Just like last year, it looks like most Arizona hobby retailers are giving Free RPG Day a pass — or, depending on whom you ask, were left out in the cold.
The event, an industry promotional effort that has much in common with the more well known Free Comic Book Day, only has one Arizona shop participating (so far): Imperial Outpost Games in the West Valley. That’s according to the event’s official participating retailer locator.
Last year, Samurai Comics was the only local venue.
This year, Free RPG Day is June 16, and in addition to getting sample editions of gaming products big and small, you can try out games you’ve never played before.
But only at one shop, in one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. I remember when Tempe’s Game Depot at least got in on the act.
Last year, when I wrote about the dearth of participants, Empire Games in Mesa responded with some insight from the industry:
This national event was so poorly planned and run it is sad. Personally I found out about it about four weeks in advance from a customer, so I started researching it. That day I found that it was “sold out” yet only one phoenix store was participating. Normally with events like this the group will contact stores and advertise to them, it would be nice to have enough of your kits to accomodate at least a majority of the stores as well.
It doesn’t look like much has improved in the campaign’s organizational structure, then. But at least Imperial Outpost is representing and RPG gamers — and potential RPG gamers, which is the whole point of this thing — will have somewhere to partake and learn more this year.
And remember this: Even if they’re not involved in Free RPG Day, your friendly local gaming store should always be willing to demonstrate games, old and new, or at least talk with you (usually at great length!) to help you find one that’s right for you, or for your children.
Here’s a look at the sponsors’ product lineup — traditionally, you only get to pick one thing, and it’s first come, first served:
- Amarillo Design Bureau
Sample (1 per box), Prime Directive Adventure, “Space Colony Aldorado”
- Blue Panther
Sample (1 per box), Dice Tower
- Catalyst Game Labs
Gold (10 ber box), A Time of War: BattleTech RPG/Shadowrun Quickstart flipbook
- Catalyst Game Labs
Gold (10 ber box), Cosmic Patrol RPG Quickstart
Silver, 4 Commerative Dice For Store Owner
- Columbia Games
Platinum (15 per box), Harn Quickstart with world map
- Dice Candies
Sample (1 per box), Set of 6 chocolate polyhedral dice
(Final shape of chocolate NOT guaranteed with delivery)
- Eden Studios
Silver (5 per box), Conspiracy X Quickstart & Adventure
- Fantasy Flight Games
Gold (10 per box), TBA
- Gaming Paper
Sample (1 per box), TBA Pathfinder Adventure
- Goodman Games
Silver (6 per box), Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Quickstart & Adventure
- Jon Brazer Enterprises
Bronze (3 per box), Pathfinder, “Shadowsfall: Temple of Orcus”
- Louis Porter Jr. Design
Bronze (3 per box), NeoExodus Pathfinder Adventure
- OffWorld Designs
Sample (1 per box), “Ask me about Free RPG Day” T-Shirt (XL) for employees.
Platinum (15 per box), Pathfinder Adventure, Dawn of the Scarlet Sun
- Pamean Games
Sample (1 per box), Brass & Steel Quickstart
Gold (10 per box), Unique Dice
- Signal Fire Studios
Sample (1 per box), Metamorphosis Alpha Preview
- Troll Lord Games
Bronze (3 per box), C&C Adventure
- Wizards of the Coast
Platinum (15 per box), TBA