Free RPG day

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Stretch
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Free RPG day

Post by Stretch » Fri May 02, 2014 4:09 am

Wasn't sure of the proper forum to place this. Feel free to move it if it would better fit somewhere else.

So, I see they made the announcement for material out on the free rpg day. And I would love to take part of that but I live nowhere near a participating store. Is this something that they post online as well, perhaps in a pdf, available to download on that day only?

-Stretch
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri May 02, 2014 6:56 am

Stretch wrote:...something that they post online as well, perhaps in a pdf, available to download on that day only?
That runs counter to the whole concept of Free RPG Day -- the point is to help invigorate the brick-and-mortar retailers.

Some people ask a friend who is near a store to pick up something for them.

Or they hit eBay the day after Free RPG Day... :roll:

But I think pdfs become available much later... Not certain about that...
...
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Stretch » Fri May 02, 2014 10:39 am

Yeah I would love to support a brick and mortar store we just don't have any in the area that participate. If I knew someone close to a place that did I would have them pick it up for me.

-Stretch
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri May 02, 2014 12:46 pm

Stretch wrote: If I knew someone close to a place that did I would have them pick it up for me.
People from this forum have been known to pick up a copy for someone else on the forum, just because they are on this forum.

I'd volunteer, but I'm not 100% sure I'll even be near a store for FRPGD myself... :?
...
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by finarvyn » Fri May 02, 2014 5:01 pm

Does anyone know the date for Free RPG Day this year? It's usually in mid-June, I think, but I'm not sure of the weekend. (I probably need to search anyway, just to see what goodies are out there this year, but I'm a slacker.)
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by DM Cojo » Fri May 02, 2014 5:49 pm

I think it is June 21

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Pesky » Sat May 03, 2014 11:48 am

Yes, it is June 21st. I am the author of "Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box", the DCC part of this year's offering, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you all think of it. Hopefully you have a blast, with some fun player controversy :D
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Stretch » Sun May 04, 2014 5:47 am

Well if anyone is around a store and happens to get an extra copy let me know. Will cover costs.


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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Blood Axe » Sun May 04, 2014 8:32 am

Stretch wrote:Well if anyone is around a store and happens to get an extra copy let me know. Will cover costs.


-Stretch.

Same situation here. No physical store for many miles or hour ++ driving. Sucks , since I have every other DCC RPG adventure(except exclusives). I support GG, but cant get any of the stuff on Free RPG day.
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun May 04, 2014 3:16 pm

Pesky wrote:I am the author of "Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box"...
Cool.

So I guess the 21st of June can't get here fast enough for you, eh? :wink:
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:06 am

Free RPG day seems be losing steam in my area. 4 years ago, there was a lot of participation from the local gaming stores, but over the last few years more and more gaming stores have abandoned RPGs for CCGs. Last year I had to travel an hour and half to locate store, this year a friend and I are traveling 2 hours out of state to take part. Not trying to be negative about this annual event, I and believe that certain participants (Goodman Games, Paizo, Q-Workshop) have gone above and beyond with their support for Free RPG Day, but without D&D and some publishers just repeating their offers from previous years, the interest is waning. Maybe it is time for the organizers to consider re-launching or re-branding of Free RPG Day.
Last edited by Wayfaring_Sword on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Rick » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:10 am

Fortunately, I live in the Greater Cincinnatii area, & there's no better FLGS if you're a DCCRPG fan than Gateway Games & More. I'm scheduled to run Pesky's adventure that day, & I know if the Dark Master chose it to represent Dungeon Crawl Classics for such an event then it should be something special indeed. Spellburn hosts & Metal Gods from Kickassistan will be in attendance; should be an Appendix N epic sort of day!

