Did everybody have a chance to participate in Free RPG Day at their local game retailer? I managed to tear myself away from my daughter’s softball double-header to briefly drop by Petrie’s Family Games, my closest game store. Though I wasn’t able to participate in any of the events, they had a full calendar throughout the day and had a pretty good turnout as these pictures attest… Lots of smiles around those tables!
I was happy to be able to stop by and pick up some of the materials available from participating publishers. My haul of loot included:
- A Day Late, a Shilling Short from Games Workshop for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
- A Nightmare at Hill Manor from White Wolf for the World of Darkness
- Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires – Fast Play from Paradigm Concepts
- Aspect: Here There Be Dragons from Stone Tablet Games
- Black Crusade: Broken Chains from Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay
- Castles & Crusades: 2011 Quick Start Rules from Troll Lord Games
- d12 Unique Elven Dice from Q-Workshop.com
- Deathwatch: Final Sanction from Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop for Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay
- Domain of Dread: Histaven from Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons & Dragons
- Dragon Age: Quickstart Guide from BioWare, EA, and Green Ronin
- Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: Adventure Starter from Goodman Games
- Hollow Earth Expedition: Free RPG Day Adventure 2011, which doesn’t tell me anything about the company that produces the game
- Legacy of Disaster from AEG for Legend of the Five Rings
- Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins! from Paizo for the Pathfinder RPG
- The Waking Dead from Eden Studios for All Flesh Must Be Eaten
So first, I have to give a shout out to Cameron at Petrie’s Family Games and all of the publishers who participated. Like most gamers, I love free stuff especially when it’s cool. And this gives me a great opportunity to dive into some games that I wouldn’t normally. I will eventually post mini-articles on some of these freebies to point out some of the insights they give me into how the games work and how the publishers operate.
(BTW, if you didn’t have a chance to grab these at your local store, it seems you can download most of them as PDFs – check out the excellent list at Kaijuville for links!)
Second, let’s get to the rules-light ruminations part of the equation…
I love gaming in all its myriad forms. One way or another I’ve been playing card games, board games, computer games, or roleplaying games for probably 90% of my lifetime. Pretty much ever since I was able to read and count, I’ve been playing something or another.
That said, though I cut my RPG teeth on 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons as a lad, I tend to have better luck with games that offer simple rules that gain depth with additional understanding. D&D, love it or hate it, opened an interesting Pandora’s Box of rules complexity – the ripples of which I think I’m only starting to understand now. The entire OSG movement seems to lend itself to this sort of approach – from Castles & Crusades to Hackmaster – it really gets back to the number crunching, crowded character sheets of those heady days.
But these days I tend to gravitate more towards rules light games… Games like Zombie Cinema from Arkenstone, which combines RPG elements with board game elements… Games like BADASS and Warrior, Rogue and Mage from Stargazer Games, which reduce character creation and task/combat resolution to simple easy to learn mechanics… Games like Cthulhu Dark, which reduces the rules down to the front and back of a single 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of paper for Lovecraftian adventures…
Is it because I’m getting older and simply don’t have time to dive into more complex games? Or is it that I’m gravitating towards more streamlined mechanics so I can focus more on roleplaying than roll-playing? I’d like to think it’s the latter, but suspect it’s a bit of both. Occasionally a three hour battle in a D&D 3.5e campaign is great. And I recall playing for 12 hours straight in a Ninjas & Superspies campaign where I swear we had a 4 hour car chase scene… But these days I’m more about telling stories than combat, which lends itself to a smaller toolbox than I’d need for something like D&D.
What brings all of this up?
Well, perusing all the cool goodies from Free RPG Day made me realize that some of the systems, such as Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay are a bit more complex than I’m looking for, but that I found myself strangely attracted to the World of Darkness system from White Wolf and the Dragon Age system from Green Ronin. Does this mean that I won’t enjoy diving into those other books? Heck no. It just means that when I look at something as potentially playable, I’m looking at it from a slightly different angle than I would have 10 or 20 years ago.
So riddle me this… As gamers new to the hobby or gamers who have been around for a while, what do you look for in a system? Or does the system not really matter? This Gassy Gnoll would really like to know!
- So what can you get on Free RPG Day 2011? from Trollish Delver (trollishdelver.blogspot.com)
- ZILLA! – Free ‘Classic Character Pack’ from Pyres of Vam ” rpgs (pyresofvam.com)
- Free RPG Day 2011: There’s No School Like the “Old School” from NEUROGLYPH Games (neuroglyphgames.com)
- Free RPG Day 2011 from Held Action ” Role-Playing Games (heldaction.wordpress.com)
- Free RPG Day: Reading Between the Lines from The Hopeless Gamer (thehopelessgamer.blogspot.com)
- Been Caught Stealin’: Free RPG Day from The Other Side blog (timbrannan.blogspot.com)
- Free RPG Day Tomorrow! (wired.com)
- Dungeon Crawl Classics at Free RPG Day (livingdice.com)
- Link Hoard: Free RPG Round-up from Pyres of Vam ” rpgs (pyresofvam.com)
- Get Out for Free RPG Day! (geardiary.com)