Quick note: The results are in from the poll on which game RPDNA should use as the example as we continue our series of shows on how we like to build a campaign. The winner will be announced on the next episode (23 for those keeping score at home). We are also working on having a special guest(s) as well to give some insight into building a campaign. So look forward to that.
Free RPG Day 2013 was another chance for me to have an excuse to game all day and just generally be a gaming geek with like minded individuals. As always I volunteered my services to help Total Escape Games‘ excellent staff to help organize the demo games and to run a couple of sessions. I think working/GMing at events like this is becoming my favorite way to experience events like Free RPG Day. It gives you a chance to interact and run a game of something you might not have before. In my case I got to run Dungeon Crawl Classics for the first time (well sort of, more on that later).
The day started just doing my game ushering thing. I like to think I am as good as any organizer that works at a convention. But then I see what a hardcore game marshall does (see the Denver Gamers Association Linda and Jennifer) and I realize I am just good enough to organize four tables of games. I have a lot to learn if I ever want RPDNA Con to ever become more than an idea I just came up with right now. We might need a more clever name than that. DNACon. God of Games Con. Justin and Ed Play the Blues Con. I’ll take some suggestions on names.
After the line of people were allowed in, things flowed into their natural course for a game store that runs this kind of event. People were polite and didn’t rush, they picked out their items, and then supported their local friendly game store by buying a ton of stuff that was put on sale for this event. Then the gaming started.
This event gave me my first opportunity to run a session of Dungeon Crawl Classics, by Goodman Games. Let me start off by saying this is the game that has allowed me to open the previously locked door keeping me from every returning to the realm of fantasy RPGs. It’s the right blend of fast action, where anything can happen, mixed in with the old school feel that got me started on this hobby nearly 30 years ago.
The module I ran was The Imperishable Sorceress, by Daniel Bishop. This is a level 1 romp through an unusual dungeon carved out of the guts of a black rock mountain. I don’t want to go into too much of the story so you can enjoy it unspoiled, but I had a lot of fun. I would say this is a good module to introduce people to the game without having to expose them to the insanity which is the 0-level funnel that the game screams for you to start with. The funnels are entertaining because there is lots of PC death. Why is this fun? Because it is! This game is about adventurers sticking their noses where they don’t belong! Kill them all, says the DM’s dice! Putting the PCs at level 1 gives them a chance to swim a little further into the pool and get a quick taste of what DCC has to offer.
And in two sessions of running this module I killed a total of 4 PCs! So there was lots of blood to be had, for a less refined GM who gets off on killing player characters. GM note: When you make pre-gens for this game, make lots of extras.
The module is well done and features a Pathfinder compatible second module, XCrawl. I didn’t read too much of that one, but looks interesting. If you got a copy, go forth and find someone to run it for.
All in all I had a great time running the game. It was a bit stressful due to this being the first time I had run DCC and using a module, which I am not the most comfortable with. I did do a quick test session with some gamers at work durin our lunch hour on Friday. They had a blast getting through the first two encounters and it gave me a chance to start wrapping my head around the game and module. So if you want to be technical, that Friday lunch hour game was my first time running DCC.
Free RPG Day has become one of my favorite days on the calendar. This is something veteran players should be a part of if only to learn about other games and as a way to get those who are gaming curious to jump in to the hobby. I look forward to next year, and I hope we can provide more coverage from our local event. I would love to hear about your experiences, so please comment below!