Category Archives: FLGS

Free RPG Day – 2016

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.

Erik fro Gaming Paper
Erik fro Gaming Paper
Gaming Paper
Gaming Paper

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.

 

Three Things
Three Things

 

The Dark Eye Quickstart
The Dark Eye Quickstart
Gaming Paper Megadungeon 4
Gaming Paper Megadungeon 4
DCC Lankhmar/MCC
DCC Lankhmar/MCC

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!

PF for Free RPG Day
PF for Free RPG Day

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.

Free RPG Day 2015

Free RPG Day, 2015 in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Fanfare Sports & Entertainment.

We had three co-GM’s: +Doug Kovacs one of the artists for DCC and other Goodman Games products; +Adam Muszkiewicz  of +Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad &  +Drink Spin Run – An RPG Talk Show Podcast, one observer – Adam’s wife Katie (She didn’t to play today. It was something about being in the last trimester of pregnancy and the inside of her ribs being used for kickboxing practice.), and +Roy Snyder and 6 players. {See here for Roy’s write up.]

I was expecting more players. the only other game as part of Free RPG Day was D&D Attack Wing. they had one demo game going when I got there. I wasn’t paying too close of attention. I am not sure if they did one or two other demos. Their last demo closed out the store with us.

It was interesting to see the three GM’s trade off and take turns with different parts of the adventure, each working their own particular twist into it.

Play was scheduled to start at 1:00. We played until about 3:30 PM for a food break, and had a few different groups we broke into to go to different places. After we got back from eating, we resumed play until finishing right before 8:00 PM.

We had some cool freebies. Afterwards, Adam and his wife, Katie, Doug, Roy, and I went to Louie’s Trophy House and Grill. Several taxidermied animals, either heads hanging on the wall or free standing full body animals. We went until a bit after 1:00 AM. They have $1 off local drafts on Saturdays, which was cool. We had a Garbage Pizza which is really good. My son has been there, which didn’t surprise me. He is a beer snob. We may go there sometime.

I was good to see Adam again and play with him as a GM, and meet his wife, Katie. I enjoyed meeting Doug, playing in his game, and getting to know him. He had an interesting idea for DCC, called “Fleeting Luck”, that he said they used at NTRPG Con. The GM would award luck for various things, but if it was fleeting, any time someone rolled a natural 20 or healed, the GM collected all the fleeting luck. Bad puns and jokes earned fleeting luck. I earned 2 and lost each of them in the same round because my initiative was after both most of the other players and the monsters we faced. One player rolled a LOT of 20’s, so I don’t think anyone got to use their fleeting luck. Their might have been one, maybe two, I don’t recall.

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The GM’s setting up and smiling, that’s a good thing, right?
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Our lovely product model Roy, showing off the mysterious Super Prize and the Other Super Prize.
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Fleeting Luck token.
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Other side of a fleeting luck token. They could be converted to +1 luck and the GM couldn’t take it back. One player managed this.
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If you’ve ever seen Adam run a game, you know he had to use his hands, a lot!
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Roy and Doug smiling at what Adam is setting us up for…. (Is that enough prepositions at the end to negate that rule?)
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Things just got serious, you can’t see Adam’s hands.
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I got one of these posters, which Doug and Adam signed.
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Some of us took a beer cozy.
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I got this poster for being the first of the first levels to die. We had a choice between 1 first level and three 0 level characters. Doug was kind enough to sign both sides!
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Here is the other side of mt signed poster.
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Of course, I also got my Free RPG Day Screen! Doug also graciously signed it!

 

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Our server was kind enough to take a picture of us. My bald head shows up well, but I failed my illumination check to help light up the others.