DriveThruRPG has once again organized a humanitarian effort for people in great need, this time for the victims of the New Zealand earthquake. For a donation of $20, which will go directly to the Red Cross relief efforts in New Zealand, DTRPG is offering over $330 worth of great RPG PDFs, including Al Shir-Ma, Book of Knights, Ingenium, and Cthulhu Tech. If you would like to donate, visit DriveThruRPG's New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Relief page - or to donate directly to the Red Cross, visit their New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal page.
This isn't the first time DTRPG has used this method to raise funds for a worthy cause. In early 2010, the site organized a similar package to benefit the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and also implemented a donation matching program. Together, these programs raised over $175,000 for Doctors Without Borders!
I mentioned this back then, and I seem to bring it up every time that any group of roleplayers are involved in such activity, but it really bears repeating - To William Schnoebelen and anyone else who asks things like "where are the rescue missions ... started by D&D gamers?", here is yet another example for you. Feel free to ignore it, as you must if you want to uphold your illusion of gamers as twisted, violent, and dangerous, but the fact remains that gamers are just as kind, thoughtful, and generous as any other group of people - not because they are gamers, but because they are human beings.
(Thanks to Michael Tresca for the info!)
The Gamers For Humanity volunteers have returned from their latest work trip to New Orleans, where they helped with the rebuilding effort - hanging drywall, fixing pipes, rewiring electricity, and patching a leaky roof. They even let some rescued German Shepherd puppies hitch a ride to their new foster homes on the way back. Details of this year's New Orleans trip are in the Gamers At Work blog, and you can see pictures at gamersforhumanity.org/pictures.html For those of you who haven't heard me mention this group before, here's a little more about them, in their own words:
Gamers For Humanity is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, incorporated in the State of Iowa. We are dedicated to helping improve the world around us through: * increasing the participation of gamers in charitable activities across the nation by providing opportunities for enjoyable and meaningful volunteer work. * providing human services to people and communities in need. * encouraging the enjoyment of life for people of all ages through the playing of games. We work to accomplish these goals by doing the work of organizing volunteer opportunities and opportunities for giving, and by collecting donated funds and items to be distributed to people in need.For more information about Gamers for Humanity and how you can get involved, visit gamersforhumanity.org.
I would just ask them where are the rescue missions ... started by D&D gamers?I think you're looking at one, Bill.
01.28.10 - $147,000 and counting...
01.19.10 - MORE Gamers Help Haiti at DriveThruRPG!
01.14.10 - Gamers Help Haiti at DriveThruRPG
10.07.09 - Wil Wheaton's Dwarven Dungeon Delve of
Doom! benefits Child's Play
He will be running two games, one on Friday and another on Sunday, with five seats in each. The entrance fee is $50, and the proceeds go directly to Child's Play.
Fifty bucks is a mere pittance for what you get out of this - a spot in a Dungeons & Dragons game run by Wil Wheaton, a special bag of goodies from Wizards of the Coast, a set of engraved dice, and the pleasure of knowing that you will be helping out a great charity!
(Speaking of Wil, this is day 261 of Operation Get Wil Wheaton to Blog About The Escapist. If you somehow find yourself in a seat at one of his games, be sure to let him know that he should blog about The Escapist!)
10.05.09 - An Interview with GameHearts
09.14.09 - GameHearts - Promoting adult sobriety
The program achieves its directive by providing free and low cost gaming activities in a supervised non-alcoholic, sober environment, along with access to gaming accessories that are provided without cost to the participants. In fact, beginning players can learn and obtain free gaming materials solely for playing.Currently, the focus seems to be on colletible card and miniature games, but according to founder Ron Glick, that may expand to cover tabletop RPGs as well:
The primary games that the program uses are tabletop customizable games, such as card and miniature games (CCGs and CMGs), though there is also a strong interest in promoting role playing games (RPGs), as well.I love hearing about projects like these, because they're the sort of thing that the BeQuest project is all about. GameHearts covers all of the bases - it provides assistance to those in need, it gives gamers the opportunity to help others, and it clearly demonstrates not only thatr gamers are productive members of society, but also how RPGs can be beneficial, as well as fun.
If you're in the Kalispell, Montana area, consider getting involved in GameHearts. If not, you can help out in other ways, including making donations of game materials to the project. Visit the GameHearts website to find out more.
And if you think your community could use a project like GameHearts? in your area - steal this idea! Start one of your own! And if you do, be sure to let me know about it!
