Why The Distribution of "Swords & Wizardry Complete" Between Peers is Important for the Hobby
At current count, over 525 fellow gamers have asked me for emailed copies or downloaded Swords & Wizardry Complete from the DropBox link to the right of this post. 525+ copies in just over 5 days just from this blog alone.
Personally, I think the best thing +Matt Finch could have done was what he did Tuesday morning, when he announced that folks could and should email and share the file to their friends and fellow gamers. Peer marketing on some level, but genius on another. Would the distribution have been the same if the only place one could have downloaded a copy were at the Frog God's webstore? I doubt it.
The best folks for selling something, especially something that is "free", are the folks that are currently enjoying said something. You want to know "why Swords & Wizardry" or "why play OSR games", you need to go where folks are playing them, enjoying them, running them and writing about them.
Swords & Wizardry Core and Swords & Wizardry Whitebox are also free, but I'm not sure if peer to peer distribution of the PDFs is allowed. Maybe Matt will clarify, and if they are, I'll gladly add them to the download folder for those that are interested.
Labyrinth Lord, LotFP Weird Fantasy, OSRIC, Delving Deeper, Basic Fantasy RPG and others are available in free versions, but again, I'm not sure where they stand on peer to peer sharing. Imagine if you could visit a blog (this one and many others) or a forum and have a link that leads to a folder of free OSR RPGs and resources legally shared. No need to go all over the place to get the rules, but links in each product that lead back to the publisher's homepage for further products and the purchase of dead tree versions.
In a sense, crowdsharing becomes the distribution method of introduction to and expansion of the OSR.
Or maybe I've had just a tad too much Jack Daniel's Winter Jack this evening - God help my players in tonight's S&W Complete session ;)
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