supplements you ever paid money for

I guess we all have done that at least once:

There is a new supplement for my favorite RPG, but I am kind of lukewarm about it. I guess, that I will not really need it. But still…I have bought everything else that has come out for that particular RPG. So – come on! I will always know, that my collection is incomplete without it. The place between the books that came before and after will be a gaping void, mocking me for my stinginess. It is my favorite RPG after all, right? Even if I will not really use it, just having it will be good and reading through it will be fun. So I place the order. And the book arrives. And it is worse than I imagined. To be brutaly honest, it is next to useless and a waste of perfectly good paper!

By Sigmar! Why did I buy this turd of a supplement??

My personal “worst buy” was the Character Pack for the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay by Black Industries. I have always been a HUGE fan of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, with the 1st Edition being my very first RPG back in the day. So when Black Industries came out with the new edition in the mid-naughties, I religiously picked up every single publication. And I really loved what they did. Great stuff – except for the Character Pack.

What did I get in that thin supplement?

I got 50 copies of the same bland Character Sheets, that I could easily have photocopied from the rulebook! I really expected them to be a improved, more beautiful version. Nope – the same stuff as in the rulebook
But there also is a 16-page booklet – there has to be some good stuff in there! Actually…no. Inside you’ll find:

  • Name generators that put thousands of Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, and Imperial Human names at your fingertips.

These were already in the rulebook! Ok, they are slightly expanded here…

  • Spell summaries of the most common Arcane and Divine Lores.

I needed those like a fish needs a bicycle.

  • A Spell Grimoire sheet for Priests and Wizards.

Ok, somehwat useful – if you have handwriting, that fits in lines for 6pt fonts…

  • A recap of Character Creation, including all essential tables.

Great! So I get a second copy of the Character Creation Chapter form the rulebook! Woohoo!

  • A Combat Action Summary, with both Basic and Advanced Actions ready for instance reference during play.

Yay! Now I have three copies of this: In the rulebook, on the GM-screen and in this booklet!

  • A series of inspirational Character Portraits by Dave Gallagher.”

The big joke, to round it all off: The Character pack was packed in a double-sided, flimsy sheet of paper. On the inside there is a selection of drawings, that I would classify as drafts.

As you can guess, I was not really happy with my purchase.

So, what purchases do you regret? If you could travel back in time to keep yourself from buying one RPG supplement – what would it be?

I am 34 and live in Frankfurt/Germany. A gamer for life, I slowly drifted from boardgames to roleplaying games, to miniature games (=Warhammer) back to boardgames. Maybe I'll get back to RPGs one day - though I doubt that I'll ever want to get back into miniature gaming. Here at Stargazer's world I want to contribute irregularly about boardgames with a special perspective for roleplayers. My favorite RPGs: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition), Vampire: The Masquerade, Space Gothic My favorite Boardgames: Arkham Horror, Pandemic, Twilight Struggle

7 thoughts on “The most useless RPG-supplements you ever paid money for”

  1. "I needed those like a fish needs a bicycle." There's a turn of phrase I suddenly have a need to use!

    My very first adventure module that I paid money for. Turns out it was a pre-release version, meaning that it was based on rules that weren't actually out yet, and sure enough, they had been revised between the preview stage and the publication stage. There were so many errors and inconsistencies in that module that I literally cut it apart with scissors, taped the encounters on sheets of notebook paper, and wrote copious corrective notes in the margins.

    I won't call out a throwdown by naming it, but I doubt I will buy anything from that author again.
    .-= Jenny Snyder´s last blog ..The delicacies of delve design, and lesson #3 =-.

  2. Dungeon Geomorphs

    I know a lot of old schoolers like that original TSR supplement. However, I do not need maps for something that can created by a random number generator. If I buy a map supplement, I want something that it has been laid out to make some sort of architectural sense (no matter how rudimentary).

  3. Those mid-naughties editions are always the most fun! (Sorry the typo was just too fun Sven, it conjured all sorts of off color ideas in mind.)

    That post had me laughing early in the week, (something I really needed) and thinking about what my pick would be. I guess character sheets in a way are really useless in this day and age, unless they are vast improvements on the ones in the book. I really need to look over my collection and really identify the lowliest of the low, and there have been some pretty low ones there…

  4. @Sven oh well since you asked…

    The title was Sellswords of Punjar. There were definitely elements I really really liked, but it was my first time ever as a DM, and having to figure out how to run game at all on top of having to essentially re-write the module was kind of traumatic.

    On the other hand, some of the goofier stuff still is referenced to this day by my players, so I can't say it didn't have some entertainment value. I just wish I hadn't spent money on it.
    .-= Jenny Snyder´s last blog ..Development snapshot =-.

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