More progress was made on my intro game this weekend. Besides generally writing content and prepping the actual adventure (as well as the other introductory material I intend to include — more on that later), I also made some contacts at local venues. I pinged my librarians again over email, still no word back from them, so I may try to just wander in during the week. I also stopped by one of the two local game stores in town, Excelsior Comics and Games, and met Tiana, one of the owners.
The interesting thing about this shop is that they really pitch themselves as more of a community center than a store. According to their site, and from what Tiana told me, any profits they make from selling Magic cards or board games goes straight back into running stuff at the store. All their events are free, and events is what they’re all about. This is pretty evident in the space itself. There’s a very small room at the entrance with product in it. Far more space is devoted to tables, chairs, couches, TVs with various gaming consoles attached, etc.
This environment speaks pretty well towards the kind of reasons I want to do this in the first place. Tiana was very helpful and gracious, and told me a little about what kind of stuff they run and when such an event would be best timed (especially in avoiding the raucous MTG crowd). She felt that there likely was a demand for intro games amongst her customer base. That’s one thing that concerns me – I wonder how many total newbs to gaming do randomly walk into a game store or will see postings from the store online. I still feel like maybe the library is a better place for reaching those folks who don’t really know what’s out there, but I think I’m going to have to do a fair amount of experimentation to figure out what does work best. So, I’m now working with Tiana to schedule my first intro game.
Recurrence is also a question. Tiana is clearly set up for games that recur at some interval, and certainly that is generally how one plays D&D. What I’m proposing to do is a little outside that norm. That said, showing up at some regular interval to do this at their shop may help me garner some reputation with the regulars/staff such that they’d be inclined to recommend my intro game to friends or strangers who walk in looking for such a thing. So maybe if I was running this say once a month I might expect it to start to draw more folks over time. On the other hand, maybe I chew through the demand very quickly, and after a run or two there simply aren’t enough local players who would want an intro game left to run for? I’m probably getting ahead of myself. Let’s see how the first one goes and then figure it out from there.
So, the big thing I have to deliver for this as soon as possible is a blurb of text for Tiana to post on her store’s site and on their FB group. Here’s what I’ve got so far, I’d love some feedback, so please post in comments or send me a message or whatever and tell me what you think:
Introduction to Dungeons & Dragons
Always wanted to play but could never find a group? Need a friendly face to explain what the deal is with all the funny dice? Come join us for an introductory game of Dungeons and Dragons – all are welcome regardless of experience level, and an emphasis will be made on introducing the hobby to new gamers. We’ll be using the rules-light original edition of the game, but I’ll be happy to talk about the differences between all the variations of the game so you can choose what’s best for you to dig into next. So come join us, roll some dice, ask some questions, and find out what this game is all about.