Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Small Press And Helping Haiti

By now, many of you have seen RPGNow's wonderful efforts to help Haiti, either by $5 or $10 matching donations or by purchasing a $20 effort that comes with a coupon worth dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pdf titles (Fred Hicks had a list earlier today, but more titles may have been added since then). I'm trying to find the money right now to hook up that bundle, as I can't think of a better cause combined with gaming goodness. In the mean time, I've made a smaller donation, and I hope those of you who can afford it do, too. Gamers may be mocked as being big guys and gals (pizza and Mountain Dew doesn't help the physique much), but I've always found we have big hearts as well. The money collected will go right to Doctors Without Borders, for those of you wondering.

If there's one downside to this, it's that many wonderful, big-hearted small press publishers have donated product, and I've seen the sentiment among some folks that there's just too much material and they probably won't look at some of it.

There are a lot of small press publishers--many probably complete unknowns to you or I--who have donated their work to this effort. I'm asking, please respect that and take the time to at least give each product a look, even if it's just skimming. You never know when you'll find that next game or supplement that sparks the fire for you.

And a message to the publishers, large and small, who did donate--I will remember this. Thank you for donating the results of your hard work to a worthy, noble cause.


Eric Wilde said...

So I went and donated. Planned on donating to Haiti today anyway, so this was really good timing.

I must say, it is not clear at all how to download the products. Do we have to go and select the hundreds of items individually by making different selections in a dropdown list and hitting checkboxes? Most of the products frankly aren't worth the time to go through the UI hassle and I'll probably only download about $100 worth of material. A single zip bundle would have been much, much, much more reasonable.

Although the cause and idea are noble, I wouldn't recommend this approach to anyone who is short on time. Just go donate somewhere.

Richard Iorio II said...


Rogue Games have three products in that bundle. If you send me an email (riorio2 at, I would be more than happy to send you the three eBooks direct.

Zachary The First said...

After you donate, they're supposed to send you a coupon code, I believe!

Eric Wilde said...

Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate what the companies are doing here. There just needs to be better organization to make it worthwhile to donate this route rather than another.

Yes, I got the coupon code but have to literally do hundreds of click/wait-for-transaction/reload-page/continue-shopping/click workflows in order to put items in a shopping cart.

Richard, I appreciate the gesture. Doing this with each publisher is just as painful as multiple clicks&waits on each product.

Please do donate to the Haiti relief effort one way or another, though.

Tommy Brownell said...

Hm. I've never found the user interface hard to use, but YMMV.

I'll resolve to at least download and peruse an item once every other day, minimum. The stuff that grips me will be read in detail and maybe used...the other stuff, I will probably nod at and move on...but I'll check everything out.

Zachary The First said...

Very cool, Tommy. I hope you find lots to like in there!

I made a smaller donation, but I'm hoping to be able to afford the $20 offer before it goes away...

Tommy Brownell said...

Unfortunately, things are beyond tight aid is due in before the end of the month for the semester, so I should be able to kick in then.

But I definitely understand your position at the moment.

Mad Brew said...

If my biggest problem is having an insane amount of RPG downloads to go through, that's a problem I want to have!

Issues with UI aside, I've been watching with glee as the sales notifications (for the product my own small press company contributed) have steadily rolled into my inbox.

It definitely gives me a warm fuzzy knowing we've contributed to a good cause.

Swordgleam said...

My own Martial Cultures: Arytis is in the bundle, and I've gotten a ton of sales notifications about it since the bundle went live, even with the inconvenience of sifting through the hundreds of products the coupon applies to.

It was amazing watching the list grow and grow - I got the email a couple of hours after it first went out, and there were already $400 worth of products. About five hours later, $800 worth. I look this afternoon, and the grand total is over $1400. Wow!

I also bought a bundle myself, though I'm planning to wait a couple of days to start downloading things.

Eric Wilde said...

OK, back from a day at work and can actually look at this more closely. The variety and awesomeness of the material available makes me change my toon entirely. Sure its a pain to not have a single click to get the whole thing; but, you can't beat the content. Very nice!

Zachary The First said...

Very glad to hear it--I'm glad there's a good selection in there.

I heard total donations crested $16K a while back. Don't know where they are now, but sky's the limit!