Sunday, August 5, 2012

Platform 14, Piccadilly Train Station, Manchester / The joys of hardcopy RPG books

Platform 14 is a pretty inauspicious platform, as far as these things go. The only remarkable thing that can really be said about it is that it's the only North facing platform at Piccadilly... If you want to go North of Manchester - Bolton, Wigan, Liverpool, Preston, Chorley - you travel from there.

To me, though, it holds an additional significance, one I am reminded off every time I step on it.
When I bought my copy of Vampire: the Masquerade Revised Edition, I sat on Platform 14 and started reading it.
For years, whenever I bought a new gaming book, it was here that I'd get my first proper look.
When I was running my V:tM campaign, it was here that I'd first read through a source book and think about how I could use it in the game.
I remember each of the clan splat books, the Dark Ages: Mage Infernalism book (oddly, this one really stands out in my mind), World of Darkness: Sorcerer, The Time of Thin Blood book (the exact name escapes me right now), all read on Platform 14.

All of this is now long gone, of course. I catch my trains from another station. I don't have the semi-disposable income I used to (whilst I can make the conscious decision to spend my grocery money on a book and not have lunch for a week, my family get really pissed if I apply that to them). Hardcopy RPG books are scaling down to near non-existentence, and the brick & mortar stores along with them.

I miss the old days. I miss being able to walk into a shop, buy a book and then read it on the way home.