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What’s Available On Free RPG Day 2023?

Free RPG Day launches on Saturday, June 24 2023. Here's what to expect.

Free RPG Day launches on Saturday, June 24 2023. Much like its inspirations, Free Comic Book Day and Free Record Store Day, this is a day about building community, in this case, the tabletop roleplaying game community. Each year we look at what’s available for customers to pick up during this tabletop gaming store promotion.

Free RPG Day Logo and Date.jpg

What is Free RPG Day?​

The event is what the name implies: Free tabletop roleplaying quickstarts, adventures, maps, and dice given to fans at participating friendly local game stores (FLGS). On Saturday, June 24, you’ll be able to get an RPG, a die, some other bit of gaming, and likely join in on a gaming session. These items are either free to attendees, free to fans that play select games at the store on that date, or free with purchase; the specifics are up to the participating location.

Magpie Games Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

What's Available on Free RPG Day?​

The free items are broken into a few categories. Quickstarts, adventures, accessories such as dice, and some items that are RPG-related games. There are details about each offering on the main webpage for the Free RPG Day website, just scroll down to the company logos and click “Sneak peek!” to get more details.

Free League Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

Tabletop Role-Playing Game Quickstarters​

These booklets are short rule sets, often with pre-generated characters, to give you a taste of the RPG. There’s enough information to sample the game and know if you’d be interested in upgrading to a starter set or the core rulebook. This year’s offering are:

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game

  • Avatar FRPGD 2023: Movers & Shakers from Magpie Games
  • System: Powered by the Apocalypse (Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game variant)

Root: The Roleplaying Game

Dragonbane Quick Start from Free League Publishing

Swords of the Serpentine from Pelgrane Press

  • System: GUMSHOE (Swords of the Serpentine variant)

Mazes Fantasy Roleplaying

level 1: Indie RPG Anthology from 9th Level Games

Heckin' Good Doggos from Wet Ink Games

  • System: +One System
Wet Ink Games Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

RPG Adventures​

These are single session adventures, ideal for GMs looking to run a single evening of play. This year’s adventures are for systems like Pathfinder Second Edition, Starfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition, Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20, Zombicide: Chronicles, Critical: Foundation, and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. These are tailored adventures perfect for new and experienced players this Free RPG Day.

Pathfinder: A Few Flowers More from Paizo

Starfinder: Operation Seaside Park from Paizo

Heist at the Museum from Loke Battle Mats

  • System: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Adventures in Rokugan: Storm Eel's Rest from Edge Studio

  • System: Adventures in Rokugan (Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Legacy of the Five Rings variant)

Animal Adventures from Steamforged Games/SFG

  • System: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Cobra/Con Fusion from Renegade Game Studios

  • System: Essence 20 (A Dungeons & Dragons variant)

A Taste of the Moon from Renegade Game Studios

Piercing the Demon's Eye from Goodman Games

  • System: Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) NOTE: DCC uses regular polyhedral dice as well as non-standard dice such as D3, D5, D7, D14, D16, D24, and D30
  • NOTE: Goodman Games has their own RPG holiday: DCC Day (July 22). About which, Goodman Games shared this:
“This year the DCC Day Adventure will be for MCC (Crash of the Titans), and a new limited edition printing of the MCC Core Rulebook will also be available — it has a glow-in-the-dark cover from Stefan Poag! In addition, the DCC Day 2023 Adventure Pack contains two more adventures — and it is absolutely free!”

Monsters Cards, Mini Adventure, and Pocket RPG Guide from Dragon Shield Roleplaying

  • Featuring 1 Monster Card, 12 Mini-Adventures, and 12 Pocket RPGs per Free RPG Day 2023 kit.
  • System: Dragon Shield Pocket RPG

Achtung! Cthulhu - Operation Kindling from Modiphius Entertainment

  • System: Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20

Zombicide: Chronicles from CMON and Guillotine Press

  • System: Zombicide: Chronicles

Critical: Foundation (Episode 0) from Gigamic and Hachette Boardgames USA

  • System: Critical: Foundation
9th Level Game Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

RPG Accessories​

This year there are dice, paints, and more.

Semi-Board Games & Graphic Novels​

This Free RPG Day, there are a few items that straddle the line between a tabletop roleplaying game and another type of RPG experience. I’m curious to see the promo versions of these products.

D&D Onslaught: Never Split the Party from WizKids

  • System: D&D Onslaught

Adventure Party: The Role-Playing Party Game from Smirk & Dagger Games

  • System: Adventure Party: The Role-Playing Party Game
  • This RPG is a party game and you can back it right now on Kickstarter

Loup Garou from Van Ryder Gamers

  • System: Graphic novel Choose Your Own Adventure
Paizo Free RPG Day 2023.png

How Can You Participate in Free RPG Day?​

Want to find out if your area has a participating gaming store? On the Free RPG Day website, they have a link to search for participating FLGS by city/town. Click here and enter your city’s name in order to find participating tabletop gaming retailers near you.