04.27.09 -LPJ offers free RPG for donating blood
Louis Porter Jr. Design is offering a free PDF copy of their upcoming RPG setting book, Obsidian Twilight, to anyone who donates a pint of blood between now and October 30th, 2009:
LPJ Design will give away a free copy of their upcoming patron project RPG setting, Obsidian Twilight, releasing October 31, 2009 to those people who make donation of blood to any local or national blood collection agency like the Red Cross (See http://www.givelife.org/ for more information) by October 30, 2009. All you need to do to get a free copy of the Obsidian Twilight RPG is to send us a copy of your donation via email to LMPjr007 (at) AOL (dot) com with your name, date you donated and where you donated (you can block out all the other private stuff that I don’t need to see). Then on October 31st when the Obsidian Twilight RPG is released, you get a free copy. It is that simple.
What a great way to help those in need while getting the word out about your RPG product. Game publishers, take note!
You can find out more at the LPJ blog.
On Thursday, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (Gabe & Tycho), authors of Penny Arcade, were recognized by the Washington state legislature for their work on Child's Play, an organization the two developed to deliver toys and games to children's hospitals worldwide.
Since 2003, Child's Play has helped to raise more than $3.5 million in donations and partner with more than 60 children's hospitals worldwide to raise the spirits of sick and injured kids.Via Wired GeekDad.
Not unlike the Hokey Pokey, Gamers for Humanity really is what it's all about.
GfH is a volunteer group that, in their own words, "is dedicated to helping improve the world around us through increasing the participation of gamers in charitable activities across the nation by providing opportunities for enjoyable and meaningful volunteer work, providing human services to people and communities in need, (and) encouraging the enjoyment of life for people of all ages through the playing of games."
It's the perfect mix of gaming and philanthropy, and a perfect example to point to when someone like William Schnoebelen asks what good gamers do in the world. Find out more about the group, see what sort of projects they're getting involved with, and contact them to let them know how you'd like to help!
This story at the Milton Canadian Champion is the sort of thing we really need to see more of - a positive piece on gamers doing good for their fellow humans:
A longtime World Vision supporter, 35-year-old Chris Engler was recently listening to a St. Louis, Missouri-based podcast — Fear the Boot — when an idea to further aid the third-world relief agency took root.
Seems the show’s host, Chris Hussey, had stumbled upon some old love letters to his wife and was coaxed into sharing them with listeners if enough donations — or ‘ransoms’ — were forthcoming.
A regular caller to the show, Engler quickly got on board and helped facilitate the holiday fundraiser in support of World Vision — specifically to make purchases from its gift catalogue.Chris's ransomed love letters drummed up $300 in donations to World Vision.
Links: World Vision - Fear the Boot
(Hat tip to Ed Healy)
RPG publisher 12 to Midnight is at it again, sponsoring the Midnight Charity Project which benefits the Autism Research Institute. This year, 12tM is raising funds in numerous ways - auctions, donating profits from the sale of PDFs, and taking direct donations. They're even promoting the fundraising efforts of another RPG publisher, Bards & Sages. Find out more on their website!
More information has begun to come in on the situation between Gen Con and the Christian Children's Fund - which is looking more and more like a misunderstanding that anything else.
I contacted CCF directly, and after a short exchange, I was able to get this response from them:
Karrin, an online friend of mine, got a more specific response that included a very positive message to roleplayers - probably because the Fund had so much inquiry into the matter that it would be wise to prepare a statement:
"We have the utmost respect for the gaming community" is a very bold and positive statement for a representative of the Christian Children's Fund to make, and they should be commended for it. To quote myself from the earlier news item - please remember THIS story the next time you are considering giving a donation to or holding a fundraiser for the Christian Children's Fund.
There is also something else to consider that many gamers, including myself, have been overlooking - the actual content of the materials offered for auction. In a discussion in a Livejournal group for roleplayers, one of the members pointed out the list of items from the auction, which contained a copy of The Book of Erotic Fantasy and some other books that could possibly be objectionable to a Christian-based organization. While it's not clear if this was another factor in their decision, it is certainly something to consider in the future.
In the end, we have a very gaming-positive answer to a situation that appeared at first to be very gaming-negative, and we've been given an opportunity to learn from it. Let's make sure that we do.
It has recently come to my attention that a $17,398 donation from an auction held at Gen Con 2008 in Gary Gygax's honor was rejected by the Christian Children's Fund, Gygax's charity of choice.
Thankfully another charity, Fisher House, was willing to accept the "tainted" funds and will be using them to help people in need.
This is, unfortunately, a bit of leftover fear and paranoia from the 1980s, when anything having to do with the name Dungeons & Dragons was considered evil and dangerous. It is particularly troubling that an act of charity that shows the true giving nature of gamers is turned away at the door due to fear generated by old myths and misconceptions. Fortunately, stories like these are very uncommon.