That said, for those w/o a FLGS, in years past I obtained extra copies of Free RPG releases by buying something from Noble Knight (nobleknight.com) that day. If you purchased x amount of product, you got to select a Free RPG Day offering (or more) while supplies lasted. Noble Knight's prices on out-of-print / collectible items runs high, but their in-print products are reasonably priced & the customer service & shipping times are top notch, in my experience. Worth checking out, if you can't make it to Gateway Games ;-)

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Doug Kovacs » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:16 am

I'm actually considering coming down and meeting Adam in your neck of the woods Rick . Not final yet, but its a possibility.
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Rick » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:11 am

See? Just keeps getting better & better!


DCCincinnati-Con... it's gonna be a thing, you watch.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Tortog » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:14 pm

I just hope the the change in date to June 21 isn't a permanent switch. If it is then I won't be able to participate in FRPG Day any more due to scheduling conflicts. Even if I had the time, there is the fact that I'd have to fold my disabled ass into a car and travel more than 5 hours over the mountains to go to an event in Denver because the only game shop in Grand Junction, CO (the only one on the western slope of the Rockies as far as I can tell) doesn't participate. When I inquired as to why this is so, I was told that they don't participate because they can't afford the buy in. Yup, that's the dirty little secret of FRPG day. As much as I love the event and will continue to support it (as best as I'm able) the only ones who get anything for free are the gamers. The stores have to pay for the the stuff to be shipped to them and they have to hope that enough people will show up and buy other stuff (games, munchies, soft drinks, etc.) to make the event pay for itself... or at least break even.

Given the state of the economy, I can imagine that the brick and mortar facilities are operating on a pretty thin margin as it is... small wonder that fewer and fewer shops are willing to participate. :|

So, I'm with Wayfaring_Sword on this one. Maybe it's time for a rethink and relaunch for this event. FWIW I think we'd see an upswing in participation if we restructured things a bit. For example, what if those of use who like to run games on FRPG day simply contacted a participating game publisher (Goodman Games, etc.) and downloaded their FRPG day module and then ran it at the game shop of our choice?

Just my 2cp.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:28 am

Tortog wrote:...When I inquired as to why this is so, I was told that they don't participate because they can't afford the buy in. Yup, that's the dirty little secret of FRPG day....
Whenever possible, buy something along with your free goodies.

I'm saying this in general, not just at you, Tortog. :wink:
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Wingnut » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:52 pm

One of Free RPG Day's rules to participating publishers is that they cannot give out their offering via PDF or print until 30 days after the event.

Best,
Aldo Ghiozzi
Owner
Impressions
Organizers of Free RPG Day
aldo@impressionsadv.net
GnomeBoy wrote:
Stretch wrote:...something that they post online as well, perhaps in a pdf, available to download on that day only?
That runs counter to the whole concept of Free RPG Day -- the point is to help invigorate the brick-and-mortar retailers.

Some people ask a friend who is near a store to pick up something for them.

Or they hit eBay the day after Free RPG Day... :roll:

But I think pdfs become available much later... Not certain about that...

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Wingnut » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:57 pm

People say the below every now and again but only because Catalyst repeats their covers each year. A rule of FRD is that 50% of their offering *must* be never-before-seen material (whereby the other 50% can be their repeated QSR from their site, core book or wherever).

The other reason people say the below is because 75% of the participants for FRD are past participating publishers. I've found these publishers to be the ones that believe in the event. Many publishers out there just do not feel that spending the money to print a module is a worthwhile marketing expense...and that's their prerogative definitely.

RPGs are an extremely tough sell for retailers and every year we have stores saying they will not be participating again because it just didn't draw in enough people to justify the expense of the kits. But, I can tell people that every year the event sells out and this year we were able to subsidize print costs in a very minor way to add 100 more kits to be offered to stores...and those extras still were not enough as we sold out again. This tells me there is still room to grow.

