Bargain Bin Gaming: April, 2020

Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk! This month we’ll take a look at ten Kickstarter campaigns that definitely exist, that people can definitely pledge money to! 

April Fools! Now, fooling aside, there’s a very good reason that there’s no Kickstarter Wonk this month, namely that there are no Kickstarters (not *no* Kickstarters, but you know my spiel). This is not because of any peculiarity in the RPG world, but rather a peculiarity in the real world. In less euphemistic terms, a global pandemic. On one hand, creators have had to refocus their time into activities that keep food on the table. On the other, many people who would typically have a budget for things like Kickstarter projects are finding their money diverted as large chunks of the economy shut down, and jobs along with them. Because of this, many creators have determined that there’s way less money to go around for Kickstarter campaigns, greatly increasing the likelihood that any given campaign will fail. Therefore, we’re going to pivot this month, and look at different ways that the cash-strapped and/or stir crazy can get a gaming fix for not many dollars.

There are many creators out there answering the call in these difficult times because art, entertainment, and social activities are an integral part of human society. As you look through these games, and especially if you take advantage of any of these deals, remember these creators. Remember them when times get a bit better and a bit more normal, and you can afford to support their new products and their continued contributions to your gaming. Instead of going for Bundle of Holding and other discount sources as I have in Bargain Bin Gaming articles past, I’m going to focus on studios and designers who are sticking their necks out and offering games and game lines either for free or deeply discounted. Even when the prices are crazy low, buying these games, especially in zero-marginal cost PDF form, isn’t only a great deal for you but also helps the developer’s cash flow at a time when it could be quite strained.

Without further ado:

Cubicle 7: Cubicle 7 has accelerated their Clearance Sale for The One Ring and Adventures in Middle Earth. Physical titles left in their stock are 30-50% off.

Ulisses Spiel: Publisher Ulisses Spiel is offering 25% off of everything digital during the month of April.

R. Talsorian Games: Developer R. Talsorian Games is offering 50% off of their whole digital library, with some items discounted even further. Of particular note, anime comedy game Teenagers from Outer Space is currently free and worth picking up.

Free League Publishing: Free League has a number of titles available for 50% off, including the Alien RPG, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, Coriolis, Forbidden Lands, and Mutant: Year Zero.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group: Pinnacle’s “Helpin’ Hands” Bundle gives a free copy of the current edition of Deadlands, both the Player’s Guide and Marshal’s Handbook.

Suited: The playing card RPG we previously reviewed is available in a free “Quarantine Boredom Relief Bundle” including two booster packs and three additional playsets.

Power Outage: The superhero RPG for kids we previously reviewed is available Pay What You Want, as are all currently available supplements.

San Jenaro Co-Op: The San Jenaro Co-Op are offering the first three issues of their Short Games Digest for 50% off.

Cloven Pine Games: Cloven Pine Games is having a Quarantine Sale on, where their games Bring Home the Babe and The Tabula Initiative are both 50% off.

Crystal Heart: Crystal Heart, a setting for Savage Worlds based on the webcomic Up to Four Players, is Pay What You Want.

Worlds Without Master: Worlds Without Master, Epidiah Ravachol’s sword-and-sorcery zine, is currently Pay What You Want on Gumroad.

Exalted Funeral: Exalted Funeral has discounts on Ultraviolet Grasslands, Witchburner, and many others.

DDE Adventures: Both full games and modules from DDE Adventures, including the game Crush the Rebellion which we previously reviewed, are currently Pay What You Want.

World Champ Game Co: World Champ Game Co has lowered the prices on their back catalog, including making the letter-writing game All We Love We Leave Behind  Pay What You Want.

Marn S: Marn S. is having a ‘Cabin Fever Sale’, any item that can be played online is available for free.

LunarShadow Designs: LunarShadow Designs has a 70% off sale on their Sprawl mission pack The Synth Convergence.

Melsonian Arts Council: The Melsonian Arts Council is selling a Troika bundle with the core game and Fronds of Benevolence for four dollars off.

Narrative Dynamics: All Narrative Dynamics games, including all issues of the Goblinville Gazette, are 50% off.

Sandy Pug Games: Not only a sale, Sandy Pug Games has released a quarantine-themed game: You Are Quarantined with Adam Driver and He is Insisting on Reading You His New Script. The game is Pay What You Want.

The Friendly Distance Bundle: Jack Rosetree has compiled the “Friendly Distance Bundle”, 14 games ideal for playing online or otherwise at a distance.

Hopefully these games will bring a bit of joy, inspiration, or just plain fun to where you’re living and working now. Times are strange and tough, but we can make it through if we take care of ourselves and each other, and watch out for our health, both mental and physical. And with so many people looking for things to do and others to talk to, it is definitely a great time to play a game.

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