It is possible that the people at the Christian Children's Fund did not object directly to the source of the donation, but were instead concerned about how other donors would react if they accepted it. I've attempted to contact the group to get a little more information on their decision. But either way, the point is the same - children in need did not get the assistance they needed because someone, somewhere was afraid of a game with monsters and magic in it.
Please remember this story the next time you are considering giving a donation to or holding a fundraiser for the Christian Children's Fund.
NOTE: This story has been updated. Please see the news item above for more information.
Sword's Edge Publishing has an excellent idea for honoring the memory of E. Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, who passed away on March 4th, 2008:
Let's hope some other gaming companies join on the bandwagon!
West End Games has donated more than 200 pieces of original artwork to the Six Feet Under Games Canned Food Auction to benefit Water Street Rescue Mission. Artwork includes original interior art from several West End Star Wars books along with interior art from Terra and three different original full-color paintings used for Paranoia covers, two of which were for books that were never released.
Their goal is 8000 pounds - 4 tons - of food for the Water Street Rescue Mission. They currently have donations from many gaming companies, including Aberrant Games, GenCon, Midnight Syndicate, Playroom Entertainment, Rio Grande, Studio Foglio, Wizards of the Coast, and many more.
Find out more about Six Feet Under's efforts at their Holiday Food Drive page.
I work at a homeless shelter with street-dependent and homeless teenagers. I have a handful of kids there who are gamers. Unfortunately, when they had to move out of their respective homes, they lost all their gaming stuff.
I know that there are some people on my friendstlist who used to be D&D gamers (or still are) and I'm wondering - if you have your old gear that you're not using, would you mind sending it to me for these kids?
They're trying, you know? They're trying to stay out of gangs and away from the drugs and in general to maintain relatively normal lives. I'd buy the stuff for them, but that's not appropriate for me to do.
Belladonnalin (her LJ username) has had a great amount of response so far, and it looks like she may be getting much more than she had hoped for. This is a fantastic idea in general - role-playing games are involving, challenging, rewarding, and encourage teamwork and problem solving - all things that young people in their situation really need. If you have some gaming materials you're not using - books, dice, figures, etc. - or you've been thinking about a good way to support teens in need, consider donating gaming supplies to your local teen shelter.
You could even donate some of your time, and run an adventure for them!
RPG publisher 12 to Midnight is sponsoring the Midnight Charity Project which benefits the Autism Research Institute. They and other gaming companies will be donating portions of their sales to the ARI during the entire month of December, plus there will be several auctions, and 12 to Midnight will be raising awareness of the cause by posting articles on autism on their main page.
Find out more on their website!
Ziggurat Con, which may be the first gaming convention held in a war zone (and possibly the first held in Iraq) needs your help.
"This convention is currently in drastic need of prizes and giveaways for the troops," says convention organizer SPC David Amberson. "Everything donated will go directly to the troops, or to MWR to use as loaner books for the soldiers."
SPC David Amberson
The Diana Jones Award for excellence in gaming is awarded every summer during the Gen Con Game Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year, the award recognized Irish Game Convention Charity Auctions.
From the Diana Jones site:
For more information about the Diana Jones Award, visit their site at www.dianajonesaward.org
The Prince's Kingdom proceeds go to charity
Clinton R. Nixon's excellent indie RPG The Prince's Kingdom is a great game to introduce young people to roleplaying games - and when you purchase a print or PDF copy, all of the proceeds go directly to The American Friends Service Committee, which, since World War I, has provided assistance to the victims of war, especially children.
Find out more about The Prince's Kingdom at www.crngames.com - and check out the listing for it in The Young Person's Adventure League Adventurer's Atlas. (A full review is coming soon, too. Keep checking the main YPAL page for it.)
The Lady Gamer is Walking to Help Cure Breast Cancer
Marinda Darnell of The Lady Gamer has made the following press release:
Katrina Victims & Rescuers Need Your Help - updated
Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area, leaving thousands without homes, clothing, food, or drinking water. There are many ways to help, and I've listed as many as I have found below. Please do what you can.
Charities - click or call 800-919-9338 -
info about this group)
...and don't forget to give blood!
Help for animalsHumane Society - click or call 888-259-5431 - (more info about this group)
Lone Star Equine Rescue - (more info about this group) - Many residents were told to set their horses loose if they could not transport them out of the area before the hurricane struck.. LSER is working to reunite horses with their owners.
North Shore Animal League America - click or call 877-4SAVEPET - (more info about this group)
PetSmart Charities - (more info about this group)
Game CompaniesThe following are game companies that are contributing all or part of their profits to charities benefitting the Katrina victims.
