Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why I Didn't Participate in Free RPG Day

I've been a huge fan of Free RPG Day since 2009.  I thought it was a great idea, and it was one of the things that drew me back into playing d20 games.  I looked forward to every year.  Last year I think I finally had had enough.

In previous years I'd done well with getting freebies and scoring some loot on top of it.  But, it seemed every year I had problems with the shop owners.  For me there is no F in FLGS.  There are two in my area that generally participate.  Neither is a favorite of mine.  The primary store I go to, the staff are all super friendly except the guy who is in charge of the gaming section.  For some reason he must live by the philosophy that if he is arrogant enough people will believe all the crap that spews out of his mouth.  I just don't like the dude.  In previous years I was willing to chance him being there (ironically he was rarely there on Free RPG Day), but not this year.

The second store I rarely visit because the owner latches onto me and he feels the need to show me every bit of stock he has in store, hoping I'll buy half of it.  Last year I dropped nearly $100 in his till on Free RPG Day.  I scored a lot of good stuff, but he got mad at me when I declined to run a game.  "You got all that free stuff, the least you could do is run a game."  Yeah, I did get free stuff, but I'd also purchased a few pricey items I could have gotten a fuck load cheaper on-line.  I had plans with the wife to go out of town and enjoy the day.  Sitting in a room with him for 4 hours was not in any of my plans in any of the multi-universes I may exist. 

So this year I read about Free RPG Day and thought about going.  Looked at the page, targeted a few pieces I'd like to score, but the day came and went and I didn't go.  Here's the reason I didn't go.  All of the above that I've written and the fact I think I only visited each store once during the past year.  I didn't want to have to deal with either of them.  Wasn't worth it.

I'm sorry I missed out on it.  Really I am, cause I do enjoy the day.  Next year I'm going to have to just take a road trip to a gaming store I've never been to before.  Grab some free stuff and see what kind of gaming books they have on the shelves.  That's not too bad of a thing.

Plus, a lot of independent publishers are jumping on the bandwagon and produced free items for the day also.  I got quite a bit from what was offered on-line.

I'm going to throw this out there, particularly in +Erik Tenkar direction because he's a sucker to do this kind of thing.  Have an OSR Day.  Have folks offer up samples of their wares just like Free RPG Day, but it focuses on our neck of the woods.  I don't know if it's a good idea or me finding another reason not to go mow the lawn.


  1. I got a couple of things I could kick in for OSR Day.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. But, skipping out is perfectly warranted.

  2. damn you Tim!

    alright, i have shit on my plate at the moment, but come the fall I might be able to organize something.

    In the meantime, I'be been linking free RPG products (nearly all OSR) on the blogside this weekend:

  3. I totally hear you on the FLGS. Mine out here in the boonies does have an F. But it's not for "friendly" (and it ends in "ing").

  4. We might participate in something like this...

  5. I have a podcast kicking off in about 4 weeks and another huge project in the works.

    At earliest, I'd be looking to organize this in September for a day in October

    Tim will be collecting contact info ;)

  6. Last year my flgs told me I had to pre- register for one of their game demos to be eligible for any free stuff. I pointed out that I was about to drop $50 on products but still no go. That kept me away this year and in general.

  7. I did not participate because I am currently in Paraguay.
    : (

  8. I'm in the North of England, FRPGD basically isn't a thing here.

    Crappy staff at gaming stores are... Though not so bad that they'll demand I run a game after buying things.

    That... That is a special sort of stupid right there.

  9. I'll email PDFs of my non-published BX homage to anyone who wants it. I just won't put it up for sale or download.

    So... A blind item by a guy you never heard of for free. Who could pass up a winning offer like that?

  10. Mischief, Inc. would be involved in an OSR Day! Let us know if this develops at

  11. InfiniBadger Press will be in on this. I've got a bunch of stuff in the Foundry right now, as well as other stuff that's about to go live as soon.

  12. tpeck, did you still buy the stuff?

  13. No. I try to reward good service. The competition down the street gets my money now. Not great customer service either but slightly better and he will at least haggle with me on his used stuff.
    FLGS need to remember that everything they have is cheaper online and give customers a reason to choose them. Good service is a way to do that that doesn't cost anything. Bad service can cost a sale.

  14. I'm sure I can sort out a PDF and/or a discount code for