Thursday, June 20, 2019

Free RPG Day 2019, request for opinions

     So, this year's Free RPG Day was a bit of a bust. I had decided not to run a game and enjoy the Father's Day weekend. My flgs unfortunately was unable to get in on it (apparently it was sold out) and therefore I went to a store that was thirty minutes away, which could have been worse. I had been wanting to have this place as a secondary location for running DCC, so when I got there I asked how they handled people running RPG's. By the way, this is Java Game Haus at 11018 Old St Augustine Rd #103, Jacksonville, FL 32257. For running a game, you pay nothing, get a 20% discount, and recieve one dollar per player. To play, you pay five dollars and get a 15% discount. So what I would like to know is, what are your feelings/opinions on this? I'm torn because not everybody I know has a fiver to toss on playing a game. Does this encourage hot dogging GM's trying to outdo themselves and each other, in order to get players? I could come up with different extremes, but you get the point.
     So for the free part of Saturday, they had a table that I rolled on to determine what I got, and I rolled a one. *Hah* I had a choice between the Pathfinder adventure or a Starfinder die. I chose the die, which you see above hiding behind the D30 I purchased. I asked about the DCC quickstart, and was told they were for the people playing in the adventure/demo later. I would have jumped in on that game, but like I mentioned before I had made other plans. So on one hand I was a bit disappointed to not have it in my hands but then if there were people turning up for a DCC game then I should be alright getting players.

     Which brings me back to you guys, please let me know what you all think of this set up. I am seriously on the fence. Thanks for reading and take care!


  1. Here is my Free RPG Day experience. My local store put out a call for DMs/Judges, etc, and I volunteered to run a DCC game. I put out a flyer for my game. The store however, only put the event up on their webpage and FB “Hey it’s Free RPG Day come play some games.” No mentioned of what games or when. Ok no biggie.
    Last year was packed. All the tables were going full blast by the time I was just setting up my game. This year, there were maybe 3 tables going throughout the day, out of a possible 10-12 tables.
    The store has a shelf cart behind the counter with the Free stuff and you can pick whatever you want, from the front side, BUT you have to spend $20+ or more in the store that day to get a pick from the “premium” items, which are leftovers from last year.
    It doesn’t make sense to me and annoying to see stories of people getting a bunch of things for free while at some stores even having to pay a certain amount to pick, or even having to buy the old free stuff directly, which the stores aren’t supposed to do. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t the people playing a certain game, get the free stuff for the specific game they are playing in. This seems to be going against the whole idea of a FREE RPG day, which from reading the site the stores sign an agreement to give the stuff away, for FREE.
    The kicker to all of this is that I had sent an email to the Free RPG day contact and this is the reply I received.
    “The goal is to celebrate RPGs. Stores should be giving items away but how they exactly choose to do so is up to them. We do not allow sales of the Free RPG Day product but outside of that very clear rule we are not policing every store on how they choose to make the event work for their community. I would recommend as a member of their community that you discuss this with the store in a positive community building manner.”
    I don’t know if that is the cut and paste answer, but the whole thing is BS at least from where I’m sitting. I’m curious though, why this year there were only a very few tables compared to last year.
    The management and associates at the store I’m sure are only doing what the owners (who are never around when I’m in there) have told them to do. Still holding off for contacting them directly.

  2. Hey, Jim.

    I had fun on Free RPG Day this year, but it did seem like there was a bit less heart in it from the retailer/publisher perspective. For instance, I noted that there were fewer offerings and WotC gave it a hard pass. Not certain what was up there.

    However, I *did* manage to snag a few extras of the DCC Free RPG Day offering. Send me an email. I can hook you up.

  3. LotFP was dis-invited to Free RPG day this year so I really didn't look at what else might be going on. In the past I haven't had much luck obtaining anything I'd want anyway... but it usually ends up on Noble Knight for $$$.

    As for paying $5 to play in the store... I wouldn't. But then I gon't like playing in stores anyway. Too much distraction and passers by and whatnot... I play online and in homes of friends.