Dungeons & Dragons helps feed the hungry

Bringing Dice And Chips For The Hungry

Turning a passion for role-playing games into a good turn

Software developer Adam Brooks started playing Dungeons & Dragons in its original edition in the late 1980s. “I played D&D for years, then got into Shadowrun from there, and then I found conventions, and I found many, many games,” he says.

One of the things that excited him about tabletop role-playing games was the enthusiasm of fans for creating and sharing their own work: everything from adventures to new magical items, fearsome monsters to put in a game, or even whole new game systems themselves. But getting paid for all this production was difficult. “Obviously there are some big companies who make loads of money, but everyone else is left fighting for scraps,” he told Good Turns recently.

So when he saw an opportunity to create a marketplace where creators could not only earn extra money but contribute to a good cause as well, he got to work. This summer will see him launch that marketplace, RPG Kitchen, where user-created resources for role-playing games will be available, with a portion of the proceeds going to help the hungry.

“When I realized I could potentially use the project to help people, that gave me a new reason to focus”

“The mission is to help people create, share, and play role-playing games, and at the same time use some of the proceeds to help reduce world hunger,” Brooks says. By joining RPG Kitchen and contributing content or purchasing it, RPG fans can “help the hobby and feed the hungry,” Brooks says.

Though a membership fee has not yet been set, Brooks plans to direct one third of the funds toward the cost of running the site, one third toward the non-profit organization Action Against Hunger, and one third toward creators, in proportion to how popular their content becomes on the site.

Brooks has been working on the site in his spare time for several years, and is eager to recruit more players and content-creators ahead of launch. “I’m building this for the hobby, to try and grow it,” Brooks says. “I know there’s a gazillion publishers out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find the stuff you want, and sometimes it’s hard to match the people with the money to the people with the books, so hopefully this will help. And at the same time it’s helping a good cause as well.”

The site has been no small effort on Brooks’s part, and he had been thinking about putting it on the back burner at one point. “But when I realized I could potentially use the project to help people, that gave me a new reason to focus,” he says.

“It’s a very sad thing that with so much food in the world, there are still so many people out there in this day and age who struggle to have enough to eat,” he says. “There are other serious issues out there I’d like to support, I just think it’s so sad that people go without food while at the same time round the world there’s people practically swimming in the stuff.” Here’s hoping RPG Kitchen can help.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Cory Doctorow)

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