Best,
Aldo Ghiozzi
Owner
Impressions
Organizers of Free RPG Day
aldo@impressionsadv.net

Wayfaring_Sword wrote:Free RPG day seems be losing steam in my area. 4 years ago, there was a lot of participation from the local gaming stores, but over the last few years more and more gaming stores have abandoned RPGs for CCGs. Last year I had to travel an hour and half to locate store, this year a friend and I are traveling 2 hours out of state to take part. Not trying to be negative about this annual event, I and believe that certain participants (Goodman Games, Paizo, Q-Workshop) have gone above and beyond with their support for Free RPG Day, but without D&D and some publishers just repeating their offers from previous years, the interest is waning. Maybe it is time for the organizers to consider re-launching or re-branding of Free RPG Day.
Last edited by Wingnut on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Wingnut » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 pm

The date changes every year, but it always follows the pattern of the 3RD SATURDAY in June.

In terms of a "dirty little secret". There is none. We publish the costs of the kits publicly on the site. This year was $85. I don't run your FLGS so I don't know their situation, but we would hope that $85 for an event intended to draw in customers would not break the bank. Gamers over the years have noticed the cost to retailers and use that to encourage themselves and others to buy something on the day of the event to help their FLGS at least make their investment back.

We take the items offered by the publishers, estimate the weight, calculate labor time to collate, pack and ship, buy custom boxes and add shipping...then round up to make sure we at least break even on the event. The participating publishers pay to print and ship the items to us.

I have tons of retailers telling me their situation, and I take it all in. If gamers have a suggestion, I'm open to hear ideas because I want the event to survive and grow. A lot of people offer suggestions, but most don't realize the undertaking for the event. You say rethink and relaunch the event...Send me suggestions! I'm happy to hear them.

Best,
Aldo Ghiozzi
Owner
Impressions
Organizers of Free RPG Day
aldo@impressionsadv.net

Tortog wrote:I just hope the the change in date to June 21 isn't a permanent switch. If it is then I won't be able to participate in FRPG Day any more due to scheduling conflicts. Even if I had the time, there is the fact that I'd have to fold my disabled ass into a car and travel more than 5 hours over the mountains to go to an event in Denver because the only game shop in Grand Junction, CO (the only one on the western slope of the Rockies as far as I can tell) doesn't participate. When I inquired as to why this is so, I was told that they don't participate because they can't afford the buy in. Yup, that's the dirty little secret of FRPG day. As much as I love the event and will continue to support it (as best as I'm able) the only ones who get anything for free are the gamers. The stores have to pay for the the stuff to be shipped to them and they have to hope that enough people will show up and buy other stuff (games, munchies, soft drinks, etc.) to make the event pay for itself... or at least break even.

Given the state of the economy, I can imagine that the brick and mortar facilities are operating on a pretty thin margin as it is... small wonder that fewer and fewer shops are willing to participate. :|

So, I'm with Wayfaring_Sword on this one. Maybe it's time for a rethink and relaunch for this event. FWIW I think we'd see an upswing in participation if we restructured things a bit. For example, what if those of use who like to run games on FRPG day simply contacted a participating game publisher (Goodman Games, etc.) and downloaded their FRPG day module and then ran it at the game shop of our choice?

Just my 2cp.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by DM Cojo » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:13 pm

Sadly, the manager of my FLGS said the cost of the bundle was too much for what business it will generate. I am hoping to run a game or two this summer to pump up interest in DCC RPG, and hopefully open his eyes to this untapped market.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Tortog » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:07 pm

Thanx for taking the time to respond, but I think you've just served to highlight the extreme fragility of the brick and mortar game shops. I've heard this complaint repeatedly over the years, and if an $85 fee is too much for some shops, then it just shows how sharp that razor margin really is. I honestly think that FRPG day is going to have to evolve with the times if it's going to survive.

I did offer a suggestion:
"For example, what if those of us who like to run games on FRPG day simply contacted a participating game publisher (Goodman Games, etc.) and downloaded their FRPG day module and then ran it at the game shop of our choice?"
Here are the top 5 reasons why I think this would be a better model for FRPG day.

