Free RPG day – Saturday 15th – at Gauntlet

free-rpg-day-logo-2013Surprisingly, I was left forth from my dank dungeon, into the sunlight for a time, so I could participate in the annual Free RPG Day. This event is held every year, since 2007, at multiple retailers all around the world, to introduce people to new games and rules systems. Everyone who participates walks away with a copy of the module they played in and the retailer has extras that they can deal out as they see hit.

Included in this year’s selection of games were the following:

  • Sword & Wizardy adventure “Hall of Bones” by Frog God Games
  • “Better Than Any Man”, an adventure for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rules, but adaptable to different systems easily
  • Pathfinder RPG adventure “We be Goblins too!” by Paizo Publishing
  • Cosmic Patrol Quickstart byCatalyst Game Labs
  • Shadowrun/BattleTech Quickstart flipbook by Catalyst Game Labs
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG adventure “Shadow of a Black Sun” by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG adventure “X Crawl” by Goodman Games
  • Vampire: the Requiem adventure and quickstart “Reap the Whirlwind” by Onyx Path Publishing

I started off the day running the Shadowrun quickstart. That was certainly an experience. The module was very light on the RP part of it, it even mentioned so in the book, and focused on the combat and dice rolling.  It was a very amusing game, mainly from the playing perspective rather than a rules perspective, but I played it fairly comedy from the start, because of the people I had in the group, I knew them all and knew the play types.  One memorable moment was when the Street Samurai was caught with weapons in a fast food joint, so he decided to use acrobatics to cartwheel out, but failed the role, slipped on grease and fell over, quite dramatically.  He then proceeded to ‘worm’ his way out through the door, with quite a few people watching him. Hilarity ensued.  It was good for me to have a go at this quickstart, because I had been reading through the Shadowrun rules prior to this anyway, I was considering running a game of it for friends.  This quickstart showed me the sheer amount of dice in this game, is a little insane. It runs in a dice pool fashion, and it wasn’t uncommon to have more than 10 dice per pool and roll. I have started to reconsider the game, even though I love the setting.


Playing “We Be Goblins Too!’

After that, I played in the Pathfinder adventure, where we played as goblins, which was always going to be a laugh.  To make it more so, as goblins we were also evil, so all bets were off. I’ve played a lot of Pathfinder, and before that, D&D 3/3.5, so the rules were very easy, and the book supplied pretty much contained everything that was relevant to the situation.  A very memorable moment was when the Alchemist goblin character got set on fire by the last boss in the adventure.  He had 4 bombs on him, and three vials of alchemist fire.  He ran at the boss, latched onto the Ogre’s leg and exploded, essentially turning the Ogre into chunky kibbles.  His sacrifice won us the scenario and we decreed that every year that goblin tribe would build an effigy to that Alchemist, and then blow it up. Another group played through the Pathfinder module twice, a different Dungeon Master each time.

A few of us wanted to play more, but time had moved on too much, and quite a few people had to leave, and those that remained were disinclined to play in some of the other, more different games, happy to stick to Pathfinder.

I made sure to snag a copy of the adventures I wanted, so I can have a look at them and use them later in some of my other gaming groups.


Some of the many goodies available on the day.

To thank those who ran games for groups,  the store owner gave us a D6 with Free RPG day written on it, made by Chessex.  However, I know that Toby also got some Steampunk D6s from Q Workshop. I have a bit of a thing for Dice, I already have a good number, and I always like having more, especially odd or unique ones, so I will wait and see what he does with them, if anything…

All in all, it was a very fun day, and I am very glad that I attended.  A few veteran players topped the evening off with a DM Workshop, giving existing and upcoming DMs very valuable information to help improve their games. I also joined in on that, even though I have been DM-ing for years, any additional information in always useful. I can only hope all the other Games Stores here in Brisbane also ran the Free RPG Day so lots of others could participate in it as well.


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