It’s the time of year again. The GM’s Day Sale. It’s the one time a year that
bribing celebrating your game master is actively encouraged. Well, encouraged more than usual. Another made up holiday graces our calendars although Hallmark hasn’t jumped on board. Yet.
Instead, the gods of commerce encourage you to go buy things for your GM over at DriveThruRPG.com rather than a glitter-doused card with some saccharine half-apology for ignoring every possible plot hook for twelve weeks straight. Of course, more than likely you’re just going to go shopping for yourself and pick up some new player options with the explicit purpose of assassinating your GM’s carefully crafted villain. I’m sure your GM will appreciate that too…
GM’s Day Sale and the Curse of Promotion
It’s also that time of year when I remind myself that I have a blog and need to be doing something with it despite my conflicted feelings about time spent writing to promote rather than writing to produce. Sometimes I get the balance right, but more often I frustrate myself and the result is under-performing at both. But it turns out the perseverance required of writers extends beyond getting up at 6 am on weekends and hammering on the keyboard for two days. Sometimes you have to take to Twitter to do more than tweet from the bar about the night’s UFC event. (I do, at least.) Sometimes you even have to go on Facebook, but don’t stay long. Prolonged exposure to your extended family’s political leanings will only make you sad.
Promotion and audience-building do matter, though. I’m regularly thankful for the existence of DriveThruRPG as a channel to sell through beyond what a gaming writer used to have for options: manuscripts with SASE’s to The Big Publishers, a depressing and lonesome booth in the back corner of convention, and index cards tacked to a cork board at the gaming store alongside a note about a lost d20. The recent addition of the DM’s Guild is even better news, not just because my two contributions to the Adventurers League can be found there, but also because it opens up a great deal of WotC’s intellectual property for use!
DTRPG runs the occasional sale and without a doubt I benefit from it. To many, the “risk” of purchasing a small-press work is reduced when the price comes down and people are more willing to give it a shot. If you deliver, they’re willing to take a second look (or a first look) at your other offerings. It’s the kind of promotion I can get behind because I don’t need to put too much into it myself. Because my effort is going into my finished product, I know that once someone picks up something I’ve written that they have something in their hands that will get them looking at more.
— Ross (@WritingRoss) March 6, 2016
But I still need to promote to get that first product to them. What can I say? I’m trying. Yes, my stuff is on sale (including my top-selling 5E adventure, The Blacksmith’s Burden), but here are some other noteworthy picks.
Some GM’s Day Sale Standouts
Much like the person who buys his own gifts around the holidays because, hey, I know what I want, I do the same during the GM’s Day Sale. Here’s a few things that I’d recommend you take a look at:
Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
Not only is Expedition to Castle Ravenloft heavily discounted, the timing with the latest Wizards of the Coast adventure releases make this a great resource for history, maps, and inspiration. The fact that Ravenloft is now fair game for the DM’s Guild is just icing on the cake. (What, Strahd can’t like cake?)
This adventure is built around Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, but translating from 3E to 5E is a world of difference from going from 4E to anything.
Numenera and Other MCG Offerings
Point blank: I love the look of this book and everything in the Numenera series. The setting is incredibly evocative and much like Shadowrun, I love reading the rule books for the mysteries and backstories alone. There are so many great ideas here before you even get to the mechanics of it.
If you are more interested in the mechanics to bring to your own setting, however, you can also just pick up the Cypher System core rulebook during the GM’s Day Sale.
GM’s love maps. That’s just science. And players would much rather explore an impressive, artistically rendered map than one of my shaky-handed, dry-erase “minimalist explorations of space.” This is doubly true if you’re part of an online game using one of the popular virtual tabletops.
The GM’s Day Sale ends at 10 am this Thursday so don’t waste any time!