Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My FLBS Game's Promotional Blurb - Help!

Today I met with the owner and (subsequently) the manager of my FLBS*, Lift Bridge Books. Wow! Such pleasant and welcoming fellows. Both gentlemen were totally open to my running Old-School D&D games in the store on a once-a-month (or even every-other-week) basis.

Joe, the manager, helped me nail down some specifics. We decided that Sunday would be the best day of the week to hold the sessions, since the store closes at 8pm weeknights (a bit early if we presume a post-dinner or after-work start time) and Saturdays are already booked up with other public events. The store's regular Sunday hours are noon-5pm, so we figured 1pm Sundays would be a good start time -- that gives the group up to four hours per session if we want to game that long.

[As a reference, my "home" gaming group meets for four-hour sessions every other week, which works really well for us. We will see if the locals who attend the public FLBS game are as gung-ho as my private group.]

Joe and I agreed that the first step should be to hold an organizational / orientation meeting, to see what the interest level is like. We went ahead and set the date for that initial meeting: Sunday September 18 at 1pm.

Thus it begins.

In a move emblematic of how gracious and helpful Joe was throughout today's process, he volunteered to post an announcement of the first meeting on the store's website ASAP, and said he would also post flyers around the store and at the coffee shop across the street.

[Interestingly, Joe told me that my visit today wasn't the first time an attempt had been made to lure a regular RPG'ing group into the store. A couple years back, Joe was approached by a then-active D&D group from the nearby College, but negotiations eventually fizzled.]

Anyway, my immediate task is to compose a brief blurb for the bookstore's website, in order to give prospective attendees a flavor for what is to come. My goal is to write something that is welcoming to the general public (i.e., embracing players of all ages and degrees of RPG'ing experience) and makes clear that we are playing Old-School Basic D&D (i.e., Labyrinth Lord), NOT 4e- or Pathfinder-style D&D.**

This is what I have so far -- remember that I am trying to keep it short:

Play the Basic Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game as it was played back in 1981! Very easy to learn and great fun to play. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Any suggestions? How can I make this as succinct, welcoming, clear, and FUN-sounding as possible?

* Favorite Local Book Store.
** As I made clear to Joe, my foregrounding of the Old-School nature of the group is NOT about promoting Edition wars but is meant to avoid disappointing those who might otherwise expect 4e as a default. Since this is a public game, I plan on being the consummate pro as a DM and host, and will keep my anti-4e opinions to myself, especially since the store does sell 4e products.
On a quasi-related note, Joe revealed to me that the store's sales of RPG products noticeably tapered off during the 3.5e period. Joe is not an RPG'er himself and has no horse in the race, but he nevertheless posited that the expense of the books and the rapidity of Edition changes (3e to 3.5e, then 3.5e to 4e) had turned off buyers. I found that observation interesting.


  1. I think what you have is pretty perfect. Do you have an image to go with the blurb?

    I remember JB had no shows when he tried to start in his gaming shop. So keep philosophical. Word of mouth is always the most powerful.

  2. I have no experience, but I think it's a good blurb! Maybe, two sentences is better than three, like:

    Play the Basic Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game as it was played back in 1981! Very easy to learn and great fun to play, all ages and skill levels are welcome"./!"

    I don't like Elmore that much, but I think you may want to attach this image as quite representative of the hobby (only because it's the most famous one, by the way, and also because BECMI is not that different from B/X.)

  3. Great suggestions! I don't know about the Book Store website's image-displaying capability, but I am going to forward this one on anyway.