Sunday, October 9, 2022

Playing RPGs is a Cost-Effective Pastime

Playing RPGs is a Cost-Effective Pastime
So...this will most definitely be the wrong audience here, but I'm hoping that there is some ancillary value to pointing this out (show your friends?): Playing RPGS is an inexpensive hobby/pastime.

Sure, some of us spend heaps of money on this hobby, but 99.9% of what we "waste" our money on isn't necessary to have fun playing RPGs. Sure, I have lots of books and enough dice to outfit a good percentage of NTRPG attendees if needed, but what I actually need for my average game...

.......A set of dice, Pad of Paper, and a pencil.....

That's it, less than 10 bucks, but could be as low as maybe $2....yes, $2. Now a new player probably wants a copy of the appropriate Player's Handbook and a PC sheet (you can just use the pad of paper though). Assume we'll go expensive here and spend $30 for a PHB, but there are free rulesets out there. Off the top of my head I'm thinking abut the HackMaster Basic book.

Realistically we've got a range of $2-$50 to get in on the ground floor of playing RPGs....but this ground floor is HUGE. If you just want to have fun with your buddies slinging dice this hobby can be one big-assed Ranch House (i.e. all one floor!) 

Seriously though, I got a few years of weekly gaming out of HackMster Basic and while I did buy a map board, tokens (I used cheap tokens) and markers.....yes, I did a bit more than that, but the cheap stuff is what I used the most. All in all, as a GM, I was in less than $100. Even if we conservatively say we only gamed 3 hours a time every-other weekend (we gamed almost every weekend for 3-4 hours), and we only got one year's worth of entertainment .....as a GM playing RPGs cost me $0.78 an hour, and if I was "just" a player maybe $0.39.

Now some of the dice I use are decades old and most are at least five years old (I keep buying dice that I don't use, but that's more a me problem), and the rules I used are free now. In my current gaming group the printed books were under $10 and the ruleset themselves....again decades old. Even if I was to add in buying some character minis, and paint for said minis, I would be highly surprised if my RPG hobby realistically cost me over $0.50 an hour to partake in. 

There are many, many other aspects about playing RPGS that I could hit on, but I thought I'd really focus in one just the financial aspect. There are plenty of aspects that can make a game more expensive (purchasing adventures, buying pre-made terrain, etc.) but the fundamentals are real cost-effective and most of the more expensive stuff isn't needed and there are always alternatives!

TL;DR Getting into playing Role-Playing Games does not have to be an expensive proposition and is actually a cost-effective pastime. 

1 comment:

  1. I mean, if you're broke and want to play D&D Basic Fantasy is an awesome option. PDF is free, there is a free srd and books are sold at cost. 5 dollars for a softback. It even gives an example character sheet on a piece of notebook paper. Plus tons of free pdf adventures.


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