Sunday, June 2, 2013

OSR Distribution CD-ROM?

So I was posting this comment over at Once More Unto the Breach!:
I have run plenty of demos in my time.
The thing about running a demo game is if you are good then the players will want to go out buy that game. If I do it in a game store (my prefered place to run demos) then I like to take them to the product.

The problem with the OSR is that often the product is not there. I have taken books before and sold them at cost, but I am not a retailer so it's an as-needed/as-I-think of it thing.

I suppose what would be nice is if had permission to redistribute the free OSR books on a CD. Maybe build some nice interface and have the PDFs.

Pop in the CD-ROM and it runs on any machine.

Hmm. That sounds like an idea.
And that got me thinking.  What about a FREE OSR distribution CD-ROM?
We put on the most popular free products that we have the permission to use, build a front end (HTML) that has the links to the PDFs on the disk and then links to the various sites and links to whatever else.

Each game would need some promotional "Ad" copy written.

The idea then is we, you, me, whomever demos the game then gives out copies of this disk to the players.

Off the top of my head I think we should include:
There could be and should be more.  Plus I want to state right now I have not sought permission for ANY of these yet.  This is just a crazy half-baked idea, but it is one I have done before.  In the pre-WiFi, pre-HiSpeed, stuck in the dial-up days of the Internet I put together a lot packages like this, so I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do.

Would anyone be interested in such a thing?
Would anyone out there be interested in contributing to something like this? (Free PDFs to redistribute not money!)


Reese Laundry said...

It sounds like a an excellent idea to me, Tim. There are enough programmer types among us that someone should be able to whip up a nice loader for it.

Once there is an ISO hosted someplace, anyone running an event at their FLGS could burn a number of copies and either hand it out to the participants, or provide them to the store owner to sell for $5 each or something, so the store gets something out of it. That's the problem with the OSR stuff - usually there is no profit, and therefor motivation - for the stores.

BTW, I'd add SWN to the list as a future/space option.

Matthew Schmeer said...

Cool idea. I'd also toss in a few free adventures/scenarios/modules and a few free add-on sourcebooks. The idea is to provide folks not just the rules, but a bigger taste of the OSR flavor.

Matthew Schmeer said...

a follow-up: I have over 12 gigs of free OSR stuff archived on backups , so if you can't find something online chances are I have a copy and can dig it up for you.

Dennis Laffey said...

You have my permission to add Flying Swordsmen to the CD. I'll be happy to write up some "ad copy" for it too.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Let me try to get a mock up later today or tomorrow.

Charlie Warren said...

That is an awesome idea that I can not believe has not been done already! The CD would be very handy.

Konsumterra said...

Great idea - some spin off games like post apoc and sf one to give options would be nice. If a family friendly version possible could give to libraries, youth centers, hospitals, military bases, give away at zine fairs etc this is gold!

Konsumterra said...

you proably dont need it but id do a cd book zine if you need it

Dyson Logos said...

Hell yes.

Throw in the first five copies of Dyson's Dodecahedron -

Timothy S. Brannan said...

The first thing I need to do is get a proof-of-concept up and then seek some permissions.