Experiences Publishing Free Games on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow?

DriveThruRPG logoI’ve been asked why my Microlite74, Microlite78, and Microlite81 games are not available on DriveThruRPG/RPGNet. I was under the impression that OBS (the parent company of those sites) frowned on people who only made free games putting them on their sites. I also thought that they required their PDFs to be formated very differently than mine — something like the covers (both front and back) have to be before the rest of the book (which seems silly to me as it just makes the book hard to print out). I’m also not a fan of their watermark DRM — I see no point to it on free stuff like my games.

However, I’ll admit that I haven’t really looked into this in several years (probably since I released since version 1.1 of Microlite74). If anyone has any recent experiences publishing free games on DriveThruRPG/RPGNet and feels like commenting on how much trouble it is (or isn’t) to do so compared to just putting it up on their website, I’d much appreciate it. If you don’t want to comment in public, email or a private message on Google+ is okay as well.

Thanks and a tip of my GM Viking Hat in advance!

Imagine#1 CoverThe Winter Holidays (formerly the Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. Donate $25 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming Microlite75 2.0 games. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Winter Holiday giveaway items), send a donation in any amount — small or large — to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $3500 dollars have been donated. That’s 100% of our goal, however, any donations made before noon on Sunday, January 17th will still earn chances in the drawings listed above. Donate now before it is too late.

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm not a DTRPG publisher, but I am a customer of theirs and here's what I've observed:

    – The watermarking is entirely optional on the publisher's part – if you want to provide stuff without it, you can. (A lot of Bundle of Holding of stuff gets provided via DriveThru, and it's comparatively rare that you see watermarking on it.) OBS have progressed nicely on this – they used to build in Adobe DRM, then they shifted to allowing the watermark option instead, then they let people provide a no-watermark, no-DRM option if that's what they wanted.

    – The covers thing seems to be a convention, not a rule, since I have plenty of Drivethru PDFs that don't have that arrangement. (It also isn't really a roadblock since it's absolutely trivial to go somewhere like smallPDF and use the tools there to move the covers to where you want them to be.)

    – They offer plenty of free stuff.

    Hope that helps.

  2. I am a DTRPG publisher and can confirm that watermarking and covers are completely optional. They have no problem with free games, and you can also make your games "pay what you ant", offering them for free but with the option for the purchaser to give a donation. Hope that helps!

  3. Forgot to mention… setting up a publisher account is easy. You have to provide DTRP with some info and link your publisher account to your Paypal account, but that's pretty much it. There's more info here: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/join.php