Renegade Game Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

Are These Items Really Free?​

To customers of the participating tabletop gaming stores, yes. That said, the retailer may require you purchase something or limit the number available, but that’s because these products are not free to the retailer. The 2023 Free RPG Day Kit costs $169.99 with free S/H. For that, the FLGS get 173 units per kit, which breaks down to about a dollar a unit. Among 29 titles (28 outside of North America), there are 1 to 12 units per title.
  • RPG Quickstarts and standalone products: 47 units per kit
  • RPG Adventures: 90 units per kit
  • RPG Semi-Board Games & Graphic Novels: 14 units per kit
  • RPG Accessories: 22 units per kit (19 outside of North America)
Goodman Games Free RPG Day 2023.jpg

Where Will Egg Be on Free RPG Day?​

Kapow! Comics and Games (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) at 540 Lake Center Pkwy Suite 108, Cumming, GA 30040 (USA). From noon until 6:00PM, I’ll be onsite with Egg Embry Publishing and giving out copies of HUMAN… ALMOST and OFF/FACE TRIBUTE RPG as well as dice, and running RPG demos. The store’s regular Saturday GMs will arrive at 5:30PM to guide their games. They’ll be happy to let interested fans ask questions, offer tips, and join their campaign.

If you’re interested in participating, reach out to your friendly local gaming store and prepare to sling some dice.
 

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Egg Embry

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Von Ether

Legend
That seems to be the issue, this event is not really on game stores radar or even a priority. Three years running, the same thing happens in my neck of the woods.
  1. I make the phone call to a game store to remind them about the event, which they either did NOT know existed or totally forgot existed.
  2. The store takes its sweet time getting around to order the kit. I warn them there is a deadline.
  3. They finally get the order in after FRPGD deadline and can't get the order.
  4. 50/50 chance said store claims the event would not have made them any money as a sour grapes comment.
  5. Repeat next year.
South Florida has no excuse, the middle county has like five game stores within 45 minutes of each other but all of them forgot FRPGD or had no clue until I called.

To be fair, the bigger stores only have one weekly event for D&D and the rest of the time it is GW or Magic because those two titans bring in the money. The one store that focuses on RPGs/boardgames is hurting right now.

I think the thing that hurts FRPGD is that, unlike Free Comic Books Day, most FLGS don't already have a good chunk of the featured games in stock.

Yet, instead of stocking those featured games, the store owner hopes to sell whatever else they have on the shelf due to the increased turn out and volunteers running demos of ... the featured games.

So I guess for any store owner who is only willing to stock D&D and D&D adjacent stuff, the event looks like a double investment. Buy not only the kit but also these rpgs that might sell - or sit on the shelf.

Or it might also be a DM supply problem? Would be be easier to get DMs for non-D&D games or harder?

I know for me, I could demo at different levels of capacity, Dragonbane, DCC, Swords of the Serpentine, Mazes, and Vampire. Does that make me an average DM or a crazy one?
 

I'm sorry to hear about the limited interest in middle Florida.
As for what to order, I see that as the next major item to push. For example, Magpie Games offered a store bundles to retailers to support and monetize their Avatar and Root offerings. I'm hopeful to see more of those in 2024.
 



Von Ether

Legend
I'm sorry to hear about the limited interest in middle Florida.
As for what to order, I see that as the next major item to push. For example, Magpie Games offered a store bundles to retailers to support and monetize their Avatar and Root offerings. I'm hopeful to see more of those in 2024.
Noooo! I'm talking about South Florida, which runs north of West Palm Beach, through Fort Lauderdale down past Miami. So one of the biggest population hubs in the country.
 

Noooo! I'm talking about South Florida, which runs north of West Palm Beach, through Fort Lauderdale down past Miami. So one of the biggest population hubs in the country.
I apologize, I read "South Florida" but got middle mixed in. My bad. And, yeah, that's a LOT of folks to miss out on. I'm sorry to hear it. :(
 


Von Ether

Legend
The owner of the store closest to me keeps the majority of the Free RPG Day items for themself and then sells them later at conventions.
I guess most people don't know that most publishers eventually sell their own copies of the quickstarts a couple of moths after the event. Or perhaps he sits on the accessories?

When one of FLGS did FRPGD much more regularly, I dreaded when one of brothers ran it vs the owner. That brother would hold back a cache of the goodies for his best friends, if you are a DM then you probably would get a copy of the quickstart you were demoing but that was it.

If the store owner was running it, the volunteer DMs would get first pick - within reason - and then it was first come, first serve for most of the stuff.

The cool accessories became door prizes.
 


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