Yes, well… it was my first Free RPG Day to participate in. One FLGS decided not to have it and by the time I had asked them whether they were having it, I was told that they had missed the order date for getting the Free RPG Day swag. The other FLGS ordered their Free RPG Day swag, but owner and managers went to Origins and those that were left to run Free RPG Day… were like me… had not run the event before.
So, what did I learn about running Free RPG Day? Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. And that last minute “emergencies” will always come into play. Yes, I think one can be ready for last-minute emergencies. Meaning, have a backup plan. I will not go into detail, as I do not have details, at this time, to share.
With that said, I will try to give a report on what the experience was for me. As an “emergency” presented itself to me just days before Free RPG Day, I scrambled to make the time changes. Well, with the FLGS owner and managers heading out of town to Origins, this became an almost impossibility to connect with the organizer who was going out of town also. Granted, I think this was only the third year for the FLGS to host Free RPG Day. And it also happened that last year Origins was on the same weekend.
I will also say that with it being my first Free RPG Day event, I was less than wise about how to even go about planning and preparing for the event. I followed Facebook and Google+ for information from “the tribe”. It is quite helpful pre- and post- event for learning what can be done to better and make the event better in the future. Even though I run weekly games and bi-weekly games, I am no expert on running featured events. Just like when I went to GenCon 50 last year, I looked to others to help guide me with where to go and how to begin events. I had never gone to a gaming convention before. I could not have told you what it was like as a player, let alone how it was going to be as a GM (game master).
So, this past Saturday for Free RPG Day, I show up at the FLGS at the scheduled time. I was informed that I was two hours early. “????” Ok, so I hang around listening in on some of the games. There are some GMs, I gathered, will give looks to those lurking around listening. I’m not sure what these looks are to mean, but they did not feel welcoming to me, the observer. So, I move on.
Well, the time finally comes for my afternoon DCC RPG game to start …and… no players. Where were the DCC RPG players? Another judge had a game scheduled for the first time slot at noon… no one showed. For this FLGS, this is odd. Any other Saturday the DCC RPG tables are loaded. Feels to me like the Free RPG Day flopped. BUT… as I looked around, DnD 5E was going well. Pathfinder had their players. And a newer RPG, Kobolds Ate My Baby had a table loaded with players. I should know, as I was one who sat down to play it.
Later that evening, our regular DCC RPG group … at least 3 players… came to finish “The Carnival of the Damned” by David Baity. Crawling through the “Fun House” and meeting with death. I have one player that receives chills at the sound of the “Dead” stamp. With this last game one of our 0 level halflings, Wee Biscuit with a Luck of 14 has earned his Level 1 “badge” to be the luckiest halfling in all of the Shudder Mountains.
This coming Thursday evening, the Thursday Knights will get to close the carnival as they meet the Black Jester. With the carnival moving out of the Shudder Mountains, the players are asking me to stretch a bit from DCC to MCC (Mutant Crawl Classics). At this time, Goodman Games posted that they are out of the first printing and the second printing will come in July. I do have the Free RPG Day which had both the DCC Lankmar and MCC RPG introduction modules. I plan to run the MCC RPG “Museum at the End of Time” with both FLGS groups.