Friday, June 18, 2010

Part Two - What I'm Looking Forward to the most from Free RPG Day

We like free stuff around here, and we have a feeling you do too. Last month, we covered Free Comic Book Day, which, whether or not it brings in new readers (its stated, intended goal), is a bonafide success at this point. The big publishers as well as indie books have a real chance to broaden their audience even if it's just within the niche audience of comic book readers. Free RPG Day is in its third year now, and there's a big question on how much it expands the RPG audience outside of the core group of fans. My guess is that likely it's not doing the job at all right now unless individual stores really push the day as something to celebrate with in-store events and discounts on items based on what free stuff there is to hand out. This Saturday, June 19th, we'll be in our local stores, but I'm not holding my breath to see what kind of support they provide to keep us inside. Make no mistake, the free items will get our feet in the door, but then it's up to the store to keep us there. I'd love to hear from anyone who goes to FRPGD and actually has a store that runs the free adventures or something similar.

Enough of my jibba jabba and complaining conjecture, let's see what actually trips my trigger!

Alderac Entertainment Group - L5R 4th Edition RPG Quickstart & Adventure

It's no secret that I'm excited to pick up Legends of the 5 Rings 4th Edition at the end of this month (still on track and down 13 pounds! woo!). There's only one thing that worries me... I've never played L5R. True, I've been reading the designer diary entries over at EN World, and I understand the basic mechanic, but still, all the Kanji (or fake Kanji, how would I know?) they throw around in the rulebook and use for descriptors is a little intimidating. Not only am I happy that there will be a way to introduce the game in a pre-generated adventure, but it'll be a nice tool to ease myself into the universe. Really I just want my players to be able to play guys like the one to the right here. This is my number one pick for the day. (5 per box)

Fantasy Flight Games - Warhammer 40K Roleplay: Deathwatch Adventure

I, just like TheBro, am extremely excited to check out how FFG handles the high-end scifi bloody action of a Space Marine kill squad. Again, like with L5R I've been following all the news and previews FFG is providing to whet our appetites for this Gencon Indy release. We're pretty big fans of 3:16: Carnage Amongst the Stars around here and it looks like, with all the previews we've seen, It's going to be providing a more complex game with more options. From wargear to mission generation to team tactics, Deathwatch looks like it's going to revolutionize the way we play Space Marines, and it only seems fitting. (10 per box)

Goodman Games - Age of Cthulhu Adventure: Abominations of the Amazon Adventure

This is an interesting pick for me. Most of the stuff on Free RPG day grabs my attention because it's something I'd like to run, anything Cthulhu related gets me excited because it's something I may very well end up playing. I know TheBro's excited for this, and as far as I'm concerned, there are only a few things better in role playing than playing a compelling Cthulhu one-shot adventure. Any free material for TheBro to run just means I'm that much closer to my next game. I'm getting really good at curling up in a ball facing a corner and singing the theme from Bye Bye Birdie to myself in my futile effort to avoid Sanity loss. I have no idea what this adventure is about other than at least two abominations and taking place either in South America or on the most popular online shopping site in the world. I'm actually hoping for the second one here, but the first will work just fine. (5 per box)

Troll Lord Games - Castles & Crusades Quickstart and Adventure

I feel like I'm just starting to copy TheBro's list here, but there's a reason we've been playing games together successfully for so long: we have similar tastes and we always copy off of each others homework. I've definitely been looking into retro-clones for a while since I have no real understanding of what went into the D&D rules before 3.5 edition (and even with 3.5 I only have a tenuous understanding through the Star Wars Saga Edition rules). For a while now I've been looking at Tunnels & Trolls as Noble Knight has a really cheap boxset (I'm obsessed with box sets) for the newest edition of the game. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't tuned in this time last year or I would have picked up their Free RPG offering for FRPGD 2009. Fortunately, the other retro-clone I've been looking at, that seems to really be expanding their offerings, is available this year, and we can now learn how old people role play. Yay! (5 per box)

Guild of Blades Publishing - Heroes Forever Quickstart & Adventure

I mentioned above that FRPGD is a day for us to discover new things. Obviously we're already fans of the hobby, but I think it's important for us to reach out and try something new. Yes L5R, Deathwatch, and Castles & Crusades are games we've never played, but they also have some name recognition all on their own. Now the Heroes Forever stuff available tomorrow is only a store sample, so I won't be able to take it with me, but I'm definitely going to peruse it and check it out. I explored all the options of stuff I've never heard of from the list of items, and Heroes Forever jumped out at me most. The description from the Guild of Blades product site describes a pretty cool world, and of course, they sell a cheap box set (box set!) to get new players in, which you can see to the right here. I'm willing to give it a try and I think everyone should make it a goal to try out something new tomorrow at FRPGD.

This has gone on way too long, but I can't help it - I'm excited for the day even more than I was for Free Comic Book Day. Although the selection is much smaller, I've found in the past that I get a lot of mileage out of FRPGD. Am I excited for more than what I listed here? Definitely. I am really excited to see the 4th Edition of Dark Sun in its first official release. I'm a little sad that, due to there not being a new release for the World of Darkness game line this year, White Wolf is only putting out a new Exalted 2nd Ed. quickstart. I've loved both the Hunter: The Vigil and Geist: The Sin-Eaters quick starts as they've have really pumped me up for their following Gencon releases, but that's life. Have a good Free RPG Day!


  1. Hey man, I'm just glad we live so dang close to Noble Knight! I's like a dream come true. :)
    Oh, and here's a picture of Cthulhu.

  2. You'll see some neat stuff in that Deathwatch preview, but most of what you say you are looking forward to will have to wait for August.

  3. You say that Free RPG Day has been around for 3 years, but I've only recently heard about it for the first time. When is it held? How frequently? When I asked at my Local Gaming Store, they had no clue what I was talking about. If I want to get my local store in on the action, who do we need to contact to get on the lists, do you know? How do you get your info?

  4. Gaaack. If only there was a delete button. I should have bothered to Google before I posted that comment. Sorries.


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