Free GM Resource: Identifont

Free GM Resource: Identifont
If you spend some time going through older posts (the Table of Contents is good for this) you'll see that I do like to find some not-so-obvious "things" to feature as a Free GM Resource.

This week is another not-so-obvious resource: Identifont.

Identifont has proven itself useful to me over and over again because it has enabled me to try and emulate a specific look from something I'd like to tweak and add to my game table. Instead of simply going to some free font websites and searching high and low for the perfect font for my project, which is kind of working backwards and not an effective use of time, I could start with an unknown font and work forward through the Identifont interface.

Search by Appearance Example
For example....here I tried to figure out what font was used for the title of TSR's Wilderness Survival Guide. I won't step through all the steps, but I simply typed "WILDERNESS SURVIVAL GUIDE" in the "Fonts by Appearance" tab and limited the results to fonts created before 1987 (The copyright for the book is 1986). I answered specific questions regarding the available letters and here was my 1st result: ITC Korinna.

Now ITC Korinna is damned close, but not perfect. The "W" doesn't match up quite right, but is close. Cycling through the other possibilities I found that ITC Korinna Bold is perfect.

Now I can go and look for that specific font for my project. This was just an example and NOT an actual project need.

I've found Identifont to be quite useful and I think some of my 12 regular readers will as well.


Free GM Resource: Spellburn Podcast

Free GM Resource: Spellburn Podcast
I've made it clear a few times that my favorite OSR game has always been HackMaster, even though the argument could easily be made that the current edition isn't OSR, but the previous edition was definitely the 1st OSR game that wasn't a specific edition of D&D/AD&D.

I have managed to play in a couple of games of Dungeon Crawl Classics at conventions and I really did enjoy the game(s). Even though it isn't a home-game for me, I do listen to the Spellburn Podcast and really recommend it as a Free GM Resource.

Without having a great grasp of the rules, just listening to the Judges J can give a ton of great ideas for the creative GM/DM/Judge. If nothing else I think it is worthwhile tuning into the podcast while you are doing other gaming tasks, like painting minis, building terrain, game prep, etc.

As a little bit of a twofer, the Spellburn Podcast's website has some bonus material in the form of "Dungeon Denizens" you might enjoy reading/borrowing.

The Spellburn Podcast is available via iTunes and RSS.


A Quick Look at Frugal GM's 2017...

A Quick Look at Frugal GM's 2017...
Hopefully everyone had a good Christmas and was also able to gather with their gaming group for a little bit of dice throw-down.

Since my "day job" is in retail, I've been busy, so I was on a "vacation" for the last couple of weeks.

Once the turmoil of the holiday season is passed I like to take a little bit of a look at the last year and, if I'm able, give my 12 readers a look ahead on my plans for the next year as well.

Since I started the Frugal GM blog I've been using DriveThruRPG as a barometer for how I've been doing as a small-time content creator.

Overall: It has been a bit of a mixed bag. Due to a few personal issues that I won't get into here, I've not been as productive as I was in the past, something that needs to change. Few "products" means fewer sales and downloads. On the plus side, one of the metrics (percentage of free downloads) increased from 86% to 91%. That might seem like a negative, but achieving a 90% was probably the 1st goal for using DTRPG. Adding a PWYW option in 2014 skewed the free downloads percentage.

As an aside, a LOT of the PWYW purchases were for a dime or even a penny, which really messes up the numbers.....

By the Numbers:
-17.4% Products "sold"
-35.1% Gross sales
-17.2% Free downloads by count
+05.4% Free downloads by percentage
91% Percentage of free products of all products "sold"

What's next?
The last couple of years I have been sharing content through DTRPG and Patreon, but after Patreon's little pass-the-buck cash grab, which they have since rescinded, I'm just not comfortable using that platform any more. I might give them some time to see if they come around to dip into Patron's pockets again, and I might...might, go back to them, but so far that's not in the works for me.

I have a couple of projects that I really want to see in printed form. I don't know if this will mean local printing and distribution, using Lulu, DTRPG print services, or some option I haven't even considered.

I do plan on taking some/all of the maps I've created and disseminated on Patreon over to DTRPG, and to put future maps on that site as well. I might go back to using Dropbox for some files....I'll know more when I start the process.

I'd love to be able to attend some conventions with professional-looking product in hand, but my ability to travel is up in the air for now, pun intended.