1 - With this model you can advertise the fact that it is more environmentally friendly. While it would only save a modicum on the use of printing chemicals and paper, there would be a fair savings in the elimination of most of the fuel that goes into the airplanes, trains, and trucks that will be needed to ship that paper all over the place.

2 - From the shop owner's perspective, by having the participation fee removed they get maximum return for their efforts for the day.

3 - From the publishers point of view, switching to PDF download saves both time and money. It also grants them a couple of options, they can use a system where the DM signs up at the shop and gets a 'verification #' then goes to the publisher's site, enters code and gets the file. Or, the publisher could leave it out there as a free download; the more it gets downloaded, the wider the circulation, and they benefit from the free advertising.

4 - From the perspective of DM's and Players, it means we can participate and spend our money locally... which is where it is most needed. Besides folks in my position who have to travel extensive distances (gas for a 5 hour drive in each direction as well as food and a night in a hotel... not as young as I used to be) it is no longer Free RPG day; and doesn't leave me anything to spend at the shop while I'm there. This alone makes it a worthy model because it will increase player participation.

5 - From a more personal perspective, it would allow small publishing start-ups like me to produce material for the event. Folks like me couldn't even dream of doing so at present due to the excessive printing and shipping costs.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Pesky » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:42 pm

Rick wrote:Fortunately, I live in the Greater Cincinnatii area, & there's no better FLGS if you're a DCCRPG fan than Gateway Games & More. I'm scheduled to run Pesky's adventure that day, & I know if the Dark Master chose it to represent Dungeon Crawl Classics for such an event then it should be something special indeed. Spellburn hosts & Metal Gods from Kickassistan will be in attendance; should be an Appendix N epic sort of day!
Thanks in advance for running it, Rick! I think there may be some pregenerated PCs posted on the Goodman Games website about a week prior to the event, if that is helpful. I hope that you and your players have a great time. If it isn't too much trouble, please let me know how it goes. Thanks!
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by goodmangames » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:17 am

Hey Tortog, retailer buy-in for Free RPG Day isn't a secret. It's a point of pride...FRPGD costs much less than comparable events. It costs a store about $85 to sign up for FRPGD; Free Comic Book Day for comparison is much more expensive. Stores that really market it get a huge return. (Having personally visited one or more participating stores on the day of the event every year since it started, I can tell you I usually see lines out the door at opening!)

And if it makes you feel any better...as a publisher it costs me nearly $10,000 a year to participate. The Free RPG Day guys don't charge me anything. It's printing and design costs. Retailers pay a small amount and publishers basically foot the bill. But the retailer cost is minor in comparison. So I tell you what...I will remove every obstacle for that store in Grand Junction participating next year. Tell them I will spend an extra $85 next year to personally subsidize their participation in 2015. And if you will help with some promotion (maybe run a game at the store?) I bet we can make it an awesome event for you in 2015!

Finally, in terms of your suggestion on downloading PDF's, we (Goodman Games) already offer a free PDF to anyone who runs a game on Free RPG Day (see http://www.goodman-games.com/worldtour.html if you would like to participate). As a DCC RPG 3PP, you are welcome to tag on....I will host and promote anything DCC related that you want to offer. The original concept behind Free RPG Day was to create an event that drives customer traffic to game stores. I have personally seen that work many times. Game Kastle here in CA had lines out the door last year -- it felt like I was signing autographs for hours! That's why publishers give out print products...it gets customers in the door buying stuff. I agree with your idea to also include downloads to accompany the event. It's a good add-on as the event grows. Ever since the first FRPGD so many years ago, the store count has expanded every year. (For me personally, my print run on this year's FRPGD module is the largest I have ever done.) And even with more kits available, the event sells out every year.
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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Wingnut » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:08 am

The idea of PDFs has come up quite a few times. Even after year 1, DriveThru/RPGNow approached us to partner.

