10 Ways To Monetize Tabletop RPGs, inspired by Microtransaction: The RPG

I’m definitely going to be taking a tackle at this satirical game because of its fun premise, in which you pay actual, real world money to the GM for dice rolls, but this post isn’t going to be an Actual Play just yet.

See, the overall premise of the game is a large middle finger to the controversial practice of microtransactions, translating them into RPG mechanics. As someone who’s watched a lot of YouTube videos about microtransactions and have been a victim of one such scam, I’m gonna create ten house rules you can put into this game to fully ensure your gaming buddies stop being buddies at a rate faster than if you put them through the Tomb of Horrors.

1. Lootboxes

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The GM can give players a box full of magic items if the players pay up money for them. As per most Lootboxes, the rarer items are in much more expensive lootboxes, while the cheap magic boxes just have common items. If you’re playing 5E, this would be a great way to use the random magic items table from Xanathar’s Guide.

2. Cosmetics

Normally, Lootboxes carry just cosmetic items, but because we put Magic Items inside it, the easier solution is to make cosmetic items a separate thing people need to buy. You can even give them some mechanics. Say you and your friends are raiding a cult’s temple. Why struggle to get cultist robes that might not be able to fit you when you can just buy cultist robes that fit you perfectly?

3. Companions

The GM can sell animal companions to players who will fight by their side or be cute and fluffy. And hey, they have limited shelf life so if they croak by any means, they just need to buy another one.

4. Attribute Points

Let’s say that you want to buff up your Constitution. Well, just pay a few dollars to get one point to add to your Con. Why work for your points when you can earn them?

5. Level Ups

In fact, why grind? Just bribe the DM and he’ll give you a free level up!

6. Respec

Don’t like the build of your character? Well, unless you have the cash, you’re stuck with the trash! Pay a GM to have all your stats restart, leaving you to roll those 2d6 in order all over again. What? You wanted those attribute points you bought? Nope! They’re gone, so too bad!

7. Fast Pass

But what if you wanted to grind faster and not fastest? Well, that’s where the Fast Pass comes in. For a subscription fee of a few dollars a pop, not only will you level up at the end of every session (or even gain two levels at the end of adventures if they’re resolved within a session), but also you gain free d$ to spend on your rolls and can have the GM automatically control your character during battles.

8. Season Pass

Pay the GM a lump sum, and he’ll give you a plethora of new adventures and venues to explore and expand the game!

9. New Classes!

Tired of the same three classes? Well, pay the GM some money and you get to unlock the elusive Drow class who is able to dual-wield swords or even the Gunslinger, whose guns wipe out monsters within a few shots, enabling you to win every battle!

And now, my personal favorite:

10. New Endings!

Ever wondered what would have happened if you left your family of nobles to join a samurai clan or wanted to get that bonus ending where everyone lives? Well, pay the GM and you’ll get the true ending!

Now, of course, these aren’t meant to be taken seriously. Just as the RPG was made to poke fun at microtransactions, so was this making fun of DLC content, which the author has stated will be a major focus for what’s up next for this RPG. Personally, I can’t wait to see how the mechanics of DLC will be translated into a tabletop RPG.

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