Free GM Resource: 12 Days of Christmas from Frog God Games

Free GM Resource: 12 Days of Christmas from Frog God Games
Normally at this time of year gaming becomes a little more scarce because we all have many more things taking up our free time. For me, well I work in retail so the Holiday Season is the busiest time of the year.

Since this is the season of giving, this week's Free GM Resource is a series of free downloads from Frog God Games. If you set up an account you can head on over to the "Free Downloads" section and check out the freebies as part of Frog God Games' 12 Days of Christmas.

These downloads are supposed to be a daily type of thing, but I think there have been some issues with the website and email reminders. As of the time of this post, days 2-4 are still available for download. If you haven't used the Frog Gods site before, you "purchase" the freebies and after your order is complete you'll get an email with a download link.

While you are at it, you should pick up A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming and maybe even the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules.


Free GM Resource: Revisiting Printable Heroes

Free GM Resource: Revisiting Printable Heroes
This isn't a new Free GM resource, but a revisit of something posted over two years ago. In that earlier post I was promoting Printable Heroes Tumblr account.

Now with over two years of posts on Patreon, GMs and players that want free paper minis should really just bypass the Tumblr and just go straight to the Printable Heroes Patreon page.

Now I am a Patron and Printable Heroes is a feature of the "+12 Links of Helpfulness" page, but with the advantage of being able to go back a couple years, you really should check out the Patreon.

I'm currently a $3 a month Patron, but I'm about to move up to $4 a month so I can get cut files for a cutting machine I don't own yet (maybe a Christmas present?). I highly recommend this particular Patreon campaign and the reason for me revisiting this Free GM Resource was prompted by a recent question posed on Tumblr:

Q: "By pledging for a Tier 3, would that give me access to older stuff ?"

A:"Yup, by pledging for Tier 3 you’ll get access to all of the older stuff and all future work that will be accessible through areas of my Patreon page that will become visible at the tier you sign up for."

To me this is an awesome reason to sign up......


Free Map #73: A Large Mountain Lake

Free Map #73: A Large Mountain Lake
Squeeking in a free map before the end of the month. Some of you might know I have a retail job, so this time of year is a bit hard on trying to maintain regular posts.

This map is of a large, mountain lake. The original map created for my Patrons is sized A0, while the free map has been scaled back to a much more manageable A4 sized.

The free map has the same layers as the Patron map, one for adding contours, and another to add a suggested scale.

As usual, click on either graphic in this post to go to the free map, or use this link.

Free Map #73: A Large Mountain Lake


Free GM Resource: TabletopMusic.com

Free GM Resource: TabletopMusic.com
I love being able to bring in some elements that can help kick my home game up a notch. One relatively easy way of doing this is by introducing sound effects into your game, and the easiest way of doing that is to just use some good background music.

There are some CDs (Midnight Syndicate anyone?) available, but I've always liked music that was a little more customized. I've featured some sound track resources before and here is another one.

TabletopMusic.com is an online music player that you can check out for free, but it features a music randomizer. Great news is you can also register for free and establish a playlist.

If you like the music you can always sign up on TabletopMusic's Patreon. The reward levels on Patreon start at a $1 a month. Not free like the online player, but hey, 50¢ a track is damned cheap! Right now there are about 38 tracks, give or take, and this Patreon is a new endeavor, so you could get in on the ground floor.

You really should check out TabletopMusic.com


Free GM Resource: Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel

Free GM Resource: Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel
You'd think with all of the crafting video I've been putting up lately that I've been waist-deep in my own crafting projects...but not so much. With the holidays coming up, work, and working way too slowly on my game room, I've made 0% progress on the tabletop crafting.*

As you can undoubtedly tell, this week's Free GM Resource is another Crafting YouTube channel: Quassi's Bell Tower.

The channel is about a year old at this point and while there aren't a ton of videos, the content is stuff I really hadn't seen elsewhere. What I really like, though, more than anything is the ability to see the crafting process through yet another set of eyes. While there are a lot of guys making similar(ish) props and tiles, being able to see how different people approach a build is quite useful. Ultimately when I/you start crafting we'll have to develop our own styles, but being able to pick up tips and approaches is really beneficial.

Check out Quassi's Bell Tower YouTube Channel.

*About a month ago I did actually build my own hot wire foam cutter station, but despite my best efforts I'm not all that happy with the end results. Great for rough cuts though and it was a fun exercise since almost all of it was made from bits and bobs from a reclaimed building materials place.