Please understand that once you bring PDFs into the mix, most of the retailers that participate will NOT participate in the event. Why? Because PDFs don't drive sales for them in their eyes. The core concept of the event is that a physical item offered by the retailer in-store encourages people to get up off the couch and into their store in the hopes you will spend money on anything. I can tell you that probably 75% of the participating stores tell me that their sales increase that day definitely, and very little of it are actual RPG products. The retailers are just super happy to get the traffic. That is quite honestly the crux of why PDF dissemination is restricted until 30 days after the event. I'm wondering though if there is a way a store could register for like $5 or something minor and we disseminate the PDFs of the participating publishers to the retailer so they can have the event but not spend the money (like your idea). In the end though, please understand that a store not able to spend the $85 is very much in the minority from my experience, and I wonder if a $5 entry point would diminish distribution of the physical kits and/or encourage the items getting out there freely (thus, diminishing walk in traffic to the stores).

In terms of travel to the store...I wouldn't drive that distance for my own event! :) Do people want the items that much? I can't imagine that's truly something most folks would do when the items are available 30 days after the event.

In terms of getting more small press folks involved. Yes, the PDF idea is quite an easy barrier of entry to the event. If you don't know though, our minimum to participate is 700 copies (1 per kit) and most folks tell me its like $0.60 a copy to print something full size, and less if its digest-sized. Am I disillusioned that $350 is too much for an aspiring publisher to spend to market their product? About $500 if you count art and shipping.

Again, I want to hear ideas. I'm open to them. But in the end, Impressions is a small company working with an event that has grown quite a bit, and I'm always trying to find more ways to handle things better.

Best,
Aldo Ghiozzi
Owner
Impressions
Organizers of Free RPG Day
aldo@impressionsadv.net
Tortog wrote:Thanx for taking the time to respond, but I think you've just served to highlight the extreme fragility of the brick and mortar game shops. I've heard this complaint repeatedly over the years, and if an $85 fee is too much for some shops, then it just shows how sharp that razor margin really is. I honestly think that FRPG day is going to have to evolve with the times if it's going to survive.

I did offer a suggestion:
"For example, what if those of us who like to run games on FRPG day simply contacted a participating game publisher (Goodman Games, etc.) and downloaded their FRPG day module and then ran it at the game shop of our choice?"
Here are the top 5 reasons why I think this would be a better model for FRPG day.

1 - With this model you can advertise the fact that it is more environmentally friendly. While it would only save a modicum on the use of printing chemicals and paper, there would be a fair savings in the elimination of most of the fuel that goes into the airplanes, trains, and trucks that will be needed to ship that paper all over the place.

2 - From the shop owner's perspective, by having the participation fee removed they get maximum return for their efforts for the day.

3 - From the publishers point of view, switching to PDF download saves both time and money. It also grants them a couple of options, they can use a system where the DM signs up at the shop and gets a 'verification #' then goes to the publisher's site, enters code and gets the file. Or, the publisher could leave it out there as a free download; the more it gets downloaded, the wider the circulation, and they benefit from the free advertising.

4 - From the perspective of DM's and Players, it means we can participate and spend our money locally... which is where it is most needed. Besides folks in my position who have to travel extensive distances (gas for a 5 hour drive in each direction as well as food and a night in a hotel... not as young as I used to be) it is no longer Free RPG day; and doesn't leave me anything to spend at the shop while I'm there. This alone makes it a worthy model because it will increase player participation.

5 - From a more personal perspective, it would allow small publishing start-ups like me to produce material for the event. Folks like me couldn't even dream of doing so at present due to the excessive printing and shipping costs.

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Re: Free RPG day

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:09 am

I need to arrange with a store in Toronto to run the FRPG Day DCC adventure this year, and I am sadly behind on doing that. But it is something I will be doing.

Likewise, I am running several games at a con in Toronto (Fan Expo 2014) at the end of August.
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