At the Giant Brain we are trying to do our bit in these bizarre times to keep people playing games, talking to each other, making and sharing their latest creations. To this end we wanted to gather together all the great things that people are making, selling, and giving away that can help keep you in touch with the tabletop community. Please do get in touch with anything you have come across you think should be added. You can email us, find us on twitter, leave a comment, and find us on facebook.
During this time The Giant Brain will continue to publish articles and put out the Brainwaves podcast, but the nature of some of that content will change. We will tag anything we think might help you game with others from the comfort of your own house with #isolationcon, and put a seperate tab for that content on the site. We have set up a Discord to coordinate games with people here
Whatever you use out of this list, please do share the products you are enjoying with your social media. It really helps these companies out in difficult times.
Playing games online
There are loads of websites to play boardgames online. We are primarily using Tabletop Simulator to play games but there are others you can use. We would be happy to offer advice on setting up Tabletop Simulator and we are looking into the others.
You can join the Discord that the team will be hanging around here.
Tabletop Simulator. There have been some recent takedowns of Asmodee games on TTS so we would recommend backing up files if you can for your favourites.
For RPGs I have only used Roll20 which much like Tabletop Simulator has a bit of a learning curve.
Dicebreaker have put together an article covering a lot of these
Someone called Evan has put together a great PDF of a bunch of games and how you can play them digitally.
Free things to do
Everything in the following part of this list is free. We encourage you to share these games and activities on your social media to help the companies out. Knowing you still have an audience can be really important when times are hard.
The table below has a bunch of free games that are being given away by generous companies. If you can afford to buy some of their games as a thank you, we encourage you to do so
|Alderac||Play along Tiny Towns every day, you don’t need a copy of the game|
|Asmodee||The big boy joins the free PnP train|
|Bright Light Games||‘Not so Happy Families’|
|Cards or Die||Sorting out online gaming|
|Coiled Spring||Print and Play of some of their games|
|Dark Imp||Running their games online 4pm every day during school closures|
|Hub Games||Virtual tours of shops via Tabletop Simulator|
|Man O’Kent Games||Free Games on their site plus articles including advice on designing skirmish games|
|Mighty Boards||Free 2 player PnP during their KS|
|Needy Cat Games||Robot Fight Club PnP and Tabletop Simulator Mod|
|PnP Arcade||Free games|
|Portal Games||Free content for their games and a couple of free games|
|Redwell Games||Free version of Vote Me|
|Tiny Islands||Digital Roll & Write game available for free|
|Worldshapers||Free PnP of Witching Weald. Curators on TTS|
Gil Hova is looking for remote playtesters to help with his local group
Alley Cat Games are going to be offering 1 hour slots for designers to chat with them from time to time. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for announcements.
Good Summary from Wizards here about ways to play DnD online. Wizards are also giving away free daily adventures, starter packs, and all sorts.
Chaosium talking about playing their games online
Exalted Funeral are giving away some RPGs
Some free downloadable maps from Loke Battlemats
Some Free Scenarios for Amazing Tales
Boardgame Streamers & Podcasts
The Giant Brain team are getting into some streaming, hoping to help out small publishers show off their games and get people into playing online. Loads of other people have taken up, or are doing streaming, You can find us here:
and everyone else we have come across so far, below
City of Games. Frank is designing games live on stream and also has made a version of Isle of Cats you can play for free over streaming.
No Pun Included have started streaming, doing something most days.
Tabletop Games Blog, Oliver is a patron, have started streaming as well
Tabletopia is running live streams showing off new games with personalities from the Tabletop Industry
Unlucky Frog will be doing live streams of their casts for the next while and some special events.
A few places have put together articles recommending games to play in isolation. Rather than repeating those recommendations here, I am just going to link to the articles. Again please share the articles if you find them useful.
Spirit Games Magazine has always been free and remains so, check it out
Paid things to do
Many of the items in the paid part of this list are Pay What You Want(PWYW). We would encourage you to pay the creators something, as many freelancers may be relying on income from these products to get through this crisis. You should only pay nothing if you really cannot afford it, and the product would help lift your spirits. Whatever you pay, please remember to share the work that is helping you through these difficult times.
You can get the PnP of Bez’s latest game Categorikell for only £1
Needy Cat Games are running remote design courses
Relativity: Battle for Heaven is recruiting
BlackArmada have a bunch of their RPGs at money off, PWYW, or free if you really can’t afford it
John Harper is making free copies of Agon and Blades in the Dark Available when people buy copies. If you can afford it both game are great and you may be allowing someone else to get their hands on these excellent games.
Loke Battlemats have some really great offers on their mats alongside the free ones above
Magnificent Creations has made one of their adventures PWYW
Sixth World Activity book is PWYW