There’s a glut of small press RPGs out there. I’m guilty of it — I produce adventures for Fate and Ubiquity. There’s a lot of folks chasing the same dollars, even if e’re not necessarily “in competition” with each other. My stuff, for instance, doesn’t really intersect with the Dungeons & Dragons crowd much. I’m not competing for high fantasy eyeballs, but am I competing with, say, Triple Ace..? Maybe.  Because there’s so much out there and most of us don’t have a trust fund or cashed out big in the early internet boom, I suspect a lot of folks are like me — I do’t let go of money for a game book unless I know I want it, or I want to support a line or the people doing it. (I wasn’t a huge fan of Cortex Plus Firefly, for instance, but it was a solid product and I wanted to see the line succeed.)

That’s where reviews come in.

It’s hard to find information on a lot of the smaller guys; DriveThruRPG patrons don’t appear to rate the products they buy very much. When you do see a rating, it’s usually very good, or very bad, and often highly subjective. You can sometimes find reviews of smaller games on YouTube and Facebook, but they are often targeted at specific systems — Fate, Ubiquity, Runequest, D&D…

For the larger publishers, reviews are a little easier to come by. You can find them in the same places — YouTube or Facebook,the forums on rpg.net, but also in smaller game blogs like this one. Interested in a review of a game? Google is your friend. There’s also Amazon ratings.

Often, I get my reviews from some other gamer I know. “Dude, you’ve got to check this out!” Which is usually followed by something from me to the tune of, “Do you have an e-copy or book I can borrow.” If I like what I see and I think I’ll use it, I buy a copy. If not, it gets deleted because I didn’t pay for it and the producers do deserve to get paid for their wares. (Seriously, I’m no piracy-basher. Borrow, look it over, if you like it, buy it. If not, delete it and press on. It’s the right thing to do.)

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