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Gaming on the Cheap
Posted By Kurt "Telas" Schneider On August 4, 2009 @ 2:08 am In GMing Advice | 13 Comments
Gaming can be one of the least expensive hobbies you have.
And these are some of the more expensive gaming options out there.
How about “Free”? There are free role playing games out there. Fellow Gnome Scott Martin covered a number of these in his excellent survey of open source RPGs. Even more are noted in the comments.
Many gaming systems provide a free introductory set of rules, for example Wizards of the Coast’s Quick Start intro to 4E (complete with adventures), or Pinnacle’s Savage Worlds Test Drive. With a bit of groundwork, these can be used to do more than just the initial adventure, but check the legality before you create a full-blown system from the bare bones of a playtest.
And then there are some inexpensive alternatives. The core rulebook for my favorite game costs only $10, which includes all the mechanics needed to run any number of genres. All you need are dice and an imagination.
We gamers are famous for extensive collections of gaming aids, but they are not necessary to the game. I don’t like to admit it, but I can still game without Tact-Tiles, minis, and props, and with far fewer dice than I own.
If you’re reading this, I bet you’ve got at least one complete RPG on the shelf. If it was fun when you played it back in the day, then nothing should make it “less fun” now. Unless you’re one of those shallow “gotta have the latest” types. (Just kidding! But I’d bet that a few modern tweaks does a lot for some of those old awkward systems.)
OK, you say; I’ve already got a game. How can I cut my expenses, and game for cheap? And why do I speak in italics? I’m not Italish…
Let’s look at some expenses for gaming, and how to cut them.
Posting this article the week before Gen Con will probably get me uninvited this year, but those tax-free weekends are almost upon us. Do you have any advice for cheap gaming? Sound off in the comments and share the, uh, wealth!
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