Adamant Entertainment will donate their entire sales for September to the Red Cross - website
Alternate Realities Publications has donated 50% of their projected sales for August through December of 2005 to relief efforts, and will continue to donate 50% of all sales that beat that projection. Owner Dana Jorgensen will also match the donations out of his own pocket - product list at RPGnow
Amalara will donate all proceeds from their September sales to the Red Cross - website
Decipher is hosting an online LOTR CCG tournament on Saturday, September 3rd, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross: more info
Sancrosanct Games has announced all profits for September will go to the Red Cross: here's their catalog
Seraphim Guard is donating 50% of the sales of the HeartQuest Anime/Shouju Bundle to the Red Cross.
Sword's Edge Publishing has pledged all revenue for the month of September to the Red Cross - website
White Wolf has announced that they will be donating 50% of all online sales of its Vampire: The Requiem products (print and digital), through September 5th -more info
CDBaby has a list of over 5000 indpendent musicians who have offered to donate 100% of their sales to the Red Cross. You can discover some new music while making your donation - more info
eBay & MissionFish have compiled a page of eBay auctions that benefit Katrina victims, organized by charities - more info
(All links go directly to donation pages when available. Groups are arranged in alphabetical order - no preference is implied.)
If you know of other groups or charities that are directly benefitting the Katrina victims, including (but not limited to) fundraisers through game companies, please contact me at
Hungry Little Monsters Released!
Hungry Little Monsters is a compilation project initiated by Sean K Reynolds to be a charity fundraiser for FoodForAll.org, a program to help feed the hungry. Hungry Little Monsters features 43 new monsters (each approximately one page long) for the d20 system. The theme for this book is "monsters for which you can use existing miniatures or tokens." Rather than a collection of bizarre-anatomy creatures that you can't represent with anything on your miniatures shelf or in a store, this book is full of creatures which you can represent in play with commonly-available miniatures or tokens. This is set up by a serious of monster archetypes -- corpses (skeletal or zombielike undead), fiends (your typical bat-winged demonic or devilish creature), humanoids, oozes, spirits (bodiless undead), and so on. This book is authored by volunteer members of the RPG industry, including Sean K Reynolds, Dave Mattingly, Matt Forbeck, Scott Bennie, and Ed Greenwood, as well as a dozen other established game designers. Likewise, the editing, art, and typesetting is donated as well. Hungry Little Monsters is created entirely on volunteer time. The game material in the book is entirely open game content as defined by the Open Gaming License. All proceeds from this book are donated to Food For All.org
For seven dollars at Drive Thru RPG or RPGNow, you get a 63-page PDF, a 22 page illustration book, and a 4 page token book - and your donation goes to an excellent cause. Pick it up today - and consider getting a t-shirt too!
G.I.V.E.R. Aims to Help Tsunami Victims
Gamers for International Victims Emergency Relief (G.I.V.E.R.) is a site devoted to networking gamers for the purposes of getting support for the South Asian tsunami victims. G.I.V.E.R. does not collect funds directly, but hosts an event locater to help gamers find events that raise money for the cause, suggestions for how you can help, and links to reputable charities who are accepting donations.
For more information, visit G.I.V.E.R.'s site at http://www.skillcraft.net/giver/index.htm
Decipher Donates to Baghdad Hobby Club
Direct from their press release:
For Immediate Release
Decipher Donates To Baghdad Hobby Club Promotion
(Norfolk, VA — January 4, 2005) — Decipher Inc. has donated over $5,000 worth of gaming product to the Baghdad Hobby Club program. The program, started by a U.S. Serviceman and supported by Hobbytown USA, puts hobby games and products in the hands of servicemen and women serving in the U.S. military overseas.
“We’re pleased to be able to make this gesture to the men and women that are serving overseas,” said Warren Holland, Chairman and CEO of Decipher Inc. “Being located in Norfolk, Virginia, we’re surrounded by reminders of how hard our military works. We hope our games can help them pass the time and cope with their situation.”
According to Karey Koehn, editor of Hobby Outlook Magazine, the Baghdad Hobby Club has been very popular with the soldiers. The club operates out of one camp and acts as a hobby supply stop for units moving around Iraq. As soldiers come and go, games are picked up and dropped off. Starting with 100 members, the club is now supporting many more troops in outlying camps. This means that the product needs are always increasing. Requests have been made for military simulation and fantasy games, which ties directly into Decipher’s product lines.
“We were thrilled to be able to meet their requests so exactly,” said Tim Ellington, VP of Decipher’s Games Studio. “We’re shipping them starter decks of our WARS Trading Card Game which is probably the best military simulation on the market due to its strategic gameplay. We’ve also included starter decks from The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game for the fantasy fans, and starter decks from STAR TREK Second Edition CCG which is a property that everyone knows and can relate to.”
For information on the Baghdad Hobby Club, contact Kary Koehn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipments take roughly four weeks to reach their destination and there are specific shipping requirements.
For more information on Decipher products, visit www.decipher.com.