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Free RPG Day 2011: There’s No School Like the “Old School”

free rpgday logo finalSomewhere, at a gaming store close to you, the Free RPG Day 2011 will be in full swing on this coming Saturday, June 18th!  This is a chance for all gamers, whether “old school” or “newbies”, to come out and experience the hobby, and try their hands at new games and RPG systems.

Over the past five years or so, the sponsors of the Free RPG Day have been sending packages of FREE game products to local retailers to give away during the day of gaming events, and this year is no exception.  Here is a list of some of the products contributed by game publishers, which will be at gaming stores this Saturday:

  • Amarillo Design Bureau: Prime Directive Adventure “Starship Aldo” (both d20 & GURPS)
  • BlackWyrm Games: XDM Adventure: “Laser Squid Nemesis”
  • Blue Panther: Dice Tower
  • Eden Studios: All Flesh Must Be Eaten Quickstart & Adventure
  • Exile Game Studios: Hollow Earth Expedition Quickstart & Adventure
  • Fantasy Flight Games: Black Crusade Quickstart and Adventure
  • Flying Buffalo: Tunnels & Trolls Solo Adventure, “Rescue Mission”
  • Goodman Games: DCC RPG Quickstart
  • Green Ronin: DragonAge Quickstart
  • Paizo: “We Be Goblins!” Pathfinder Adventure
  • Paradigm Concepts: Arcanis RPG Quickstart & Adventure
  • Pinnacle: Savage Worlds Quickstart & Adventure, titled “The Wild Hunt”
  • Q-Workshop: Unique Elven-themed Dice
  • Stone Tablet Games: Aspect Quickstart Adventure
  • Troll Lord Games: Castles & Crusades Quickstart and Adventure
  • Valkyrie Games: Stellar Horizons Quickstart
  • White Wolf Publishing: World of Darkness Quickstart
  • Wizards of the Coast: “Domain of Dread: Histhaven” D&D 4th Edition Supplement to the box set “The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond”
  • Mayfair: Settlers of Catan: Catanimal Variant rules (single page paper insert)

As you can see, there are a lot of great gaming products available for this year’s event, in a wide range of role-playing genres.  To find out where you can take part the Free RPG Day 2011, you can click the link here to check out the Retail Locator to find out which stores near you will be hosting the event!

“Old School” made new again – Dungeon Crawl Classics

Goodman Games is in the process of releasing a “reboot” of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, and is sponsoring a adventure starter pack at this year’s Free RPG Day.  DCCRPGcoverI was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the two modules in the starter kit – “The Portal Under The Stars” and “The Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad” – which use the DCC RPG system.  You can download a copy of the beta of the DCC RPG system from the Goodman Games site, and take a look at the rules prior to this weekend’s event.

The DCC RPG is a pretty nifty amalgam of “old school” D&D rules, mainly from 1st Edition AD&D, but with some influences from later AD&D editions, as well as influences from other fantasy RPGs well-known to veteran gamers.  The DCC RPG rules have a great nostalgia factor to them, and some of the rules remind me of the variants my friends and I tried using from our own “houserules”, as well as sources like the old Dragon, Dungeon, and White Dwarf magazines.

The DCC game system has plenty of those “tables” we veteran D&D gamers love to peruse, and plenty of fun details while creating your character.  The character classes and races are combined in some cases, like the old D&D Expert Set, so while you can play a Human who is a Cleric, Thief, Warrior, or Wizard, one can also play a Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling, as a character class unto itself.

The modules included in the DCC Adventure Starter for this year’s Free RPG Day are “old school” too, being unashamedly good old dungeon crawls into a labyrinth of monsters, tricks, traps, and treasure, as one might expect from the name of the game system.  Although the crawls are short, they are very well written, with some great illustrations and map designs.  These dungeon crawls are designed around the simple premise of adventurers looking to win gold and fame by delving into dark, long-lost ruins, with little concern about what they trouble they might unleash while seeking their fortunes.  In many respects, these modules remind me of the adventures that Lieber’s Fafhrd and Grey Mouser might get themselves into just to replenish their coin purses!

But regardless of your style of role-playing, there is likely to be something fun for you at this year’s Free RPG Day 2011.  Remember to find a local participating store this Saturday, June 18th, and go check out all the gaming action!  You never know when you might some new and exciting system to play!

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!

About The Author

Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.


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