The Rules Must Be Free!

By | March 30, 2012

Hello again!

Today I want to talk about one of the guiding principles of Room 209 Gaming:  that the rules must be free.  This is in part inspired by the Open Gaming License, but is also inspired by our desire to keep our ruleset simple, easy to learn, and easy to use.

How does not charging money for the ruleset make it simpler, easier to learn and easier to use?

Well, one of the downfalls (we think) of many gaming systems is that when they get successful, they start making good money, and the impetus is there to make them more successful–and one of the best ways to make money from a ruleset is to introduce “splat books,” or books that contain more rules, expansions of rules, new ways to use rules, all of which expand the game but also make it much, much more complex to learn and use.

So we refuse to charge for the rules.  The Infinite Earths Tabletop RPG system, when we release it, will be completely free of charge in online and PDF formats.  We’re still exploring the publication of a print book; if we print a book, that unfortunately will not be free–we’ll need to pay for artists, and paper, and the printing itself.  But we are dedicated to the principle that the rules must be free, and that we should not aim to make money off of them, so any book we publish will cost just enough that we do not lose money on its publication.  By doing so, we hope to uphold our ideal of keeping things simple, straightforward, and easy.

So how can we hope to run anything resembling a business if we’re trying our hardest to give away our product for free?  Well, we’ll be publishing campaign settings, adventures, campaign paths, and monster manuals. . .content that can help expand the game and the story without expanding the difficulty of play.

And if that means we never get very big?  Well, we’re still doing work we love, and there are far worse things than that!

Thank you for reading, we’ll have more for you soon!