There are a lot of fantastic roleplaying games available to the community at large. Each one represents the passion of a gamer and their desire to express some of their fun and interesting ideas. Everyone has their favorite game or three they spend loads of money on, but sometimes your wallet is tight and there's more you wish you could do to support them. Here are several suggestions to support your favorite designers and their passion projects.
1) Boost The Signal
Most designers worth their salt know that social media is an important route to marketing their game. If you enjoy their work, it's a good idea to find them on your favorite social media outlet. If they blog about their product, share it. If they post a new release that you're interested in, give it a like. These simple things have a big impact on raising awareness of the designer’s work. Most Indie designers understand that the chances of them being able to compete with big names in the industry like Wizards of the Coast are small, but they can certainly gather a loyal following. Whenever you comment or interact with their work on social media, you help raise awareness of their products.
2) Be Interactive
Many gamemasters wish to be designers as well. There's a good chance that if you are a part of the RPG community, you know of someone that is either in the industry, or wants to break into it. If they ask you to play test something they're working on, or for your general opinion on their work, constructive criticism can be worth its weight in gold. I'm not suggesting that you simply shower their work in praise, nor that you unashamedly bash their ideas into the dirt. Instead, share your opinions in a thoughtful way; it can mean a lot. When a designer shares an idea of theirs with you, it may just seem like a cool concept, but to them it is countless hours of writing, promotion, play testing, and possibly even art and layout. When they share these thoughts with you, they are asking for your opinion on something of importance to them. If you love their work and want to encourage them, engaging with their ideas and material can be one of the most uplifting experiences for a designer.
3) Write a review
Websites like DrivethruRPG are filled to the brim with great content. It's surprising to find that even the best role playing games in the business don't have many reviews on their host sites. A review carries a lot of weight for this reason. If you've already purchased a product from your favorite RPG distributor, it can mean the world to them to leave a good review. If you have a blog, it might be worth sharing your opinions there as well.
4) Play The Game
This one may seem like a no-brainer but it is very important all the same. Running a game at your friendly local game store, starting one up online, setting up a one-shot at a convention, or just playing at home with a few good buddies will help spread the word. If you love the game, it’ll show when you run or play it, and that enthusiasm can be infectious. Turning gamers to a specific game means that those who enjoyed it will potentially run it for others, spreading the love even further.
5) Talk about it
Word of mouth has been a fantastic source of promotion since the beginning. If you’re at a shop or convention with fellow gamers, you can always suggest a game you think they might like. This may seem pretty straightforward, but people often underestimate how much their word is worth, especially to those with similar interests. As you probably know, gamers are a passionate bunch, and word of an awesome game will spread pretty quickly if someone can spark the conversation.
We are all busy people, and dedicating time to support someone else's projects can be a lot. But if you can, take a few moments to help out a designer, as it can make a huge difference.
Nathan Carmen is the founder and head writer of the Indie RPG company, Tricky Troll Games. Nathan loves building worlds and improving his craft when he’s not busy parenting. Reach Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the TTG website athttps://nathanccarmen.wixsite.com/trickytrollgames
Picture Reference: http://www.goldenlasso.net/tabletop-rpgs-tips-for-new-players/
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.