Fri
Jan 22 2010 3:32pm

RPGs and Haiti relief

DriveThruRPG is the biggest vendor of roleplaying material in PDF form. There are others (and I’d like to do a fresh survey of the markets this spring), but this is the one co-owned and backed by several of the industry’s relatively large players and with the largest sweep of the commercial side of the field. White Wolf sells here, and Mongoose, and Fantasy Flight Games, and Green Ronin, and on and on.

The DriveThru management have taken up charitable support in the wake of past crises, and are doing it again for help with Haiti’s recovery, in the biggest way yet for them. They’re matching all donations made to Doctors Without Borders, and have provided some easy links for donating. But they’ve also got a sale going. For $20, customers can buy a bundle of PDFs from lots of DriveThru’s partners worth at least $1000 US. Many such claims are worth treating with skepticism, but if you look at the list of who’s contributed files to the project, it clearly holds up. The list goes on and on and on and on….

There’s some of the best of the d20/D&D 3rd edition boom of the early 2000s (vintage Spycraft books); Green Ronin’s awesomely Phildickian alternate ‘70s gone very bad (Damnation Decade); Marcus Rowland’s game of the 20th century given the sort of respectful attention to precise detail that made Xena such fun to watch (Diana: Warrior Princess); the intriguing-sounding steampunk soap opera game Full Light, Full Steam, which has some drama-advancing mechanics I’m curious to try out; the Savage Worlds edition of Adamant’s wonderfully, awesomely Edgar Rice Burroughs-ian Mars; Jamie Chambers’ Serenity Roleplaying Game...quite a few things I knew I wanted, and quite a few I'm sure willing to look at given this kind of deal.

I don’t see an expiration date on this offer. If one turns up, I’ll update this post. In the meantime, if you’re at all curious about the state of the roleplaying market, this is a heck of a way to see a big slice through it.

Photo by Flickr user austinevans, used under Creative Commons license.


Bruce lives in Seattle, WA, and notices his hard drive sagging under this sudden influx of data. He is freshly happy for the iPhone app GoodReader, which helps a lot with big PDFs on his well-loved little analytical engine.

6 comments
Matthew B
1. MatthewB
Doctors Without Borders is a top-notch charity in terms of bang-for-buck and impeccable ethics.

I barely play RPGs anymore and i bought the bundle just to dig around for ideas in the veritable mountain of goodies that are included.

This illustrates one of the great things about electronic distribution. They can run a sale like this, offering up a very attractive incentive for giving, and none of the money gets sucked up in shipping and handling fees - it all gets passed on to the people who need it.
John Skotnik
2. ShooneSprings
Thanks, this seems like a great way to donate and increase my collection at the same time!
Green Manzanita
3. Green Manzanita
The expiry date is the end of January, I read somewhere.
Madeline Ferwerda
4. MadelineF
Daniel M. Perez has the end date of Jan. 31 at his blog post about the bundle and the products from his company that are in it.
Bruce Baugh
5. BruceB
Much thanks, MadelineF and Green Manzanita.
Green Manzanita
6. Sean Patrick Fannon
My deepest appreciation of the support and the kind words.

One thing that greatly excites me about the results of this is that it demonstrates a power our community has to bring aid and comfort to those in need on a pretty impressive scale for such a "niche market."

It also shows that gamers really are legion, and we are good folks as a whole.

I've never been more proud of my clan than I have been this month.

Thank you.

- Sean Patrick Fannon
Marketing & Communications, DriveThruRPG
Veteran Gamer Geek

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