Eighteen publishers participated in this year’s Free RPG Day, about the same number as last year and up from previous years. Included in this year’s offerings were titles for Dungeons & Dragons, the Pathfinder RPG, Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, Conspiracy X, FFG’s Warhammer 40K RPG, the Harn RPG, Cosmic Patrol and Quickstart rules for both Shadowrun and Battletch, as well as dice from Q-Workshop and Chessex and smaller assortment of offerings from other publishers. All in all, a pretty good selection. The Pathfinder offerings went pretty quickly as did the D&D offering from WOTC (That we were running demos of both games here all day helped with that). There were a number of single items this year as well, sample products from three or four small publishers. Not certain how other stores handled this but we did a drawing for them and gave them away at the end of the day. Off World Designs included an XL Free RPG Day t-shirt in every kit, with the option to order more.
According to Ghiozzi, 385 stores participated this year, down from last year’s total of 420, but every one of the 603 kits produced sold out, as usual. We had a line of about 10 people waiting to get in when we opened the store (I think it was mainly the Free RPG Day offerings but the free hot dogs and barbeque may have helped). As is usual, Free RPG Day was great sales wise for us, our third best day of the year so far, only eclipsed by Free Comic Book Day and the Avacyn Restored/ Galactic Overlord pre-release one-two punch. We pulled out the dice and single items (Blue Panther dice tower, Dice Candies chocolate dice, Gaming Paper’s Pathfinder adventure, Brass & Steel’s Quickstart rules and the Castle’s and Crusades Quickstart rules), gave two dice to each of our GMs as a thank you for running events, and let every customer choose one item from the remainder. They could pick additional items for each stamp they earned on their Castle Card or for every 5 cans of food brought in for the local homeless shelter (We wound up collected about 50 pounds of canned food over the course of the day. Bearers of Preferred Customer cards also got an additional item. For each item customers selected from the display, they received one entry into the 5 p.m. drawing for the single items. Customers had to be present to win and we had about 20 people present for the drawing. Overall, a very good day.