Targeting the RPG Community on Facebook

I promoted two posts on Facebook  to the gaming community with different gender ID targets and received vastly different results. Now, this was far from a perfect experiment, but it provided some insight that others promoting their projects through the platform may find useful. Whether creating RPG resources, or talking about something completely outside gaming, Facebook is one of the most important sites to get the word out and build your community.

Both posts featured a call to action. The first was for the November Survey, and the second for the December. I kept the age range between 25-65+, but changed the “interests” on each one. The important data point for me was the gender option.

On Facebook there are only two genders available when targeting posts. This is extremely short sighted. While it might be nice to not be advertised to as a gender outside the binary, it limits the ability of communities to reach their desired audiences completely.

For the November Survey (N), I chose to advertise to “men and women.” The December Survey (D) was only advertised to “women.” Both had a budget of $30.00 and ran for 7 days.

N was seen by 2,782 people, and provided 237 engagements (or actions on the part of the viewers). While a seemingly high number for an unknown organization, less than 9% of those who saw the N interacted with it. Only 8 clicked on the link and I only received 1 redirect from FB that resulted in a survey result. Rounding up, that translates to 0.04% of viewers performing the action requested.

D was seen by 628 people, making the reach 78% less than N by limiting the number to one gender on Facebook. However, the engagement shot up to over 19%, with almost 2% of the total people who saw the promotion choosing to share it. This is compared to 0.4% who shared N. That being said, N had 10 total shares, while D had 12.

There are still more factors to take into account: Both were run during holiday weeks (Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s Eve), but preliminary data provides more focus for my questions. While Facebook does not seem to be the best tool to promote PanopLit‘s surveys or resources due to its extreme targeting restrictions, I wonder what other experiments can be run to narrow in on the gaming community’s make up on the website.

Are less women identified as RPG gamers on Facebook? Generally speaking, most sources agree that women make up the majority of FB users. Do these results indicate they are less engaged, or more likely to interact once targeted?

While I don’t think my small budget of $60 over 2 months and limited resources can solve these questions, it is certainly something to chew on. What kind of engagement have you seen while using Facebook?

Brief January Survey

As we get ready to accept submissions, this month’s RPG survey will be brief in both length and time featured. Please answer the 4 questions for this month on what kind of content you want to read about!

Please share this link on social media and in your groups to help us create the best resources: https://josephine69.typeform.com/to/FN8Kmr

More Generous Map Generators

The internet is full of free resources for RPGs, but one of the most basic needs are diverse maps. While graph paper and geometric hallways might fit your needs for an immediate dungeon the adventurers have stumbled upon, some moments need more specific, and maybe more randomized settings to interact with.

We shared some mapmaking resources before. Here are additional resources that are more involved than simply hitting a “generate” button, but still have randomization built in for customized, interactive cartography.

  • For basic combat terrain, check out the hazard generator on Chaotic Shiny. There are plenty of other generators for stats and randomized attributes available on the site as well. This generator will not provide visuals, just attributes.
  • For diverse map visuals that are built up grid-style from a database, check out Dave’s Mapper. You can pick the map style and required elements, plus cool options like side view mapping for deep delving.
  • Pencil and paper are generally the most tactile DMs get with their mapmaking, but Last Gasp ups the ante by providing dice-produced cities divided into burroughs. Their relationships and types are determined by the numbers on the dice and where they physically land.

Can’t wait to see what maps you roll out this year!

(Visual is from Dave’s Mapper.)

Get Your Game out There!

Interested in releasing your game, but unsure where to start? Step one (after creating a prototype of the game) should be to get your friends together and have them give it a shot.

Done with kind feedback from those who most love you? Send your design to a more critical eye by requesting play testers either through a local gaming group, a listing like r/TabletopDesign’s playtesters‘ page, or the big try: a convention.

Here are some other resources!

Weekly Reading

This week I had the great pleasure of listening to some key podcasts, so this week’s reading takes the for of weekly listening.

Avonelle Wing discussed inclusive conventions and how to create them on Greatway Games. The casters also discussed “community” and terminologies that create strong networks, rather than exclusionary groups. It’s an important conversation for anyone looking to keep their gaming open and diverse.

Also of interest, Dungeon’s & Donations is currently running with raffles and live D&D for charity. Check it out on Twitch!

Weekly Reading: Holiday Gift Edition

That season we call “the Holidays” have begun! With the focus on giving, let’s make sure you do it right. Below are some outlets to help you put that knowledge check to use:

Free Rules Systems to Build Your Next World Around

RPG Worldbuilding is enough work without hammering out every mechanic. Use these free systems to kickstart your next universe, without the number’s game.

Open Legend is a stripped down rules system with a focus on collaborative story telling. This makes it ideal for those that want their RPG universe to flow with mythology and lore more than physics and condition tables. What is truly outstanding for this system are the level of development that has gone into its tools.

Let’s start with the basics: in order to interact with the gaming world, you need character! Open Legend Character Builder gets you rolling with an interactive character sheet plus tutorial. It’s also a great guide for anyone looking to design their own sheets in the future.

For those who would rather look to the stars, Stars Without Number offers endless possibilities for worlds and encounters. The rules PDF is available free. Set centuries after communication between planets has been cut off, Stars offers the possibility to build and expand a world all its own before introducing it to another one as technology pushes toward the galactic scale again.

Fate is a system designed to mold to whatever genre you want to explore. It’s lighter on dice interaction, heavier on narrative, and ideal for mishmashing genres until you get the characters you’ve always wanted to know. While Fate has plenty of base rules systems to offer, it’s best suited for intimate interactions between characters and spaces than epic architectures or Tolkienesque wars.

This was just the most timid of toe touches into RPG worldbuilding. We’re looking forward to bringing more resources for you to shape your settings into exactly what you imagined, not to mention tips on how to run them.

 

Cartography for Campaigns

The world of role playing games are ripe with seemingly endless possibilities to make your game tactile, more visually engaging, or more easily accessible. One of the most basic tools is the map. Whether for the RPG world, the characters’ homebase, or an encounter, maps instantly pull PCs into the setting and start the game’s movement and engagement mechanics going.

RPG resources are popping up on all platforms. Instagram account Fantastic Maps has excellent how-tos to assist with fleshing out those encounter areas, or populated regions. Check out the classic town map tutorial as a starting point!

For a quick fix on a pick up game, check out this city map generator, complete with auto filled in guild sections. The creator accepts donations for creating and hosting this awesome tool. Give if you can!

Placing NPC and PCs on your RPG map can be just as important to setting the scene. While colored stones, painted wood game pieces, or even just torn paper may do the trick, there’s little more fun in the world of 2D representations of 3D space than fulling illustrated tokens. Some users have created free templates for NPC tokens that you can print yourself from popular games with Dungeons & Dragons. Roll Advantage has provided a free tool to design your own for a more personal touch.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have as much fun playing around with these tools as you will using them in game!