Monday, June 17, 2019

Can't Get Enough of Free RPG Day? Dig a Little Deeper on Drive Thru RPG!

This past weekend was Free RPG Day, and I remember several years ago it was one of my favorite days to be a gamer. I'd pop down the street to the local gaming/comic shop, play a demo, grab some splat books, and maybe even score a cheap mini or a free d20, if the gaming gods were kind to me.

Choose your weapon!
Sadly, over the past several years, the options in my little corner of the state have all but dried up. There's only one comic/gaming store in convenient travel distance (others that I once visited have shuttered their doors), and they have opted not to participate in this yearly ritual. As such, I spent this year at my work desk, wishing I had a convenient way to get my hands on a lot of free games.

That was when I got the urge to look up a game I played years ago with an old roommate of mine. Back in the pre-digital dark age of gaming, the game was Mutant Chronicles, and I half expected it to have totally vanished into the ether... but low and behold there was a free Mutant Chronicles quick start right there on Drive Thru RPG!

I got a bit of a grin out of that, downloaded the guide, and started flipping through it. I'd never played a Modiphius game before, and I've been having fun trying to get my head around their 2d20 system base. But as I browsed Drive Thru RPG, I noticed something else... there is a veritable treasure trove of free gaming content on there!

If you're willing to look for it, that is.

Try Before You Buy!

I'll be up-front here, most of the free content you're going to find browsing through the site are quick start guides, and similar samples of bigger, more involved games. These guides give you a taste, and usually a scenario you can run for your group using some pre-gen characters to try and get a sense of how the game plays before you invest $20 for the full PDF, or even $30 or $50 for a physical rule book. It's a risk-free way to dip your toe in, and to give the game a chance to sell itself to you.

Some of them are, admittedly, more complicated than others.
Rather than telling you to just go and slog through the entire archive, though, I figured I'd shoot you a few interesting, totally free things I found that I'm going to be flipping through over the next few days. After all, I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't get any swag this weekend, and who doesn't love checking out a new game for the low cost of absolutely nothing?

- The Entropic Gaming System: This quick start guide gives you a line on the Entropic Gaming System, which is meant to work with any game, any theme, any genre, any era. It's got an escalating die system, and in some ways it reminds me of Savage Worlds. A fun read so far, but not one I'm done with by any means.

- Frozen Skies Jumpstart: Speaking of Savage Worlds, this particular free guide is all about getting you hooked on the setting. Full of sky pirates and aerial bandits, it's set in a dangerous, grim frontier where all you have to rely on are your gunners and your skill, this one has definitely peaked my curiosity.

- Is It A Plane!?: If you told me there was an RPG out there that replaced dice with Pictionary, I would have told you that you were a crazy person, but Psychic Cactus Games has an RPG out there that does just that. I have not tried this one out with my group just yet, but the concept of drawing your actions for the Editor to interpret was surreal enough that I felt it had to be mentioned.

- Bloodlines and Black Magic: The City of Hauberk: This setting really grabbed my attention, because it combines the familiar rules systems of both Pathfinder and 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, but it gives us a secret, modern world setting full of shadowy corners, corrupted bloodlines, occult secrets, and dangerous power players. A solid intro, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a read.

These are, of course, just a start when it comes to the demos, quick start guides, and huge troves of free stuff out there! My advice is to pop over to Drive Thru RPG and to use the terms, "free," "demo," or, "pay what you want," and to see what comes up. There are all sorts of older editions on there that are now free for the asking, and it feels like practically every game line big and small has a demo for you to play or a setting guide full of rich content to convince you to take a chance on the full-scale game.

My two cents, if you find something you like, try it out of an off-night. The sort when the whole party can't make it, or when you'd just sit around playing a board game. It can make for a refreshing palate cleanser, and it might be enough to really spark your group's interest!

Also, as a closer, if you're looking for some additional, inexpensive swag, then check out my list of contributions on Drive Thru RPG. From NPC lists for fantasy games, to unusual feats for Pathfinder, to one-shot modules for Dungeons and Dragons, I've got a bit of everything for folks looking to expand their lists of gaming options!

Like, Follow, and Keep in Touch!

That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. Hopefully you enjoyed the film, and it provides you all with the same sort of inspiration it did me!

For more of my work, check out my Vocal and Gamers archives, and stop by the YouTube channel Dungeon Keeper Radio. Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

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