Yesterday, I was very happy to receive a copy of the Spanish-language old school RPG, Aventuras en la Marca del Este. Many thanks to Pedro Gil and his colleagues for sending it to me all the way across the Atlantic. I'll almost certainly have more to say about the game in coming days, but what I wanted to share immediately was just how impressed I was by the box in which the rules are packaged.
Now, unlike a lot of old schoolers, I'm not a box fetishist. I don't believe for a second that all that's needed for the second coming of 80s faddishness is more boxed RPGs. The hobby's falling away from mainstream consciousness has very little to do with the fact that most RPGs these days are sold as books, but that's a topic for another day.
That said, I do appreciate boxed RPGs and consider both Brave Halfling's Swords & Wizardry: White Box and Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing to be terrific products. Heck, I even appreciate that WotC came out with a boxed edition of D&D IV. But none of them has a box to compare with the one that came with Aventuras en la Marca del Este. It's big, well-made, and extremely sturdy. I could easily see carrying this box from place to place without its slowly coming apart over time.
I'm not sure you can see very clearly how thick the box is in the above photo, but it really does put all other boxes I've seen (including WotC's very nice box) to shame.
My apologies for a blurry image here; I'm a terrible photographer. Still, I think this picture goes a little way toward showing the thickness and sturdiness of the box. It's completely unlike any I've ever seen before, reminding more of a boardgame's box than what we've typically seen for RPGs in the past. I absolutely adore it (and the game too -- more on that later).