Whenever I write about roleplaying games or Dungeons & Dragons in the blog — which isn’t all that often, given that it’s a niche activity, even in puzzle and gaming circles — I’m always encouraged by the fact that each post seems to inspire one or two people to reach out and ask for more details.
How does it work, exactly? How do you play a game with no game board? Does it have to be dungeons? Does it have to be dragons? How do I get started?
And there’s no better time to get started than right now, because tomorrow, October 16th, is Free RPG Day.
[Image courtesy of Lewis Brown.]
The concept behind Free RPG Day is simple. All over the world (but mostly in the United States), local game shops, hobby shops, and other outlets team up with RPG publishers to distribute new, fresh, and most importantly, free material for all sorts of different roleplaying games, systems, and settings.
Not only can you receive a wealth of new ideas and playing options in one fell swoop, but it serves as a terrific way to meet fellow roleplayers and build a community of game enthusiasts.
You can click this helpful link to find local spots near you that are participating in Free RPG Day, and I would highly recommend searching online for local game shops, game cafes, and even community centers like your local public library to see who is participating.
These shops will often be running demonstrations of games, tutorials on how to play, hosting raffles and contests, and offering terrific sale prices to encourage you to find the game that fits you best.
Every year, dozens of companies get involved, not only to encourage the growth of the game world, but to promote their own products. And what better way is there to get people hooked than with free exclusive materials begging them to try out this brand new world of play?
The world of roleplaying games is so much deeper than just the medieval hack-and-slash that is depicted on TV. Sure, there are swords to wield, monsters to fight, zombies to elude, but there are also gorgeous, peaceful games.
For instance, there’s Green Ronin Publishing’s Blue Rose AGE, set in a wild forest as full of spirits and beauty as it is potential danger. For Free RPG Day, they’re releasing a quickstart version of the game to give you a chance to sample its unique charm and play style.
The folks at 9th Level Games are publishing a collection of different indie RPGs, offering you a sampler of all sorts of play styles and settings all in one place.
[Image courtesy of GameZEnter.]
Other companies are offering sci-fi and steampunk and colorful animal adventurers, everything from Japanese anime-inspired adventure to Lovecraft-inspired World War II intrigue.
Here’s hoping you venture out this weekend and find something great. Roleplaying games offer a unique form of puzzling, gaming, and storytelling, and this could mark the start of something exciting and new. Roll the dice. Give it a shot.
And if you have any questions about roleplaying games in general or specific games and settings in particular, please let us know! We’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
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