As shared on the Goodman/DCC forums:
Free RPG Day 2013 ~ unofficial recap from SW FL
FLGS opened at 10am. Based on RSVP #'s in our local Meetup Group, I prepped Tower Out of Time to be run twice. 4 other GMs showed up prepared to run something, but by 11:30 the paltry turnout made it clear that only one game would be going on at any one time. (The store also had 3-4 other events going on, including 2 tournaments. Oy.)
TooT went pretty well, despite one guy who had never sat at a table to play without a computer and was getting increasingly frustrated. "No gold again?!" "How much XP for that?" ...and so on, as he's use to getting instant rewards after every single deed in the D&D MMORPG. (At least he understood initiative. And I was floored that he was willing to give a tabletop game a shot, much less a non-D&D game.) In contrast, the rest of the table, stole the show, and I was basically there to set the scene, keep track of initiative, and be amused. Failures were spectacular. Deity disapproval abounded, to the point of terrorizing the party. (Cleric: "I'm gonna try to heal the thief." Thief: "Oh crap!") H'lilsk couldn't roll a spell check to save his life, and despite the halfling & thief storming into the trapped hallway (the one time the thief stopped checking first), the combats went pretty quickly and they were generally successful and ended up wading in squishy ape-ly bits. [I do plan to work the released & befuddled out-of-time antehumans into an upcoming adventure.]
Our FLGS didn't get around to ordering the Free RPG Day swag in time, but with major, MAJOR props to Goodman staff, I was able to give folks a choice of Goodman-issued goodies before they left. It had them roll a d30 for choice of who picked first, just as many convention GMs have done. In addition to the Road Crew swag, they were pretty blown away, and I succeeded in my quest to make Goodman Games the hero of the day!
As we wrapped up, David Przybyla joined us, and I flabbergasted him by demanding he sign my hard copy of The Way Station. Good way to start his day.
The head count dwindled after that, and Troy had prepped some really pretty visuals for a quick DCC run so we hopped into that. The effort he put into the temple construction resulted in phones snapping pics amidst combat. The wizard saved the girl in distress, who happened to be the warrior's sister, and the halfling took the found potions willy-nilly 'cause they smelled good. We completed the first part, but were unable to finish the follow-up since half the table had to bail at 8pm. After more evangelising the merits of DCC, converting D&D/Pathfinder players, and having people in the store tell us "I wish I'd known, I would've played", I think we got home around 10pm.
-Make sure the FLGS has DCC RPG books in stock when I'm there. They sold out before 5pm.
-Visit the store more frequently (it's an hour away) and drum up interest a week ahead of time. Maybe even give the store a sign-up sheet in advance.
-If someone RSVP's online, email/text/call them and personally confirm ahead of time. Out of 15, 6 players showed up. It was a bit disheartening.
-Start trolling the Free RPG Day site for on-sale dates in January 2014.
-Bring a cooler and buy 4x the normal order at Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe of choice, because there's no way I can leave for refills.