Tabletop Gaming on a Budget

Happy New Year! I wish you good health, success and fun in 2018. Let’s start off with RPG Blog Carnival for January 2018 which is presented by Renaissance Gamer and the subject is Tabletop Gaming on a Budget.

Tabletop gaming is one of the cheapest hobbies that I know of. You get hours of entertainment from a small monetary investment. Still, there are times when your budget is tight and you wish to game. I shall explore some of the cheaper options that I know.

First, if you don’t have a game to play and no budget to acquire one, you can still play. There are lots of wonderful free tabletop games out there like Lady Blackbird by John Harper, Lasers & Feelings by John Harper, Love & Justice by Senda Linaugh, Fudge rpg by Steffan O’ Sullivan, and many others. You can also get some good games for Pay What You Want through Evil Hat Productions like Fate Core by Leonard Balsera, Brian Engard, Jeremy Keller, Ryan Macklin & Mike Olson, or Fate Accelerated by Clark Valentine, Leonard Balsera, Fred Hicks, Mike Olson & Amanda Valentine. You can also find a variety of other products in the Pay What You Want section on DriveThruRPG. If you wish to venture into the more experimental realm, you can download some draft games from Game Chef and try them out. You can still play a wide variety of games with little to no expense.

So,you’ve found a game and now you wish to expand upon it.. Usually, games should be playable with just the core rules, but maybe you’ve  played it extensively and are looking for more options. Look around online for the game’s community. If it’s your favourite game, there are bound to be many other fans who play this game as well, and they may have created their own shared material which you can bring into your own games. If you wish to do something which the core rules doesn’t easily allow, talk to the community and see if you can figure out a way to make it work. Tabletop gaming is a creative endeavor.

Now, if you still need that extra product for your game, talk with your group about it. See if you can pool your money to purchase it since it will help improve the group’s overall experience. If it’s a physical product then you would have to determine where the product will be kept. I would recommend that whoever needs it at the time gets to keep it and read it. If it’s a digital product then it’s easily shared  amongst your closed group. It’s also a great idea to keep an eye out for deals. DriveThruRPG holds frequent sales of their products, and Bundle of Holding is an excellent website with great deals on rpgs.

Conventions can be another place to purchase games for low prices. Most conventions have a second hand store where folks try to sell their old used games. However, most conventions have an entrance fee which you should take into account before shopping. CanGames, the gaming convention which I help organize, only charges if you wish to sit down and play a game. You can come visit the convention, look around, and even purchase items at the various vendors at no charge. CanGames also has a booth which sells used games that the attendees brought to sell.

Another resource part of a budget that few consider is time. We live busy lives and if your money is tight, there is a chance that you may work several jobs so your time is limited.. So, while you’ve found and enjoy gaming, you don’t have the time to dedicate several hours in a night to play. One option then are play by posts. These games go at a slower pace than live play since the sessions are stretched out over a much longer period of time and players participate at their own rate. In this case, you can just spend a few minutes typing your character’s actions when you have the time, as opposed to playing for several hours straight.

There you have it, a few ideas on places to acquire and ways to play tabletop rpgs for cheap. Where do you acquire your tabletop games for low prices? How do you get the most bang for your buck?


1 thought on “Tabletop Gaming on a Budget

  1. Pingback: January RPG Blog Carnival Roundup | Renaissance Gamer

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