Friday, 13 March 2009

recession-proof gaming

So, you're facing the financiapocalypse. Made your saving throw? Good! Keep calm and carry on.

For those who didn't, there's still options if you've still got your Internet connection (and if you haven't you can't read this anyway). Prepare yourself a nice game of d20/3.5 edition D&D. And you only need the books when you're actually gaming! All the preparation can be done via the Internet and isn't even going to be difficult.
  1. Hypertext d20 SRD - This is awesome and an example of why the OGL was a good thing. Hyperlinked, cross-referenced and extra tools on top. Namechecked by Monte Cook in a recent interview about Dungeonaday.
  2. Dingle's Games' Monster Generator - I met with the author at the first UK Bloggers meetup and this was recently reviewed by Campaign Mastery. If you want to baseline monsters quickly, use this site. He also has a treasure generator as well.
  3. Big List of RPG Plots - Cumberland Games offers a number of tools but this one is the one that sticks in my mind - a collection of creative kickstarts. If you're feeling ambitious, use Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations on top.
But what about minatures, battlemaps and all the other ephemera I hear you cry? Got yourself a printer? Good.

If you need miniatures, the following sites may be of use.

Arion Games have an impressive freebie collection and a bonus area if you leave feedback on their products.
Oversoul Games has a whole page of figures and other stuff for the princely sum of nothing.
Go to Ravenblight for just about anything gothic or horror; from paper miniatures to terrain to masks to book props.
Sparks fonts by Cumberland Games offer two free samples.

Terrain and cardstock models were the recent subject of a post from Mad Brew Labs so I'll mention the one's I've tried out.
Wizards of the Coast have free fold-up paper models of buildings (some assembly required).
ArchiKit (a French site - site translated using Google Translate) provide free models as well.
For sci-fi, you might want to try WorldWorks' free ParticleBow frigate.

The Game Mechanics have shiny Initiative Cards. They also have a lot of other stuff which you can pillage for settings, one-off encounters with dragons, that kind of thing.

Invite your friends round, potluck and away you go! One or more evenings of recession-proof gaming. No subscription angsts, no guilty miniature buying, no edition wars, no making it difficult for people to have fun. May not be FLGS-friendly but there's a time when shelter, electricity and water come first.

Don't fancy d20/3.5? Want something different? OK - challenge accepted.
  1. RetroRoleplaying has a number of free, simple pick-up games including Microlite74.
  2. a/state lite - For gloomy high weirdness in The City.
  3. Risus - Insidiously simple and yet effective.
  4. Nemesis - For modernish horror involving unspeakable things and unpronounceable monsters.
  5. Insylum - For what comes after the modernish horror.
No subscriptions required. No investment in the next sourcebook to keep ahead of the Jones'. Yes, you'll still need dice. If none of these please you, then invite your friends over and put on a DVD, potluck and snark at the movie. You're in no mood to game and it's still a social occasion.

Got other legal recession-beating games or gamer tools? Plug them in the comments!

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