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Play RPGs & Raise Money With Extra Life This Year

Play RPGs & Raise Money With Extra Life This Year

For those gamers who may not be familiar, Extra Life is a charity fundraising event where gamers from all over play games to raise money to help sick and injured kids by supporting their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.  The last few years have seen tabletop gamers join the cause.

Last year, I got to take part in a very unique game of Dungeons & Dragons. I was a late addition to an Extra Life livestream game at GameHole Con in Madison, WI where I got to play with luminaries like Pat Kilbane, Christopher Lindsay, Ruty Rutenberg, and Satine Phoenix while our Dungeon Master was Mike Mearls. I got to play D&D, drink on camera and raise money for sick kids at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and I’m doing it again this year.

Pick Something Interesting to Play

Whether playing a board game like Betrayal at House on the Hill or a session of Dungeons & Dragons, the first rule of an Extra Life game is to play something that the players will find interesting. Dungeon Master’s Guild is full of all sorts of unusual adventures from throughout D&D’s history, not to mention various community member contributions.

The singular nature of the event also makes it an excellent opportunity to explore one-shots adventures for RPGs that your players have wanted to try out as break from a regular session. It’s also a chance to break out those games from a collection that rarely get to the table. Maybe it’s one that came from our lists? Maybe its one from our delves into the history of RPGs? Even if its something simple as playing different characters in a Dungeons & Dragons session, Extra Life offers a great opportunity to try something new.

If You Intend To Stream, Get Your Gear

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It can be intimidating to seek out equipment if your expectations are to look like Critical Role or one of our actual play shows. What you really need on the hardware side are a computer, a webcam and a microphone. The good news is that the livestream revolution has kept pricing competitive so if you don’t already have a streaming setup, you can pick one up at that fits your budget.

For our Theatre of the Mind Players livestream, we use Logitech webcams, a Yeti Blue microphone and OBS streaming software to put us on Twitch. There are excellent options that cost less and also cost more, but I’ll leave that to the comments for folks to tell us their preferred setups in different price ranges.

Set Up Your Donations

Creating an Extra Life donation page is easy. Consider whether you want to set up one for your entire group or for individual players. We’ve set up pages for several players and the Dungeon Master, plus Dungeons & Dragons has an overall team page to check out all the different games going on for Extra Life in November. Every dollar helps but a lot of participants set up pledge levels where the person pledging gets a bit of a reward for donating money.

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I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare last year, but I quickly hit on something that raised money. I was playing a Way of the Drunken Master monk fresh out of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything so it made sense to offer big money pledges in exchange for doing shots on camera. Luckily, a wonderful woman in the audience had several hotel mini bottles of hand for a variety of drinks. This year, I’m embracing the chaos of a wild mage sorcerer by letting the Internet choose several aspects of my character. Donors can also choose the phrases I say to cast spells and, of course, the drinking has returned, should donors wish to buy me a “spell shot”.

I am very excited to raise more money for Extra Life. I hope I will see you there on Friday, November 9th, either live at GameHole Con in Madison or on the D&D Twitch page!

What’s your favorite moment from a charity livestream? Let us know in the comments!

Welcome to the future!

Images Credits: Rob Wieland, Wizards of the Coast

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He’s worked on dozens of different tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. His Twitter is here. You can watch him livestream RPGs with the Theatre of the Mind Players here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.

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