Dirge For the Fallen
By Dwip April 2, 2011, 4:31 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

Something I’ve been meaning to mention since the move, and the arrival of my Amazon order today brought it back to mind:

When I moved, I sent about 30 boxes of stuff via USPS. Didn’t figure it would be a problem, since I’d shipped or had shipped 10 or 15 boxes in the past, and they all showed up in pristine condition.

Of this latest batch, let’s say 4/5 of them arrived in some kind of damaged state, ranging from holes in the cardboard to complete retaping and plastic bands around the box. On average, most of these boxes were a foot cubed, 20-30 pounds but for the few that were 40ish. No big deal. As I say, I’ve done this a zillion times with no problems.

Now, I bought tracking numbers for all my boxes, but not insurance. Want to know why I should have bought insurance? Well, I have this one box. It doesn’t look like the others. Little bit smaller, and unlike the others had a lot of packing material in it. This was the box that had about half of my various gaming books in it, maybe 40 all told.

Half or 3/4 of that box was missing. Of what was left, a lot of it was heavily damaged. I’ve got covers with no interiors, interiors with no covers, covers that have been ripped and detached, random loose sheets, you name it. It’s bad. Worse, the nice lady at the post office tells me she’ll do what she can, but it’s almost certain I’ll never see any of that stuff again.

Here’s the list, with original prices. Since a lot of this stuff has been OOP since the 1990s, chances of paying list are pretty low, but given Amazon you never know.

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting – 3rd Edition (~$40 new) [1]
Lands of Intrigue Boxed Set ($30 in 1998) [2]
Calimport (only have the cover) ($18)[15]
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting – Revised (~$30 in 1995) [3]
Faiths and Avatars (~$22 in 1996) [12]
Demihuman Deities (~$22 in 1996) (Oops, found this in a box. Never mind!)
FR11 Dwarves Deep (missing cover) (OOP since 1991)[14]
The Ruins of Undermountain Boxed Set ($30 in the early 1990s)
The Ruins of Undermountain II Boxed Set ($30 in the early 1990s)[16]
City of Splendors Boxed Set ($30 in the early 1990s)
MC3 – Monstrous Compendium, Forgotten Realms Appendix (OOP since the early 1990s)
MC6 – Monstrous Compendium, Kara-Tur Appendix (OOP since the early 1990s)
AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual ($25) [4]
AD&D 1st Edition Oriental Adventures (OOP since 1986 or so)[17]
Oriental Adventures – 3rd Edition ($30)[13]
Complete Sha’ir’s Handbook ($20)
Night Below Boxed Set ($30)
Dungeon Master’s Guide – Version 3.5 ($30) [5]
Dragon Magazine #145 (May, 1989) [8]
Classic Battletech – Total Wafare ($40) [6]
Classic Battletech – Tech Manual ($40) [6] [9]
Classic Battletech Companion ($25)
Combat Operations ($25)
Dawn of the Jihad ($25) [10]
Field Manual: Updates ($25) [10]
Invading Clans ($18)
Mechwarrior, 3rd Edition ($25) [11]

[1] – And I use this book every single time I play D&D pretty much, too. Since replaced via Amazon, 6/14/11.
[2] – This one too. It’s my very bestest favoritest setting book. Which I replaced via Amazon on 6/14/11 with a mint shrinkwrapped copy. Woo.
[3] – One of my first AD&D items. The sentimental value here is enormous. Thankfully my memory sucks, and I only took one part with me. The rest was nice and safe in Monroe where I left it. Thank God.
[4] – First AD&D thing I ever bought. I’ve replaced this with a mint copy for $20 via Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics, my awesome local game shop.
[5] – Again, I use this every time I play, and can’t do a thing without it. Since replaced for $23 via Amazon.
[6] – On order from Matt’s at roughly list price. Pretty much screwed for playing Battletech until I get them. [7]
[7] – OTOH, the other thing that was in that Amazon order with my DMG? Technical Readout: 3075. Jesus Christ I forgot how awesome that game and that universe are, and now I want to play them SO MUCH. Fortunately I am in luck, and perhaps more on this later.
[8] – Replaced via Amazon Marketplace, 4/15/11
[9] – Replaced via Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics, 4/15/11
[10] – Replaced via Amazon, 4/22/11. Dawn of the Jihad got replaced by the omnibus Black Ascending, and it looks sweet.
[11] – Replaced via Amazon, 5/7/11. Woo, Battletech kick.
[12] – Replaced via Trump’s Hobbies, 5/18/11, for $13, no less. They have piles and piles of old school AD&D stuff, and this one was probably on the shelf at the same time as my first copy.
[13] – Replaced via Amazon, 6/30/11
[14] – Replaced via Amazon, 7/5/11
[15] – Replaced via Amazon, 7/6/11 (and it’ll keep coming from here)
[16] – Replaced via Amazon, 7/11/11. Apparently somebody thought it would be a good idea to stash their copies of the Complete Book of Elves and the Complete Paladin’s Handbook in there, so now I have spare copies of those too.
[17] – Replaced via Amazon, 7/13/11

That’s…*counts*…$689 going by list price. Fortunately, a lot of those appear to be going for significantly cheaper on Amazon, but nevertheless, that’s going to sting a bit. I’ll be replacing stuff for a good long while, and since a lot of that stuff has been with me since I bought it in the early to mid 1990s, there’s a certain amount of sentimental value that’s just gone forever.

Which is to say, on the one hand, seriously, USPS, you cant’ deal with a 40 pound box? And, on the other hand, I guess insurance would have been a REALLY good move there, had I thought at all about it.


Battletech, Dungeons and Dragons, Random and Ravings Comments (1) Trackback URL for this post RSS Feed for this post
Comments on Dirge For the Fallen
avatar Comment by Samson #1
April 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Good lord, that just plain sucks. I’ll definitely keep that in mind should I ever need to ship large quantities of stuff. Being the paranoid person I am though, I’d probably have gone with UPS or FedEx instead. Or better yet, I probably would have rented a U-Haul with all my junk inside and towed my car behind it.

Insurance on any bulk shipment like that is always a good idea, no matter who you go through. But seriously, feds, can’t you find better people for that kind of work?

Leave a Comment