[generic] Free RPG Day, 15th June 2019

#1
#freerpgday 15th June 2019. This has never been a big thing for me. It strikes me as being more for the industry than the indie. More for the US and the U.K. But it's in the middle of a 2 week con drought in the UK - I guess following Expo. Anyone doing anything? Anyone want my services?

(At least it's not called "Free D&D day".)
 
#2
#freerpgday 15th June 2019. This has never been a big thing for me. It strikes me as being more for the industry than the indie. More for the US and the U.K. But it's in the middle of a 2 week con drought in the UK - I guess following Expo. Anyone doing anything? Anyone want my services?

(At least it's not called "Free D&D day".)
Paizo will definitely have some 2nd Edition Pathfinder adventures as freebie booklets.
 
#3
Paizo will definitely have some 2nd Edition Pathfinder adventures as freebie booklets.
That's just playing into what Simon's saying, as Paizo is definitely not Indie!

That aside, I run games every year Simon. Last year, I ran Cthulhu Hack. The year before, White Hack. Before that? Symbaroum. Call of Cthulhu. Star Wars Starter Sets. I enjoy having the chance meet and play with people new to a system - or just get the chance to get out of the house! Last year, Travelling Man in Manchester ran an event in the function room of a pub and half a dozen GMs ran sessions for newbies and existing gamers alike.

Your mileage may vary. The free books this year really don't rock my boat, but I'm not there for the freebies any more really.
 
#4
If Bag of Holding in Bournemouth have an event again I’ll probably go. Though like Paul, there isn’t much that grabs from the selection this year (no Chaosium or Lamentations of the Flame Princess stuff for example), which means I’m less likely to offer to run something tied to one of the sponsorship items. Might dig out an old Traveller scenario and give MGT2 a run out.

- Neil.
 

pedr

Lay member
#5
WotC hasn't put anything into the kit for quite a while. I think they did one year, and another year they scheduled a Worldwide D&D Game Day on the same day which probably worked to extend the Free RPG event rather than overshadowing it. It's mostly middle-tier and above though and I've not looked at what is on offer this year. I usually try to play or run something at Patriot but it's often a difficult event to figure out the best approach to - who gets the hand-outs, what time to run games so you give a chance to people who arrive throughout the day, etc.

It must work for stores to at least some extent - the kits aren't free to stores, as far as I know, but presumably whatever they pay doesn't go to the publishers, or at least not to enough of an extent that small companies can break even.
 
#8
Simon, what's your format/script for your one-hour demo sessions? As you've done lots of them, I assume it's now a well-oiled machine.
 
#10
Simon, what's your format/script for your one-hour demo sessions? As you've done lots of them, I assume it's now a well-oiled machine.

I promised an expansion (and you tickled one of my interest points):

My intro game to D&D uses The Black Hack rules and The Delian Tomb adventure designed by Matt Colville here:


It took me a while to realise that it follows the same template as the rest of my intro scenarios. Hook (I've changed the Maiden in distress trope to rescue some kids), Mooks (goblin gate guard), Investigation (dungeon), Boss Fight. (I do have the 5th Ed starter kit and can run it using 5th Ed rules if asked.)

I've run this dozens of times including once live on stage. (God I wish that had been filmed.)


For horror I use The Cthulhu Hack and an intro scenario kindly sent to me by Paul Baldowski. It basically uses to same pattern, though it does start in media res. breaking into a warehouse and tackling the guards, and handles the investigation bit in flashback. If I'm honest, horror doesn't work well in a one hour demo and things tend to get pulpy.


Steampunk was the first one hour demo I created myself. Though it started on a single sheet of paper, I've run the adventure dozens of time, and it's developed a life of its own. So I typed it up as a free giveaway here:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/244326/The-Evolution-of-Species

Again I've run this once live on stage - not as successfully as The Delian Tomb but still OK - and I HAVE been promised a film of this one. (I've been waiting months.)

Because I've run games at big Steampunk conventions I've had to add a couple of extra scenarios with slightly different twists - The Great Airship Robbery and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. This last one I also reskin if I ever get any Potterheads (it happens quite a lot). It takes place at "Steamworts" University where the inventive kids are sent to learn about Steampunk tech.

For Superheroes I've got "Superheroes and Dinosaurs" designed as part of a designer "let's swap and run each other's games" thing at Indiecon once. (Once is enough.) Designed as a four hour game for SqUK it runs fine in an hour for The Comics Code. I love it because it's just so OBVIOUS and in your face. Sometimes I try to be too clever.

For other genres (mainly SciFi), I just take "The Evolution of Species" and reskin.

Star Wars - you're resistance agents. Go to Moss Eisley and extract a defecting scientist. Find him in a cantina - brawl. Your escape route is compromised, find another ship. Ambushed by Dark Jedi, Walker, Storm Troopers etc.

Firefly - Mal, Zoe and Simon are missing after visiting Badger. Trail them to a bar, find they were arrested. Bar brawl. Discover that they local police passed them on to Parliament agents. Rescue them from the government goons at the spaceport before the shuttle arrives.

Dr Who - Tardis materialises on an old space station. Find its being stripped by pig-headed humanoids. Brawl. Discover the goods are being taken to a ship docked the other side of the station - occupied by Solomon and his Red Robots.

Blakes Seven - looking for Star One (or Blake) - bar room brawl followed by being led into a trap to meet Servelan, Travis etc.

There have been several times I've run two different versions of the scenario with exactly the same group using exactly the same stats without them noticing.

I don't know if this answers the question you were asking but there you go.
 
#11
Free Rpg day is this weird tradition eh? So in America, they have Free Comic day so some folk decided to put together a similar Free RPG day, which has a very large buy in, hence small creator-owned/indies usually don't get stuff into the pack which the shops then get sent (I forget if they buy this). Lamentations ran kickstarters for the years they did it, so if you can be bothered to look those up that gives you an idea of the money involved. Then it came over the pond.

I'm not so fussed abotu the free stuff, except where I ask my friendly FLGs staff to put a book that I really want to avoid the ques, but the whole demo side of its fun. I ran as part of Travelling Man's Free RPG last year and got to see the juggernaut that is D&D 5th in action (about 8 tables of it vs three or four non-D&D), which was damn impressive.
 
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