I’m late to the party in writing about Free RPG Day for 2016, which was June 18.
However, I may be the first to blog about it at my FLGS, Fanfare.
Last year, there was a strong DCC showing with +Doug Kovacs, +Adam Muszkiewicz, and +Roy Snyder sharing the day long scenario. This year, I was sadly unable to participate, but I was out running errands and I had to pass Fanfare to get to the big name hardware store. So I stopped in and asked what might be available, and the manager behind the counter showed me what they had. His only request was that I only take what I would run.
As I was looking at the selection, Erik from GamingPaper walked up and introduced himself and gave me a roll of Gaming Paper. I mentioned my blog and that I had once reviewed Gaming Paper. He confirmed that they are located in Grand Rapids, about an hour north of Kalamazoo. A couple of years ago, an employee at Fanfare didn’t believe me when I said they were located there. You can read my Gaming Paper review here. As a resident of Michigan, I like to do all I can to support RPG vendors and producers in the state.
I grabbed three items, the offering from The Dark Eye, the German RPG that recently had a Kickstarter; the DCC Lankhmar/Mutant Crawl Classics combo (See here for the MCC Kickstarter.); and the GamingPaper sampler for their Mega dungeon 4 – Rooftops and Alleyways, now on Kickstarter.
I am stretched too thin on Kickstarters to go in on The Dark Eye. It looked interesting, but would I realistically play it? I have the DCC rules and a few modules, and I play as a player, but I am not up to speed on feeling like I could run more than a zero level session. I like Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World, but I’m not sure I need yet another large rule book. That Kickstarter is already funded, so my small amount of cash won’t break it. If I decide I want it, I can always get it once it is generally available. I think the Mega Dungeon idea from Gaming Paper is interesting, but I am not big on miniatures in play. The blank Gaming Paper more than meets my needs.
I asked the manager of Fanfare what their requirements were for running games. It is very simple, just call at least two days ahead, two weeks ahead to get on their calendar. No limit on the games to run, just make sure it’s OK first. He also cautioned that certain tournaments, like for Magic the Gathering and others related to a product release would be packed. The good news is that it is a definite possibility! I’m debating running something there, or opening my home to a group. There are benefits to both. My son and his family are moving out of state, so I won’t be able to see my granddaughter every weekend like I do now. Thus, I will have more time open to game.
There was a group playing the Pathfinder scenario for FRPG Day. they had some other things scheduled throughout the day, but it did not see to be as busy as last year. My plan is to do more next year to get my locale excited about RPG’s and the OSR. Work had better not be as crazy next June as this one has been!
I didn’t have time to stay, I had to hurry up and get home before my neighborhood got blocked in for the annual car show. Here is what I wrote about the car show last year, with an RPG angle.
There was a bit of a dust up that Free RPG Day is more about vendors getting attention instead of getting more people to play RPG’s. It’s all about the focus and what the gaming community does to make the day what it wants. If the majority are only after free stuff and not concerned with getting more people to return to playing or start playing, then that’s what it will be. If gamers choose a day to focus on getting people to play, then that’s what it will be. I am sure there is a wide variation across the spectrum of various RPGers.
It is much like the issue of, there is no GM, then be the GM. If no one is organizing, then step up and organize. I don’t want to organize a whole day of various games for multiple groups, but I will gladly plan to run something for as many people as want to play.