Free RPG Day 2018 (Part 1)

This past weekend was insanely busy, with multiple conventions and no real time to think. But on top of that, it was also Free RPG Day. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re missing out on something great. You’ve probably heard of Free Comic Book Day? It tends to get a fair bit of press, with many stores holding big events and having huge lineups. Free RPG Day is like that, but for tabletop gamers.

Gaming stores bring in kits of giveaways and distribute those free products however they see fit. This year was the 12th anniversary of the event, and this year’s offerings had some exciting stuff in them. I managed to get ahold of most of them, but not all, and although I’ve barely had a chance to look through them I thought I’d give some of my initial thoughts.

The two things I wasn’t able to get (keeping in mind I was there waiting when the doors opened) was the Dungeons & Dragons Character Folio (UltraPro) and the Through the Breach Penny Dreadful one-shot (Wyrd Miniatures). I’m not crushed about the D&D folio, as I generally don’t play D&D. I do have a standing invitation to join a group, but I’m glad the folios went to people who will get better use of them. I’m slightly more disappointed about missing out on Through the Breach. While I’ve never had the opportunity to dig into the game (or it’s wargaming counterpart, Malifaux) I have always enjoyed going through the adventures, and hope to eventually give it a try.

T&T Adventures Japan (Flying Buffalo) is a sample from the full sized the Tunnels & Trolls Adventures Japan book, reprinting some of the Japanese TtT Magazine about the game. It uses the original art, and was translated into English with their help. It’s a fun look at home the game is presented overseas.

Fifth Edition Fantasy #14 (Goodman Games) is an adventure for 1st level characters using D&D 5E rules and includes a code for a free digital copy of the adventure on RPGNow.com. Similarly, 5th Edition Adventures (Troll Lord Games) is also a 5E adventure, with the pre-generated characters available for download on their site.

Dungeon Crawl Classics (Goodman Games) is another fairly consistent participant in the Free RPG Day kits. On one side of the book, we get a set of quickstart rules for the game, and when you flip it over (nice touch) you get an intro adventure.

Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium Inc.) brought a full-sized scenario, suitable for 2-6 players that are new to the game, while still being horrific enough for players with experience. It’s long enough to be split into two sessions, but short enough to run in one, and is recommended that players use the pre-generated characters that are included.

Numenera (Monte Cooke Games) gets a full-length adventure as well. There aren’t specific quick-start rules included, but they do include some introductory information on characters and how to play. I have never had the chance to play Numenera, but I’ve read the general Cypher System rules that evolved out of it, and I reviewed No Thank You, Evil! which is effectively a very stripped back version of the system. Someday I really hope to get this played.

Wrath & Glory (Ulysses North America) is the upcoming roleplaying game developed in the world of the Warhammer 40,000 miniature wargames. This is a step up from most quickstart products. Not only does it have detailed quickstart rules and a brief adventure, it also includes a 2-page battle map, four deluxe pre-generated characters (at 4 pages each, with another pair available for download), and a sheet of tokens. The game is in pre-order right now, with a full launch planned for Gen Con in August.

Despite being all about RPGs, every year there is a handful of other stuff as well. Chessex puts out a commemorative d6, and Q-Workshop includes some individual dice of various sizes. As per usual, I have been completely unable to get a d20 out of it, which I disappointing since I specifically want to use that art design for a particular character. Each year Paizo gives a promo character for their Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and this year Steve Jackson Games gave out a Hero card for their new Munchkin Collectable Card Game.

That’s where I’m going to close the first part of this summery, please join me again on Thursday for Part 2, and some of the products I wanted a few more days to look into.

You can find out more about Free RPG Day online at www.freerpgday.com or on their Facebook at facebook.com/FreeRPGDay

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