Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne gives his report on Dungeon Crawl Classics Day, looks ahead to Free RPG Day, and comments on recent events at Cards Against Humanity.

First off, a few thoughts regarding DCC Day earlier this month (see “Rolling for Initiative – A Look at Dungeon Crawl Classics Day”).  The store did not really expect much out of the event, given that Dungeon Crawl Classics sells pretty slowly here, averaging about 1 module per month (The publisher’s Fifth Edition Fantasy sells much better here, primarily to players looking for a comparatively inexpensive low level D&D adventure.  There are only so many $50 Wizards of the Coast adventures that will sell to customers. (BTW, WOTC, if you are listening, based on sales of your $50 adventures, a nice $10 or $20 print adventure would sell really well).  As I figured,  there was not a lot of local demand for the DCC items, as it took us most of the day to run through the Quick Start rules and Adventure Pack promos but we did sell through the Shadows of the Beakmen module and could have used a few more of those in the kit.  I was rather surprised to find Goodman Games prediction that DCC fans would drive a good distance to get the promo items as we had one group drive 2 hours to shop and another made a 6 hour round trip just for DCC so loyalists are out there.

Following up on my comments from the previous column, one further change I would like to see in next year’s event is the elimination of the limited edition rulebook, replacing it with a more expensive limited edition source book or module, such as 2014’s Chained Coffin release (which, by the way, uses the Manly Wade Wellman John the Wanderer series for source material).  Items such as that would have attracted more attention than another edition of the rulebook.

Meanwhile, following up on Free RPG Day, the Free RPG Day kits do not include any salable items as the Uber Kits have in past years.  However, Gaming Days LLC has arranged with Alliance Distribution to offer retailers an additional 5% discount on a number of items from publishers and manufacturers that have items in this year’s kit.

9th Level:

  • 9LG8200 – The Excellents

Fantasy Flight Games:

  • FFGGNS01 Genesys RPG Core Rulebook
  • FFGGNS02 Genesys RPG Dice Pack
  • FFGGNS10 Genesys GM Screen

Goodman Games:

  • GMG5070 DCC: Core Rules
  • GMG5070H, DCC core rulebook, gold foil demon skull limited edition cover
  • GMG5071, DCC Annual, hardcover
  • GMG5219, DCC Lankhmar boxed set
  • GMG6200, Mutant Crawl Classics core rulebook
  • GMG50002, Original Adventures Reincarnated #2: The Isle of Dread


  • PZO2101 Pathfinder 2.0 Core
  • PZO2102 Pathfinder Bestiary
  • PZO2103 Pathfinder GM Guide
  • PZO2201 Pathfinder GM Screen
  • PZO2203 Pathfinder Combat Pad
  • PZO7101 Starfinder Core
  • PZO7102 Starfinder GM Screen
  • PZO7105 Starfinder Alien Archive

Renegade Game Studios:

  • RGS07119 Kids on Bikes Core Rule Book
  • RGS00813 Overlight RPG
  • RGS00815 Overlight GM Screen
  • RGS08721 Junior Braves Survival Guide


  • WZK16501 Warlock Tiles: Dungeon Tiles I
  • WZK16506 Warlock Tiles: Town & Village I
  • WZK72778 D&D Icons of the Realms: Starter Set
  • WZK72779 D&D Icons of the Realms: Epic Level Starter
  • WZK74076 D&D Icons of the Realms: Eberron Rising Brick
  • WZK74078 D&D Icons of the Realms: Eberron – Skycoach
  • WZK90001 – WZK90047, WZK90051, WZK90052 – Wave 11 of Unpainted Miniatures

And finally, looking at the turmoil  engulfing Cards Against Humanity (see "Cards Against Humanity Partner Departs"), is anyone really surprised that the company that created the crass party game genre through ripping off the mechanics of Apples to Apples would have a toxic work environment (according to Vox)?

Feel free to email me comments about DCC Day, Free RPG Day or Cards Against Humanity at

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of